Letters to SAR: February 1998

By The Small Arms Review Editorial Staff

Dear SAR,

The 2nd issue of SAR looks great, however an ad in your November classified section reguarding the sale of “Pre-Ban” H&K Socom 12 round magazines annoys me. Other “dealers” around the country have been offering these mags as well. This may be a good subject to address in your reader information pages.

There never was any such animal as pre-ban high capacity (12-rd) OCOM pistol (MK23) magazines! Regardless of what anyone says, these magazines are simply stolen US Government property! The production contract for the MK23 pistol and all the spare mags was not even awarded until June 1995, after the Crime Bill was enacted.

The MK23 contract called for the USG-ordered magazines to be delivered to the USG without the Crime Bill markings, with an exception granted by BATF of course. This is how the more than 20,000 magazines ordered and received to date after May 1996 by the USG in support of the 1,950 MK23’s purchases were delivered.

The 12-round Mark 23 magazines that we order and stock here for general sales with “commercial” Mark 23’s to Law Enforcement and Military customers are marked with the Crime Bill markings as is required by law. The exception was/is only for those weapons delivered to the USG.

There were never any USP45 12-round magazines made intentionally without the Crime Bill markings. While it is possible to insert magazines of the MK23/Mark 23 in the USP45 (not vice versa due to the different floor plates), these magazine are different and should not be interchanged. The feed lips and floor plates are different between the two magazines. Swapping these magazines can reduce the reliability f the weapons when the incorrect magazine is utilized

You may wish to inform your readers that if they buy (or sell) 12-round unmarked magazines for the MK23/Mark 23/0, they are buying/selling stolen US Government property, plain and simple.

If their claim is that these unmarked magazines were produced prior to the Crime Bill and imported through another source beside HK Inc., that’s a lie as well. If their claim is that the magazine housing is UPS45 pre-ban with a MK23/Mark 23 floor plate fitted to it, that’s also untrue. Ask the “dealer” his source for the magazines in question and see what his response is.

While there could be a few (less than 60) prototype, 12-round unmarked SOCOM OHWS Phase I or Phase II magazines floating around, most of these were delivered to the USG with the prototype pistols (except for a handful that we kept here) and were thus purchased by the USG and are thus USG property also. However, the Phase I prototype magazines do not fit in Phase II or production MK23’s/Mark 23’s or USP45’s.

I have inspected one of these so-called pre-ban magazines actually purchased from one of these “dealers”. It is in fact one of the mags we sold to the USG on the contract.

Be advised, that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is aware of this issue and have an ongoing investigation into the loss of this controlled, USG property. Buyer/Seller beware!

Jim Schatz
HK, Inc.

Thank you for the facts on these magazines Jim. Hopefully you have helped keep some of our readers out of unwanted trouble.


Dear SAR,

I am reading your Small Arms Review Vol 1, No 1 which came in the mail today, and like it very much. You asked for suggestions as to future content of the magazine. I was reminded of the various issues of Life Magazine during the early 1940’s during World War II (A long, long time age) which had in almost every issue one or more articles dedicated to explaining some sort of military small arms of both the Allies and the Axis nations. I was absolutely fascinated by these articles at the time, and wish that I had put them aside to look at in the years since then. I think your current readers would also be fascinated by reprints of these articles (as would I), perhaps one to an issue of Small Arms Review. That is to say, if the current publishers of Life Magazine could be persuaded to allow them to be reprinted.

Thomas J. Horton
Sun City, AZ

Dear SAR,

I am so thankful that you have picked up were Machine Gun News has left off. I like the street address of 223 Sugar Hill Road. I Like 223, but I am writing with regards to page 36 of Vol. 1 No. 2 In the photo number 11, would that be a XM177 or the XM177E1 model and not the E-2 model? Help me out on this one. Thanks

Jeff Hooper

Number 11 is correct for either model. Later models had the collar added, as illustrated in number 12, but still shared the same moderator. The extension at the front was a Flash Hider.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N5 (February 1998)
and was posted online on September 8, 2017


Comments have not been generated for this article.