1. Hi Ian, how does the controllability compare to a m14? My guess would be that the straight line recoil of the hk 51 would help quite a bit

    • Wouldn’t it be useful in any configuration to use a silencer/suppressor, may it be subsonic or not? One could assume various models would be easily accessible for the SAS, too. Some may not raise the OAL too much.
      Also instead of full auto, mag dump, standard ammo I would suggest testing a bit with the higher bullet wheights, even self loaded ammo. As it is a extreme end of this calibers usable barrel lengths.

  2. Tells us yesterday to double bag your ears to shoot it, doesn’t double bag, complains about the concussion. Follow your own advice, Ian!

    I rather think TBI is a thing among shooters, and should be researched more. I fired two rounds from a .50 BMG Barrett w/ their muzzle brake and realized, this can’t be good. Gave away the rest of my ammo, and was delighted when my friend sold it.

  3. This is just not fair to shooter; it looks like self-sacrifice. I’d strongly advice pair of muffs over those plugs. And even then… better not to do it.

  4. After the last round, Ian actually lunges forward and then recovers. Well, when you’re leaning into an iron like that, no wonder.

    I wish we could see the dirt flying from the berm. Always interesting to discover just how far a full auto, full power shoulder arm can wander.

  5. In this video with Ian, that thing looks almost reasonable.

    I am here to tell you that the concussion and everything else is a lot more more, in person.

    On the other hand, it could be the ammo–The stuff the one I got to observe firing was a mix of 7.62X51 NATO that was meant for use in machine guns, not rifles. I remember a hell of a lot more muzzle flash, concussive blast, and recoil from the one I witnessed being shot.

    Then again, it was a typical overcast PNW afternoon, and damn near dusk-like. One of the things that caught my eye when it was fired was that that sumbitch had noticeable muzzle flash during daylight hours, and about the only time I remember witnessing that was for something really egregiously overpowered that didn’t burn all its powder. If you’ve ever seen one of those amazingly foolish “Mare’s Leg” lever-action or single-shot rifles in .45-70 that’s got a super-short barrel and standard ammo fired out of it, you’d know what I mean. And, subjectively, I think that the HK51 I saw was making rather more noise/flash, TBH.

    I gotta wonder what this would have looked like at night, and what Ian was firing for a load in it.

  6. I could kinda see the noise and concussive effect have its advantages in CQB.

    Sure, you could raid an enemy safe house with 9mm SMGs.

    Or you could bring one of these and fire a nice, long burst in the general direction of the enemy. Who’ll have no idea if theyre being bombed or what the F is going on before it’s over.

    Enemies who can’t hear a thing except ringing in their ears, also have a much harder time hearing orders or organizing a defense.

    • Basically, this is a hand-held Claymore mine whose backblast is (somewhat…) survivable.

      I can only imagine what it would be like to be wandering through the woods of some dark evening, all stealthy-like and cunning, only to have one of these open up on my point man. I do believe I’d be filling my trousers and freezing in place about like a deer in the headlights of a 747…

      I’ve made the point before that signature of a weapon is oftentimes just as important as the ballistics, in terms of purely psychological effect during combat. You hit soldiers with something unexpected, something they aren’t used to…? Panic tends to ensue, especially among tyros. You can use that.

      Even with veterans that are in good order, an unexpected unpleasant discovery can have enough “shock effect” to influence things. I remember one distinguished veteran of the Normandy drops describing his platoon’s reaction to discovering that they were flanked by not one, but two MG42 positions as they moved up for an attack on a German position during the actions surrounding the period of the Battle of the Bulge. As he put it, they all unassed the area with unembarrassed haste, while the replacements they had stood in wonder. Not for long, I might add…

      Should add that for whatever reason, the German gunners were firing high, over their heads, that morning. If they were firing at them, at all–Could have been trying to engage another part of their element that was further along. He was impressed by the amount of speed he and his tired and worn-out veterans could put on, though…

    • If you want to suppress the enemy with noise, you want the noise to be coming from the shock wave of the bullet passing two feet from their head, or from it hitting something right next to them. If the noise is coming from a spot two feet in front of your face and twenty feet from theirs, then whatever it is you are doing to them, you’re doing a hundred times that to yourself. This is unlikely to work in your favor.

