The Heckler & Koch MP5 (German: Maschinenpistole 5) is a submachine gun developed in the 1960s by German firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch. It uses a similar modular design to the Heckler & Koch G3, and has over 100 variants and clones,[14] including selective fire, semi-automatic, suppressed, compact, and even marksman variants.[15] The MP5 is one of the most widely used submachine guns in the world, having been adopted by over forty nations and numerous militaries, police forces, intelligence agencies, security organizations, paramilitaries, and non-state actors.[16]

Heckler & Koch MP5
Heckler & Koch MP5A3
TypeSubmachine gun
Semi-automatic Carbine (MP5SF, HK94, SP5, MP5 .22 LR)
Pistol (SP89, SP5K)
Place of originWest Germany
Service history
In service1966–present
Used bySee Users
Wars
Production history
DesignerTilo Möller, Manfred Guhring, Georg Seidl, Helmut Baureuter
Designed1964–1966
ManufacturerHeckler & Koch
Produced1966–present
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass2.54 kg (5.6 lb)[12]
Length680 mm (27 in)
Barrel length225 mm (8.9 in)
Width50 mm (2.0 in)
Height260 mm (10.2 in)

Cartridge9×19mm Parabellum
10mm Auto (MP5/10)
.40 S&W (MP5/40)
.22 LR (MP5 .22 LR)
ActionRoller-delayed blowback, closed bolt
Rate of fire800 rounds/min
900 rounds/min (MP5K)
700 rounds/min (MP5SD)
Muzzle velocity400 m/s (1,312 ft/s)
Effective firing range200 m (656 ft)
Feed system15-, 30-, 40-, or 50-round detachable box magazine,[13] 50-round drum magazine and 100-round Beta C-Mag drum magazine
SightsIron sights. Rear: rotary drum; front: hooded post

Attempts at replacing the MP5 by Heckler & Koch began in the 1980s, but despite functional prototype weapons having promising performance, a formal successor did not enter commercial production until 1999, when Heckler & Koch developed the UMP.[17] Despite being more expensive however, the MP5 remained the more successful of the two options, owing to its preexisting widespread use, design familiarity, and lower recoil due to its roller-delayed action as opposed to the UMP's straight blowback action.[18]

History

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Heckler & Koch, encouraged by the success of the G3 battle rifle in 1959, developed a family of small arms consisting of four types of firearms all based on a common G3 design layout and operating principle. The first type was chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO, the second for 7.62×39mm M43, the third for 5.56×45mm NATO, and the fourth for 9×19mm Parabellum. The MP5 was created for the fourth type as the HK54; under the HK naming system, this categorizes it as a selective fire carbine chambered in a handgun cartridge.[19]

Development began in 1964, and in 1966 the HK54 was adopted by the Bundesgrenzschutz and by Bundeswehr special forces, initially as the MP64, before being redesignated as the MP5.[19] The MP5A1 was introduced in the late 1960s and was the first model to feature the front ring sight and "Slimline" handguard. In 1970, the MP5 and MP5A1 were superseded by the MP5A2 and MP5A3, improvements to the MP5A1 with a fixed stock and retracting stock respectively. In 1974, the MP5SD, an integrally-suppressed variant, was introduced, and in 1976, the MP5K, a redesigned compact variant, was developed per a request for a variant that suited close-quarters combat in South America. In 1977, the original straight magazines were replaced by curved steel magazines. In 1978, the "Tropical" handguard was introduced for the MP5.

In 1980, the MP5 achieved an iconic status during the Iranian Embassy siege, when British Army Special Air Service operatives used MP5s with top-mounted flashlights to assault the embassy and rescue the hostages held inside. Photos of the operation featuring MP5s were widely disseminated in the press and popular media, and drove other military and police units to purchase MP5s as well, quickly making the MP5 widely recognizable and associated with elite counterterrorist units.[20] The MP5 has since become a mainstay in militaries, special forces, and police tactical units across the world, but has gradually been replaced since the late 1990s by rifles, carbines, and personal defense weapons due to changes in armament trends, including growing access to body armor that can stop handgun cartridges.[21]

The MP5 is manufactured under license in several nations including Greece (formerly Hellenic Arms Industry, currently Hellenic Defence Systems), Iran (Defense Industries Organization), Mexico (SEDENA), Pakistan (Pakistan Ordnance Factories), Saudi Arabia, Sudan (Military Industry Corporation), Turkey (MKEK), and the United Kingdom (formerly Royal Ordnance, later moved to Heckler & Koch Great Britain).[22]

Design

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HK MP5 markings on the firearm

The primary version of the MP5 family is the MP5A2, which is a lightweight, air-cooled, selective fire delayed blowback operated 9×19mm Parabellum weapon with a roller-delayed bolt. It fires from a closed bolt (bolt forward) position.[23]

The fixed, free-floating, cold hammer-forged barrel has six right-hand grooves with a 1 in 250 mm (1:10 in) rifling twist rate and is pressed and pinned into the receiver.[24]

Features

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A view through the MP5's iron sights

The first MP5 models used a double-column straight box magazine, but since 1977, slightly curved steel magazines have been used with a 15-round capacity (weighing 0.12 kg) or a 30-round capacity (0.17 kg empty).[24]

The adjustable iron sights (closed type) consist of a rotating rear diopter drum and a front post installed in a hooded ring. The rear sight is mechanically adjustable for both windage and elevation with the use of a special tool, being adjusted at the factory for firing at 25 metres (27 yd) with standard 8 grams (123 gr) FMJ 9×19mm NATO ammunition. The rear sight drum provides four apertures of varying diameters used to adjust the diopter system, according to the user's preference and tactical situation.[25] Changing between apertures does not change the point of impact down range.

