Machine Gun Rentals

Enjoy the "Full-Auto" experience!  Try one of these magnificent machine guns for yourself!

Standard Machine Gun Rental: 
$60.00 (not including Lane Charge, Ammunition, Eye & Ear Protection, and Targets)
Standard Machine Guns:
(Click image for more details)
   
   
   
   
   
 
More Machine Guns are available at the Range!

 
  More Machine Guns are available at the Range!

 
Come Out and Shoot With Us!


Specialty Machine Guns: (Click image for more details)
  $150.00 plus ammunition                  


Check back often as we frequently add new Machine Guns!


M3 Grease Gun

Caliber:
.45ACP (also 9x19mm Luger/Para in M3A1)
Weight:
3.7 kg
Length (stock closed/open):
570 / 745 mm
Barrel length:
203 mm
Rate of fire:
450 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity:
30 rounds
Effective range:
50 meters

The M3 submachine gun, also known as Grease Gun, was developed as a cheaper war-time alternative to the famous Thompson M1 and M1928 submachine guns. The M3 and M3A1 were developed and manufactured by General Motors Corp. The M3 was introduced in 1942, and a simplified M3A1 was introduced in 1944, and remained in service (in the USA) until 1960 or so, and also was exported.

The M3 is a full-auto only, blowback operated firearm. The receiver is made from steel stampings. The M3 featured a spring-loaded ejection port cover (also acting as a safety) and a crank-type bolt retracting (cocking) handle at the right side of the receiver. In the M3A1 the designers removed the cocking handle assembly (it was prone to malfunctions) and replaced it with a simple finger hole in the bolt body, accessible through an enlarged ejection window. Also, M3A1's were able to be converted to use 9mm Luger rounds by replacing the barrel, bolt, and installing the magazine adaptor to use British Sten magazines. Both the M3 and M3A1 fire from the open bolt.

The retractable stock, made from steel wire, can be used as a cleaning rod (when detached).  It also features a magazine loading tool.  Some M3s and M3A1a were also fitted with flash hiders. The sights are fixed and are located at the top of the receiver.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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M1 Thompson

  M1921 M1928 M1
Caliber .45ACP .45ACP .45ACP
Weight, empty 4.69 kg 4.9 kg 4.78 kg
Length 830 mm 852 mm
811 mm
Barrel length 267 mm
267 mm 267 mm
Rate of Fire ~ 1000 rpm ~ 700 rpm ~ 700 rpm
Magazine Capacity 20 or 30 rounds box ("stick") magazines and 50 or 100 rounds drums
Sames as M1921
20 or 30 rds box
Effective Range ~ 50 meters ~ 50 meters ~ 50 meters

John Thompson founded the Auto Ordnance corp. in 1916, and began his development of submachine guns with the purchase of a John Blish patent (1915), that described a delayed blowback automatic firearm. This patent described a delayed blowback breech system in which a sloping metal wedge interlocked the breech block with the gun body. Under high pressure, as when the cartridge fired, the angle of the slope was such that the mating faces jammed solid. As the pressure dropped, the faces were able to slip across each other, the wedge moved up due to the slope, and the breech unlocked. This idea was used in all Thompson submachine guns except for the M1 and M1A1 (those were simply blowback operated).

The first Thompson SMG appeared in 1919. The first serial manufactured model appeared in 1921 and was manufactured by Colt, as well as the latest M1927 and M1928 models. 1928A1 & the M1 series were manufactured by Auto-Ordnance and Savage, and licensed copies were manufactured by B.S.A. in Great Britain.

Currently, Auto-Ordnance (a part of the Kahr company) manufactures semi-auto only Tommy guns with barrels lengthened to 16" (405 mm) for the civilian market.

In general, all Tommy guns may be described as a select-fire, delayed blowback or simply blowback (M1) operated firearms. All Tommy guns feature all-steel, high quality construction. Some barrels are partially ribbed for better cooling.

Tommy guns became famous through the "roaring twenties" in the USA, when, during the Prohibition times, many Tommy guns were used by both Police and criminals to spread death across their enemies. Hollywood made the Tommy gun the sign of the 1920's in the USA, but this gun was also widely used during the WW2 and later in Korean war, and proved itself as a reliable and powerful firearm. The main drawbacks of the Tommy guns were short effective range, heavy weight and high cost of manufacture.

Here is a short listing of Tommy Gun models (according to the Auto-Ordnance web site):
M1921 - First production model. Featured delayed blowback operation, machined steel receivers, charging handle located at the top of the receiver, detachable wooden butt stock and vertical forearm.
M1923 - Unsuccessful attempt to increase effective range by introducing a new, more powerful cartridge, .45 Remington-Thompson.
M1927 - Semi-auto only version of M1921. Barrel with Cutts compensator.
M1928 - Also known as the "Navy model".  This was a select-fire version with a horizontal wooden foregrip (it also was manufactured with a vertical foregrip) and sling swivels. Barrel with Cutts compensator.
M1 - First issued in 1943 as a simplified for war-time production variant of the M1928. Select-fire, simple blowback operated, issued with 20 round "stick" magazines. The charging handle is located at the right side of the receiver. Plain barrel (without ribbing).
M1A1 - Even more simplified M1 (with fixed peep-hole rear sights).

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!


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MP-5A2

Caliber
.40S&W
Weight, empty
2.54 kg 2.88 kg
Length
680 mm 490 / 660 mm
Barrel length
225 mm
Rate of fire
800 rounds per minute
Magazines
15 and 30 rounds

The Heckler and Koch submachine gun, MP-5, is one of the most famous and wide-spread firearms of its class developed since the Second World War. Its development began circa 1964 under the company designation HK MP-54, or simply HK 54. In 1966, German police and Border Guard adopted the HK 54 as the MP-5, and it was originally available in two forms - MP-5 with a fixed butt stock and MP-5A1 with a retractable butt stock. Some years later HK slightly upgraded the design of MP-5, replacing the sights (from flip-up open notch rear and blade front to drum-type diopter rear and hooded post front) and the muzzle (replacing the two-slot muzzle compensator to the three-lug QD silencer mount without compensator). Other improvements made over time concerned the magazines (early type magazines were of straight box type, latter - of curved box type for improved reliability). The trigger units also were upgraded - from original stamped steel with plastic grip to the all-plastic units, integral with grip, and with various fire modes and marking. Over the years MP-5s were adopted by huge numbers of police, security and military forces around the world, including the German police and border guard, British police and elite Army SAS units, American police, FBI, Navy and Marine Corps, and many, many others. The MP-5 is still manufactured in Germany by HK itself, and is also licensed to Greece, Iran, Pakistan and Mexico. The only real rival to the MP-5 in terms of proliferation across the world is the famous Israeli UZI submachine gun. Most interestingly, the German Army (Bundeswehr) did not adopted the MP-5, most probably due to economical reasons, and turned instead to the UZI submachine guns, made under license in Belgium.

The success of the MP-5 is outstanding. It is based on the high quality and reliability of the gun, great single-shot accuracy (thanks to its closed bolt action), great flexibility and, of cause, good marketing. It seems that no other modern SMG at this time can rival the MP-5 in popularity (the UZI is not manufactured anymore).

