The Heckler & Koch MP5, known as the Maschinenpistole 5 in German, is one of the most commonly used submachine guns in the World. There are more than 100 variations of this model, including fully-automatic and semi-automatic versions.
Learn more about the MP5:
Heckler & Koch
The history of Heckler & Koch began after World War II when the German town where the company is located (Oberndorf) was under French control. The town had a factory for Mauser, a German arms manufacturer. The French occupying forces destroyed the factory in 1948. Three former Mauser engineers (Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel) started Engineering Office Heckler & Co, a machine tool plant, in the vacant factory. They changed their name to Heckler & Koch in December 1949.
In 1956, the government of West Germany requested proposals for a new infantry rifle. In response, Heckler & Koch designed the G3 Battle Rifle, which was based on a rifle produced by the Spanish armaments manufacturer Centro de Estudios Tecnicos de Materiales Especiales (CETME). The G3 became the standard rifle of the Bundeswehr (German Federal Army) in 1959.
History of the MP5
After Hecker & Koch’s success in designing the G3 automatic rifle, they created a variety of different small arms based on this model starting in 1964. The MP5 was chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and was originally called the HK54. In 1966, the German Federal Police adopted the firearm. Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Heckler & Koch continued to develop variations of this design for different uses.
The MP5 became widely known in 1980 due to its use by the British Special Air Service (SAS) during Operation Nimrod. This occurred after six terrorists stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and took 26 individuals hostage. The SAS raid, which lasted 17 minutes, was televised and viewed by millions of people in the United Kingdom. It became a defining moment in British history and brought increased attention to both the British SAS and the MP5.
In the United States, the MP5 was a mainstay of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams until the 1990s. At this point, many teams began to replace it with more modern 5.56 carbines. However, many police forces around the world still use the MP5.
There are many different versions of the MP5 design. One of the most well-known is the MP5K. The K stands for “kurz,” the German word for “short,” because the MP5K is a shortened, machine pistol variant of the MP5. It was designed for close-quarters combat, weighs approximately 4.4 pounds, and is 13 inches long.
Some other MP5 variants include:
- MP5A1: This was the first model to have a slimline handguard and ring front sight. It does not have a buttstock.
- MP5A2: This version has a fixed buttstock.
- MP5SD: Heckler & Koch introduced the MP5SD in 1974. It has a built-in suppressor and the Green Berets used this weapon during the Vietnam War.
- HK94: This was the original American import of the MP5. It was designed for civilian use and had an SF (safe/semi-automatic) trigger group.
Fire an Automatic Gun at The Hub
At The Hub, you can shoot a fully-automatic Heckler & Koch machine gun in a safe environment. The experience of shooting a full-auto firearm is unforgettable.