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Old July 20, 2006, 08:04 PM   #1
Etraveller
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Is the MP5 a true submachine gun,how many bursts does it fire, and other questions

Hello all.
The firearm I'm looking at is a MP5. 'sub-machine gun', 9mm calibre, retractable buttstock (most likely MP5 A3).
Firstly,many definitions of a submachine gun are a select fire weapon that fires pistol ammo and can be used either as a semi-auto or as an automatic firearm.
The MP5 generally fires in bursts, even though I have never yet come across a true full auto MP5 (they say a ratchet, is added that converts from full auto to burst).
Does anyone know what the BATFE, AFTE, NRA or other body says what a submachine gun is?

2. Does the MP5 come with a preset amount of cartridges that are discharged in a burst, e.g. 2,3 or 4? or can the burst vary between 2 two 4 (or even 5 rounds), when the trigger is fully depressed and held in the burst mode?

3. What needs to be adjusted/modified on the MP5, to adjust the rate of fire in the burst mode?

Any comments greatly appreciated.
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Old July 20, 2006, 08:25 PM   #2
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The MP5 is a true machinegun. The original MP5 was full auto and semi-automatic only. After the US came up with "burst" modes, especially for the M16A2, HK added burst modes to the MP5 series. It now comes in any combination of full auto, 2-round, 3-round and semi-automatic modes. The mode of fire is chosen by a selector switch on the side of the receiver. Unlike the M16A2/M4, the MP5 does not use a ratchet to get burst fire.

ATF considers any firearm that fires more than 2 bullets with a single pull of the trigger to be a machinegun. As such, even firearms that have burst fire only are still considered machineguns.

The standard definition of Submachinegun is any fully automatic long gun firing a pistol rated cartridge. It originated with the Thompson submachinegun.
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Old July 20, 2006, 08:58 PM   #3
GaryG
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ATF considers any firearm that fires more than 2 bullets with a single pull of the trigger to be a machinegun.

minor technical correction: "more than one (1) bullet," but we know what you meant.
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Old July 20, 2006, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Does anyone know what the BATFE, AFTE, NRA or other body says what a submachine gun is?
There are only 'machineguns' and 'non-machineguns'. There are no legal sub-categories of machineguns.
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Old July 20, 2006, 09:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
ATF considers any firearm that fires more than 2 bullets with a single pull of the trigger to be a machinegun.

minor technical correction: "more than one (1) bullet," but we know what you meant.
What about some derringers and SxS shotguns?
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Old July 20, 2006, 09:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
minor technical correction: "more than one (1) bullet," but we know what you meant.
Yup.
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Old July 21, 2006, 12:10 AM   #7
281 Quad Cam
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What about some derringers and SxS shotguns?
Oh...... that is a good question. If say, a Derringer fired both rounds on a single trigger pull... does it become a machine gun?
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Old July 21, 2006, 07:32 AM   #8
erh
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"Sub- Machine gun..."

Yes it is, and "Good Grief to the rest of ^^^^ that... Yes, technically a "Fully automatic, pistol cartridge chambered/ firing weapon IS a "Sub-Machine Gun..!"
(But yes technically also & in agreement w/ the others so as Not to start a "Scuffle"; the ATF makes no particular distinction concerning "Sub.")

There are also "Light", "Medium", and "Heavy" Machine Guns..! It's too early to be "Anal" guys..! Must have more coffee..! (LOL..!)

Incidentally, there are various versions out there in various configs. - I prefer a 3 mode selector;
i.e. - single, 3 rd. burst, & full auto...
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Old July 21, 2006, 11:32 AM   #9
James K
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Technically, a double derringer or a sxs shotgun that was deliberately made to fire both rounds with a single trigger pull might be a machinegun, but I think it would more likely just be a pain, especially if the derringer were one of those in .45 Colt or .410.

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Old July 21, 2006, 03:55 PM   #10
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Well aren't there two triggers? On a SXS?
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Old July 21, 2006, 07:42 PM   #11
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Incidentally, there are various versions out there in various configs. - I prefer a 3 mode selector;
I prefer the three mode selector also, Auto-Semi-Safe or in HK lingo S-E-F. If you want "bursts", learn trigger control. With practice, you can fire single shots, 2 and 3 round bursts quite easily with the selector on AUTO.

