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Behind the Makings of the HK G11, A Soviet-Era Rifle That Never Saw Combat

One look at Heckler & Koch's G11, there is just something weird about its design. You might think that it is a rifle that comes from a sci-fi film but its design may hold something that would make it even more potent or deadlier than anything that came out during that time.

A typical firearm uses brass cases to hold the propellent, which are then topped by the bullet. While a dependable design, and one still in use today, this brass case adds weight to an already overburdened soldier.
But the late 1960s, German designers from Heckler & Koch tried another approach. Producing a working prototype in 1974, the G11 was Germany’s attempt to combine advanced caseless ammunition with a brilliantly engineered weapon system that could increase the average infantryman’s accuracy.
West Germany would test the weapons system, as would the U.S. Army in the 1980s. In another timeline, the G11 could have been the next-generation replacement for the M16.

(Image credit: Matt Moss/Michael Stillwell)

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