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Thread: Why did HK abandon the roller lock system?

  1. #1
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    Gaujo's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Why did HK abandon the roller lock system?

    It seems like a great system, so why don't they still incorporate roller locking into their newer designs?
    Last edited by Gaujo; 05-18-2017 at 01:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I'm a huge roller lock fan - have almost all models and agree, great platform. My guess is cost & complexity though I have no facts to back that up. Matt

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southern New Hampshire
    My limited understanding is the short answer is profit. The bolt, locking pieces, trunnion, and barrel need tighter tolerances and are more complicated to machine than the blow back UMP and the short stroke piston systems that HK currently produces. The blow back polymer UMP costs half the money to produce than the welded MP5 but sold for about the same money. The same could be said for the G36 series compared to the HK53, 33K, and 33.

    Being a huge fan of the roller locked system, with a Fleming sear and over 20 hosts, I think it is a cool system. But look at the prices. I can buy a Colt AR carbine for under $600. A foreign made roller locked "clone" will be over double that. Even with cheap foreign labor, the machine work with tight tolerances still makes these guns very expensive to produce. And look at the HK SP5K. $2,500 is a lot of money to me.

    It is my understanding that no industrialized nation uses the roller locked system in their issue firearms. This is old dead technology. Several years ago Malaysia (a third world country IMHO) sold out of their HK33 rifles and invested in M16s. So if Malaysia doesn't want them who does, other than collectors here in the states? A polymer receiver could be made, as Special Weapons made the SP 10 with roller locked mechanism and polymer receiver. The bolt needs to be reworked such that the extractor spring can't be hyper extended. Why HK never fixed that is beyond me. This is just my opinion.


  4. #4
    UZI Talk Life Member
    rhouston8's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Roller locks are too expensive to produce and maintain.
    The day of the subgun has passed which kills the MP5 line basically.
    The extractor spring is a weakness of the system ( def for subguns).

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Modern gas systems are superior in terms of length, weight, bolt velocity, maintenance period, versatility, etc, so roller locked rifles are out of style.
    SMGs have been replaced by rifle caliber carbines, so roller delayed SMGs are dead along with all other kinds. Nobody is buying millions of Kris Vectors, Sterlings, Grease Guns, either.

  6. #6
    Registered User StooperZero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    yep why buy a $$$$$$$$$ 9mm gun when police/gov'ts can get a gun in 5.56 or 308 in the same size for a fraction of the price.

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