Heckler & Koch MG4
|Type||Light machine gun
Squad automatic weapon
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Used by||See Users|
|Designer||Heckler & Koch|
|Manufacturer||Heckler & Koch|
|Weight||8.55 kg (18.85 lb) (MG4)
7.90 kg (17.4 lb) (MG4E)
7.70 kg (17.0 lb) (MG4KE)
|Length||1,050 mm (41.3 in) stock extended / 830 mm (32.7 in) stock folded (MG4, MG4E)
950 mm (37.4 in) stock extended / 750 mm (29.5 in) stock folded (MG4KE)
|Barrel length||480 mm (18.9 in) (MG4, MG4E)
402 mm (15.8 in) (MG4KE)
|Width||90 mm (3.5 in)|
|Height||250 mm (9.8 in)|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||MG4 approx. 890 ± 60/min
MG4KE approx. 775 ± 50/min
|Muzzle velocity||920 m/s (3,018 ft/s) (MG4, MG4E)
880 m/s (2,887.1 ft/s) (MG4KE)
|Effective firing range||Approx. 1,000 m (MG4, MG4E)
Approx. 900 m (MG4KE)
|Feed system||Disintegrating link belt|
|Sights||Iron sights; MIL-STD-1913 rail provided for optics, German Army models are equipped with telescopic sights with 3x magnification.|
The MG4 is a belt-fed 5.56 mm light machine gun designed and developed by the German company Heckler & Koch. The weapon was developed in the late 1990s and was first seen publicly in September 2001. It has been selected to replace the 7.62 mm MG3 general-purpose machine gun in the Bundeswehr at the squad support level; it will complement the MG3 in other roles. The MG4 will also be the secondary armament of the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle. Overall, it is designed to be light, provide maximum safety to the user and function reliably under adverse conditions using a wide range of ammunition from different manufacturers, without the need to adjust the gas system. The machine gun was initially known as the MG43 prior to its adoption by the Bundeswehr.
The MG4 is an air-cooled, belt-fed gas-operated weapon with a positively locked rotary bolt and is somewhat similar in concept to the Belgian Minimi light machine gun. Firing in fully automatic or burst-fire mode. Safety mechanisms on the MG4 includes a manual safety incorporated into fire mode selector toggle; setting the fire selector lever on the "safe" position blocks the trigger mechanically and locks the bolt in the cocked position. When the bolt is not pulled back completely, accidental firing is prevented by an integral, automatic mechanism that prevents the bolt from traveling forward. In addition, the firing pin cannot reach the cartridge primer until the cartridge has been fully chambered.
The machine gun is fed from a disintegrating belt and is carried out in two stages from the top left using an enhanced pawl mechanism. As on the MG42 family of machine guns, the belt is expelled to the right and spent cases are ejected downwards, although sideways ejection to the right is an option.
The MG4 has a hammer-forged quick-change barrel that can be safely exchanged when hot without the need for protective gloves; the carrying handle serves as the barrel change grip. To reduce the overall length of the weapon for transport, the butt stock can be folded to the left side of the receiver. With the buttstock folded the MG4 remains fully operable. A field cleaning kit is housed within the stock.
In its standard form the MG4 is equipped with closed type iron sights with range settings up to 1,000 m in increments of 100 m. Optical or night sights or laser pointers can be mounted on a length of MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail located on the receiver feed tray cover. Models of the Bundeswehr are equipped with telescopic sights with 3x magnification.
- Germany: Standard platoon-level support weapon of the German Army, adopted in 2005.
- Malaysia: Used by PASKAL special operations force tactical of the Royal Malaysian Navy.
- South Africa
- Spain: Ordered 1,800–2,000 MG4E machine guns in 2007 with deliveries expected to continue over the next four years. Standard LMG for the Spanish Army, usually fitted with an ACOG sight.
- "MG4 Specifications". heckler-koch.de. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- "Maschinengewehr MG4". Presse- und Informationszentrum Streitkräftebasis (in German). Streitkräftebasis. 2006-11-13. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Jones, Richard D.; Ness, Leland S., eds. (January 27, 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- "Spanish Army procures the MG4 E". Heckler & Koch. 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
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