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Heckler & Koch to make new rifles in US facility
Firearms maker Heckler & Koch announced today that it will manufacture two new rifle designs in a newly opened US factory in 2009. The new rifles, the HK MR556 and HK MR762, are inspired and influenced by the HK416 and HK417, two highly acclaimed models designed and produced by Heckler & Koch’s Oberndorf, Germany plant.
The rifles will be produced at a new HK manufacturing facility in Newington, New Hampshire. The facility is collocated within an existing 70,000 square foot facility. HK began manufacturing pistols in the US in late 2008.
“We’ve reached a major milestone in our objective to establish a production presence in the US,” said Wayne Weber, executive vice president of the US business unit of Heckler & Koch. “The new HK45 pistol is the first HK product officially ‘Made in the USA’. It is our goal to strategically transfer production of select HK products to the US, with the HK45 Compact being the next product to come off the US production line and shortly thereafter, the HK MR series rifles.”
“It is our intention for all US made HK products to equal the quality and reliability of the products made in Germany,” Weber added. “By establishing American-based manufacturing, we can compliment our German production and ensure that HK can be more competitive in the US and comply with government contracts requiring US manufacturing. HK products made in the USA will be fully compliant with federal solicitations giving preference to domestically produced products. Additionally, it will provide a boost to the US economy by creating more opportunities and business for many of our US subcontractors and suppliers.”
The HK MR556 and HK MR762 models, caliber 5.56 x 45 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm rifles respectively, will be produced at the Newington facility from American and German made components. To comply with German government regulations, certain design changes were made in the rifles to make them adaptable to the commercial sporting market.
The semi-automatic HK MR series rifles use an HK-proprietary gas piston operating system recognized for ultra reliability and will have German-made cold hammer forged barrels. These are some of the same key features critical to the success of the HK416 carbines used by leading US and foreign law enforcement and military customers. The HK416 is widely viewed as a leading candidate in a possible competition to replace the US military’s current M4 carbine.
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