The highlight of the Trexpo show (for me, at least) is the live-fire day when many vendors at this military/law enforcement-only trade show let you try out their wares.
At the most recent Trexpo West show in Long Beach, CA, a number of attendees took advantage of the live-fire day, held this year at the Long Beach Police Academy range (right next door to a new shopping center and across the cemented San Gabriel River from a housing tract!).
H&K was easily the most popular spot on the range. They had samples of most of their popular and new weapons. Personally, I wanted to try the G36, the UMP, the USC and the suppressed MK23. Ended up sampling the G36K (12.5-inch barreled carbine) and G36 Commando (nine-inch barrel). Having not shot an M-16, I can't offer a comparison, but these two guns were certainly easy to shoot. Singles--no problem. Two-shot bursts--no problem. Three-shot bursts--no problem. I don't have a lot of full-auto experience, but even so, I think I was able to keep everything on the paper.(Afterwards, I overheard a couple LB SWAT guys say, "I'll trade you two ARs for one of these!) Again, don't know about that, but one thing I can say is I'd hate to touch off a round on either of these inside a room! Talk about loud. Sheesh.
Loved the suppressed UMP 45. Very light, very quiet (I like stealth). Again, easily controlled bursts. Though the controls are laid out like the MP5 (and G36, for that matter), it felt quite a bit different to me. The extensive use of polymer makes it feel more modern, though it seems to lack the "soul" of the classic, all-precision-machined-metal MP5.
While they didn't have the MK23, they did have the USP Tactical .45 with a suppressor. Again, a nice, accurate, easy-to-shoot weapon. Definitely big and not a candidate for CCW licensees. Also, I'm more used to single-action 1911s and find it hard to really get comfortable with a double-action first pull. (Thanks a bunch Sean, Skip and John!)
However, the Para Ordnance LDA 12.45 was another matter. Sweet.
Also got to try some frangible ammo on falling steel plates. How embarrassing--I've forgotten the name of the manufacturer who allowed me to try their 9mm Glock and AR and .40-caliber Para Ordnance. But after blasting at falling steel a few times, I don't think I'll ever be satisfied just punching holes in paper. It was a hoot!
Thanks again to all the vendors, the LBPD and Police Magazine for a great time.
Edited to add a couple points: The Bushnell/EOTech Holosights are me. Though I prefer the standard reticle (dot within a circle thingy), they're working on a funnel-shaped reticle that should be out in a few months. Think you're supposed to bracket the target's shoulders with the top of the funnel.
And this is a big one--after blasting merrily away all day on someone else's dime, I didn't have to clean anything but my hands! (The UMPs seem to get their magazines pretty dirty for some reason.)
Yeah, big fun. (And I know this may be sacreligious, but it wasn't quite as much fun as riding dirt bikes--of course, that's just me. Very close, mind you; definitely within a couple percentage points.)
dang Kato4moto, that sounded like a fun day