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OMEGA OM9 R Rifle Review




OVERVIEW
For years (decades?) I’ve been lusting after Heckler and Koch’s MP5 submachine gun, in particular the “full size” with the wide hand guard and classic A2 fixed stock. Mmm… It took a while but eventually I talked to Blaine with Atlantic Firearms as well as getting a lot of good feedback from the folks on HKPro.com. As I weighed options, Atlantic’s Omega offering looked like just the ticket for me. Omega makes the OM9 R, a version of MP5 I was after.


WHY OMEGA
Given the audience, I figure most are familiar with the MP5 market and what is available. While I've had a few HK guns, they've all be "easy buys" (HK USC, PTR91, etc.). But the MP5? Unngh. For years it all just seemed like a big hassle. If it wasn't the price it was all the other baggage surrounding the delightful sub gun: 922(R) compliance concerns, issues with pistols vs. rifles and SBRs (and ATF BS), quality control issues on the clone market (mostly early on), and so forth. It all seemed a big headache to me. Especially given that I didn't want a pistol but an "MP5" rifle with the standard A2 stock and wide hand guard. That is, until I stumbled onto Atlantic's Omega offerings.

The Omega line of firearms sold through Atlantic Firearms is a collaboration between Omega, Atlantic, and HK Parts.net. Omega builds their guns here in the U.S with a fairly high U.S. parts count with quality components supplied by HKParts.net, one of the premier HK parts retailers. The parts are a mix of German and high quality U.S. origin. This means that the gun is a fully 922(R) compliant rifle out of the box. It comes with the barrel extension already pinned on which means no need to jump through the NFA tax stamp or gunsmithing hoops and so it has a normal MP5 stock. For me this seemed an easy and straightforward way to get into an MP5 rifle with full 922(R) compliance. And they are able to offer these at very competitive prices for a good honest production gun of good quality.


NOTABLE FEATURES
For the most part the OM9 R is a visual copy of the HK MP5 and Omega has gone to some effort to match the original build process and features. But it functions like the HK 94 as a semi-auto rifle. It includes the wonderful HK diopter sights, wide front hand guard, the later ambi-friendly “Navy” style polymer pistol grip that has been “clipped and pinned” for that MP5 front pushpin look. Under the pinned barrel extension is a properly clocked tri-lug 8.9” regular MP5 barrel. This feature lets you get the OM9 R now and play with it while waiting for your NFA tax stamp for an SBR conversion. At which time, drill out the pin and slip off the barrel extension. Also installed is the coveted paddle mag release, which was not on the HK 94s or even the new HK SP5Ks. While semi-auto only, the rifle was built to operate as a host for those that have a full-auto sear and comes with a full-auto spec’d bolt carrier group, all in a friendly 922(R) compliant, over-the-counter standard rifle right out of the box.


FIT & FINISH
After reading disappointing reports over the years of other MP5 clones regarding fit and finish as well going over the Roller Lock Buyer’s Guide, I was very pleased to unbox the Omega OM9. One of the first things I did was start field stripping the gun and examining all the components inside and out. Everything looked good to my eye.

Cockign tube, barrel, receiver, and sights all were aligned and straight. All over the gun the welds looked neat and tidy. The rear takedown pin bushing is properly welded in three spots. The receiver flat is folded evenly and there is no excessive filler weld on the trunnion and other areas. The rails have been pressed flat on the interior. And the current production guns have an improved stamping along the top of the receiver with no distortion in the metal. The gun is first treated to a parkerizing process and finished with a smooth, hard epoxy paint top coat. This finish is evenly coated inside and out on the receiver with barrels getting a nitride treatment.

The trigger pack and housing also looked to be in great shape. Everything looked fresh and new. The polymer housing didn’t have any blemishes on it and whoever fabricated it did a good job clipping and pinning the housing for that classic MP5 appearance on a semi-auto gun. There were a couple scratches in the front face of the housing most likely from the housing pushing up against the back of the receiver / mag release paddle area. This is not something that is visible unless the gun is disassembled for cleaning.

Finally, the bolt and carrier look to be very well machined. While not an HK expert in terms of what is correct or not, everything in the carrier group and bolt looked very crisp and the fit of the carrier to receiver was nice and tight without binding. I’ve not yet confirmed the head spacing, but did note the rollers are +6 from the factory.



Omega's OM9 R mostly field stripped.



Close up of the bolt carrier and bolt.



Trigger pack and grip frame.



Receiver welds and mag well alignment.



Distortion-free stamping.



Squared off trunnion and good transition between from rails.



