The G36 is the 90’s rifle. James will take you through it in 5 minutes inside the Gray Room. Give him a follow too.
The great departure from the metallic classic weapons of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (ignore the AUG). It looked like the future (ok, so does the AUG). We returned to more metal as the quadrail took over in GWOT and have pretty much remained there since keeping a handguard, or at least a top rail, rigid has been a major ancillary necessity.
Turns out, not so future… but kinda future. Definitely looked future. The G36 didn’t incorporate many of the features that the AR-15 already had, however it did have several the AR-15 didn’t. These included extensive use of polymers, including magazines, and one of the earlier attempts to integrate combat optics for the average rifleman.
Things the G36 didn’t have included a true drop free magazine design with the paddle and a bolt release seperate from the charging handle. These would be capabilities added in later and aftermarket to bring the G36 even further forward. Optics went universal and accessories started aligning with the STANAG and MIL-STD options, including magazine inserts to run GI and PMAGs.
In short, damn cool rifle for the decades it has served but it wasn’t flawless. It was also not as flawed as the German military portrayed, similar in many aspects to the maligned campaign waged against the M4 and M16 that turned out to be a substantial nothing burger. The G36 was and is built to spec. The newer cool toys like the 433 are built to newer and better specs.