4.6×36 mm
Type Rifle
Place of origin 22x20px West Germany
Production history
Designer Dr. Gunther Voss
Designed early 1970s
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Produced 1970s
Case type Rimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter 4.7 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Base diameter 8.9 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Case length 36.0 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Overall length 49.5 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Maximum pressure 353 MPa (Bad rounding hereScript error psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
2.70 g (Bad rounding hereScript error gr) FMJ857 m/s (Bad rounding hereScript error ft/s)976 J (Bad rounding hereScript error ft·lbf)
3.5 g (Bad rounding hereScript error gr) FMJ780 m/s (Bad rounding hereScript error ft/s)1,065 J (Bad rounding hereScript error ft·lbf)
Test barrel length: 381 millimetres (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Source(s): Jane's Infantry Weapons 1975 [1]

The 4.6×36 mm is a cartridge developed by Heckler & Koch for its experimental HK36 assault rifle of the 1970s. When the rifle was not taken into service by any military force, its ammunition was not used for any other weapon design. The main feature that set the bullet apart from its contemporaries was the use of a so-called "spoon tip" (German: Löffelspitz): the tip had a concave area on one side[1] which was intended to make the bullet "tumble" after hitting a target, in order to give it greater stopping power than such a small, high-velocity bullet would otherwise have.


In the 1970s, ammunition for military rifles saw a reduction in calibre, largely inspired by the American 5.56×45mm round used in the M16 assault rifle. In an effort to create a weapon with low recoil, low weight, a flat trajectory and a high chance of incapacitating its target,[1] Heckler & Koch designed the HK36 rifle together with the 4.6×36 mm ammunition.

Cartridge TypesEdit

Two variants of the round were developed, one with a soft core and another with a hard core, the former being intended for use against personnel, the latter against hard targets and to penetrate cover. Both were full metal jacketed rounds, the soft-cored bullet having a lead core while that of the hard-cored bullet was made from tungsten carbide.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Script error

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