The MP-5, basically, is no more than the scaled-down version of the Heckler-Koch G3 battle rifle. It shares the same basic design with stamped steel receiver and the same roller-delayed blowback action, derived from the post-war CETME rifles. The trigger units are hinged to the receiver and are now available with various fire mode options, including 2 (Safe, Semi-auto), 3 (Safe, Semi, Full Auto) or 4 (Safe, Semi, Limited burst of 2 or 3 rounds, Full auto) position levers, ambidextrous or not, and marked with letters, digits or icons. The MP-5 is always fired from a closed bolt for improved accuracy, but this limits the amount of sustained fire due to the barrel overheating and resulting cook-off problems. To avoid this, MP-5 cocking handle can be locked in the rear position in the special slot, leaving the bolt in the open position, with no cartridge in the chamber. To commence the fire one must simply release the cocking handle from its notch and then pull the trigger. Modern MP-5 submachine guns are equipped with three-lug quick detachable silencer mounts on the barrel. Sights are similar to other HK models, and consist of the front hooded post sight and the adjustable for windage and elevation drum-type diopter rear sight. Special quick-detachable clamp mounts allow for installation of night, optical and red-dot sights if required. Standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds, but shorter 15 rounds magazines are available. Special versions were developed and manufactured in limited numbers during 1980s-90s for the US Law Enforcement market, chambered for more powerful 10mm Auto (10x25mm) and .40S&W (10x22mm) ammunition. These guns can be easily distinguished from more common 9mm models by straight box 30 rounds magazines, made from plastic.

While all of the MP-5s can be fitted with silencers, there also a dedicated silenced version of MP-5, called MP5SD2 or SD3 (depending on the stock type). This version is equipped with a non detachable integral silencer, and the vented barrel, to reduce the bullet muzzle velocity down below the speed of sound. The MP-5SD is intended to fire standard 9mm ammunition, not the special subsonic one.

Semi-automatic only versions of the MP-5 were once made for civilian market under the designation of HK-94, some with longer, 16 inch (406 mm) barrels, to conform with US laws. There also is an US company, called Special Weapons LLC, that is manufacturing semi-automatic, civilian MP-5 clones in various pistol calibers, including the .45ACP.


Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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Beretta Model 12S

Caliber:
9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight:
3.2 kg
Lenght (stock closed/open):
418 / 660 mm
Barrel lenght:
200 mm
Rate of fire:
550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity:
20 , 32 or 40 cartridges
Effective range:
200 meters

Submachinegun Beretta mod.12 was developed in 1959 by Pietro Beretta Spa., Italy. Later, the variant 12s was developed. Mod.12 and 12s had been adopted by the Italian army, Carabineri, and by some other military and police agencies around the world

M12 is a recoil operated, select-fire firearm, firing from open bolt. The firing pin is fixed to the bolt. The bolt "sleeves" around the rear part of the barrel to reduce the overall length and barrel jumping during full-auto fire. The receiver, both handles and magazine veil are made from stamped steel. The charging handle is located at the left side. M12S has an automatic safety at the front side of the grip, as well as a 3 position safety/fire selector (the M12 has pushbutton-style safety switch). The M12 may be equipped with either side folding metallic stock or fixed stock.


Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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MP5A3

Caliber 9mm Parabellum
Weight, empty 2.54 kg 2.88 kg
Length 680 mm 490 / 660 mm
Barrel length 225 mm
Rate of fire 800 rounds per minute
Magazines 15 and 30 rounds

The Heckler and Koch submachine gun, MP-5, is one of the most famous and wide-spread firearms of its class developed since the Second World War. Its development began circa 1964 under the company designation HK MP-54, or simply HK 54. In 1966, German police and Border Guard adopted the HK 54 as the MP-5, and it was originally available in two forms - MP-5 with a fixed butt stock and MP-5A1 with a retractable butt stock. Some years later HK slightly upgraded the design of MP-5, replacing the sights (from flip-up open notch rear and blade front to drum-type diopter rear and hooded post front) and the muzzle (replacing the two-slot muzzle compensator to the three-lug QD silencer mount without compensator). Other improvements made over time concerned the magazines (early type magazines were of straight box type, latter - of curved box type for improved reliability). The trigger units also were upgraded - from original stamped steel with plastic grip to the all-plastic units, integral with grip, and with various fire modes and marking. Over the years MP-5s were adopted by huge numbers of police, security and military forces around the world, including the German police and border guard, British police and elite Army SAS units, American police, FBI, Navy and Marine Corps, and many, many others. The MP-5 is still manufactured in Germany by HK itself, and is also licensed to Greece, Iran, Pakistan and Mexico. The only real rival to the MP-5 in terms of proliferation across the world is the famous Israeli UZI submachine gun. Most interestingly, the German Army (Bundeswehr) did not adopted the MP-5, most probably due to economical reasons, and turned instead to the UZI submachine guns, made under license in Belgium.

The success of the MP-5 is outstanding. It is based on the high quality and reliability of the gun, great single-shot accuracy (thanks to its closed bolt action), great flexibility and, of cause, good marketing. It seems that no other modern SMG at this time can rival the MP-5 in popularity (the UZI is not manufactured anymore).

The MP-5, basically, is no more than the scaled-down version of the Heckler-Koch G3 battle rifle. It shares the same basic design with stamped steel receiver and the same roller-delayed blowback action, derived from the post-war CETME rifles. The trigger units are hinged to the receiver and are now available with various fire mode options, including 2 (Safe, Semi-auto), 3 (Safe, Semi, Full Auto) or 4 (Safe, Semi, Limited burst of 2 or 3 rounds, Full auto) position levers, ambidextrous or not, and marked with letters, digits or icons. The MP-5 is always fired from a closed bolt for improved accuracy, but this limits the amount of sustained fire due to the barrel overheating and resulting cook-off problems. To avoid this, MP-5 cocking handle can be locked in the rear position in the special slot, leaving the bolt in the open position, with no cartridge in the chamber. To commence the fire one must simply release the cocking handle from its notch and then pull the trigger. Modern MP-5 submachine guns are equipped with three-lug quick detachable silencer mounts on the barrel. Sights are similar to other HK models, and consist of the front hooded post sight and the adjustable for windage and elevation drum-type diopter rear sight. Special quick-detachable clamp mounts allow for installation of night, optical and red-dot sights if required. Standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds, but shorter 15 rounds magazines are available. Special versions were developed and manufactured in limited numbers during 1980s-90s for the US Law Enforcement market, chambered for more powerful 10mm Auto (10x25mm) and .40S&W (10x22mm) ammunition. These guns can be easily distinguished from more common 9mm models by straight box 30 rounds magazines, made from plastic.

While all of the MP-5s can be fitted with silencers, there also a dedicated silenced version of MP-5, called MP5SD2 or SD3 (depending on the stock type). This version is equipped with a non detachable integral silencer, and the vented barrel, to reduce the bullet muzzle velocity down below the speed of sound. The MP-5SD is intended to fire standard 9mm ammunition, not the special subsonic one.

Semi-automatic only versions of the MP-5 were once made for civilian market under the designation of HK-94, some with longer, 16 inch (406 mm) barrels, to conform with US laws. There also is an US company, called Special Weapons LLC, that is manufacturing semi-automatic, civilian MP-5 clones in various pistol calibers, including the .45ACP.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!


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Colt SMG


Caliber:
9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 2.59 kg empty
Lenght (stock closed/open): 650 / 730 mm
Barrel lenght: 260 mm
Rate of fire: 900 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 or 32 rounds
Effective range: 200 meters

The Colt model 635 submachine gun was developed circa 1982, and currently is offered by Colt for military and law enforcement users. It was or is used by numerous police agencies in USA, as well as by US Dept. Of Energy Nuclear plants security units, US DEA, US Marines, and some others.

The model 635 is based on the proven design of the M16A2 assault rifle, modified to fire less powerful pistol ammunition. Modifications are: barrel without gas port and gas pipe; simple blowback bolt; modified magazine port; CAR-15 - type retractable butt stock.

