In the continuing saga of the RECOIL Magazine anti-2A flap (where a supposedly pro-gun magazine argued that a gun was “too dangerous” for civilians) it seems that H&K has finally added their two cents to the situation. The observant among you may have noticed that RECOIL editor Jerry Tsai tried to pass off the comments as something that H&K told him…

From Jerry’s apology:

In the article, I stated some information that was passed on to me about why the gun is not available for civilian purchase. By no means did I intend to imply that civilians are not responsible, nor do we lack the judgment to own such weapons, if I believed anything approaching this, clearly I would lead a much different life. I also mentioned in the article that the gun had no sporting purpose. This again, was information passed on to me and reported in the article without the necessary additional context.

In short, don’t shoot the messenger. Jerry seems to be making the case that he was just relaying some info from H&K on their thoughts about the gun.

Turns out H&K doesn’t agree that that was the way it went down and issued a statement not too long ago:

Some readers have misinterpreted a recent feature story in RECOIL magazine as a reflection of HK policy. Heckler & Koch has a long presence in the US civilian market and throughout that time has been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter. This will always be the case. The contents, opinions, and statements expressed in that feature story are those of the writer, not Heckler and Koch’s. Additionally, the writer and RECOIL magazine have issued a clarification and apology for the ill-chosen words used in the story.

The HK MP7A1 4.6 mm Personal Defense Weapon mentioned in the story is a selective-fire product (capable of “full automatic” fire) and is currently restricted to military and law enforcement agencies by BATF. HK-USA has previously researched introducing similar commercial products, chambered in 4.6 mm, but it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal or be legally feasible.

— Heckler & Koch USA

So, according to H&K, Jerry’s comments were made by him and solely reflect his opinions and not those of H&K. Which makes Jerry’s apology basically a pile of BS that he tried to feed us to get his advertisers and readers to stop jumping ship. And probably save his job.

Good to know. Yup, totally never buying another copy of that magazine.

[h/t Pistol-training.com]

77 Responses to H&K Hangs RECOIL Magazine Out to Dry

  1. Are you sure that’s a real press release? Not once do they say, “You suck and we hate you.” I’m calling shenanigans.

    • It’s all in the subtext.

      “HK-USA has previously researched introducing similar commercial products, chambered in 4.6 mm, but it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal [because you Suck!] or be legally feasible [as we’re not going to bother machining semi-auto seers since we Hate You!].”

      See?

      • Ah, so RECOIL blames HK, and HK blames the government and market forces. I say BS.

        When they want to produce civilian versions of their firearms, they do. They know how to navigate the intricacies of NFA, they know how to produce semi-auto only rifles, and 16″ barrel. Heck, they’ll even make face suppressors to get to the magic length.

        Appeal? While not quite as appealing as a full auto SBR I suspect the product would sell.

      • I wouldn’t buy a civilian version of the mp7. Who wants a mp7 with a 16 inch barrell and in semi? To me it defeats the purpose of its original intention. The ammo would probably be expensive as hell and I don’t intend on running into wild game with bullet proof vest or laminated paper targets for that matter.

  2. So, the Belgians at FN can figure out how to make a non-NFA version of the P90, but the Germans at HK are utterly stumped by how to do the same for the MP7A1.

    Hey Fritz, here’s a couple clues: 1) longer barrel, and 2) semi-auto only. I’ll take my consulting fee in either Euros or dollars, whichever is trading higher, thanks.

    • They said that it would be either A) illegal or B) unappealing to customers. Given the design of the MP7A1, a longer barrel would look ridiculous and simply making it a pistol and removing the forward grip and eliminating the stock would just make it awkward to fire.

        • The point is that either way you could get a tax stamp and have a semi auto version.

          Or you could just SBR a PS90 and use what is actually cheaper and more available ammo. And if you know what 5.7mm goes for, that alone is probably enough to get you away from HK’s 4.6mm.

      • You could still have a semi-auto one as a SBR, or stockless as a AOW. The long barreled semi-auto MP5s (forgot the model number) still fetch high prices due to demand.

      • That’s because HK’s designers have all the imagination of a head of lettuce. See that picture above? Instead of a suppressor, make that a really wicked looking barrel shroud. Add in semi-auto and you now have a gun that looks cool and is legal for sale without a tax stamp.