Square pressed rails with a tight but non-binding fit with the bolt carrier.​



RANGE TIME
As impressive as the OM9 was after field stripping and inspection, it was more so at the range. First things first was sighting in the rifle. After firing the first three rounds I was trying to determine where the rounds hit the target to make sight adjustments. I saw the one hole but where did shots 2 and 3 go? It took me a moment to realize all three shots went through the same dime-sized hole. Hm. Granted, this wasn’t at a great distance, perhaps 21 ft, but still. Me with iron sights with placed shots that tight and repeatable? That caught my attention. Over the course of 20 rd or so I walked the point-of-impact over to the point of aim and pushed the target out to the 30-40 ft range. I still have a little tweaking to do and to figure out just how far out I want to zero the sights, but I was suitably impressed with the accuracy of the gun. It maintained its tight groupings as the target was pushed further out.

Once the sights were “good enough” it was time for fun. The gun feels good in the hand and just the right size. There’s a nice heft to it. The grip feels comfortable, it’s slim and smooth and worked equally well for me as a righty as it did for my left handed friend. Though the safety lever was a left side (for right handed people) only. There is a degree of pleasure working the side charging handle and generally manipulating the weapon. Getting a kick out of “the HK slap” never gets old, and I don’t care how childish that sounds.

Shooting the OM9 is a pleasure. The recoil is very mild and satisfying. The diopter sights are my favorite type of iron sights. So much so that I don’t want to ruin the gun by mounting a red dot optic. Chambering a round is smooth enough that there isn’t really much feedback from the gun when it runs dry other than a “click” when you’re expecting a “bang.” The MP5 design has held up well give its mid-1960’s origins and is still considered the benchmark of the subgun type. However, time marches on and I’ll admit I think I’ve become spoiled with the more contemporary guns that feature last-round-hold-open and bolt release.

But this is how the MP5 was designed and isn’t a knock against Omega’s offering. Just as I don’t fault AR-15 builders for the design of the AR-15’s charging handle. . . . it’s how the weapon was designed.

Over the course of the range visit my friends and I put over 200+ rounds through the rifle, which isn’t a lot. Long-term reliability impressions cannot be made with such a low round-count. However, the ammo was a mix of Federal target ammo and the bulk pack of Winchester White Box that I brought. Supposedly the OM9s don’t run well with the budget Winchester cartridges and Atlantic even has a warning on their website’s product page about it. A warning that I read after I’d already bought the ammo. Regardless, the Omega ran flawlessly the whole time and didn’t have any issues feeding, firing, or ejecting.



Non-expert markmanship, rushing to snap a photo at
the end of the evening. The earlier targets were more
impressive with tighter groupings. Considering how I
normally shoot . . . this caught my attention.​



PICKING NITS
Overall the gun is great and I’m very pleased with it’s quality level. However, were I to start nit picking there are a few minor areas that caught my attention, none of which should be considered a deal breaker in the least.

Play in the Barrel Extension
The OM9 carbines are built with standard three-lug MP5 barrels measuring in at 8.9”. To get to the necessary 16” minimum rifle barrel length (to avoid having an NFA regulated SBR) a nicely chunky aluminum barrel extension is slipped over the tri-lugs and pinned in place. The benefit is that if you do decide to go the NFA route and convert the OM9 to a short barrel rifle, it is easy to drill out the pin and then slip the barrel extension off the three lug RCM barrel. Until then, it’s permanently attached and satisfies ATF compliance. The downside is this is the source of a wiggle in the barrel. There is no visible movement and it’s not something that is felt in the normal handling of the gun. It’s almost imperceptible but you can barely feel the movement if you wrap your hand around the extension. However, judging by the photo of the target, it has zero impact on accuracy.

SEF Doesn’t Stop at E
In a perfect world in my mind the guns would be supplied with an “FBI” semi-auto only trigger housing. This would have left the guns marked as to how they actually function as a semi-auto only rifle. As it is, they come with the common SEF housing for that classic MP5 look. Unfortunately, while the “F” setting isn’t functional, the safety lever can swing past the “E” position all the way down to “F.” This doesn’t change the functionality of the gun and it still fires in semi-auto only, but it would be nice if the markings and index stops matched how the gun actually works. The other draw back is that if you do flip the safety lever past the E you need to break your grip and get it back into place.

Paddle Mag Release Play
The paddle mag release has some fore and aft play in the model I have. It’s firmly in place, it’s not going to fall off at all, and it functions perfectly fine catching and releasing magazines. But it’s as if it’s missing an additional tension spring. I noticed this during the field stripping but at the range it was a non-issue. I’m not sure if this is how MP5s are, I don’t have enough experience with the platform. Just something I noticed.

Less Gloss
Lastly, while the gun does have a beautiful finish to it, it’s glossier than my personal preferences for guns. A matte or satin finish would have been great. But again, this is more personal preference as the finish itself is very well done and silky smooth.