The MP5 has a hammer firing mechanism. The trigger group is housed inside an interchangeable polymer trigger module (with an integrated pistol grip) and equipped with a three-position fire mode selector that serves as the manual safety toggle. Per HK trigger group standards, most MP5 variants have the option of "SEF" or "Navy" trigger groups, with further alterations based on the availability and type of burst fire; the "SE" and "0-1" trigger groups are only available for semi-automatic and civilian variants. While the "SEF" trigger group's fire selector lever is located on the left-hand side of the trigger, the SEF symbols themselves appear on both sides of the trigger grouping; the "Navy" trigger group, among others, are ambidextrous. The safety/selector is rotated into the various firing settings or safety position by depressing the tail end of the lever. Tactile clicks (stops) are present at each position to provide a positive stop and prevent inadvertent rotation. The "safe" setting disables the trigger by blocking the hammer release with a solid section of the safety axle located inside the trigger housing.[24]

The non-reciprocating cocking handle is located above the handguard and protrudes from the cocking handle tube at approximately a 45° angle. This rigid control is attached to a tubular piece within the cocking lever housing called the cocking lever support, which in turn makes contact with the forward extension of the bolt group. It is not however connected to the bolt carrier and therefore cannot be used as a forward assist to fully seat the bolt group. The cocking handle is held in a forward position by a spring detent located in the front end of the cocking lever support which engages in the cocking lever housing. The lever is locked back by pulling it fully to the rear and rotating it slightly clockwise where it can be hooked into an indent in the cocking lever tube.[24]

Operating mechanism

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The roller-delayed blowback mechanism, seen here in a 1966 U.S. patent, originated from the aborted StG 45(M) assault rifle prototypes developed in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II.

The bolt rigidly engages the barrel extension—a cylindrical component welded to the receiver into which the barrel is pinned. The delay mechanism is of the same design as that used in the G3 rifle. The two-part bolt consists of a bolt head with rollers and a bolt carrier. The heavier bolt carrier lies up against the bolt head when the weapon is ready to fire and inclined planes on the front locking piece lie between the rollers and force them out into recesses in the barrel extension.[26]

When fired, expanding propellant gases produced from the burning powder in the cartridge exert rearward pressure on the bolt head transferred through the base of the cartridge case as it is propelled out of the chamber. A portion of this force is transmitted through the rollers projecting from the bolt head, which are cammed inward against the inclined flanks of the locking recesses in the barrel extension and to the angled shoulders of the locking piece. The selected angles of the recesses and the incline on the locking piece produce a velocity ratio of about 4:1 between the bolt carrier and the bolt head. This results in a calculated delay, allowing the projectile to exit the barrel and gas pressure to drop to a safe level before the case is extracted from the chamber.[26]

The delay results from the amount of time it takes for enough recoil energy to be transferred through to the bolt carrier in a sufficient quantity for it to be driven to the rear against the force of inertia of the bolt carrier and the forward pressure exerted against the bolt by the recoil spring. As the rollers are forced inward they displace the locking piece and propel the bolt carrier to the rear. The bolt carrier's rearward velocity is four times that of the bolt head since the cartridge remains in the chamber for a short period of time during the initial recoil impulse. After the bolt carrier has travelled rearward 4 mm, the locking piece is withdrawn fully from the bolt head and the rollers are compressed into the bolt head. Only once the locking rollers are fully cammed into the bolt head can the entire bolt group continue its rearward movement in the receiver, breaking the seal in the chamber and continuing the feeding cycle.[26]

Since the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge is relatively low powered, the bolt does not have an anti-bounce device like the G3, but instead the bolt carrier contains 32.5 g (1.15 oz) of tungsten granules that prevent the bolt group from bouncing back after impacting the barrel extension. The weapon has a fluted chamber that enhances extraction reliability by bleeding gases backwards into the shallow flutes running along the length of the chamber to prevent the cartridge case from expanding and sticking to the chamber walls (since the bolt is opened under relatively high barrel pressure). A spring extractor is installed inside the bolt head and holds the case securely until it strikes the ejector arm and is thrown out of the ejection port to the right of the receiver. The lever-type ejector is located inside the trigger housing (activated by the movement of the recoiling bolt).[26]

Accessories

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Barrel accessories

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Threading is provided at the muzzle to work with certain muzzle devices made by Heckler & Koch, including a slotted flash suppressor, a blank-firing adapter (marked with a red-painted band denoting use with blank ammunition only), a rifle grenade adapter (for use with rifle-style grenades with an inside diameter of 22 mm using a special grenade launching cartridge), and cup-type tear gas rifle grenade adapter. An optional "3-Lug" barrel is also available on some variants for mounting a quick-detachable suppressor.