The model 635 submachine gun fires from a closed bolt to improve accuracy and maintains the M16-type trigger group. The model 635 has a three-position safety-fire selector with available modes of fire of semi-auto and full-auto. Model 639 is similar to model 635 except that it features M16A2 type trigger, with semi-auto and 3 round burst modes of fire. The model 634 is a carbine variant with only semiautomatic mode of fire available. The model 633 SMG features an even shorter 7 inch (178 mm) barrel with a simplified front sight post.

The main advantage of the model 635 SMG is that its controls and appearance are almost identical to the M16 assault rifle, making it much easier to transfer users from one weapon to another.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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 HK MP5SD

Caliber
9mm Parabellum
Weight, empty
2.54 kg 2.88 kg
Length
680 mm 490 / 660 mm
Barrel length
225 mm
Rate of fire
800 rounds per minute
Magazines
15 and 30 rounds

The Heckler and Koch submachine gun, MP-5, is one of the most famous and wide-spread firearms of its class developed since the Second World War. Its development began circa 1964 under the company designation HK MP-54, or simply HK 54. In 1966, German police and Border Guard adopted the HK 54 as the MP-5, and it was originally available in two forms - MP-5 with a fixed butt stock and MP-5A1 with a retractable butt stock. Some years later HK slightly upgraded the design of MP-5, replacing the sights (from flip-up open notch rear and blade front to drum-type diopter rear and hooded post front) and the muzzle (replacing the two-slot muzzle compensator to the three-lug QD silencer mount without compensator). Other improvements made over time concerned the magazines (early type magazines were of straight box type, latter - of curved box type for improved reliability). The trigger units also were upgraded - from original stamped steel with plastic grip to the all-plastic units, integral with grip, and with various fire modes and marking. Over the years MP-5s were adopted by huge numbers of police, security and military forces around the world, including the German police and border guard, British police and elite Army SAS units, American police, FBI, Navy and Marine Corps, and many, many others. The MP-5 is still manufactured in Germany by HK itself, and is also licensed to Greece, Iran, Pakistan and Mexico. The only real rival to the MP-5 in terms of proliferation across the world is the famous Israeli UZI submachine gun. Most interestingly, the German Army (Bundeswehr) did not adopted the MP-5, most probably due to economical reasons, and turned instead to the UZI submachine guns, made under license in Belgium.

The success of the MP-5 is outstanding. It is based on the high quality and reliability of the gun, great single-shot accuracy (thanks to its closed bolt action), great flexibility and, of cause, good marketing. It seems that no other modern SMG at this time can rival the MP-5 in popularity (the UZI is not manufactured anymore).

The MP-5, basically, is no more than the scaled-down version of the Heckler-Koch G3 battle rifle. It shares the same basic design with stamped steel receiver and the same roller-delayed blowback action, derived from the post-war CETME rifles. The trigger units are hinged to the receiver and are now available with various fire mode options, including 2 (Safe, Semi-auto), 3 (Safe, Semi, Full Auto) or 4 (Safe, Semi, Limited burst of 2 or 3 rounds, Full auto) position levers, ambidextrous or not, and marked with letters, digits or icons. The MP-5 is always fired from a closed bolt for improved accuracy, but this limits the amount of sustained fire due to the barrel overheating and resulting cook-off problems. To avoid this, MP-5 cocking handle can be locked in the rear position in the special slot, leaving the bolt in the open position, with no cartridge in the chamber. To commence the fire one must simply release the cocking handle from its notch and then pull the trigger. Modern MP-5 submachine guns are equipped with three-lug quick detachable silencer mounts on the barrel. Sights are similar to other HK models, and consist of the front hooded post sight and the adjustable for windage and elevation drum-type diopter rear sight. Special quick-detachable clamp mounts allow for installation of night, optical and red-dot sights if required. Standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds, but shorter 15 rounds magazines are available. Special versions were developed and manufactured in limited numbers during 1980s-90s for the US Law Enforcement market, chambered for more powerful 10mm Auto (10x25mm) and .40S&W (10x22mm) ammunition. These guns can be easily distinguished from more common 9mm models by straight box 30 rounds magazines, made from plastic.

While all of the MP-5s can be fitted with silencers, there also a dedicated silenced version of MP-5, called MP5SD2 or SD3 (depending on the stock type). This version is equipped with a non detachable integral silencer, and the vented barrel, to reduce the bullet muzzle velocity down below the speed of sound. The MP-5SD is intended to fire standard 9mm ammunition, not the special subsonic one.

Semi-automatic only versions of the MP-5 were once made for civilian market under the designation of HK-94, some with longer, 16 inch (406 mm) barrels, to conform with US laws. There also is an US company, called Special Weapons LLC, that is manufacturing semi-automatic, civilian MP-5 clones in various pistol calibers, including the .45ACP.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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Ruger AC556

Caliber: 5.56x45 mm NATO (.223 Remington)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 943 mm
Barrel length: 470 mm
Weigth: 3.06 kg
Magazine capacity: 5, 10, 20 or 30 rds detachable box magazines

The Mini-14 rifle was developed in early 1970s and introduced near 1974. To speak simply, Mini-14 is an M-14 "clone", scaled down to use then-new 5.56mm / .223 Rem cartridge.

The Mini-14 is somewhat similar in design to M1 Garand and M-14 rifles, utilizing the same gas action with under barrel gas piston, rotating bolt, and positive safety with the safety switch located at the forward part of the trigger guard. Mini-14s initially were manufactured in both semi-auto only "civilian" versions and in select-fire "military" versions, featuring flash hider and bayonet mounts. However, these "military" rifles weren't adopted by any military, and were used to some extent by some Police departments and Law Enforcement agencies across the USA.

Those select-fire versions, known as AC-556 or Mini-14GB, were manufactured with a one piece wooden stock or with pistol grip and side-folding metal butt stock.

In 1987, Ruger developed a Mini-30 version of the semi-auto Mini-14, chambered in 7.62x39mm Russian cartridge.

All Mini-14s and Mini-30s are known as reliable rifles, but accuracy is inferior as compared to the M16/AR-15 series.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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Walther MPK

 

  MPL MPK
Chamber: 9 mm Luger
9mm Luger
Weight unloaded: 3.0 kg
2.83 kg
Length: 746 / 462 mm
659 / 381 mm
Barrel length: 260 mm 173 mm
Rate of Fire: 550 rounds/min 550 rounds/min
Effective range: 200 m
100 m
Capacity: 32 rounds 32 rounds

The Walther MP series of submachine guns was developed by Karl Walther company in 1963. This family included 2 weapons: MPL (MachinenPistole Lang - Long Submachine gun) and MPK (MachinenPistole Kurz - Short Submachine gun). The only difference between the MPL and MPK was in barrel and barrel shroud lengths, otherwise both guns were similar. The MPL and MPK were used by some German police forces, and only one significant export sale was to the Mexican navy. Production of the MPL/MPK had been ceased in 1987.

Both the MPK and MPL are blowback operated weapons, with an "L"-shaped bolt, most part of which, in the forward position, is located above the barrel to reduce the length of the receiver. The receiver was is from stamped steel and forms a vented heat shield in the front part of the gun. The guns are select-fire, with a safety-fire selector switch at the left side of the receiver, behind the trigger. Sights are of flip-up type with 2 settings, for 100 and 200 meters (for MPL).  A side-folding butt stock was made from thin steel tubes.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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CZ Skorpion vz.61

Caliber: 7.65x17mm (.32ACP) in vz.61; also 9x18mm Makarov in vz.82 and 9x17mm (.380ACP) in vz.83
Weight: 1.28 kg without magazine
Length (stock closed/open): 270 / 517 mm
Barrel length: 115 mm
Rate of fire: ca. 850 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 10 or 20 rounds
Effective range: 25 meters

The vz.61 Skorpion and its variants are manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka (Uhersky Brod, Czech Republic).

