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HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyBrief & Candy: Tribute To The Iconic MP5K

Brief & Candy: Tribute To The Iconic MP5K


The yr is 1964 — the identical yr the Colt M16 formally entered U.S. army service. In West Germany, engineers at Heckler & Koch have begun growing a brand new submachine gun primarily based on the structure of the H&Okay G3 battle rifle, which had change into the Bundeswehr’s standard-issue weapon in 1959. The brand new SMG makes use of the identical roller-delayed blowback structure because the G3 (and the G3’s predecessor, the CETME). Nonetheless, as a substitute of dealing with the stout recoil of a 7.62x51mm NATO rifle spherical, this working system can be arrange for the 9mm Luger pistol caliber. The ensuing SMG was designated the MP64 after its first yr of improvement, however later renamed the MP5.

Over subsequent a long time, the MP5 would rise to prominence because the world’s most generally used submachine gun. It was adopted by army organizations in additional than 40 international locations, in addition to an almost limitless checklist of regulation enforcement and personal safety entities. By the point the ’90s arrived, it appeared like everybody was utilizing it — from British SAS to American Navy SEALs — and that is mirrored in its numerous popular culture depictions in films, TV reveals, and video video games. The recognition additionally spawned greater than 100 variants of the MP5 platform, together with dozens of third-party clones. Some — corresponding to these made in Greece, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Sudan, Mexico, and the UK — have been manufactured with H&Okay’s blessing underneath license, whereas others have been unofficially reverse-engineered (for instance, China’s Norinco NR08).

Studio photo of an MP5K paired with an MFI ultra-low-profile claw mount from HKParts, the B&T skeletonized riser on our Aimpoint ACRO red dot allows unobstructed use of the factory iron sights.

Above: Paired with an MFI ultra-low-profile claw mount from HKParts, the B&T skeletonized riser on our Aimpoint ACRO pink dot permits unobstructed use of the manufacturing facility iron sights.

Okay is for Kurz

In 1976, the safety element for an unnamed South American head of state reportedly reached out to H&Okay to request a particular variant of the MP5. They wished a weapon that was sufficiently small to hide underneath a coat, however which was nonetheless ergonomic sufficient to be fired in managed full-auto bursts. The ensuing weapon was designated the MP5K, which stood for kurz — the German phrase for “brief.”

The MP5K is characterised by its alternative of the MP5’s mounted inventory with a flat buttplate and sling swivel, in addition to a shortened 4.5-inch barrel up entrance. The Okay additionally had a shorter receiver and bolt service to scale back the weapon’s size as a lot as potential. So as to hold recoil manageable, a novel vertical foregrip was added. This grip features a protrusion on the entrance to scale back the chance of the shooter’s fingers slipping ahead previous the muzzle. (Enjoyable truth: The very first MP5K had a prototype grip made out of wooden with a full-length knuckle guard that resembled a staple gun.) With its tiny dimension, lack of buttstock, and fee of fireside of 900 rounds per minute, it’s a weapon that calls for respect from the shooter.

B&T’s telescopic stock has a one-way ratcheting mechanism with six possible positions. Simply pull to extend the stock; to collapse it, press the release button on the receiver buttplate.

Above: B&T’s telescopic inventory has a one-way ratcheting mechanism with six potential positions. Merely pull to increase the inventory; to break down it, press the discharge button on the receiver buttplate.

Later variations of the MP5K added an extended tri-lug barrel that allowed customers to mount a quick-detach suppressor, in addition to an non-compulsory side-folding inventory. There was even a particular MP5K Operational Briefcase launched in 1978, which utterly hid the weapon inside an ordinary-looking briefcase and allowed the consumer to fireside it by urgent a set off constructed into the carry deal with. (See it in motion: youtu.be/2CH-5kY5w2Q)

Clone Wars

Keep in mind the word about MP5 clones? Nicely, the weapon seen right here is one such clone manufactured in Turkey by MKE and imported to america by Century Arms. It’s referred to as the AP5-P, which is outwardly brief for “Equipment Pistol” — a fairly foolish identify, but additionally a transparent try to harken again to its origin with out infringing on any logos. Century Arms’ product description makes the connection clear by stating that the AP5-P is “primarily based and constructed off of the unique and historic design from the Nineteen Seventies.”

MKE, brief for Mechanical and Chemical Business Company, is an organization that produces weapons for the Turkish army. For the reason that Fifties, they’ve made every part from plane and artillery techniques to sniper rifles and belt-fed machine weapons. However MKE’s MP5 clones aren’t simply imitations; they’re made with unique German tooling that was given to MKE underneath a license from H&Okay themselves. That license, underneath which MKE was totally skilled and outfitted by H&Okay to provide MP5s to be used by the Turkish authorities, is lengthy expired. Nonetheless, when that license ended, MKE retained the manufacturing gear and coaching that’s nonetheless in use at this time.

