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Heckler & Koch MP5



Overview


H&K MP5A5

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

Origin
Germany
Type
Sub machine gun
Entered service
1964
Status
In service
Development
Early 1960's
Developer
Germany - Heckler & Koch
Production
1964 - present
Producer
Germany - Heckler & Koch
China - Norinco
France - MAS
Greece - EAS
Iran - DIO
Mexico - SEDENA
Pakistan - POF
Saudi Arabia - Al Kharj arsenal
Turkey - MKEK
United Kingdom - RSAF
Designations
HK54
Early designation

Description


Introduction

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.

Design

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.

Firepower

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.

Users

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.

Details


MP5A4

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.

List of MP5 variants

MP5A2
MP5 with fixed polymer stock.
MP5A3
MP5 with retractable stock.
MP5A4
MP5A2 with burst fire trigger group.
MP5A5
MP5A3 with burst fire trigger group.
MP5SF2
Semi-automatic MP5 with fixed polymer stock.
MP5SF3
Semi-automatic MP5 with retractable stock.
Facts MP5A2 MP5A3
General
Origin
Germany
Type
Sub machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
9x19mm Parabellum
Magazine
15, 30 round detachable box
Barrel length
225 mm
Rifling
6 grooves, 254mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
400 m/s
Operation
Action
Roller delayed blowback, closed bolt
Fire selector
0-1-F in MP5A2
0-1-3-F in MP5A4
Rate of fire
800 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
680 mm
Width
50 mm
Height
210 mm
Weight
2.54 kg empty
Sights
Type
Iron sights, post front and diopter rear
Sight radius
340 mm

Variants of the MP5


Heckler & Koch MP5SD

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.

Heckler & Koch MP5-K

The MP5-K is a shortened variant of the MP5 developed for covert use. The MP5-K mounted in a briefcase is widely known.

Heckler & Koch MP5/10

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.