View Full Version : The History of Heckler and Koch?

July 12, 1999, 09:11 AM
As a young'un, I grew up at the time when I would live through "Highway Patrol" in order to Watch "Combat" in the afternoons on TV.

I formed the opinion early on that "If -I- were ever to have to serve in combat, I want a BAR". This prejudice has followed me all my life.

I have come to equate the works of Mr Browning, Garand and Stoner with Freedom, Liberty and the American way. And the works of the Mauser brothers, Herr Schmeisser, A.Kalisnikov et al with the weaponry of tyrants and oppressors. Now I know this is inaccurate and simplistic, but it is ingrained, and I can live with it.

Now, as luck would have it, I never got my BAR, instead I ended up with a M-60 which was the closest thing in inventory when I served, a poor substitute. But all that means nothing.

Anyway, I am totally unaware of the history of H&K. I my mind, I seem to equate these weapons systems with shock troops, naziesque storm troopers and so on. While I was in the service, for a short time I was issued an MP-5, and I had the honor to shoot competition combat pistol with a 1911 against some fine fellows in the Bundeswehr who used H&K squeeze cockers of some kind. Thank goodness we were scored on hits and not groupings, cause these guys seriously outclassed us grouping wise with those neat black pistols.

Anyway, I know these are excellent firearms, in fact, they are outstanding in every way. Where did they come from? Who is Hecker? Who is Koch? What is their history?

thanx in advance.

4V50 Gary
July 12, 1999, 12:01 PM
The delayed blowback roller locking system used by the HK family of weapons was experimented with by Mauser before the end of WWII (StG-45 in 7.92mm kurz). Following the cessation of hostilities, Mauser engineer L. Vorgrimmler went to France where he refined it further and developed a delayed blowback 7.65 carbine for them. He then went to Spain where he worked for CETME. The major departure of the CETME rifle from the StG-45 was in the bolt section. On the StG-45 the bolt is generally rectangular and on the CETME a heavy (and almost cylindrical) bolt carrier) is used to mount the bolt.

When the West German government failed to get a contract to build the G1 (German version of the FN-FAL), Heckler and Koch (who I believe are also former engineers of Mauser) got the contract to build the German version of the CETME - the G3 rifle.

Building on the family concept of weapons, the delayed blowback roller locked action was tried in various calibers by H&K. This includes the Russian 7.62x39, our own 5.56 mm Nato and various pistol calibers (9mm, 40 S&W and 10mm). A belt fed machinegun was also developed (HK21) by the firm. Eventually, HK licensed many other nations to produce its firearms.

Unfortunately the acme of HK design development, the caseless HK11 infantry rifle, also brought its financial downfall. Much money was spent in developing the ammunition and the arm. When West German Government was preparing to rearm the Bundeswehr with it, the Berlin Wall tumbled down and along with it, H&K.

H&K went up for sale and Royal Ordnance, a subsidiary of British Aerospace, bought H&K in 1991. The factory still exists, and the warehouse is located a kilometer or so uphill from Oberndorf.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

July 12, 1999, 01:51 PM
I'm a big fan of most of H&K's stuff, so I'll send you to a few sites.
<a href="http://www.unsuave.com/~hkpro/">HK Pro</a> has lots of good info, including the GMG (Grenade Machine Gun), which fires 330 40mm grenades per minute:

Now THAT would be fun!

Also, go to <a href="http://www.remtek.com/arms/hk/index.htm">REMTEK</a> for lots of good info on HK, as well as other, small arms.

4V50 Gary
July 12, 1999, 08:21 PM
Yes, but will it take care of flies at a BBQ?

July 12, 1999, 09:42 PM
That looks like the Mk19 I used while in the USMC. But that HK one looks better built.


July 15, 1999, 10:02 PM
"Founded by Edmond Heckler, Alex Seidel and Theodore Koch, all former Mauser Werke employees, H&K commenced
operations in 1948 in Oberndorf/Neckar as a manufacturer of sewing machine parts and gauges for the machine tool industry."

Sewing machine parts to the PSG-1...