Heckler & Koch MP5 SMG

First Sgt. Patrick J. Delaney, Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Bn., 8th Marines, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), firing an MP5 submachine gun, Ra'sal Ghar, Saudi Arabia, 22 June 2005.
First Sgt. Patrick J. Delaney, Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Bn., 8th Marines, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), firing an MP5 submachine gun, Ra'sal Ghar, Saudi Arabia, 22 June 2005.

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Heckler & Koch MP5 9mm Submachine Gun

SPC Johnathan Howard of the 42nd ID Eng Bde (Fwd) RROC firing his MP5, outside of Tikrit, Iraq, 2006. Photo courtesy of SPC Johnathan Howard.
SPC Johnathan Howard of the 42nd ID Eng Bde (Fwd) RROC firing his MP5, outside of Tikrit, Iraq, 2006.
Photo courtesy of SPC Johnathan Howard.

The Heckler & Koch MP5 was developed in West Germany in the mid-1960s, originally designated the HK54. It is considered by many to be the finest submachine gun ever developed. First used by the German Border Police, it has been adopted by the military and law enforcement organizations of more than 50 nations. The name MP5 comes from the German "Maschinenpistole 5."

While not a standardized U.S. weapon, the U.S. military has procured limited quantities of the MP5 for use by Special Operations and units with related missions.

Flexible Design of the H&K MP5

The unique modular design of the MP5 accommodates a wide variety of buttstocks, forearms, sight mounts and other accessories so the MP5 can be configured to meet most mission requirements. The design accommodates optional trigger groups so the MP5 can be configured for single fire, full automatic, or 2-round and 3-round burst options.

Variants of the H&K MP5 include:

  • MP5: Basic weapon
  • MP5A1: No stock
  • MP5A2: Fixed polymer stock
  • MP5A3: Telescopic metal stock
  • SD1 to SD6: Same as above with internal sound suppression
  • MP5K: Short version, 12.8 inches (325mm)
  • MP5F: French military version
  • MP5N: US Navy version for SEALs and other Special Forces

Heckler & Koch MP5 SMG Operating Characteristics

The Heckler & Koch MP5 is a submachine gun with a blowback recoil operated roller-locked bolt that fires from a closed position. It is chambered for 9mm Parabellum with 10, 15, and 30 round box magazines as well as 110 round drum magazines available. The smooth recoil characteristics provide optimum control when firing bursts or full automatic. Its small size enables concealed carrying or for use in confined areas. It has proved to be very accurate and reliable, even under adverse conditions. Its maintenance requirements are minimal.

The H&K MP5 has a front sight post and a select-range rear peep sight. Optional accessories include night sights, scopes, and laser aiming devices. The submachine gun weighs 6 3/4 lbs. (3.07kg) loaded, and is 19 1/3 inches (490mm) in length with stock minimized. Its cyclic rate of fire is 800 rounds/minute, its effective range is 656 feet (200 meters) and its muzzle velocity is 1312 feet/second (400 meters/second).

The safety selector on the MP5 has three positions, based on German spelling:

  • S: Safe mode
  • E: Semiautomatic
  • F: Automatic

Heckler & Koch MP5 Safety Selector
MP5 Safety Selector

Recommended Book about the Heckler & Koch MP5 Submachine Gun

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