The whole history of handguns – a constant search for ways to reduce the caliber and to improve shooting accuracy and combat effectiveness of the army. In the XX century. First it went to the United States. They needed something to counter automaton Kalashnikona, who had the world’s best live performance. For the new design was taken caliber 5,56 x45 mm cartridge.
Creator assault rifle, M-16 cartridge was this designer firm “Armalayt” by J. Stoner. Adopted in 1963, it had a gas operated mechanism and mode of automatic fire, the weight depending on the modification amounted to 3.1-3.4 kg. In operation it became clear that small-caliber cartridge has several advantages. Decreased impact-resistance increased with automatic firing weapons, increased his accuracy.
Small-caliber bullet because of the small diameter had a high muzzle velocity and trajectory slope. But not soon new cartridge became a full NATO cartridge. His first tested the Belgians, made in 1970-1975. FNK rifle. It had interchangeable with the American M-16 shop. Only with the 1978 rifle went into the series. In the Soviet Union to act swiftly. We have since 1974 was adopted by the Kalashnikov (AK-74) for small-caliber cartridge 5,45 x39 mm. The Austrians were as follows. In 1978 they created a versatile range of small-caliber AUG in four versions amphibious machine, shotgun, assault rifle, machine gun. In the same year the French FAMAS model take 5.56 mm. A year later, the German company “Heckler & Koch” creates a reduced version of G-3 rifle 5.56 mm – Model HC-ZZE, and a little later – the F-41. Both rifles had several options, including the bipod (machine gun).