Some of you may be familiar with this well-known photo of HK’s Jim Schatz demonstrating the dependability of the 7.62mm HK21 belt-feed system.
You might not; however, be familiar with the history around their whole series of 5.56 and 7.62 NATO light machine guns that started in the late 1960’s and ran right up to 2004.
Built around the same roller-delayed blowback operating system used in the famous G3 rifle (as well the civilian HK91 and HK93 rifles), HK’s LMGs in 5.56 and 7.62 NATO caliber were available in either magazine or belt fed versions.
Although the West German Bundeswehr never traded in their trusty MG3 general purpose machine guns for the HK systems, the guns did enjoy significant success with military and law enforcement Special Operations Forces in Germany, and around the world. The US Army even came close to adopting a version as its new Squad Automatic Weapon in the early 1980s.
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