View Full Version : Modern Subguns

September 23, 2000, 04:39 PM
Most modern, or well made, SMGs seem to basically be slightly smaller, pistol-caliber firing rifles these days. The MP5 is an excellent weapon, but why have something that fires 9mm when you can get an HK53 that's just as small and fires .223? IMHO, the best design for an SMG is as follows:

Magazine well in the pistol grip, for balance of weight.

Optional foregrip.

Retracting stock.

High cyclic rate, with option for burst fire mode.

Optics rails, and mounting for laser sights.

Mounting for silencers.

They don't make an SMG like this today, I don't think. The Steyr TMP is close, but the optional folding stock is too big.

September 24, 2000, 12:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>SMGs seem to basically be slightly smaller, pistol-caliber firing rifles these days[/quote]

By definition, a submachine gun fires pistol caliber ammo. A machine gun fires full size rifle caliber ammo.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>...but why have something that fires 9mm when you can get an HK53 that's just as small and fires .223? [/quote]

Depends on what you're doing with the gun. Far and away, most subguns that are used in any true tactical situation are owned by government and used for raids and such. And used typically in urban environs, where the overpenetration of a .223 round through several walls and possible innocent bystanders would not be a positive thing from a publicity and legal perspective. You also have noise, controllability, and muzzle flash to deal with in those close quarters, considerably more for a .223 than a 9mm. And most raid teams do have access to .223 and larger caliber weapons should the task at hand require that, and there are a few compact .223 weapons system available, the M-16 CAR Commando being among the most widely used.

The MP-5 is ubiquitous and several features you mention are available in the commercial version and aftermarket; same for the Ingram model subguns which are arguably at the other end of the subgun spectrum when it comes to tactical usefulness. If a design element is desired, feasible, and marketable, someone somewhere will make 'em.


September 24, 2000, 01:46 AM
Are select fire MAC-10s still in production? As far as I know, they never found much of a law enforcement or military market. I see it as the kind of weapon they should issue to APC and tank drivers, as opposed to 9mm Beretta 92 pistols. The folding shoulder stock, but compact size and high capacity means it would function better in the "personal defense weapon" role than a semiautomatic pistol. I was assigned to be a driver of an M113A2 APC for a short time, and I'd sure feel better with a MAC on my hip than with an M9 pistol...

September 24, 2000, 06:33 AM
Just a few days ago, someone here posted a picture of an M-16 subgun variant, one with an 8" barrel, chambered for 5.56.

I like the idea of a subgun/carbine in this intermediate caliber, but I also have my reservations. After all, the 5.56/.223 is a rifle cartridge, and will not achieve its ballistic potential fired from a short barrel. It will certainly have more 'power' than a 9mm, and probably more range, but don't delude yourself into thinking that you've got the power or range of an M-16 or M-4.

Jeff Cooper had an idea: a short barreled semi-auto carbine with folding stock, chambered in .44 Automag, 20 rd mag. With a 14" barrel, this might indeed be handy for tankers, transport personel, artillerymen, etc. It could lay down accurate fire in the 150-200 yd range, with a big, heavy bullet, but still be compact enought that it could be carried everywhere. Not as compact as a pistol or Mac type subgun, but you get the benefit of added range and power.

Shoot straight & make big holes, regards, Richard at The Shottist's Center (http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc)

Badger Arms
September 24, 2000, 03:14 PM
I've heard this discussion before. As one who has fired a 10" barreled .223 before, I can say the gun is basically a flamethrower as much as it is a bullet tosser. The velocity of the .223 round is really not diminished by that much but muzzle blast is increased exponentially. It feels like a grenade going off in our face. A little training can overcome this part but the muzzle flash is like a nuclear bomb going off. I'd be satisfied if I could slap a Reflex Suppressor on the front to catch the blast and flame, but then you end up with a 14" barrel anyhow.

My opinion, 14" is about the practical minimum for a .223 gun. Small wonder given the Krinkov, M-4, and about five other .22 production Carbines in that barrel length range. You just cannot get the kind of controllable fire from a similarly sized rifle caliber gun that you can out of the MP-5 class of weapon.

Of this class, The Steyr TMP is a good choice, but if it were the best, why would such a large variety of agencies around the world choose the MP-5? Sheez, that has to say something.

Now, a 16" bullpup of proper design is a different story.

[This message has been edited by badgerarms (edited September 24, 2000).]

September 24, 2000, 06:01 PM
Being a leftie, I'm a little hesitant about bullpups. I understand many of them have reversible eject ports, but not all...

Badger Arms
September 25, 2000, 01:10 AM
The FN P-90 is bottom eject. The Tavor (top picture) is reversible in about 1 minute. The AUG is also reversible.

