Heckler & Koch, GmbH. The company that has singularly come to symbolize the pinnacle of modern firearms engineering. GmbH is the German abbreviation for "Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung", or roughly translated, "Corporation with limited liability" would be the English counterpart. In existence since 1949, there is remarkably little information about the founders or the history of the company, other than what has been written as generalization in countless articles that focus more on the unique quality of their firearms. There is even a dearth of photographs of the factory, but here you will see many images of production that you have never seen before. Heckler & Koch is currently owned by a consortium of investors, three German and one British. Two of the German investors are longtime employees/managers, and since taking over the company from Royal Ordnance, a subsidiary of British Aerospace Engineering, in December, 2002, they have been busy expanding their reach. Plans were just announced in August, 2003 for a United States manufacturing facility in Columbus, Georgia.We will start with an aerial shot of the Oberndorf am Neckar Plant. Am Neckar means that Oberndorf is located near the Neckar River in southern Germany, south of Stuttgart. It is in the "state" of Baden Württemberg, more like a large county in United States vernacular. You will see on many of your HK firearms: "HK GmbH Oberndorf" ...now you know what that means.