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Rifle, 5.56mm, HK 416 (Produced by Heckler & Koch)

The HK416 is an outgrowth of the discontinued XM8 program.  The XM8 rifle was a completely new design which was tested, but not adopted by the Army.  Recently some special-operations units have begun equipping themselves with the HK 416 assault rifle, which is similar in its lower-receiver design to an M4, but has a completely redesigned upper receiver.  The HK416's major innovation is its piston-operated action, which replaces the gas-operated system in the M4 and M16 series, and prevents the introduction of high-temperature gas and carbon into the bolt carrier group.  This makes the weapon much easier to clean, and much less error-prone.  There is also a 7.62mm version called the HK 417.

HK416 Video Overview

The following information was taken from the H&K product datasheet for the 416:

"Inspired by the resounding success of the mid-life improvement program of the British SA80 (L85/L86) Weapons System, Heckler & Koch began a development program to create the HK416 Enhanced Carbine.  Working with current users from around  the globe, HK set out to produce an Enhanced Carbine that would outperform competing 5.56mm carbines and provide the high degree of performance required by the user com-munity, particularly those within the special operations arena who demand more and expect no compromise when lives are at stake.  High-speed video assessment and extensive live-fire testing in extreme operational environments such as the U.S. Army Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona revealed multiple areas for improvement of the 5.56 mm carbine.  Improvements were made to the internal operating system and miscellaneous component parts to improve reliability in best and worse case scenarios, with all types of ammunition, with all barrel lengths and with and without sound suppressors attached.

"An innovative free-floating 4-quadrant rail system designed by HK allows all current standard accessories and sights to be fitted to the HK416 and can be removed without tools.  The HK-proprietary gas system does not introduce propellant gases and the associated carbon fouling back into the weapon’s interior. This reduces operator cleaning time, increases the reliability of the weapon and extends the interval between stoppages."

HK416 Video Demonstration

"To improve reliability, service life, and operator safety during obstructed bore occurrences or after extreme extended firing sessions, HK has produced its famous cold hammer forged barrel for the HK416 in various lengths to include 10, 14.5, 16.5, and 20 inches. The highest quality steel is used in this unique manufacturing process producing a barrel that provides superior accuracy for greater than 20,000 rounds with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity.  In addition to the improvements in the baseline weapon, HK has produced a high reliability magazine and a proprietary buffer to improve functional reliability.  An add-on single shot 40 x 46mm AG416 enhanced grenade launcher module can be quickly attached to the rail system of all models without tools.  Heckler & Koch has applied its proven and fielded Safety Blank Firing Attachment and Live Round Excluder Magazine technology to the HK416 Carbine, eliminating the possibility of live rounds being loaded into and fired through a standard issue weapon outfitted for blank firing only.

"A 'drop-in' HK416 upper receiver module and a complete carbine have both been offered since February 2005. The full potential of the 5.56mm carbine has now been realized with the introduction of the HK416."

Related End Items ("... Also See...")

1005-01-231-0973 M4, Rifle, 5.56mm
1005-01-128-9936 M16A2, Rifle, 5.56mm (Most widely-used M16 variant)
1005-01-383-2872 M16A4, Rifle, 5.56mm (Similar to M16A2, but with detachable carrying handle and modular rail system)
1005-00-903-0751 M134 Minigun ("Gatling Gun"), 7.62mm
1005-00-589-1271 M14-Series, Rifle, 7.62mm
1005-01-534-2841 XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS)
1005-01-469-2133 Rifle, .50 Caliber, Sniper:  XM107 (Barrett Family)

XM8 Video Demonstration

Additional HK416 Specs (from H&K Product Info Page)

Caliber 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington)

Operation Principle Gas operated, firing from a closed bolt.

Bolt Principle Refined rotating bolt head with multiple locking lugs

Modes of Fire Semi-automatic, full automatic

Feed Device HK high-reliability 20 or 30-round steel box magazine

Cyclic Rate of Fire 700-900 rounds per minute

Weight

D10RS model – 7.3 lb

D145RS model – 7.7 lb

U10" upper – 5.0 lb

U145" upper – 5.5 lb

Barrel Length

D10RS model – 10.5"

D145RS model – 14.5"

Overall Length

D10RS (retracted) – 27.0"

D10RS (extended) – 30.9"

D145RS (retracted) – 31.0"

D145RS (extended) – 34.9"

Height (w/o sights) 7.25"

Width 2.25"

Trigger Pull 4.5 – 6.0 lb.

Barrel Twist 1 in 7", right hand

Unique Features

• Short-stroke piston gas system

- Improved reliability and function without H2O fording

- No fouling directed into weapon, less cleaning

- User removable/exchangeable

- Insensitive to barrel length or ammunition changes

• Improved buffer system

• Improved steel magazine (30 and 20-round capacities)

- Improved feeding reliability, durability, service life

• Refined barrel/bolt locking recesses/lugs

- Improved function

• Improved extractor and spring, buffer

- Improved function

• Enhanced AG416 add-on 40mm grenade launcher

• HK cold-hammer forged barrel

- Extended service life, improved accuracy and user safety

• HK free-floating rail system (same height as upper receiver)

• Safety Blank Firing Adapter and Live Round Excluder Magazine

• Beveled and flared magazine well

Additional ongoing work

• Improved surface finish, ambidextrous controls

• Integrated reflex sight with nested IR laser aimer and illuminator

• Match 2-stage trigger mechanism

• 16.5" and 20" variants

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