      • You’d be surprised. The boost to morale when you’ve got something like that on your side is significant, even it if isn’t hitting a damn thing. Same for the enemy–Sheer volume of noise and signature is demoralizing as hell.

        People who discount the psychological effects of weapons haven’t been under fire. There are times and places for it; just as there are times and places where you want suppression. Ideally, you would be able to manage things based on the effect you want, but that would require you had a fairly solid idea of what’s going on inside the heads of the enemy. Some situations with some people, the amount of sound and flash would be immaterial; with others? It might have more effect than the projectiles.

        Even with seasoned troops, you’d be astounded what the effects are with sudden, unexpected loud noises and muzzle flashes. You think you’re being successful at “sneak”, and then suddenly out of nowhere, someone opens up on you with a couple of machine guns… It’s not outside the realm of possibility that even well-trained and experienced units could “break” and run under those conditions. Might not even require you to hit them, either…

        There are reasons we abandoned the bow, and went to the “hande gonne”, not all of which had to do with training. Everybody likes making loud noises, and it is very encouraging when it’s being done by your side, rather than the enemy.

  7. I can imagine it now: “Covering Fire!!” the next word from anybody’s mouth would be “What did you say? Speak up I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!”

    • Ya got that one right…

      Minute I saw Ian’s post of yesterday, my ears started ringing again, in sympathetic memory…

  8. I dunno… back in the early 2000’s Knob Creek days, a friend let me put a thou or two through his HK51, with the Frankenmag ™, which was three 20rd mags welded together; it held maybe 52rds. It wasn’t bad at all. I don’t think he had an original muzzle brake, either. Much more controllable than a select-fire M14. About level with the M60E3 shoulder-fired, just twice as fast, and 3 times lighter.

    • Shouldn’t that be “Suppressing Fire!” (Archer fans unite!)
      Having seen one shot at Knob Creek back in the day, even from the fence behind the firing line, it was most impressive. The Quad 50 down at the end of the range was giving it a run for it’s money though. And the cannon to the left did outdo it, for one shot…

  9. Okay, trying not to make this post look like click-bait, but of all the “awkward or obscure” guns I can think of, which would you take into a high-rise building counter-terrorism brawl? Assume no hostages are being held.

    1. FN MAG58
    2. Beretta BM59 (paratrooper version with folding stock)
    3. M60 GPMG (Kirk will kill me for this)
    4. HK51
    5. Thompson M1921 with compensator and C-drum
    6. Stevens Model 520-30 with sword bayonet
    7. Reihenfeuer 08 (full auto Luger with drum magazine!!)
    8. Colt R80 Monitor
    9. 6P62
    10. M2 Carbine
    11. Or, per the usual, screw the budget and add your favorite toys to the list!

  10. Fun! But worth trying in semi too. The only situations I can imagine that being desirable for are (a) break contact mag drop drills; (b) close protection in semi – one round drops the anticipated mad person with a pistol 10 feet away, (c) CQB with vehicles needing penetrating.

    Googling suggests an m/v of around 2000fps. So m/e only slightly above longer-barrel 5.56 or short 7.62×39. Neither of which would carry quite the same risk of temporary blindness, permanent hearing loss, or brain damage.

  11. Noise can be useful. Everyone comments on the noise of the GAU-8 cannon in the A-10 Warthog, so it’s not an insignificant factor.

  12. I think it is a testament to the strength of the HK action that it can reliably function at all.

    I must say I was expecting a tongue of flame at least a yard long from the muzzle, yet there does not appear to be any. Obviously it was very loud, but I suppose that could be a feature for a special forces type hostage rescue: the rifle acts as its own flash bang.

    Obviously, it is hard to judge these things from a video, but it did not seem amazingly loud, just very loud. I wonder how it sounds to Kirk or anyone else who has actually seen and heard one of these fired in real life?

  13. “…I wonder how it sounds…”(С)

    It “sounds” like a phone book hit on the head.
    “Birdcage” is good at suppressing muzzle flash. It was invented for this, when a muzzle device for a machine gun was developed.
    At the same time, these research results were applied in the M14, and subsequently to everything else.

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