The HK33E is the first 5.56x45 caliber rifle to use the delayed roller lock bolt first perfected in the G3. The 33 is a downsized G3 made for the smaller cartridge. In semiautomatic only form for American consumption, (at least until 1989,) it is known as the HK93, with a precursor model produced for a short time called the HK43. Most common with steel 25 round magazines, 40 round aluminum magazines are plentiful, but more recently, steel 30 round magazines have been introduced by HK for the Law Enforcement and Military market. The magazines for this rifle are extremely durable, and will usually function quite well after having been run over by a vehicle.
Most common variants are the HK33A2 and A3, almost universal terms for the description of the fixed and retractable stock versions of most all HK weapons, with the odd exception of the G3. The G3A3 is fixed stock, and the G3A4 is the retractable version. See the G3 page for explanation.
Another German lesson though, the "A" in A2 and A3 or A4 and A5 for that matter stands for "Ausfuhrung" or "version" in English.
Modes of Fire
bbl. length (in/mm)
Overall Length (in.mm)
5.56 x 45
HK33EA2 with factory 25 round magazine and 0-1-25 trigger group.
HK33KEA3 with factory 30 round magazine, three round burst trigger group and newer style A3 buttstock. (Concave buttplate like MP5 series, rather than convex like G3A4 series.)
HK33E-TGS. This is the designation that HK uses to describe a weapon equipped with the add-on HK79 40mm grenade launcher. TGS stands for "Tactical Group Support." The trigger for the HK79 is the button on the middle left of the launcher receiver just above the barrel. This setup would only be outdone in weight by the G3-TGS.