        That took me all of thirty seconds to dream up. HK just doesn’t care enough to make even that minimal effort.

    • Here’s the thing: HK says that care, but it certainly doesn’t look that way. I don’t see any reason that their obscure and expensive 4.6 round could not be chambered in a pistol or a carbine. FN figured it out, I’m sure HK could as well if they put their minds to it.

      Until they change their philosophy, I don’t see a great need for an HK purchase in my near future. YMMV.

  3. H&K, along with all other gun manufacturers, will always take the side of the governments they serve. They don’t care about anyone’s individual rights.

  4. As much as I don’t believe H&K’s explination, and I sorta don’t, it was probably what ever douche he was with at the range that day. Some self-righteous H&K fan boy, if you will…

    Still I would appreciate H&K being a little more honest and saying it would be worth the money to do it, and not make some BS “its a batfe issue” excuse…

    • liquidflorian: “Still I would appreciate H&K being a little more honest and saying it would be worth the money to do it…”

      They did:

      “…it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal…”

      That’s corporate-speak for “we wouldn’t make our investment back.”

    • HK doesn’t make the roller-locker guns in rifle calibers anymore, even for military/LE use. They’re not going to put them back into production just to make a civilian version.

  5. I have to wonder, however, if all the crap in the late 80s and early 90s hadn’t happened, whether hk would still be a major player in civilian rifles–I mean, I’d certainly take a factory new hk-91 over a ptr-91 but that’s not an option due to Bush and Clinton and their ilk.

  6. The magazine is clearly at fault, but I just can’t let HK get away with saying that they have “been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter.” That’s complete BS, because the attitude of their sales and customer service reps, as well as their general marketing priorities time and time again have relegated non-LEO/non military shooters to second class status. Fundamentally, I shouldn’t have to feel like HK is doing _me_ a favor by allowing me to purchase their firearms. I get that much of this is by design to create so-called “prestige” and demand for their products, but don’t insult me by telling me you’ve been supporting me all along.

    Their support of the civilian shooting community has always been reluctant, and only to the extent that they think it will make the money.

    • “the attitude of their sales and customer service reps, as well as their general marketing priorities time and time again have relegated non-LEO/non military shooters to second class status. ”

      Why do you hate Capitalism?

      As a corporation, HK’s only duty is to make money for its owners. It has no social responsibility to civilian gun owners or the Second Amendment whatsoever.

      Corporations have no social duty
      Except to those who own their stock

      Corporations are amoral
      Corporate conscience is impossible
      The corporation really has no choice

      So if you want your freedom
      Let the corporate seize the day
      There really is no better way

      The Milton Friedman Choir

      • It has no social responsibility to civilian gun owners or the Second Amendment whatsoever.

        Since corporations are considered people under the law, it would have the same social responsibilities as everyone else has.

      • So you agree that GSL45 is correct, and HK has been lukewarm on the Second Amendment and the civilian shooter (to be extremely generous to HK)? However, your point is that since HK is a corporation, it’s their right to say FU to both, and we don’t have the right to call them out for it?

        It may or may not be true that HK doesn’t owe the American shooting public anything, but what is definitely true is that the American shooting public doesn’t owe HK anything, not by a mile.

      • “Since corporations are considered people under the law, it would have the same social responsibilities as everyone else has.”

        Wrong.

        Corporations are a thing of beauty because they have no moral obligations to anyone other than their owners. Only an Obamunist would suggest otherwise. Only from a corporation can we accept the “I am not responsible for my amoral actions because I really have no choice” excuse.

        As one of the readers of “The Daily (Ron) Paul” wrote, “We made up fictitious entities and exempted them from the chains that bind normal people.” Our economy depends on concentrating wealth and power to entities that have the rights of persons, but lack morals, empathy, shame, a concsience, a soul, etc. That is how a free-market works.

        Although corporate personhood was not explicitly written into the U.S. Constitution (i.e., “the right of the people” did not mean corporations), activist judges have interpreted it to give corporations rights. For example,

        – Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 518 (1819)
        – Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886
        – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010)

        Even though corporations have rights, there is no law or court ruling mandating that they have anything called a “social responsibility”. Quite the opposite, in fact. Corporations are governed by the “business judgment rule”, which mandates that they must act solely in the interest of the shareholders; within the bounds of the law, of course. Although in the real world, fines and judgements may merely be considered a cost of doing business, so it is sometimes profitable to break the law.

