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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Folks-

I'm new to the forum so please forgive me it this has been discussed already. I didn't see this in any prior threads but I'm not used to this forum either so I may have missed it.

I was a CIII years ago. I have one of the few 100% original HK Factory MP5K pre-86 DS guns in the US. I'm a sworn LEO and was a former adjunct instructor in the Tac Med program at HK ITD, later HK Defense when it was in Northern VA. I have a lot of trigger time with select fire MP5s but this is my first experience with a semi MP5 type gun having never owned nor fired a 94 or SP89. I assume that they have them in the Grey Room at HK but I never noticed.

When I went for the paddle mag release and it wasn't there it was a bit odd. Why don't these guns have paddle mag releases? Does anyone know the deal? Seems absurd. The lack of the normal paddle mag release really adversely effects the handling qualities of this gun.

Why are these legal to import and the SP89s were banned?

Just for kicks I placed the SP5K next to my MP5K factory original gun and have added the photos below.

I look forward to being a part of the forums.

IMG_20160830_215247094 (1).jpg

IMG_20160830_215418114 (1).jpg
 

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The SP5K, SP89, and 90 series do not have a paddle release because the ATF decided that the front pin hole allows for the easy attachment of a full auto trigger pack and that same pin is what is supposed to hold in the paddle release. If you were to drill a hole all the way through like on your real MP5s it would be an illegal machinegun in the eyes of the ATF. The SP89 was banned by name and the SP5K is not an SP89.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks very much for the info!!

While I can to some extent understand the reasoning re: the mag release, there is essentially no functional difference that I can think of between the SP5K and the SP89. Why then did the ATF allow thefor
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Very cool paddle mag retrofit!!! Did you do it or a smith?

I attended the MP5 armorer school at HK in VA this spring. The paddle mag assy is one of the only parts that we did not take down. The instructor said that the paddle mag release had to be serviced at the factory. Thought that was odd but didn't inquire further. I assume that the machining is complex to remove and replace it. That said, he noted that they rarely break.
 

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I am not sure anyone outside of HK knows exactly how the SP5K was approved by the ATF. What is even more interesting is that MKE and POF were able to get their MP5 clones approved for import with the front pin present by putting full auto bolt blocking tabs in the receivers. I had the seller install the paddle on mine before he shipped it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
One of the many mysteries of ATF I suppose. Seems totally arbitrary.

Looking at my K gun (pics below) it would seem that if HK wanted to that they could have designed a work around such as that which you describe or of another type to retain the paddle release. I guess that they didn't think that it was worth the trouble. I think that having it is very important to optimal operation of the weapon.

IMG_20160831_242132023.jpg

IMG_20160831_242138943.jpg
 

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One of the many mysteries of ATF I suppose. Seems totally arbitrary.

Looking at my K gun (pics below) it would seem that if HK wanted to that they could have designed a work around such as that which you describe or of another type to retain the paddle release. I think that having it is very important to optimal operation of the weapon.

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Being arbitrary is the name of the game with the ATF and I agree the paddle release is s must.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well stated!!

Thanks again for the info.

I very much look forward to learning from and hopefully contributing to the forums.
 

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While I would prefer to have the paddle release present on my SP5K, it's actually faster to release the mag with the button. Just some food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
While I would prefer to have the paddle release present on my SP5K, it's actually faster to release the mag with the button. Just some food for thought.
It's to some extent subjective of course. That said, respectfully, I've used the MP5 for many years and have attended many schools with this gun including HK MP5 Operator and Instructor, HK 3 gun, NRA LE Select Fire Instructor Development School, many courses, seminars and exercises at TREXPO, TacOps East, NCR SWAT Assn, and others. I was an adjunct instructor at HK ITD later HK Defense and have sat through countless lessons on this gun given by full time HK staff instructors as well as Adjuncts who were full time SWAT Operators in large depts. who were issued MP5s. I've never seen any operator use the button instead of the paddle. Manipulation of the paddle is more of a gross motor skill. It's easier and faster to find. It's totally ambidextrous and is more amenable to use if partially incapacitated. I think that the paddle is clearly easier and faster to use, esp. under stress, when doing immediate action drills, wearing MOPP gear, low/no light, etc.

Have your tried to work the guns hard with both the paddle and just the botton under stress and found the button faster and easier?
 

