July 1992 – Michael’s Observations

Squirt Guns, etc.

“Your assignment, Harries, if you choose to accept it,” said Steven grimly, “is to critique this H&KMP5/10 article that was published in last month’s COMBAT!… and of course I know that controversy sells.” So what the hell, I haven’t picked on H&K lately, and no one is ever safe from my wrath.

Steven [ye Ed. — ye Ed.] gave me the entire article sliced from the magazine, and the first thing I noticed was a full-color picture of the target. It showed 24 hits out of 30 shots, at 25m, firing full auto.

But, my God — they had red-orange target dots affixed to the target: one in the head and one at center-of-mass of the body. Holy Marksmanship, Batman, it’s no wonder that they got the respectable hits they listed in the article. They had a bright, eye-catching aiming point, which makes holding in the right place so much easier than on a blank target — or on enemy troops who forget to wear their personal aiming dots for you.

The H&K MP5/10, 10mm submachine gun is probably just the off-shoot the FBI needs for a “squirt gun” to go with their new 10mm pistol. We understand well that the FBI would rather jump naked into a barrel of rattlesnakes than admit that they should have adopted the .45 ACP in the first place1. At any rate, H&K, as good Euro-Capitalists, has seen fit to fill a need among U.S. police departments, because anything that the FBI adopts is sure to sell well to a majority of American cops.

Of course, you’ve read that the “FBI Load,” in 10mm, was a Federal 1,039 fps (subsonic, like the.45 ACP) cartridge with a 180-grain bullet. And we all know that .40 S&W stands for “Short & Weak.”

One of the problems is that there are too many different loadings (155, 170, 180, and 200 grain bullets) in two dissimilar cases (10x25mm and 10x21mm). Then there’s the high- and low-impulse considerations. It all makes the phrase “10mm cartridge” very puzzling, and sets up the old, “Oh crap, they sent the wrong ammo again!” and, “I don’t have my (or I can’t find my) impulse lever!” problems. Having two 10mms, different in chamber size, floating around in the world sets up some bad things for someone down the road.

But the two points I want to draw your attention to (before I run out of my allotted space) are power and training.

Power is discussed via the “baffle board” test (pine boards set about one inch apart) and most of it compares to known data (.45 ACP penetrates about seven, .357 AP out of a six-inch barrel goes through about 11). But the statement that 9mm penetrates 17 boards (???) is either a misprint or they have some rocket-assisted 9mm ammunition that I don’t know about2. I would have to challenge that figure. My data says a 9mm pistol will penetrate about nine boards, and I can’t accept almost double that, even out of a longer barrel.

By the way, a 230-grain, ball, .45 ACP bullet, with 7.2 grains of Unique powder, for 965 fps, gives 11-board penetration and was sold at one time as “AP” — not to be confused with the 173-grain Highway Master load at 1,150 fps. I have 10 of those left.

And what is this reference to the “under-rated Soviet 7.63x25mm?” What is it (besides a version of the 30-caliber Luger and Mauser round) and why was it mentioned3? It seems that the mighty 10mm still can’t punch through a G.I. flak jacket either, as is the case with all standard pistol ammo the world over.

Training: The “Presidente” starts with your back to the targets, and you must pivot to draw and fire. In the “Vice Presidente,” you start facing the targets and don’t pivot. Only the so-called “Tactical Presidente” (which was invented for Gunsite’s API 499 class) calls for single head shots. Every one of these so-called “testers” who write about firearms is somewhat fast and loose with the term “Presidente,” not to mention “Comstock.” I really wish they either knew what they were talking about or hired me to tell them about it — for money.

But the real crap in this article is the statement, “The main advantage of [the two shot burst] control is that it frees the user from training his personnel in proper full-auto technique…” Nothing in the world frees anyone from having to learn correct, effective technique. Nutt’n. No how, no way!

It just never ceases to amaze me: the people and companies that think that by selling you the “right”hardware, you are ennabled to hand it to idiots and fools, and then can expect reasonable results. Wrong!

Reasonable results and competence are the results of good training and motivated students. Nothing else. I know the manufacturers, salesmen, and the tester who wrote this H&Kreview all mean well, but if you can’t teach an individual to shoot properly, you shouldn’t give him any weapon — especially not a full-auto piece. Responsibility and training must be of paramount importance!