Studio photo of an MP5K.

Our sister publication RECOIL toured the MKE facility in 2015 and noticed a few of this tooling firsthand, full with a 1974 H&Okay knowledge plate riveted onto it. Granted, the manufacturing of those weapons could differ from H&Okay’s present tooling specs and procedures, however the unique DNA is undoubtedly current. Moreover, as you’ll examine momentarily, the AP5-P is suitable with customary elements and equipment made for H&Okay MP5s and semi-auto SP5s.

Century Arms at the moment imports two different variations of this weapon, the AP5-M and common AP5. The previous mimics the unique MP5K with a 4.5-inch flush-cut barrel; the latter matches the proportions of a typical MP5, solely with a buttplate behind the receiver. In the event you determine to transform considered one of these weapons from a pistol to a short-barreled rifle, including a inventory is so simple as coming out one or two pins behind the receiver and changing the buttplate. For Okay-style variants, including a vertical foregrip is equally easy.

First Impressions

After I picked up this AP5-P, I instantly took it out to the vary for a fast break-in. After inserting one of many two included 30-round metallic mags and slapping the charging deal with — an motion that also places a smile on my face each time — I went to work on some metal plates at 25 yards. Anybody who has shot a roller-delayed blowback gun side-by-side with a direct blowback 9mm AR can attest how a lot smoother the recoil impulse feels, and the AP5-P was no exception. It shoots nicely, though the usual set off is what you’d count on from a submachine gun designed within the ’70s (i.e., obscure and heavy). The adjustable iron sights work nice, and Century Arms features a claw-style Picatinny optic mount to permit set up of your favourite red-dot sight.

MP5K with the front sight post light mount from Gibbous Outfitters serves as a low-profile, sturdy attachment platform for a Scout-style light body and tape switch.

Above: The entrance sight put up gentle mount from Gibbous Outfitters serves as a low-profile, sturdy attachment platform for a Scout-style gentle physique and tape swap.

Capturing an MP5K with out the vertical grip feels odd, however because of the ATF’s unconstitutional rules, I couldn’t legally add one till I paid for a $200 tax stamp and waited for an authorised NFA Kind 1. The identical is true for including a inventory, however not less than stockless is the MP5K’s pure situation. For the very best capturing expertise, I connected each hooks on the included MKE sling to the swivel on the buttplate and pressed the gun out, utilizing sling stress in opposition to my physique to stabilize it. This method had me ringing metal with every set off press very quickly.

Foregrip & Inventory

The primary order of enterprise was to return this AP5-P to its traditional kind by including a vertical grip, and that meant registering it as a short-barreled rifle. As soon as the gun was an SBR, I reached out to an organization that may change into extraordinarily useful with the remainder of this construct: HKParts. Because the identify implies, they provide nearly each half you possibly can presumably want or need for any MP5 variant, together with unique German H&Okay parts and clone elements which are made within the USA. I chosen an HKParts-branded Okay vertical foregrip (HKP-20957) for my AP5-P, which was simply put in rather than the unique MKE handguard. This model even has built-in M-LOK slots on both sides for including equipment.

The AP5-P’s cold hammer forged barrel is threaded for direct attachment of a suppressor, but the quick-detach tri-lug mount is a better option. Our tri-lug-equipped Omega 9K snaps into place with ease.

Above: The AP5-P’s chilly hammer solid barrel is threaded for direct attachment of a suppressor, however the quick-detach tri-lug mount is a greater possibility. Our tri-lug-equipped Omega 9K snaps into place with ease.

Since my AP5-P was now an SBR, I might additionally add a inventory. I thought-about just a few choices, together with the original-style side-folder, however selected an much more compact telescoping inventory from Swiss producer Brügger & Thomet. B&T has a protracted historical past of manufacturing high-end aftermarket elements and suppressors for H&Okay weapons, and even made their very own clone of the MP5 referred to as the B&T 96 (like I stated, at one level everyone was utilizing the MP5). This B&T telescopic inventory collapses virtually utterly flush with the rear of the receiver and snaps out to any of the 5 positions within the blink of an eye fixed. It’s surprisingly sturdy and comfy however comes at a steep worth of $518 MSRP.

From top to bottom: standard MKE pistol handguard, HKParts K-style vertical grip with M-LOK slots, and Gibbous Outfitters vertical grip with integrated SureFire tape switch cutout.

Above: From high to backside: customary MKE pistol handguard, HKParts Okay-style vertical grip with M-LOK slots, and Gibbous Outfitters vertical grip with built-in SureFire tape swap cutout.

I additionally wished to attempt a contemporary side-folding possibility, so I picked up a Picatinny MP5K inventory adapter and SS-8R skeletonized aluminum inventory from JMac Customs. The JMac inventory suits the MP5K completely and even has the choice of adjustable cheek riser attachments.