MP5SD suppressor
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Cross-section diagram of an early MP5SD suppressor from 1971 patent, detailing its vented barrel surrounded by metal mesh packing in the expansion chambers, followed by conical baffles in the forward chambers

The MP5SD's 146 mm (5.7 in) barrel has 30 2.5 mm (0.1 in) ports drilled forward of the chamber through which escaping gases are diverted to the surrounding sealed tubular casing that is screwed onto threading on the barrel's external surface just prior to the ported segment. The MP5SD's integral suppressor itself is divided into two stages: the initial segment surrounding the ported barrel serves as an expansion chamber for the propellant gases, reducing gas pressure to slow down the acceleration of the projectile. The second decompression stage occupies the remaining length of the suppressor tube and contains a stamped metal helix separator with several compartments which increase the gas volume and decrease its temperature, deflecting the gases as they exit the muzzle, so muffling the exit report. The bullet leaves the muzzle at subsonic velocity, so it does not generate a sonic shock wave in flight. As a result of reducing the barrel's length and venting propellant gases into the suppressor, the bullet's muzzle velocity was lowered anywhere from 16% to 26% (depending on the ammunition used) while maintaining the weapon's automation and reliability.[24]

Receiver

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The receiver housing has a proprietary claw-rail mounting system that permits the attachment of a standard Heckler & Koch quick-detachable scope mount (also used with the G3, HK33, and G3SG/1). It can be used to mount daytime optical sights (telescopic 4×24), night sights, reflex sights, and laser sights. The mount features two spring-actuated bolts, positioned along the base of the mount, which exert pressure on the receiver to hold the mount in the same position at all times assuring zero retention. All versions of the quick-detachable scope mount provide a sighting tunnel through the mount so that the shooter can continue to use the fixed iron sights with the scope mount attached to the top of the receiver.

A Picatinny rail adapter can be placed on top that locks into the claw rails. This allows the mounting of STANAG scopes and has a lower profile than the claw-rail system.

Handguard

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An MP5A2 with an aftermarket "dedicated forend" tactical light-equipped handguard. Also note the fixed stock and jungle style magazines.

Standard MP5 variants have the option of two handguards: "Slimline", the original slim checkered metal handguard; and "Tropical", a wider and smoother polymer handguard introduced in 1978.

The MP5SD, MP5K, and SP89 have unique handguards owing to their design differences: the MP5SD handguard is similar to Slimline but larger to fit the integrated suppressor, the MP5K handguard has a built-in foregrip and handstop, and the SP89 handguard is similar to the MP5K's but extended and without the foregrip.

Aftermarket handguards also exist, including newer vented handguards based on the "Tropical" handguard, "dedicated forend" handguards featuring a built-in underbarrel tactical light, and rail integration system-equipped handguards to fit attachments.[27]

Variants

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An MP5A3 with the "SEF" trigger group, a retractable stock, and the "Slimline" handguard
HK54
Original pre-designation model, introduced in 1964. It has a charcoal-gray phosphated finish rather than the matte-black lacquered finish used on later models. The handguard resembles the "Slimline" handguard but is narrower and has slots along it. Its bolt carrier is longer and heavier than that of the final MP5, and it uses a flip-up "ladder" rear sight similar to that used on early G3 models. It uses straight steel magazines with plastic followers and distinctive "waffle" rib imprints for reinforcement.[28]
MP5
The basic MP5, based on a modified and improved HK54, introduced in 1966. When first released, it had a gray phosphated finish, "Slimline" handguard, 8.9-inch barrel with "3-Lug" muzzle, and straight waffle magazines. Modernized improvements were introduced in the 1970s: proprietary "claw mount" rails for scope, laser, and flashlight attachments were introduced in 1973; un-ribbed curved magazines with chrome followers were introduced in 1977; the matte-black lacquered finish was introduced for export models also in 1977; and the polymer "Tropical" handguard was introduced in 1978.[28]
MP5A1
Standard MP5 with no stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[28][29]
MP5A2
Standard MP5 with a fixed stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[28]
MP5A3
Standard MP5 with a retractable stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[28]
MP5A4
Standard MP5 with a fixed stock, the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group, and a straight pistol grip.[28]
MP5A5
Standard MP5 with a retractable stock, the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group, and a straight pistol grip.[28]
MP5SF
Semi-automatic variant of the MP5 intended for the law enforcement and military markets, introduced in 1986 to meet a Federal Bureau of Investigation request for a "9mm semi-automatic carbine". Unlike the HK94, the semi-automatic MP5 variant for the civilian market, the MP5SF retains its standard 8.9-inch barrel. It has two variants: the MP5SFA2 with a fixed stock, and the MP5SFA3 with a retractable stock. It uses the "0-1" trigger group, but since 1991, it has been delivered with select-fire bolt carriers that make it capable of automatic fire if paired with an appropriate trigger group.[30]
MP5PT
Training variants of the MP5A4 and MP5A5. They are designed to use a plastic 9×19mm round developed by Dynamit Nobel.[31]
MP5N
Naval variant of the MP5, introduced in 1986 to meet a United States Navy request for a submachine gun effective aboard ships and in low-light conditions. It is essentially an MP5A3 with a retractable stock, "Navy 2-Round Burst" trigger group, tritium illuminated sights, and a custom "3-Lug" muzzle derivative for mounting a stainless steel suppressor produced by Knight's Armament Company (KAC).[25]
MP5F
Improved French variant of the MP5, introduced in 1999 to meet a French National Gendarmerie request for a suitable standard-issue submachine gun. It is essentially a modified and improved MP5A3, featuring a padded retractable stock, "Navy" trigger group, ambidextrous sling mounts, and internal improvements to handle high-pressure ammunition.[25]
MP5 Mid Life Improvement (MLI)
Modernized refresh of the MP5, introduced in 2015. It is based on the MP5A5 and features the MP5F's padded retractable stock, triple-rail "Slimline" handguard, "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group, quick-release sight mount or sight rail, and a RAL 8000 finish. Compatible components of the MP5 MLI can be switched out and retrofitted with other compatible MP5 variants.[32]

