Cal. 4.6mm x 30
It goes without saying that the engineers at HK are not content to rest on their laurels. There is much under development whose information will only be released to the public perhaps years from now. Latest to become from HK, and first seen here in detail is the "PDW." PDW stands for 'Personal Defense Weapon.' This unfortunately is going to be a bit confusing for the student of HK, because this is the third firearm by HK to have 'PDW''as either all or part of its name. The others are: MP5K-PDW, and the prototype G11 PDW.
What appears upon first look to be a weapon design to compete with the FN series P90 in 5.7mm x 28, the PDW promises to be a huge improvement on that system. Though no one could fault the engineers at Fabrique Nationale for their vision, the P90 has one reported serious flaw. If you drop a partially loaded magazine, or the gun with a partially loaded magazine, rounds will go flying, get disoriented in the magazine and seriously jam the mechanism.
The heavy use of polymer again shows the design direction that the HK engineers are taking. With a conventional 20 round magazine in the pistol grip or an optional 40 round magazine that extends below the gun, one of the most amazing aspects of the gun is its size, or lack thereof. It is only slightly larger than a SOCOM pistol!
Sporting a retractable shoulder stock and a very small heads up display sight reminiscent of the Eotech/Bushnell Holosight, the PDW also has a T-shaped cocking handle somewhat like the M16 series.
Select fire, with safe, semi and full auto modes of fire, and production models sporting the now familiar red and white bullet in box pictograms, the stated cyclic rate on full automatic is 950 rpm. The PDW has a foldable forward vertical grip. The magazine is conventional staggered box, and the magazine release behind the trigger guard looks almost interchangeable with the USP series handguns.
Several features of the G36 series are present in the PDW as you can see in the photos below. Extensive use of polymer, the rotating bolt and gas system all reflect the G36 series.
The PDW is a quintessential reminder of the lead that HK continues to take in small arms design.
Update: 11/2001: The PDW has been named MP7 now that it is in production. Below is the production version. Notice the heavier buttstock, slightly changed markings, locking system on foregrip, flash hider and open sight option.