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Worth the Wait…HK’s MR556A1 Rifle

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Columbus, Georgia — After more than two years of development work, Heckler & Koch showed off production versions of the new AR-style MR556A1 rifles at the SHOT Show, the firearms industry’s major trade exhibition in Las Vegas. The MR556A1 is a premium grade semi-automatic arm with match rifle features.

The new rifle is inspired and influenced by the HK416, HK’s selective fire rifle used by leading U.S. and foreign military and law enforcement customers. The HK416 is widely viewed as a leading candidate in a possible competition to replace the U.S. military’s current M4 carbine and M16 rifle.

The 5.56 mm MR556A1 is a major product improvement over conventional AR-type carbines and rifles. The MR556A1 uses an HK proprietary gas piston operating system, employing a piston and a solid operating “pusher” rod in place of the gas tube normally found in AR15/M16/M4-style firearms. This method of operation virtually eliminates malfunctions that are common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. This is the same key feature critical to the success of the HK416 rifles used by military and law enforcement customers.

The MR556A1 uses many of the same assemblies and accessories originally developed for the HK416 including the HK free-floating four-quadrant rail system. This handguard system allows all current accessories, sights, lights, and aimers used on M4/M16-type firearms to be fitted to the MR556A1. The HK rail system can be easily installed and removed and returns to zero when reinstalled.

MR556A1 rifles are produced in the USA from American and German-made components. Additionally, subassemblies like the MR556A1’s upper receiver are fully interchangeable with other high quality AR-style firearms. Equipped with HK’s robust 30-round steel magazine, the MR556A1 is also designed to accept all standard AR magazines.

Like the HK416, the MR556A1 uses a barrel produced by Heckler & Koch’s famous cold hammer forging process. But in a major departure from its HK416 lineage, the 16.5-inch MR556A1 barrel is not chrome-lined. By using the highest quality steel in the barrel manufacturing process, a long service life barrel that provides superior accuracy can be produced without chroming. According to HK engineers, chrome lining may add to barrel life but it does not contribute significantly to accuracy and can temporarily conceal defects in the barrel profile.

MR556A1 rifles began shipping during the second week of January with MR556A1 Upper Receiver Kits scheduled to be released later in the year. The HK MR762A1, the .308/7.62 mm NATO “big brother” model of the M556A1 will be also be available later in 2011 .

About Heckler & Koch

Heckler & Koch is the world’s premier small arms systems company and a major supplier to global military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters. An innovative leader in design and manufacturing, Heckler & Koch provides technologically advanced firearms, logistical support, training, and specialized services with the highest standards of innovation and reliability to its customer base. Heckler & Koch’s well-known range of products include the MP5 submachine gun, USP series pistols, the MP7 Personal Defense Weapon, the G36 weapon system, the HK416, and the recently introduced HK45 and P30 series pistols.

For further information, please contact:
HK-USA Public Relations
Tel: 1-703-450-1900 extension 226 in the USA
American Website:
Global Website:

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