Call it a suppressor, a silencer, or a can, it’s the same thing – and one of the most common questions about our American-made MP5 is “Can you shoot the ZF-5 with a suppressor?”
Good news: provided you have secured the proper paperwork/permits/legal prerequisites, yes, you can shoot the ZF-5 with a suppressor.
Here’s what you need to know about shooting this subgun with a suppressor, as well as why it’s not just cool, but beneficial to the shooting experience.
Mounting a Suppressor; Adjusting the Sights
However, when shooting a suppressed firearm, the velocity of the bullet will change, which will shift the point of impact. Therefore, when shooting a suppressed ZF-5, you will need to adjust the sights accordingly.
Before mounting, ensure that the firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction. Inspect the silencer to ensure that it is clear and unobstructed.
Utilizing the correct mounting interface (either the lugs or threads) attach the suppressor to the end of the barrel. Ensure that it is fully threaded on or securely locked before firing.
To adjust your American-made MP5’s rear sight you will need a Phillips head screwdriver and a spring cylinder tool. The spring cylinder tool contains spring-loaded tabs that can engage the rear sight drum’s detents, enabling adjustments to elevation.
To lower the elevation of the rear sight, rotate it clockwise; to raise it, turn counterclockwise. One full rotation of the rear sight drum’s elevation setting will shift the impact of the projectile approximately 2” at 25 yards.
The Phillips head screwdriver can also be used to adjust the rear sight’s windage setting. To do so, locate the locking screw at the top of the rear sight and loosen it by about a quarter turn.
At the right side of the rear sight base, you should now be able to access the windage adjustment screw. Rotating clockwise shifts the windage adjustment to the left, rotating counterclockwise to the left. One full turn of the windage adjustment screw will shift the point of impact to the right or left approximately 2” at 25 yards.
Make the necessary adjustments to your sights in the manner as described to rectify any shifts in accuracy that occurred as a result of suppressing the subgun.
After you have finished firing, allow the firearm and suppressor to cool off adequately before attempting to remove it. Do not handle or attempt to remove the suppressor directly after firing as it can be hot enough to cause serious burns.
(NOTE: When firing suppressed, shoot only in semi-auto mode or in short bursts. Shooting too rapidly can overheat the suppressor and barrel.)
After the firearm and suppressor have cooled off adequately, remove the suppressor and inspect the mounting points. Clean the mounting points, the suppressor, and the firearm before shooting again.
(NOTE: Suppressed firearms will require more frequent cleanings. See below for details.)
Better for Your Hearing
Doubtless, a lot of shooters are attracted to suppressors because they have a lot of range “cool” factor. But the truth is, there is a lot of practicality associated with shooting a suppressed firearm. It’s not just about looks.
While shooting suppressed is a lot harder on the gun, it’s a lot easier on your hearing.
Calling a suppressor a silencer might be a bit of a misnomer because they don’t quite “silence” the gun, but they do make it shoot a lot quieter – as much as 35 dB, in fact.
It’s also important to remember that the scale that uses dB is not linear, so a 1 dB reduction is quite substantial. To put it in layman’s terms, some suppressors can lower the volume of a gunshot about as effectively as a pair of earmuffs or headphones can.
It’s still loud, and you should still use hearing protection, but suppressing can still substantially lower the volume, so to speak.
Suppressed Subguns Generate Less Recoil, Enabling Greater Accuracy
Another big bonus of shooting a suppressed firearm is that it helps slash recoil. Some suppressors can cut felt recoil by as much as 20% to 30%.
Also, by cutting back on noise and recoil, suppressors can help shooters break the habit of flinching, which robs them of accuracy.
Together, these factors help shooters keep their sights on target, enabling more accurate shots and faster, more accurate follow-up shots.
With that said, if your goal is recoil reduction, consider a muzzle brake instead. Whereas suppressors are heavily regulated and illegal in some states, muzzle brakes are not as controversial – not to mention they can cut recoil by as much as 50% without being as hard on the firearm’s internals.
Note: Be Diligent About Cleaning
One thing that you will need to note is that suppressed firearms undergo substantially increased stresses during firing and also heat up more rapidly as a result of the captured gases. Firearms that are suppressed will also capture more fouling.
As a result, suppressed firearms will need to be cleaned much more thoroughly and frequently than those that are not.
We recommend cleaning your suppressor and ZF-5 every 500 rounds, if not more frequently. Be sure to take care to thoroughly clean the suppressor and barrel as more carbon and metal fouling will accumulate when shooting suppressed. Use a high-quality solvent and be sure to remove all fouling and residue while cleaning.
Also, your ZF-5 will need more frequent (but still light) lubrication when shooting suppressed. We recommend keeping your American-made MP5 on the same lubrication and cleaning schedules.
Just be aware that you shouldn’t excessively lubricate the platform’s moving components for two reasons. One is that more oil attracts more fouling, and the other is that oil burns. The hotter temperatures associated with suppression can cause liquid lubricant to smoke, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties.
So, in a nutshell, clean it frequently, keep it clean, and lubricate it, but don’t use too much.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at [email protected].