Heckler & Koch's MR556 carbine will be available for testing and evaluation by law enforcement later this year.
The German firearms supplier most familiar to officers for its duty pistols will produce two more carbines for law enforcement—to go with the HK416—at its new U.S. factory.
When POLICE Magazine caught up with Heckler & Koch at SHOT Show 2010, a company rep gave us a few preliminary details about its MR rifles that should be available to law enforcement later this year.
The rifles are "capable of achieving exceptional accuracy with mechanical and optical sighting systems," according to the company.
Company reps were in good spirits, and they should be. The U.S. Marine Corps, in late 2009, picked the HK416 carbine as its new infantry rifle. The gas-piston short-barreled rifle has been available to departments for testing and evaluation.
Described by H&K as "direct descendants" of the 416/417 Series, the semi-automatic MR556A1 and MR762A1 will be offered in 5.56 x 45mm and 7.62 x 51mm respectively.
All components will be the same, except for a barrel that is 1 pound heavier.
The carbines use a gas piston operating system, employing a piston and solid operating "pusher" rod in place of the gas tube found in other AR-type rifles.
The system keeps hot carbon fouling and waste gases out of the receiver area, which "virtually eliminates malfunctions that are common to direct impingement gas systems," according to H&K.
Assemblies and accessories developed for the 416/417 will be carried over, including the free-floating quad-rail system that can accommodate a variety of accessories, sights and lights.
Cold-hammer-forged barrels can handle more than 20,000 rounds before the operator would notice degradation in accuracy or muzzle velocity, according to H&K.
Other accessories include various-sized pistol grips, fully interchangeable upper receivers and an adjustable buttstock with a storage compartment for extra batteries or other gear. Magazines for the MR556A1 are available in 10- or 30-round steel, while the MR762A1 arrives with 10- or 20-round polymer capacity.
The pair of carbines will be produced at a new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located in Newington, N.H., and will retail for $2,900 each.