"Burst" modes is nothing more than a mechanical fix to overcome lack of training. It was invented by the US military because it is cheaper and faster than teaching troops how to shoot properly.
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Old July 22, 2006, 11:50 AM   #12
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There are several trigger groups available for the MP-5.

There is a group with S, E, F. Safe, Einz (one) and full auto.
There is another fancier group with safe, one, burst and full auto.
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Old July 22, 2006, 12:01 PM   #13
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Etraveller,

The MP5 is an awesome gun. I'm not sure what you mean about looking at one. The number of legally transferable machine guns is pretty low making the prices quite high. The last I saw, a full auto MP5 was going for over $25,000. If I had that type of disposable income, I would consider it, but my wife would definately shoot me for it.

The MP5 is an incredibly flat shooting gun and fairly easy to control. The gas operated recoil system is the main reason for that. Small groups are possible with short bursts and single shot accuracy is phenomenal. I really like the sighting system as well which features a slanted rotating cylinder to open up or close down the rear sight.

If you are really getting one, congrats. You won't be disappointed.
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Old July 22, 2006, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Lead?
Well aren't there two triggers? On a SXS?
Simple answer, there are sometimes two triggers on SXS and O/U shotguns that can cause them to fire both barrels simultaneously. These, however, are exempt as they are considered "sporting arms". The same way that a regular shotguns that shoots multiple pellets is exempt because it is a sporting arm.
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Old July 22, 2006, 07:09 PM   #15
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Stephen426, they aren't quite that expensive. http://gunsamerica.com/search.cgi

Look at the prices that LEO's get them for. It's about $1,000. Last I heard the military gets M16s for about the same price. Supply and demand. For civilians there is a fixed supply and a pretty large demand, therefore the price shot (no pun intended) up to about 16Xs what a new one costs!
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Old July 23, 2006, 06:51 AM   #16
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I think that's more than 1 bullet being fired from the same barrel with a single trigger pull.
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Old May 19, 2007, 03:40 PM   #17
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Burst Fire...

As MP5 pointed out, training is essential... The SEALS, and other SOCOM units use the burst mode for combat reasons... It is absolutely impossible to count your rounds in combat. I dont care if your ST6, 1SFOD/D, GSG9, KSK, FFL, SAS, whatever... in the heat of a real fire-fight you cannot count rounds... With non-burst guns, SOCOM uses Simi-mode ONLY. All training for combat does is teaches you to control panic. Even in controlled panic, you will still 'hold' the trigger down longer than what you need to. The burst is expecially useful in CQB (with the crappy 9mm round), as you will hit a target with 2 or 3 crappy rounds.

Hence the MP5-N (N for Navy.. 0-1-2-F trigger group - made spacificially for Naval Special Warfar Group / CQB).


The only time operators use straigt full auto is in exfiltration/extraction/cover fire. Its simi or burst only for all other uses.

You can train all you want, but full auto fire is absolutely combat useless unless you have to lay serious cover fire.
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Old May 19, 2007, 03:50 PM   #18
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$25,000 for a MP5, a friend has one with a registered auto sear in 9,40,and 45 I believe. With the A host weapon I think he selling it for around $15,000.

Prices must be going up in your parts.
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Old May 20, 2007, 12:10 AM   #19
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I've only seen and shot the ones with safe, single, and auto.
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Old May 20, 2007, 03:45 PM   #20
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MP5 prices..

They typical and adverage MP5 will cost about 16 : 18k.

The Registered Receiver 3-pin swing downs (non sear conversions) will cost a substantial bit more (20:25k). I've seen execelent condition MP5's that cost upwards of 30K.

If you want an MP5, get a host from Atlantic Arms or Bob Cat Weapons (1.5:2k), and a registered sear ($8:10k) send it to Ralph at RDTS (http://www.rdts.com) and have him work his *magic* on it. You'll get the entire package back, with your selection of trigger grouping, restamped MP5, and will look/function better than the factory models ever did. Ralph is a true master with the MP5. He can even take the A3 and turn it into the SD with (from first hand experience) a suppressor that is more user friendly/quiet/and a LOT less maintenance required.

