The oh-so-sweet German HK53 in 5.56mm (VIDEOS)

02/5/19 8:00 AM | by

The oh-so-sweet German HK53 in 5.56mm (VIDEOS)

The HK53, a shorty 5.56mm carbine reduced roughly to the same size as an MP5, was a disco-era classic that never really caught on but is fun at parties. Larry Vickers, who spent a lot of time in the 80s behind HK platforms, talks about the pluses and minuses of the design in the above segment.

The Heckler & Koch HK53 was designed in the 1970s as an ultra-compact version of their 5.56mm HK33– basically the West German answer to Moscow’s AKS-74U Krinkov or Colt’s various Commando and XM177 models. They saw some minor export success, and in the U.S. the pre-9/11 Border Patrol adopted them for some tac teams back in the day. A few semi-auto HK93s were reconfigured by Vollmer, Group, and others as an HK53 in the pre-Hughes era and they run big dollars these days.

Today select-fire 53s are pretty scarce, with transferrable German-made guns running Bigfoot-rare, while Dakota Tactical and others have been making semi-auto clones for a while. As for HK, they long ago replaced the 53 with the G36 series some time ago.

And of course, should you want the scaled-up 7.62x51mm installment, there is always the fire-breathing HK51, crafted from a G3!

Latest Reviews

  • Sig Sauer M400 Tread: The New Face of Freedom (VIDEO)

    Sig Sauer's TREAD is not just another cheap “entry level” direct impingement rifle produced en masse for a saturated market.

    Read Now
  • If cowboys were Italian Traditions 1873 Revolvers by Pietta (VIDEO)

    While multiple reproductions are already on the market, Traditions has put their name on a fine line of Italian-built 1873...

    Read Now
  • Is the Mossberg Shockwave a viable home defense gun? (VIDEO)

    I wondered if it would bring anything new to the defensive shotgun game? After running one I have to say...

    Read Now
  • Gun Review: Sig Sauer P365 vs Glock 26 (VIDEO)

    I have more rounds through the Glock 26 than any other one I own, but the Sig Sauer P365 could...

    Read Now