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H&K Factory Tour With Exclusive Preview of the Next Generation HK433 Rifle

By Dickson Ly

Germany has a world renowned reputation of producing high quality, high tech goods. From automobile manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche, BMW and Audi to Bauhaus, designs that inspire companies like Tesla and Apple, the phrase “German efficiency” and Germany’s general design philosophy of function over form is heavily engrained into people’s minds worldwide. What the general public, including most German citizens, are not aware of is the fact that the small southern town of Oberndorf contains one of the best small arms manufacturers in existence today.

It is not easy for the average person to gain access to the Heckler & Koch (H&K) factory. I was lucky enough to be invited by Sandra of H&K International Sales, Civilian Market (excluding USA) for a 2-day tour that included a factory tour of the production area, H&K Showroom, H&K Museum as well as the Mauser Museum located offsite in downtown Oberndorf. The tour concluded at their private shooting range about 45 minutes offsite, at which I tried various fully automatic small arms.

Heckler & Koch have a long track record of providing reliable firearms to Special Forces and military units of countries around the globe. The MP5 is the most recognizable and iconic product offered by the company, first recognized in the public eye at the London Embassy Siege where it is still in high demand by various military and law enforcement agencies today. To understand H&K, we have to go back to cover a bit of history.

The town of Oberndorf is where the famous firearm manufacturer, Mauser, once was based. The company was founded in 1811 by Wilhelm & Paul Mauser. The location was chosen due to a low rate of employment in the town and because they could make use of the river, by which the machinery could be powered by the constant stream of water. They manufactured bolt action rifles and semi-auto pistols for the German army as well as export to countries around the world including China and Japan.

Mauser was the first to manufacture the 13.2x92mm...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N9 (November 2017)
and was posted online on September 22, 2017

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