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Heckler & Koch HK33

Assault rifle

HK33 assault rifle

The HK33 was not adopted by the German military, but was widely exported and is still used today

 
 
Country of origin Germany
Entered service 1968
Caliber 5.56x45 mm
Weight (empty) 3.9 kg
Length 919 mm
Barrel length 390 mm
Muzzle velocity ~ 750 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 25, 30, 40 rounds
Sighting range 400 m
Range of effective fire 400 m

 

   The successful Heckler & Koch G3 automatic rifle paved the way for other weapons, produced by this company, such as the MP5 submachine gun, PSG-1 sniper rifle, HK21 general purpose machine gun, and the HK33 assault rifle. The HK33 assault rifle was developed during the mid- and late 1960s. Essentially it is a scaled-down version of the G3 battle rifle, chambered for a new 5.56x45 mm NATO round. Production of the HK33 commenced in 1968. Sometimes this weapon is referred as the G33. Even though this weapon was not adopted by the West German military, it was used by police and security units. The German armed forces preferred their G3 automatic rifle instead. However this assault rifle was widely exported. Despite its age this assault rifle and its versions are used by nearly 20 countries from all over the world. Some of the operators include Brazil, Chile, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. This weapon was license-produced in France and in Turkey. The HK33 is still being produced in Germany. Though by modern standards this weapon is dated and is being phased-out in favor of modern assault rifles.

   The HK33 has the same roller-delayed blowback action, as used on the G3 battle rifle. It utilizes two piece bolt with two rollers, that delay bolt blowback. The receiver is made from stamped steel. This weapon is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm intermediate round.

   The HK33 is a selective fire weapon. The original trigger group had three positions for "safe", "semi-auto" and "full-auto". Trigger groups of newer weapons have an additional position for "3-round" burst. Modern versions are available with ambidextrous fire mode selector.

   Various magazines were developed for this weapon. The baseline is a 25-round capacity magazine. Weapon is also compatible with 30- and 40-round magazines, developed by the Heckler & Koch for this assault rifle. Though it seems that at some point 30- and 40- round magazines were discontinued, and this weapon comes as standard with the baseline 25-round magazine. Also there are smaller magazines from semi-automatic only rifles and larger drum magazines from light machine guns, that will fit the HK33.

   The baseline HK33 has a solid polymer buttstock. There is also a version of this weapon fitted with retractable metal stock.

   This weapon comes with diopter-type sights. The adjustable rear drum has settings for 200, 300 and 400 meters. A telescopic sight can be mounted via special adaptor on any of the HK33 series weapons.

   This assault rifle can launch rifle grenades and mount a HK79 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It can be also equipped with a knife-bayonet. For cleaning this assault rifle can be easily disassembled into some major components.

 

Variants

 

   HK33A2 is a version with a polymer fixes buttstock.

   HK33A3 is a version with a retractable stock.

   HK33K is a carbine version with a shorter barrel. Letter "K" in the designation stands for "Kurz" or short. There are versions of this weapon with fixed or retractable buttstocks (HK33KA2 and HK33KA3 respectively). Due to the shorter barrel this weapon can not launch rifle grenades, or mount underbarrel grenade launcher, or knife-bayonet.

   HK33SG1 is an specialized marksman model, equipped with a telescopic sight and improved trigger.

   HK33E is an export version of the HK33. Letter "E" in the designation stands for "Export" It was introduced in 1985.

   HK43 is a semi-automatic version of the HK33. It is mainly intended for civilians. It was produced between 1974 and 1989.

   HK93 is another semi-automatic version, intended mainly for civilians. It is a further development of the HK43.

   G41 is an assault rifle, designed to be used with caseless ammunition. It was developed alongside the caseless G11 assault rifle. The G11 was intended for frontline troops, while the G41 was intended for the second line troops. The whole G11 program was stopped in the early 1990s. The caseless G41 was offered for possible export customers, but received no production orders.

   HK53 is a compact assault rifle with a short barrel. Its foregrip resembles that of the MP5 submachine gun. The HK53 comes with telescopic metal stock. It was developed in the mid 1970s. This weapon is referred by the Heckler & Koch company as a "submachine gun". The HK53 is intended for the troops or various security and special forces operators, who need a compact weapon for close ranges, which would pack a heavier punch than submachine guns. Due to its short barrel the HK53 can not launch rifle grenades or mount an underbarrel grenade launcher, or knife-bayonet. This compact assault rifle is in service with a number of operators.

   HK13 and  HK23 light machine guns. These weapons are fed from either box- or drum-type magazines. Also these weapons have a quick-change barrel for sustained fire and are fitted with bipod.

 

 
HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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HK33 assault rifle

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