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Heckler & Koch G36
Country Of Origin Germany
In Service 1996 - Present
Used By Germany USA UK
Wars Iraq War, Others
Effective Range 300m
Maximum Range 800m
Weight 3.63kg
Length 990mm
Cartridge 5.56mm x 45mm

The G36 is a German 5.56mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch and accepted into service with the Bundeswehr in 1997, replacing the 7.62mm G3 battle rifle.

Proving itself [to melt] quickly, it was chosen worldwide by police and military forces, including THEM, but mostly on a rather small scale (see below).

Has many variants, including the Carbine and compact versions, which do seem to be genuinely popular with police and security forces.

Frequently pops up in Science Fiction movies when they dont have enough of a budget to make something but can't get their hands on Steyr AUG's.

The fact is that Heckler and Koch sold a shed load of them to Bapty's at firesale prices 'cause they can't give the full-length military version away, which is why they are rather prolific on sci-fi films at the moment. Only the Boxheads & the Spanish adopted it as general issue, and they're hardly the kind of guys you meet on high-intensity ops now, are they?

A version of this rifle was bolted on the underside of the ridiculous Spam OICW semi-auto grenade-launcher-with-underslung-rifle-as-an-afterthought abortion. To try to resurrect something from this project, the underslung rifle was given a stock and re-named the XM-8. This came pretty close to adoption, having had loads of dollars thrown at it -- it is more reliable than the gas-tube AR-15-type rifles, and particularly the shorter M4 carbine, largely due to the gas piston and undeniably superior magazines. However, nobody thought to festoon it with Picatinny rails for adding all manner of both useful and pointless gucci toys, and forgot to mention the whole training, armouring, spares, weapon racks, new bespoke optics, and probably most of all the millions of STANAG magazines that the US DoD owns that would suddenly become pointless and need to be replaced.

The firm have pretty much dropped this weapon from their military catalogue and are heavily pushing the HK416 and HK417 rifles which don't melt, are more accurate, can use STANAG magazines, and can accept all manner of off-the-shelf bolt-ons.

The G36 should really be viewed as the last of the Heckler and Koch weapon systems which only accept accessories made by the latter mentioned firm. It has only taken them 50-odd years to get with the programme and produce a weapons system generally compatible with what many NATO members are already using.