SHOT Show Range Day: American Tactical GSG-9, The MP5 We Have At Home

I like weird guns. A lot. And I’m not sure why. They aren’t always the most practical weapons, either. One that falls into that genre of unpractical and weird also falls into the world of cheap is the American Tactical GSG-9.

GSG stands for German Sporting Guns, and American Tactical is merely importing the designs. At first glance, I know what you’re thinking. It’s like a bizarro MP5. Maybe it’s more like the ‘MP5 we have at home.’

The GSG-9…Not Really an MP5

American Tactical would kind of agree me here. They’re cashing in on the MP5-like appearance but definitely not on the MP5-like price. The GSG-9 has an MSRP of $799, which is a good bit less than the MSRP of any other MP5 clone. The retail price runs closer to $679 across the internet.

Of course, it kind of looks like an MP5 and doesn’t have the roller-delayed action. It’s a straight blowback design that also ditches most of the stamped steel for polymer.

The GSG-9 isn’t just a weird-looking MP5 wannabe. It has its own interesting quirks. The gun uses P320 and GLOCK magazines. Yes, I said and, not or. The GSG-9 uses adapters that squeeze over the dedicated magazine to allow it to fit into the GSG-9. As long as your magazine has the adapter in place, you can swap between the two.

The downside is that it makes the magazines a bit tight. The mags don’t drop easily and require a good tug to free them. The gun has an M-LOK rail system and a full-length optics rail, which isn’t something that’s stock on most MP5s. The GSG-9 has really simple iron sights that come off as an afterthought since most of us will just mount a red dot on the gun.

At the Range

While the gun has a blowback action, it’s fairly low recoiling. It’s also fun and easy to shoot. While the model we shot at SHOT Show Range Day lacked a brace, adding one to the GSG-9’s M1913 rail is fast and easy. The gun delivered some decent accuracy in the short time if shot ig, even with its plastic trigger (that’s a bit spongy) and those simple irons.

I need to get one in hand and deck it out with a real brace to get a good feeling for the GSG-9. We hope to be able to do that in the next few months. Don’t touch that dial.

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