Chronicle

1949 | Establishment of Heckler & Koch GmbH

Heckler & Koch is founded by Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch and Alex Seidel in 1949. At the outset, the company produces replacement parts for household appliances and bicycles. As one of only a few German firms, Heckler & Koch is already permitted to manufacture weapons and replacement parts for the police, German federal border police and the allied occupation troops during the armaments ban enforced by the Allies.

After the end of the armaments ban, as well as the decision in favor of German rearmament and the accompanying establishment of the Bundeswehr in 1955, Heckler & Koch is transformed into a purely armament business.

In 1959, Heckler & Koch is awarded a Bundeswehr supply contract for the G3 infantry rifle. It becomes the standard rifle of the Bundeswehr. Since then, Heckler & Koch has been a key element of the security infrastructure of Germany and the West.

1960s | Product expansion

Heckler & Koch concentrates on the continued development of modern weapon systems. Products like the MP5 machine pistol and the HK33 assault rifle come into being. In this way, Heckler & Koch continues to enhance its market position within the area of small arms.

1970s | Restructuring of business divisions

Product contracts increase in number, resulting in the business being divided into two business divisions in 1974: the hunting and sport weapon section, as well as police and defence technology.

From 1980 | Diversification strategy

From 1980, Heckler & Koch begins to diversify its business divisions into new areas like machinery and plant engineering, automation and precision technology.

1991 | Acquisition by Royal Ordnance

Heckler & Koch was purchased by Royal Ordnance, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Aerospace (now BAe Systems). Restructuring activities led Heckler & Koch's return to its "core business".

2002 | Acquisition by private owners

In 2002, Heckler & Koch is acquired by Andreas Heeschen and Keith Halsey. With its new owners, Heckler & Koch pursues a strategic reorientation: the product portfolio is diversified, distribution is internationalised, and the head office and production location of Oberndorf is boosted.

Within the scope of an investment program to the tune of EUR 80 million, the business invests in buildings, production facilities, infrastructure and the modernisation of the IT landscape. Machinery is updated in line with the latest standards, manufacturing capacities are increased by more than 100 per cent, and investment in research and development is also increased. In 2007, a new, expanded logistics centre comes into being. Since 2010, Heckler & Koch has additionally had a new training centre.

Our Company Founders

Edmund Heckler

* 2. 2. 1906 | † 2. 7. 1960
Edmund Heckler passed his apprenticeship with Messrs. Mauser. In 1925 he attended an engineering school in Esslingen. In 1936 he applied to work with Messrs. Schneider AG and quickly made a career with him finally managing three of their plants.

Theodor Koch

* 13. 5. 1905 | † 21. 10. 1976
Theodor Koch passed his apprenticeship as a precision mechanic. He then attended an engineering school in Esslingen. In 1924 he started work for Messrs. Mauser,Oberndorf as an engineer and stayed with them until 1931.

Alex Seidel

* 4. 7. 1909 | † 24. 10. 1989
Alex Seidel passed his apprenticeship with Messrs. Mauser to become an industrial mechanic. He then attended the Esslingen engineering school and started to work for Mauser again in 1932.

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