HK highlights a trio of new 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.) semi-automatic rifles just in time for the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas.
Designated Marksman Rifles (DMRs) fill an important operational niche. Chambered in 7.62 or greater, they lob more firepower than a 5.56 close-quarters carbine, but unlike the surgical precision of a one-shot bolt gun, they are semi-automatic so you can put multiple rounds on target. And fast. Out to 800 yards or more, if you like.
Indeed, these things give new meaning to the expression “sniper fire.”
And just in the nick of time for the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Heckler & Koch (HK) is highlighting a trio of new 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.) semi-automatic rifles built around this very concept.
The news comes after the German company was awarded a contract to produce the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) for the United States Marine Corps.
That rifle — which weighs in at 11.62 pounds as a complete weapons system including all ancillary equipment — is a variant of the Heckler & Koch HK416 used by military, law enforcement, and special operations units in the U.S. and throughout the world. It replaces the much heavier Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
Debuting at SHOT Show 2012 is Heckler & Koch's much-anticipated MR762A1 rifle (in caliber 7.62 x 51mm). It joins the 5.56mm model (MR556A1) that was released in 2011. The new MR762A1 rifle is inspired and influenced by recent Heckler & Koch piston driven rifles, including the new HK G28 designated marksman rifle developed for the German military.
A semi-automatic rifle originally developed from the fully automatic HK417, the MR762A1 uses the same HK proprietary gas piston operating system found on current HK rifles and carbines, using a “pusher” rod in place of the gas tube normally found in AR15/M16/M4-style firearms. This method of operation virtually eliminates malfunctions that are common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. According to HK, this key feature is deemed critical by leading military and law enforcement customers.
The MR762A1 uses many of the same assemblies and accessories that originated on the HK417 including the HK free-floating four-quadrant rail system. This handguard system allows all current accessories, sights, lights, and aimers used on M4/M16-type weapons to be fitted to the MR Series.
The HK rail system can be installed and removed without tools and returns to zero when reinstalled. Like their HK military counterparts, the MR (for Match Rifle) series rifles use barrels produced by Heckler & Koch's famous cold hammer forging process. The rifles are reputed to use the highest quality steel, known for producing a long-life barrel and superior performance with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity even during prolonged use.
The barrels are manufactured in Germany and finished in the USA. MR762A1 rifles are produced in the USA from a combination of American and German-made components. Suggested retail price on the MR762A1 is $3,995.
G28 Marksman Rifles
The G28 is the new designated marksman rifle for the German army. Based on the MR308 civilian competition rifle (the European variant of the new MR762A1), the G28 uses the HK417 “envelope” as its design foundation but with several significant differences.
The G28 employs a steel upper receiver, is semi-automatic only, and has a new Picatinny-type rail handguard. A newly-redesigned two-stage gas regulator is designed for both suppressed and unsuppressed use. The G28 is equipped with a free-floating, chromed-lined barrel manufactured using HK's cold-hammer forging technology.
Despite its differences from the HK417, the G28 still retains approximately 75% parts compatibility with HK417 models, according to the company. Available in Standard Configuration and Patrol Configuration (3.5 lb/1.6 kg lighter with a shorter handguard and less powerful 1-8x scope), both G28 variants come standard with adjustable buttstocks. The Standard Configuration buttstock has a movable cheekpiece. Both G28 configurations and special low IR observable green/brown (RAL8000) color finish.
HK's standard, complete weapons system configuration features Schmidt & Bender telescopic sights (3-20×50 or 1-8×24), red dot sight (Aimpoint Micro T1), a laser light module (Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics LLM01-RAL8000), night sight (Qioptiq Merlin LR), a thermal sight (Insight CNVD-T35), and laser range finders (Jenoptik HLR15 or Vectronix PLRF15). A special Peli (Pelican) transportation case and noiseless carrying sling is also available.
Accuracy is what you'd expect for a Dedicated Marksmanship Rifle (DMR) of this type at 1.5 MOA for high first round hit probability on chest size targets up to 600 meters, and precise suppression fire against man-size targets up to 800 meters.
Currently in operational use in Afghanistan, the G28 is designated as a military/law enforcement firearm and is not available for civilian/commercial sales at this time.