Need LE advice, please!!


April 1, 2005, 08:45 PM
Just got a project dumped into my lap by our Chief.

The Department wants some select-fire M4's, or M4geries--doesn't matter which as long as they are 3 round burst.

Our armorer (a good old guy, but not too up on the prices of firearms) has contacted a local LE dealer about exchanging some of our FA's for these M4's. I told him to wait, and then we talked to the Chief, and you know the rest.

Here's what they want to trade:

Four MP5's, original HK, LE transferable only, with magazines, in almost new condition.

So--wht say you? What could we get, in the form of M4's or similar designs, and what goodies in exchange for these SMG's?

Need advice NLT Monday night.

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Jim K
April 1, 2005, 09:18 PM
I shouldn't chime in, since I am not a class 3 dealer, but I don't think you will get that much for those MP5's. Now if they were fully transferrable, that would be big bucks, but LE only stuff did not experience the big jump in price since there is no ban on new registrations, and the guns are being imported brand new right now for sale at LE prices. I don't know what HK's LE price is (they are VERY careful about disclosing that since they bid on large contracts), but I doubt too many departments would want used guns unless they were a lot cheaper than new ones.

I think the bottom line will be that the M4's will cost about what you could get for the MP5's.

You might check the full auto forum over on for more info, but I wouldn't tell the city council to zero out the PD budget just yet.


April 1, 2005, 10:02 PM
I'm one of the "gun guys" for our department. First of all, the value of the MP5s depends on two major factors. Are they genuine German made H & K MP5s or are they one of the many clones imported in the 80's or early 90's. The clones were not known for their reliability and H & K would not work on them or sell you parts. Our State Troopers bought a bunch of the Pakistani clones and had mucho problems. They are not considered worth much.

The second factor is the date of import on your guns. Check your ATF forms and look at the stamps near the signature approval lines. If your guns are "pre 1986" law enforcement guns they are worth considerably more. If they are "post 1986" law enforcement guns you can at best expect a 1 for 1 trade on M4 rifles.

Pre 86 guns can be bought and traded by class three dealers without requiring LE letterhead transactions. Post 86 guns require a LE demonstration letter from an agency before the dealer can possess the gun. Sometimes the letters can be very hard to get making the post guns less desirable.

We were in possession of several pre 86 MP5s. The last offer I had from a dealer was three Colts plus mags, slings, optical sights, and ARMS rails for each MP5 traded. The MP5s are well used.

I highly recommend avoiding the Colt 3 round burst. If you are going to full auto you need to train a lot. You can easily fire the more desirable 2 round burst with the standard non burst gun. The Colt burst mechanism causes three different pull weights on semi auto fire. It uses a system that does not reset for each pull of the trigger. In other words, if you let up on the 3 round burst before the last round fires, your next pull will only give you one shot. That is one of the reasons the Marines specified rifles without it.

H & K's 3 round burst uses a completely different system that does not affect semi auto trigger weight. You get the same trigger every shot.

For what it's worth, prices on Colt M4 14.5 inch semis run in the $850 range. If you want the full auto contact one of the many Colt LE dealers. Make sure you really need the full auto. I have a full auto M4 and use it on semi 98% of the time even during CQB.

April 2, 2005, 03:55 AM
Thanks for the advice so far; I had completely forgotten the 3 round pawl that engages in the burst mode.

My next objective is to talk the dept. out of the rifle purchase they're about to make. I'm trying to talk them into AR15 carbines--they want Mini-14's. :banghead:

Nothing wrong with the Mini-14--but try to find spare parts or support equipment for them!

April 2, 2005, 09:15 AM
Check your PM.

April 2, 2005, 03:14 PM
FWIW, our largest city's CIRT team bought full auto Rugers back in the mid 80's because their chief and city administration did not want the military look. The guns were pretty neat but unfortunately the team shot a lot. They had many problems with small parts breakage and rear sights falling apart. They traded them off a few years later for Colts.

April 3, 2005, 07:33 AM
Logistically, why on earth would they want Mini-14's for a rifle, and M4's for CIRT use? Two different rifle types for the armorer to stock parts for and work on, no magazine interchangeability, not to mention the issues with the Ruger that akviper mentioned. Ditto on avoiding the three-round burst. The guys who will be using the M4's have (presumably) trained with the MP5's, and should be able to exercise fire discipline.
It just make more sense to buy the same type of rifles for both uses if you are buying them both now anyway. Commonality of parts, streamlining of training and arms room operations are just some of the obvious advantages of doing so.
I also agree with akviper about using FA in the first place. It is so very rare that FA is needed in an LE situation.
I would opt for Bushmaster Carbon 15 rifles for both crusier guns and CIRT weapons. If you want to keep an FA for Entry/CQB, you already have the best, just keep two of those MP5's for your Entry team point men. Round it out with a jazzed-up 870 , and an accurized AR-15 20 or 24" with a Leupold 3.5-10 VX-III or M4 for counter-sniper work, and you're set up for everything short of TEOTWAWKI.

April 3, 2005, 09:18 AM
I would also suggest strongly not going with the three round burst. EIther semi' Auto only or Semi-full. Much better designed trigger. We have Bushmaster's M4 full on our Special Ops team they have been trouble free. I like Colt's but as I said we have not had a problem. I would also stay away from the Mini 14. We found they do not hold up with the wear and tear we give them. Beside's they are not as accurate.

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