MP5SD

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An MP5SD3 with the "SEF" trigger group, a retractable stock, and the MP5SD suppressor and handguard

The MP5SD ("SD" meaning Schalldämpfer, German for "sound suppressor") is a variant of the MP5 with an integral suppressor, introduced in 1974.[33] The integral suppressor, built around its 5.7-inch barrel, uses a unique two-stage design that allows it to operate silently in most environments, including when wet, while still remaining reliable.[34] The distinctive size of the integral suppressor gives it a unique handguard design, with a modified charging handle to account for it. The MP5SD has a rate of fire of approximately 700 rounds per minute,[35] and is intended to use standard ammunition, gasses are vented into the suppressor reducing velocities of rounds to sub sonic speeds with the suppressor on at all times, though it can be detached.[24]

MP5SD1
Standard MP5SD with no stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[33]
MP5SD2
Standard MP5SD with a fixed stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[33]
MP5SD3
Standard MP5SD with a retractable stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group.[33]
MP5SD4
Standard MP5SD with no stock and the "SEF" or "Navy" trigger group. It is largely similar to the MP5SD1.[33]
MP5SD5
Standard MP5SD with a fixed stock and the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group.[36]
MP5SD6
Standard MP5SD with a retractable stock and the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group.[36]
MP5SDN-1
Naval variant of the MP5SD, with a retractable stock, the "Navy 2-Round Burst" trigger group, and the MP5N's KAC stainless steel suppressor.[36]
MP5SDN-2
Naval variant of the MP5SD, with a fixed stock, the "Navy 2-Round Burst" trigger group, and the MP5N's KAC stainless steel suppressor.[36]

MP5K

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An MP5K with the "Navy" trigger group, no stock, the MP5K foregrip handguard, and normal iron sights

The MP5K ("K" meaning Kurz, German for "short") is a redesigned compact variant of the MP5, introduced in 1976. Developed from the stockless MP5A1,[29] it features a 4.5-inch barrel incompatible with muzzle attachments, an endcap with sling mount instead of a stock, and a unique handguard with a built-in foregrip. Most components of the MP5K are shortened on account of its compact design, including its bolt, receiver, charging handle, cover, and trigger group frame; the lighter bolt gives it a higher rate of fire, at approximately 900 rounds per minute (as opposed to 800 rounds per minute with the regular MP5). Different variants of the MP5K use either unique open iron sights or redesigned fixed iron sights.[25]

MP5K Prototype
Stockless, cut-down MP5A2 with regular iron sights and an open vertical foregrip, developed in 1976.[29]
MP5KA1
Standard MP5K with the "SEF" trigger group, smooth upper surface, and small low-profile iron sights.[25]
MP5KA4
Standard MP5K with the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group and regular iron sights.[25]
MP5KA5
Standard MP5K with the "Navy 3-Round Burst" trigger group, smooth upper surface, and small low-profile iron sights.[25]
MP5K-N
Naval variant of the MP5K, with the "Navy" trigger group and a custom "3-Lug" muzzle similar to that of the MP5N.[25]
MP5K-PDW
"Full-size" variant of the MP5K, introduced in 1991. It is designed to provide the benefits of the MP5K with the size and handling of a regular MP5, and is essentially a regular MP5K with a custom folding stock, "Navy" trigger group, and 5.5-inch barrel with a custom "3-Lug" muzzle similar to that of the MP5N but for a Qual-A-Tec suppressor. Despite its name, the MP5K-PDW is not a personal defense weapon, as it uses a handgun cartridge and not the sub-intermediate cartridges used by actual PDWs; rather, its name is derived from its intended use as a defense firearm for vehicle and aircraft crews.[36]
MP5K Operational Briefcase
Standard MP5K intended for use with the Spezialkoffer ("Special Case"), a custom briefcase built by Hofbauer GmbH with a modified claw mount for holding the MP5K, a firing port, and a trigger built into the briefcase handgrip, introduced in 1978. Intended for security details in close-range defense or suppressive fire situations, the MP5K Operational Briefcase uses a firing mechanism built into the briefcase to allow the MP5K to fire without taking time to remove it; however, it cannot be reloaded, cleared of obstructions, or emptied of spent shell casings without opening the briefcase and detaching the MP5K.[37]
MP5K Special Bag
Variant of the MP5K Operational Briefcase introduced around 1978, using a leather suitcase called the Spezialtasche ("Special Bag"). Instead of using the handgrip as a trigger, the Spezialtasche features a hidden opening that allows the user to discreetly reach into the bag and fire the MP5K directly.[37]
MP5K Falling Case
Variant of the MP5K Operational Briefcase introduced around 1978, using a detachable briefcase called the Zerfallkoffer ("Falling Case"). Instead of allowing the weapon to fire within the case, the Zerfallkoffer's handgrip and claw mount is designed to be quickly detached from the briefcase, "shedding" it and allowing the MP5K to be used normally with a carryhandle. The Zerfallkoffer is also compatible with the MP7.[37]

Rechambered variants

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An MP5/40 with a rail-equipped handguard and a polymer 30-round magazine

Though the MP5 is normally chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum, two variants and an unreleased kit existed that used different ammunition.[38]