        Only if not marketing guns like the MP7A1 to civilians is a breach of the corporation’s “fiduciary duty” to the shareholders would gun owners have a basis for a complaint. If they hate Capitalism, and think that HK has some type of moral obligation to sell tacti-cool guns like the MP7A1 to the “99%” (the civilian gun market), then they are certainly free to join the “Occupy HK” movement. Good luck with that.

      • While meanderingly pontificating on corporate personhood and capitalism, Mr. Adam Smith, perhaps you missed the one, single point that I was making? I’m duly impressed with your ability to look up your Corporations casebook like a good law student to throw in case cites, but in your rush to fire off a response, perhaps you skipped over the one sentence that was critical to understanding the argument?

        “but don’t insult me by telling me you’ve been supporting me all along.”

        Let’s get this clear – in my post I never said anything about HK having a duty to support the second amendment, or that they should stop treating civilian firearms enthusiasts with such contempt. If that works for them and they can continue to meet their obligations to their shareholders by maximizing profit that way, then so be it.

        However, they have no right to exaggerate and pretty much flat out lie about their so-called “social involvement” and commitment to Second Amendment causes.

        There are plenty of other businesses here that have gone beyond the simple profit-maximizing duties to owners/shareholders to support civilian shooters. How dare HK count themselves in the same league.

        • “While meanderingly pontificating on corporate personhood and capitalism, Mr. Adam Smith, perhaps you missed the one, single point that I was making?”

          My “meanderingly pontificating” post about “corporate personhood and capitalism” was a response to matt’s Obamunist assertion that corporations “have the same social responsibilities as everyone else has”.

          My short post, in response to your complaint about HK’s treatment of the civilian gun market, did address your complaint about HK’s treatment of the civilian gun market.

          If screwing over the 99% of gun owners who are not law enforcement or military would increase HK’s profits, then they have a moral duty to do so. Even if that means supporting anti-gun candidates and anti-gun legislation.

          If being two-faced about their support for individual gun rights would increase HK’s profits, they have a moral duty to be so.

          Contrary to your assertion, HK does have the “right to exaggerate and pretty much flat out lie about their so-called ‘social involvement’ and commitment to Second Amendment causes.”

          And if it increases their profits, then the corporation not only has the right but has a moral duty to lie. In short, although corporations have the rights of persons, they are not bound by the same set of morals, empathy, shame, a concsience, a soul, etc., that a natural person has. By definition, corporations are sociopaths. Therefore, sociopathy is a virtue; and the highest possible virtue according to some belief systems (e.g., Ayn Randianism).

          FYI: Seventeen years before he published Wealth of Nations (1776), he published his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), something those who claim to be his admirers — including myself — often overlook. His concept of the “invisible hand” was introduced in Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith himself was suspicious of corporations, because they separated the interests of the owners from the interests of the managers, creating distortions in market behavior.

  7. HK :”Because you rock.And we love you”.

    Seriously, let us set aside the vitriol and look at the physical facts of making the HK MP7 into a civilian legal product.HK is a business, and as such they have to make products which can generate a profit.

    In evaluating the MP7, the reason the gun is so desired is BECAUSE of its form factor.The entire purpose of the weapon’s existence is to be a PDW which blends features of rifles and pistols together.
    Catch is, as HK observed such a weapon is illegal according to the spoilsports at the ATF.A semi-auto civilian legal MP7 would require deletion of the adjustable stock and forward grip-OR a huge, ungainly barrel extension to 16″, at which point you have an under powered and awkward to shoot rifle. Neither weapon would be desirable to anyone but the most committed HK fanboys, and the company knows that.

    FN’s situation is a little different because of the PS90’s form factor. The latter uses a bullpup design instead of an augmented handgun, and as such sticking a 16″ barrel on it for legal compliance isn’t a design-ruining feature. The PS90 still makes sense to sell for FN as a rifle , but the MP7 wasn’t designed as such.