The vz.61 Skorpion (vz. means "vzor" in Chech, or model in English) submachine gun was designed as a dual purpose weapon, intended to be used as a close combat assault weapon as well as a personal defense weapon.  Small size makes this weapon very suitable for concealed carry or for use in a confined space, such as cars or aircraft, so this gun became popular among both police, security and counter-terror units, as well as among some terrorist groups.

The vz.61 uses relatively weak 7.65mm Browning cartridge, so it employs a simple blowback principle to operate. The gun features an ambidextrous cocking handle (two small button-shaped handles on each side of the receiver). The safety/firing mode switch is located at the left side above the firing handle. The gun can be fired in single shots or in full auto. To decrease rate of fire to practical rate, the vz.61 features a rate reducer, that is located in the handle and catches the bolt in the rearward position for a  small amount of time after the each shot.

The vz.61 may be carried in a special holster, and may be fired single-handed or with a two-hand grip, with or without the stock extension, so it has slightly longer effective range than other pistols of the same caliber.

The variants of the vz.61 include models vz.82 and vz.83 which are almost identical to the vz.61. The main difference is that those SMGs are chambered in different 9mm cartridges. The only external difference is that 9mm versions use straight box magazines, instead of the original curved box magazines.

The vz.61 and its variants are in use by some Czech, Slovenian, Egypt and Libyan units, as well as other countries.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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Star Z70

Caliber: 9mm Largo (9x23 mm Bergmann) and 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 2.87 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open): 480 / 701 mm
Barrel length: 201 mm
Rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Effective range: 200 meters

The Star Z62 submachine gun was developed by STAR Bonifacio Echeverria SA company of Spain circa 1962, and was adopted by Spanish army, police and Guarda Civil in 9mm Largo. For export it was offered in more common 9mm Luger/Parabellum chambering. In 1971 the Star company came with an updated version of the Z62, called Z70b. This gun had minor modifications, described below, and also was manufactured in 9mm Largo for Spanish service and in 9mm Luger for export. In the Spanish army it was replaced in the mid-1980s by the Star Z84.

The Star Z62 is a conventional blowback operated, selective fire submachine gun. The tubular receiver in its front part also acts as a heat shield. The cocking handle is located at the left side and does not move when the gun is fired. The firing pin is mounted within the massive cylindrical bolt and is operated by a lever, which protrudes from the bolt and moves the firing pin off the bolt face only when bolt is its forward most position. Another interesting feature is a two-finger trigger, which also acts as a fire selector, depending on what part of the trigger (upper or the lower) the user presses. The safety is of a cross-bolt type. The metallic butt stock folds under the gun when not in use and can be used as a handguard. The rear sight has a flip-up "L"-shaped blade with two settings, for 100 and 200 meters.

The Z70b is in most aspects similar to the Z62, but it utilizes a more conventional safety / fire selector switch above the trigger guard, has a  conventional trigger, and also has a magazine catch of a different type.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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STERLING MK4 (L2A3)


Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 2.7 kg empty; 3.5 kg loaded
Length (stock closed/open): 481 / 686 mm
Barrel length: 198 mm
Rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 34 rounds
Effective range: 200 meters

This submachine gun was developed in the 1940s by the Patchett at the Sterling Armament Co., Great Britain, and was adopted by the British Army in 1953. It remained in army service well until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by the L85A1 assault rifle.

The Sterling is a relatively simple, but very well made, blowback operated gun. The receiver and the barrel heat shield are made from a steel tube, the bolt is machined, with a fixed firing pin and four special ribs, designed to gather and remove the dust and fouling from the receiver. The curved magazine is inserted from the left side, spent cases are ejected to the right. The folding butt is made from stamped steel. A Silenced version of the Sterling, officially labeled as L34A1, replaced in service the older STEN Mark 6 silenced.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!


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Uzi

  UZI Mini UZI Micro UZI
Caliber 9x19mm Luger/Para 9x19mm Luger/Para 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight, kg 3.7 2.7 1.5
Length, mm (stock closed/ open) 470 / 650
360 / 600 250 / 460
Barrel length, mm
400 N/A N/A
Rate of fire, rounds/min
600 950 1250
Magazine capacity, rounds
25 / 32
20 / 25 / 32 20
Effective range, meters
200 100 30


The UZI submachine gun was developed in Israel by Usiel Gal, and manufactured by IMI. The UZI had been adopted by police and military of more than 90 countries, including Israel (now only in reserve), Germany, and Belgium. More compact versions, the Mini and Micro UZI, were adopted by many police, special operations and security units around the world, including Israeli Isayeret, and the US Secret Service.

The UZI had been developed on the basis of the Czech M23 and 25 submachine gun, utilizing its overall design and many features, but with a completely different receiver (rectangular instead of round in cross-section) and other changes.

The UZI is a recoil-operated, select fire submachine gun, firing from an open bolt. The bolt "sleeves" around the rear part of the barrel to decrease the overall length of the gun. The UZI (as well as the Mini and Micro versions) features a safety/fire selector switch on the left side of the receiver, along with an automated safety on the rear side of the grip. The charging handle is located at the top of the receiver and doesn't move when firing. The receiver is made from the stamped steel.

The UZI is equipped with a folding stock, made from stamped steel (early variants were also equipped with a fixed wooden stock); The Mini and Micro variants feature side-folding stocks made from steel wire. All versions may be equipped with silencers.

Some sources also reported that IMI developed a variant of Micro-UZI with a charging handle located at the left side of the receiver and picatinny-style rails on the top and  bottom of the receiver. These rails are used to mount sights, tactical flashlights and laser aiming modules. These variants are used by Israeli special forces.

All in all, the Uzi and its variants are simply the most popular SMGs in the world, being manufactured in great numbers (probably, more that 10 million manufactured around the world until today).

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FN P90

Caliber: 5.7x28mm SS190
Weight: 2.54 kg empty; 3 kg loaded with magazine with 50 rounds
Length: 500 mm
Barrel length: 263 mm
Rate of fire: 900 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 50 rounds
Effective range: 200 meters

The FN P90 submachine gun (SMG) was developed in the late 1980s as a defensive weapon for the troops whose primary activities does not include small arms - vehicle and tank crew members, artillery crews etc. Standard pistols and SMGs chambered for pistol rounds were proven ineffective against enemy soldiers wearing armor (bulletproof) vests, so FN Herstal developed a new round with enhanced penetration - the SS190. This round looks like scaled down 5.56mm NATO round and forces the pointed, steel core bullet to 600-700 meters per second at the muzzle, thus being capable to defeat standard CRISAT helmets and armored vests at reasonable distances (50-100 meters).

The P90 is a blowback operated, selective fire weapon. It is fed from 50-round box magazines, made from a translucent polymer. The magazine is located above the barrel, with the cartridges aligned at 90 degrees to the barrel axis. Each magazine has a built-in ramp that rotates the cartridge to align it with the barrel prior to chambering.

The P90 controls are completely ambidextrous, with charging handles located on both sides of the weapon, and the safety/fire mode selector is located below the trigger. The P90 also features downward ejection of the spent cases. The P90 is built in a bull-pup configuration, with a polymer stock, and features a built-in reflex collimator sight with 1X magnification and reticule automatically adjustable to the light level, as well as a set of the backup open sights. The P90 may be equipped with special silencer, that should be used with special, sub-sonic variant of the 5.7x28mm cartridge.