MP5/10
MP5 chambered in 10mm Auto, introduced in 1992. It features either a fixed or retractable stock, the "Navy 2-Round Burst" trigger group, and the MP5N's custom "3-Lug" muzzle derivative and tritium illuminated sights. It includes a bolt hold-open device, which catches the bolt in its rear position when empty, and is released by pressing a lever on the left side of the receiver. It is fed by a custom 30-round translucent straight magazines.[36] The MP5/10 was discontinued in 2000, but HK still offers support and spare parts.[38]
MP5/40
MP5 chambered in .40 S&W, introduced in 1992. It has largely the same features and configuration options of the MP5/10, and is fed by similar 30-round translucent straight magazines, but uses the regular "Navy" trigger group (without the burst-fire selection).[39] The MP5/40 was discontinued in 2000, but HK still offers support and spare parts.[38]
MP5 .22 LR
MP5 chambered in .22 Long Rifle, introduced around 2021. It comes in two variants: the MP5 .22 LR Rifle, which resembles an MP5SD3 with a 16.1-inch barrel hidden by a faux "integral suppressor" barrel shroud; and the MP5 .22 LR Pistol, which resembles an MP5A1 or MP5A3 with an 8.5-inch barrel. Both variants use the "Tropical" handguard and the "0-1" trigger group. Like all civilian market MP5 variants, it is semi-automatic only.[40]
MP5 .22 Long Rifle Rechambering Kit
Rechambering kit to convert an MP5 to .22 Long Rifle, introduced in the early 1970s and discontinued at an indeterminate point. The kit consisted of a barrel insert, a bolt group, and two 20-round magazines, and was mostly sold to law enforcement agencies for training purposes by easing trainees inexperienced with the MP5 into learning handling techniques and firing practice without the high recoil and cost of 9×19mm rounds. The conversion reduced the MP5's rate of fire to 650 rounds per minute. It was ultimately replaced by the MP5 .22 LR in 2021.
MP5 6.5×25mm Rechambering Kit
Rechambering kit to convert an MP5 to 6.5×25mm CBJ, which was proposed in the 2000s but never released. It would have allowed an MP5 to be rechambered simply by switching its barrel.[41]

Civilian variants

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An HK94 with a shortened barrel, the "0-1" trigger group, a retractable stock, the "Tropical" handguard, and an aftermarket ACOG sight
HK94
Civilian market variant of the MP5, imported [where?] from 1983 to 1989 (with a one-off final order for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation delivered in 1991). It has a 16.54-inch barrel, "0-1" trigger group, push-button magazine release (as opposed to the paddle magazine release on regular MP5s), and a straight pistol grip similar to that on the MP5A4 and MP5A5. It has two variants: the HK94A2 with a fixed stock, and the HK94A3 with a retractable stock. Optional accessories included a handguard-mounted foregrip and a ventilated barrel shroud. The HK94 was particularly popular as a prop in film and television productions of the era, and blank-firing HK94s with "chopped" 8.9-inch barrels and fake automatic conversions were often used as cost-effective MP5 stand-ins well into the 2010s.[31][42]
HK94/SG-1
Accurized sharpshooting variant of the HK94, introduced in 1985. It was designed and intended for marksman fire in situations and environments where precise handgun cartridge fire may be needed, such as dense urban areas and indoor environments like prisons. It has a fixed match stock with a rubber buttpad and an adjustable cheekpiece, a folding bipod, a flash hider, and a Leupold 6x telescopic sight. A PSG1-inspired aftermarket trigger pack was also produced, featuring a target pistol grip and match trigger. The HK94/SG-1 did not sell very well due to its niche role and poor performance—it had poor range, penetration, and stopping power, and its Leupold scope was calibrated for .223 Remington and not 9×19mm—and only 50 units were imported to the U.S., primarily to target shooters and firearm collectors.[43]
SP89
Civilian market variant of the MP5K, imported to the U.S. between 1989 and 1994. To comply with the National Firearms Act, the SP89 features a redesigned handguard that replaces the MP5K's built-in foregrip with an extended barrel shroud. Like all civilian market MP5 variants, it is semi-automatic only.[42]
SP5K
Modernized SP89 for the American civilian market, imported to the U.S. as a pistol in 2017. It largely resembles the SP89, with a redesigned extended barrel shroud and a top-mounted Picatinny rail for sights. Like all civilian market MP5 variants, it is semi-automatic only.[44]
SP5
Modernized civilian market variant of the MP5 introduced in 2019, replacing the HK94. It resembles an MP5A2 with an 8.8-inch barrel, MP5K-style threaded adaptor, "Tropical" handguard, "0-1" trigger group, paddle magazine release, fluted chamber, and the buyer's choice of fixed stock, retractable stock, or endcap.[45]
SP5K-PDW
Modernized civilian market variant of the MP5K introduced in 2019, replacing the SP5K. It resembles an MP5K without its handguard foregrip. Like all civilian market MP5 variants, it is semi-automatic only.[46]

Prototypes

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Five prototype firearms based on the MP5 were developed by Heckler & Koch in the 1980s and 1990s, mostly intended as improved variants or potential successors, but were not developed any further.

