Mythical HK32 seen in the wild

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

As the western world moved away from full power battle rifles such as the H&K G3, FN FAL and M14, Heckler & Koch developed the HK32 and HK33 chambered in 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm respectively. Both were based on the G3 design and roller-delayed blowback operating mechanism.

The HK32K. Photo from

While appearing in promotional literature, the HK32 never went into production, or so everyone says.

Wamba, an very observant member of the forum, noticed photos of a Mexican policeman holding what appears to be the HK32.

The photo appeared in this article.

The magazine, both outside appearance and curvature, is significantly different from the HK33.

HK33 5.56x45mm. Showing 25, 30 and 40 round magazines.

The receiver also looks slightly different to the SW32, a clone of the HK33 made by Specials Weapons Inc chambered for 7.62x39mm.


I think the most likely explication for these rifles ending up with the Mexican police is that H&K sent pre-production samples to the Mexican Army who manufacture H&K weapons under license and they somehow made their way into the police arsenal.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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3 of 8 comments
  • Chris Dierkes Chris Dierkes on Apr 30, 2009

    The likely explanation is that the weapon is a HK32 manufactured by the
    Mexican HK licensee, either because someone in the Mexican security services determined that 7.62x39mm was a better round than the 5.56x45mm, or because they thought it might be useful to be able to use the same ammo as their opponents in the Mexican crime world, who use significant quantities of the AK-47 type rifles, typically sourced from various poorly controlled third world arsenals and/or China, NOT the United States!
    I would favor the latter explanation. It is probably relatively new production.

  • Avery Avery on Apr 07, 2011

    Are those H&K proprietary magazines or Kalashnikov magazines? They look different from AK mags and H&K always likes to forge their own supply trains, at least in the past, but who knows.

    Also, my mind is a buzz with the concept of the HK52 and the HK52K, knowing that someone would have experimented in trying to create these if H&K didn't manufacture them outright.