Extra Upgrades

The AP5-P comes with a pistol grip/set off housing that mimics the type of early MP5s, full with finger grooves and a contoured thumb relaxation (typically referred to as the SEF decrease resulting from its unique selector markings). Later within the MP5’s manufacturing, H&Okay switched to a smoother set off housing with out finger grooves on the pistol grip. That is normally known as the Navy decrease, in reference to its use on the MP5-N designed for a U.S. Navy contract. Having tried each kinds, I made a decision to exchange the decrease on my AP5P with a Navy-style decrease from HKParts (HKP-02463).

From top to bottom: B&T telescopic stock, standard MKE buttplate with sling swivel, JMac Customs Picatinny stock adapter and SS-8R stock.

Above: From high to backside: B&T telescopic inventory, customary MKE buttplate with sling swivel, JMac Customs Picatinny inventory adapter and SS-8R inventory.

Since I used to be already changing the set off housing, I figured I’d as nicely improve just a few different parts. The inventory set off was changed with a a lot lighter and extra exact drop-in two-stage set off meeting from Timney Triggers — it’s a night-and-day enchancment, and an improve I imagine each semi-auto MP5 deserves. Whereas putting in the set off, I additionally put in a brand new HKParts U.S.-made ejector lever (HKP-19660), ejector lever
spring (HKP-00059), and enhanced security selector (HKP-18065).

Advantageous-Tuning Bolt Hole

Bolt hole — the tiny sliver of house between the rear of the bolt head and the entrance of the bolt service — is a subject that H&Okay lovers will debate in agonizing element on-line. In easy phrases, it ought to be inside H&Okay’s really useful spec of 0.010 inch and 0.018 inch, as measured by sliding a feeler gauge into the bolt whereas it’s in battery with the hammer ahead. Ideally, you’ll wish to cut up the distinction at 0.014 inch, because the hole will shrink over time as parts put on.

From the factory, the AP5-P’s bolt gap was right on the edge of the ideal tolerance range. These HKParts +2 rollers, along with a new pin and retainer spring, adjusted it for better long-term performance.

Above: From the manufacturing facility, the AP5-P’s bolt hole was proper on the sting of the perfect tolerance vary. These HKParts +2 rollers, together with a brand new pin and retainer spring, adjusted it for higher long-term efficiency.

Out-of-spec bolt hole can result in malfunctions and, in rarer instances, may even trigger injury to the within of the gun’s receiver over time. After studying this, I made a decision to examine it on the AP5-P. It measured at 0.010 inch — proper on the sting of the really useful spec and seeming prone to exit of spec after just a few years of frequent use — so I made a decision to calibrate the hole by including a set of U.S.-made +2 rollers from HKParts (HKP-19423). I put in the rollers into the AP5’s bolt together with a brand new HKParts curler pin (HKP-00066) and curler retainer spring (HKP-00068). Measuring once more confirmed precisely 0.014 inch on the feeler gauge.

Ending Touches

Though the HK-style iron sights work nicely, I nonetheless want a red-dot sight for higher spatial consciousness and sooner goal acquisition. I picked up an MFI Extremely-Low-Profile red-dot mount from HKParts (HKP-17962) and paired it with an Aimpoint ACRO P-2 sight on a B&T Skeleton QD mount. This setup permits me to look straight by means of the optic mount to make use of the unique irons or carry my head barely to make use of the pink dot.

Mounting a flashlight on an MP5K is difficult as a result of restricted house and lack of accent rails, so I spent fairly some time researching choices. Ultimately, I got here throughout the MP5 Entrance Sight Mount from Gibbous Outfitters, a small specialty producer primarily based in Oregon. This intelligent attachment system clamps a SureFire Scout-style weapon gentle physique onto the MP5’s entrance sight put up, utilizing two screws and a titanium plate to maintain it securely in place. Gibbous Outfitters presents one other variant of the mount that holds a SureFire stress swap on high of the cocking tube for simple entry; it even has a retaining clip to maintain the swap cable neatly stowed.

I used an Arisaka Protection 300 sequence gentle physique, Malkoff Units E1HT gentle head, and SureFire UE07 tailcap/swap meeting with the Gibbous mount. Gibbous Outfitters additionally makes an MP5K vertical grip with an built-in stress swap mount for customers who’d reasonably activate their gentle with a squeeze of the assist hand, versus inserting a thumb over the cocking tube.

Haley Strategic FlatPack Plus backpack fits the AP5-P like a glove, even with a 30-round magazine installed. It’s no Operational Briefcase, but it serves as a great range bag.

Above: Haley Strategic FlatPack Plus backpack suits the AP5-P like a glove, even with a 30-round journal put in. It’s no Operational Briefcase, however it serves as an excellent vary bag.

