Who else wants to know the differences between HK433 and AR-15?

PANAGYURISHTE, ($1=1.72 Bulgarian Levs) — Heckler and Koch [HK], one of the world’s most famous firearms manufacturers, and not only, has decided to seriously differentiate one of its projects – HK433 from HK416, which is based on AR-15. Some experts believe that the HK433 is an assault rifle designed more for the European market than for the overseas market. Others argue that if you’re a fan of the brand, you stay that way for life, and differences are no reason to take you away from your “favorite toy.”

Who else wants to know the differences between HK433 and AR-15?
Photo credit: Gunsweek.com

There are differences between HK433 and HK416 [AR-15]. However, whether they will be the reason for Europeans to prefer HK433, the future can tell. The fact is that the European and American markets are quite different, and if Americans are in love with the AR-15, Europeans prefer the G36. HK433 is much more G36 than HK416 [AR-15].

Gas piston

The first difference we can see between HK433 and HK416 is the gas piston. Yes, HK433 tries to keep dust particles out of the internal components. Heckler and Koch achieved this by using a gas piston mechanism. When the gas piston runs at a short speed to eliminate dust particles from the internal components, suction of the propellant gas occurs during firing.

All the work of the working mechanism with a gas piston in HK433 aims to reduce congestion. Now, if you do a “dissection” of the work of HK416 you will find that, unlike HK433, HK416 works on the principle of direct air, ie. the gas used serves to eliminate dust particles from the internal components.


HK433 is characterized by high modularity or flexibility compared to HK416. The assault rifle is designed in a way that allows the shooter to quickly and accurately change the trigger and trigger. This whole package of possibilities gives the shooter the freedom to choose different cartridges with which to shoot, ie. to reconfigure his shooting, as well as its effectiveness if it depends not on skills but weapons and ammunition.

The better modularity allows the HK433 assault rifle to use different cartridges – from NATO 5.56×45 mm, through NATO 7.62×51 mm, and only through the Soviet cartridge 7.62×39 mm. What’s more, it is rumored that the company is developing a version of HK433 that can work without problems with the .300 Blackout cartridge.

HK433 and HK416 [AR-15] are similar as well

As noted above, the two assault rifles have two main differences, which, however, sharply distinguish them from each other. But, almost always when there are differences, there are similarities. They are not as tangible as the differences, but they still exist to some extent, along with the differences that determine preferences.

The two assault rifles have similar functionality. For example, according to the standard characteristics work with the same cartridges. The weight and dimensions of the barrel are approximately similar. Both the HK433 and HK416 [AR-15] can be equipped with a variety of accessories, which means that both rifles have multiple interfaces – either on top or on the sides of the rifle.

Robbie Reidsma, director of the defense program at the American branch of Heckler and Koch, HK USA, says that the packages of the two rifles are designed differently, but their functionality is the same.

“From the point of view of law enforcement or the point of view of the military, from the point of view of the security forces, the system, from the point of view of lethality or capabilities, they both work in the same way – the cartridges are of the same caliber,” says Reidsma.

Why the European market?

Most likely, which market and which assault rifle will prefer depends more on their history than on their functionality. Take for example HK416 – this rifle is a legend in the United States. It is used by special forces, the elite Delta Force, the SEAL Team Six, which killed the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Different versions of the HK416 are already in service in various parts of the US Marine Corps. Many countries around the world, including European ones, prefer or already operate this model of AR-15. Last but not least – this assault rifle was developed for the needs of the US Army.

HK433 can hardly break or break the dominance of HK416 in the United States. Therefore, it will be aimed at fans and operators of the already familiar G36, MP5 or G33

Some weapons experts even argue that the HK433 could focus on a direct competitive battle with FN SCAR users. There is a possibility that even this assault rifle will become a European “boutique” weapon – developed specifically for individual government departments, according to their characteristics.

As Reidsma says philosophically, “some like Porsches, others Ferraris. Both cars are fast, but preferences are different.”


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