P90 may be referred as a forerunner of the PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) concept, that arose in last 4 or 5 years.

P90 is used by Saudi Arabia, Peruvian Special Forces, and some special units of the Thai army.  It is offered for export by FN.

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HK-G36

G36 G36K G36C Caliber 5.56x45mm (.223 Rem)
Length (butt stock open / folded) 998 / 758 mm 860 / 615 mm 720 / 500 mm
Barrel length 480 mm 320 mm 228 mm
Weight empty 3.6 kg (3.3 kg G36E) 3.3 kg (3.0 kg G36KE) 2.8 kg
Magazine capacity 30 rounds standard
Rate of fire 750 rounds per minute

The Heckler and Koch G-36 assault rifle was born as the HK-50 project in early 1990s. The reason behind that project was that the Bundeswehr (the German army), after the cancellation of the G11 and G41 projects, was left with an outdated G3 rifle and no modern rifle compatible with the current NATO standards at hands. So, the famous company Heckler & Koch set out to develop a new assault rifle for the both German army and for export. The new rifle was a flexible, affordable and extremely reliable design. It seems that HK succeeded in every respect with the G36. The new 5.56mm assault rifle was adopted by the Bundeswehr in 1995, and in 999 the Spanish adopted the slightly different export version,  the G36E, as its standard infantry rifle. The G36 also found its way into the hands of various law enforcement agencies worldwide, including British police and some US police departments. So far there have been very few complaints about this rifle, and a lot of good revives and opinions. In fact, one of the few complaints about G36 is the overheating of the handguards during the sustained fire and the loose of zero of the built in scope on some G36KE rifles, used by US police. Otherwise it is a really fine rifle, accurate, reliable, simple in operation & maintenance, and available in a wide variety of versions - from the short-barreled Commando (some even said that it's a submachine gun) G36C up to a standard G36 rifle, and the MG36 squad automatic (light machine gun).

The G36, in severely modified form, also is used as a "kinetic energy" part of the US XM-29 OICW weapon. It also appears that in this form it also can be adopted by US Army as the separate XM-8 light assault rifle, to replace in the near future Colt M4 carbines, which are now in service with US military.

Technical description.
From the technical point of view, the G36 is a radical departure from all the previous HK rifles, based on the proven G3 roller-delayed system. The G36 is a conventional gas operated, selective fire rifle, made from most the modern materials and using modern technologies.

The receiver and most of the external parts of the G36 are made from reinforced polymers, with steel inserts where appropriate. The operating system appears to be a modification of the older American Armalite AR-18 rifle, with its short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel, square-shaped bolt carrier and the typical rotating bolt with 7 locking lugs. Of course, there also are many differences from the AR-18. The bolt carrier rides on a single guide rod, with the return spring around it. The charging handle is attached to the top of the bolt carrier and can be rotated to the left or to the right. When not in use, the charging handle aligns itself with the axis of the weapon under the pressure of its spring, and reciprocates with the bolt group at the top of the receiver. The gas block is fitted with a self-adjustable gas valve, that expels all the used gases forward, away from the shooter. The ejection window is located at the right side of the receiver and features a spent cases deflector to propel the ejected cases away from the face of the left-handed shooter.

All the major parts are assembled on the receiver using cross- pins, so the rifle can be disassembled and reassembled without any tools.

The typical HK trigger unit is assembled in a separate plastic housing, integral with the pistol grip and the trigger guard. Thanks to this feature, a wide variety of firing mode combinations can be used on any rifle, simply by installing the appropriate trigger unit. Standard options are single shots, full automatic fire, 2 or 3 round bursts in any reasonable combinations. The default version is the single shots + 2 rounds burst + full auto. The ambidextrous fire selector lever also serves as a safety switch.

The 36 is fed from a proprietary 30-round box magazine, made from translucent plastic.  All magazines have special studs on their sides, so two or three magazines can be clipped together for faster reloading. The magazine housings of the G36 are made as  separate parts, so the G36 can be easily adjusted to the various magazine interfaces. The magazine release catch is located just behind the magazine in the G3 or AK-47 style, rather than on the side of the magazine housing (M16-style). A 100-round Beta-C dual drum magazine of US origins also can be used (these magazines are standard for the MG36 squad automatic versions of the G36).

A side-folding, sturdy skeletonized butt stock is standard on all G36 rifles. It folds to the right side and does not interfere with rifle operation when folded.

The standard sighting equipment of the G36 consists of TWO scopes - one 3.5X telescope sight below, with the second 1X red-dot sight above it. The sights are completely independent, with the former suitable for long range accurate shooting, and the latter suitable for the fast target acquisition at short ranges. Both sights are built into the plastic carrying handle. The export versions of the G36 are available with a single 1.5X telescope sight, with emergency open sights molded into the top of the carrying handle. The subcompact G36K Commando version is available with an integral Picatinny-type scope and accessory rail instead of a carrying handle and standard sights.

The standard G36 rifles can be fitted with an HK AG36 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It also can be fitted with a bayonet. Interestingly enough, the G36 uses an AK-74-type bayonet, which are left from the now non-existent NVA (East Germany Army) stocks

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HK-33K

Caliber 5.56x45mm (.223 Rem)
Length

919 mm
740 mm w/retracted stock in A3 variant

Barrel length 390 mm
Weight empty
3.9 kg
Magazine capacity
25, 30, 40 rounds
Rate of fire
750 rds/min


The HK33 was developed by the German company Heckler und Koch in the mid-to-late 1960s as a scaled-down version of their G3 battle rifle, and entered production in 1968.  The HK33 was developed for the then-new cartridge, 5.56x45mm (.223 Remington), and while it had not been adopted by the German military, it saw significant use by some West German police and security units, and also widely exported, and used by Malaysia, Chile and Thailand armed forces. Since 1999, HK33 has been also manufactured under license in Turkey. The HK33 is still in production in Germany by HK, and also served as a platform for further developments, such as G-41 assault rifle and HK53 compact assault rifle (known by HK as submachine gun).

HK33 is a delayed blowback operated, selective fire rifle, that utilized two pieces bolt with two rollers that used to delay bolt blowback. The receiver is made from stamped steel, and HK33 is available with either a polymer fixed buttstock (HK33A2) or retractable metallic buttstock (HK33A3). Carbine version of the HK33 also available and featured shorter barrels and similar fixed or retractable stocks (HK33KA2 and HK33KA3, respectively).

All HK33 variants available with different trigger units, with or without 3-rounds burst mode. HK's proprietary claw-type mounts allow telescopic sights to be mounted on any version of HK33. Full-length HK33s can be equipped with bayonet or underbarrel 40mm grenade launchers, HK79A1, also made by Heckler & Koch. Full-length HK33 rifles also can launch rifle grenades from combined muzzle compensator/flash hider.

Both HK33 and HK53 can use 25, 30 and 40 round box magazines, but latter have been out of production by HK for some time.

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Glock 18


The select-fire version of the Glock, called the Glock 18, is available only in 9mm Luger and only for Military / Law enforcement sales. The Glock 18 can fire single shots or three-shot bursts. The Glock 18 may be equipped with a 31-round extended magazine and after-market folding stocks. For security reasons, some parts of the Glock 18 ARE NOT interchangeable with Glock 17/19 pistols. The theoretical rate of fire in full-auto mode is 1200 rounds per minute.