If you are rolling your eyes at these issues, good. It is a very nice rifle and these are very minor points that shouldn’t sway anyone away from the whole package..


WHAT’S INCLUDED
The OM9 rifle is shipped in a very nice, padded, soft-sided rifle case within the outer cardboard shipping box. Made from a thick nylon, the case is right sized to fit the MP5 with good zippers, stout straps and carry handle, and external mag pouches. It was surprising to see a case this nice come with the rifle. There is also a single 30 rd magazine, instruction manual, and the quality control inspection checklist. Omega itself has a 5 year warranty backing up their products. And Atlantic is confident enough that buyers will like them that as of this writing they are offering a 2 week money-back guarantee if you don’t.


SUMMARY
Given my meandering, lengthy journey to finally get into a 9mm MP5, I’m thrilled with Omega’s OM9. While I'm new to the roller-lock 9mm MP5, I'm not new to the firearms world. The quality that I see in it impresses me. It’s accuracy caught me by surprise. It's the MP5 I've been wanting all these years set up the way I'd like it. And Atlantic’s customer service has been great.


DISCLAIMER
To be transparent, Atlantic Firearms offered me an 8% discount on this rifle as an incentive to write up a review of the Omega OM9. During an hour+ long discussion with Atlantic they were very upfront and insistent that they wanted an honest review (the good, bad, and ugly) and there was zero pressure or contingent that the discount was tied in whatsoever to the content of the review. They are confident that the Omega line will stand on it’s own merits. Thank you for taking so much time answering my questions about the OM9, Atlantic, and this opportunity.










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Very nice write up. I too have an Omega full size pistol that I'm completely happy with so far. I've put 500 of my hand loads through it without problems. That number will increase as soon as it warms up here.
 

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Thanks for the kind words on the review, guys. I can't really express how impressed I was with the rifle. The whole MP5 market seemed to be very confusing to me from the outside looking in until I started reading and researching it. And given everything, I think Omega and Atlantic have a great gun on their hands and I hope the word gets out.


Very nice write up. I too have an Omega full size pistol that I'm completely happy with so far. I've put 500 of my hand loads through it without problems. That number will increase as soon as it warms up here.
Same here, though one reason for the pistol caliber carbines I have is that I can take them to the indoor ranges when the weather turns bad. That said, I'm definitely going to be shooting this one more. Can't wait to take it out again whether indoor or outdoor range. It is a damn fun gun to shoot!
 

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Nice review. I'm pretty tempted to pick up a pistol upper with optics rail, when they come back into stock. Might be nice to give my old Coharie SBR a little bit of rest as my go-to sear host (she's been getting cranky lately).
 

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Glad you like it. Mine is fun to shoot, but I still have reliability problems even after two warranty repairs. Problem is that the empty casings would remain unejected in the chamber. Could not get it to work reliably with a variety of brass ammo, including Winchester 9mm Nato ammo, which I thought for sure would do the trick. I did get it to run successfully for about 300 rounds with 115 gr Blazer brass, then I started getting the empty casings issue. Also had some measure of success with TulAmmo steel cased 9mm ammo, which it seems to like the best. Overall, these reliability issues kill the fun factor in this gun, which I agree is great to shoot otherwise. I am seriously thinking about asking for a refund on this gun (it has a 5 year warranty).
 

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Thanks for the review, very well done and great photos. Thank you. I'm on the fence between a Zenith RS and the OM9 pistol and this helps.
 

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Glad you like it. Mine is fun to shoot, but I still have reliability problems even after two warranty repairs. Problem is that the empty casings would remain unejected in the chamber. Could not get it to work reliably with a variety of brass ammo, including Winchester 9mm Nato ammo, which I thought for sure would do the trick. I did get it to run successfully for about 300 rounds with 115 gr Blazer brass, then I started getting the empty casings issue. Also had some measure of success with TulAmmo steel cased 9mm ammo, which it seems to like the best. Overall, these reliability issues kill the fun factor in this gun, which I agree is great to shoot otherwise. I am seriously thinking about asking for a refund on this gun (it has a 5 year warranty).
You need to tell this to your dealer, have him swap it for a gun that works. Don't settle for less.
 

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I looked at my Omega's bolt, and I saw a small fracture in the bolt, near the extractor, so do you guys think this could be the cause of my failures to eject? Maybe this fracture is allowing the extractor to rise higher, resulting in a failure of it to hold on to the case rim securely? Note that I also inserted a silver extractor spring (for HK .556 and .308s), since they are supposed to provide more tension, but it did not help out.


