Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Next Generation Heckler & Koch HK33 Variant Series Assault Rifle

HK33 Assault Rifle
The HK G33 Assault Rifle uses delayed blowback operation with roller locking, like the G-3 series. It has a two piece bolt, however. Like late-production G-3s, the HK-33 Assault Rifl is built using as many stamped steel components as possible, including a stamped steel receiver. The primary variants of the HK-33 have a fixed polymer stock (the HK G33A2 Assault Rifle, considered the “standard” version of the HK-33) and a 15.35-inch barrel, a fixed polymer stock with an integral folding bipod (the HK-33A2SG), a sliding metal stock (the HK-33A3), the HKG33K Assault Rifle with a 12.67 inch barrel and sliding stock (though a fixed polymer stock is optional), and the HK G33SG1 Assault Rifle, optimized for use as a designated marksman’s rifle. (The latter weapon will be found in German Sniper Rifles.) In addition, there is a kit available to allow any version to be modified for use with .22 Long Rifle ammunition for training purposes.

HK-33A2 Assault Rife

All of these weapons may also be found with the option to fire 3-round bursts, fully automatic fire, or semiautomatic fire (with the exception of the training version). A civilian version of the HK-33A2 Assault Rifle capable only of semiautomatic fire is also available (the HK-93), and may be the best selling of the HK-33 line.

Introduced in 1965, the HK G33 Assault Rifle is essentially a G-3 7.62mm rifle scaled down to 5.56mm NATO dimensions. As the HK- 33 was never intended for large-scale use by German forces, it is normally heard referred to as the HK-33E (“E” for export). The only official large-scale military sales were made to the Thai and Mexican armed forces, but the HK-33 is one of those weapons that can be found just about anywhere. The civilian model is manufactured primarily in Great Britain instead of in Germany. Though I have been unable to nail down the exact date, military versions of the HK-33 series have apparently been out of production since about 1990.

HKG33K Assault Rifle

Perhaps the rarest production version of the HK-33 series, the HK-32, appeared in 1965, though a short time later than the HK-33 (despite the designation). With the HK-32, Heckler & Koch hoped to break the Russian/Warsaw Pack/Chinese stranglehold on weapons firing the 7.62mm Kalashnikov cartridge by offering a rifle with a more modern design. Heckler & Koch designed magazines for the HK-32; rumors state that early-production models could also use standard AK/RPK-type magazines. Prototype HK-32s used a flash suppressor which was simply a thickened muzzle with slots cut into it; production examples use a flash suppressor similar to that of the HK-33 Assault Rifle series.

For the most part, the HKG32 Assault Rifle is otherwise identical to the HK-33 except for the changes necessary for the use of the 7.62mm Kalashnikov cartridge. There is also an exceedingly-rare variant of the HK-32, the HK-32K, which is a short-barreled variant corresponding to the HK-33K. Though Heckler & Koch did in fact build and sell a small number of HK-32s, to whom and when these sales occurred is largely unknown as well as undisclosed and unconfirmed. Rumors range from the US Navy SEALs and other special operations units to well-heeled civilian firearms enthusiasts. Production was always very low-rate, and stopped entirely in 1982. To complicate the issue a bit more, some custom firearms builders in the US (most notably Bill Fleming) have modified small numbers of HK-91s (civilianized G-3s) into rifles closely resembling HK-32s.

The GR series of assault rifles is somewhat of a mystery are they their own series of short assault rifles, are they a further subtype of the HK-53 (in the case of the GR-2) and HK-33K (in the case of the GR-3), or simply specially-modified HK-53s and HK-33s? For the purposes of these pages, I will treat them the way a slight majority of firearms experts seem to regard them as subtypes of the HK-53 and HK-33. Development of the GR series began in the early- to mid-1980s (and there is even confusion about this); they were supposedly intended primarily for export and were not designed in response to any German Army or Federal Police requirement.

Apparently they were not sold in any noticeable numbers to any military or police forces anywhere in the world, though they first began appearing in rather small numbers in special operations of a few countries (particularly in German special ops un its) in the late 1980s. Even today, GR-series rifles are rarely seen anywhere, and even when they are spotted, there may be one or two being used by even large (for special ops) units.

Tag : HK G33 Assault Rifle, HK G33A2 Assault Rifle, and HK G33SG1 Assault Rifle


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