Back when I was in the law enforcement business, i carried a Heckler and Koch G-36C with a four station trigger group. The G-36C’s that I took delivery of from the factory in Germany were the very first ever sold to law enforcement, so you’re ticking back to about 2000 – two decades ago.
I realize that many of you are uncomfortable with the police carrying automatic weapons and that you feel that it militarizes the police. The problem that I was faced with was that almost every criminal that we came up against carried automatic AK-47’s or even MP-5’s, Uzis or Ingram Model 10 or 11’s (Mac 10/Mac 11). All I wanted was PARITY. You can’t seriously object to that, can you? And I got my way. We loaded out heavy. I explain this so that you understand that I had operational experience with the G-36C and that my opinion has some weight – more than somebody who never fired one.
The controversy began when shooting range officers of the German Army reported that the weapon became less accurate after it had been exposed to heat for a long time. What that meant was that after a few thousand rounds, fired at the range, without allowing the barrel to cool, the weapon’s accuracy suffered. A trained chimp could have predicted that. It’s true of every submachine gun on the planet.
Then German infantry in Afghanistan complained that they couldn’t hit the enemy with their new rifle. The media wrote stories without verifying anything and off it went.
Heckler & Koch, the manufacturer of the G 36, did additional testing and issued a statement saying that the weapon fulfilled all the specifications that the German military had required. They also took legal steps to defend their reputation and a German court issued a verdict in their favor.
The problem is that the G 36 is incredibly accurate under normal shooting conditions. However, after it has fired many thousands of rounds, it loses a lot more of its accuracy than other weapons. But even then, it is still an exceptionally accurate rifle.
I carried it in the two round burst configuration (double tap) and in combat range testing it would place the rounds between 1/2 minute of angle and 1 minute of angle separation in the 25M to 40M range. What that means is that the two rounds, fired one, right after the other, created a much more significant wound channel than one round alone would have created. Firing two round bursts of 5.56mm. We originally used the Federal XM855 62-Grain FMJ Green Tip. Then we used the Hornady 55-grain GMX. For our purposes, the performance of both rounds was equal.
The bitches and gripes from the German Army never translated to my use of the weapon in any situation, and I was sad when I had to turn it in when I retired and moved on to other work, where I carried the M-4 – a nice weapon, but not the G-36.
I will take your word on it.
I’ve never fired anything in full auto, or anything capable of more than one shot per trigger pull. I always liked the 3 round burst the M-16 and it’s variants could do, and having a weapon that could do a double tap with one pull of the trigger seems to me to be a very useful thing.
Are there any ranges in Colorado that allow you to pay to shoot fully automatic weapons for shits and giggles?
This place in Denver:
I’m pretty sure there are, but I haven’t looked into it.
The times I was in Vegas for cars stuff I wanted to go shoot a Thompson, but the car activities kept getting in the way.
I qualified full auto M-16.
After I chewed the target enough to prevent any possibility of verifying any further hits, I started after the baffles because it was fun.
I don’t find a need to fire full auto in civilian life.
I am not wealthy in ammo.
But I am considering a binary trigger.
Just for S&G.
I am not a full auto fan, but the double-tap feature was one that I liked a lot. You’re not ripping off an entire magazine, you’re controlling your expenditure while laying down a more lethal field of fire.
Exactly, and the binary (Fostech?) would satisfy that.
Barrel trunion press molded into polymer was not really designed for the ridiculous heat of the sandbox. At the time of its conception the Bundeswehr was more concerned with hordes of Soviets racing across the steppes from the east. Latvia and Lithuania have had no issues reported as well as a lot of other countries and continue to use the G36.
It’s a very good rifle, Klaus. I think that the heating issues were over blown, and then reported to the press, who wrote an insane story without sufficient foundation. What else is new?
M14, 16A1, the pig and Ma Deuce, were all of my full auto experience and it’s been a few years. The Germans generally make nice stuff though I never got to try any.
This particular weapon and weapon system has been unfairly maligned IMHO.
Specifications for an item created by government/bureaucrats/office dwellers frequently fail to hold up to real world use. Add in the fact that some users invariably push equipment beyond intended levels of abuse and the results are predictable.
The Germans wanted a rifle with several variants. The G-36C (C for commando because of the 11″ barrel) is the smallest and most compact. And as everyone seems to demand, it should be all things to all people. Very high expectations of a perfect rifle. And it wasn’t to some people, but I never had cause to complain.
Some people will complain about being hung with a NEW rope… sigh
We used to shoot STERLINGS, full auto, at the 30 yrd range. That was a circus.
The Sten/Sterling was a very different firearm from the G-36, but I agree with you, fun. And it would be a hoot to shoot one the next time I’m at your compound…if you want to break out the good stuff…
Pretty sure the main problem with Germany and the Bundeswehr is that both of them became little more than a welfare program.
Judging by the reports of friends who served alongside them in Afghanistan, and the public reports of readiness and operability back in the homeland.
I have heard the same things.
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