Let’s summarize most Hecker and Koch MR762 A1 reviews so we can move on – this is a really expensive gun that’s a literal dream to shoot, has crazy sex appeal and if you can afford it you should buy it. Okay, but what can you DO with it? I’ve read something like “Woohoo, we took it to range and it’s sweet” plenty. So yeah, I took it to range at Tac Pro Shooting Center and shot 400 yards with an Aimpoint T-1. I also took it hunting. Helicopter hog hunting that is. That might just be a first.
Quick rewind, let’s start at the beginning, before SHWAT™. I’m going through grad school and connect with a black rifle enthusiast. He introduces me to black rifles via the venerable HK91, a semi auto .308 military rifle. One trip to his farm and I’m in love.
Put down the old guns, and get one of these, I think. Never happened.
Much later, my brother and fellow founder here begins carrying a HK USP Compact in .40 S&W for a while. Very nice gun, and quite good looking with its stainless slide. Yeah, this sounds like a normal HK review at this point, but the difference is that I didn’t want one. The ergos just weren’t there for me. With the intro of the HK45 and P30, however, I’m back in the HK “want” mode.
2014 rolls around and while I’ve seen the MR762 at SHOT Show a couple of times, I’ve yet to run it. For all the same reasons you’re reading this, I want to get my hands on the big gun to see if what I’ve read lines up with reality.
Word on the web is that this gun is heavy, but I need to find out myself. So what exactly is heavy for a .308/7.62 semi auto rifle? At 9.6 pounds, the HK rifle sits between the Knights Armament SR25’s 10.4 pounds and the Sig 716’s 9.3 pounds. My current night hunting rig is an IWI Tavor with a ATN THoR thermal scope and it weighs most of 10 pounds empty. So, no, it’s not lightweight, but practically speaking, it’s not a big deal.
You may already know that MR stands for Match Rifle. I read online that you can hit steel targets consistently at 200 yards or so. Hardly match rifle standards. I read online that after an initial break in of a few hundred rounds it can shoot one hole at a hundred yards. But my interest isn’t in a big scope on this and one hole in paper. My question is, “For real, is this an awesome tactical hog hunting rifle or is there some secret reason I can’t find a single hunting review of this gun?”
Here’s my accuracy test: Mount an Aimpoint T-1 Red dot optic with no magnification and head to visit Bill Davison at Tac Pro Shooting Center. A 30 yard zero is fine for helicopter hunting, but we went for 50 to cover the bases a bit more. Zero isn’t really what we did either. After 5 bullets at 50 yards Bill knocked down eight inch steel plates and handed me the gun. A quick tweak and I was knocking them down. “Close enough, let’s go to the 400,” he quips with his British accent.
Four hundred yards with a red dot? You bet, and done while hanging out the window of my jeep in light rain. With a little bit of coaching, I’m ringing 18×20 inch steel. Unreal. Good trigger helps, too. I wouldn’t call it a match trigger, but it’s two stages of super smooth. And that surprises me a little. I’m no gunsmith, but the MR762 has a drop safety to prevent unintentional discharge when the gun is dropped 1.5 meters onto concrete. You’d think that might have an adverse affect. I’ve shot guns with lame triggers where the goal was to pass that test. Not this one.
Enough of the range. Time go tactical hog hunting, and what could be more “Special Hog Weapons and Tactics” than an HK MR762 on a helicopter hog hunt? I hit the road for Rule, Texas, population 637. Hogs outnumber people around there most of the time. Porkchoppers Aviation has two R22 helicopters standing by. Russ Flanary will be my pilot while Gideon Carmichael will fly the other with Eric Lewis running cameras. There’s a lot more to say about the helicopter hunt experience, but I’ll save it for another story. Suffice it to say that the two choppers working together and not hitting each other makes for some magnificent aerial ballet!
Quick side note here – summer isn’t typically a good time for aerial hog hunting. It’s hot and the hogs aren’t moving much during the day. They are safely hidden away and not eager to run for our sporting pleasure. And hog control. The high body counts of fall, winter, and spring seem mythical this summer.
Reloading mags in the helicopter isn’t really a good idea. Though as easily as the HK proprietary magazines load, I guess it could be done. I know it sounds weird, but it’s the easiest loading magazine I’ve ever messed with. Every click of a round locking in makes me want to smile. Sorry, you caught me sounding like every other reviewer… Reality check, the 20 round mags I’m running cost eighty to a hundred bucks each online! They’re made in Germany, but still… I don’t what to say about that, really.
As the rotor spins up, I pull the charging handle. It feels hydraulic. There is no über fancy high tech coating on the rifle’s moving parts that I know of.. The MR762 is just that well made. A short flight later we’re buzzing the tops of trees looking for feral pigs. Here a deer, there a rabbit, but sure enough it’s summertime and the hogs are hiding or on vacation along with half of America. We flush one big pig. The chopper is moving to give me a shot. The hog is running across a narrow field between thick foliage.
I’m unaware that I’m shouldering ten pounds of rifle and 308 DRT ammo. I bring the Aimpoint T-1’s red dot up on the running hog and pull the trigger. My headset crackles with congrats from my pilot Russ and Gideon in the other chopper. But my shot isn’t perfect, and Mr. Pig is still moving, though more slowly. I shoot some more as we continue aerial maneuvers and put some rounds in the dirt around the pig and another couple in him. Why stop? This is a fun and exciting challenge!
Truth is, I’d wondered if I’d notice running the .308 with heavier recoil and blast up there. I’m shooting and Russ is getting more than his share of hot brass on his hand. But recoil? What recoil? The large tungsten filled buffer and oversized buffer spring do a terrific job of mitigating recoil. I’m not even aware that I’m shooting .308. Granted, I am a bit distracted. Okay, a lot distracted, but the recoil on this piston system HK is like the rest of it – smooth. That’s a change of pace, given most piston/direct impingement gas system comparisons show piston systems to be sharper in their recoil pulse. I’m sure Heckler and Koch could explain the physics, but for me I’m satisfied with the simple “it’s an HK” explanation.
In the end, while the HK MR762 A1 is a direct descendent of the military’s HK417 it is a civilian .308 hog hunter’s dream! It’s an amazing hunting rifle and a rock star military rifle all in one. The smooth trigger helps you get the most out of the German barrel’s accuracy, minimized recoil helps with follow up shots and seeing the bullet impact. MSRP is $3995, but I’ve found them for a mere $3400 online. Did I say mere? “No Compromise” is Heckler and Koch’s slogan. This gun has the research and development of the HK417, and embodies their slogan. If no compromise is your standard, this is your gun, regardless of the price. Get a piggy bank. Feral piggy bank…?