Military Review

New machine gun for the German army HK121


Unfortunately, even the most advanced designs weapons Sooner or later they become obsolete, and they are replaced by others who, even if a little, but better, more convenient, more reliable. So, despite the fact that firearms have long been deadlocked, and something fundamentally new has not been invented for a very long time, work on new models does not stop and existing designs are improved, brought if not to the ideal, then picking up very close to him. So, a striking example is the NK 121 machine gun, which at the moment is the main version of the weapon that can come to replace the MG3 machine gun.

Despite my most loyal attitude towards the MG3 machine gun, it cannot be denied that the weapon is already outdated and needs to be replaced with a more sophisticated and modern model, especially since MG3 no longer fits into modern requirements for a single machine gun, and its release was completed in 2009 year. So, the main contender for the vacant place of this weapon is the Heckler und Koch HK121 machine gun. This machine gun is a bright representative of modern single machine guns, combines all the developments in a firearm for the last time. Very pleased with the fact that in the race for weight loss, the designers did not replace everything that was possible with plastic, limiting it only to a number of individual massive elements, such as a butt, the strength of which is beyond doubt. The weapon has the ability to conduct only automatic fire, because on its both sides there is only a two-position fuse switch. Its location turned out to be very successful indeed, being an element large enough, this switch is located directly above the pistol grip of the weapon, so that the thumb of the holding hand rests on it to switch. But the shutter handle is located only on the right side of the weapon and can not be rearranged to the left side. Likewise, a loose ribbon from which this weapon feeds can only be fed from the left side. The butt of the machine gun is folded to the left, and also has the ability to adjust along its length. The bipods of the machine gun are attached to the vapor block of the weapon, located under the barrel of the weapon. The very same machine gun barrel quick-change, has a handle for carrying and replacing the barrel, air cooling. Sights can be very diverse: from standard open to optical and electronic sights, which are installed on the seat on top of the weapon. The barrel is equipped with a flame arrester. Also, the weapon is equipped with a folding handle, which is designed for firing "from the hands", in the folded position, this handle becomes a short likeness of the forearm. In general, the appearance of the machine gun makes a good impression, despite the fact that the considerable weight of the weapon is clearly visible, the machine gun seems to be very comfortable.

This unit is powered by NATO 7,62x51 cartridges. Himself machine gun with butt and bipod weighs 10,8 kilogram. Its length is 1165 millimeters, with a barrel length 550 millimeters. In general, the weapon turned out to be even greater than the MG3, but shorter and more ergonomic. From the rate of fire of the machine gun, nothing is as yet precisely known; nevertheless, it is logical to assume that its rate of fire will equal 700-800 shots per minute and 1100-1200 shots per minute. The machine gun can be installed on all the machines that were used with the MG3, as well as to use fasteners on armored vehicles.

It works all happiness with automation, built on the removal of powder gases from the barrel with a long stroke gas piston. The shot comes from the open shutter, the barrel bore is locked on the 2 combat stop when turning. It feeds on a machine gun, as mentioned above, from loose ribbons, which can be supplied both separately and from containers, like those used in MG3.

Looking at the weapon, it is impossible not to notice its very great similarity with the HK43 machine gun, which uses 5,56 cartridges, being a light machine gun. Despite the fact that the main components of the NK 121 machine gun have long been tested in other samples and all the nuances of their use are known, this machine gun is still under test from the middle of 2011 onwards. Well, it’s possible to regard this as proof that the weapon has problems, or as a very strict approach to the choice of a new machine gun by the Germans only after the tests are completed and their result appears. In the meantime, everyone who came across these weapons in the inserts was completely satisfied with both the quality and the thoughtfulness of the design. Although in my opinion it is early to draw conclusions based on tests, but when the weapon receives recommendations on the battlefield, then it will be possible to speak with confidence about its positive and negative qualities.
Photos used:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Bykov.
    Bykov. 17 December 2012 08: 35
    Why invent something for the Germans? When available: PKM "Pecheneg" and "Barsuk".
    1. snek
      snek 17 December 2012 09: 19
      But why do something at all when a similar one already exists? So the Wright brothers built their flyer and they had to stop, and people were showing off — they needed everything better.
    2. Doom
      Doom 17 December 2012 09: 26
      why mercedes if there is a fret laughing
      1. Lone gunman
        Lone gunman 17 December 2012 14: 32
        there was a fret, now the paddlers bought everything, there was a Volga, how do they differ from a Mercedes I don’t know that this one has an engine, steering wheel, and four wheels, which I don’t understand, I appreciated the fret for the price, and the gelding for the quality, the cars different should be ...
    3. Dikremnij
      Dikremnij 17 December 2012 19: 19
      And the caliber: in Pecheneg 7,62 * 54, and the Germans who are members of NATO 7,62 * 51. Especially for Germans with their weapons school it’s a sin to buy weapons from someone.
  2. RBXize
    RBXize 17 December 2012 10: 18
    Here are the Germans who know how to make machine guns better than Amers. After all, no one has such a great experience in machine-building.
    1. predator.3
      predator.3 17 December 2012 16: 24
      MG-34 and MG-42 is a machine gun, as they say for all times and for all peoples!
      1. pogis
        pogis 17 December 2012 22: 01
        Until PC! I’m silent about Pecheneg!
    2. woland05
      woland05 17 December 2012 20: 23
      Not quite right, comrade. For all my hatred of the amers, in fairness it should be noted that they also have traditions. Hiram Maxim and John Moses Browning were precisely ethnic amers ...
  3. vagabo
    vagabo 17 December 2012 10: 57
    The best machine guns in the west are Belgians. The new German model is another variation on the theme of the same Minimi.
    1. pogis
      pogis 17 December 2012 22: 08
      I’m looking at him and fucking awesome! Why such a short barrel and a parody of a cooling shirt for 7.62! God forbid that MG-3 was decommissioned and this hat was put into service! But what if our cookies make 41 for them the opposite year!
      1. Sirozha
        Sirozha 18 December 2012 12: 22
        You have some unhealthy aggression! You need to be treated!
        And that crap over the barrel is not a cooling casing at all. The Germans know their business, do not consider everyone around as fools!
        1. pogis
          pogis 18 December 2012 14: 27
          And that crap over the barrel is not a cooling casing at all.
          And what is it? And at the expense of my aggressiveness, you either suffer from Down syndrome or you are not Ukrainian!
          1. pogis
            pogis 20 December 2012 11: 48
            The Germans know their business, do not consider everyone around as fools! And ​​where is the weapon (steeper than it I do not know the trunk)?
            1. Why did NATO need this?
            2. Why did Germany throw this weapon in the trash?
  4. Mikhado
    Mikhado 17 December 2012 13: 36
    Mdya, they’re not in a hurry to copy the Pecheneg’s trunk scheme in the west, everything is designed for a replaceable trunk.
    But in general, I still did not understand what was new in the new machine gun, I was even too lazy to make the feed direction reversible. And it looks ugly, our PC series is objectively more beautiful, despite the fact that no one was chasing the design specifically.
  5. Nechai
    Nechai 17 December 2012 15: 16
    Quote: Mikhado
    they’re not in a hurry to copy the Pecheneg’s trunk scheme in the west, everything is designed for a replaceable barrel.

