Update: 1/21/01: The G36C is now in production, and available to American law enforcement beginning in February, 2001. Suggested LE price is in the $1100 range. HKPRO was first to break the news of the G36C, with these first photos above and below, in May, 2000.
Although I am not satisfied with the quality of these photographs, you still for the first time ever will get a detailed look at the latest in the G36 series, the G36C. The "C" stands for "Compact." It originally stood for "Commando," but Colt had trademarked that name for their CAR15 variant with the 11.5 inch barrel. With a roughly eight inch barrel, the Commando has several changes that make this gun more appropriate for entry than the G36K, namely the open sights. The only drawback to the excellent optics on the G36 series appear to be for entry, even the red dot and its elevated position seem less than ideal.
Other noticeable changes include a shorter buttstock, a shorter four prong flash hider, shortened gas piston and obviously shorter handguard. All other features of the G36 series are retained.
The open sights have been borrowed from the UMP submachine gun, and the shortened rail making its first appearance on the G36C is sure to become a hit with SL8 variant rifle owners. They will no doubt appreciate the cleaner lines of this sight rail as compared to the conventional SL8 sights which go all the way to the end of the rifle, and point up in the air.
What is as yet undetermined is if this package will be offered as a retrofit kit for existing departmental G36Ks. An attractive option, it seems to go against HK's preference for selling entire guns, rather than conversion kits.
You saw this breaking HK news first at HKPRO!