HK MP5 .22 LR
And a stunning understudy to its centerfire brother it is.
Next to the AK/AKM, Heckler & Koch’s “Maschinenpistole 5” submachine gun is one of the world’s most identifiable firearms. For four decades, it has been appearing on the nightly news in the hands of police, anti-terrorist and special operations professionals. And now we can own one too! Well, not exactly, but HK has finally delivered a semi-automatic, rimfire version of their MP5 that is a spitting image of the real deal. When it comes to fun gun rimfires, the MP5 is as good as it gets.
The archetype MP5 owes much of its success to its versatility. It’s a modular platform that can be configured in dozens of different ways with changes in calibers, barrel lengths, sighting systems, stock types, selective fire control groups and suppressors. Incorporating sheet metal stampings and polymer parts, the MP5 is easy to build, reliable, lightweight, yet rugged and simple to repair. It’s an inspired design, derived largely from the HK G3, and uses the G3’s proven delayed blowback, roller-locking, closed bolt system.
Historically, HK fielded a .22 Long Rifle conversion kit for the MP5 in the 1970s. The kit consisted of a .22 LR barrel insert, 20-round rimfire magazines and a complete rimfire bolt group. The system was adjusted for a cyclic rate of 650 rounds per minute, and like most fully automatic rimfire systems, it was susceptible to miss-feeds, stovepipes and excessive fouling. It was not a successful venture, and only several hundred units were manufactured.
After a wait of 40 years, we now have two MP5 rimfire models from which to choose, plus a dozen or so accessories to modify stocks and sighting systems.
The model pictured in this article is HK’s MP5 A5, featuring a retractable stock and an ersatz suppressor can. The second model currently available is the MP5 SD6, featuring a retractable stock and a fully integrated, ersatz suppressor shroud that encompasses the total barrel. This latter design is based on the real MP5 SD which featured a multi-ported barrel, surrounded by a suppressor shroud, and did not require the use of subsonic ammunition for adequate sound suppression.
Story By: Holt Bodinson
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