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Small Arms Review MP5 Build

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I have got to ask, are there any other wishful thinkers out there the read the Small Arms Review artical about building the MP5 from a kit and tried it? I did, yea it can probably be done and still hoping I can with help from a few brave souls (you know who you are)! Let me back up and tell you my tale. I have built who knows how many custom AR's, and actually have a small business doing so. I also am a desent armorer for what needs to be repaired in my local community. I went to the Knob Creek shoot in April and got a little fever (if you know what I mean)! Grabbed a free copy of Small Arms Review while there and read it when I got back home. Read and re-read the artical on the MP5 build and stated and I quote "Man I can do that, doesn't seem that hard, just a little machine work." Now fast forward several weeks, I am now several "dollars" into the project and finding out that even though they look to be simple, I was mistaken. Now, I did read everything I could find on the subject of the MP5, there is just not that much out there that says "STOP stupid, you are over your head"! I am going to get this weapon running if it kills me. Especially since the ATF has $200 more of my money. I am sending out work to Adam at HKParts and Joe at Dakota Tactical, both are super great guys and have helped me in every way possible.
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Originally I'm an AR guy. Subgun matches is what got me into the HK roller locked guns. The roller locked guns are so much more involved than an AR. The article gave pretty good detail. It didn't go into the paddle mag release or converting the full auto trigger group to semi auto. I'm sure there are those that got fired up about building from a flat. To me, the much more cost effective route is buying a Special Weapons receiver. There is currently one on Gun Broker SW94 9mm receiver MP5 Hk94 tax time sale : for Heckler & Koch at GunBroker.com for $149 + $20 shipping. The LSC flat with a weld kit is $200 + $25 shipping. Even if you built or borrowed a fixture to bend the flat, unless you have some way to put a serial # on it, you'd be paying an engraver to put a # on it.

Then there is the legal issues with a flat. Yes, it is cool that you can build your own firearm. But it is yours to keep. At what point are you "in the business" of making firearms, if you sell your firearm made from a flat? I know I wouldn't buy a firearm that had no manufacturer's name on it. I'm sure most any LEO would want to know more about where you obtained a firearm with no manufacturer's info. You might know that is legal. But I doubt if the average LEO would know that.

There is also the issue of 922(R). The article glossed over that. Yes, I know this issue has been beaten to death here. But that is another expense of building a "non sporting" type of rifle from a foreign made parts set. I really wished these issues had been addressed in the SAR article. That is just my opinion. The LSC flats are a quality product. They can be made into a great receiver. But rolling a flat into a receiver, is not for the faint of heart. And unless you have access to a TIG welder and a 12-20 ton press, there are definitely more costs involved in paying someone else that does. Good luck with your project. I'm sure between Adam and Joe You'll get your gun running.

Scott
 

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I have an 07 FFL and have all my weapons engraved with my info any way. There is no legal hang up with selling the weapon as long as you are either a licensed manufacture or "not in the business to build then sell". That means if you are building for personal use and then later down the road decide to trade or sell, you are OK. I don't really understand the 922r stuff, since it is a US made reciever. AR's are not bound by 922r. I just used 90% US made parts since that is what Adam had instock. I didn't even try to bend and weld the reciever. Like Scott pointed out, I bought the SW reciever on Gunbroker.
 

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Over the course of a few years I amassed all the parts for a complete G3 and an MP5 build. Some GB auctions, lots of RTGParts, LSC flats/kits, and some of Adams wares as well. I decided to go with the G3 build first thinking it was larger and left me more margin for error. I suppose it was the right decision. I did all the flat bending, basically everything. If you scour the internet enough you will find instructions for everything. Converting the trigger packs, lower frame, and anything involving the barrel or sights was pretty easy. When I got a kit from LSC they sent with it an ATF letter describing exactly what WAS and WAS NOT a "no no". That helped a lot. Cocking tube was somewhere in the middle difficulty-wise (in hindsight it is easy but I did it wrong the first time!) Really the only things tricky for me was the actual flat bending since I just schemed up a way to do it myself on my crappy harbor freight jack press, and the ****ING PADDLE RELEASE more than anything. I don't know what places charge to do that but WOW it isn't enough. My real bottleneck was welding. I tried and tried to learn, several different types of units, and splattered around everything. I eventually located a friend of a friend who was a TIG master and he did all of that for me for very cheap.

No matter what I think your first gun will have a lot of "wiggle room". Only one of my two stock pins fit at first, the cocking tube was crooked and "grabbed" the bolt, the bolt didn't slide correctly basically anywhere, the lower and upper didn't meet up very nice... But ALL of that can be fixed with a file so I just slaved away for a few nights with a tiny (or very long!) file. Not ashamed to admit I used a small section of paperclip as a shim to keep the cocking tube centered in the front sight ring hah!

But after all of that, I took it to the range (with the reciever still in the white!) and immediately thought "oh my god I should have done the MP5 first!" as I was loading those monster .308 rounds. I could totally see the receiver just ripping in half because of some stupid thing I forgot. I proceeded to aim downrange, cover my face, and take THE most chicken**** shot of my life! But it worked flawlessly. I have hundreds and hundreds of rounds through it now with no jams or stress marks or anything. I absolutely love it.

