RUAG factory tour

What happens when a good humored Brit takes a tour in the RUAG factory in Fürth, Germany, and makes a documentary of it?

Well, you’ll end up with a very informative video that’s also quite amusing :)

Disclaimer: the part in which the factory collection is showed can make you seriously jealous. And one deer was harmed during the making of this video.

Thijs, thank you for sharing!


Very interesting video, although two things threw me off;

They did not show the firing of the HK G11. With an already tragically low amount of HD footage of one being held, let alone fired, why not show us the shooting session, at least in a separate video?
The hunter did something which I would call stupid. So many deer cramped, the rear leg of the hind before it was less than a foot from where the fired round hit the targeted deer. You should NEVER shoot in such a situation. It was a display of very poor judgement.

[quote=“tennsats”]Very interesting video, although two things threw me off;

They did not show the firing of the HK G11. With an already tragically low amount of HD footage of one being held, let alone fired, why not show us the shooting session, at least in a separate video?[/quote]

Have a look.


I always thought recoil would be extreme low but the video suggests differently.

I have never even held one of those H&K rifles in the video, much less shot one, so I have nothing to base my opinion on except still photos and that video. I will make that clear from the offset.

However, I do have an impression. The rifle appears to be very awkward to hold because of its terribly bulky shape. Recoil, as EOD pointed out and the reason I watched the video (thanks EOD!), appears to be at least three times that of an M16 or similar 5.56 mm rifle. Either that, or the shooter doesn’t understand how to shoulder the rifle.
The moving magazine can’t help but to add to the recoil. The trigger appears to have way too much travel. Can’t tell if most of it is over-travel or not from the video, but I suspect it is. My impression of it - a piece of crap that predictably went no where. JMHO.

The G11 fires three round bursts that look (and sound) like single shots in the video.

The magazine has to travel backwards (as the whole shooting mechanism does) because during the backward travel, two follow-on cartridges are fed from it into the chamber and fired. The recoil basically reaches the shoulder only after the third round has left the barrel. So what you see and feel is the combined recoil of three shots.

This is the heart of the G11 concept: fire an extremely fast three shot burst with a comparably small dispersion before the recoil reaches the shoulder.

Peelen - thanks for the explanation. It doesn’t change my opinion though. I don’t like three-shot burst systems. I don’t see why they are necessary, especially in a weapon that fires them so fast that if the first one would have been a miss, they all will miss. Maybe the ballistics of the cartridge demand that feature in order to incapacitate an enemy soldier. If that is true, than the cartridge is poor. I think the three-shot burst mode on the M16A2 was stupid. Semi-auto fire is sufficient.
A lot of people look on the rifle like the guy using it on the battlefield is all alone. Semi-auto fire from an infantry company puts out a wall of copper and lead that it is surprised a bumble-bee could fly thru it safely.
Three-shot bursts are wasteful of ammunition, and that can be the most critical when soldiers think they need full-auto fire the worst - when they are trapped by a force superior in size. I personally think that is when it is most important to make every shot count. I have no combat experience, although I am infantry-trained, so perhaps my opinion is invalid. However, it is my opinion, and if I said otherwise, I would be a hypocrite.

The recoil is always a factor. If you have to fire so fast that you need a three-shot burst (three rounds to do the job of one) at a high rate of fire that makes it appear and sound like a single shot and gives you “triple-recoil,” then you lose the time advantage in your rate of firing from having to recover your sight picture, or even if things are so close and fast and furious that you are simply pointing the weapon, your recovery of the weapon to that point.

Let’s just say I’m glad our guys are not stuck with something like the H&K. I know they use a lot of the H&K adaptation of the M16, and I am sure that is a fine weapon. I hope it has the capability of single-shot, semi-automatic fire. Since a few years ago I cancelled all my firearms magazine subscriptions, I am not up on a lot of these new wonder-weapons, especially the jillion adaptations of the Armalite-Colt rifle. When I get catalogs from these after-market accessory outfits now, half or more than half of the catalog are doo-dads to stick all over an AR-15, M16 platform. I am going to figure out a miniature kitchen that can hang off the weapon somewhere so you can cook your meals on it. :-)

Yeah, I know. I am old-fashioned and not “cool.” I just think a lot of the crap they hang on rifles these days is pretty useless. I doubt most of it really substitutes for proper training, and all of it makes the lightweight M4 carbine or M16 rifle heavier and more fragile.

