The HK G41 (No, not the space rifle, that’s the 11)

James Williamson loves a few things in life. BoJangles, Magnum P.I., Porsche, his family, and HK firearms.

In this video he is looking at one of the final roller delayed HKs during the development cycle of the later 20th century. The next major rifle would finally diverge from roller delays and begin the late 20th and early 21st century preference for the AR-18 type short stroke pistons.

The G41 emerged as a well designed but poorly timed release to try and supply NATO. James talks about the STANAG program, which you will likely recognize from the STANAG magazine which weapons like the FAMAS G2, F2000, Tavor, M16/M4, and L85 use somewhat interchangeably. “Universal” standardization didn’t workout quite how they thought. Today, even in partner militaries, logistics are internalized.

This doesn’t mean magazines and other equipment is incompatible today, it is more so now that when STANAG was first introduced, but it does mean that optimization tends to be for the domestic supply. M855A1 has probably not been accounted for by France, Belgium, Great Britain, or Poland even though they all use service weapons that should, in theory, be able to run the round with little issue. It could probably be used in a bind even, if one of those partner nation units needed ammo, but that is more due to the virtues of well built rifles than deliberate compatibility.

James points out the obvious influence of the M16A1 on the STANAG program and the G41, it wasn’t the only rifle to be influence that way since we can see it on the AR-18 strongly also. But the G41 was built to be a partner rifle with the M16, to be fielded beside the M16 on in the forests, hillsides, and streets of Europe. Rifles like the AR-18 were more direct competitors than partners, but by the time of the A1 the M16’s fielding foibles (by the military failing to follow directions) had been fixed and the rifle was a fine instrument.

A few short years after the G41 emerged the M16A2 would win out as the A1’s successor with an eye to much great precision out of the rifle. The US Marines led that effort and the Army hated the original sight design, thinking the Marines liked to shoot at ‘impractically far distances’.

The M16 influences are largely surface borne though and internally the G41 is logically progressive from the G33, MP5, and G3.

But hit play to see all of that.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.