    Instead of blaming HK for not spending millions of dollars on tooling and production changes to uglify their own product, how about we cast the blame where it belongs-at the feet of the U.S. Federal Government.

      • Remember there are multiple states in America which specifically outlaw SBR posession by non-law enforcement and military. Illinois and California come to mind, and im certain there are other states on the east coast which have similar NFA item bans.

    • It’s really not that hard. Look at the picture above. Change the suppressor to an awesome looking barrel shroud. Tell me that’s not a gun that wouldn’t sell.

      • That is NOT a 16″ barrel shroud in the picture.A civilian legal MP7 “rifle” would have some ridiculously long barrel-and an MP7 Pistol devoid of a stock and foregrip would make for an unpleasant range experience.

        Neither weapon would sell at $1500+ retail prices.

        • The barrel as a whole, including the part in the gun, has to be 16 inches. The barrel of the MP7A1 as of now is 7.1 inches. So the challenge is to somehow add just under nine inches of barrel. Looking at that suppressor, I’d say there’s a good chance it’s most of the way there. So you add the additional barrel length you need, put it under a tacticool barrel shroud and rake in the bucks from the fanbois. It really isn’t that hard.

      • MP7 Pistol devoid of a stock and foregrip would make for an unpleasant range experience.

        It wouldnt be any worse than a H&K SP89 (semi auto MP5 PWD w/o the stock). And you can get a VFG if it is a AOW.

        Neither weapon would sell at $1500+ retail prices.

        I’m sure they would, check out H&K SP89 prices on gun broker, they are going for 4000 – 5000.

    • I disagree, ST. I don’t think this really has anything to do with the difficulties of marketing in the US. I mean, it’s not like there’s any place (outside the third world) where it’s *easier* to sell to civilians.

      I think it’s all about image. HK doesn’t want to hang useless doodads on their guns. I wouldn’t either, if I was them. It compromises the gun and it compromises the company image.

      It’s also about exclusivity. The mere fact that there are guns like the mp7, which civilians can’t buy, makes their other guns, which we *can* buy, more desirable. So that exclusivity feeds back into propagating the image.

      Not only does that image translate into a massive amount of money from government contracts, it means that they can keep their profit margins high when it comes to civilian sales as well. But it depends on supply being kept relatively low.

      It’s an effective business model, though very different from Glock’s, and it works very well for people who are willing to pay a premium for coolness.

  8. Well as much as this is now RCOILs problem. I understand the blow back to H&K. I know the civialian folks feel like second class. Really what it comes down to is money. I am not up on every specific law of every state but what I can say is for them to tool out a product which for all intense and purposes would be a completely different gun to meet laws in most states it wouldn’t be profitable and a nich market at best. Let’s face it the AR line along with all the add ons is a huge market to try and tap. Given the economy if the HK can’t compete financially it makes no business sense for them to even try. There are lots of sub 1K AR’s in the market which would be their biggest competition.
    Let’s say they could do it, but the cost would be 2k, how many people would fork over the cash? My guess is many but not enough.
    Regardless of their emotional stance on the issue, I would be hard pressed to want one.
    It is just my two cents into their reasoning.

  9. HK did the right thing by dumping Recoil’s words right back into their lap and Recoil will be VERY fortunate if HK’s Legal boys don’t that the parent Co. to court.
    As to HK’s sales policy, their firearms are over priced, I don’t think their line is all that hot, or even relevant.
    Jerry’s goose is now WELL COOKED, he will go back to Airsoft Blogs and probably get a job in the service industry, which is sad as the service ind. deserves better.

  10. If anything I would have seen this as an opportunity to demonstrate the level of interest in a civilian legal MP7 and maybe sway H&K’s opinion on whether it’d be commercially viable.

    • PS: from wikipedia

      MP7-SF: Semi-automatic only variant of MP7. Currently used by Ministry of Defence Police in United Kingdom.

      While I’m not too well versed on what other hurdles they’d face for importing it, if they’d utilize a longer barrel, it’d be fine?

  11. I know the writer is taking a lot of flack for his story, but this magazine does not have an Editor/Reviewer for articles?
    Who approved the article?

