The HK53

The firearms industry strives with each passing year to make…

The firearms industry strives with each passing year to make continual improvements to just about every weapon system. But just as this evolution occurs, taking a look back at some of the best weapons is not only instructive but fun. Some of the firearms that have faded into the background were amongst the best ever developed. One of these is the Heckler & Koch HK53 rifle.

The HK53 is a short-barreled version of the HK33, a select-fire entry weapon chambered in 5.56 x 45 mm. Of all the entry weapons I fielded as a SWAT officer, this was easily my favorite. Simple, reliable, easy to maintain and fantastic on the move, it was the Cadillac of rifle-caliber entry weapons of its time.


Join me in a look back at his fine weapon and take a look at my column coming up in Guns & Weapons of Law Enforcement. We take a look at the gun’s history, some of its operating system specifics, and its strongest points as an entry weapon. It truly was a fine rifle built by skilled workers. In a day and age where everything seems to be about production schedules, composites and computers, it is nice to remember a time when things were different.

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  • Jim D – Michigan

    I carried this weapon every day for 10 years, on patrol, in narcotics and SWAT. Well over 100K rounds through it, splendid behavior never had a problem. Boy do I miss it!