Little known fact about the MP5... There are no MP5's on the market that actually came from H&K factory as an MP5. H&K only sold the MP5 to the Military. They didn't even sell them to Law Enforcement.

Every MP5 that is on the civilian market is a conversion of some sort. There are some genuine 'factory MP5's' but these are just SP89's taken off the simi-auto line and had a full auto bolt & sear installed in them. Restamping was done by SOT's in the 80's. You will not find a single civilian legal MP5 or dealer sample for that matter, that came directly off of the actual MP5 line...

T.Dyer, RDTS, Flemming, Vector, and various others did a lot of conversions. Matter of fact the most common MP5 you will find out there is from Flemming.

There were two ways of registering a MP5. You could register the 'receiver or the acutal gun' or just the 'sear'.

If you want the most factory accurate MP5, you will need to find a 3-pin swingdown Registered Receiver. Most MP5's (about 90% of them) have the trigger pack clipped & pinned on. They can still be removed, but it takes a lot more effort than just pulling out 3 pins.
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Old May 20, 2007, 05:42 PM   #21
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Hell, I saw a MP5 at the last gunshow I went to that had more trigger-group selector setting than I would know what to do with.

I liked the pictographic expression of full-auto, though... a long line of little red projectiles running all the way down the side of the gun. It also had at least one burst setting (maybe more). Anyway, the whole side of the gun was cluttered with little red projectile expressions for the selector.

Wacky. You would think the Germans could come up with selector symbols that didn't take up every square centimeter of flat surface on the side of the gun.
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Old May 21, 2007, 10:38 PM   #22
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My PD bought four MP5 SEFs and two SDs direct from H&K. We used them on semi most of the time but went to operator controlled two round bursts at room distance. I never had a problem putting two, two shot bursts into training targets or a few bad guys. If you train properly and often enough you will instinctively fall back on that training. I did see one guy loose it and empty an entire magazine once but that was the only time.
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Old May 22, 2007, 12:39 AM   #23
4V50 Gary
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Personally, I'd go for only the SEF trigger group. I dislike burst as that's an issue of training. The burst group has more parts and is more difficult to work on (OK, not really that much more difficult) but I'm given to believe the fewer the parts, the better. If you train yourself and your trigger finger, you'll find that you can easily get a two or three shot burst off regularly when the selector is set to full auto.
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Old May 22, 2007, 10:50 AM   #24
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Beating a dead horse...deader.....

I am sure that some people disagree on the burst issue, and I cant speak to others experiences, but I can attest to my own. Being in the [color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color] isnt what holly-wood shows it as being. Training will *help* (and be what most of the time will) keep you alive, and in almost all cases make you *better* than the opposition. But when it comes to trigger fingers... Well lets just say that I've seen experienced operators dump entire mags and not totally realize it..... I've even done it myself...

When you're in the mess and you only have a couple hundred rounds for your main, you need to make every round count as two. You have to keep in mind that not only will you need ammo for point-to-point confrontations but you'll also need to reserve a good portion of it for when you have to bug-out & in a hurry.

Yes we did carry full autos. All of our weapons (with exception to side-arms) were capable of ammo-dumping, but what we all choose to use and trained with was either Burst or single….. always (the only time we trained on full-auto is when we were running exfil. Drills).

There is an ol adage that says: "The more you train, the more things Mr. Murphey @#$%S with..." And believe me... if it can go wrong.. it will... and
ALWAYS when it's the worst possible time...

