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Politics Second Amendment

Recoil Magazine Stirs Outrage with H&K MP7 Remarks

by G&A Online Editors   |  September 13th, 2012 51

HK-MP7A1You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in our industry who would suggest guns be kept out of civilians’ hands.

However, those thoughts do sometimes make their way into print, and when it happens, the consequences can be catastrophic.

The recent controversy surrounding Recoil is a prime example.

In the magazine’s fourth issue, editor Jerry Tsai took a hard-nosed stance on the Heckler & Koch MP7:

“[T]he MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it.”

Readers immediately began flooding Recoil’s Facebook page, outraged at the “sporting purposes” stance Tsai took.

Readers’ outrage, coupled with the loss of several major advertisers including Magpul, left Recoil scrambling to right the ship. Tsai later wrote a retraction on Recoil’s website, but the damage had already been done and many were left unconvinced. Tsai’s retraction was followed by an official statement from H&K on the company’s Facebook page that seemed to further distance the company from Tsai and Recoil:

“Some readers have misinterpreted a recent feature story in RECOIL magazine as a reflection of HK policy. Heckler & Koch has a long presence in the US civilian market and throughout that time has been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter. This will always be the case. The contents, opinions, and statements expressed in that feature story are those of the writer, not Heckler and Koch’s. Additionally, the writer and RECOIL magazine have issued a clarification and apology for the ill-chosen words used in the story.

“The HK MP7A1 4.6 mm Personal Defense Weapon mentioned in the story is a selective-fire product (capable of “full automatic” fire) and is currently restricted to military and law enforcement agencies by BATF. HK-USA has previously researched introducing similar commercial products, chambered in 4.6 mm, but it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal or be legally feasible.”

Only time will tell if Recoil will recover from this catastrophe, but for the rest of us media geeks, there’s a lesson to be learned here: You, our faithful readers, will fight tooth and nail to defend the Second Amendment, and any statement that can be construed as a betrayal of trust will be taken quite seriously–we can assure you, we didn’t need that reminder.

And as far as we’re concerned, that’s just fine.

UPDATE: On Thursday, Tsai announced on Recoil’s website that he would be stepping down as editor, effective immediately.

  • Kyle Meier

    It's a shame to see a good magazine fall at the hands of an editor who obviously doesnt understand civilian gun ownership. Im a big fan of RECOIL so ill still buy the magazine, but the whole point of these magazines is to inform people of our rights, not to suffocate them.

  • mythaeus

    I suspect there's also truth in HK having/conveying such a stance. Mr.Tsai should've known better and reject such a notion instead of trying to sell even after the initial outcry. I hope they realize their mistake which should make them a stronger 2A magazine. We need as much media outlet for guns and gun issues as possible, so a death of RECOIL could potentially be more of a disservice to 2A when all that is said and done.

    • John Lewis

      He really should have checked with Jim Zumbo, before putting that statement into print…jus sayin

  • Clearcut1

    I spit on Recoil and will stick with G&A, thank you very much.

    • Kyle Meier

      it was the work of the editor not everyone at the magazine. I own all the copies and its a great read. we shouldnt want to see a fellow gun mag go under. -km

  • acmike

    Wow, lotta vitriol. That's a shame because this magazine is big, splashy, has beautiful multiple angles of knives and firearms, and is a gearhead's dream. I hope that one silly comment by one guy (I thought it was strange to read that in a firearms magazine myself when I read it), doesn't sink a magazine which might bring more shooting enthusiasts to the table. We know we need more! Hopefully they will just hire some more knowlegdeable writers. Instead of firing acid and hate at the magazine, I would just engage the writer with simple logic. "really? civilians don't need this? just like we don't need a 357 magnum over black powder rifles? There are things called 3-gun competitions, civilians who get Class III licenses, and there is a thing called fun, and a thing called Home Defense, which allows me to put down said scumbags. This firearm would be quite handy for all of those applications." And of course, handier when the Zombies come… :)

    • Mack Missiletoe

      acmike hit the nail on the head. This magazine looks beautiful–a gear heads dream, as he stated, and with modern pretty pictures :D

      This magazine should not fail–it is obvious simply by looking through the mag that the creators do not believe what this editor said.

      I would hate for this mag to fail b/c I plan to buy a copy and check it out more closely. It looked fantastic. The MP7A1 is one of my favorite sub guns.

  • Kyle Meier

    Effective as of 7pm today (13th) The editor has resigned from RECOIL.

    • Mike

      Real shame, I thought he did great work and that this has all been blown out of proportion.