RIGHT when I was done I saw the Small Arms Review article you were talking about and realized how much it could have helped! As for legality and serializing and whatnot, I never plan on selling it but I had an engraver put a serial on it anyway. (Also the flat seems to have had a serial number on it, which I found strange)

Now that I know what I am doing I am holding off on the MP5 build because I might try to go whole hog and make an SD. Finding all of the parts is turning out to be pretty elusive. I am loving that black market link with the receivers and barrels already mated. Hmmmm!
 

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"There is no legal hang up with selling the weapon as long as you are either a licensed manufacture or "not in the business to build then sell". That means if you are building for personal use and then later down the road decide to trade or sell, you are OK."

That is absolutely true. As a 07 manufacturer, building, buying and selling isn't a problem. My limited understanding is how long you have to keep a firearm you made or how many firearms you sell in a year is not defined as to when you'd be considered "in the business to build then sell". So there is a slippery slope as to what a "prudent person" might find as a "reasonable" number of guns to sell or firearms that were created and after an undetermined amount of time, then sold. Since being "in the business to build then sell" is not defined and being "in the business to build then sell" without a Federal Firearms License is a felony, that is not a road I personally want to go down. But since there is no defined conditions, that would be for each individual to decide what level of risk he would be willing to take.

"As for legality and serializing and whatnot, I never plan on selling it but I had an engraver put a serial on it anyway."

That is a very good idea. My limited understanding is a Title I firearm created by an individual must have a serial #. On the atf.gov website there are specifics of how big, how deep and the type of numbering that should be used for a serial # at a minimum. The firearm must be for personal use. If you are building the firearm to make a profit, then that would fit the definition of being "in the business" and committing a felony. I'm glad to here that the projects are coming along or are completed. To those interested in building up a parts set be aware that it is not a simple build. I personally just bought a TIG welder and have 10 parts sets with over 20 SW or Vector receivers. I need lots of practice before I start welding them together. But I am looking forward to it.

Scott
 

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"On the atf.gov website there are specifics of how big, how deep and the type of numbering that should be used for a serial # at a minimum."

See I always wondered if that was the case. I was actually pretty unhappy with how light the engraving was on my receiver. Even the shop guy said sorry, that it didnt fit their laser etching machine (????) and they had a guy do it by hand. They apologized and only charged me $20 (and I got half off a pickguard I later had engraved for a guitar build) I could definitely sand it off.

BUT I did much investigating and even had a pretty knowledgeable LEO friend help me look up the specifics, and at least in this state I don't need a serial unless I was going to sell. Also, there was the mystery serial that was originally on the flat, which I left intact just in case. If anyone knows what method or kind of machine or whatever I need to get a good deep serial# put on it, I'd like to know.

Good luck with the TIG practice! I BUTCHERED a lot of old metal pieces!
 

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I believe the article in Small Arm Review will do nothing but cost people money. This is around the 7th incident where someone who read the article got started and found they got in over their heads.

While there will be some readers who posses the proper tools. most will find they do not as the article does not cover many of the crutical build steps...

1) Case deflector and sling clip installation
2) How to properly align the rear sight base and and sight tab
3) How to propely center the barrel/trunion assembly.
4) How to properly transition the rails to the trunion (most builders don't even know how to do this)
5) How to install the mag realease
6) How to properly align and install the semi-shelf

And the list goes on and on... and don't forget the TIG welding. Granted, not everyone cares what the welds look like or even the finer details, but there are going to be many who just butcher the project or find that they spend a ton more money than they expected trying to do it right.

Personally, I find the article somewhat misleading and a tragedy. Yes, the article has stirred up a bunch more business for everyone, but at what cost? It was suggested to me that the increase in business is a good thing, but in the aftermath, I do not believe it was well thought out and the possible detriment to the consumer was not considered.
 

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As far as getting the damned things marked correctly... CNC shops around the country are buying new machines that are CAPABLE of MILLING all the info you need on a firearm. As wide, tall and deep as you need it. The damn things are also capable of three dimensions and can actually follow a curved surface with ease. My bud Steve is now pretty familiar with his employers machine and has stenciled out a name address, etc to ATF spec on a piece of scrap tubing. It looked great. Don't know if his employer would be OK with Steve doing guns commercially on THEIR machine, though.

Just saying... check your local small machine shops for engraving services. They probably have the machines with the ability to do the stenciling and it hasn't occurred to them. You might get a good price, open up a new source of income for them, and do yourself a favor as well.
 

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"I don't really understand the 922r stuff, since it is a US made reciever. AR's are not bound by 922r. I just used 90% US made parts since that is what Adam had instock. I didn't even try to bend and weld the reciever."

