Type Assault rifle
Place of origin West Germany
Used by See Users
Wars 2007 Lebanon conflict
Designer Heckler & Koch
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Variants See Variants
Weight 4.1 kg (9.04 lb) (G41/A1)
4.4 kg (9.7 lb) (G41A2/A3)
4.3 kg (9.5 lb) (G41K)
Length 997 mm (39.3 in) (G41/A1)
985 mm (38.8 in) stock extended / 800 mm (31.5 in) stock folded (G41A2/A3)
930 mm (36.6 in) stock extended / 740 mm (29.1 in) stock retracted (G41K)
Barrel length 450 mm (17.7 in) (G41)
380 mm (15.0 in) (G41K)
Width 72 mm (2.8 in)
Height 214 mm (8.4 in)
Cartridge 5.56x45mm NATO
Action Roller delayed blowback
Rate of fire 850 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity SS109: 920 m/s (3,018 ft/s) (G41)
880 m/s (2,887.1 ft/s) (G41K)
M193: 950 m/s (3,116.8 ft/s)
910 m/s (2,985.6 ft/s) (G41K)
Effective range 100 to 400 m sight adjustments
Feed system Various STANAG magazines
Sights Rotary rear diopter drum, hooded front post
The G41 is a German 5.56 mm assault rifle introduced in 1981 and produced in limited quantities by Heckler & Koch. It was designed to replace the 5.56 mm HK33 in service providing a more modern weapon platform compatible with NATO standards. It is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and can use both SS109 and M193 ammunition. Currently G41 assembly has been discontinued at Heckler & Koch; however production rights to the rifle were acquired by the Italian arms manufacturer Luigi Franchi.
The G41’s engineering origins lay in the 7.62 mm G3 rifle. It is a selective fire automatic weapon that employs a roller-delayed blowback system of operation. The two-piece bolt mechanism consists of a bolt head that contains two locking rollers and a wedge-shaped locking piece. The spent cartridge casing extractor is installed inside the bolt head, while the lever ejector is contained in the trigger housing. The rifle is hammer-fired and has a trigger group with a fire control selector that enables semi-automatic, burst and continuous fire. The fire selector's positions are marked with bullet pictograms and it also serves as a manual safety against unintentional firing. The selector is ambidextrous and its lever is mirrored on both sides of the trigger housing. In the "safe" position, the trigger and sear are disabled.
The firearm uses aluminum box magazines (from the M16 rifle) with a capacity of 30 rounds. The magazine release is located on the left side of the rifle, above the magazine well.
The G41 has mechanically adjustable iron sights with a rear rotating diopter drum and hooded front post. The rear sight drum has three apertures of different diameter calibrated for firing at distances of 200, 300 and 400 m and a triangular notch setting used at 100 m. The receiver housing has recesses in the top cover that permit the use of H&K's proprietary clamping mounts and adapters for NATO-standard optics (such as the Hensoldt 4x24 telescopic sight).
The cold hammer-forged barrel has a 6-groove polygonal bore. It comes rifled for either the NATO-standard, Belgian SS109 62 grain bullet with a twist of 178 mm (1:7 in) or in a 305 mm (1:12 in) twist for use with American ammunition with the M193 55 grain projectile. The bore chamber is fluted to assist in the extraction of spent cartridges. The barrel is equipped with a flash suppressor that is also designed to launch rifle grenades.
The weapon incorporates a manual forward assist that can be used to positively close the bolt (similar to the one used on the American M16A1 rifle), a folding carry handle (like on the FN FAL), bolt catch, which holds the bolt open after the last round in the magazine has been fired (the bolt release button is found just above the magazine release) and a spring-loaded dust cover that seals the ejection port from dust and debris. The rifle can be fitted with a barrel-mounted bipod (like the one used with the M16), bayonet (from the G3) and an optical sight. The G41 can also mount a detachable 40 mm HK79 grenade launcher that replaces the synthetic forearm—the weapon in this configuration is known as the G41TGS.
Heckler & Koch has offered the G41 in a number of configurations: G41—base configuration with fixed plastic stock and a barrel with a 178 mm (1:7 in) twist rate, G41A2—featuring a telescopic metal shoulder stock and a 178 mm (1:7 in) twist barrel, G41A1—fixed stock and 305 mm (1:12 in) twist barrel, G41A3—telescoping stock and barrel with a 305 mm (1:12 in) rifling twist rate and the G41K (Karabiner) carbine, that is a derivative of the G41A2 and has a shortened barrel (reduced in length to the base of the foresight), which cannot be used with rifle grenades.
Left side of a HK G41 where the bolt catch release button is located.
* G41: This is the standard model with a fixed stock and 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling.
* G41A1: This model has a fixed stock and 305 mm (1:12 in) rifling.
* G41A2: This model has a telescoping stock and 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling.
* G41A3: This model has a telescoping stock and 305 mm (1:12 in) rifling.
* G41K: This is a carbine model with a shortened 380 mm (15.0 in) barrel, 178 mm (1:7 in) rifling and a telescoping stock. The G41K is too short to mount the HK79 or fire rifle grenades.
* G41TGS: The "Tactical Group Support" model adds a HK79 grenade launcher.
* LF G41: Luigi Franchi made a sample run of the G41, G41A2 and G41K in 1988 for possible production under license; these were later modified for trials by the Italian Army. It differed from the Heckler & Koch model in that it had a polygonal 4-groove barrel with a chromed bore. When the G41 was rejected by the German Bundeswehr in 1989, it was dropped from consideration and the improved Beretta AR 70/90 was chosen instead in 1990. The LF G41 however entered use with the Italian commando frogmen (COMSUBIN).