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Discussion Starter #1
Welp, I posted a thread back in December about pre-May HKs. I'm happy to say that I now have an HK33 in hand an I have a G3FS on the way.

The HK53 was mentioned in the other thread, but I don't really have any interest in a 5.56 with such a short barrel. I'd like an MP5SD, but I'm waiting on a MK9K from Gemtech for my current MP5 so the MP5SD isn't terribly exciting.

But I still really, really want an HK21. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the market for pre-May versions. I saw one up on Sturm last spring for about $35k, but I have no idea if it sold or if it was actually a pre-May. At one point I dug up an old auction on one that appeared to have sold for $6k, but it might have been a post-sample. Is there any information anywhere about HK21s? Prices, number imported, different configurations, reasons to buy one, reasons to avoid them, anything at all? Does anybody have (or know someone who has) an HK21 that they are considering parting with? I know that parts are costly (barrels $1000+, rear sights $300+, etc.) but that isn't really a concern at this point. I'm also under the impression that the belt-feed mechanism can be replaced with a magazine adapter to turn it into an HK11, which I think is kind of neat.

I'm similarly curious about the HK23. Is it perhaps more common than the HK21 since it is 5.56 instead of 7.62? I haven't seen any of them for sale ever, though.
 

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You might want to seriously look at the 21e/23e variation on the original.

The "e" for export is a much better system IMO. I have owned both. Only have "e"'s now.
 

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My understanding is the conversion to a mag fed 308 (HK11) is limited to the HK21e which has the drop down feed system vs. the slide in feed system of the HK21, however, not 100% on this. My experience with friends post sample HK21s (and conversions have been worst) has been similar to Harris51, none of them are near the latter model HK23e or Mike's clone the MM23e/MM21e.

Don't know if there are any "reasonable" prices pre may samples of the the HK21e or if these were even out then ....

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I agree with you both that the 23E is the way to go - I didn't realize the difference between the 21 and 21E was so drastic. I won't use the terms interchangeably any more. I want an HK21E and an HK23E.
 

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Yes, the differences between a HK 21 and the improved 21E are pretty dramatic. If you are truly serious about wanting a transferable HK21e, the best route to go is find a post sample, have it cut to ATF specifcations, then put back together by a reputable C2 manufacturer (RDTS, TSC, Mike's Machines) with an HK registered receiver. I've gone this route and although it's expensive, the finished HK21E is indistinguishable from a post sample HK21E.
 

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I have a couple of 21's and 21E and MM23E. When I purchased the first 21 it went straight to RDTS for the upgrade. I have only fired a 21 that was upgraded by Ralph and they do not have problems others mention. I did the upgrade on the 2nd 21 and I have had the same luck. I know he modifies the carrier, feed box assembly and changes it to accept the 21E stock and recoil rod and spring.

My point is if you purchase a 21 have the modifications done by one of the HK smiths and you will have a dependable rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not interested in a transferrable HK21E - I want a pre-May dealer sample. I don't see them for sale very often though and I have no clue what kind of price I'd be looking at.
 

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I don't think your going to have any luck finding a pre-sample HK21E, as the model didn't come come out until 1990. There might be a few first model pre-samples 21's out there, but no "E" configurations to my knowledge as pre-86 dealer samples.
 

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I'm not interested in a transferrable HK21E - I want a pre-May dealer sample. I don't see them for sale very often though and I have no clue what kind of price I'd be looking at.
There in is the "rub". I don't believe I've ever seen an ad for a Pre Sample 21E for sale, so whatever a seller thinks the fair market value to be, would be what he will try to sell it for. Like the transferable MP5-10 push pin gun. The seller put it up for sale for $30,000. If it sits there the price is to high. How many HK factory Pre May belt guns are in the registry? I can't believe there are very many.

As I'm sure you are aware, it seems the going rate for a Pre Samples is about 1/2 the price of a transferable. Someone I know personally bought a transferable 21E made from a transferable HK RR and a 21E parts set. So 1/2 of what he paid would be around $16,000, as I recall. Now this was before the MM23. For a Pre May factory belt fed there would be the 21 and 21E. My understanding is the 21s were not a good design. The belt feeds into the side of the receiver. I guess most seem to agree that a stock 21 won't run well and will pound the daylights out of you and the gun itself. If there is a jam, there is no top cover to pull to clear the jam. It is also my understanding that there might or might not be an example or two of the 21E as a Pre Sample. If one were to come up for sale, since it is such a limited market, it would come down to what you and the seller could agree upon for a price. The 21E has a swing down mechanism which allows the mechanism to be opened up to clear a jam. I personally like the 21E off the should. It shoots well and the recoil is reasonable.