HK54A1
Prototype improvement of the HK54, designed for the U.S. Navy Naval Weapons Support Center Crane's (NWSC) Joint Service Small Arms Program (JSSAP) in 1980. It was essentially a refreshed ambidextrous MP5SD with a redesigned retractable stock and compatibility with a 50-round drum magazine. It was designed to be suitable for frogmen and paratroopers in any environment, and was thus also designed to be reliably functional in extreme temperatures and while wearing bulky gloves. HK's proposal for the HK54A1 noted it could be converted to .45 ACP if necessary. An unknown number were produced for testing purposes out of regular MP5 components. The HK54A1 was never properly developed for field use, but it met most JSSAP requirements, drawing the attention of the U.S. government and leading to the development of the SMG I and SMG II.[47]
SMG I
Prototype derived from the HK54A1, first developed for the JSSAP between 1982 and 1983. It was intended to spawn a "family" of modular all-purpose submachine guns. Unique for HK, the SMG I used a simple blowback operation with separate lower and upper receivers and an easy-to-remove 5.8-inch barrel with an integral suppressor. It had a boxy body with a retractable stock and a diagonal foregrip. A mechanical and hydraulic buffer in the backplate and a timing device in the stock reduced its rate of fire to a manageable 500 rounds per minute, roughly half that of the HK54A1. The rear iron sight, resembling that of the HK21E, allowed for adjustments based on wind, ammunition type, and sight elevation, and also featured indents to assist with close-range point shooting. The trigger included an add-on to be used with bulkier gloves such as mittens. Only 20 handmade examples were produced. The SMG I was tested by NWSC Crane in 1984 and proved promising, but several minor issues prompted the development of the SMG II.[47][48][49]
SMG II
Prototype derived from the SMG I, developed around 1985. It has a largely identical design but addresses the issues reported by NWSC Crane. Its combination of the MP5, MP5SD, and MP5K was made more clear: analogous to the MP5 by default, the addition of a custom suppressor made it akin to the MP5SD, and the removal of the suppressor and retractable stock converted it into an MP5K-like automatic pistol. The three-round burst fire setting returned from the HK54A1. Several components were made from plastic to reduce weight, while the over-engineered rear sight was abandoned for a simpler MP5-style sight. Uniquely, the SMG II had a gas cylinder in the handguard with a gas relief valve on the receiver, used to control round velocity and thus also sound: the "L" setting reduced the propellant gases to fire rounds below the speed of sound—and thus without the usual crack of supersonic projectiles—for almost silent suppressed fire, while the "H" setting used all available gas to fire rounds at full velocity for reliable unsuppressed fire. Other internal changes were made to reduce cost and simplify production and maintenance, but otherwise the SMG II was largely just an improvement of the SMG I. Like the SMG I, only 20 handmade examples were produced for testing by NWSC Crane. While the SMG II again proved promising, it was ultimately abandoned, not for budgetary or technical concerns, but simply due to the success of the regular MP5 and its derivatives, which were already popular enough with the U.S. Navy and all other potential customers to make a replacement unnecessary; HK ultimately developed the MP5N for the U.S. Navy instead. Allegedly, between 60 and 80 additional SMG IIs were secretly commissioned for an unidentified U.S. government agency, possibly a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, where they were favored by their users, but the lack of spare parts and the gradual move to higher-caliber firearms for close-quarters combat led to all of them being retired and melted down for disposal some time around 1999. Technical knowledge from the SMG II and the concept of a universal submachine gun were later repurposed for the MP2000 prototype and the UMP.[47][48][50]
MP5 PIP
Prototype developed around the late 1980s and early 1990s. Very little is known about the MP5 PIP or why it was developed, but it had a boxier body resembling the later UMP, a shorter diagonal magazine, and the "flipper" charging handle later used on the G36. Only one non-functional wooden mockup was produced.[51]
MP2000
Prototype derived from the SMG II, developed in the 1990s. It somewhat resembled the SMG II and featured a propellant gas-based round velocity silencing system similar to that of the SMG II. It was presumably an attempted revival of the SMG II concept to replace the MP5 for the 21st century. It is an immediate predecessor of the UMP, which was ultimately marketed as such.[47]

Clone manufacturers

edit

Users

edit
 
Worldwide users of the MP5 (former and current)
Country/Region Organization name Model Caliber Reference
  Afghanistan Afghan National Army Pakistani-made (after 2001)

West German[70]

