HS Produkt was founded as IM Metal in 1990, during the initial democratic changes in the Republic of Croatia. The company was situated in the town of Ozalj, Croatia, about 50 kilometers southwest of the capital Zagreb; in 2000 it was relocated to Karlovac.
At the beginning of 2001, following the success of the HS 2000 pistols on the world market, the company changed its name to HS Produkt.
HS Produkt's current production facility produces about 30,000 pistols per year with a trend of continued growth; ninety percent of production is exported to the United States. The number of employees rose from around 80 in 2000 to nearly 1000 in 2007, making HS Produkt the leading employer in Karlovac County.
Founders and co-owners of HS Produkt, Ivan Žabčić and Marko Vuković, are both mechanical engineers; Vuković is the chief designer behind most of the company's products.
Today the pistol is the standard sidearm of the Croatian Armed Forces and Police. It has attained a niche of its own on the world market; as of 2007, more than 500,000 pistols have been sold in the US, where it is popular both with law enforcement and the country's civilian market.
The information on the rifle is still somewhat sketchy. Apparently at least two prototypes have been produced: one superficially resembles the French FAMAS rifle , while the other has been compared with the Israeli IMI Tavor TAR-21. The rifle is 750 mm long, with a 500 mm barrel. Polymer parts are extensively used in the construction, and the weight of the rifle has been variously reported as 2.3 kg and 3 kg.
On November 19, the Croatian Ministry of Defence placed an order for an experimental batch of 50 rifles to be tested by the Croatian contingent currently deployed in Afghanistan within the ISAF. Full scale production will begin towards the end of 2008, when field testing is expected to be completed. Other nations, including Kuwait and Venezuela already showed interest in acquiring the rifle.