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Difference Between HK416 and MR556

MR 556

HK416 vs MR556

Most people think of the AR15 and the M16 when they consider buying an assault rifle. However, even though they are affordable to buy, both rifles are prone to problems. The M16 will basically fire in any condition, but is heavy and less accurate. The A15 is accurate and lightweight, but less reliable. If you want an assault rifle that is both accurate and reliable consider the HK416 or the MR556. It is no secret that they cost more than double the amount of an AR15, but you do get what you pay for. They are both made by Heckler & Koch and although they are based on the AR15 platform, they are a much higher quality assault rifle.


About the HK416

The HK416 is a military assault rifle designed for the armed forces. However, there is a semi-auto version available for civilians. The rifle uses a gas piston system with a rod that prevents propellant gases from being introduced into the weapon. This alone makes the HK416 one of the most reliable assault weapons there is. It has proven itself time and time again in various battles across the world and some army’s have adopted it as their primary weapon.

Heckler & Koch use the highest quality steel there is to manufacture the HK416 barrel. It can continuously fire over 20,000 rounds without notable degrading or a reduction in accuracy or muzzle velocity. The weapon weighs around 6.5 pounds when empty and can fire 700 to 900 rounds per minute. It uses 5.56 x 45mm NATO ammunition and you can get several version of the rifle that vary in barrel length. Consider the 10.4, 14.5, 16.5, or the 20 inch barrel. There is even an OTB model which still fires after being submerged in water.

As an added bonus, the HK416 has a free-floating 4-quadrant rail system that allows you to use all of the accessories available for the common M4 such as scopes, sites, and lights.

About the MR556

The MR556 is the civilian version of the HK416. It has a barrel length of 16.5, weighs 8.6 pounds, and uses the 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Since it is basically the same as the HK416, we will focus on the newer model that is available which has some neat upgrades. The MR556A1 still has a lot of the great features that the HK416 does including the free-floating 4-quadrant rail system that makes it compatible with all the great accessories you can get for an M4 rifle. The rail system itself also requires no tools to install or remove. In addition to this, many of the parts such as the upper and lower receiver are interchangeable with the AR15 because of the location of the take-down pins. This is a significant improvement from the original MR556.

The MR556A1 has the same quality steel barrel that the HK416 does. It provides you with superior performance even under the most strenuous conditions. However, the MR556A1 has an overall superior barrel to the 416 because it does not have the chrome-lining which can affect accuracy and hide imperfections. Inside the barrel there are 6 lands and grooves that have a 1 in 7 inch twist. This improves bullet velocity as well as accuracy. To improve accuracy even further, the MR556 features a two-stage trigger and an extended latch charging handle. This also makes the rifle easier to handle.

You can use a variety of 5.56 x 45mm ammunition with the 556 due to the C.I.P dimensioned chamber and it even functions with quality .223 Remington ammunition.

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  1. The m16 is an ar15 the same way a square is a rectangle. Ar15’s come in literally all sorts of shapes and sizes, lengths and weights, and with varying reliability. From the colt le6290, to the norinco cq, to a daniel defence m4 style carbine, to an hk416(or civilian mr556), ar15s are made to different standards and for different purposes.

    You can modify an ar15 to be purpose specific. The m16 and m4 are an example of this, with the later being a general purpose rifle designed for moderately close range combat, such as an urban area or even clearing a building. The m16 has a longer barrel, and is more effective at shooting far away targets, as well as putting more energy behind the bullet.

    The difference between the m16 and the hk416 boils down to gas impingement system and a gas piston system. The latter is said to be more reliable because it doesn’t get as dirty.

    Now all hk416s/mr556s ARE ar15s. There are also many piston driven ar15s that are a lot cheaper. You could build your own custom ar15 that matches an mr556, for a fraction of the price, even in Canada.

    The biggest difference between an hk416 and mr556 is that the mr556 has a chrome lined barrel (you could easily replace this barrel) and that you will never ever be able to own an hk416. (HK hates civilian’s.)

    If you are looking for a new black rifle, get a basic high quality ar15 for a 1000$, and use the extra 1000-2000$ to upgrade your rifle to your exact specifications. If you want something shiny, buy an XCR. Its an entirely new rifle based around the stanag magazines (same mags the ar15 takes).

    Also ar15s can be chambered in anything, from 22lr to 5.56, 308, 50 beowolf, etc. This is easier to do with a standard ar15 as opposed to the mr556

    • Respectfully, the HK416 is NOT an M16. They may look the same, but they’re not the same. It is built as a piston rifle, whereas aftermarket piston kits are designed to “attempt” to turn an AR into an MR556/HK416.

      The bolt carrier group on the HK is one piece. There isn’t a “gas key” per se, as it is a single piece, and it not prone to shearing, or loosening due to staking issues that occurs with M16 and AR15 rifles.

      Converting an a DI gun into a piston gun isn’t the same. There are piston built rifles out there, and they are cheaper, but better?

      HK firearms have a long history of being top quality, reliable weapons. Are they overpriced? Most likely. Do they have obnoxious fanboys? Most definitely. It doesn’t mean they don’t make some of the best firearms in the world.

