One of the most enticing characteristics of HK Weapons is that they are a true system. The number of configurations that are available is truly staggering. One of the major components of this system is the number of trigger groups that are available for the select fire weapons.
To truly understand why so many groups are available, it would necessarily be attributed to the stigma that has been associated with automatic firearms in America for so long. Beginning in the 1920s, the Thompson submachine gun has almost singlehandedly forced a perception that automatic firearms have no role in civilian policing. This trend has slowly reversed of late, but HK is in the business of providing buyers what they request, and surely this has carried to the trigger groups as well.
HK has a trigger group for whatever squeamish police officials are able to stomach. In truth, not one of these groups that offer mechanically limited bursts is necessary. If the team is properly trained the judicious application of fire, then the burst control is in the finger of the operator. But they offer them nonetheless. They are supremely designed, because they reset to zero no matter how many rounds were fired in the previous burst, unlike the M16A2 series. With the M16A2 if you let off after two rounds, the next trigger pull will only give you one round. Not so with HK burst groups. Here they are:
The trigger groups offered by HK for American police agencies. Many are intriqued by the burst groups, which mechanically limit the number of shots fired. Training and restraint coupled with an SEF or Navy group is quite adequate for most all applications. All except the SEF series are ambidextrous.
From the first time you picked up an HK select fire weapon, it may have had an SEF trigger group on it. You may have wondered what "SEF" stands for. Time for another German lesson.
The three letters of the most ubiquitous fire selector mean:
S = Sicher ((tsichaar) 'Safe' E= Einzelfeuer-- (Ine-tsell-foyer) Literal translation is 'single fire'. Semi-auto in English. F= Feuerstoß (pronounced foyer-schtoss) The letter that looks like a capital B is called an ess-tset and pronounced like a double 's'. Literal translation is 'burst fire' or full automatic in English.
This translation would not be complete without the 'informal' English translation:
S= Safe E= Economical F= FUN!
I have had more than one German site visitor contact me who has been a member of a various branch of the German military. They have told me that their humorous meaning for 'F' is "Frieden." (Peace) They remarked that after setting the G3 to "peace," everything afterward will be peaceful.
One additional note. The burst groups are often also referred to as 'Navy' groups. This is incorrect. The Navy trigger group only refers to one of the seven main trigger groups. It is the group that has ambidextrous selector levers and that is only capable of safe-semi-and full automatic selection. Burst groups are not also correctly known as Navy groups.