I personally do not believe in "train to 'count' your rounds". Thats bull-[color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color] that will 100% of the time fail, and it WILL get you and your teammate killed. There is WAY to much that an operator must think/ponder/consider/react to/act upon to stay alive and keep his swimbuddy/boatcrew alive too, and do it all at one time... all-the-while dogging bullets, explosive rockets, and balls of metal that go BOOM!... to 'count rounds'…. It’s asinine. And if you’re on full-auto, that is exactly what you HAVE to do. Subconscious or not, no amount of training will teach you to be 100% accurate 100% of the time. IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE. For operators to be as effective as they are, to do the things they do, and live through the [color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color] they’re routinely in, they have to be down right surgical in EVERYTHING undertaken. 4 to 14 man teams, against (up to) several 100… if you’re not 100% on your game, you’re NOT coming home (at least outside a pine box).

Its a LOT more accurate to keep your weapon on single or bust and, through a LOT of training, program your mind to subconsciously keep tally of how many times you've pulled the trigger vise how many times the gun went 'bang'. If its on 3SB, you know you have 10 pulls and reload & if your on full auto, its impossible to have each depress of the fun-bar, extract exactly a set amount of rounds- there is absolutely NO possible way of exactly , 100% of the time measure your rounds. Remember that an operator MUST at all times have an accurate running tally of his inventory and a damn good idea of that of his teammates.

One can only carry so much ammo, you're in a small group of really bad-ass men that are mean as hell and scared $****-less, and you have to make every round count and under NO circumstance can you just 'spray and pray', because 1 round can and often does make all the difference in the world as to if you or your swimbuddy's coming home… alive.

Its documented that a 12-man strike team can lay down the same firepower as 100 regular infantry. BELIEVE ME, its true. These operators ARE THAT GOOD. It's amazing that they can sling that much fire power with a fraction of the ammo that 100 first-liners carry. They do it by living by the words "better to be 'smart' than sorry". Trigger control is very important, but why would you want to give Murphy something else to dick with? If you're on Burst its a lot harder for him to make you 'panic squeeze' off more than 3 rounds. all that training teaches you is how to out-think the enemy and how to *partially* control your panic)

Im also referring to the 9mm almost exclusively because it’s not all that effective.. its really a crap combat round - for CQB the M4 SOPMOD is preferred. At close range the .556/223 round is BRUTAL... outside of extremely close range, many operators are switching to the 6.8mmSPC or choosing to use the indigenous AK’s of their area. BUT if the mission dictates, the MP5 has a very dear & respected roll (and will ALWAYS have a dear place in my heart) - especially where over-penetration is a major concern – I.E. Plaster walled buildings, aircraft, VIP protection etc…. Even with the M4 & 6.8 it’s almost never on any other setting than single. People that train on full auto only, watch way to many movies, and have very little idea what combat really is. Even the infantry teaches/trains/and shoots simi only… there is a much greater reason for that than “just to save on the cost of ammo”… It’s a tactfully brilliant way of training, and it’s the KISS principle applied …. “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.

Anyway Im tipsy and long winded…. Enough said.

akviper... How did your LEO departmet purchase the MP5s directly from H&K? H&K, to my knowledge, is legally not allowed to sell directly to civilians. (yes.. police are civilians :-). Due to the 'fair vendor act' they must go through actual dealer(s)... Just like Ruger does not sell directly to individuals or units. They even have child companies that they use to sell directly to the Military. Are you sure they purchased them directly from H&K? My old military unit even had to go through a local out-in-town SOT for our NFA. (then again, that might have been a budgetary vise a legal thing).
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Old May 22, 2007, 11:26 PM   #25
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The first four MP5s were purchased in 1984. The city purchase orders were made out to H&K and the invoices were from H&K. The guns came with copies of import forms from H&K Germany. I had a contact at H&K that handled LE sales and I think her name was Nancy. We purchased mags and parts for several years after from the same person. All phone contacts and correspondence went to H&K on the East coast. After we bought our guns at least three other city PDs and the Alaska State Troopers purchased guns from H&K. I didn't handle the acquisition of our post 86 guns so I do not have the details of the purchase other than to say I believe the forms and papers were similar to the pre 86 guns.

I was only in two melees where more than one magazine was used. I agree that round count is low on the list of things to do. We only used full auto for close range inside work or vehicle rescue. The MP5 is great for indoor use as most LE folks do not have easy access to suppressors for the 556 guns.

Last edited by akviper; May 24, 2007 at 11:42 PM.
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