Unlike the HK33, the HK53 has a four prong flash hider.
This deliberately prevents non-armorers to (re)zero the iron sight line. This issue arose when using a number of different ammunition types including brass cased blank ammunition (H&K recommend the use of their proprietary blank cartridges).  Thai government units fielded HK33s during the South Thailand insurgency. The result was essentially an intermediate calibre submachine gun similar to the Colt Commando and the Soviet AKS-74U. In the standard version, the rifle comes equipped with an ambidextrous trigger group with a selector lever that is simultaneously the weapon's safety (it has three positions: "S" or "0"—weapon is safe, "E"/"1"—semiautomatic fire, "F"/"25"—continuous fire). The firearm is equipped with a relatively low iron sight line that consists of a Drehvisier a rotary rear drum and hooded front post. 30-round arch magazines were also introduced for use with the rifle. The HK33 and its magazines lack the T223's hold-open system. Heckler & Koch developed the HK33 assault rifle from the 7.62 x 51 mm G3 rifle. The HK33 is a selective fire weapon with Heckler & Koch's roller-delayed blowback system of operation. The World's Assault Rifles by Johnson and Nelson, Page 217. As shown in various MoD Equipment Failure Reports dating from the early 1990s the HK53’s in British service suffered from repeated damage and failure of the carbines’ locking rollers. HK33, HK53 & HK93. The HK33, and later HK53, used the same roller-delayed blowback action developed for the G3 in the mid 1950s. This ratio is continued until the locking rollers have been withdrawn from the barrel extension recesses. A number of police forces and militaries adopted the HK53 for a variety of roles. H&K also subsequently designed a carbine version of the full-length HK33, the HK33K with a telescopic metal stock and 12.7 inch barrel. Based on the geometric relationship arising from the angles of the roller contact surfaces of the locking piece and the barrel extension recesses, the recoil of the bolt head is delayed by a ratio of 3:1 for the 5.56×45mm NATO chambering. Commercially the HK33 was a successful design but it did not sell as well as the G3. During its service life the HK53 went through a series of changes to furniture mouldings, buttstock types and fire selector options. The spring-powered claw extractor is also contained inside the bolt while the lever ejector is located inside the trigger housing (actuated by the recoiling bolt). It employs a two-piece bolt consisting of a bolt head with a pair of rollers and bolt carrier. The improved curved magazines were available from 1966. Additionally, the HK33 can be used to mount a 40 mm under-barrel HK79 grenade launcher or a blank-firing adaptor. HK33A2 with fixed stock and Trijicon Compact ACOG scope.
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