Well, I guess I didn’t mention cartridges much here, so I will take no offense if this is deleted by the management as being off-topic.

At 0:35 there are single shots (several) where the shooter is laying. Recoil there still looks heavy for what the G11 supposedly is. Just my impression.

John, your opinion that conventional bursts are more or less useless is exactly what led to the concept of the G11. The goal is not to obtain multiple hits but to increase the probability to hit at all. The goal is to compensate for the aiming errors that occur under combat stress. To put it simply: the soldier shoots as if in single shot mode. But firing three bullets with a dispersion on the same level as his aiming error (much, much smaller than a conventional burst) gives him a greater chance to hit than with a single bullet.

By the way, H&K of the G11 time and today are totally different companies. There is, as far as I can tell, no connection between the designers of the roller-lock/G11 class and today’s run of the mill gas-operated rotating-bolt or Browning tilting-barrel designers.

EOD, I have fired the G11, although an earlier version. I did not have the impression that recoil of single shots was out of the ordinary.

Wow! Lucky you!
What was it comparable to then?

Peelen - Sorry, but tilting barrel locked pistols are not necessarily run-of-the mill. The Browning Colt M1911 and the FN-Browning GP are still two of the finest auto pistols ever designed, certainly better than most of these plastic wonders. The proof is in what the real experts choose - many highly trained police, many special ops types of soldiers (and sailors - no intent to slight the Navy Seals, etc.) and champion IPSC and IDPA shooters all around the world. The M15 and Kalashnikov types dominate the world scene of assault rifles.

Unless the G11 rifles are terribly inaccurate, or the ammunition is, at the rate of fire where one three-shot burst looks and sounds like a single shot, to the extent that the “recoil is felt after” than the amount of dispersion for a three shot group should not be so big that it would help much in hitting a target with a good solid hit when firing under the stress of combat. It might cause a peripheral hit on a target where a single shot would have been a near miss, but with all the equipment carried by soldiers today, that type of hit might not have much effect as far as removing that particular target from the battlefield.

A three shot burst, to be effective to make up for poor marksmanship, whether caused by anxiety or simply poor shooting skills, would have to be from a relatively slow rate of fire weapon, along the lines of a M3 “Grease gun” or something like that, in my view.

Again, just my opinion, but one based on 60+ years of shooting, including some with weapons such as the Browning .30 LMG, the TSMG and the M3 SMG, with familiarization-level firing of many other automatic weapons.

EOD, the bullet weight is 3.4 g and muzzle velocity 920 m/s, recoil virtually identical to ordinary 5.56 mm. I did not have the impression that the mechanism of the G11 made any difference for single shots.

LPeelen, thanks for that - finally first hand info!

The show has another video of the Norma factory as well. You can find it on their page. My sole regret is I dislike the hosts style, but still, it gives you a look in the factories.

[quote=“dutch”][quote=“tennsats”]Very interesting video, although two things threw me off;

They did not show the firing of the HK G11. With an already tragically low amount of HD footage of one being held, let alone fired, why not show us the shooting session, at least in a separate video?[/quote]

Have a look.


Yes, I’ve seen this before, but considering the HD resolution of the RUAG tour video, I’m disappointed they didn’t show their time with the G11. The video you linked is great, but it is neither the HD that we younglings want, nor does it really go into detail on the rifle itself…

  • Ole

Might it be an option that the caseless cartridges produced in the '80s are not that reliable to shoot any more?

Well, it would be interesting to see them crank out a dud round, anyway!

  • Ole

The problem is of legal nature.
The military safety certificates for gun and ammunition, issued more than twenty years ago, have expired. The G11 project is dead, so nobody will renew them.

Besides this I been told that they would not be able to produce the weapon/ammo today anymore as they simply would not get back all engineers and machinery. Means all had to be redeveloped.