  • kirk

    i never read or even heard of recoil magazine but, thanks to the likes of guns and ammo and it's MANY supporters……i won't ever need too

    • Jared

      Yes, I believe we all need to stand up & support the WHOLE Constitution. The Bill of Rights is one of the many things that makes this country a fantastic place to live. There have always been law-breakers & psychopaths who kill their fellow man. We need not curb the good people's rights because the bad are out there. They never will follow the laws. More restrictions don't stop them from doing what they want. Freedom is for the rest of us & we need to stand up & defend all of our rights. One more law on the books is just that. More police & more Laws does not make our world a better place- just a more suffocated & less-free place that we all have less room to pursue our happiness. We all must take personal responsibility for our safety.

  • John

    Was this just his option; on this firearm or something more anti-gun in its self?

    • Mike

      There was nothing anti gun about it. It was a sarcastic comment to emphasize how insanely cool the gun is. I find it hard to believe the editor of a gun magazine would not be a second amendment supporter, and think this has been blown out of proportion and that GnA has used the opportunity to try and damage a competing mag. I'll keep buying RECIOL for the record, it's an awesome mag.

  • joelparasian

    how to get the h&k?
    i would like to buy
    some of that

  • M.S.

    Huh. Well, I wasn't aware that all gun magazines must at all times advocate the use of PDWs for civilians, but okay.

    I also love that gun laws have only gotten more relaxed in the past 12 years but yet somehow the NRA insists our guns are being taken away.

    • Devatrap

      Uhhh, you obviously don't read things on this website, did you hear about the bullet stamp law in New York and it's fellow states? That's gun control. Gun control has to do with something that restricts guns or makes it harder for a civilian to get a gun. Also, what about the so called "assault weapons" that got banned from 1994-2004? That was another gun control in the last 12 years. Also, what about Fast and Furious that was a scheme for gun control and Barack Obama saying there needs to be more gun control? On another hand, are you one of those people who are paid to write comments like this by Handgun Control? That has happened before……

      • M.S.

        Wait, you're telling me I can get paid for my actual opinion? Neat.

        Sorry, I feel my comment requires clarification. Yes, I consider myself to be a tad Liberal but I also own several handguns and live in a state (Nevada) where I can openly carry said handguns, and I often do. I love guns, I grew up around them and I plan on carrying one for my career (currently going for a Criminal Justice degree to be a police officer). I promise you that I have no aversion to guns.

        But honestly I can't understand why this man should be forced to resign for saying that an easily-concealed, full-auto PDW with body armor-defeating capabilities should be illegal for civilian use. There's no reason for that firepower in a personal defense situation.

        And again, I said that gun laws (for the most part) have only gotten more relaxed. Yes that assault weapons ban ran through '04 but then it -expired- and was never renewed.

        When Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot several years ago, the gunman had a 32-round mag for his Glock, and even after that happened there were no new laws passed regarding magazine size.

        Obama has not passed one single gun law, I seriously don't understand why gun sales are through the roof as if the 2nd Amendment was up for repeal (which it's not.)

        To sum up: I love guns, I own guns, but I honestly don't see a reason to own a gun like an MP7 beyond "oh, it's a cool gun." There's really no reason to own one. Should they be illegal? I dont know. But they are illegal, and until someone can come up with a good reason why they shouldn't be, then I feel the law should stay as it is.

        • B. Wayne

          I don't agree with you necessarily, but you handled that well without being a jerk about it

          • M.S.

            Thank you, I appreciate that.

          • acmike

            Well, hold on a minute M.S.. You made two incorrect statements/assumptions. This HK gun is NOT illegal. Civilians can own it by applying for a Class III permit. That means you and I can own it.

          • acmike

            and now for part 2:
            The other thing you said, "there's no reason for that firepower in a personal defense situation". That is your opinion, and a faulty one. You have no idea what a PD situation might be for people other than you. Walking down a crowded street in a big city….sure – you may miss and kill innocents. But what about in a home on a ranch where neighbors are far away. Hell, not even in a ranch, just a nice home in a more rural area. Maybe 2-5 scumbags are trying to break down your door to kill you. You need to shoot through the door. This happens/has happened. Maybe you are in your car, at night, and stopped by others in the road in front of you. Having 30 AP rounds on full auto sure would help. Maybe a lunatic with 100 rounds of semi-auto and, yes, body armor walks into a Colorado theater and starts shooting indiscriminately. There are 1000 other "personal defense" situations where said firearm would be very helpful, if not life saving. You are villifying, incorrectly, a particular firearm that is neither a Death Ray or a "Destructive Weapon".