With the sunshine mount and optic put in, the usual rounded cocking deal with was slightly troublesome to entry, so I added an prolonged, knurled charging deal with from HKParts (HKP-16999). I additionally picked up a single-point sling (HKP-02644) to exchange the two-point sling included with the AP5.

Each SMG or PDW is extra satisfying to shoot with a suppressor, so I topped off my AP5 with a SilencerCo Omega 9K. With SilencerCo’s low-profile tri-lug mount, attaching it to the gun is so simple as a fast press and twist. The compact Omega 9K seems like a match made in heaven for an MP5K.

Lastly, I wanted some extra magazines to maintain my AP5-P fed with a gradual provide of 9mm ammo. Overwatch Precision makes some glorious 32-round MP5 mags. They’re molded from sturdy polymer with slip-
resistant texture, and in contrast to customary MP5 mags, they are often loaded with 30 rounds and inserted on a closed bolt. Higher but, at $20 every, they’re
vastly extra inexpensive than MKE mags ($70 MSRP) or H&Okay mags ($80 MSRP).

Pistol, SMG, or PDW?

You’ve in all probability seen the MP5K known as a PDW, brief for Private Protection Weapon. H&Okay themselves at the moment provide a variant referred to as the MP5K-PDW. So, what does this time period imply?

By probably the most fashionable definition, a PDW is a compact submachine gun-style weapon that fires a high-velocity, bottlenecked, rifle-style cartridge. The FN P90 (5.7x28mm) and H&Okay MP7 (4.6x30mm) are good examples of the class, providing glorious concealability and high-velocity, armor-penetrating capabilities. By this particular definition, the MP5K is just not a PDW solely as a result of 9mm spherical it fires. It’s only a compact submachine gun. Nonetheless, since civilian MP5K variants (e.g., H&Okay’s SP5K or the AP5-P) are semi-auto solely and lack select-fire capabilities, they’re not precisely SMGs both.

Studio photo of the left side of an MP5K.

Legally, my MP5K clone began life as a pistol with no buttstock and no vertical foregrip — two modifications that aren’t authorized within the U.S. except the weapon has been registered as a Brief-Barreled Rifle (SBR). So, that’s precisely what this AP5-P is now: a registered SBR that occurs to be chambered in a pistol caliber.

Studio photo of the right side of an MP5K.

Would I name this a PDW? Certain. Except for its caliber, it suits the trendy definition to a T, and it was designed to fill the identical function as most PDWs. Many different 9mm weapons fall into this class, such because the B&T MP9 and Russian PP-2000. Solely probably the most pedantic keyboard commandos will take concern with this designation, and I don’t actually care what they suppose anyway.

Closing Ideas

As a child rising up within the ’90s, the MP5K was immortalized in my thoughts by films corresponding to Terminator 2, Air Power One, and The Matrix, in addition to video video games together with GoldenEye 007 and Rainbow Six. There have been plenty of weapons that acquired comparable popular culture protection that didn’t reside as much as the hype in actuality ( you, Franchi SPAS-12). Simply as you may be disenchanted by assembly your heroes, you may not at all times get pleasure from capturing their signature weapons. Fortunately, the MP5K is simply as a lot enjoyable to shoot as I had hoped, and the AP5-P captures that very same look, really feel, and efficiency. The modifications proven right here add a brand new degree of contemporary refinement to this practically 50-year-old traditional weapon.

The HKParts Navy-style trigger housing eliminates the finger grooves and contours of the original SEF pistol grip. I find it more comfortable, and I prefer the modernized look as well.

Above: The HKParts Navy-style set off housing eliminates the finger grooves and contours of the unique SEF pistol grip. I discover it extra snug, and I want the modernized look as nicely.

So, to deal with the elephant within the room, must you purchase a brand new German-made H&Okay SP5K or a clone just like the Century Arms AP5-P? That’s a query solely you may reply. On one hand, an unique H&Okay shall be manufactured utilizing the newest tooling and high quality management procedures; most clones are utilizing previous tooling that could be worn after a long time of use, or tooling that has been replicated. However, the MSRP for a brand new H&Okay SP5K-PDW is a staggering $3,389. H&Okay additionally has it listed as a “restricted manufacturing” mannequin, and plenty of promote for above MSRP resulting from shortage.

MSRP for the AP5-P — together with two 30-round mags, sling, optic mount, quick-detach flash hider, cleansing equipment, and exhausting case — is $1,360. H&Okay’s product web page confidently asks, “Who desires a duplicate when you may personal the true factor?” When the true factor (or not less than the “civilian sporting model” of it) is roughly 2.5 instances the value of a functionally equivalent clone made with unique tooling, the reply to that query is “lots of people, together with me.”

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Editor’s Observe: This text has been modified from its unique model for the online.


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