My first Machine Gun!
I’ve wanted a machine gun since I was about 5 years old. For whatever reason, the timing and money never quite lined up for me to buy one until fairly recently. I spent a lot of time figuring out what I wanted, and trying to decide what I could afford. Eventually, I decided I wanted a Reising SMG. They don’t have the best reputation for reliability, but I tinker anyways, so I figured I’d take the chance on one. It took a little time to find the right deal, but I started the process of buying a Reising model 50 last September.
(For those of you who don’t know, NFA weapons, such as machine-guns, silencers, sawed off shotguns and other related things require a lengthy background check and a transfer tax to be paid. The process isn’t terribly difficult, but it is time consuming)
After many long months of waiting, my wife called me at the office one day in June to tell me that she had just signed for a package for me (Being C&R eligible, I had the gun transfer directly to me on my 03 FFL). Of course, I cut out of the office early and rushed home.
My wife stood there with me while I unwrapped layer after layer of bubble wrap, getting closer and closer to the object of desire.
Finally, I managed to get through all the layers, and pulled out my very own machine gun.
As things worked out, while this wasn’t my first NFA purchase, it is the first NFA device in hand. My other toys will be trickling in later in the summer or sometime in the fall (even though some of them were paid for months before the Reising…)
I had been doing my homework for some time on the gun, and within minutes of it’s arrival, I made some minor modifications to help with it’s long term reliability, most importantly, modifying the firing pin to act as an inertia pin.
The scope rail attached to the gun wasn’t something I was particularly excited about, but it made it more affordable, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the originality of the gun, and could treat it as a shooter. Since the gun had a rail, I decided I might as well use it. Looking through my collection of random optics for an appropriate red dot sight, I noticed a vintage low powered Weaver scope. I hadn’t thought of putting a scope on an SMG before, but heck this thing is more of a select fire carbine anyways… so I mounted the old Weaver K-2.5 micro-trac, just to see what it would look like.
It actually looked pretty good to my eyes, so I put it in the safe, and the next morning reluctantly left town for 4 days on a trip that had been planned months in advance. (I seriously contemplated bringing the gun with me on the trip and looking for a range while away, but the wife talked me out of it)
When I got back, I loaded the range bag with some ammo, various cleaning goodies, and my 3 magazines. One factory mag, and one Christie’s products mag came with the gun, and while I had been waiting, I had picked up another Christie mag. It was finally time to shoot.
This wouldn’t be my first time shooting a machine gun, but it was the first time shooting my own machine gun, and I was as excited as a kid on christmas morning. Despite that, I resisted the temptation to let loose right away, and fired the first magazine in semi auto to make sure everything was working as expected (firing pin) and to get the scope adjusted. I was impressed by the accuracy in semi auto mode; freehand shooting was producing groups with every hole touching at 25 yards.
I was still concerned that the scope would make target acquisition more difficult than a red dot might, and that it would be harder to stay on target, so I brought a spare red dot with me, just in case I might need it. The range went cold after the first magazine, and we put up some fresh targets. After what must have been a few minutes, even though it felt like a half a day, the range went hot again, and it was time to push the selector forward, and see what would happen.
Needless to say, I was very pleased to be shooting my very own machine gun. I was even more pleased that I could stay on target very well with the scope, and target aquisition was better than expected. I wouldn’t need that red dot after all! After reading lots of horror stories about the reliability of the Reisings, I was relieved that it was running pretty well.
I discovered quickly that the magazines, you know, the ones that cost an arm and a half a leg? Well, they are quite finicky. The factory mag would feed the Lee 200 grain RF bullet, along with everything else I tried, but neither of the Christie mags would even think about feeding the RF. As a matter of fact, one of the Christie mags wouldn’t feed anything at all. I’ve since fixed that, and it’s as reliable as the other mags after some tweaking with pliers, a file and some sandpaper. The other Christie mag would feed RN profile bullets and SWC profile bullets fine. That suits me alright, as I cast a few styles of SWC, and generally prefer the profile anyways due to the nice clean holes they cut in the targets.
After my wife shot the gun, and between the two of us, we expended the rest of the ammo we brought with us (with varying degrees of functional reliability) we picked up our brass, packed up the car and headed home, where I spent at least an hour thoroughly cleaning the Reising. After getting it nice and clean, I nestled it back in the safe with several of the other C&R guns that I’ve had sent to me on my collectors license. I appreciated for a moment the irony that of the 4 guns I’ve ever bought using my C&R license, 3 of them are single shot boy’s rifles, and one is a machine gun.
After spending thousands of dollars on something like a machine gun, it’s easy to wonder if you made the right decision. After the first day shooting the Reising, there was no doubt in my mind that I had. At the moment, I’m saving up for my next MG purchase.
More to come on shooting the Reising and load development for reliability and accuracy.
A teaser of what the gun can do at 25 yards with a mag dump:
And at the same rang eon Semi-Auto: