Heckler & Koch HK417

The Heckler & Koch HK417 is a battle rifle[1] designed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch in Germany. It is the larger caliber version of the HK416, and chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO rifle cartridge. It is a gas-operated, selective fire rifle with a rotating bolt. The HK417 is intended for use in roles where the penetrative power, stopping power, and range of the 7.62×51mm cartridge are required. It has been adopted for service by a number of armed forces, special forces, and police organizations.

A replica of the HK417A2.
TypeBattle rifle
Place of originGermany
Service history
In service2006–present
Used bySee Users
Production history
DesignerHeckler & Koch
ManufacturerHeckler & Koch
VariantsSee Variants
  • Assaulter: 3.87 kg (8.5 lb)
  • Recce: 4.05 kg (8.9 lb)
  • Sniper: 4.23 kg (9.3 lb)
  • G28 E2: 5.8 kg (13 lb)
  • G28 E3: 5.15 kg (11.4 lb)
  • A2 13″: 4.22 kg (9.3 lb)
  • A2 16.5″: 4.4 kg (9.7 lb)
  • A2 20″: 4.74 kg (10.4 lb)
  • Assaulter: 885 mm (34.8 in) stock extended/805 mm (31.7 in) stock collapsed
  • Recce: 985 mm (38.8 in) stock extended/905 mm (35.6 in) stock collapsed
  • Sniper: 1,085 mm (42.7 in) stock extended/1,005 mm (39.6 in) stock collapsed
  • G28: 1,082 mm (42.6 in) stock extended/965 mm (38.0 in) stock collapsed
  • A2 13″: 904 mm (35.6 in) stock extended/824 mm (32.4 in) stock collapsed
  • A2 16.5″: 994 mm (39.1 in) stock extended/914 mm (36.0 in) stock collapsed
  • A2 20″: 1,082 mm (42.6 in) stock extended/1,002 mm (39.4 in) stock collapsed
Barrel length
  • Assaulter: 305 mm (12.0 in)
  • Recce: 406 mm (16.0 in)
  • Sniper: 508 mm (20.0 in)
  • G28: 419 mm (16.5 in)
  • A2 13″: 330 mm (13.0 in)
  • A2 16.5″: 419 mm (16.5 in)
  • A2 20″: 508 mm (20.0 in)
Width78 mm (3.1 in)
  • HK417: 213 mm (8.4 in)
  • G28 E2: 340 mm (13.4 in)
  • G28 E3: 280 mm (11.0 in)

Cartridge7.62×51mm NATO
ActionGas-operated short-stroke piston, rotating bolt
Rate of fire600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity
  • 709 m/s (2,330 ft/s) (12 in)
  • 742 m/s (2,430 ft/s) (13 in)
  • 750 m/s (2,500 ft/s) (16 in)
  • 775 m/s (2,540 ft/s) (16.5 in)
  • 789 m/s (2,590 ft/s) (20 in)
  • 817 m/s (2,680 ft/s) (A2 20″)
Effective firing range
  • A2 13″: 400 m (437.4 yd)
  • A2 16.5″: 600 m (656.2 yd)
  • A2 20″: 800 m (874.9 yd)
  • G28: 600 m (656.2 yd)
Feed system10- or 20-round detachable box magazine

Design and features

The HK417 is similar in internal design to the HK416, although the receiver and working parts are enlarged to suit the larger 7.62×51mm cartridge. The bolt is a seven-lug rotating type, which sits in a bolt carrier and operates in a forged alloy receiver resembling those of the Stoner-designed AR-10, AR-15 and M16 rifles.

Like the HK416, the HK417 is gas-operated with a short-stroke piston design similar to that of the Heckler & Koch G36. The short-stroke piston is more reliable than the original direct impingement operation of the AR-15 design because, unlike these weapons, it does not vent propellant gases directly into the receiver, which deposits carbon fouling onto the bolt mechanism as well as heating it up.[2]

The early HK417 prototype used 20-round magazines from the Heckler & Koch G3 rifle family, which did not feature a bolt hold-open device. Later prototypes, however, switched to a polymer magazine with bolt hold-open. The magazine resembles an enlarged version of the G36's transparent magazine, except without the pins for holding more than one magazine together.