      I have / have had a ton of firearms in my collection over the years, and my son does as well. Between us – MP5, G3K, MR556, VP9, USP, USP Tactical, USP Compact, and the P7. All have proven to be among the most reliable of all the firearms in our respective collections and I think we’d both take an HK if we could only carry one. They are universally accurate and more importantly, reliable.

      That’s not to say I would hesitate to trust one of my other quality firearms, but the HK would be my first choice n

    • I have a Kitchen knife!! Very sharp!! Many of them!! Cut every thing I need to make a nice dinner for my Family and Friends. However, in the wrong hands and a person with wrong Intentions are very Deadly!! Absolutely No Different!!

  2. The HK416 had an adjustable regulator in the gas block so that you could fire suppressed, single shot (i.e. manually cycled), light training loads, or regular loads (55-75gr). The MR556A1 doesn’t have an adjustable regulator.

    It’s not clear if the HK416 gas block/regulator is compatible with an MR556A1.

    • People are tools of death. Firearms are inanimate pieces of metal that never committed a crime against anyone. If you load a rifle, put a round in the chamber and clock the hammer, it will stay in that state f my forever. It won’t get up and randomly go shoot somebody.

  3. What’s the difference between a rifle and a assaults rifle?

    • An AR15 or an MR556 is simply a semiautomatic rifle, which requires that you squeeze the trigger for EACH round. The M16/M4/HK416 are select fire weapons, capable of firing on full automati, which means it will confine to fire, as long as the trigger is depressed (or it runs out of ammo)

      Many mistakenly refer to the AR as “assault rifle”. It actually stands for Armalite rifle, the original manufacturer.

    • An important thing to remember is all assault rifles are in the rifle category. The question is are all rifles assault rifles? The answer is no. Assault rifles are designed to kill people.

      Generally speaking when people ask questions like this they’re referring to ar-15s, m16s or very similar weapons platforms. It is important to remember that the AR-15 shoots the 556 NATO round. The 556 nato round was designed to kill people.

      So if you’re using a 556, 9mm, 45 caliber or even 22 long rifle (among others), with semi-auto capability and with a high capacity magazine, you’ve got yourself an assault rifle.

      I hope this answers your question.

  4. Beautiful piece of equipment I would just like everyone to stop calling guns weapons if you think about it a so called assault weapon does not exist, the only thing that can be an assault weapon is a person, so the military train soldiers to be assault weapons and the gun is just one of many tools they can use to perform the job, this takes the pressure off anti gun people and puts the focus on the people doing that are committing the assaults.

    • And what type of gun do these domestic terrorists invariably use in their civilian slaughter?
      While I agree that guns are tools, by definition, they are tools of death.

      • You must have never read the 2nd amendment. 100 times more people
        Are killed annually by any rifle than knives. Explain that.

      • So are hammers, kitchen knives, screwdrivers, ice picks, chain saws, bricks, automobiles, airplanes, fireworks, etc. Human being can kill each other with most anything. Shall we ban water because someone could use it to drown someone?

        • Every one of those items can kill, however none of those item’s primary purposes were killing.
          On the other hand the primary purpose of a firearm is to kill. It serves no other purpose.
          If you say we can repurpose it to prevent killing this is incorrect…you use it’s primary purpose of killing as a deterrent to others to prevent them from attempting to harm you.
          Still you have not changed the purpose of the gun, you only use that purpose as a deterrent.
          I’m not for banning guns but I am for dropping that ridiculous argument and start talking common sense from everyone.

          • Not All gun’s are created for killing. The ones we are discussing today happen to be. Any were created for the sole purpose,Of putting holes in paper far away. right next to one another or on a given spot on the paper. Like an x since any tool. that is used for killing becomes a weapon. by legal terminology. Then obviously the possessor of anything is determiner of the things purpose. Just the same way the ATF considers. That any tool possessed. with the intention of manufacturing a silencer. is a silencer. Intent determines classification by law.

    • I agree with gary. The weapon is the person more specifically their mind and their intent.

      The tool is the gun. A hammer is just as lethal as a gun. So is lack of oxygen, or a gas line explosion.

      Tools only do what we tell them to do. So it is much more important who is using the tool and where their mind is at, than what the tool is capable of.

  5. Lol, the MR 556 is about as much of an HK 416 as a PSA GF3 is an AKM. It’s US made. It uses an untreated barrel. The MR 223 is the ONLY true civilian 416.

  6. My first rifle was an LWRC IC-SPR. My second was an MR762 and third was an MR556. Just like HK the LWRC is a short stroke external piston system with a single piece BCG with a milled strike face where a gas key would be in an internal piston direct impingement system. However with the LWRC everything about is as close to the military version as possible. I own several other similar external piston systems from POF-USA, SuperlativeArms and not so similar long stroke piston systems from PWS. The article however fails to mention two other differences between the MR556 and HK416. The MR556 has a notched BCG and a reciprocal tab on the barrel extension. This prevents swapping the BCG with the HK mil-spec version. The other difference is in the tail of the BCG. The MR BCG bottom skis that prevents carrier tilt is cut short so it can’t operate a auto sear.

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