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AK-47

Caliber: 7.62x39 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt with 2 lugs
Overall length: 870 mm
Barrel length: 415 mm
Weight, with empty magazine: AK 4,3 kg; AKM 3,14 kg
Magazine capacity 30 rounds (40 rounds box magazines and 75 rounds drums from RPK also may be used)
Cyclic rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Maximum effective range: about 400 meters

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, also known as the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova - 47, Kalashnikov automatic rifle, model of 1947), and its derivatives, also known under the common name of AK, is the most prolific small arm of the 2nd half of the twentieth century. It had been and still is (in more or less modified forms) manufactured in dozens of countries, and used in hundreds of countries and conflicts since its introduction. The total number of the AK-type rifles made worldwide during the last 50 years is estimated at 90+ million. This is a true legendary weapon, known for its extreme ruggedness, simplicity of operation and maintenance, and unsurpassed reliability even in worst conditions possible. It is used not only as a military weapon, but also as a platform for numerous sporting civilian rifles and shotguns (Saiga semiautomatic shotguns, for example). The AK is an amalgam of previously known features and solutions, combined in the most effective way. The effectiveness, however, depends on the criteria used to measure it, and the key criteria for any and every Soviet and Russian military arm are: Reliability, Simplicity of operation and maintenance, Suitability for mass production. There never was any significant demand for good ergonomics or superb accuracy, though. In general, the AK can be described as an ideal small arm for the past war (the Second World War). Obviously, it's not a surprise - AK incorporated most lessons learned the hard way during that war.

The official story of the AK says that the sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov, being in hospital after being wounded, began to develop various small arms during World War II. Circa 1944 he was assigned to the Izhevsk Machinebuilding Plant (IZHMASH), where in 1944 he developed a semi-automatic, gas-operated carbine. Starting with this design, during 1945 and 1946 he developed an assault rifle that he submitted for official Soviet Army trials in 1946. During the 1946 and early 1947 he redesigned his initial rifle and submitted it to the second trials, held in 1947. The latter design was found superior to the rivals and was consequently adopted in 1949 as the "7,62mm Automat Kalashnikova, obraztsa 1947 goda" (7.62mm Kalashnikov automatic rifle, model of 1947). After extensive field trials it was slightly modified in 1951, but retained the same name. Along with the basic version, a folding butt version had been developed for paratroop forces, and it was named AKS.

By the 1959 the AK was modified again, this time more extensively, and was consequently adopted (after trials) as the AKM (Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovannyj - Kalashnikov Automatic rifle, Modified). The key changes were the introduction of the stamped receiver instead of the milled one, and improved trigger/hammer unit, that introduced a hammer release delay device (often incorrectly referred as a rate reducer). Other changes were the redesigned, slightly raised buttstock and the pistol grip, and the addition of the removable muzzle flip compensator. This spoon-like compensator is screwed onto the muzzle and used the muzzle blast to reduce muzzle climb during the burst fire.

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Steyr-AUG

Caliber: 5.56mm NATO (.223rem)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 805 mm (with standard 508 mm barrel)
Barrel length: 508 mm (also 350 mm SMG, 407 mm Carbine or 621 mm LMG heavy barrel)
Weight: 3.8 kg unloaded (with standard 508 mm barrel)
Magazines: 30 or 42 rounds box magazines
Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minute
Effective range of fire: 450-500 meters with standard assault rifle barrel

 The Steyr AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr - Universal Army Rifle) had been in development since the late 1960s, as a replacement for venerable but obsolete Stg.58 (FN FAL) battle rifles for Austrian army. It was developed by the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch company (now the Steyr-Mannlicher AG & Co KG) in close conjunction with Austrian Army. The major design is attributed to the three men - Horst Wesp, Karl Wagner and Karl Möser, who developed most of the rifle features. From the Austrian Office of Military Technology the project was supervised by the Colonel Walter Stoll. The new rifle has been adopted by the Austrian Army in 1977, as the Stg.77 (Assault rifle, model of 1977), and production began in 1978. Since then, the AUG gained serious popularity, being adopted by the armed forces of Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Oman, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and some others. It also was widely purchased by various security and law enforcement agencies worldwide, including the US Coastal Guard. The Steyr AUG can be considered as the most commercially successful bullpup assault rifle to date. Since the 1997, the Steyr-Mannlicher produced an updated version of the AUG, the AUG A2.
In around 2005, Steyr-Mannlicher introduced the most recent version of AUG, the AUG A3. This version is characterized by addition of four Picatinny-type accessory rails - one at the top of the receiver, and three around the barrel, in front of the receiver - at both sides and below it. Therefore the AUG A3 has no standard / integral sighting equipment; instead, any open, telescope or night vision sights can be installed on the upper rail, using appropriate mountings. Lower rail can be used to mount various attachments like tactical front grips, flash-lights, and a specially designed 40mm grenade launcher. Side rails can be used for equipment like laser-aiming devices.

Some said that the AUG rifle was revolutionary in many respects when it first appeared, but this is not true. In fact, the AUG is a clever combination of the various previously known ideas, assembled into one sound, reliable and aesthetically attractive package. Let's look at this a little closer. Bullpup configuration: The Steyr AUG is not a first military bullpup ever devised. In fact, British Enfield EM-2 and Soviet Korobov TKB-408 bullpup assault rifles precede the AUG by some 25-30 years. The French FAMAS bullpup also appeared on the scene at the very same time, as the AUG did. Plastic firearm housing: Another Soviet experimental bullpup design, Korobov TKB-022, had the plastic housing as early as in 1962, and the FAMAS rifle, again, has this same feature at the same time as AUG did. Telescope sight as a standard: The British EM-2 bullpup rifle of late 1940s, as well as the experimental Canadian FN FAL prototypes of early 1950s, also featured a low-magnification telescope sights as their prime sighting equipment. A modular design: First systems, consisting of various firearms based on the same receiver and action (automatic rifle, light machine gun, carbine) were originally developed in 1920s in France by Rossignol and in Soviet Russia by Fedorov. Considering all said above, one must agree that the AUG was a logical development of various well known ideas, and a really successful one.

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FN-FAL


Caliber: 7,62mm NATO (7.62x51)
Action: Gas operated, tilting breechblock, select-fire or semi-auto only
Length: 1100 mm (990 / 736 mm for "Para" model)
Barrel length: 533 mm (431 mm for "Para" model)
Weight: 4.45 kg empty (3.77 kg empty for "Para" models)
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds (30 rounds for heavy barreled SAW versions)
Rate of fire: 650-700 rounds per minute

The FN FAL (Fusil Automatique Leger - Light Automatic Rifle) is one of the most famous and widespread military rifle designs of the twentieth century. Developed by the Belgian Fabrique Nationale company, it was used by some 70 or  more countries, and was manufactured in at least 10 countries. At the present time the service days of the most FAL rifles are gone, but it is still used in some parts of the world. The history of the FAL began circa 1946, when FN began to develop a new assault rifle, chambered for German 7.92x33mm Kurz intermediate cartridge. The design team was lead by Dieudonne Saive, who at the same time worked at the battle rifle, chambered for "old time" full-power rifle cartridges, which latter became the SAFN-49. It is not thus surprising that both rifles are mechanically quite similar. In the late 1940s Belgians joined the Britain and selected a British .280 (7x43mm) intermediate cartridge for further development. In 1950 both Belgian FAL prototype and British EM-2 bullpup assault rifles were tested by US Army. The FAL prototype greatly impressed the Americans, but the idea of the intermediate cartridge was at that moment incomprehensible for them, and USA insisted on adoption of their full-power T65 cartridge as a NATO standard in 1953-1954. Preparing for this adoption, FN redesigned their rifle for the newest T65 / 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition, and the first 7.62mm FALs were ready in 1953. Belgium was not the the first country to adopt their own rifle in 1956. Probably the first one was Canada, adopting their slightly modified version of FAL as C1 in 1955. Canadians set to produce the C1 and the heavy barreled C2 squad automatic rifles at their own Canadian Arsenal factory. Britain followed the suit and adopted the FAL in 1957 as an L1A1 SLR (Self-loading rifle), often issued with 4X SUIT optical scopes. Britain also produced their own rifles at the RSAF Enfield and BSA factories. Austria adopted the FAL in 1958 as a Stg.58 and manufactured their rifles at Steyr arms factory. Various versions of the FAL were also adopted by the Brazil, Turkey, Australia, Israel, South Africa, West Germany and many other countries. The success of the FAL could be even greater if Belgians would sell the license to W.Germany, which really liked to produce the FAL as a G1 rifle, but Belgians rejected the request. Germany purchased the license for Spanish CETME rifle and as a result of this H&K G3 rifle became probably the most notable rival to FAL