Purchasers of the HK417 have typically intended it to complement lighter assault rifles chambered for less powerful intermediate cartridges (often 5.56×45mm NATO), for the designated marksman role. The HK417's greater accuracy, effective range, and penetration offset its greater expense, its lower rate of fire, and its smaller ammunition capacity both in magazine and carriage.[3]


Military and law enforcement

The HK417 models chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO available to the military and law enforcement market are:

  • HK417 12″ 'Assaulter': carbine with 304.8 mm (12 in) standard barrel
  • HK417 16″ 'Recce': "Recon" rifle with 406.4 mm (16 in) standard or accurized barrel
  • HK417 20″ 'Sniper': "full size" rifle with 508.0 mm (20 in) accurized barrel

The HK417 A2 is the improved version. The design of the receiver, barrel interface, gas port and the bore axis alignment of the rifle have been further optimised to increase its accuracy and reliability.[1][3] The German Army uses the HK417 A2 - 13″ with the designation G27.[3][4]

As of 2013, the HK417 A2 models chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO available to the military and law enforcement market are:

  • HK417 A2 - 13″: carbine with 330.2 mm (13 in) barrel
  • HK417 A2 - 16.5″: rifle with 419.1 mm (16.5 in) barrel
  • HK417 A2 - 20″: "full size" rifle with 508.0 mm (20 in) barrel

Accurized barrels provide 0.3 mil (1 moa) accuracy (with match grade ammunition). A barrel can be changed in under two minutes with simple tools. All HK417 barrels are cold hammer forged and chrome-lined and use a conventional lands and grooves bore profile with a twist rate of 1 turn in 279.4 mm (11.00 in). They are designed to function reliably with bullet weights ranging from 9.3 to 11.34 g (144 to 175 gr) and are threaded for a flash hider or sound suppressor.[3][5]


The civilian MR308 was used to develop the G28, a designated marksman rifle for the German Bundeswehr (Federal Army) deployment to the War in Afghanistan. The semi-automatic G28 is chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO and has a factory warrantied accuracy of 45 mm dispersion at 100 meters (0.45 mil or 1.5 moa) when fired with 10 rounds using OTM/HPBT/Sierra Match King ammunition. The G28 features STANAG 4694 NATO Accessory Rails that are backwards-compatible with the STANAG 2324/MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails. The upper receiver is made from steel instead of HK's aluminium alloy. Approximately 75% of the parts are interchangeable with the HK417. There are two different versions of the G28: G28 E2 (Standard) with a Schmidt & Bender 3–20×50 PM II (modified to Bundeswehr requirements) and the G28 E3 (Patrol) with Schmidt & Bender 1–8×24 PM II.[6] By October 2017, Heckler & Koch had renamed the G28 as the HK241, though G28 remains its Bundeswehr designation.[7]


In April 2016 Heckler & Koch confirmed that a lighter version of the G28 had won the United States Army's Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System contract to replace the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System.[8] It is designated as the M110A1 and uses an aluminum upper receiver instead of steel to meet weight requirements, weighing 8.4 lb (3.8 kg) unloaded and reaching some 15 lb (6.8 kg) loaded and with accessories; the M110A1 features a Geissele M-LOK rail handguard, Schmidt & Bender 3–20×50 PM II Ultra Short telescopic sight, Geissele optic mount, OSS SRM6 suppressor, 6-9 Harris bipod and mount, and a collapsible stock with adjustable comb.[9][10] In May 2018, the U.S. Marine Corps will begin receiving the CSASS, also to replace the M110.[11]

