Heckler Koch HK416 Carbine History
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 community, 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. HK416 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 weapons interior. This reduces operator cleaning time, increases the reliability of the HK416 and extends the interval between stoppages.
To improve reliability, service life, and operator safety during obstructed bore occurrences or after extreme extended firing sessions, Heckler Koch 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 HK416 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 are both being offered with deliveries beginning in February 2005. The full potential of the 5.56mm carbine has now been realized with the introduction of the HK416.
HK416 Lower Receivers
HK416 Upper Receivers
HK416 Unique Rifle Features
- Short-stroke piston gas system
- Improved reliability and function without H2O fording
- No fouling directed into weapon, less cleaning
- User removable and 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 and bolt locking recesses
- Enhanced AG416 add-on 40mm
- HK cold-hammer forged barrel
- Extended service life, improved safety
- HK free-floating rail system
- Safety Blank Firing Adapter and Magazine
- Beveled and flared magazine well
- Improved surface finish, ambidextrous
- Integrated reflex sight with nested illuminator
- Match 2-stage trigger mechanism
- 16.5″ and 20″ variants
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