_ [71]
Zahir Qadir's Frontier Force [72]
  Albania Garda e Republikës _ _ [73]
Batalioni i Operacioneve Speciale (BOS) MP5K _ [citation needed]
  Algeria Algerian Police MP5SD6, MP5SD3, MP5K, MP5A3, MP5A5 9mm [74]
Algerian Special Forces _ 9mm [citation needed]
  Argentina Argentine Navy _ _ [75]
Argentine National Gendarmerie _ _ [75]
Argentine Federal Police _ _ [75]
Argentine Naval Prefecture MP5A2 _ [75]
  Australia Airfield Defence Guards of the Royal Australian Air Force MP5A3 9mm [76]
Special Operations Command MP5A3, MP5K, MP5SD 9mm [77]
Police Tactical Groups _ 9mm [78]
  Bahrain _ _ _ [79]
  Bangladesh Bangladesh Army _ _ [80]
Bangladesh SWAT Police _ _
Rapid Action Battalion, _ _
Special Warfare Diving And Salvage of the Bangladesh Navy _ _
  Belarus "Almaz" anti-terrorist group MP5A3
MP5K
9mm [81]
KGB Alpha Group MP5A3 9mm [82]
  Belgium Various Police units _ 9mm [79]
  Brazil Federal Police MP5A2, MP5A3, MP5A5, MP5SD3 9mm [83][84]
BOPE MP5A5, MP5K 9mm [85][84]
1º Batalhão de Forças Especiais MP5KA4, MP5SD1, MP5SD6 9mm [86][84]
Brasilia Police MP5A3 9mm [84]
Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro State _ _ [87]
Comando de Operações Taticas MP5A5, MP5SD6 9mm [84]
COMANF MP5KA4, MP5SD6 9mm [84]
  Brunei Special Force of the Royal Brunei Police Force _ 9mm [88]
  Bulgaria Specialized Anti-Terrorism Task Force MP5SD3 9mm [89]
  Cameroon _ _ _ [79]
  Canada Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Canadian Navy & the Intervention group of the Sûreté du Québec[90] MP5A3
MP5A2
_ [91]
  Chile _ _ _ [79]
  China Chongqing & Guangxi police tactical unit NR-08 or CS/LS3 _ [92][93]
  Costa Rica UEA (Unidad Especial de Apoyo) Special Police Unit _ _ [94]
  Croatia Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit MP5SD3 _ [95]
  Cuba Black Wasp (Cuban Special Forces) MP5A3 _ [96]
Special Unit of MININT
  Czech Republic Police of the Czech Republic (standard-issue PDW for general patrols) MP5A5, MP5SD6, MP5SA3, MP5K _ [79]
Military of Czech Republic _ [97]
  Democratic Republic of Congo _ _ _ [79]
  Denmark Frogman Corps, Danish Police _ _ [98]
  Ecuador Special units GOE (Grupo de Operaciones Especiales) and GIR (Grupo de Intervención y Rescate) of the National Police _ _ [99]
  Egypt Egyptian military counter terrorism Unit 777 And Police Special Unit Black Cobra MP5K

