Now this is what I'm talking about - the look, the weight, the firepower - the name!

Shooters and would-be shooters, Rule of thumb: If it's got the Heckler & Koch brand, get it!

Nazi Germany brought us the Granddaddy of All Assault Rifles - the StG 44 Sturmgewehr 44.

West German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch is responsible for a distinguished line of great guns, like the MP-5 submachinegun, the G11 assault rifle and the H&K SR9 sniper rifle.

By all indications, the German gun makers aren't slowing down, not when there's a market for lightweight, dependable, fast-shooting, man-portable weapons and the Special Ops teams to field 'em.

And when us Yanks and the Krauts put our heads together, we usually come up with a winner.

Such is true of the Heckler & Koch 416 assault rifle. The 416 is really an M4 carbine (can you say, Colt U.S.A.?) with a new gas system, compliments of Heckler & Koch's H&K G36 assault rifle.

The H&K416 comes as a complete gun or an upper receiver that fits any AR15 lower receiver.

That's the beauty of gun mixing and matching - like the deal between H&K and Colt. (Throw in an Israeli gun maker or buyer, and you get an extra egg roll.) Gun modularity - the ability to swap out gun parts - is what makes today's world of guns interesting. Take the AR15, the civilian version of the M16. Modularity makes it possible to keep the lower and mount something new and bigger on top.

For example, you have an AR15, but you lack a big-bore gun to hunt moose in Alaska.

No problemo.

Take your AR15 .223 upper off and add something a tad bigger, like the .458 SOCOM. Problem solved. Now you have all those big, shiny 250- to 600-grain bullets and the cannon to shoot them in.

Just don't take your new moose gun to Africa - they may not let you in with it.

The H&K416 is a gas-operated, rotating bolt gun designed by Herr Ernst Mauch. It has been in service since 2005 and used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike the SOCOM mentioned above, the standard H&K416 is chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO, although there is a larger version chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO and a half-dozen or more military and commercial variants.

Empty, the 416 weighs slightly more than 6 1/2 pounds. With the stock extended, it has an overall length of 27 1/2 inches and a barrel length of 10.4 inches (other barrel lengths include 14 1/2, 16 1/2 and 19.9 inches). The H&K416 is sure to make its presence felt on the field of battle with 20- or 30-round STANAG magazines and an impressive cycle rate of 850 rounds per minute. A cool, four-sided rail (top, bottom and sides) allows the range of lighting, optical and ranging devices to be bedded to the H&K416, further enhancing the modularity and battlefield efficiency of this new H&K assault rifle.