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M-16

  M16A1 M16A2
Caliber 5.56x45mm (.223 Remington), M193 5.56x45mm NATO / M855
Action as operated, rotating bolt as operated, rotating bolt
Overall length 986 mm 1006 mm
Barrel length 508 mm 508 mm
Weight, empty / loaded w. 30 rounds 2.89 kg / 3.6 kg 3.77 kg / 4.47 kg
Magazine capacity 20 or 30 rounds standard 20 or 30 rounds standard
Rate of fire, cyclic 650 - 750 rounds per minute 800 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 945 m/s 975 m/s
Maximum effective range 460 meters 550 meters


The history of the development, introduction and the service of the US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16, is a long and a controversial one. I'll try to cut this story as short as possible, and will highlight only some most important periods and events. So, let's start.

· 1948. U.S. Army's Operations Research Office (ORO) conducts a research about small arms effectiveness. This research was completed by the early 1950 with the conclusion that the most desirable infantry small arms should be of 22 caliber, select-fire and with high velocity bullets, effective up to 300 meters or so.

· 1953 - 1957. US DOD conducts the next research, "Project SALVO", that also lead to the desirability of .22 caliber high-velocity infantry rifle

· 1957. The US Army requests the Armalite Division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corp to develop a rifle of .22 caliber, lightweight, select-fire, and capable to penetrate the standard steel helmet at 500 meters. Eugene Stoner, then a designer at  Armalite, began to develop this rifle, based on his earlier design, 7.62mm AR-10 battle rifle. At the same time, experts at the Sierra Bullets and Remington, in conjunction with Armalite, began do develop a new .22 caliber cartridge, based on the .222 Remington and .222 Remington Magnum hunting cartridges. This development, initially called the .222 Remington Special, was finally released as .223 Remington (metric designation 5.56x45mm).

· 1958. Armalite delivers the first new rifles, called the AR-15, to the Army for testing. Initial tests display some reliability and accuracy problems with the rifle.

· 1959. Late that year Fairchild Co, being disappointed with the development of the AR-15, sold all rights for this design to the Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company.  

· 1960. Eugene Stoner leaves the Armalite and joins  Colt. The same year Colt demonstrated the AR-15 to the US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. LeMay. Gen. LeMay wanted to procure some 8 000 AR-15 rifles for US AF Strategic Air Command security forces to replace ageing M1 and M2 carbines.

· 1962. US DoD Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) purchases 1000 AR-15 rifles from Colt and sends those rifles to the South Vietnam, for field trials. Same year brings glowing reports about the effectiveness of the new "black rifle", used by South Vietnamese forces.

· 1963. Colt receives contracts for 85 000 rifles for US Army (designated as XM16E1) and for a further 19 000 rifles for the US Air Force (M16). The US AF M16 was no more than an AR-15 rifle with appropriate markings. The XM16E1 differed from AR-15/M16 by having an additional device, the so called "forward assist", which was used to manually push the bolt group in place in the case of jams.

· 1964. US Air Forces officially adopted new rifle as M16. Same year US Army adopted the XM16E1 as a limited standard rifle, to fill the niche between discontinued 7.62mm M14 rifle and the forthcoming SPIW system (which newer got past the prototype and trial stages).

· 1966. Colt was awarded with the contract for some 840 000 rifles for US Armed forces, worth almost $92 millions.

· 1967. US Army adopted the XM16E1 rifle as a standard "US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A1", on 28 February 1967.

· 1965 - 1967. Field reports from Vietnam began to look much more pessimistic. M16 rifles, issued to US troops in the Vietnam, severely jammed in combat, resulting in numerous casualties. There were some causes for malfunction. First of all, during the introduction of the new rifle and its ammunition into the service, US Army replaced originally specified Dupont IMR powder with standard ball powder, used in 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. The ball powder produced much more fouling, that quickly jammed the actions of the M16 unless the gun was cleared well and often. This pitifully combined with the fact that the initial M16 rifles were promoted by the Colt as "low maintenance", so, for the sake of economy, no cleaning supplies were procured for new M16 rifles, and no weapon care training was conducted fro the troops. As a result, soldiers did not knew how to clean their rifles, and had no provisions for cleaning, and things soon turned bad. To add to the trouble, the ball powders also had a different pressure curve, so they produced higher pressures at the gas port, giving the rise to the rate of fire, and, thus, decreasing accuracy and increasing parts wear.

· 1967 - 1970. The deficiencies discovered in previous years began do dissolve. 5.56mm ammunition was now loaded using different powders that produce much less residue in the gun action. The barrel, chamber and bolt of the rifles were chrome-lined to improve corrosion resistance. Cleaning kits were procured and issued to troops, and a special training programs were developed and conducted ever since. Earliest cleaning kits could be carried separate from rifle only, but since circa 1970 all M16A1 rifles were manufactured with the containment cavity in the buttstock, that held the cleaning kit. At the same time (circa 1970) the new 30 rounds magazines were introduced into service instead of the original 20 rounds ones, to equal Soviet and Chinese AK-47 assault rifles, which had 30-rounds magazines from the very beginning.

· 1977 - 1979. NATO trials lead to the adoption of the improved 5.56x45mm cartridge, developed in Belgium by FN. This cartridge, initially developed in conjunction with the FN Minimi light machine gun, featured a slightly heavier bullet with accordingly slightly lower muzzle velocity. The resulting long-range performance, however, improved due to the better ballistic coefficient of the new bullet. The SS109 required a faster rifling twist to stabilize its bullet, than the original 5.56x45mm US M193 ammunition. The M193 was used with barrels rifled with 1:12 twist (1 turn in 12 inches), and SS109 was preferred to be fired with 1:7 twist (1 turn in 7 inches). Some arms manufacturers preferred to make their guns with intermediate 1:9 rifling, which would be equally good (or bad) for both old and new loadings.

· 1981. Colt developed a variation of the M16A1, adapted for the SS109/5.56mm NATO cartridge, and submitted it to the military trials as the M16A1E1. This rifle differed from the M16A1 by having the heavier barrel with faster 1:7 rifling, a different type rear sights (adjustable for both range and windage), round handguards instead of triangular ones, and by replacing the full-auto fire mode with the burst (limited to 3 rounds per trigger pull), to preserve the ammunition.

· 1982. M16A1E1 is type-classified by US DoD as the "US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A2".

· 1983. US Marine Corps adopted the M61A2 rifle.

· 1985. US Army officially adopted the M16A2 as the general issue infantry rifle.

