Topic: Latest FWS News

G36 future with Bundeswehr in doubt, H&K defend the weapon’s performance


The future of the German military service rifle, the G36 was cast into doubt by German Defence Minister Ursula von de Leyen on 22nd April – who stated that the ubiquitous rifle in its current state “has no future in the Bunderswehr”.

Janes.com reports that technical evaluation tests by the Bundeswehr’s Technical Centre for Weapons & Ammunition, demonstrated that the G36 failed to meet accuracy targets owing to overheating. It was claimed that the same tests carried out on other unspecified weapons showed that it is possible to meet the requirements set down.

The Federal Ministry of Defence is now to carry out further technical study on the G36 to evaluate the weapon’s use in Afghanistan.

Heckler & Koch, meanwhile, on their website offer a staunch defence of both the company and the weapon. H&K points out that they were first aware of any alleged problems with the weapon after receiving enquiries from the press about the testing and that the company had not been asked to contribute to the investigation. H&K state that the German Armed Forces have not communicated with them for some six months regarding the accuracy issues which they state would have enabled them to correct and clarify the issues reported.

H&K point out that their own tests and research following the reports of accuracy problems starkly contradict the Bundeswehr Technical Centre’s testing results.

The G36 is in use in some 40 countries around the World.


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Gunsmith moves with the times

Mr Aziz in his workshop Photo: Matt Cetti-Roberts

An interesting armoury item appeared in the War is Boring Blog this week. Written by Matt Cetti-Roberts, it tells the story of a day in the life of Bakhtiar Aziz who runs a family gunsmithing shop in Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital.

Mr Aziz has been running the business since 1987 taking it over from his father. Originally it was focussed on repair of hunting weapons but, of course, since the war began things have changed.

Mr Aziz reports that 85% of weapons that pass through his shop for repair are Russian in origin, produced in the 1950s. The most common weapon is of course the AK47.

He also sees M16s which he repairs and converts to a carbine M4 type version. These weapons have done the rounds from the Iraqi Army to ISIS and then to the Peshmerga.

Apparently the cost of an M4 in Kurdistan is around USD5,000.00

As you might expect the business of gun repairs these days is brisk and sees Mr Aziz often working late into the night. Let’s hope that he can return to his core business of repairing sporting rifles sooner rather than later.


Record Breaker

Congratulations to Charlie Pitcher for setting a new world record for rowing across the Atlantic. See full report here.

As well as setting another world record, Charlie was raising money for Great Ormond St and also The C Group, the Royal Marines Support Charity


Glock 17 for British Forces

Although an old news item now, the replacement of the Browning pistol with the Glock 17 for British Forces http://www.army.mod.uk/24697.aspx is worth a mention in our update as it was a significant event. The Browning has been the British military pistol since 1967 – quite an achievement for a weapon which was designed nearly 100 years ago. It certainly serves to demonstrate that pistol development over past decades has been through small improvements rather than major leaps forward.

The most important benefit of the Glock 17 over the old Browning Hi-Power is that it can fire 5 rounds inside 2 seconds, whereas the Browning would take 4 seconds to fire its first round. This speedier deployment derives from the fact that the Glock’s safety arrangement permits the weapon to be carried with a chambered round. In contrast the Browning was not permitted to be carried with a round in the chamber for fear of an accidental discharge.

Picture source: glock.at

It is interesting to compare the Browning, the US military handgun (the Beretta M9) and the Glock 17.

Browning Hi Power
Cal 9mm
Length 200mm
Barrel Length 118mm
Weight 885 g

M9 stats (army.mil)
Cal 9mm
Length 217mm
Barrel Length 125mm
Weight 953 g

Glock 17 stats (glock.at)
Cal 9mm
Length 186mm
Barrel Length 114mm
Weight 625 g

From the comparison it is clear why the writing was on the wall for the Hi Power as far as the British military were concerned. Not only do the improved safety features enable users to react so much faster with the Glock, but the huge weight saving from the polymer construction helps to ease the burden of the individual soldier.

But FN/browning.com are still marketing the HP MkIII as a classic weapon for the discerning owner so this weapon’s time is far from over.

FWS has many different alternative ways to safely store both the Browning HP, the M9 and the Glock – please contact us for more details.