The doctrine at API for machine-pistols (AKA submachine guns, “sub-guns,” “squirt guns,” etc.) is to leave the switch on full-auto and control how many shots you want it to fire by finger pressure and dwell. This technique can only be learned during lots of practice.

Safety is a matter of keeping your damn’ finger out of the damn’ trigger-guard until you are ready to shoot, with your sights on the target! And you try hard not to stick the muzzle up someone’s nose while you’re carrying the gun around in the tactical mode.

The problem with sub-guns with a lot of switches and controls, like the H&KMP5/10, is that if you have to use them under a lot of pressure, and you have too many choices, you probably will have the gun on the “wrong” setting when the flag goes up. We (the API staff) have proved this to our satisfaction (at least, all the people who were with me at the time) when we trained on the H&KMP5 SD, with the 0-1-3-FA trigger group.

I don’t really think that the average shooter with a squirt gun is the technical equal of a “…World-Class Shooter armed with a custom handgun.” Hell, I don’t even think he’d be the tactical equal of a veteran shooter in the SCTC program, either! I also doubt that being a couple tenths-of-a-second quicker, with the sub-gun on full-auto, is significant.

Furthermore, saying that the sub-gun can get multiple hits out to 65m or 150m, and that a rifle (on full auto) can’t do that, is just so much card-stacking propaganda. A rifle doesn’t need to hit with several shots (unless it’s a “mouse gun”). A rifle needs only one hit! I may survive two or three pistol hits in my torso (and hallelujah if I’m wearing a flak vest), but Heaven help me if I take just one .308 or .30-06 round in the chest (flak vest or no).

Now, lest you get the idea I don’t like Heckler and Koch in general, or the MP5-series of weapons in particular, let me state for the record that I like the H&KMP5s better than any other sub-gun in current manufacture. This is mainly because it fires from a closed bolt, and it is well made. I like it even better than the old Thompson, and if I had a choice or had to buy one, the MP5 would be it — and in 9mm, as well.

Among pistol-class rounds, I don’t think a little bigger bullet will help. If the enemy has flak jackets, count on your marksmanship and shoot ’em in their heads. If you need more punch than that, shoot them with a real rifle and your problem will be solved.

It frequently seems to me that most of the world just doesn’t actually understand what they are trying to accomplish with firearms — but what’s new?

And speaking of not understanding things, I did not understand Mr. Hendricks statement (in his”Pro Bono Publico” column, in this issue), “…use nothing but your night sights to conduct your search or sweep for the target.” Is he talking about a night-vision device as a “sight” to search with? He can’t be talking about using “glow-in-the-dark” sights to search with, can he?

The problem is identification, is it not? How can you search in the dark “…with nothing but your night sights?” You have to use a light of some kind (unless you have infrared gear), and of course it is a beacon if you leave it on too long. Two seconds is a maximum time, and often you can use shorter bursts of light to search with.

Maybe I just don’t understand. Maybe he is talking about very special S.W.A.T. team situations. At any rate, I would have trouble teaching people to shoot at humans who have not yet been identified. I’m sure this is a misunderstanding that Mr. Hendricks will clear up for me next month.

I’m sorry that I was unable to get together with Colonel Young before he left Camp Pendelton. Hell, maybe he knew where thousands of rounds of .30-06 was buried, that I could dig up. Also, please get your riot stories in to me right away. I plan on discussing whatever information I have left after the September “Riot Special II.” pistol event.

Later this month, the pistol event will be the API 250 and 499, “Day Six” courses. Mark Olmedo said that he and Chris Comer are going to put on the August 8th rifle event and, unfortunately for my rifle practice but fortunately for my landlord, I’ll be away teaching at Gunsite.

A political note: I don’t care if everything bad said about Ross Perot is true. I want upheaval. I want the election thrown into the House, so that the “Imperial Congress” will have to tip its hand. I’m willing to see Clinton elected (although I’m not going to vote for him) so he can run the country into the ground in a hurry, so we can have 1776-II. The political system in this country is rotten and corrupt, and the American people must reverse the awesome power of the government over the people — or change the government!