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Heckler & Koch MG4



Overview


MG4

MG4 light machine gun in use with German troops in Afghanistan.
Source: German MOD - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Germany
Type
Light machine gun
Entered service
2005
Status
In service
Development
Mid 1990's - 2001
Developer
Germany - Heckler & Koch
Production
2003 - present
Producer
Germany - Heckler & Koch
Designations
MG43
Development program
Notable users
Germany
Spain
Portugal

Description


Introduction

The MG4 is a modern light machine gun of German origin. It was developed by Heckler & Koch in order to provide the German military with a light machine gun in order to supplement the older and heavier MG3. The MG4 is a direct competitor to the widely used Belgian FN Minimi.

Design

The MG4 is a belt fed gas operated weapon with a rotating bolt. The quick change barrel is hammer forged and comes in two lengths. A polymer pistol grip, handguard and folding butt are fitted. Various accessories can be fitted including several types of mechanical and optical sights. Normally the MG4 is used on its bipod, but the M122 tripod can also be used.

Firepower

The MG4 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from disintegrating belts. The only fire mode is fully automatic at a rate of fire of about 890 rpm, or about 775 rpm for the export model. The effective range is about 400 m against point targets and 800 m against area targets. When mounted on a tripod or vehicle the maximum range is quoted to be 1 km.

Users

The MG4 is the standard platoon light machine gun of the German army. It has also been exported to several nation in Europe and around the world. Being a recent design the MG4 will likely be sold and used for many years to come.

Details


MG4E & MG4KE

MG4E (top) alongside shorter barrel MG4KE (bottom).
Source: Heckler & Koch - © copyright lies with original owner

Overview of MG4 variants

The MG4 is a contemporary light machine gun with conventional layout and design. It is belt fed only. The baseline model can be configured with different optics, accessories and barrel lengths.

MG4
Original model as designed to German military specifications. Fitted with combination of optical sight and carrying handle.
MG4E
Export version that is very similar to the MG4. A slightly different gas assembly results in a lower rate of fire.
MG4KE
An MG4E fitted with shorter barrel. The letter K stands for "kurz", which is German for "short".
MG4 vehicle weapon
An MG4 configured for use as a vehicle or coaxial machine gun. Has no butt, sights or bipod fitted. These can be fitted for dismounted use.
Facts MG4 MG4E MG4KE MG4 vehicle weapon
General
Origin
Germany
Type
Light machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
5.56x45mm NATO
Feed system
Belt fed, 100 or 200 rounds
Barrel length
450 mm
Rifling
178 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
920 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, rotating bolt
Fire selector
0 - F
Rate of fire
830 - 950 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Side folding
Length
1.030 mm stock extended
830 mm stock folded
Width
96 mm
Height
228 mm without optics
Weight
8.15 kg empty
8.85 kg empty with bipod
Sights
Sights
Iron sights, optional optical sights
Range adjustment
100 to 1.000 m gradations
Sight radius
490 mm

Media