          • acmike

            and now for part 3 (since it wont let me post long comments)
            Actually many firearms just like this one exist! and you and I can buy them! And people keep them in their cars or trucks or bunker or bug-out bag or bedside. They are called Short Barrelled rifles, and you and I can easily already order AP ammunition. Actually, virtually all rifles, and some pistols (my S&W 500 magnum for example) easily defeat "body armor", without any special ammo at all! The author was simply speaking from ignorance. Should he have been forced to resign. Probably not. Should the magazine be villified….no. But they, just as you, should be corrected for inaccurate statements and faulty opinions.

        • Jared

          Wow… spoken like a true Sheep. That kind of thinking is why civilians are treated like the red headed step child in the gun community. I for one am sick of this kind of treatment. My 10 year old son is a future lover of guns & he loves the MP7 as do I. What part of "shall not be infringed.." is difficult to understand? Defending our rights is hard enough without having to defend them from ourselves. That kind of thinking seems pretty weak. I prefer to be a gentleman in these cases, but let's not lay down give up, shall we?

        • Jared

          Yes, you did handle that well- I agree. I just don't agree with you. Freedom doesn't need to be restricted- we need to be allwed to defend ourselves because these massacres show one thing- that the police can't be everywhere at once. Nor would I want them to be. Freedom is inherently a risk. People seem to want freedom but no risk- it's never worked that way. Massacres happen because people wanna be sheep & brave men are disarmed & have no other choice but to lay themselves over their loved ones & absorb bullets insted of returning fire. Disagree with me if you like- that's the American Way. Intelligent argument is the way we all get better at this:)

    • SCAR H

      PDW= Personal Defense Weapon.
      Obviously for civvies

  • Alex Faktor

    It’s too bad that people can’t find the passion to support the rest of the constitution in the same way.

  • Mack Missiletoe

    I almost bought this very magazine–it looks epic! A very modern design imo and with big pretty pictures. The only problem is that $$$ is very tight right now.

    I always liked the MP7–it looks so bada$$. Does not a civlilian form of its ammo exist? So that bad guys do not easily get a hold of its armor piercing capabilities?

    I think the editor needs to realize that even the military and police can turn bad. The Katrina incident.

    What if our military turned against us, with all their might and power? With our limitations, it would not be a fair fight. They have fully auto weapons. We mostly do not. I know this will probably never happen–our military is made up of a lot of great people! But there are other nations whose military basically runs them. It is an interesting thought, to think that a military with armor piercing pdw ammunition and all their high-tech weaponry would use it against their own people. In fact, it makes you rethink the ownership of such a weapon.

    People need to realize that a very very very large majority of gun owners are not bad but good. There will always be a few bad apples—and most likely they do not legally own their gun.

    I would love to own an MP7A1. I would not use it to break the law or to hurt others, but for sporting purposes (gun range). This is what we have been doing for many many years. Many people shoot weapons made during WWII–get this–for sporting purposes.

    Do not fall into that hell hole, where good guys are not allowed to be armed or own military weapons. There are laws that allow good guys to legally own fully automatic weapons–with of course proper background checks and clearance.

    • Jared

      I agree wholeheartedly. I only wish I was as eloquent in my writing. Thanks for putting into words a better statement than I:)

  • Charles

    Mr. Tsai definitly opened mouth and inserted foot. I could understand HK handing him a script and telling him to tow the line or he wouldn't be offered new firearms to review. But there comes a time when each man has to stand for his own principles wether they cause financial or some other difficulty.

  • John

    Mr. Tsai is from California

  • Karl

    Its a fashion magazine/gun porn for range gurus and gun store heros. Never bought it, never will.

    • Jared

      I personally would like to support a well done gun magazine that gives me what I want. There are some great articles in it & the fantastic art & style are just what I like to see. By your standards we should all have ugly wives & be driving Yugos because it's just not right to like something because it's too well done, right?

  • Tim-LV

    One of the best ways I have found to get new people into shooting is to let them try full auto. Always brings a big smile. And yes I walk them into it slowly. Several rounds in the semi position and then mags with 5-10 rounds for awhile. Then a fully loaded magazine.

