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A visit to Heckler & Koch: the new HK437 assault rifle in .300 Blackout caliber for law enforcement and special forces 

All three of Heckler & Koch's assault rifle families are currently in use around the world. There is a lot of movement on the military home market right now. For example, the German armed forces are about to undergo a double generation change in the assault rifle sector. The HK416A7 is currently being marketed as the "Sturmgewehr Spezialkräfte leicht" (light assault rifle) under the catalog designation G95k. More than half of the approximately 1750 rifles ordered have already been delivered to the troops. 

Regardless of this, the German Ministry of Defense is looking for a successor to the G36, which was introduced in 1997, with the "System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr" program. This program is currently on hold – the outcome is uncertain. The discussion is focusing on the HK416 and the competitor weapon MK556 from the Suhl-based weapons manufacturer C.G. Haenel, both AR-15 derivatives. Moreover, there is news to report on the family of the second candidate from Oberndorf, the HK433. For a better understanding, first a look at the 433 system itself.

Modular design: features of the HK433 assault rifle

Introduced to the public in 2017, the HK433 in 5.56x45 mm is part of the fourth generation of assault rifles developed by Heckler & Koch. From the very beginning, the development was determined by the idea of a versatile family of weapons: the modular assault rifle was to be flexibly adaptable to different requirements and applications by means of various barrels, grips and interfaces for optics and attachments.

Read here our practical test of the HK 433.

The HK437 in .300 BLK caliber

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

The HK437 in .300 BLK caliber is one of the newest members of Heckler & Koch's assault rifle family.

The upper receiver of the HK433 is made from extruded aluminum, which enables economical production. On the receiver's top there is a continuous STANAG-4694 rail at 12 o'clock. The handguard also features HKey or optional M-LOK interfaces at 3 and 9 o'clock and a Mil-Std 1913 rail at 6 o'clock. This allows the weapon to accept different sights, laser light modules or other attachments. Technically, the HK433 is a short-stroke gas operated rifle with a rotary bolt. The recoil spring design is similar to that of the G36. 

HK433 grip with G36 

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

HK433 grip with G36 operating concept: in front of the trigger guard but behind the magazine well sits the ambidextrous bolt catch. The magazine release lever sits below the trigger guard.

So unlike AR-15 architectures with their typical buffer tubes, a folding buttstock can be fitted. This locks on the right side of the weapon. The folding stock brings advantages in confined spaces or for vehicle-borne use. The buttstock can also be adjusted in length and height, allowing shooters to adapt the HK433 to their stature and equipment. Likewise, the rifle can be fitted with, among other things, the folding stock for visor helmet developed for the G36C, which allows shooting with the ballistic visor lowered.

The G95k assault rifle is the HK416A7

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

The G95k assault rifle is the HK416A7 version, here with an Aimpoint Comp ML2 sight.

The lower receiver with the integrated trigger assembly is available according to both the G36 and M4/HK416 operating philosophies. In both cases, the weapon can be operated ambidextrously. Likewise, the grip can be individually adapted to the firing hand by means of the familiar adapter backstraps from the HK pistols of the P30 or SFP9 series. Furthermore, there is a small storage compartment in the grip, for example for a tool or a boresnake bore cleaner. The HK433 can use all common AR15-type magazines.

Various barrel lengths are currently available: including 11, 14.5, 16.5 and 20 inches. The barrels can be changed at the user or armourer level. Depending on the barrel length, the weight of the rifle varies between 114.6 oz/3250 g (11") and 126.4 oz/3585 g (16.5"), the overall length between 843/577 mm (11") and 976/717 mm (16"). The rate of fire is around 700 rounds per minute.

Shooting with an earlier version of the HK433

© Heckler & Koch / Concamo

Shooting with an earlier version of the HK433. Here an Elcan Specter is fitted on the rifle.

HK433 assault rifle: "soldier safe" in use and maintenance

The HK437 (top) with a grip designed according to the HK416

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

The HK437 (top) with a grip designed according to the HK416 operating philosophy and 9" barrel compared to the HK433 with a grip according to G36 operating philosophy and 11" barrel.