    For this, in addition to the design subtleties, TECHNOLOGIES for manufacturing the BARREL and ITS FASTENING in the receiver are REQUIRED. Ours had to work on these issues so that the trunk would not lead away.
    On the video - I was impressed by the cooling of the barrel in the "ditch". So the second number of the machine-gun crew will have to carry a trough and a supply of water. recourse
    1. Misantrop
      Misantrop 17 December 2012 16: 48
      On myself. Well, or in yourself (then you can do without a trough). Moreover, the Germans have a beer - a traditional drink, there is a lot of liquid for cooling laughing
  6. Petrovich72
    Petrovich72 17 December 2012 17: 03
    Cyril is great, that keeps track of the latest news of weapons masters. What the Germans guessed in the new weapon - the barrel changer, the gas outlet pipe at the bottom of the barrel compared to mg3, where the automatics worked on the barrel with a short stroke - the Russians refused the cookie - all this was in the PC - reinforced the barrel, made a thermal shirt for trunk-no longer need to change the overheated barrel. and who is catching up with whom?
    1. datur
      datur 17 December 2012 18: 01
      Petrovich72yes biscuit THING good yes good !!!!!!!
    2. scrabler
      17 December 2012 19: 56
      Thank you, only here is Vadim's merit, he throws me interesting topics. smile
  7. Ivan Tarasov
    Ivan Tarasov 17 December 2012 19: 37
    Indicative is the high stability when firing, and low gas content (in the "Pecheneg", for example, smoke comes out of all the cracks).
    However, there are a number of questions.
    Somehow, it is very neatly lowered into the water (moreover, the water is clean).
    What about fine dust?
    How about falling from a height of 1,5m onto a concrete slab?
    1. Petrovich72
      Petrovich72 17 December 2012 20: 05
      here it is more a question of the quality of ammunition and the quality of gunpowder than weapons. By the way, I want to remind you that the Russian "Pecheneg" was created for the obviously outdated (albeit somewhat more powerful) cartridge 7,62x54, which does not have a rim (rifle from the famous 3-line ruler of the late 19th century). so the smokiness is a contrived question.
      1. wasjasibirjac
        wasjasibirjac 20 December 2012 06: 53
        on the contrary, the Russian has a 7,62 * 54P welt and 7,62 * 51 has a groove. the presence of a welt complicates the weapon, requires adapting to indirect delivery
  8. avdkrd
    avdkrd 17 December 2012 19: 41
    Objectively, by all characteristics, Pechenegs are better, and significantly. The HK121 received nothing new and qualitatively distinguishing it from the MG3 for the better. More like marketing, when the same poop is wrapped in different candy wrappers and served with the slogan - "new taste, now with a touch of needles" In the case of the HK121, the emphasis is on ergonomics. A dubious novelty, although, in combination with the quality of German gunsmiths, it is certainly an absolutely working weapon, but the same should not be forgotten about the prices of German gunsmiths. Pecheneg rules.
  9. Dikremnij
    Dikremnij 17 December 2012 19: 41
    The Germans are great, that they do not stand still, but develop. Even if they do not adopt the Bundeswehr, they will put it for export.
  10. saper
    saper 17 December 2012 21: 56
    well, and our machine gunners complained about the weight of the Pecheneg! and here it’s even harder
    1. pogis
      pogis 18 December 2012 14: 41
      And my friends from Spn GRU are SATISFIED that there is no need to drag a spare barrel!
  11. georg737577
    georg737577 21 December 2012 03: 26
    The machine was impressive ... Thanks for the video!
  12. KGB
    KGB 9 February 2013 17: 11
    Too bad the article is so short. We couldn’t find out anything special about the weapons.
  13. zmey
    zmey 25 February 2013 15: 22
    yes little details!
    compared with the MG-3 a clear step back!
    no doubt the torture will cash in on the "new" machine gun.