MP5A3

MP5A5

MP5SD

_ [100]
  El Salvador Salvadoran Army _ _
National Civil Police _ _
  Estonia Estonian Defence Forces MP5A2 9mm [101]
  Fiji _ _ [102]
  Finland Special operations forces and military police of the Finnish Defence Forces MP5A3 9mm [103]
  France Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) MP5K _ [98]
Certain specialized units within the French Army MP5A5, MP5SD3 9mm [104][105]
  Georgia Georgian Special Forces
Special State Protection Service (SSPS)
Coast Guard of Georgia
MP5K, MP5SD, MP5A3, MP5A1 9mm [106][107]
  Germany Bundespolizei (Federal Police) _ _ [108]
Landespolizei (State Police) _ _
German Army _ _ [109]
Feldjäger (Military Police) _ _
GSG 9 police tactical unit _ _ [110]
German Navy _ _ [79]
  Ghana _ _ _ [79]
  Honduras _ _ _ [79]
  Hong Kong Airport Security Unit _ _ [111]
Counter Terrorism Response Unit _ _ [112]
Emergency Unit _ _
Small Boat Unit _ _
Special Duties Unit _ _
Surveillance Support Unit _ _
VIP Protection Unit _ _
Witness Protection Unit _ _
  Iceland Icelandic Coast Guard MP5A2N 9 mm [113]
Víkingasveitin _ _ [114]
Icelandic National Police _ _
  India Indian Army _ _ [115]
MARCOS _ _
National Security Guards _ _
Force One counter-terrorism group of the Mumbai Police _ _
Tactical unit of the Mizoram Police _ _ _
Special Protection Group before replaced with the FN P90 _ _ [116]
All-Female tactical unit of the Delhi Police _ _ _
  Indonesia Komando Pasukan Katak (KOPASKA) tactical diver group of Indonesian Navy _ 9mm [98]
  Iraq Counter Terrorist Service MP5A3 [79]
  Iran Iranian Army MPT-9 _
  Ireland Army Ranger Wing MP5A3, MP5SD6, MP5F, MP5K 9mm [117]
Directorate of Military Intelligence _ _
Garda Special Detective Unit _ _
Garda Emergency Response Unit _ _
  Italy Carabinieri _ _ [118]
  Ivory Coast Unknown users MP5A5 9mm [119]
  Jamaica Jamaica Constabulary Force _ _ [79]
  Japan Special Boarding Unit MP5A5, MP5SD6 9mm [120]
Special Assault Teams, Anti-firearms squads of prefectural police departments MP5A4, MP5A5
MP5SD4, MP5SD6
_ [121]
Special Investigation Teams of prefectural police departments MP5SFK _ [122]
Special Security Team of the Japan Coast Guard _ _ [123]
Japanese Special Forces Group MP5SD6 9mm [124]
Japanese Imperial Guard _ _ [125]
  Jordan _ _ _ [79]
  Kuwait _ _ _ [126]
  Kenya Kenya Police _ _ [127][128]
  Latvia Latvian Land Forces MP5A3 9mm [129]
  Lebanon Marine Commandos[citation needed] MP5A3 _ [130]
  Libya _ _ [130]
  Liechtenstein Special Police Unit _ _ [131][132]
Security Corps _ _
  Lithuania Lithuanian Armed Forces _ _ [133]
Aras _ _ [134]
  Luxembourg Unité Spéciale de la Police intervention unit of the Grand Ducal Police _ _ [135]
  Malaysia Malaysian Army MP5A2, MP5A3, MP5K 9mm [citation needed]
Royal Malaysia Police [136]
Royal Malaysian Customs [137]
10 Paratrooper Brigade commando of the Malaysian Army MP5A3, MP5SD2, MP5SD3 [138]
National Special Operations Force (NSOF) _
Unit Gempur Marin (UNGERIN) tactical diver group of the Royal Malaysia Police MP5A3, MP5K,
MP5SD2, MP5SD3
[139]
Trup Tindakan Cepat special operations unit of the Malaysian Prison Department MP5A3,
MP5SD3
  Malta Armed Forces of Malta _ _ [79]
  Mauritius _ _ _ [79]
  Mexico Mexican Army MP5A4 9mm [140][141]
  Morocco Royal Moroccan Army MP5A2 9mm [142]
Royal Moroccan Navy _ _
Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie MP5A2 9mm
  Montenegro Armed Forces of Montenegro MP5SD6, MP5SD3, MP5SD2, MP5A5, MP5A3, MP5A2, MP5K-PDW 9mm [143][144][145]
Protivteroristička Jedinica Policije (Counter-Terrorist Police Unit) (PTJ) MP5SD3, MP5A3, MP5A2, MP5K 9mm
Posebna Jedinica Policije (Special Police Unit) (PJP) MP5SD3, MP5A3, MP5A2, MP5K 9mm
    Nepal Nepalese Army _ _ [146]
  Netherlands Dutch Royal and Diplomatic security (DKDB) _ _ [147]
Koninklijke Marechaussee MP5A3 9mm
Arrestatieteam ( AT ) _ _
  New Zealand Special Air Service Commandos of the New Zealand Army _ _ [148]
Special Tactics Group of the New Zealand Police _ _
  Nicaragua _ _ _ [79]
  Niger _ _ _ [79]
  Nigeria _ _ _ [79]
  Norway Norwegian Armed Forces, replaced by the MP7 MP5A2N, MP5A3N 9mm [149]
Norwegian Police Service _ _ [150]
  Pakistan Pakistan Army _ _ [151]
Airports Security Force _ _
Personal security detail of VIP's _ _
  Peru Peruvian Army special forces MP5SD3 _ [152]
  Philippines Armed Forces of the Philippines _ _ [153]
Special Action Force and other police and tactical units of the Philippine National Police _ _
Philippine Coast Guard _ _ [154]
  Poland Police of Poland MP5A3, MP5A5, MP5SD6, MP5KA4 9mm [155][156][157][158][159][160]
  Portugal Portuguese Army (Special Operations Troops Centre) MP5A5, MP5SD6, MP5KA4 9mm [161]
Portuguese Marine Corps MP5A5 9mm [162]
National Republican Guard (GIOE) _ 9mm [163]
Polícia de Segurança Pública _ 9mm [164]
  Qatar _ _ _ [79]
  South Korea Republic of Korea Naval Special Warfare Brigade _ _ [165]
  Romania Romanian Special Operations Forces MP5-N 9mm [166]
Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Counter Terrorist Brigade (Brigada Antiteroristă) _ 9mm [167]
Brigada Specială de Intervenție a Jandarmeriei _ 9mm [168]
Detașamentul Special de Protecție și Intervenție _ 9mm [169]
  Russia FSB Alpha Group MP5A3 9mm [170][18]
  Saudi Arabia Royal Saudi Land Forces MP5A2, MP5A3 9mm [22]
  Serbia 72nd Reconnaissance-Commando Battalion MP5SD3 _ [79]
  Singapore Singapore Armed Forces Commando Formation _ 9mm [171]
Singapore Police Force _ [172][173]
Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force _
Police Coast Guard of the Singapore Police Force _
Special Operations Command of the Singapore Police Force _
Special Tactics And Rescue (STAR) of the Singapore Police Force _
  Slovakia Slovak Police _ _ [174]
  Slovenia Military Police of Slovenian Armed Forces _ _ [175]
SEP SWAT Special Police Unit of Slovenian Police _ _
  South Africa Special Task Force of the South African Police Service MP5-N 9mm [176][177]
South African Special Forces MP5SD3
South African Army
Maritime Reaction Squadron
  Spain Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO)

Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera (SVA)

_ _ [178]
  Sudan Sudanese Army _ _ [57]
  Sweden Swedish Police Authority MP5A5 _ [179]
   Switzerland Swiss Army MP5A5 _ [180]
  Taiwan Republic of China Army, Republic of China Marine Corps,

Coast Guard Administration, National Police Agency

_ _ [79]
  Thailand Royal Thai Police/Department of Corrections (Thailand) MP5A2, MP5A3 9mm [79]
  Turkey Turkish Armed Forces MP5A2, MP5A3
MP5SD3, MP5K
9mm [110]
General Directorate of Security
  Ukraine Rapid Operational Response Unit (KORD) MP5A3 (made by MKEK) 9mm [181]
  United Arab Emirates _ _ _ [79]
  United Kingdom United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) _ 9mm [110]
Police Service of Northern Ireland MP5SF 9mm [182]
Metropolitan Police Specialist Firearms Command (SCO-19) MP5SF 9mm [183]
Other British police Authorised Firearms Officers MP5SF 9mm [184]
  United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) MP5N, MP5K-N, MP5SD-N 9mm [185]
Secret Service _ _ [186]
FBI Hostage Rescue Team MP5/10 10mm [187]
Various police SWAT units _ _
  Uruguay Uruguayan Navy Special Forces MP5A5 9mm [79]
  Vatican City Swiss Guard _ _ [188]
  Vietnam Used by Mobile Police Command (CSCĐ) teams and quick reaction force (113) police MP5A3, MP5K-A4 9mm [189]
  Zambia _ _ _ [79]

Former users

edit
edit

See also

edit

References

edit
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