The rifle's non-reciprocating charging handle is reminiscent of the G3 in terms of handling. It can be moved to the other side of the rifle without tools. It also serves as a locking aid. Markings on the ejection port indicate the best position for returning the bolt to check the chamber. All this means that G3/G36 or G38/G95k/G27 shooters will immediately find their way around the gun.

The modified G36 has a slim line handguard with HKey interfaces

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

The modified G36 has a slim line handguard with HKey interfaces, a Mil-Std-1913/STANAG-4694 rail on the frame, and a fully adjustable butstock.

All loading operations can be carried out in a safety-on condition, and drop safety in accordance with NATO standard AC225/D14 is ensured both in the safety-on and in the safety-off condition, according to the manufacturer. The HK433 is also "soldier-proof" when it comes to disassembly: the weapon can be disassembled without the use of tools into the upper receiver with barrel, handguard, buttstock, recoil spring, bolt assembly, lower receiver with grip and trigger assembly, and magazine. The retaining bolts are captive.

HK437: an assault rifle in .300 Blackout for Special Forces

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange at Heckler & Koch with the new G95k

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

VISIER author Jan-Phillipp Weisswange at Heckler & Koch with the new G95k.

Heckler & Koch recently showed that it is continuing to expand its latest assault rifle family with the HK437 model. Behind it is a version of the HK433 in .300 BLK caliber, aka 7.62x35 mm. To explain, the new HK numerical code categorizes the firearms developed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch according to generation, type and caliber. The 7 stands for special caliber, which also includes the .300 BLK: the medium caliber .300 BLK is considered an alternative to the previously standardized NATO 5.56x45 mm and 7.62x51 mm calibers, especially for law enforcement and special forces use.

The G95k features Era-Tac flip-up iron sights

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

On the right side, the G95k features Era-Tac flip-up iron sights.

Firearms in .300 BLK appear to make sense where relatively much effect must be achieved on the target at relatively manageable ranges with quite compact weapon dimensions. On the one hand, this makes them interesting as medium-range guns for police forces, but also as special weapons for special forces. Further, compact suppressed .300 BLK rifles with subsonic ammunition could establish a new generation of silenced special weapons, asthey significantly outperform submachine guns previously used in this role.

The HK437 has basically the same receiver as the HK433, but the gas block is a bit further back. Furthermore, it has a modified HK433 bolt, a new barrel with 9"/229 mm length, although 7"/178 mm is also available. 

the Rheinmetall LM-VTAL laser module and the MissionLight weapon light

© Rheinmetall

The laser-light package on the System Sturmgewehr Bundeswehr consists of the Rheinmetall LM-VTAL laser module and the MissionLight weapon light.

In addition, there is a new magazine. This has appropriate safety features to prevent the accidental insertion of 5.56 magazines into the gun. Likewise, with an eye to conceivable but undesirable mix-ups, the factory has changed the lower part of the receiver somewhat. This is to prevent unintentional mounting of 433 components on the 437. The adjustable gas block is largely the same as the one known from the HK416A5 and HK433 respectively. 

The HK437 with folded stock 

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

The HK437 with folded stock and Rotex suppressor (bottom) is shorter than an MP5SD with collapsed buttstock (top).

The HK437 can use both supersonic and subsonic ammunition. With a compact Rotex suppressor and a 9" barrel, it comes in at nearly identical dimensions to the MP5SD (see our review of the civilian version of the Heckler & Koch MP5 here). However, it achieves significantly better performance in both the supersonic and subsonic ranges. The MP5SD fires a supersonic DM41 cartridge to 285 meters per second and provides a muzzle energy of 380 joules. 

In contrast, a .300-BLK subsonic load with 220-grain bullet weight fired from a compact assault rifle with a 9"/229 mm barrel already reaches about 320 meters per second and almost double the muzzle energy, with about 742 joules. This results in higher operational ranges and better effectiveness on target with virtually the same size.

