Raffica: June 1998

By Dan Shea

“922o (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun.

(2) this subsection does not apply with respect to-
(A) a transfer to or by, or possession by or under the authority of, the United States or any department or agency thereof or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision thereof; or
(B) any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect.”

Sometimes we talk about the 1986 machine gun “Ban” on further manufacturing for private ownership, and I have found that many people have never read the exact wording, as written above. Let’s see if this sparks some discussion.

Rafficarians have sent in a lot of questions lately, so I am going to jump right into them.

Q1- What are your ideas on shooting hollow points, Hydra-shock, STS, or Black Talon through an MP5KSD? The Class III dealer I bought the firearm from advised against it, others have told me it was acceptable. Your thoughts if you have time.


A1- An “MP5K SD” is not an HK Stock item. Several of the US aftermarket designers built them. The original “K SD” design was probably by Bill Fleming of Fleming Firearms. Bill was the originator of many of the interesting US variants- the HK51, HK53K, HK51K, HK32, and the MP-45 to name a few of them. The MP5K SD was an integrally suppressed MP5K, similar to the famous factory made HK MP5 SD but on the smaller “K” model. Several other manufacturers have built these on a custom order basis.

The reason I am qualifying the answer above is that these firearms are bound to be different due to the diverse methods of manufacturing. One model might work perfectly with the hollow point variants that you are mentioning, and another KSD might have a problem with baffle strikes.

The variables that you will be running into here are related to several things- first would be if the barrel is ported, is it done cleanly so that there is no interference with the bullet jacket. Next would be how the crowning was done on the muzzle end- which is inside the suppressor. How the bullet leaves the barrel can produce yaw in the projectile. Yaw is a “Bad Thing” inside of a suppressor. Next in line would be how close the tolerance of the openings in the baffle stack are related to the diameter of the bullet that is passing through them.

Finally, did the design that was used for the baffle system have any feature (Unintended) that would interfere with the flight path- added turbulence that might cause baffle strikes. All of these could cause problems on ANY projectile- Ball or Hollow Point. I don’t think there is an intrinsic problem with running the HP variants you mention, but I would examine the barrel work closely for clean, professional cutting, and fire some rounds semi automatic to look for any problems. If the barrel was not ported, you could fire without the suppressor at a target at ten feet, and see if there is any yaw by the shape of the hole the bullet makes. Other than that, with the very interesting “MP5K SD” you are pretty much on your own.

Q2- Questions on the Beretta AR-70; did M.A.D.I. ever get into production on the M-16/AR-70 mag adapter? I’ve got a spare firing pin, firing pin retaining pin, and one bolt stop. Any idea based on your experience what other spare parts I should have? Been thinking of getting an extractor from Beretta USA while they still have a few left.

Tom D.

A2- I would suggest that you buy any spares that you can for this gun. Longtime readers know that I am a fan of the Beretta AR-70 rifles. The biggest problem is parts availability. Extractors come to mind, any internal lower parts, and recoil springs. If Beretta has extractors, you should buy them. I have not seen any production magazine adapters for the AR-70 to use M16 magazines.

Q3- The C+R list has “High Standard USA Mod. HD .22 LR Pistols, originally equipped with silencers for issue to the OSS and other military agencies, S/N range 109110 to 153890”. My questions is, DO ANY REALLY EXIST???

A3- They certainly do. I have seen two, and heard of a couple of others. My understanding of the OSS pistols is that they were all Model HD, and had a parkerized finish. They are very rare, and SAR will be doing a feature on these in the future.

Q4- I am trying to repair a PPSH41 that is very picky with Chinese ammo. The main problem is that it will chamber but not fire. The firing pin does not seem to hit hard enough to initiate the primer. Each time this happens, there are 2 gouges where the feed lips of the bolt contact the case head. Ever seen this? Also, are there many Russian AK-47’s (2nd model with forged receiver) in the US? I have never seen any for sale.

Ed Pasley

A4- I talked with Stan Andrewski about this- he has worked on a lot of PPSH-41’s, far more than I have. Stan noted several things on this not uncommon problem with these guns. Basically, the receiver has become misaligned, or bent. This is caused by bolt bounce- the recoil on this firearm causes the bolt’s torquing upward, slamming into the inside surface of the top of the receiver. The bolt face is no longer initiating its contact on the base of the cartridge case and has lost its energy on the forward stroke. The center of the barrel and the center of the bolt are aligned to the lower receiver, and with that index out of alignment, you get the chambering but a very light primer hit. I suggest having a competent gunsmith bring the upper receiver back to its normal position. You can call Stan at 603-746-4387 if you want to send it to him.

Q5- I was reading Raffica in MGN April 1997 and I had a question in regards to Steve H’s letter about putting an HK registered sear into a three shot lower. I have an MP5-K PDW and I am in the process of buying a three shot burst lower for the gun. The class 3 I am buying it from says that the work in the three shot burst pack has already been done (timing, alignments, etc) and that all I had to do was drop in my HK registered auto sear. Is this possible? Reading your response to Steve H leads me to believe it is not. He’s charging me 800.00 for the burst lower. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

A5- Several people who have worked the sear location out exactly on this are offering these for sale. The old way to do it was mechanically changing the sear itself, and it was a bear of a job. The market abhors a vacuum, and necessity is the mother of invention. The father, of course, is usually a gunsmith, at least according to the gunsmiths I know. The three shot burst trigger groups that have been modified to accept a registered sear have been working out quite nicely. I would want a little more information before I said “Yes, it’s going to work”, as in who did the work on the trigger pack. Terry Dyer has a trigger pack he does, and reports that SAR has received indicate it is ready for a registered sear to be dropped in. I believe that the Fleming / Qualified sears are the ones this pack is intended for, and the S&H sears would probably work as well. (Terry Dyer 309-473-3377)

Q6- I have an Ambidextrous H&K Navy Picto SEF lower with fake push pin. It has a small tail. I purchased this piece with a G3 lower. He replaced the hammer spring/ejector. I installed it on my 91. Before I take it out and shoot it, I want to confirm that the short tail would not be a problem. My dealer told me no. He said that as long as I changed the ejectors and hammer springs, that I could move it between my 91, 93 and MP5. What do you think?

