I am often asked to state my favorite caliber of
rifle. The typical, often-asked question usually goes something
like; “If you could only have one rifle……..“ That very
thought is repulsive to me, but I usually indulge the fellow, as
I am sure that he means no harm in asking such a fool question.
Usually, the inquirer is expecting an answer involving some
exotic, powerful cartridge, but my answer is always the same;
“If I could have but one rifle, it would be a .22 rimfire.”
There is a perfectly good reason for this. I can do about
ninety-five percent of what needs to be done with a rifle using
the .22 long rifle cartridge. It is ideal for small game
hunting, works well within range on predators and vermin, and is
relatively quiet and inexpensive to shoot. Out to about 40 yards
or so, it also works well for harvesting whitetail deer. One
shot behind the ear will take a deer cleanly, and ruins no meat.
I am not stating that the twenty-two is the ideal deer
cartridge, just that it will do the job if that is all one has.
Also, it can serve pretty well as a defensive weapon if needed.
Again, not the ideal choice, but since I am only to be allowed
one rifle, that is the one that I would choose. Now, the best
reason to own a twenty-two rifle is that they are just a lot of
fun to shoot. A person can shoot all day long for less than
twenty bucks, and at the end of the day, neither the gun nor the
shooter is tired.
Many twenty-two rifles are built as a replica of
a larger-caliber gun, but overtake the original in popularity. A
good case in point is the very popular Ruger 10-22. It
was initially introduced as an understudy to Ruger’s larger
.44 Magnum carbine, but the 10-22 is today probably the most
popular .22 Long Rifle carbine on the market, even though the
original .44 Carbine was discontinued several years ago. A new
.22 Long Rifle carbine that is being built as a replica of the H&K
9mm carbine is the subject of this review; the GSG-5 as
imported into the United States by American Tactical Imports.
Already, the GSG-5 has developed a cult-like following, and I
believe that the GSG-5 will become very popular in the US as
more shooters discover this little carbine.
Built to replicate one of the most popular 9mm
submachine guns in the world, and one of the best, the GSG-5 is
for all practical purposes a .22 LR MP-5. To comply with our
laws, the GSG-5 is a semiautomatic, and wears a sixteen and
one-quarter inch barrel. I hear that there is also a pistol
version in the works, but I have not seen one yet. The GSG-5 has
a fake suppressor shrouding the slim barrel, and it is
detachable if the shooter desires. The carbine has an overall
length of just under 33.75 inches, and weighs one ounce under
seven pounds. I have been playing with the GSG-5 carbine for
about a month now, and it has proven to be one of the most
reliable .22 LR rifles that I have ever fired...and I have fired
a lot of them. Besides the shooting that I have done here, I
carried the GSG-5 to the Shootists Holiday near Raton,
New Mexico recently, and let everyone who wanted to shoot it
fire off as many rounds as they wanted. All totaled, this GSG-5
has had well over a couple of thousand rounds put through it,
using a variety of ammunition, with a total of two malfunctions.
They were both failures to fully eject the empty cartridge case,
and both were experienced with low velocity imported ammunition.
Other than those two instances, and I do not fault the weapon
for those, the GSG-5 fed, fired, and ejected everything that I
put through it. I tried the carbine with a wide variety of .22
Long Rifle ammunition, mostly bulk Federal hollowpoint
from Wal Mart and Winchester Dynapoint. I also
tried standard velocity target ammo, hyper-velocity
hollowpoints, Aguila 60 grain SSS, and a bunch of other
stuff that I had on hand. I was pleasantly surprised by the
reliability of the GSG-5. I don’t know why, but I was
expecting it to be a bit finicky, but it wasn’t. Not even when
dirty. The magazine holds 22 rounds (there is also a ten-shot
version available), and is very easy to load. The magazine is
also very easy to insert and remove from the weapon, and the
magazine release works just as well using either hand. There is
also, thankfully, an ambidextrous safety on the GSG-5. It is
large and easy to operate, even if wearing gloves. The charging
handle is on the left side of the weapon, forward of the
receiver, and is easy to use. The bolt stays open after the
magazine is emptied. Inserting a loaded mag and pulling the
charging handle to the rear and releasing chambers the first
round. The weapon will not fire without the magazine in place.
The GSG-5 has an unusual-feeling trigger for a .22 carbine, but
it is surprisingly light and easy to shoot well. The pull weight
on the test gun measured three and one-third pounds. The pull is
very smooth, much like a super-light double-action revolver
pull. It is not crisp like a fine target rifle, but I like it.
Target work from the bench was much easier than I expected using
that trigger. While on the subject of target work, the GSG-5
proved to be very accurate. Even the cheap bulk Federal
hollowpoint ammo that I love to shoot grouped under one inch at
fifty yards from this GSG-5, and the Winchester Dynapoint did
almost as well. The worst fifty yard group fired was with PMC
Zapper ammo, and it still turned in a respectable two-inch
performance at that distance. To shoot these groups, I had
mounted a ten power scope using a Leaper’s claw mount.
The GSG-5 will accept any mount made for the MP-5, and the
inexpensive Leaper’s mount worked well. For most of my
shooting, I used a Trijicon 3.5
power ACOG attached to the Leaper’s mount.
The GSG-5 comes with a good set of mechanical
sights. The front post is sturdy, well-protected, and easy to
see. The rear sight is adjustable for windage correction, and
has a V-notch and three other apertures on its rotating drum. At
fifty yards, the sights placed most bullets about three inches
high on target. Personally, I prefer a good optical sight, such
as an ACOG or a traditional scope. With the GSG-5, there are
many good sighting options available.
As a perfect understudy for those who own an
MP-5, the GSG-5 is a no-brainer. Get one. For those who are
looking for something a bit different as a hunting rifle for
small game and vermin, the GSG-5 is very reliable, and certainly
has the accuracy to deliver as well. To defend
the homestead from critters and the occasional thug, the
GSG-5 can also serve that role in a pinch. And finally, as a
really fun plinker that is reliable, fun, and cheap to shoot,
the GSG-5 could very well be the perfect choice.
Check out the GSG-5 and other products from
American Tactical online at www.americantactical.us.
For the location of an American tactical dealer
near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the GSG-5 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com/genie/.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
The GSG-5's compact size is shown in comparison to a
Ruger 10-22 carbine.
Magazine is easy to load.
Magazine worked well with the Target
Shooting, Inc. rifle rest used for accuracy
Federal's inexpensive bulk hollow point ammo proved to
be very accurate in the GSG-5, as shown by this 10-shot
Best and worst 50-yard groups demonstrate that the
GSG-5 is accurate with a variety of ammo.
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