This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
The HK433 family is going full power, Heckler & Koch told TFB at the 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting. When speaking to representatives of the company about their new rifle which was being shown off in the USA for the first time, I asked the question (expecting a sly wink and a “we can’t tell you that” as a response): “Will the HK433 family be available in 7.62mm NATO?” Much to my surprise, the answer was “yes, we are working on that now.” Beyond that, the representatives would not comment any further.
The reveal that a 7.62mm HK433 variant is in the pipeline all-but-confirms the suspicions I had about the rifle since day one. Its receiver appears to be cleverly designed to maximize the number of possible configurations, using what I believe is likely a standard upper and lower receiver geometry for both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm sized rifles. We can see hints of this in the HK433 itself, note the significant distance between the front pivot point and the rear pin in the image below:
Note that this distance appears to be substantially greater than is necessary for a 5.56mm rifle. In fact, it appears to be at least half an inch greater than it needs to be – half an inch being the approximate difference in overall length between a 5.56mm and a 7.62mm NATO round. My guess is that 5.56-length upper receivers will fit happily on 7.62-length lowers, and vice-versa, opening up a wide variety of options for the platform without needing serious redesign, such as AK-magazine variants, intermediate caliber (between 2.26 and 2.8″ OAL) variants, 5.56mm conversion kits for 7.62mm NATO variants, and others.
[Minor apology to my readers for the delayed continued AUSA coverage, but there is LOTS more to come. Stay tuned!]