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Old 03-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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I love Rock & Roll

Back in 2011 my friend Mark and his Wife Lori invited me up to the Saddle Butte machinegun shoot. I ended up spending all that Saturday shooting automatic weapons. I brought a camera and got pictures of the event. I just thought I would share the album as this part of the forum has been a bit dead.


Photo Album of the Event
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:57 AM   #2
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MG shoots can be fun. When I started gunsmithing, my first job was working for what was the largest at that time class 3 importers in the US. So while I’ve never really been “into” machineguns, I did get a great deal of exposure. Learned the insides and outs of most assault rifles and SMG’s. We were also dealers for Sterling, Uzi, and H&K (although none of us liked H&K). H&K’s support of civilian (back then) and law enforcement customers was horrible. I have no idea if that’s still the case. Then we had lots of problems with MP5’s…every LE agency just HAD to have MP5’s because that’s what the SAS used. And truth be told, MP5’s pretty much need to be babied. They work well in civilian hands because civilians tend to clean their SMG’s after each outing. LE liked the closed bolt design which made it easier to learn how to shoot an SMG. Shooting an open bolt SMG is much like shooting a flintlock. You have the click, pause, and then things get exciting. It takes a little coordination to learn how to keep the sights aligned while that bolt slams home. But we did have some luck selling UZI’s; at least some were willing to learn the open bolt.

For those wanting a closed bolt SMG, we tried to turn them onto the 9mm M16’s. Those were very reliable, really easy to maintain, and easy to operate. But they weren’t “in style” back then and few were ordered even after demonstrating the superiority. They just weren’t the “cool” SMG back then, and we sold MP5’s more often than not, with UZI’s to the more discriminating. (UZI’s were considered cool back then). Fashion plays a HUGE role in LE sales, sad but true. H&K clearly gets that, and their marketing is second to none.

By far the best SMG we offered, and to this day I’m convinced it is the best SMG ever built, is the Sterling. These are uber-reliable and don’t seem to much care if you ever clean them. Honestly, if you keep lubricating the gun, I’m betting you could go a decade without cleaning the thing unless you really got down in the dirt. And they are SMOOTH like no other SMG. They have a recoil spring, but then they have a buffer spring behind that which really just smooths out the action considerably. You can almost place a coffee can 10’ to the right and 2’ back and collect your brass. And the folding stock is the absolute best (with the UZI as a good runner up). The H&K retractable stock is horrible. We sold some of the suppressed versions because they were by far the best suppressed SMG’s back in the early ‘80’s, but most didn’t like the side magazine. Again, it’s not what FBI HRT or SAS was using, so clearly it couldn’t be cool enough. Most griped about the side magazine and how it would be a hindrance in CQB, but if you actually TRY it, you quickly find that it works just fine. The side mag makes a whole lot of sense because if you ever want to take a shot from a hasty rested position, or get prone, you can get all the way down.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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KevinGibson,

FWIW, I agree with you on the Sterling. - We had a"flock of them in the armory", "way down south" & the Gardia Civil guys never had a problem with them, even after they had been "dragged through the mud". - Sterling SMG are the "Timex watch" of SMG.
(The sound of Sterlings firing always reminded me of a heavy-duty sewing macine.)

FYI, the ONLY machine weapons that I've ever wanted to actually own is a Thompson 21/28 "Navy overstamp", the 1897 Colt's "tater digger"and my all-time favorite, the Model 1907 "Devil's Paintbrush", in the watercooled format.

yours, sw
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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Thompson’s just swim in a river called COOL, no doubt about that. From a user standpoint they’re not really on the list of my favorites. They’re HUGE and heavy. The stock is awkward from an ergonomic standpoint. But they are controllable, tough, and reliable; the best of the breed being the M1’s (which are actually the least cool of the bunch). We did have a few old belt fed guns, and a few newer ones around the shop. We had ooldles of MG34’s, damn near tripped over them everywhere you went. With how complex they are it’s astounding how many gazillions of them the Germans produced. We had an honest to goodness New In The Crate .303 Vickers; that was really cool. Had all the accessories and everything. I never found out what happened to that one; hope it went to a good home.