Just for clarification, an AR-15 or any "non sporting use" semi auto rifle is subject to 922(R). The AR-15 family of firearms would be considered "non sporting use" but as they are made here in the US, all the parts are US made. 922(R) is about foreign made parts used to make a "non sporting use" semi auto rifle. Usually it is less expensive to buy a complete parts set then buying individual parts. 922(R) is a problem when a foreign made parts set is used to build a "non sporting use" type of semi auto rifle. The receiver is only one part in the list of 20 regulated parts. So a US made receiver and a US made barrel would only be two US made parts. 922(R) requires that no more than 10 foreign made parts are used. The magazine bodies, magazine floor plates, and magazine followers are used in the parts count. So if foreign made mags are going to be used, no more than seven foreign made parts from the list can be used in the resulting rifle.

When I did a search of "922(R)", the site at the top of the list was "Understanding 922R". The explanation is geared toward the AK family of firearms, but I found it to be close enough to the roller locked guns to see the parallel. The address is Shooting Enthusiast - Understanding 18 USC 922R if any one wishes to read the article. I found the article very easy to read. To me the point of the article is to help those looking to build a rifle from a US made receiver and a foreign made parts set. I'm just passing on the information that I have.

Scott
 

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Just for clarification, an AR-15 or any "non sporting use" semi auto rifle IS subject to 922(R). The AR-15 family of firearms would be considered "non sporting use" but as they are made here in the US, all the parts are US made. 922(R) is about foreign made parts used to make a "non sporting use" semi auto rifle. Usually it is less expensive to buy a complete parts set then buying individual parts. 922(R) is a problem when a foreign made parts set is used to build a "non sporting use" type of semi auto rifle. The receiver is only one part in the list of 20 regulated parts. So a US made receiver and a US made barrel would only be two US made parts. 922(R) requires that no more than 10 foreign made parts are used. The magazine bodies, magazine floor plates, and magazine followers are used in the parts count. So if foreign made mags are going to be used, no more than seven foreign made parts from the list can be used in the resulting rifle.
Scott
Eggzactamentally... and there it is, in a... a... eggshell. :biggrin:
 

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Right. You CAN sell any gun you make, just don't start making them with the INTENT to sell and make a profit. Not saying you CAN'T make a profit... just don't have a dozen out there NIB for sale. If you're going to go into bidness, do it upfront and stay legal.

Oh... and the article is in the May 2011 issue, Vol. 14, No. 8.
 

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922(r) prefaces with firearm configurations banned from importation. The M16/AR platform is not a foriegn design and therefore was never banned from importation. So if you take 922(r) in its entirety, AR platform guns are not bound by 922(r).

Now that being considered, I'm really not aware of enough imported parts for the AR platform that would even make it an issue (although I am not an AR platform guru). However if there were enough imported parts to make an AR platform gun, well, then we might have some grey-area on our hands.

And in comes the HK416/MR556... what now fellas?
 

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How about a 416 upper on a hk 556 lower?
Totally has to do with the US parts count. Check the list. If the HK upper will put you at over x amount of parts on the list, I'd say you can't do it and stay within the boundaries of 922r.
 

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"922(r) prefaces with firearm configurations banned from importation. The M16/AR platform is not a foriegn design and therefore was never banned from importation. So if you take 922(r) in its entirety, AR platform guns are not bound by 922(r)."

Title 27 Chapter 1 Section 178.39 in part reads:

"(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes."

My limited understanding is that it is not about what country originally the designed the firearm, but where the parts come from. Because of the features of an AR, if an AR clone was imported, it would not meet the configuration of "sporting use". I'm sure AR parts could be made overseas. But if a manufacturer here had all the AR parts, that would be in the list of 20 parts, made outside the country and assembled here, then the "non sporting use" AR would be made with more than 10 foreign made parts. So they make the parts here to avoid any issues with 922(R). I could be wrong but that is my understanding.

Scott
 

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"922(r) prefaces with firearm configurations banned from importation. The M16/AR platform is not a foriegn design and therefore was never banned from importation. So if you take 922(r) in its entirety, AR platform guns are not bound by 922(r)."

Title 27 Chapter 1 Section 178.39 in part reads:

"(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes."

My limited understanding is that it is not about what country originally the designed the firearm, but where the parts come from. Because of the features of an AR, if an AR clone was imported, it would not meet the configuration of "sporting use". I'm sure AR parts could be made overseas. But if a manufacturer here had all the AR parts, that would be in the list of 20 parts, made outside the country and assembled here, then the "non sporting use" AR would be made with more than 10 foreign made parts. So they make the parts here to avoid any issues with 922(R). I could be wrong but that is my understanding.

Scott
You are correct, it is about the parts, not country of origin of the firearm itself. The specific line I was referencing is... "if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3)" I have not gone and read that section so I could be way off base... but is the AR-platform gun since designed here, even prohibited from importation? If it is not prohibited from importation, how can it fall under 922(r) compliance regardless of wher ethe parts come from. Sounds like grey-area to me which is why I wonder about the HK416/MR556.

Anyhow, thanks Scott, I was quickly trying to find 922(r) excerpt online and my impatience got the best of me :)
 
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