Cost and weight. Bottom line.
I don't "run" my guns or "run" anything on them. Likewise, none of my guns are "platforms". I hold them up, not the other way around.
Last edited by SudS; 01-22-2019 at 03:21 AM.
It's heavy for what it is, and the manual of arms is quirky. It doesn't lock back on the last shot, which is not ideal.
Other than that, it's a good rifle. Not perfect, but robust and effective by most metrics. I'd rather carry one in a conflict than the vintage M16A1's that we had in basic training, but that's me. I think a fair (and contemporaneous) comparison is an iron-sighted HK33 and an iron-sighted M16A1, and I'd consider them comparable. In particular, the original magazines for each rifle, in the 60's and 70's, should be considered, and the stock HK33 mags were better. I have heard that one of the reasons Navy SEALS liked them in Viet Nam was the availability of OEM 40 round magazines.
HK33 was popular, in it's day, in South America and southeast Asia. Most of those rifles are probably still working, somewhere, like the old G3's are, in countless conflict zones. Both rifles have been passed around a lot in South America, from country to country, enough to make the lefty arms-control kooks in Germany do back-flips, and accuse H&K of profiteering and war crimes.
Roller-locks make good "end of the world" rifles, but they are not modular like an M-4/ AR-15, and must be assembled and repaired by competent roller-lock gunsmiths/armorers. The HK33 was probably only ever cost effective if a nation was going to produce them locally, under license. They are stamped steel and don't require much strategic materials, like aluminum, in places where that would be a consideration.
It's also worth noting, in fairness, that the HK33 never truly had a 40+ year, fully-supported and funded Product Improvement Program, like the AR-15/ M-16/ M-4 has had.
"Remain yourself, in spite of all the mighty do."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe