When we think of the Heckler & Koch G36, we might immediately think of the issues with heat dissipation which saw the Bundeswehr launch its (still) ongoing search for a new service rifle. For some time there have been murmurings that Steyr were working on an improved version of the G36 – it turns out the rumours were true. Steyr Arms, in conjunction with Wilcox and US-based Corax Defence, have announced the development of the G62 – an upgrade kit for the G36. In fact, Steyr’s key claim is that they’re “turning a good rifle into the best rifle on the market”. The G62 is not a new rifle, instead, it replaces key architecture.
Heckler & Koch G36 @ TFB:
Bundeswehr with G36s in Afghanistan (Bundeswehr)Back in 2017, it emerged that Steyr had developed a new piston-driven AR-patterned rifle, the RS-556. This rifle was one of the initial contenders for Germany’s next service rifle replacing the G36. This program, however, has been mired in controversy and ground to a temporary halt.
In the meantime, Steyr Arms, Corax Defense and Wilcox have put together an upgrade package for countries that may be looking to upgrade their in-service G36 type rifles. This means the G62 is aimed at not just Germany but also countries like Spain and Lithuania as well as dozens of special forces units and police forces around the world. For those looking to replace their G36s, the new upgrade might represent an attractive mid-life upgrade that would not only prove cheaper but also remove the need to retrain soldiers and armorers and procure an entirely new rifle with a new manual of arms, set of spares and storage systems.
Intriguingly, the ‘G62’ name for the upgrade is, according to Corax Defence, in fact an official designation given to the upgraded rifle by the Bundeswehr. It remains to be seen if the Steyr-Wilcox-Corax team are successful in enticing the German military into upgrading rather than replacing their G36s.
The G62 upgrade package includes a new metal receiver while a new barrel is also an option, as is a STANAG compatible magazine well. Wilcox have brought their FUSION powered rail system which incorporates a number of accessories including a light, laser, and IR illuminator – all powered by a centralised power pack. There is no mention yet of what the weight of a fully-outfitted ‘G62’ would be with both the new metal receiver and Wilcox system.
Check out the video on the G62 recently released by Steyr:
Steyr Arms suggest that the metal receiver increases thermal stability significantly over the original plastic one and also improves the rifle’s accuracy. The video shows the rifle being fired for grouping according to a Bundeswehr specification with little stringing or expansion of group. It should be noted that the test was not carried out independently, but by Steyr during prototype testing. The rifle was fired to heat up its internal components and then fired for accuracy following several more courses of fire. The test is considered passed if:
- In the 1st target the group is 90% within the 120mm scattering circle. A
maximum of three rounds are allowed outside the circle.
- In the 2nd target the group is 80% within the scattering circle (8 shots).
- In the 3rd and 4th target the group is 70% within the circle (7 shots).
The upgraded Steyr G62 passed the test while the G36 did not. Steyr’s results table for the test is below:
It is claimed that the new metal receiver solves all of the rifle’s previous thermal issues. The G62’s receiver components include a new receiver, an upper rail, a guide rail and a new trunnion. The exact type of metal used in the new receiver has not been disclosed but Corax Defence describe it as an ‘advanced alloy’.
Wilcox’s Contribution is based around a replacement forend for the G36 which includes rail space and attachment points with internal architecture for their FUSION powered rail system.
Below is a slide which explains more of the features of the Wilcox FUSION forend, including integral light, pressure switches, optics and attachment points.
Find out more about the G62 at Steyr Arms’ website, here.