· 1988. The FN Manufacturing Co, an US subsidiary of the FN Herstal (Belgium), becomes the key contractor to US DoD for production of the M16A2 rifles. Colt continues the development and manufacture of the AR-15 / M16 type rifles only for civilian and law enforcement markets from that point.

· 1994. Adoption of the latest variations of the M16 breed. Those include: M16A3and M16A4 rifles, with "flat top" receivers, that had a Picatinny accessory rails in the place of the integral carrying handle. The rail can be used to mount detachable carrying handle with iron rear sights, or various sighting devices (Night/IR, optics etc). The M16A4 otherwise is similar to M16A2, while M16A3 has a full-auto capability instead of the 3-rounds burst. Two other newest AR-15 offsprings are the M4 and M4A1 carbines..

The M16 is still a general-issue rifle with the US Armed forces. It is also widely used by the US Law Enforcement agencies, either in military form (for example, the LAPD had some M16s, retired from Army), or in "civilian" semi-automatic only form. The AR-15 style rifles are made in the USA by at least dozen large companies, such as Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt, FN Manufacturing, Hesse, Les Baer, Olympic, Stag Arms, Smith & Wesson, Wilson Combat, and by number of smaller companies, many of which do assembly their rifles from components made by some other major manufacturers. M16-type rifles also manufactured outside of the USA, most notably in the Canada, by Diemaco Co. China also makes some AR-15 type rifles at NORINCO state factories. M16 rifles are used by many foreign military groups, most notably the British SAS, who preferred the M16 over the infamous L85A1 rifle, and by many others.

At the present time almost all initial flaws of the M16 are bugged out, and it is considered among the best assault rifles in the world. While its reliability in the harsh conditions cannot match reliability of its main rival, the Kalashnikov AK-47 and AK-74, it is still a quite reliable rifle, especially when well maintained. It is also comfortable to fire and quite accurate.

One of the key advantages of the Stoner design, that must be especially stressed, is the extreme flexibility of the construction. At the present time the interchangeable complete "uppers" are available in various barrel lengths and profiles (from 7 to 24 inches long, slim and heavy), in dozens of rifle and pistol calibers (from tiny but fast .17 Remington and up to monstrous .458 SOCOM, and from .22LR and 9mm Luger up to mighty .50AE). Special, manually single-shot uppers are commercially available in the extremely powerful .50BMG (12.7x99mm) caliber. Various "lowers" offer a broad variety of trigger units, buttstocks and other options. This advantage is viable for both military (especially Spec Ops), Law Enforcement, and civilian applications, as it allows to tailor any particular AR-15 type rifle to the current situation and tactical needs.

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Steyr MPi 69 (Austria)

Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 3.13 kg empty
Lenght (stock closed/open): 465 / 670 mm
Barrel lenght: 260 mm
Rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 25 or 32 rounds
Effective range: 50-100 meters

This submachine gun resembles the Uzi in some respects, but it is a totally different and rather simpler design. It is currently in use by a number of armies and police forces throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

The receiver is formed from bent and welded sheet steel and is carried in the frame unit - steel with a molded nylon covering. The magazine feeds in through the pistol grip, a convenient system in the dark, and the bolt is of the 'wrap-around' or 'telescoped' type in which the actual bolt face is well back within the bolt and much of the bolt mass is in front of the breech at the moment of firing. This system allows the maximum mass for the minimum bolt stroke and assists in producing a compact weapon. Cocking is performed by pulling on the carry sling, which is attached at the forward end to the cocking knob. This, at first sight, is open to abuse, but a bracket welded in to the top of the receiver ensures that the cocking action can only be performed when the sling is held at right angles to the receiver, on the left-hand side. The normal pull from the top of the weapon, as when slinging it over the shoulder, cannot move the cocking piece.

There is a safety catch in the form of a cross-bolt above the trigger which locks the trigger when set to safe; it is a three-position bolt; when pushed across to the right so that a white 'S' protrudes, it is safe; when pushed across to the left so that a red 'F' protrudes, it is set for automatic fire. There is also a half-way position in which single shots are possible. This safety catch is a weak piece of design since, except by memorizing, it is impossible to know what the state is in darkness; it would be better to have one end ribbed or knurled.

The third position is, in any case, superfluous; with the selector set to automatic fire, a light squeeze on the trigger fires a single shot, and this can be repeated as often as wanted. To fire bursts, a heavier squeeze is required. There is no need to reset the selector lever at all, and one can only assume that the central position has been put there as a safety feature during initial training, so that an over-enthusiastic squeeze will not produce a runaway gun. This two-stage trigger is also to be found on the Steyr AUG rifle and takes some getting used to; many have found it a hindrance to accurately shooting in the automatic mode.

The MPi 69 is easy to strip and reassemble, taking no more than 15 seconds in either direction for a trained soldier. Strictures on the safety and trigger apart, it is a well-designed, simple and robust weapon - and, provided soldiers are trained to its peculiarities, a highly effective one.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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M249 Squad Automatic Waeapon (SAW) Minimi

Caliber 5.56x45mm NATO
Weight 7.1 kg
Length 1040 mm
Barrel length 465 mm
Feeding belt or magazines
Rate of fire, cyclic 750 - 1000 rounds per minute

The Minimi light machine gun was developed by the famous Belgian company FN Herstal, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mass production began in 1982 in Belgium, and at about the same time it has been adopted by the US Armed forces as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). Since its introduction the Minimi has seen widespread service, and numerous variations have been developed. First, the Para (Paratroop) version came out, with a shorter barrel and tubular telescoped butt. This gun traded off some of the range and firepower for compactness and maneuverability. Quite recently, an SPW version was developed, which featured a Para-type butt stock, a barrel of intermediate length (between standard and Para models), and a Picatinny-type rail mount, which allows a wide variety of sights and scopes to be mounted. To save weight, the magazine feed option of the standard and Para models has been discarded. This version, in a slightly modified form, was adopted by the US Special Forces Command (US SOCOM) as the Mk.46 model 0 light machine gun.

The FN Minimi has an excellent reputation on reliability and firepower, and the latest reports on failures of M249 SAW weapons in Iraq are attributed to the age of the weapons used - most of the current issue M249 in US Army are more than 10 years old and quite worn out.

Technical description
The FN Minimi / M249 SAW is an air cooled, gas operated, belt fed, automatic weapon. The Minimi is operated using conventional gas action with the gas piston located below the barrel, and the barrel is locked using the traditional rotary bolt. The barrel is quick-detachable, and has a carrying handle attached to it, to help for quick replacement procedure. The M249 has an alternative feed system, which allows it to use disintegrating metallic belts as a primary feed option, or M16-type box magazines as a back-up feed option. The belt is fed using the top feed unit, the magazines are inserted through the magazine port, located at the left side of the receiver and angled down. The Flip-up dust cover closes the magazine port when it is not in use, serving also as a belt guide. When a magazine is in place, this cover raises up and closes the belt-way to avoid dual feeds and jams. Since the belt feed uses additional power to pull the belt through the gun, the rate of fire with the belt is somewhat slower (~ 750 rpm) than the rate of fire with magazine feed (~ 1000 rpm). The latest SPW and Mk.46 mod.0 versions of the Minimi have no magazine feed module as a weight-saving measure. The belts are fed from special 200 rounds plastic boxes that can be clipped beneath the receiver. All Minimi versions fire from an open bolt to ensure optimal barrel cooling between bursts.

The folding bipod is mounded under the gas chamber, and the gun has provisions for tripod or vehicle mountings. The open sights are standard, with the availability of a wide variety of optical and night sights for the SPW and Mk.46 versions with Picatinny rails.

Experience one TODAY at Midwest Gun and Range!

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