4V50 Gary
September 25, 2000, 04:58 PM
We're presently in the third generation of SMGs with the first like the Thompson, Lancaster and others being highly machined and expensive to manufacture. The Second generation consisted of guns like the Sten, MP-40 (stamped), Grease Gun, Russian PPsh, etc. Both first and second generation were generally blowback operated (OK, so the Thompson for a while played with the "Blish" principal - and discarded it as unnecessary). These were characterized by extensive use of stampings in their fabrication. The third, of which the Uzi or MP5 or Ruger MP9 belongs, includes the telescoping bolt or a complicated lock-up system (delayed blowback in the MP5).

Polymers in places other than the grip are being introduced with some of the newer guns. Notably the FN-P90 or the HK UMP. For myself (others will vary), use of polymers really aren't a new generation but rather a method by which old technology is packaged. What I'm waiting to see is a gun with a variable rate of fire. It can be high (750-900 rpm great for executive protection and hostage rescue) or slow (600 rpm) for combat.

Regarding telescopic stocks or folding stocks, they'll always be around. They have their advantages (compact) and disadvantage (cold metal - hard during winter, or weight). Also comfort level tends to be somewhat greater with a fixed stock.

Badger Arms
September 25, 2000, 11:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 4V50 Gary:
We're presently in the third generation of SMGs..........Regarding telescopic stocks or folding stocks, they'll always be around. They have their advantages (compact) and disadvantage (cold metal - hard during winter, or weight). Also comfort level tends to be somewhat greater with a fixed stock.[/quote]

Two things. It's somewhat misleading to put SMG's into generations. It presumes that guns like the MP-5 are similar in some way to the MAC-10. Under this system, the UMP creates a new class. Perhaps the Steyr TMP also shares that class although it's more of a 'third generation' gun in most ways. In nearly every way, the H&K UMP is a new class. Even in terms of the 'collapsing' stock which is very comfortable indeed and doesn't add any significant weight. The leap from first to second generation was merely one of construction technique. Why treat the UMP differently?

4V50 Gary
September 26, 2000, 10:46 AM
I'd treat the UMP as third generation. It's still blowback operated with the major distinction being materials used in fabrication. What I'm looking for is something which has a selective rate of fire (slow being about 600 rpm and fast being 800-900 rpm). Nobody makes one that I'm aware of yet.

September 26, 2000, 09:01 PM
Before it got smoked by the "crime bill" I kind of thought of the Calico as the 4th generation of SMG. You have to admit, for the time it certainly was different. Helical magazine, bottom ejection, neat construction. All in all a very interesting gun. Would have been fun to see them continue to evolve.

Badger Arms
September 27, 2000, 01:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 4V50 Gary:
I'd treat the UMP as third generation. It's still blowback operated with the major distinction being materials used in fabrication. What I'm looking for is something which has a selective rate of fire (slow being about 600 rpm and fast being 800-900 rpm). Nobody makes one that I'm aware of yet.[/quote]

Hell, I don't think you can mess with Perfection. The Calico was cheaply made and awkward handling IMO. It was actually a novel design that could have been done better, and WAS:


Anyhow, I'd disagree that trinkets on a gun are better for the overall design of a gun. Selective rate of fire can be accomplished through adding weight to the bolt at a much lower cost and with much less complication. The KISS principle definitely applys here. The STEN was about as simple as possible, but lacked a sound design (magazine problems and inefficient length). The MP-5 was and still is a sound design but is more complicated than need be. Remember the Blish lock? It's also much more expensive to make as a result.

I'm looking for in a SMG is a gun that will do a mechanical double tap, full-auto, semi, and one that I or my department can afford. Give me around an 850 rpm cyclic and a forend grip. Sights should be Iron with a weaver rail for night vision. A flashlight should be integral to the design and not hang off to the side or underneath. Configured for use and loaded, the gun should not exceed around six pounds with two 30rd mags clipped together. Mounting of a suppressor should be a 3 second task. Caliber should be .45 ACP with 9mm or 40 ACP offered as conversion kits.

What more do you want in an SMG? The UMP comes close to meeting all of these criteria falling just a little short in the integral flashlight and perhaps the silencer department. The things' as reliable as a rock and as well ballanced as an MP-5 being only a little bigger. Maybe a bottom-ejecting Hexial feed version? Look at the Bizon link. It's possible. A 100 rd magazine at 600 RPM would equal a 10 second burst of 45acp. I think I would trade in my wife for one of those.

September 27, 2000, 01:42 AM
Badgerarms, are you a police officer? You made reference to your department.

At any rate, new guns like the FN P90 and HK PDW (the new one, not the MP5K) are interesting, what with their small-bore, armor-piercing ammo (both of these weapons will pierce Level IIIA armor at 100 meters). But on the other hand, those itty-bitty little slugs are a little lacking in hitting power, and wont' penetrate steel plate or ceramic composit armor (Level III or Level IV) anyway. (seems to me if you were gonna equip your troops with an armor, it'd be a simple vest with two steel plates. Cheaper than kevlar, lighter than kevlar + steel plates, and kevlar vests wont stop rifle bullets anyway) Besides, anyone care to guess how much those new weapons rounds cost? Not to mention that if these weapons were adopted, the massive stockpiles of 9mm and .45 ammo would be worthless...

