HK417 Weapon System: HK416 5.56 Carbine Gets a 7.62mm Big Brother

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by David Crane

This article was updated on 2/26/08.

Back in July 2005, DefenseReview published information on the HK416 Weapon System a.k.a. HK416 Enhanced Carbine (5.56x45mm/.223 Rem.) in our article titled HK416 Piston-Driven 5.56 Carbine and High-Reliability 30-Round Steel Mag.

Well, Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. (HK Defense Inc.) recently introduced the HK417 Weapon System (7.62x51mm/.308 Win.), which is essentially the HK416’s "big brother". Same gas piston/op rod-driven operating mechanism, larger caliber.

Defense Review’s actually had the HK417 fact sheet since March, but we’ve been so busy over here that we forgot to mention it. Better late than never. Anyway, here’s the link to the document:…

HK417 Weapon System: Caliber 7.62x51mm NATO Fact Sheet (PDF Format)

Basic HK417 Facts/Info (as claimed by Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc.):

According to the fact sheet, the HK 417 will be available with 12, 16, and 20-inch cold-hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrels, and all barrels will feature a 1:11-inch twist rate. All barrels will be threaded for silencers/sound suppressors, flash hiders (flash suppressors) and muzzle compensators. HK Defense Inc. claims that barrel life will "easily exceed 15,000-20,000 rounds with little or no accuracy degredation."

The HK417 will take 20-round polymer mags. The weapon also features a 4-sided free-floating rail system/forend rail tube (a.k.a. "quad rail" system) wich whill accept the same quick-detachable HK AG-416 underbarrel-mounted 40mm (40x46mm) GLM (Grenade Launcher Module).

The HK417 fact sheet states that during a desert firing test, an HK417 prototype (2nd design stage) fired more than 15,000 rounds of assorted 7.62x51mm/.308 Win. ammo, including M118LR, M80 ball, M993 AP and a variety of commercial ammo with bullet weights ranging from 125 grains to over 175 grains "without a single parts failure or stoppage. The document also claims that during an accuracy test, an HK417 carbine in "assaulter" configuration (12" barrel) averaged 1.3 MOA between four shooters firing multiple 5-shot groups at ranges between 100-500 yards.

HK Defense’s design goal for the HK 417 is "to guarantee" no parts failures or stoppages in less than 15,000 rounds with a goal to exceed 20,000 rounds."

You can contact Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc. (HK Defense, Inc.) by phone at 703-450-1900, or by fax at 703-450-8163.

Click here to visit the HK417 page at It contains some excellent photos.

There are some more good HK417 photos in this forum thread.

HK417 Weapon System: HK416 5.56 Carbine Gets a 7.62mm Big Brother by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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