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First off, it's clear you bring a valuable perspective to the forum. Thank you for taking the time to share that resource with us. Your training and experience on the MP5 are things I do not have. The first time I shot an MP5 was when HK flew me out to Georgia earlier this year, that was also the first time I got hands on with the SP5K. Because I do not have formal training on the platform, I have approached mastering its operation through a process of significant trial and error.

I am not an operator, I am a competitive shooter. My concerns with any platform I will be competing with focus almost exclusively on what will be the fastest and most reliable technique for a given action so that I can wring the highest level of performance out of the platform possible. I hear the gross motor skill argument often, generally from people advocating a slower and less efficient form of weapon manipulation such as always using an overhand rack to recharge the pistol rather than simply dropping the slide with the slide stop. With respect, if you can pull the trigger well enough to get accurate hits under stress, you can hit a mag release button under the same stress.

All of my magazines for the SP5K drop free reliably, which ruled out the necessity of ripping them out of the gun on the reload. Since I do not have to rip the mag from the gun, I now have the freedom to drive my support hand directly to the replacement mag and start bringing it up to the magwell as I drop the existing magazine with my firing hand. Yes, the magazine button is significantly forward of something like an AR. No, that doesn't really matter as far as speed goes. Speed is more a matter of efficiency and eliminating wasted motion, and for me using the mag release button accomplishes that goal.

I value your training and experience and don't really expect to change your mind on this. I simply offer the counterpoint that with some practice, my reloads with the SP5K are as fast and reliable as my reloads with an AR15 under match pressure.

It's to some extent subjective of course. That said, respectfully, I've used the MP5 for many years and have attended many schools with this gun including HK MP5 Operator and Instructor, HK 3 gun, NRA LE Select Fire Instructor Development School, many courses, seminars and exercises at TREXPO, TacOps East, NCR SWAT Assn, and others. I was an adjunct instructor at HK ITD later HK Defense and have sat through countless lessons on this gun given by full time HK staff instructors as well as Adjuncts who were full time SWAT Operators in large depts. who were issued MP5s. I've never seen any operator use the button instead of the paddle. Manipulation of the paddle is more of a gross motor skill. It's easier and faster to find. It's totally ambidextrous and is more amenable to use if partially incapacitated. I think that the paddle is clearly easier and faster to use, esp. under stress, when doing immediate action drills, wearing MOPP gear, low/no light, etc.

Have your tried to work the guns hard with both the paddle and just the botton under stress and found the button faster and easier?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
First off, it's clear you bring a valuable perspective to the forum. Thank you for taking the time to share that resource with us. Your training and experience on the MP5 are things I do not have. The first time I shot an MP5 was when HK flew me out to Georgia earlier this year, that was also the first time I got hands on with the SP5K. Because I do not have formal training on the platform, I have approached mastering its operation through a process of significant trial and error.

I am not an operator, I am a competitive shooter. My concerns with any platform I will be competing with focus almost exclusively on what will be the fastest and most reliable technique for a given action so that I can wring the highest level of performance out of the platform possible. I hear the gross motor skill argument often, generally from people advocating a slower and less efficient form of weapon manipulation such as always using an overhand rack to recharge the pistol rather than simply dropping the slide with the slide stop. With respect, if you can pull the trigger well enough to get accurate hits under stress, you can hit a mag release button under the same stress.

All of my magazines for the SP5K drop free reliably, which ruled out the necessity of ripping them out of the gun on the reload. Since I do not have to rip the mag from the gun, I now have the freedom to drive my support hand directly to the replacement mag and start bringing it up to the magwell as I drop the existing magazine with my firing hand. Yes, the magazine button is significantly forward of something like an AR. No, that doesn't really matter as far as speed goes. Speed is more a matter of efficiency and eliminating wasted motion, and for me using the mag release button accomplishes that goal.

I value your training and experience and don't really expect to change your mind on this. I simply offer the counterpoint that with some practice, my reloads with the SP5K are as fast and reliable as my reloads with an AR15 under match pressure.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

HK flew you to GA? Nice! How did that come to be? Sounds fantastic.

It's not so much about changing yours (or anyone's mind) so much as offering my point of view based on my experience, training and exposure to others in various settings. It was HK ITD of all places that had the following on the walls - even in the latrine - "A way, Not the way." Love that.

