Last week, I finagled a unique opportunity to go to Chievres Air Base near Brussels and got to shoot the Heckler & Koch (H&K) G-36 (http://www.hkpro.com/G36.htm), as provided by the German Air Force. What can I say but my status as the Senior NATO AF Shooting Team member is certainly paying off with many special opportunities? As far as the rifle, I think it may very well be the best non-competition rifle that I'm ever shot. It's got a dual optics (close range and long distance) system, including a mil-dot sight that is recharged by solar power! Also, the straight-out-of-factory version has a great trigger and excellent accuracy, not to mention that its plastic stock makes it very lightweight. The only problem I see with it is that it doesn't have iron sights. However, the US Army picked up on this fact, and they've made sure that H&K puts iron sights on the improved variation that they're getting (called the XM-8). If the XM-8 is just as good, if not better than the G-36, I fully expect it to be the M-16 killer for all services in the future.
I should be reporting my findings on the XM-8 next month when I go on my exclusive visit of the H&K factory in Oberndorf. Yes, you read that right. : )
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