Outlook 2021: the Heckler & Koch assault rifle family

Even though the procurement process for the new Bundeswehr assault rifle system is currently on hold, one thing is certain: all three candidate weapons have met the German armed forces' stringent requirements criteria. Word of this is likely to spread on the international market. So regardless of the further outcome of the German assault rifle program, things are likely to remain lively in the "multi-generation house" of Heckler & Koch.

G95k with 40mm grenade launcher module and EoTech sights supplied by I-E-A-Mil Optics

Jan-Phillipp Weisswange

G95k with 40mm grenade launcher module and EoTech sights supplied by I-E-A-Mil Optics, including magnification re-set.

Watchword: "System approach" for military small arms

For military small arms the so-called system approach has now become established: the system includes the respective weapon itself, plus ammunition and magazines, optics, laser light modules, suppressors if applicable, and other peripheral equipment such as carrying slings, magazine pouches, and bayonets. In an extended sense, training also counts as part of the weapon system. The Bundeswehr follows this approach through its philosophy of basic weapon and additional sets. The additonal sets are in turn based on the so-called proficiency levels 1 to 4.

  • Capability level 1: all forces for land operations
  • Capability level 2: infantry and support forces for specialized forces and special forces
  • Capability level 3: specialized forces with extended basic capability for special operations
  • Capability level 4: special forces.

Text: Jan-Phillipp Weisswange and Matthias S. Recktenwald

For more information on Heckler & Koch military and civilian firearms please visit the manufacturer's website.


H&K confirms: This is the Army's new and improved sniper rifle

Heckler & Koch has confirmed that a modified version of its G28 rifle has won the Army's Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System contract.

The gun will replace the M110 made by Knight's Armament as a culmination of the Army's desire for a shorter, lighter rifle that didn't sacrifice accuracy or performance. A press release from Heckler & Koch said the G28 is a light-weight variant of the 7.62 mm gas-powered G28 in use by the German Army, adjusted to fit the U.S. Army's requirements.

"The HK CSASS rifle is a substantial upgrade over the Army's current sniper rifles, enhancing accuracy and reliability while providing for a handier, more compact arm," Heckler & Koch USA president Wayne Weber said.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for more details regarding the new rifle and it's specific variations from the G28. Specs on the company's website say the commercial version has a minimum length of 96.5 cm (about 38 inches) and weight of 5.8 kg (12.7 lbs). That makes it nearly 6 cm (2.5 inches) shorter and 1.3 kg (3 lbs) lighter than the M110 (unloaded and without a suppressor).

The contract to produce up to 3,643 rifles will be worth up to $44.5 million, or a bit more than $12,000 per rifle. The company will also provide spare parts and support for the Army. The Army will make a minimum purchase of 30 rifles for quality assurance testing.

Heckler & Koch confirmed that this modified version of it's G28 rifle won the Army's new sniper rifle contract.

Photo Credit: Heckler & Koch

Army public affairs at the Pentagon and a spokesman for Program Executive Office Soldier - Soldier Weapons did not immediately provide comment.

Knight's Armament Company released a statement that congratulated the winner of the CSASS contract.

"The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) competition was driven by evolving requirements pioneered by KAC products in use by today's warfighter.  Government competition drives industry innovation. Industry's common goal is getting the best product to the warfighter as quickly as possible," the release said.


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Heckler & Koch HK433

Assault rifle

Heckler & Koch HK433
HK 433 Kontur noBg.png
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originGermany
DesignerHeckler & Koch
Mass3.25 kg (7.2 lb) (11")
3.25 kg (7.2 lb) (12.5")
3.40 kg (7.5 lb) (14.5")
3.50 kg (7.7 lb) (16.5")
3.60 kg (7.9 lb) (18.9")
3.65 kg (8.0 lb) (20")
Length577–843 mm (22.7–33.2 in) (11")
613–881 mm (24.1–34.7 in) (12.5")
634–931 mm (25.0–36.7 in) (14.5")
703–971 mm (27.7–38.2 in) (16.5")
764–1,032 mm (30.1–40.6 in) (18.9")
792–1,060 mm (31.2–41.7 in) (20")
(folded - extended stock)
Barrel length280 mm (11 in)
318 mm (12.5 in)
368 mm (14.5 in)
419 mm (16.5 in)
480 mm (18.9 in)
508 mm (20.0 in)
Width81 mm (3.2 in)
Height195 mm (7.7 in)

