Chilean navy operators armed with Heckler & Koch MP5A5 sub machine guns during a boarding drill in 2005.
Source: US Air Force (Rick Sforza) - © public domain
The MP5 is an early Cold War era sub machine gun of German origin. It was developed in the mid 1960's from the successful G3 battle rifle. The MP5 has become one of the most produced and widely used sub machine guns in the world. The MP5 has a good reputation due to high production quality and use by most elite units in the world. It remains in production, even though the UMP was designed as a successor.
The operating mechanism of the MP5 is derived from the G3. The MP5 is a roller locked delayed blowback operated weapon that fires from the closed bolt position. Most of the MP5 is made out of metal, the pistol grip and forearms are made of polymer. The MP5 comes with either a fixed plastic stock or retractable metal stock. From the baseline MP5 several variants were derived, such as the smaller MP5-K and MP5SD with integral suppressor.
The MP5 fires the 9x19mm round from 15 or 30 round magazines. A wide variety of trigger groups is available, including ambidextrous ones or having burst fire ability. The cyclic rate of fire is 800 rounds per minute. The production quality, closed bolt operation and free floating barrel result in a high accuracy. The maximum effective range is quoted as 150 to 200 meters.
The MP5 and its variants are the most widely used sub machine guns in the world. It was acquired by relatively few armed forces as a standard issue sub machine gun. On the other hand law enforcement sales around the world were substantial for many decades. The MP5 is one of the most common firearms in use with police tactical teams and counter terrorist units around the world.
Left side view of MP5A4 sub machine gun. Note the trigger group with burst fire option and the fixed polymer stock.
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner
The MP5 is the first version and also the standard version of the MP5 family. Early versions use a slimline handguard, while all later versions use the wider tropical handguard. Until 1977 straight 30 round magazines were used, since then 15 and 30 round curved magazines are standard.
The MP5SD is a variant of the MP5 fitted with an integral suppressor. These model became iconic firearms used by special units in the 1980's and 1990's.
The MP5-K is a shortened variant of the MP5 developed for covert use. The MP5-K mounted in a briefcase is widely known.
The MP5/10 and MP5/40 are variants of the MP5 chambered in 10x25mm Auto and .40 Smith & Wesson respectively. They were produced in the 1990's and featured some subtle differences from the MP5 design.
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