They had a mp5 clone at the local range, dont remember the brand or name. But I rented it and it was super nice. That's what I'm interested in findingSo I’ve bought PTR and Cetme versions of the HK91 and no longer have either (because I didn’t like them as much as my genuine HK91)...the only clone I’ve ever had that I loved (and still own), I got as part of a sear package at an estate sale...I’ve read of others who had issues with them, but my Bobcat MP5 clone is a BOSS...I’ve abused the hell out of it and it’s never complained...I broke an extractor spring and a locking rollers plate during a particularly abusive range session (maybe a 3k round day) and I didn’t even know until I took it apart to clean it later that night because it kept on running. I once said life is too short for clones in order to justify some factory HK purchases, but my Bobcat and I will likely never part ways. Just my $0.02
Great reply, I think I'll stick to genuine stuff thenFullmann hits the nail on the head. Here is the list and here are the problems:
POF - you can only purchased used... they won't be imported any more but they were a contract weapon licensed by HK. At the time they came out, they were priced attractively and made sense to buy. Maybe you had to fidget with the finish, but they generally worked so you could buy one for around 1500 and worst case scenario, send it out for a refinish and as a customer, you would probably be very happy with the final product.
MKE/Zenith - used to be around 1500 and was another attractive HK licensed product. Zenith stood behind their product and most customer appreciated the slightly higher finish quality of the weapons and, again, they generally ran okay. Again, you can't buy the MKE through Zenith anymore and so you have to buy used and I would expect to spend a premium to get
Neither of these options were suitable as sear hosts so if you have a sear or plan to get a sear, then these would probably not be the go to weapons of choice
NOW you can still get MKE through Century... and allegedly you get the same product as through Zenith but if you have problems, you are stuck with Century Support which experience tells me will be a very low threshold of support in terms of quality and even capability. I doubt they are going to have spare parts laying around to fix things for customers and even if they did, I would find the expertise to be dubious, at best. On top of that, it would still not be a good sear host option and finally, the MSRP is about 80-90 percent of the MSRP of the actual HK... so I just don't see the value being there any more.
Omega Arms - this is a company I will go into more detail below but to summarize, the price remains ABOUT right but you are definitely spending more than you used to. This is a US company that originates for the Special Weapons camp (more information below). It is a good sear host because the denial shelf system is derivative of the original HK94 style shelf and uses no internal full auto component blocks but this is also NOT an HK licensed company on HK tooling. Customer support seems spotty, currently.
PTR - this is a US based company, again, not using HK licensed tooling but using tooling that people, at one point, considered to be superior to the Special Weapons tooling. Decent price and they used to have great customer feedback in terms of support, but I am seeing a trend of complaints that is becoming more prevalent. This is a good sear host, as well, but for MP5 traditionalists, the welded on rail makes this clone not a real option. Also, as a community, we know where the receiver tooling came from but I personally have a lot of questions about most of the internals and where they are sourced from. Not that it would be a deal breaker for me, but it could be important if you do run into issues down the road.
So what else is there? Well, there are used Special Weapons, Bobcat Weapons, Coharie Arms, ETC weapons out there. Believe it or not, you used to be able to buy a Coharie Arms clone for 995.00, swap a bunch of HK internals over for 500 dollars and have a running, decent looking clone for a bargain. Once POF and MKE started getting imported, that scene began to fall apart. These are weapons that come with a lot of baggage. Because they were produced under so many different guises and because they were, at one point, the only game in town, many custom builds exist that were built on their receivers. For example, I own 6 clones of Special Weapons origin that have all been reworked by some of the best in the industry with no expenses spared, YET the sheer fact that a Special Weapons roll mark exists on the receiver, I am reluctant to openly admit what they are. This can be frustrating because there is not way to actually sell these, not that I want to, but if I did want to, I would surely be gouged and potentially mocked for asking prices that reflect the quality of the work that had been performed. As shooters, these can be a good and worthwhile investment if you are willing to accept that you might have to spend a significant amount of money to get them running... I would still purchase more because as shooters, when built, you can get them assembled to perform well... it's just not an investment firearm.
Now... if that isn't enough... there are hosts of really good builders out there that have turned out a lot of quality clones. Dakota Tactical, Parabellum Combat Systems, TPM, Black Ops Defense, ETC... these builders can build very nice weapons at very reasonable costs that make good sear hosts but weren't built on HK tooling.
So there isn't a simple "yes, clones are great" or "no, clones suck".... you just need to be educated and make a decision that suits your needs and wants.