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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What do you guys think?
Have a very nice all original Pre May HK53 (ID / 1983 , 1/7 twist) came with HK #15 locking piece, was shooting Winchester / Federal white box both 5.56 62gr. M855, 5.56 55gr. M193, and some dirty ass Monarch brass .223 55gr. Had HK made 30rd/25rd steel mags, 40rd steel unknown mag, and 40rd HK aluminum mags.
Fired fast rate, FA, indoor range, paper target looked normal, shot about 170 rounds - had one (1) FTE, crushed the heck out of a fired cartridge case/front-mid section. 53 was cleaned before and after shooting of course.
Went another day and tried my HK #3 LP.... same type of ammo, seemed a little bit "slower" also got one (1) out of about 200 rds fired FTE a fired cartridge case.
The attached pics are all of the #3 LP fired cartridges.
Note the crazy keyholes at 7 yards, WTFudge is going on? Are the flute marks even around the top case neck area normal BTW? (yes was blasting for fun only ha!) The prior #15 LP fired cartridges did not have the keyholing? I noticed the spent cartridges looked all kinda scratched up on the rims and powder/carbon rings around the rims as well.
I have now changed, but not fired yet, the extractor, extractor pin, firing pin spring, and thinking about the whole recoil rod/spring as well. After the 2nd range trip, with the #3 LP, I noted the extractor was loose to touch and reason for the above replacements thus far.
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Thank you all as always for your time and advice!
 

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The 53 is very ammunition sensitive. You will want to run one kind of ammunition or you will drive yourself crazy. The keyholing has nothing to do with LP. One of the ammunition did not stabilize. Is your barrel marked 178?

An indoor range is difficult to diagnose a 53. Head to an outdoor range. You need to see what your brass is doing. Start with the #3 and one type of ammunition. If the brass looks like it is being thrown overhanded you are good. If the brass looks like it is thrown underhanded or lethargic you need to go down to the #15 lp.

What the 53 can do to brass is pretty spectacular. I have had brass smashed 2/3 of the way down the case.

The only thing I would recommend replacing now is the extractor spring and the recoil rod/spring assembly. The recoil system is very important in the rollerlocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Awesome Bauerbd, makes perfect sense now thank you very much and will follow your wise advice for sure! Got to know the keyholing ammo identity.
The barrel is marked "HJN" but per the attached great source, (hope not violating anything) should be 1:7, the serial # is 1115XX right outside those listed.
I'm kinda new to the MG/SMG world and learning, with a lot more to learn. = Your so 110% right OMG about this sensitive little HK, my M10/9mm and FA Galil .308 can laugh at her. 😉 - My o my and add the concerns about bolt gap, a drama queen with a feisty attitude she is!
I got a HK #7 LP as well, not used yet. So hope to "dial in" this little beast.
I'm just curious... is the sister slightly longer bbl HK33K (12"+) such a ammo queen as well lol!?
...Will have to find a FA friendly outdoor range in Houston/Houston area... "American" Shooting Center (biggest & nice) is NOT FA friendly at all.
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One day (retirement?) be my best dream to own some county acreage to shoot freely from own backyard. - Sorry I digress.
Again appreciate it and stay safe!
 

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Wow that’s crazy. My 53 runs almost any variant 223/556 with my #3 locking piece and it runs it like a sewing machine and chugs along? Can your flutes be extremely dirty? I use a chamber brush almost after any hard runs after a day of shooting? Maybe try a bore light to see the flutes? Or as above mentioned. Try one specific ammo and one LP. One thing I’ll will mention. I don’t jump around much with different ammo grains and manufacture. Once I find the performance of one I stick with it. The one I like the most right now is the Aguila 556 stuff. Ymmv. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Komodoj for your reply, good idea to check them flutes will do Sir! Be surprised if clogged flutes, but anything is possible?
Interesting, Aguila, Mexico ammo... I'm familiar with their .22lr 60gr ammo (yes that's 60gr. .22 long rifle!) good stuff! Also indeed smart to stick with the One best functioning/performance ammunition... tho I never had to do that for any other of my prior firearms, title I title II. BTW? Do these 53s like to run wet? Or just standard type lube only needed? Thanks!
 

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While you're at it replace the Ejector lever spring, small part but it's an important part of the system and relatively inexpensive to purchase, and easily installed.
I run my 53 "wet" and clean and lube it often. I don't use any steel cased ammo and I know you said yours was brass so that's not an issue however, try using as mentioned above one brand of Quality ammo all of the same Weight. I use only the #15 LP which was supplied with it when new and have had zero issues.
You did not mention where the empties were landing in relation to the shooting position however, if it was at an indoor range with barriers it would probably be a moot point. In an outdoor setting they should be landing at the 2 o'clock position about 10-15' out from the shooter.
The 53 as most HK rifles are is a bit on the rough side as far as the brass goes. Don't worry about it. The occasional piece of unusable brass is not really something I concern myself with as long as the projectiles exit the barrel and impact the target. The "Key hole" effect you notice is from a destabilized projectile striking the target, which can be attributed to a number of things but, my guess is that it's ammo related vs, barrel related. Try using Heavier Quality projectiles. The 53 is not "Match Grade" so don't expect it to be. You don't mention how many rounds are down the pipe or the condition of the barrel, all which influence the accuracy of any gun and this too may be of issue if all else fails although, I doubt that is the problem.

