If you appreciate the venerable MP-5 with its small frame and excessively entertaining forward charging handle but prefer it in a smaller calibre, GSG-16 in.22LR might be the perfect option. While they aren’t the same due to pesky trademark and patent laws getting in the way, they are close enough that you can switch from one to the other while wearing a blindfold.
German Sporting Guns has created a complete package of greatness and fun in a plinker that won’t break the bank. How did they manage it? Let’s examine why this little bundle of joy works so well.
German Sport Guns (GSG) produces a range of .22 LR semi-automatic replicas modelled after well-known and illustrious firearms. Compared to the occasionally pricey or challenging-to-obtain originals, these replicas are more reasonably priced and less expensive to shoot.
GSG, based in Ense-Höingen, Germany, has a long-standing business partnership with American Tactical Inc. (AT), a company that imports GSG products like the Schmeisser StG 44 and 1911 rimfire models.
These two businesses joined forces in 2009 to introduce the GSG-5 to the American market. This copy took cues from the well-known Heckler & Koch (HK) MP5’s exterior design. There were many GSG-5 accessories available because the device was well received.
HK, however, took issue with both businesses for what is referred to as “trade dress infringements.” In other words, HK did not like the GSG-5 because it resembled an MP5 too much. While the weapons and equipment that had already been delivered were not recalled, GSG ceased production, AT stopped offering it, and the GSG-5 was consigned to history.
The GSG intended to revive this short-lived platform at the 2019 SHOT Show in a new configuration dubbed the GSG-16. This latest design was praised for maintaining and improving the original while staying clear of MP5 territory. The GSG-5 had a $550 suggested retail price ten years ago, but now it has a $399.95 price tag.
The GSG-16 is a blowback-operated .22 LR rimfire rifle that uses the same action that GSG installs in those other rimfire rifle models. The “upper” receiver, removable trigger group housing, hand guard, and telescoping stock assembly are among the exterior housings and parts of the rifle made of black impact-resistant polymer. While the barrel shroud (also known as a faux suppressor), charging handle, and trigger are made of aluminium, the stock rails, sight system, stock release lever, and safety selector are all made of polymer.
Below are some of the features that make GSG-16 great for training and plinking:
While most.22s are designed to look like hunting rifles, the GSG-16 has a noticeably tactical appearance, with robust styling and an extended handguard. If you’re like most modern shooters, you’ll appreciate the aggressive look and feel.
With quad rails on the handguard and full Picatinny rails running from the rear sight down to the top, it is similar to many of its larger calibre cousins. The Picatinny is attached via M-Lok, which initially seemed odd but is a huge benefit.
It also has a spare magazine holder for quicker reloads inside the contoured shoulder pad. The extra magazine is securely placed by sliding it into the stock’s butt’s mag-shaped opening. It is compatible with the gun’s 10-round and 22-round magazines.
As mentioned before, the majority of the rifle is made of polymer. As a result, it is incredibly lightweight, as one would anticipate from a typical 22 rifle. Steels are only used for a few pins, the bolt assembly, and the pencil-profile (0.42″) stainless steel barrel. As a result, this rifle measures 4 lbs. 13.9 oz when the magazine is empty.
The rear aperture sight is also made of polymer and can be adjusted for windage using the screw on the right-hand side of the sight block. GSG comes with various interchangeable sight posts in different styles and heights and a second rear sight with a smaller aperture.
A variety of ammo made the GSG-16 perform flawlessly. The owner’s manual and the stamp on the mag both recommend only using high-velocity rounds, as is familiar with most. However, one can also use some CCI Mini-Mag 36 grains at 1,260 FPS.
Numerous reviews also assert that these weapons function flawlessly with lower-velocity rounds and high-velocity ammunition. Federal Auto Match 40 grains, for instance, can also work just fine with it.
The factory trigger weighs only 5.5 pounds and is solid yet lightweight, with a crisp wall and reset reminiscent of more expensive parts. A minimum amount of slack and reliable, consistent pull weight allowed for quick follow-up shots during rapid fire.
Mag changes are rapid and simple with the help of an AK-style combat magazine release. Each time, the new mag is inserted easily and dropped free as it should. The great mag well quickly devoured the new mag. The AK-style is simpler to grasp and use, the GSG-16 has both, and because it is positioned in the centre, it is ambidextrous by nature.
Additionally, its fire control switches are adaptable and massive. They are so large that wearing winter gloves cannot hinder their operation. You can plink all year round in any weather because the trigger guard is big enough to accommodate the thicker ski gloves without running the risk of an unintentional discharge
The fake suppressor on the GSG-16 is one purely entertaining feature. It’s unreal, but it looks incredible and works great as a barrel shroud to conceal the cold-forged barrel. It is an upgrade over earlier iterations of the rifle that ought to be durable enough to withstand a lifetime of shooting. The shroud also acts as a means of excellent balance for the gun.
3. Sights & Optics
Multiple irons (really polymer) sight options are available for the GSG-16. The pre-installed front and rear will function perfectly for the majority of shooters. With a small screwdriver, different front sights with different heights and rear aperture sizes can be quickly changed out.
Overall, shooting the GSG-16 is a lot of fun. The trigger pull is light and easy to pull at 5.5 pounds, and all the controls are located precisely where they should be. Although it has a tactic-cool appearance, this is a serious .22 LR rifle. One can purchase it for around $350, a bonus considering its style and performance.
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