  • Mike K. YYC

    Here is part of what the G&A Online Editors said, "Only time will tell if Recoil will recover from this catastrophe, but for the rest of us media geeks, there’s a lesson to be learned here: You, our faithful readers, will fight tooth and nail to defend the Second Amendment, and any statement that can be construed as a betrayal of trust will be taken quite seriously–we can assure you, we didn’t need that reminder." Really? Check out Dylan Polks Caption Contest page. Specifically Sept. 12, "This is my rifle." The winning caption has a familiar ring to it.

    • Mike K. YYC

      I just think it was in poor taste to use that caption. Amongst other things, it cost a man his job and Recoil Magazine's reputation got a kick in the balls.

  • MTZ

    If it's not suitable for the civilian market, it should not be available to law enforcement agencies.

    Read the second amendment carefully. Clearly, the founders felt that citizens need to have the ability to protect themselves, and that includes the tyrrany and potential tyrrany of governments and their police/militia.

    • Brad

      And is that a legitimate, viable concern that you have? That at some point in your lifetime you will need to take up arms against the governing forces of this nation?

      • Jared

        That is the principal that our nation was founded on.

      • JT

        People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

  • sam

    Guys and Galls I think the editor in chief got the message. You know predominantly people in this country of ours, are law abiding. Our country is suppose to be the land of the free. For us long as you do not step on somebody toes, you can do whatever you want to do. Get a license fill out the paper works, and own the damn thing.

  • ron

    I'm glad to see such strong support for the 2nd amendment. Now, why don't you also show some support for the 1st?

  • Brad

    Thank you, Ron, that needed to be said.

    Mr. Tsai is absolutely right. I believe strongly in a person's right to bear arms, but to bear arms for a purpose. Buy a rifle to hunt with. Buy a shotgun to hunt with. Buy a handgun to shoot paper targets. Buy any or all of the above because you are a collector, or an enthusiast. Buy a firearm to protect your home and family with. But certainly no law-abiding citizen has any legitimate use for a fully automatic combat firearm, chambered in a caliber that is meant to penetrate personal body armour. I proprietary caliber, I remind you, with no other available firearms chambered in it's use. Because it's a purpose-built caliber, meant for the sole purpose of killing in combat.

    I support Mr. Tsai wholeheartedly in what he said, because I believe in the right to free speech, and I would have expected more of the firearms community would be accepting and understanding of the opinions of others. I am disappointed that this man has been so seriously condemned by the community he is part of for expressing his personal beliefs.

    I can, however, agree that it was a poor decision for him to publish that statement. Reminds me of Oreo cookies running a rainbow ad in support of Gay Pride. It is easier for an entity that intends to sell a product or service to maintain no opinion or position on controversial issues, because they will always offend SOMEONE enough to boycott their product.

    I hope that Mr. Tsai stays on the Recoil staff. While I question his judgement in publishing that opinion, I applaud him for having the courage to say it, especially to a group that is apparently so intolerant of the opinions of others.

    • Jared

      Bottom line: 2A was not put in the Constitution for hunters-READ it. It was put in to defend the citizens' rights. The very last line of defense. Quit drinking the Kool-aid, friends.

  • ACV


  • Chelsea

    It seems this magazine has won a victory over its competitor. This is truly a sad day. One good reason is that this magazine seems to only be geared toward the hunter. Not very likely to interest any other form of gun enthusiast. RECOIL was and will always be one of the most awesome and modern magazines of the day. Modern as a Kriss V.

  • J.D.

    I think the whole situation was completely blown out of proportion. There was no need to overreact to an opinion that was stated in a magazine. Its not like he was going to provide those weapons to a mexican cartel or anything. Just saying.

    • jumper297

      True… that’s the job of our DoJ.

  • Terry Mohn

    Some things need saying and Mr. Tsai was correct in doing so. Not to mention the 1st amendment, which the 2nd amendment supporters fail to understand!

    • jumper297

      Was he stopped from saying what he wanted? In what way was his first amendment right infringed? Unfortunately, there are still consequences to the things one says despite their right to do so. Tsai found that out the hard way, unfortunately, and his ignorance cost his company dearly.

  • Don Davis

    …and if you’re smart, G&A, you’ll send Dick Metcalf to the same purgatory as Jerry Tsai. From DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER, pp 23-24:

    “Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “To adjust by rule or
    method”); Rawle 121–122; cf. Va. Declaration of Rights §13 (1776), in 7 Thorpe 3812, 3814 (referring to “a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms”).”
    Moron Metcalf needs to read the damned law before he’s allowed to write in a premier gun magazine.

  • JT

    Funny to find this article from a couple of years ago. And yet Guns and Ammo’s Dick Metcalf appears to be just as bad as Jerry Tsai.

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