AVVC Develop

A6-The long “Tail” on the HK91/G3 trigger housings is based on the two pins that hold the buttstock onto the firearm- the tail extends all the way underneath both pins. The original designers may have seen some structural reason for this, or they may have kept it extended for uniformity and alignment on re-assembly. In either case, the longer “Tail” does not seem to matter in the installations that I have seen. Many people have one trigger pack with a registered sear in it, that they change between the firearms. This is almost always a “Short tail” MP5 or HK33 model. You do need to change the ejector between calibers, which is a simple job. You should also change the hammer spring between the calibers as well, but this is a little more involved. Many shooters don’t bother to change the hammer springs and this is a mistake that could have serious consequences to the safety of the firearm and possibly the shooter as well.

Q7- Two questions for an RKI:

A guy wants to sell me an HK MK23 SOCOM pistol, but here’s the catch: it’s marked “MK 23 USSOCOM cal. .45” along the left side instead of the usual “Mark 23 Cal. .45 Auto” that I see on the stock gun store ones. Not being particularly stupid or naïve, my guess is that this is stolen government property as he can’t document its life before it came into his hands. The problem is the temptation, I want it quite badly, and the price is right. What are the ramifications here?

Also wanting to buy an HK 41 (the older 91, not the G41) and wondering if you might have/know of any for sale.

Ted C

A7- I would say that this gun is stolen government property, unless he came up with a receipt and some other proof that this was a legit gun. Ramifications? At the very least this gun is subject to being seized without any compensation to you, and you might get asked a lot of uncomfortable questions and have your name on a “Little list” of people who buy stolen government property. At worst? You could find yourself in court, part of a major investigation into buying and selling stolen government property. When you get to court, no one is going to call this a target pistol either- count on the prosecutors making this out to be the moral equivalent of selling AK47s on a street corner, and the jury will buy it. This is the “Offensive Handgun” we are talking about, remember? It’s big and scary looking to the uninitiated Oprah watchers that seem to comprise many juries today. Your entry-level fee in this case is five to seven thousand dollars deposit to your lawyer for his initial expenses. Lord only knows where it can go from there. Go to a legitimate HK dealer, and purchase a proper MK23 pistol. It might cost you a little more up front, but combined with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are legit, it’s a bargain.

The HK41’s are a rare beast, and are legal in California of all places. My understanding is that some of them have a push pin lower and are grandfathered to be legal semi autos, but make sure you do not have a standard machine gun lower hanging around while you have this type of HK41. I do not know of any available right now, but suggest that any SAR readers who wish to sell one put it into the classifieds for your notice.

Q8- Are there silencers available for hunting rifles? I have neighbors on both sides of me and I hunt on my own property and need something to muffle the blast from my rifle so it won’t disturb my neighbors. I have a 300 mag and my buddy has a 280 mag. Can you help me?

Peter A

A8- Most states do not allow hunting with silenced firearms. You neglected to indicate your state of residence, so I can’t very well help out. Let’s just say that many of the silencer prosecutions I have heard of are in NFA friendly states and involved registered silencers, but were initiated by the State Fish and Game departments. Check out your state and local laws before you do more than plinking. By the way, the 300 mag and the 280 mag are poor choices for suppression. I would suggest .308 or .223, or even more fun, an integrally suppressed Ruger 10-22. You will save money on your plinking, keep from shaking your corneas loose, and get more shooting out of your ammunition dollar. SAR has a number of advertisers who make fine suppressed rifles- give them a call.

Q9- I am in the process of obtaining a WWII British STEn gun from my father’s uncle’s estate. Is it safe to use modern Milspec ammo in it, or do I need to handload downloaded ammo for it in order to avoid damaging it?

Ed Richard

A9- No problems at all with military ammo. The STEn should function reliably with almost any 9x19 mm (Parabellum or Luger) ball ammunition. You may experience difficulty in feeding truncated cone or hollow point variations. Some STEns were made in 7.62 x 25 (Tokarev) and .45acp, so make sure you have a 9mm STEn.

I would caution you on one thing since you are obviously a handloader. If you download the ammunition, it may reach a point where there is not enough back pressure to engage the sear on the bolt’s return stroke, yet the bolt has gone far enough to the rear to pick the next round on the unintended return to battery. Since there is a fixed firing pin, this means you will fire a bullet after you released the trigger. Your STEn will empty the magazine out like a sputter gun, and serious danger could be the result. It’s called a runaway gun, and it shocks the operator severely. Keep the pressures in the recommended ranges.

Q10- I have been privy to many of the books detailing weapons used during World War I by both sides in the conflict. However, I have never seen a picture or a narrative in reference to the “Balloon Gun” Can you help? Or, at least point me in the direction of a book that may contain this information.

Andrew Geller

A10- Vickers made an 11mm variant of the famous Vickers gun, and it was an air-cooled belt fed machine gun using Maxim’s lock style. Balloon Guns had a gear system that synchronized them with the propellers on the airplanes they were firing from. Dr. Ed Weitzman is planning a feature article in SAR on the Balloon Guns in an upcoming issue. You can find more information on this in Dolf Goldsmith’s book “The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land”, available from Collector Grade Publications (905)-342-3434

Questions to: Dan Shea c/o The Small Arms Review

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N9 (June 1998)
and was posted online on May 12, 2017


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