In March 2018, the Army announced that a version of the G28/M110A1 would be issued to infantry squads as the service's standard Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR). Issuing a 7.62×51mm NATO SDMR is meant to increase individual squads' ability to defeat enemy body armor that standard 5.56×45mm NATO rounds cannot penetrate.[12] The M110A1-based rifle will replace the M14 EBR, in use by the Army since 2009, but because it was based on an operational needs statement it had to be turned in by units at the end of a combat deployment. Unlike the sniper configuration, the SDMR model will be equipped with a different buttstock and barrel twist than the CSASS model. The marksman version is fitted with a simpler SIG TANGO6 1-6×24 telescopic sight to make quick adjustments between 0–600 m (0–656 yd), and it fires M80A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds or XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing Rounds rather than sniper rounds; it will be fielded with a suppressor to make the marksman less identifiable with louder 7.62×51mm NATO rounds. The SDMR TANGO6 1-6×24 telescopic sight features a red horseshoedot for fast aiming and an illuminated Extended Range Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) illuminated front focal plane reticle.[13] Roughly 6,000 are planned to be fielded with one per squad in infantry, engineer and scout formations starting in late 2018.[14][15]


The MR308 is a civilian variant of the HK417, introduced in 2007 alongside the MR223, a civilian HK416.[16] It is a semi-automatic rifle with several "sporterized" features. At the 2009 SHOT Show, the two rifles were introduced to the American civilian market as the MR762 and MR556, respectively.[17] Since then both were replaced by the improved MR762A1 and MR556A1.[18][19]


Country Organization name Model Quantity Date Reference
 Albania Special Operations Battalion HK417 [3]
 Australia Australian Army acquired 16″ 'Recce' variants paired with 6× ACOG for a designated marksman solution for use in Afghanistan and afterwards 16″ 'Recce' 2010 [3][20][21]
 Brazil Brazilian Army 2012 [22]
Federal Police of Brazil 2012 [22]
 Croatia Croatian Army uses it as a designated marksman rifle 12″ 'Assaulter' [23]
Special Operations Battalion use it as a battle rifle. [23]
 Czech Republic 601st Special Forces Group [24]
 Denmark Royal Danish Army uses it as a designated marksman rifle 20″ 'Sniper' [25]
 Estonia Estonian Special Operations Force uses it as a designated marksman rifle [26]
 France Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS)

and the regular French army as a DMR, it is also used by various police units and the gendarmerie.

 Germany German Army uses the HK417 - 16″ as the G27 16″ [3][4]
German Army uses a modified MR308, the G28, as a designated marksman rifle G28 [28]
GSG 9 sniper teams of the German Federal Police [29]
 Hungary TEK snipers use it as a DMR. HK 417
 Ireland Defence Forces Army Ranger Wing sniper teams 2010 [3][30]
 Italy Italian Army, Italian special forces, San Marco Marine Brigade
 Japan Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Special Forces Group (Japan) 2014 [31]
 South Korea Republic of Korea Army, 707th Special Mission Battalion G28
 Malaysia Pasukan Khas Laut sniper teams of the Royal Malaysian Navy 2006 [3][32]
 Mauritius Military of Mauritius uses it as a marksman rifle. 2013
 Netherlands Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) of the Royal Netherlands Army acquired the 16″ 'Recce' paired with Aimpoint CompM2 or Schmidt & Bender 3–12×50 PM II 2011 [3][33][34]
 Norway Norwegian Armed Forces uses it as a designated marksman rifle [3][35][36]
 Poland Policja [3][37]
 Portugal Special Actions Detachment of the Portuguese Navy

Special Operations Troops Centre of the Portuguese Army

HK417 [38]
 Russia Spetsnaz snipers of law enforcement agencies MR308 [39][40]
FSB Alpha Group [41]
 Slovenia Slovenian Special Police Unit (Specialna Enota Policije) HK417 [42]
 Spain Special Operations Command of the Spanish Army, Special Naval Warfare Force of the Spanish Navy

National Police Special Operations Group Special Intervention Unit and Fast Action Group of Civil Guard (Gendarmerie)

 Sweden Särskilda operationsgruppen HK417
 Tunisia Tunisian Army's Special Forces Group (GFS) HK417
 Turkey Gendarmerie Special Operations HK417
 United Kingdom United Kingdom Special Forces sniper teams HK417 (L2A1) - 12", 16" and 20" [3][43][44]
Surrey Police sniper teams HK417 [45][46]
West Mercia Police sniper teams
 United States Joint Special Operations Command [47]
United States Army M110A1 3,643 (planned) [8]

See also


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