George Hill
September 27, 2000, 07:33 PM
The HK PDW is a 4th Generation SMG - its using advanced materials, disign, and cartridge. The .224BOZ is a wonderful cartridge that gives balistics similar to the full sized .223 cartridge.
The gun it's self is just plain COOL. The foregrip can fold - making it very flexible in its mission. http://www.hkpro.com/pdwmain.jpg
And a side view of the same gun - foregrip folded: http://www.hkpro.com/pdwright.jpg
Notice - you could carry this gun in a holster on your hip! There are some cool features hidden in there... Look at the upper image - see that silver colored bar?
Thats a retracting stock. This little SMG pistol is actually a shoulderable SMG like all SMGs should be. This thing is compact like all get out - yet fully featured. Effeciveness of this gun would be similar to an M-4.
Take a look at HK PRO's PDW page - and get ready to DROOL: http://www.hkpro.com/pdw.htm
(Click on the G11 PDW link hidden in the text.)

[This message has been edited by George Hill (edited September 27, 2000).]

Badger Arms
September 27, 2000, 10:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Nightcrawler:
Badgerarms, are you a police officer? You made reference to your department.

No. Nothing that glorious. Check my profile. I deal firearms part time and only have one police account. They use HK-94's for partrol and MP-5's for Entry. Glocks for patrol. I've done gunsmithing for years, but nothing professional. Not enough money to support a family in Gunsmithing and in my locality, gun dealing isn't profitable either. That should qualify alot of what I say. Most of the guns I've dealt with in my time have been Depertmental or sample guns. Believe it or not, the only gun I've carried for patrol in the Air Force has been the Remington 870!

George. I love the new HK. I still lean towards 45 acp in a SMG though. I'd rather have stopping power than the ability to penetrate the one-in-one-thousand guy who will be wearing level IIIA body armor. Heck, a three round burst of 45 ACP +P hurts vest or not. I'd be proud to carry the PDW if I were in the niche that the gun is designed for: Military support, tank, and artillery crew, etc.

I think the new HK is a gas operated weapon too, isn't it? But I don't think there is anything less 4th generation about the UMP than about the PDW. The PDW is more in the CZ 61 Scorpion, VP-70, Beretta 93, or Stichen class, isn't it? It's all academic anyhow. Choosing a gun because of what generation some guy says it belongs to is not good practice. I think it all boils down to preference. A department on a budget might even choose the STEN.

George Hill
September 28, 2000, 09:43 AM
Go to www.hkpro.com (http://www.hkpro.com) and take a look at the new G36C gun. Its SMG sized and fun for the whole family.
I agree about the .45 caliber - thats my ideal as well. The UMC comes close - but not close enough. At least not close enough to overcome 10 round magazines.

Badger Arms
September 28, 2000, 11:31 PM
I saw that gun about a month ago on hkpro. It's the same old story, too short a barrel for the .223 in my opinion. You could probably get the same performance out of the FN P90 or HK PDW. This you can do without the hellfire that a shorty .223 barks. I'd rather have the Aug, Vektor, or Tavor like in the pictures above. About the same size and much more effective (for a righty!!).

October 1, 2000, 01:31 AM
I've never fired a bullpup, but the design seems to be superior to a conventional rifle configuration. Why haven't bullpups caught on very much? Besides sometimes being cumbersome to lefties, are there any drawbacks to the design, other than being "ugly guns" to some people?

Also, I have looked for a suitable explanation for the origin of the "bullpup" term, but have found none. How did this word originate?

I'm new here - hope I'm doing this right.

Badger Arms
October 1, 2000, 02:27 AM
Pocat, you're doing it right. The origin of the term is best described here:


Anyhow, I don't know the origin of the word, but it describes a long arm that has its breech or chamber located behind the trigger. As to the other questions in your post, a Bullpup can be good looking as noted in the above pictures, both of which I think are beautiful. The bulk of the anti-bullpup sentiment stems from a lack of understanding, I believe. Those who have never handled such guns in combat are quick to point out their difficiencies while defending such sh#$ as the M-16.

One source for the prejudice might be the ****-poor design the British Adopted. Two good designs, however, have proved that bullpups are viable and effective weapons. The FAMAS and Aug are excellent and reliable weapons.

My ultimate bullpup would have to incorporate a foregrip. The handling characteristics are very much improved.

The major drawbacks to the bullpup are: 1) the rifle cannot be instantly switched from right to left handed operation. This is especially disturbing in urban environments when one wants to fire from the left side of a barricade. 2) the trigger is a great distance from the operating mechanism. The required parts and levers add to the complexity and reliability issues could crop up. 3) magazine handling problems are greatly amplified. High capacity drums and longer magazines are more likely to interfere with handling.

October 24, 2000, 04:42 PM
Go to the HK site and check out the HK53, it looks JUST LIKE the MP5 but in .223 cal.