ENTIRE BOLT




Font Bumper Trigger Metal CLOSE UP OF FRACTURED PORTION OF BOLT
 

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I am returning my Omega 9mm to the manufacturer, Omega Guns, for a refund. I just could not get it to function reliably. I would get failures to eject, with the frequency depending on the ammo type. Some ammo, like Winchester 9mm NATO, would fail on the first magazine. Others, like TulAmmo, would shoot for 300 rounds, then I would get a failure to eject. For a $2,000 gun, it should shoot at least 500 rounds flawlessly. It sucks because I really like the gun - looks, ergonomics, accuracy are top notch.
 

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I am returning my Omega 9mm to the manufacturer, Omega Guns, for a refund. I just could not get it to function reliably. I would get failures to eject, with the frequency depending on the ammo type. Some ammo, like Winchester 9mm NATO, would fail on the first magazine. Others, like TulAmmo, would shoot for 300 rounds, then I would get a failure to eject. For a $2,000 gun, it should shoot at least 500 rounds flawlessly. It sucks because I really like the gun - looks, ergonomics, accuracy are top notch.
What did you do to try to correct it?

I had a Zenith Z5P I bought from Atlantic last summer that would not run a full mag without an FTE.

Zenith offered to look at it but also suggested an extractor spring replacement. I replaced it and the extractor and put 400 flawless rounds down range. Extra $25 well worth the hassle of not sending the gun in.
 

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I sent it back to Omega for repair, got it back, but it did not really fix the FTEs that much. i then replaced the HK copper extractor spring with a silver HK one (the ones for HK93s and HK91s). Then, it worked for 500 rounds of Tul Ammo just fine. I then cleaned the gun, including scrubbing the bolt face with Hoppes #9 and a "brass toothbrush" (the ones for gun cleaning), lubed everything generously with CLP, and took it to my next range session, and the FTEs returned, worse then ever. Was it something I did during cleaning with caused the malfunctions to reappear?
 

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I think you should have started with a standard 9mm extractor spring and extractor and tried something other than Tula. Tula is notoriously underpowered and isn't the best measure of reliability for any gun.

And when you cleaned it how far down did you disassemble it?
 
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Ammo can be a issue with any roller lock gun and they need decent fuel to run correctly Winchester White box has been reoccurring issue in 9 mm Roller locks from time to time . The least expensive ammo 9 mm ammo we use at our range is Wolf and it seems to be nice and hot but a bit dirty . We do not use Tula because it has been inconsistent in the past . Extractor springs are another big issue we have seen these get weak in as little as 300 rounds or last 10 -15 K rounds. Our friends @ Battlefield Vegas Full auto range keep a box of them on hand. They are currently running 70 plus Omegas & testing the MAD bolt head that eliminates this weak link with great results .
 

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Atlantic, thanks for the insight. I may get a box of 500 Wolf 9mm and give it a try. I just assumed TulAmmo and Wolf, being inexpensive Russian steel case ammo, were one and the same. Guess that is not the case.

As to your observations about the MAD bolt head, how has the testing been with the Omegas at Battlefield Vegas so far? Seems like MAD bolt head + Omega OM9 = a Winner. Actually, I will be in Vegas next month, so is someone there at Battlefield Vegas that I can talk to about the MAD bolt head? The MAD bolt head has come down in price to $334 at Centerfire Systems, so its priced where I may buy it and give it a try. Looks like the MAD bolt head is a complete assembly, with extractor and rollers, so it looks like it's a drop in part and ready to go. I know most of you think the MAD bolt still costs too much at $334, but I am in California, and I have to make my Omega function 100%, because I cannot get another one due to our new assault weapons ban (unless I get one with a finned grip, which I refuse to do). Furthermore, we have to register our "assault rifles" by the end of this year with the State of CA, so I would like to know if I will be keeping this or sending it back for a refund by December 31, 2017.

Ammo can be a issue with any roller lock gun and they need decent fuel to run correctly Winchester White box has been reoccurring issue in 9 mm Roller locks from time to time . The least expensive ammo 9 mm ammo we use at our range is Wolf and it seems to be nice and hot but a bit dirty . We do not use Tula because it has been inconsistent in the past . Extractor springs are another big issue we have seen these get weak in as little as 300 rounds or last 10 -15 K rounds. Our friends @ Battlefield Vegas Full auto range keep a box of them on hand. They are currently running 70 plus Omegas & testing the MAD bolt head that eliminates this weak link with great results .
 

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I just ordered a MAD bolt head. Hopefully, it can cure my failure to eject issues on my Omega OMR-9. It should be here next week. I will keep ya'll posted...
 

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I just ordered a MAD bolt head. Hopefully, it can cure my failure to eject issues on my Omega OMR-9. It should be here next week. I will keep ya'll posted...
I'm definitely curious to see your results. I've been thinking about getting one, but it's a lot to spend.
 
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