Heckler & Koch to stop doing deals with non-NATO countries: DPA


German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch will no longer sign contracts to supply countries outside of NATO’s influence because it has become too difficult to obtain government approval for such deals, news agency DPA reported on Monday.

The company, one of the world’s best-known gunmakers, will in future only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption and that are members of NATO or NATO members’ partners, DPA said, citing company sources.  

It said this change in strategy would rule out deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, India or even NATO member Turkey.

Heckler & Koch did not respond to requests for comment.

Its HK416 assault rifle is said to have been used to kill Osama bin Laden and its G36 rifle is standard issue for armies across the globe.

However, German restrictions on arms exports to the Middle East have weighed on its business, contributing to a 90 percent collapse in operating earnings last year.

The company sued the German government last year for failing to approve a deal to supply Saudi Arabia with parts needed to make its G36 assault rifle.

The deal had been approved in 2008 despite concerns about human rights abuses in the Gulf kingdom, but the German government changed its approach on arms exports two years ago.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has sought to curb sales of tanks and small arms in particular since taking office late in 2013, arguing that guns such as assault rifles were the weapons of choice in civil wars all over the world.

Selling weapons is highly sensitive in Germany due to the country’s World War Two history. It is the world’s fifth- biggest exporter of major arms, according to the SIPRI research institute, and the industry employs about 80,000 people.

Heckler & Koch, which listed some of its shares on Euronext via a private placement last year, also came under pressure last year when some of its former employees were charged with breaching laws on trade and weapons of war by selling arms destined for four Mexican states.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, additional reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Susan Fenton)



9 thoughts on “Heckler & Koch to stop doing deals with non-NATO countries: DPA

  1. “…only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption…”
    Well, I guess they won’t be selling the best firearms in the world to the USSA, then. Glad I’ve already got my small arsenal of HK’s.

  2. “The company, one of the world’s best-known gunmakers, will in future only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption” sales outlook should be prettt grim….

  3. *** The company, one of the world’s best-known gunmakers, will in future only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption… ***

    Then I guess HK won’t be selling any more guns to the US military or police departments, since we’re an oligarchy, and a totally corrupt one at that.

    Hopefully this only applies to governments, as I believe HK makes the best handguns you can buy at any price. Their rifles seem to be overpriced and in some cases flawed, but their pistols are simply awesome.

  4. Hk hand guns are to me a luxury item, not as much as a sig sauer but still up there. Smith and Wesson m&p, any glock 19/17 for 9 or 21/41 for 45. And even the Springfield xds made in coratia. Don’t get me wrong German craftsmanship is too notch think (wustfoff knives, Porsche cars etc) but I ain’t concerned about no hk, plenty of other options for side arms. Although I’m sure I’ll get some 1911 browning diehards, also an amazing firearm.

    1. To each his own, but I think HK pistols are well worth the money over Glock, XD, etc. All guns break or wear out parts if you shoot them enough, but HKs just hold up better overall. This is based on reports from rental ranges, professional shooting instructors, and others who see a lot of different guns go through a lot of hard use.

      Glock in particular is an interesting story. If newer Glocks were as good as the Gen 2 and early Gen 3 Glocks, I’d have stuck with them over HK based on price alone. But starting around 2011 or 2012, Glock began to produce a lot of lemons. In particular, erratic ejection is a very common problem with new Glocks. Some guns make multiple trips back to the factory and STILL come back with problems.

      A few years ago I had a new Glock 19 that was throwing empty brass in my face every few rounds and was stovepiping about once or twice per 100 rounds. (One malfunction per 1000 rounds fired is the absolute maximum I’ll tolerate.) My Gen 2 Glock never did that. A trip back to the factory didn’t fix the problem. Neither did trying different kinds of ammo.

      If you do a Web search on something like “Glock brass to face,” you’ll see a lot of similar experiences from others. It’s so common now that companies like Apex Tactical have begun making parts specifically to fix the issues with newer Glocks (with varying degrees of success). Yet from what I’ve heard, Glock refuses to acknowledge that there’s a problem.

      Other manufacturers also seem to have “pet” issues. XDs seem to be notorious for breaking parts too often. S&W gets some good reviews but has had issues such as poor accuracy, rusting, and bad mag springs. Even Sig Sauer’s quality is said to have taken a dive since 2012 or so, which is a real shame because they used to be awesome. 1911s are reported to have more problems in hard-use handgun classes than any other kind of gun, though quality probably varies widely among 1911 manufacturers.

      After doing years of research and taking into account the experiences of many who are in a position to know, I went with HK and never looked back.

      Granted, cost can be a major issue for many in a rough economy. But depending on the models being compared, the price difference between an HK and something like a Glock is typically about the same as what you’d pay for a case or two of ammo. Since it takes many thousands of rounds to become a proficient handgun shooter, guns are actually cheap in comparison with ammo over the long run. Also, one newer HK model, the VP9, can be had new for under $600. That’s comparable in price to a Glock, and the VP9 gets rave reviews from just about everyone.

      If someone really can’t get past the price of HK, I hear a lot of good things about handguns made by FN and CZ. There may be others that are worth investigating. And once a good one is found, it’s best to buy two identical ones, then use one exclusively for practice and one for carry (after testing it with 500-1000 rounds).

      1. Dude man you could have a job writing for one of these handgun websites, escellent reporting. The only reason I brought up those brands is because that’s what it most familiar with, have shot more glocks then any other, a handfull xd and twice smith and Wesson. Throw in a few rounds here or they’re off of an aquantics old 1911 model. I’m by no means an expert, I condersier my self “the rifleman” I’m clearus ( not Lucas McCain) ;(. Anywho never shot an HK, or an FN handgun for that matter. I guess mostly because at least on the computer it’s always these bull ish top 3-5 lists (glock ruger springfield smith Wesson cz maybe or sig sauer). I’m going to have to seek out and try an hk or even an fn for that matter. Thanks for the info bud and keep shooting !

  5. My local Sheriff buys all your crap. I’ve seen it. Thank you HK. Don’t sell to US either. We don’t want your crap anyway. We have really good gun companies in the US, and we make it a lot cheaper anyway.

    “VEE ARE HK. VEE HATE YOU!”. We love you though. You sure have a sense of humor and make us laugh. We can make Your gun designs at a fraction of the cost too. We also don’t need you.

  6. I dont believe it..

    they are about making money .. and like i care if H&K quit selling in the USA.. theres other makers and much better equipment made right here anyways

    let em go.. who cares

    any company that shits on a customer base deserves to disappear ..buh bye

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