Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday proudly brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine – home of the Turbo and Resonator suppressors. Last week we brought you a writeup on suppressing the new GLOCK 44 rimfire pistol – a setup I believe will be in every rimfire aficionados rotation. This week we are going to run through some recent NFA news and then take a peak at my latest purchase – the H&K SP5. I’ve submitted my Form 1 application, payed my “tax” mailed my prints, ordered a stock and eagerly await the Crown’s blessing to shoulder my authentic German roller-delayed silencer host. Until then, we’ll have to play the SP5 vs MP5SD game as pistol versus short barreled rifle.
In case you missed it, two weeks ago we suppressed the IWI Galil ACE using the KNS Adjustable Gas Piston.
In the spirit of Christmas, I invested in the closest thing to a Die Hard submachine gun on the market – H&K’s new SP5. The SP5 is a pistol, so to officially make it on to Hans Grüber’s squad, I first had to use the ATF’s eFile system to submit an ATF 5320.1 Form 1 for permission to add a collapsible stock to the SP5. Fresh off the 1986 new machinegun ban, I’m sure Hans’ crew submitted their forms well in advance of the Nakatomi heist so they could make their conversions. Two years of planning to commit big crime.
My eFile Form 1 was submitted on 12/20/2019 with the prints and cover sheet being mailed the same day. According to the ATF’s most recent newsletter, eFile Form 1’s are seeing approvals in about 30 days, so with any lucky my email motivation of approval will arrive on the first day of SHOT Show 2020.
If anyone else with a newly purchased SP5 is interested in converting it to an SBR, the best price on an MP5 A3 F Type stock was at Numrich for about $350. Steep, but the H&K game is not for the faint of heart.
ATF has taken a number of steps to address the unprecedented receipt of over 276,000 tax paid NFA applications received just prior to the July 13, 2016, effective date of the Final Rule regarding legal entities (41F). ATF has augmented normal data entry efforts so that all applications are now accounted for within days of receipt. ATF is currently applying additional overtime resources and providing an increased level of effort to research and perfect applications. ATF will continue to dedicate resources to application processing seven days a week. ATF is also diligently working to bring the tax paid application process to the eForms portal for efficient workflow management. Lastly, all business processes are being re-examined to maximize efficiency of paper application handling, and to leverage technology where possible. (ATF 2019 FFL NEWSLETTER)
A couple of points here: It seems odd that we are still talking about 41F a full three and a half years after it went into effect. The ATF is processing NFA forms seven days a week. And it looks like tax payments for paper forms may be headed to the eFile system – meaning you one day may be able to pay your $200 tax online before shipping off your paper forms. I still think it would be easier to build a new eForm system for all submissions, but who am I to judge.
Paper applications are at an abysmal seven and ten months for Form 1 and Form 4 submissions respectively. The fact that anyone has to wait ten months to take possession of an item they have already purchased is still unbelievable.
NFA Forms – Common Errors
And don’t forget to check your forms before you submit them – I’m guilty of several of these errors over the years, slowing my process (and everyone else’s) unnecessarily. Read through the below lists to make sure you are literally dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.
Did you know that approximately 40 percent of all tax paid applications submitted to the NFA Division are incomplete and/or contain errors? Failure to properly complete necessary paperwork will result in the application being denied or returned for correction. Attempts to resolve these errors can lead to significant delays in processing the application. In these cases, the applicant is issued an error letter and given a period of 30 days to respond to ATF. Failure to respond in a timely manner will result in the application being disapproved. These delays can be avoided by taking the time to accurately complete the application in accordance with the instructions provided on the form. Below is a list of the most frequently encountered discrepancies: (ATF 2019 FFL NEWSLETTER)
Common Errors associated with ATF Form 1:
- Missing Photos
- Fingerprint Cards incomplete (Often missing biometric information)
- Responsible Person Questionnaires (RPQs) – none submitted, too many submitted, insufficient number submitted (Must be one RPQ for each RP)
- Trust/Individual names do not match on forms Box 4a – Original Manufacturer not provided/incorrect
- Box 4i – Intent not provided
- Box 4d – Incorrect models
- Box 4h – Maker’s name, city, state not provided
- Box 7 – Missing signature of applicant
- Box 10 – Law Enforcement Notification information not provided
Common Errors associated with ATF Form 4:
- Missing Photos
- Fingerprint Cards incomplete
Responsible Person Questionnaires (RPQs) – none submitted, too many submitted, insufficient number submitted (Must be one RPQ for each RP)
- Trust/Individual names do not match on forms
- Box 9 – Missing Transferor signature/date
- Box 4d – Incorrect models
- Box 12 – Law Enforcement Notification information not provided
- Box 13 – Transferee Necessity Statement left blank
- Box 17 – Missing Transferee signature/date
Silent Nights: SP5 Vs MP5SD
If there is a list of hosts that silencer lovers lust after the most, the H&K MP5 and MP5SD must be near the top. Not only are they iconic pieces of history, but their roller delayed action keeps the chamber closed long enough to keep gasses moving forward, recoil and cycling rates even and sound reduction performance for semiautomatic 9mm phenomenal.
A few weeks ago H&K announced the a semiautomatic MP5 available to the commoners in the form of the SP5. As silencer hosts go, it’s one of the best available. However if you are looking for ultimate quiet, your may have considered an integrally suppressed MP5SD clone as an option. How do the two compare? First, let’s look at the specifications.
- Length: 26 in.
- Height: 9.0 in.
- Barrel Length: 5.75 in.
- Weight: 7.5 lbs
- Length: 17.8 in. (Silencer adds 8-10”)
- Height: 8.66 in.
- Barrel Length: 8.86 in.
- Weight: 5.1 lbs (Stock and Silencer will add ~0.9 lbs)
There’s a pretty severe weight penalty with the SD – it’s noticeably heavier. That may or may not factor into your decision on which to buy.
Most of you deciding whether or not to purchase an SP5 or an MP5SD clone probably aren’t factoring in much utility – these are both recreational use guns that assist you in quiet shooting. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some considerations:
- Three Lug and 1/2×28 mounting options – pick any one of a number of suppressors.
- Ammunition – cycles any bullet weight from any quality, factory loaded 9mm round.
- Handguard – many options for mounts and accessories.
MP5SD style build (TPM build pictured).
- Integrally suppressed – very quiet with all that internal volume, but silencer selection is limited.
- Ammunition – ported barrel means every round leaves the muzzle at subsonic speeds. Heavier bullets loaded for subsonic speeds not recommended.
- Handguard – forend structure means a smaller selection of handguard options for mounting lights.
- No real option for unsuppressed use.
Price wise, the two guns come out to within a few hundred dollars once you factor in the suppressor costs.
As sizes go, the profiles are basically the same. Changing out a smaller silencer on each reduces the overall length by four to six inches. TPM makes a K-sized can that I find is almost as quiet as the full sized SD can (pictured below).
The SP5 does not come with a welded rail, so if you want to run optics, plan on investing a few hundred dollars in a quality mount from B&T or another manufacturer
As far as sound signature reduction, the MP5SD will run quieter – how much quieter will really depend on you and your ears and the ammunition you decide to run. Both are excellent 9mm hosts/dedicated suppressor platforms.
I hope that we will see a true H&K MP5SD (SP5SD) option hit the market in the near future. Although top-shelf options are already available from builders like TPM, there is a lust for true H&K models. I’d hope that other models – chambered in 10mm as well as other platforms (MP7) – are on H&K’s short list as well.
Hey, we can dream, right?
Thanks for reading TFB’s Silencer Saturday. Be safe, have fun and we’ll see you here next weekend.
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