The HK41 (designation: “paramilitary rifle”, caliber 7.62x51mm) was the first semiautomatic version of the G3 military rifle. It was made for the Bundeswehr reservist market; a rifle that could be privately owned in Germany but which would duplicate the handling of the G3 for reservists to practice with. It went into production in 1966, with a standard pinned lower and S-E semiautomatic trigger group. To comply with German laws, it would only accept a 5-round magazine and could not mount a bayonet or rifle grenades. In addition to German commercial sale, there was also interest form the US, and rifles were exported there.
In 1968, the Gun Control Act was passed int he US, which enacted stricter rules about what could be imported. In addition, in 1973 German law changed and made the HK41 effectively impossible to own in Germany. This prompted a change in the design, with a new pin-less power introduced to comply with US laws (and along with it a “S-F” semiauto fire control group). This model was imported into the US by SACO in 1974 in small numbers. In 1975 HK USA was formed, and in 1977 production of the HK41 ended, to be replaced with the HK91 designed specifically for export sale to the US and elsewhere. In total, only about 1350 HK41 rifles were made, and only about 400 of them imported into the US.
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