Cartridge5.56×45mm NATO
ActionShort-stroke piston, rotating bolt
Rate of fire700 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity~925 m/s (3,030 ft/s) (16.5" barrel)
~970 m/s (3,200 ft/s) (20" barrel)
Effective firing range500–600 m (550–660 yd)
Feed system30-round detachable STANAG Magazine
SightsIron sights and Picatinny rails for various optics

The Heckler & Koch HK433 is a modular assault rifle chambered for 5.56×45mm which combines features of the G36 and the HK416 families of assault rifles.[1][2]

The HK433 was designed by Heckler & Koch to be familiar to operators with experience using the Heckler & Koch G36 and HK416 platforms. All controls are ambidextrous, and major components are modular, allowing for rifles to be configured in the field as needed.[3]


The HK433 was first introduced at EnforceTac 2017 which went on the 1st and 2nd of March in Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany, after the HK433 was shown to a select number of people at the earlier SHOT Show in January.[4][5] Heckler & Koch offered the HK433 along side with the HK416 as a candidate for the German Bundeswehr's competition to select a new assault rifle.[6] The HK G36, the Bundeswehr's standard assault rifle since 1997, is to be phased out and a replacement is planned to be phased in from 2020.


The HK433 has multiple barrel lengths ranging from 11-, 12.5-, 14.5-, 16.5-, 18.9- or 20-inch. All of the barrels are cold hammer forged, hard chrome lined with a 178 mm (1 in 7 inch) right-hand twist, six-groove rifling.[7][8]

It features a short-stroke gas piston driven system similar to the Heckler & Koch G36 and HK416, with a gas block regulator adjustment located above the barrel. The non-reciprocating charging handle can be changed to operate from either side of the forestock of the rifle, but does not have a locking recess like the Heckler & Koch G3 family of weapons. All other primary controls are ambidextrous.

It has an interchangeable barrel system and a folding adjustable buttstock with a three position cheek riser and a paddle-style magazine release. Side-folding the buttstock shortens the HK433 by 266 to 297 mm (10.5 to 11.7 in). The monolithic upper receiver is made of aluminium alloy, and the lower receiver is made of polymer.[9]

The HK433 features a STANAG 4694 NATO Accessory Rail at 12 o'clock that is backwards-compatible with the STANAG 2324/MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. At 6 o'clock it features the STANAG 2324/MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. At the 3- and 9-o'clock positions the proprietary "HKey" accessory attachment system is used instead of the more commonly used M-LOK or KeyMod systems.

The empty weight of a HK433 Draft STANAG 4179 compliant box magazine is approximately 160 g (5.6 oz).


  1. ^"New from H&K: the HK433". The Truth About Guns. January 23, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  2. ^"Heckler & Koch (HK) HK433 'Compact and Modular' 5.56mm NATO Assault Rifle/Carbine/SBR: What's the point?". Defense Review. August 10, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  3. ^"Heckler & Koch: Product Overview - HK433". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  4. ^"Breaking News from Heckler & Koch – HK433 A New Rifle!". TFB. February 3, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  5. ^"HK433 – The first practical test". TFB. August 18, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  6. ^"Heckler & Koch bids to replace its own tarnished weapon - Germany - DW.COM - 03.02.2017". Deutsche Welle. February 3, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  7. ^"Heckler & Koch unveils HK433 modular assault rifle - IHS Jane's 360". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  8. ^"Heckler & Koch unveils new modular rifle – HK433". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  9. ^"HK433 Modular Assault Rifle". Modern Firearms. 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2020-05-25.

External links[edit]

Shot Show 2018 - HK433

Countless ideas, decades of know-how and sophisticated solutions tested and proven under the most rigorous conditions worldwide are the foundation of Heckler & Koch‘s pioneering weapon technologies. We leave nothing to chance.

