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The MP5 was first conceived in 1964 as the MP54 (a.k.a. HK54). The prototype was first released in 1965. It was adopted by the Deutsche Polizei (German police) as the MP5.
All MP5 SMGs are fitted with fire control groups capable of several modes of fire. There are two main variants - three-positional, which has safe, semi-automatic and full auto positions, and four-positional, which has safe, semi-automatic, burst and full auto positions. Burst mode fires two or three rounds at a single trigger pull (2 or 3 - depends on the exact model).
The MP5 can be fitted with fixed (MP5A2; MP5SD2) or collapsible (MP5A3; MP5SD3) stocks.
The MP5 features a cold hammer forged, 9-inch free-floated barrel, with a 1:10 twist rate. It is pressed and pinned into the receiver.
The standard MP5 uses 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition, but there are specialized variants chambered in more powerful .40 S&W and 10mm Auto. These variants can be spotted by different, straight magazines. There are 30 round and 15 round proprietary magazines for each type of ammunition. There are also variants of the MP5 that use an integrated suppressor, designated as "MP5SD". "SD" is an abbreviation of the German word "Schalldämpfer" (literally, "sound dampener" (suppressor)). It has an integral suppressor and a vented barrel, which allows normal ammunition to be fired at subsonic speeds due to less gas pushing the projectile out of the barrel. Standard variants of the MP5 can be outfitted with suppressors as well.
The MP5K only comes in 9x19mm, and is the compact variant of the MP5.
The MP5K (K for "Kurz"; "short" in German) is a shortened, lightweight variant of the MP5, introduced in 1976. It has a 4.6-inch barrel, a foregrip and a removed stock making for a very short overall length of 13 inches (325 millimeters). It fires with a cyclic rate of 900 rounds per minute, and can take all MP5 accessories.
MP5K SMGs can also be fired from a specially designed briefcase, which comes with the weapon.
MP5 variants Edit
- MP5A1/HK54: The original model that was produced in the mid 1960s. It later became known as the MP5A1, a very slightly modified version. No buttstock (endplate/receiver cap in place of buttstock), "Navy"/"SEF" trigger group. According to H&K protocols, the 5 denotes the model of the chamber and the 4 denotes the model of the weapon.
- MP5A2: Fixed buttstock, "SEF" trigger group.
- MP5SFA2: Fixed buttstock, single-fire (SF) trigger group. Can accept full-auto MP5 trigger packs.
- MP5A3: Retractable buttstock,"SEF" trigger group.
- MP5SFA3: Retractable buttstock, single-fire (SF) trigger group. Can accept full-auto MP5 trigger packs.
- MP5A4: Fixed buttstock, 3-round burst trigger group.
- MP5A5: Retractable buttstock, 3-round burst trigger group.
- MP5-N: Model developed specifically for the U.S. Navy. Ambidextrous "Navy" trigger group, 3-lug/threaded barrel for attaching a sound suppressor; retractable stock.
- MP5F: Model developed specifically for the French military. Rubber-padded retractable stock, ambidextrous sling loops/bolts and internal modifications to handle high-pressure ammunition.
- MP5SD1: No buttstock (endplate/receiver cap in place of buttstock), "SEF" trigger group, integrated suppressor (Schalldämpfer)
- MP5SD2: Fixed buttstock, "SEF" trigger group, integrated suppressor.
- MP5SD3: Retractable buttstock, "SEF" trigger group, integrated suppressor.
- MP5SD4: No buttstock (endplate/receiver cap in place of buttstock), 3-round burst trigger group, integrated suppressor.
- MP5SD5: Fixed buttstock, 3-round burst trigger group, integrated suppressor.
- MP5SD6: Retractable buttstock, 3-round burst trigger group, integrated suppressor.
- MP5SD-N1: Retractable buttstock, "Navy" trigger group, KAC stainless steel suppressor.
- MP5SD-N2: Fixed buttstock, "Navy" trigger group, KAC stainless steel suppressor.
- MP5/10: Chambered in 10mm Auto, available in various stock/trigger group configurations. It was produced from 1992 to 2000.
- MP5/40: Chambered in .40 S&W, available in various stock/trigger group configurations. It was produced from 1992 to 2000.
- HK94: American import model of the MP5 with a 16 in barrel and special safe/semi-automatic trigger group, designed for civilian use. It was made from 1983 to 1989, in three different configurations. Some of these were converted to fire in fully automatic by movie armorers and used to stand in for the MP5 in various movies during the 1980s and 1990s, due to most of the real MP5s being imported into the United States at the time being earmarked for military and law enforcement sales. These 'fake' MP5s can often be identified by the lack of the paddle-style magazine release between the magazine well and trigger guard as well as having smooth barrels with no lugs or threading.
- POF5/PK1: Pakistan Licensed version of the MP5 made for export. Semi automatic and chambered in 9mm. This weapon is manufacture by Pakistan Ordinance Factory
- HSG5: The HSG5 is a licensed copy of the German MP5 submachine gun. It is semi-automatic. Two variants exist: the HSG5A2, which has a telescoping stock, and the HSG5A3, which has a fixed stock. The HSG5 is manufactured by Luxembourgian firearms company LuxDefTec.
- MP5KA1: MP5K with smooth upper surface and small iron sights; "SEF" trigger group.
- MP5KA4: MP5K with 3-round burst trigger group.
- MP5KA5: MP5KA1 with 3-round burst trigger group.
- MP5K-N: MP5K with "Navy" trigger group and 3-lug/threaded barrel for mounting suppressors or other muzzle attachments.
- MP5K-PDW: Personal Defense Weapon; an MP5K-N with added folding stock and 3-lug/threaded barrel for mounting of suppressors; "Navy" or 3-round burst trigger group. Introduced in 1991.
- SP89: Sport Pistole M1989. Semi-automatic only version of the MP5K designed for civilian use. It had a modified foregrip redesigned into a traditional handguard. It was made from 1989 to 1994. As with the HK94 mentioned above, some of these weapons were also used to stand in for their select-fire counterparts in films and television.
- It remains the most widely used submachine gun to date.