  12. Ok, first things first.

    The problem with a US semi auto MP7 pistol or carbine is NOT the configuration but the ammo. This is the same problem FN faced with the Five-seveN handgun and P90. They solved the issue by developing a ballistically insignificant “civilian” version of the 5.7mm round. This was promptly declared “too dangerous” and a more neutered version of the 5.7mm round was offered for the civilian market. It is expensive and basically “pointless” as a defensive weapon given it’s terminal ballistics.

    This is also why the “civilian” 5.7mm FN firearms are mostly purchased for the novelty of the design rather than for practical applications.

    HK see’s the same problem with the 4.6mm round and probably is correct with their assessment that it is more trouble than it would be worth. Keep in mind they would be competing for the market currently devoted to the 5.7mm civilian firearms and that is hardly a gold mine.

    Moving onto the “semi only” MP7s currently in use in some countries. These are like the “semi only” MP5s that exist. It is absolutely correct that they have a S-F trigger group and no fully automatic option. The problem is it is still a machine gun receiver and all it would take is the replacement of the semi auto trigger group with a select fire trigger group. And that is why it is considered a machine gun by ATF and even a bare receiver could not be imported for sales to civilians.

    HK would have to redesign the receiver and firearm so that it meets the ATF requirement of “not being readily converted to fully automatic function” just like they had to do with the entire 90 series.

    Additionally, in order to prevent having to produce a horribly neutered version of the weapon itself (like the USC and SL8) they would have to build it domestically. And that combined with the necessary development of a civilian 4.6mm round that ATF would approve is why there are no MP7 based pistols or carbines.

    And finally, somebody brought up the issue of HK once again offering the 90 series. The reason is they don’t make them anymore at all. They don’t even make the G3 or 33 series and are trying to discontinue the MP5. They have wanted to move away from stamped receiver guns for several years now but demand for the MP5 platform won’t allow them to do it.

    When they made the 90 series (91, 93 & 94) they more or less did it exclusively for the US market. Every other country was either buying the select fire versions (G3, 33 & MP5) or couldn’t buy any semi auto. When we banned the 90 series with the 89 Import Ban, HK tried to make their guns compliant with sporter versions like the (HK 911, SR9, etc.) but our government simply banned them as well. This is why HK discontinued the 90 series and has no plans to attempt to resurrect it.

    HK then concentrated on handguns which had fewer importation issues. US shooters wanted HK long arms so HK took the time and expense to develop long arms compatible with our import laws and that resulted in the HK USC and HK SL8 which everyone hated. HK then developed a semi auto version of the 416 due to consumer demand and gave us the MR556 and people complained that it was too expensive and very few were actually sold.

    I personally would LOVE IT if HK built a domestic capacity to give us a more correct semi auto G36, UMP and MP7 (maybe even a semi MP5 again) but I can understand why that might not happen.

  13. Do they even KNOW how much money they would make if they sold ACTUALL semi- only g36 clones for a decent price? A SHIT TON! Those guns are mass production ready! If they were $1500 they would probably sell well!

    • I think they’d lose a lot of money. It’s hard to sell a rifle to a gov’t organization for $3000 each when you’re selling them to private buyers for half that. And the G36 is used by dozens of governments around the world.

  14. Having worked once, long ago for a corporation, I call BS.

    After seeing how the firearms internetz has destroyed Jerry Tsai (and sadly, by extension RECOIL), the H&K isn’t stupid enough to claim ownership of any part of this fiasco. I’m sure whatever H&K rep was with Tsai that day showing off the MP7 probably fed him at least 50% of the content that ended up in print, that H&K considers some of its products off-limits to civilians and doesn’t trust us with them. If Tsai was hoping that H&K would come to the rescue and say, “Yep… that’s what we told Tsai!”, he doesn’t understand how large companies run their PR – anything remotely offensive to its customers gets passed / denied / blamed on someone else.

    H&K can swear to high-heaven that it fully supports the 2A, and H&K fans can dissect the feasibility of converting guns like the MP7 to conform to US laws, but as many have already pointed out, H&K has made a conscious decision not to make most of its non-pistol firearms available to the public.

    Again, companies like FN stand in stark contrast to H&K – they make the SCAR, P90 (as PS90), and Five-Seven available for us regular folks.

  15. Sir, you so hit the nail on the head, I keep wondering when is the American public finally going to fight back to such spoil sports and idiots as the BATF.

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