I've shot competitively on and off in a variety of disciplines since I was a young child shooting small bore. I've never competed at the levels that I'm sure that you do. I have seen some top practical shooting competitors in action - an amazing thing to watch.

I think that the reason that HK and every other school, conference, etc that I've attended teaches the use of the paddle may be inherent in the difference between straight competition and tactical operations. I've been impressed that while the speed and accuracy of top competitors is incredible some important tactics fall away in favor of speed. People tend to do under stress what they're trained to do thus these tactical errors are more likely to creep into a gunfight. For example, crowding cover, placing the muzzle in front of the cover, reloads not behind cover, etc. Not that one does not see the same stuff in combat but the tactical schools do stress proper use of cover, light discipline, etc.

Not all MP5 mags drop free, esp in crappy weather/conditions and sometimes in any conditions. I was at a week long school which mostly took place in driving rain with an MP5 last fall. It was muddy and nasty and most of the mags didn't drop free. Further, when doing the standard immediate action drill with an MP5 (moving parts back, mag out, mag in with a push/pull movement, moving parts forward) the motions are more easily done with the support hand releasing the paddle and controlling the mag. Its very easy to release the mag with the paddle and to control the mag with the support hand in one fluid motion. As you know, for tac reloads one wants to retain the mag as well, also more easily done with the support hand releasing the paddle and controlling the mag. Even when faced with an emergency reload I'd rather be positively sure the mag is gone rather than getting jammed up if it didn't drop. All the more so in low light, with a lot of kit on, MOPP stuff, etc.

I think that every major school teaches the paddle release. I'm at TacOps East next week. John Meyer of Team One Network is usually there. He was the head of HK ITD for years. I think that Gene Zink attends sometimes as well. He is a former Delta Operator who was the head of ITD for a time and is a amazing MP5 shooter, likely one of the best to ever shoot that system. If I see them or any of the other former Senior ITD instructors I'll run this by them to see if they've encountered any training anywhere that favors the button over the paddle.

I'm with you on the slide release. I've been yelled at countless times to "Stop using the slide stop!, It's a slide stop, not a slide release!..." The argument that I usually hear is not the fine vs gross motor one but the spring compression argument.

In short, while in your hands the button may be faster I think that the paddle is most reliable. If the mag does not drop I think that it takes more time to deal with this then when using the button. I think that the paddle also offers more efficient control of the mag during IADs, tac reloads, is easier with gloves and if incapacitated, etc. as well. As you note, the button on an MP5 is not as easily used as that on an AR due to reach. The use of the paddle offers a nice consistency of operation for all manner of reloads and IADs.

To each their own, like you just offering my perspective. Thanks again for your excellent note.

Safe shooting.
 

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Welcome to the site. Good post and questions. I like your side by side with the SP89.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Welcome to the site. Good post and questions. I like your side by side with the SP89.
Thanks very much!

That's actually a factory original MP5 K, not an SP 89. I was a C III years ago. I lucked out getting one of the very few factory original pre-86 DS K guns in the US.
 

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While I would prefer to have the paddle release present on my SP5K, it's actually faster to release the mag with the button. Just some food for thought.
That's funny you posted that. I am left handed and have found that I like the button to release mag at the same time I hold the mag with my right hand. I do the same with AR/M16 platform but I use an enlarged button. I also have large hands so my right thumb presses mag release button as my fingers are wrapped and pulling mag. It is faster for me than a paddle mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Guys, I just wanted to follow up on the earlier posts as promised.

Just finished day 2 of TacOps East. To many people's surprise HK was not there. I think that they've been at the prior 3. What a bummer!!

Nonetheless, I did ask around a bit about the mag releases. I asked a former full time HK ITD Staff Instructor who was a full time SWAT operator prior to working at HK, a recently retired NAVY SEAL who is now a firearms/tactics instructor, a local, senior full time SWAT Operator on a large, excellent team and a former Aussie SAS Operator. All of these guys have very extensive operational and training experience with the MP5. All of them said that they use the paddle and that they've never heard of training which teaches otherwise. So, while the button may well work best for some, I think that the guys who want to run these guns a lot are well served in adding the paddle - however much a pain that this may be.

The above is in no way meant to disparage anyone who used the button and who finds that to be an excellent technique for them. I just wanted to relay what I found in speaking with experienced, top tier operators with many years of operational experience with this system.
 
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