Friday, April 27, 2012

German Army reporting problems with G36 rifle

The G36 has been in service with the German Army (Bundeswehr) since 1997.  While the G36 wasn't the first rifle adopted by a major military that made extensive use of polymers, it was certainly one of the more popular designs.  It has been used by at least 30 different countries in some capacity making it a successful design on the military small arms market.

Despite HK's sterling reputation for quality the rifle isn't universally loved.  Now a German newspaper is reporting that the German Army is aware of an interesting problem.  Once the rifle heats up with use, the accuracy degrades so much that it's ineffective past 200 meters.

An internal document intended for the Secretary of Defense stated that once the rifle gets hot enemy targets past 200 meters can not be safely engaged.  The document states that the problem represents a significant deficiency in the G36's design.  The military is recommending that troops allow their rifles to cool in firefights to help deal with the problem.  They warn that if troops aren't careful, the G36 can completely fail.  The Armed Forces Association, a German soldiers' interest group, is urging a speedy resolution to this problem.

What I find interesting is that this problem is just now coming to light.  Has the German Army covered up this problem?  I can't imagine that it's taken over a decade of fighting in the Middle East before this problem to come to light.


  1. This issue has plagued the G36 for years. I heard about their tendency to have "wandering zeros" at least 10 years ago. HK was well aware of it.

  2. I'm pretty sure the apparently horrible standard sights on it contribute to it's ''wandering zero''.

  3. Interesting indeed. But without any stats this could be something that is completely blown out of proportion. Most assault rifles degrade after hundreds upon hundreds or even into the thousands of rounds are put through them in a (relatively) short time period. If the rifle starts suffering after 700 rounds, I wouldn't say it's much to fret over... Now if it was having issues after just 90, I can see the dilemma... I'm just an armchair speculator though, I know MGs have to change out barrels every so often, and they are designed to be thicker and last longer compared to an AR. So if a soldier was shooting his thin barrel G36K, like say an FN-Minimi, I can see the problems arising..

  4. This is just the drama of the week. My guess is some in BundH has an agenda to want a new battle rifle.

  5. Wondering Zero on G36 is not something new, i heard about it first time years ago. what seems to be the problem, is that when rifle hits up polymers get softer and that causes "wondering zero." as of yet i haven't heard about solution for that issue, due to the fact that construction of polymer receiver lacks rigid metal frame, there almost nothing you can do to correct that.

  6. Has this ever been an issue with the AUG? I have heard of overheating issues with the G36 years ago but not with any other polymer designs.

    1. Very interesting article ..Has the German Army covered up this problem?

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  7. The Germans should have stayed with the G3 or if they wanted a 556 gone with its little brother HK-93. The gun is bulletproof like the AK and don't lose its battle zero no matter how hot is gets. Obviously you can heat any gun up to the point where the barrel begins to loose its integrity.

  8. Flipping back through the archive and decided to comment.
    My understanding is that the G36 is losing accuracy when it gets heated up enough from being fired in full-automatic. My uneducated guess would be that the rifle, with it's polymer body and floated barrel, isn't really able to take the stress of suppressive fire.
    Which makes the MG36 probably not a wise gun to use.
    Well, HK will probably come up with a fix, or a new design. After all, they saved the SA80.

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