While it would certainly be cool to own a factory belt fed HK gun, with the reputation of the 21, I personally would stay away from it. God only knows when, or even if, a Pre May 21E would become available for sale. The last Post Sample 21E I noticed for sale, was several years ago and the seller wanted $10,500. He would not cut it up for the parts set, he wished to sell it as a Post Sample. Good luck with the purchase of a factory Pre Sample HK belt gun.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Those last two posts are exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! If the 21E didn't exist until after 1986, then it looks like there is no hope for acquiring one short of buying a pre-May G3 and chopping it up - if I can't have a factory gun I might as well get a transferrable RR HK91 and chop that up instead. And if the regular 21 is as bad as scottinthegrove says, then it sounds like a conversion really is my best bet.
 

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I too would not buy a pre-sample 21 or 21e as shooting the 10's of 1000s of rounds would surely reduce value over time.

I would take a close look at a transferable sear and a clone such as the MM23e.

The sears have been holding there value and appreciating nicely and the clones hosts can be purchased new and repaired at a somewhat reasonable cost.

Do you come to the Big Sandy. I would be happy to let you try out the MM23e and MM21e.
 

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I'm not sure of the exact dates as far as which model was imported when. I looked up HK21 on Wikipedia Heckler & Koch HK21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and it said that the 21A1 (which is very similar to the 21E with a swing down feed mech) was done in the 70's and the E guns were done in the 80's. The MP5 started production in '66. But there are very few imported before the GCA of '68. So the guns might have started production but might not have been imported. I've seen a 21A1 that was built with a transferable G3 receiver and a parts set. It had very similar characteristics to the 21E. I don't know how "factory correct" the configuration was. But the swing down mech is a big plus.

Not to get into your business, but what is it exactly you are looking to do? If you want a RR HK belt fed gun, I'd talk to Mike a TSC Machine. My understanding is he has done several RR + parts set = HK belt fed guns. I'm sure he would be a great resource as far as what is or could be available. To convert a G3 won't be a factory gun. The HK 21E/23E parts sets are made of unobtainium. My limited understanding is a HK 23E conversion kit (bolt group, barrel, and feed mech) would have a market value of around $7,500. Of course that is a dream as you'd have to find one for sale. To me the easiest route to go is buy a MM23 and a sear. The original MM23E gun is in 5.56X45. I understand that a MM21E conversion to 7.62X51 is available with a 7.62X39 conversion in the works. My understanding is the original MM guns are reverse engineered copies of the E guns. Mike also has a K variant with a shorter shroud for use with shorter barrels. That would be better to shoot off hand.

Now of course if you bought an original HK belt fed gun, you could send it to the HK repair facility in OH if you had a problem. But anything that isn't factory, they won't touch. Give Mike at TSC a call. I'm sure he could give you some insights on what you'd be able to find or do for a HK gun. Beyond that, I'd just go buy a Micheal's Machine belt fed. Parts are available, and they can fix it if you break it. Good luck with your belt fed project.

Scott
 

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There are at least 3 HK21 "E" pre-samples that I know of.
They were done prior to 86 after they lost the SAW trials to FN
in 82/83. The "E" was added to the name for "export" as HK Germany
did not use them and only exported them to other countries.
 

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There are at least 3 HK21 "E" pre-samples that I know of.
They were done prior to 86 after they lost the SAW trials to FN
in 82/83. The "E" was added to the name for "export" as HK Germany
did not use them and only exported them to other countries.
Ugg.... I was going to get a RR and go the TSC + 21EC parts kit=RR 21EC now I want a pre sample 21E. Why do I visit this site?????/
 

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Yes, the differences between a HK 21 and the improved 21E are pretty dramatic. If you are truly serious about wanting a transferable HK21e, the best route to go is find a post sample, have it cut to ATF specifcations, then put back together by a reputable C2 manufacturer (RDTS, TSC, Mike's Machines) with an HK registered receiver. I've gone this route and although it's expensive, the finished HK21E is indistinguishable from a post sample HK21E.
Nice setup, just for education I would be interested in how the manufacture worked around all the markings on the mag well, or is this the case where just the sn remains on top and everything else gets restamped?
 

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If your interested in a HK21E/23E parts kits (feed-mechs,barrels and carrier bolt groups) actually these are German parts (made from obtainium LMAO) in factory new condition i know where you can get some. [email protected]
 
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