Heckler & Koch G36 - Firepower and Portability
The Heckler & Koch G36 is a mere baby, at just 12 years old, first introduced in 1995. It was designed in the earlier part of that decade, to replace the G3, and when released, was first brought into service in the German Army. Three forms of the gun exist; the standard G36 rifle, the G36K, a carbine rifle, and the MG36 light machine gun.
All G36 models feature a standard layout and butt design, with the receiver containing the barrel, trigger, magazine socket and carry handle, which contains integrated sights, both visual and laser. It weighs just 4.1kg fully loaded, allowing easy manoeuvrability, and will fire at 750 rounds per minute. However, it can't hold that much in the magazines, giving it a realistic firing rate of around 70rpm.
In order to make it simpler and cheaper than its predecessor, the gun is was simplified as much as was possible, resulting in something that can be disassembled and put back together using pretty much anything, normally a cartridge or pin, as all the major parts are held by cross pins. The trigger group allows three different modes of fire; single shot, double shot burst or automatic fire, all from one trigger, making it easy to operate. This style trigger has been compared with that of the Uzi Submachine Gun.
So far, the Heckler & Koch G36 hasn't seen too much action. However, it has been used with great success in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is used worldwide by police and other for other law enforcement purposes. Its amazing reliability and great accuracy have been key in putting it in these situations, without them soldiers end up without guns and civilians end up shot.
As far as airsoft is concerned, several companies make the Heckler and Koch G36. The main two are Tokyo Marui, whose replica has everything you'd expect from one of their guns; great looks, great performance and a high price tag, the other is Classic Army, whose gun gets less attention but is just as good, if not better. The price is in fact slightly greater than the Classic Army version, but the way it works far outweighs the extra $40 you might pay.
Classic Army's G36 looks like the real thing, is made from strong metal, is sturdy, and most importantly for airsoft players, is powerful and accurate. It also performs well in the field, these benefits combined with the fact that it's light, but just heavy enough to feel purposeful make it easy to carry around, and it's not so big that the enemy can see it a mile off, making it great for both urban and woodland settings.