Best of luck and have fun.
 

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Not a 53 guru by any stretch, but unless you’ve already “for sure” verified what twist rate you have, the keyholes from 7 yards would make me double check what twist I have. The cleaning patch method is easy and although not 100% accurate, should be able to easily discern 1/7 twist from 1/12.
My HK53 and 33k (conversions) both mangle and throw brass into the next zip code.
 

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Not a 53 guru by any stretch, but unless you’ve already “for sure” verified what twist rate you have, the keyholes from 7 yards would make me double check what twist I have. The cleaning patch method is easy and although not 100% accurate, should be able to easily discern 1/7 twist from 1/12.
My HK53 and 33k (conversions) both mangle and throw brass into the next zip code.
I agree. Your barrel is likely not 178 unless marked. That is why you are having issues stabilizing 62 grain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes Gentlemen I did not 100% confirm if it's a true 1/7 twist. Will try to do that swab test.
Only shot it twice, new to me, seems to be in top condition, inside and out. Upgraded/" modernized"it with: 0, 1, 3, F trigger pack, 4 prong FH, and have a A3 convex collapsible stock, all HK made items.
Will get new recoil assembly rod/spring from HK Parts.
Yes, only fired it in a limited indoor range so I can't tell it's true ejection pattern. Will need to carefully see exactly what type of ammo yields what type of results, with which LPs of #3, #15 or perhaps even #7? Did not really know or say "appreciate" the actual "finesse" of the 53... after I get it figured out - thanks to u'alls tips/insights, be a fine clean running German machine for sure! Much appreciated friends! I will report my results for sure especially since you guys took your time to help me out! Everyone stay well stay safe!
 

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Apples and potato's but with my 53 built from a C93 from Ghilliebear, my 53 will shoot any brand of ammo with the #3,7 or 8 LP. Not sure why my 53 is so carefree on ammo or locking pieces but they are fun to shoot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your a lucky lad indeed!
I so far used HK #15 and #3 locking pieces with same one (1) jam FTE per shooting session (about 170-200 rds fired each trip.) Did not try the #7 LP yet.
I'm hoping once I get all the springs changed out, will be smooth sailing w/o a single FTE of spent mangled/crushed cases...
I would be happy if 1 out of 3 LPs work with simple brass 5.56/.223 55gr. and 62gr. ammunition. Will see and report...
Thanks Har1340
 

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Though I once owned a pre 86 DS 53 myself, I never fired it (it had been unfired since rebuild when I got it so I kept it that way)…another part of why I never shot it prior to parting with it was that my 33k filled my 5.56 HK wants/needs…that said I can only speak to the performance of the 33k and I’ve gotta say it couldn’t care less what it shoots…and as I seem to hear lots of 53 woes from folks, Im lead to wonder if the 53s are so very temperamental, or the 33ks so exceptional, or is my scope of experience so narrow that it only seems that way to me 🤷🏻‍♂️ Because, if their (the 53s) issues can be resolved by simply adding a few more inches of barrel, why wouldn’t all the 53s become 33s…
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Interesting perspective of HK33K Vs. HK53... I'm only laymen guessing at that time in era late '60s-'70s they wanted the shortest possible 5.56/.223 FA rifle?
As of now I feel my issues with the 53 are very minor and can be corrected to function even better, idk if it will or can ever be as less ammo sensitive as an AK-47 design SBR? - speaking of apples and cantaloupes ha ha! Not trying to flame my little drama queen 😀. Thanks HKBJJ!
 

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This topic is so odd. I have a PM Hk53. Shoots any grain with any locking piece, FLAWLESSLY!!! I just prefer the Aguila 223 55gr because it seems cleanest and runs the slowest with the #3 LP. I love it, yes more than my m16! I maybe have had four stoppages entirely since I’ve been shooting it and it was with older wolf or old ammo. Ymmv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
WoW yet another lucky HK53 Man! - U'all beginning to make me feel bad. O wow again, 53 over your M16... never shot such $$$ MG... imagined would be silky smooth shooting?
Believe me, want nothing but flawless shooting with my 53 as well as you Gentlemen report! = So I know it can be achieved!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
VERY NICE!
Being a left handed shooter, can appreciate the custom case deflector as well. Beautiful Setup HAR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
O yes for sure! Took me a bit of time and $$ to get the other two (2) HK made #3 and #7 locking pieces (came with #15 LP.) Not a HK snob, just wanted to keep this Pre May 53 all German. Appreciate it friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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...Let's see if the Galil MR336 can teach the HK53 how to behave properly!
 
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