Subguns Sunday

It started with what I thought was a post that I didn’t think would have taken me seriously. But the post read…

Sunday Steel Challenge Markham Park @ 0815. I am in for the MP5 squad…anyone else?

That post came from my instructor. Well, I figure I answer him but I doubt he would take me seriously. After all, I don’t think I am capable of running a fully NFA Heckler and Koch 9mm MP5 submachine gun. Oh did I tell you that I didn’t own one too?

So I casually said, “Tally Ho! I’m in…”

Turns out, a few hours later I got a text from the man himself. He offered to loan me one of his MP5 as long as I bring my own bullets. He also mentioned that it’s only iron sights and no red dot and if that would be a problem? Are you kidding me? I’m just freaking excited that he actually gonna let me touch a real MP5! Iron sights? Yeah I’ll do it old school just like those Navy SEALs posters I saw when I was just a kid.

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Well that Sunday morning, I made sure I got there early. In fact I think I was there too early. Can you blame a guy for not wanting to miss the opportunity to do something that I’ve always dreamed of doing…???

Ok well, maybe saving the world from an alien invasion and being a sex icon to all the women in the universe is a dream, but at least shooting an MP5 like a trained Frogman is a more achievable dream! Except I won’t be sporting a wetsuit and fins.

The other TFA students began showing up and I swear this outing was turning into a sub-gun/pistol carbine squad. We had a few others showed up with Beretta CX4 Storm along with some 22 carbines. But when the instructor arrived, it looked like he brought his entire armory or so. He had a few sub-guns along with the MP5, like his covenant Sterling Mark V, which I think must be his favorite. Additionally he also had with him the Mark IV too! Both were really nicely setup with the suppressor, which made it pretty bad ass. Maybe someday, he’ll let me have a chance to review it.

As I am waiting for him to sign in and gather his stuff, we were already given our MP5. We rushed over to the safety tables and opened it like it was Christmas morning. Let me say it was way cooler than I thought!

The other student quickly gave me a crash course on this gun. And let me say I was terrified. Not because of it going full auto bang – but because if I break it I will have to get 10 different jobs to pay for it. I swear, that was the most expensive thing I’ve ever held in my hands. (Well aside from my car, this was much better!)

As I made myself ready and was able to prep myself on the line, I started getting nervous. Ah shit! Not again!! I tell you, in the back of my mind, I was still not quite confident with my carbine skills. So it was really nerve wrecking trying to think that I know what I was doing but in reality, I guess a lot. After all, he never said anything about teaching me how to shoot the MP5. So I did the best that I can.

When he asked me if I was ready, my mind was like “OH MY GOD! HERE WE GO…!!!” But apparently my inner monologue has a big mouth.

Sure enough, the buzzer went off and I was like… brt-brt-brt-brt and then brt! What just happened there? Did I hit the targets? I guess so cause I didn’t hear the drop count!

And the weird part, at least for now it’s weird, was that I didn’t feel that type of AR-15 recoil. Instead, it was like being tugged lightly. That’s what the MP5 really felt like in my hand. (By the way, the MP5 shooters today were all Southpaw shooters!) The trigger was really sensitive and trying to control the burst – wow! It was like driving stick shift for the first time.

I can tell that this day was going to go by quick and I kept hoping that I brought enough ammo.

Midway through the morning, the instructor was kind enough to correct my stance and posture. I guess he felt bad for me. I was looking like Quasimoto all hunched over that MP5. I swear from the side, it looked as if I was ready to eat that MP5. And as cool as that MP5 was, it did not make me look that cool!

So here are some of the take aways from this day.

1. Fundamentals are important for every weapon. It translate to everything and there are no big difference, other than knowing how to operate the weapon and manipulate it.

It wasn’t until after watching my video playback, did I see a lot of bad rookie mistakes. Mistakes that I should have known from the get go, like the placement of my trigger finger. I swear, when I had my booger hook on that trigger, I thought it was at the padding of the tip. But no. I was wrong. Because I was too excited about going full auto, I didn’t preflight check myself; which now leads me to my mindset.

2. Obviously I was so excited holding that MP5, my mindset failed to do all the proper checklist for my fundamentals of marksmanship. If maybe I had paid more attention and gotten over that giddiness, I would have realized to self-correct my mistakes.

3. There was another guy on a different squad (not a TFA squad). He also had his own MP5 or at least that’s what I think it was (could be a HK UMP). Some of his squad mates were gawking at his gun with envy. He knew they were. So several times during the match, the entire line had to stop because this knucklehead decided to go full auto on the steel plates, knocking them down. This guy did it twice. And on the third time, he was stopped and told not to do it again.

So the lesson here is that, sure you have a cool gun that goes full auto. But don’t be that guy that screws it up for everyone by making all of us stop so that you can run down range to pick up the plates you just knocked down.

I will also note that this guy ran to the plate with his sub-gun in hand. It kinda looked like he had his fat finger on the trigger but I can’t really be sure of it. Either way, I think what he should have done was to unload his weapon and drop it on the deck before running over to the plates.

But that’s just me.

However, I watched him shoot during the mornings and saw that he really had no discipline with the weapon. I saw him plowed through one of the main plates, and ended up shooting the ground instead of the stop plate. The sad part afterwards, he looked at his gun and said “this ammo sucks”. It’s really sad to see people not wanting to own up to their mistakes or try to learn from it and fix it.

Instead, just blame the ammo. It’s a scary thought that this guy could “accidentally” get me or someone else killed.

So don’t be that guy!

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Overall, sub-guns, machine guns and NFA guns are really fun to shoot, but with the proper training. I personally think the mechanics of it, are no different than shooting a semi-auto other than the select fire and getting use to that sensitive trigger.

I’ll be honest, I’m hoping the instructor would offer another MP5 day where I can get some more practice on the trigger. The other stuff like the fundamentals, I can practice that with my regular carbine; but will more than likely need to book a one on one session to hammer out all the mistakes I’m making.

Learning to manipulate the MP5 and master it’s trigger is something that will more than likely require some actual time with the weapon.