The new HK433 is a modular and compact assault rifle chambered for 5.56 mm x 45 which combines the strengths and outstanding features of the G36 and the HK416 families of assault rifles – both proven worldwide. It doesn’t matter at all whether you are right or left-handed or have trained on a G36 / HK416 weapon system or AR-15 platform: The HK433 is the solution for every scenario imaginable. Maximum functional reliability with intuitive handling combined with maximum modularity, accuracy and weapon safety – Made in Germany.

  • Modular and light design. Compact dimensions.
  • Barrel length individually configurable. Easy barrel exchange at the operators or maintenance level.
  • Fully ambidextrous weapon operation for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. Non-reciprocating charging handle, convertible from left to right without tools.
  • Special material properties and surface treatments allow for a reliable and low-maintenance system suitable for the most extreme conditions.
  • Lower receiver with double-sided operating concept for G36 or HK416/AR-15 users.
  • Drop safety as per AC225/D14 when on or off safety.
  • Monolithic upper receiver with STANAG 4694 profile at 12 o’clock position. Modular Slim Line handguard with HKey interfaces on 3 and 9 o’clock positions as well as Picatinny rail as per MIL-STD 1913 on 6 o’clock position.
  • Maintenance-free round counter integrated in receiver, no energy supply required.
  • Foldable, retractable buttstock with height-adjustable cheek rest. Weapon can also be used with the buttstock in the folded-in position.
  • Tool-free assembly/disassembly of the main assemblies.
  • Cocking in all safety positions possible.
  • Wide variety of accessories available, such as training bolt group, bayonet, suppressor, drum magazine, brass catcher, blank firing attachment, forward grip or bipod.
  • Infrared-absorbing coatings possible.

H&k rifle new

Heckler & Koch just pulled in a $33.5 million contract modification for the US Army’s newest rifles

Heckler & Koch has been awarded a contract modification by the US Army to the tune of $33.5 million, related to the production of the Army’s newest rifles

According to the Pentagon, the German arms giant will be expected to complete the contract by March 16, 2022. The rifles at the center of this modification are the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or CSASS, and Squad Designated Marksman Rifles, or SDMR.

[Read More: Army wants new compact semi-auto sniper system]

[Read More: These units are going airborne with the Army’s new CSASS]

As early as 2011, the Army started its search for a replacement or a deep reconfiguration for their M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems, citing reliability issues among other problems while in-theater during the Global War on Terror.

By 2014, the Army began looking in earnest for an outright replacement for the SASS.

A decision was later made to also find a suitable replacement for the service’s Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDM-Rs), which were primarily modified M16s with more powerful optics than the standard Trijicon ACOG.

The SASS and SDM-R replacements, in particular, needed to offer soldiers and special operators a lighter precision rifle without sacrificing performance (i.e. , accuracy, range, reliability, and stopping power).

By 2016, the Army had found their new reach-out-and-touch-someone rifles in the form of H&K’s G28 platform — a variation of the company’s HK417 piston battle rifle, chambered for 7.62 NATO.

While the CSASS will be primarily oriented towards snipers who have graduated from the Army’s rigorous sniper school, the SDMR will be fielded by infantry platoons as their designated marksman solution, extending their deadly range far beyond the restrictions of their service rifles and light machine guns.

With that said, both rifles are fairly similar as they come from the same platform, and primarily differ in terms of application, the stocks they’ll be fielded with, and the scopes they’ll use.

Meeting an important Army objective, the CSASS — now officially designated the M110A1 — will be able to fire the M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round as well as the XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing Round.

Per the original Department of Defense’s contract award in 2016, the initial planned order for M110A1s was 3,643 rifles, though with the new modification, that number could likely increase.

About Ian D'Costa

Ian D’Costa is a correspondent with Gear Scout whose work has been featured with We Are The Mighty, The Aviationist, and Business Insider. An avid outdoorsman, Ian is also a guns and gear enthusiast.


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