I can recall seeing parts for a potato digger, but I’ve never actually seen a real potato digger in the flesh. I would love to fire one, that would just be cool. A friend has a 1915 Maxium on display in his living room (I did get to shoot that one once). Over in the corner, he has a GEW-98 with a bullet hole in the stock, a belt of ammo, and the MG15; all sitting next to a spike helmet…really cool. Truly a guys living room.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
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Kevin Gibson,

A boarding-school chum of mine inherited his grandfather's MAXIM (with the War Trophy letter, hand-signed by President Wilson! - His GF bought a 10,000 war bond and received it as a "gift from a grateful government".) & it's in his LIVING ROOM.
(He has an "understanding wife" = CHUCKLE.)

I've wanted a Maxim gun ever since we fired his in 1964.
(I wonder what a functional Maxim costs these days?????)

yours, sw
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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My standard Catalog of Military Firearms is a 2nd edition but they give a price of $7,000 in fair condition and the price went up to $15,000 in excellent condition. As my price guide is out of date these numbers are inaccurate but they should let you know what the costs were in 2003.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
(I wonder what a functional Maxim costs these days?????)

yours, sw
I don't know, but I'll bet it's enough to get me through the weekend...and OH what a weekend it would be.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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Kevin - I have to ask you, because I have always wondered. Was it really Marketing with H&K? Because it really seems that at the end of the 80s they just hulked up and dominated the whole sector. Ironic as the import bans and such were getting put in around then, but the Law Enforcement market really went for HKs.

The Uzi was "The Gun" in the 80s, at least in the entertainment arena. I always liked the concept of the magazine in the grip, and the gun looks really well balanced.

The Sterling, man, I'd like to burn a mag or two in one and find out for myself, it seems odd as I hear more and more positive stuff about it from people as I get deeper into the "gun world," yet it doesn't get "talked up" in the popular culture as much (I suppose Dean S. might have made a comment or two about that disconnect between opinions from those who have been armorers and such and the "Tac Dude" types on various cable channels, you find near the top of the dial, etc.)

As for the Colt M-16 platform SMG I wonder why it didn't take off more. Maybe it was the look, I hate to say, with the large mag well and the SMG mag it was modified for. However it is a good gas system, and the ability to cross train between AR platform rifles and SMG/Carbines seems brilliant. I have seen many Colt SMGs of that type on news reports on Univision and Telemundo, the Mexican anti drug police apparently love them and have lots of them, and those are guys who are serious about what they carry. Again, wouldn't mind the chance to burn a mag or two on one!

Thank you for your info on this subject, much more in depth than what is heard out and around in my regular travels.

David

Last edited by DavidE; 03-27-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
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For those wanting a closed bolt SMG, we tried to turn them onto the 9mm M16’s. Those were very reliable, really easy to maintain, and easy to operate. But they weren’t “in style” back then and few were ordered even after demonstrating the superiority. They just weren’t the “cool” SMG back then, and we sold MP5’s more often than not, with UZI’s to the more discriminating. (UZI’s were considered cool back then). Fashion plays a HUGE role in LE sales, sad but true. H&K clearly gets that, and their marketing is second to none.
We actually have a couple of the Colt 9mm's in our department arsenal. I got to take one home for a couple of weeks and play with it, and I was VERY impressed.

We replaced a hodgepodge of those 2 9mm's and a couple of M-4's with the H&K .40's. The newer plastic ones, I forget their model number. (UMP or something?) I wasn't too fond of those. Liked the Colt's better.

They gathered up all the full autos (our narcs used them pretty exclusively, but we had some M-16's posted as patrol rifles) and got everyone semi auto only M-forgeries. I was among a couple of folks who urged this, as the time and ammo for training with full auto just wasn't there.
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