After decades, a lot of the firearm community is pondering is the reign of the MP5 finally over? With the MP5 being adopted by countless agencies, it is no wonder that it has achieved what some would call "fanboy" status. In addition to widespread agency use, the MP5 has be blessed with numerous Hollywood appearances. Anyone who remembers the 1980s understands the appeal of "karate chop reload". The question that remains, "is the MP5 doomed to relegation in the past like the DeLorean"?
Lets begin by looking at the roll the MP5 was designed to fill. The MP5 is a personal defense weapon (PDW) plain and simple. It was not designed to be a long range engagement rifle. It was designed with intent of CQC and the occasional high value asset protection where it had to be discrete.
Recently, there has been a trend with a lot of departments to replace the MP5 with short barrel M4s. With more threats utilizing armour, this decision has its merits. With a pistol caliber round , .40/10mm/9mm, the MP5 is no armour breaker. That said, it is a lot smaller than even the shortest M4. In addition the 5.56 NATO round is not a fun round to fire indoors or from a vehicle. While there is no denying the M4 has loads of additional stopping power, it is my opinion it is not well suited for the PDW specific roll. The M4 is a multifunction tool, and much like your scanner/copier/printer/fax, it cannot fill the PWD specific roll like a purpose built platform.
The group on right shows 25 shots fired from 15 meters and another 25 shots from 30 meters with iron sights. The weapon was zeroed for 50 meters, and performed well considering a sub 5' barrel. Taking your time, sub 1" groups at 30m are very doable. That said, out at 100m with the iron sights my groups did open up quite a bit. At 100m though, you are well beyond indoor engagement ranges. By comparison with the CZ Scorpions I have shot, my groups average .5' larger at 30m with the CZ. With the Sig Sauer MPX my groups are consistently the same as with the H&K platform. That is to say, the weapon is probably more accurate than I will ever be. Worth noting is that at the time I am writing this, the MP5 has 1400 rounds through it. In that time I am amazed it did not have a single malfunction. This is both suppressed and non-suppressed with ammo ranging from 50 grains up to 147 grains. While the Sig also ran like a champ, the CZ Scorpion had trouble with rounds under 70g. We get asked often why we use sub 70g ammo. The reason is simply velocity and energy. Even with commercially available loads, 400+ ft/lb is pretty common with lighter sintered rounds. That said, while suppressed the go-to is 147g ammo due to it staying subsonic under most conditions.
To the right, you can clearly see the size advantage of the MP5 even with the longer F style stock. By comparison, even with a supressor the MP5 is over an inch shorter in OAL. So at 14.25' the MP5 is compact even by Sig Sauer MPX (17") or CZ Scorpion (16.2') standards. So how does such a compact platform perform from an accuracy standpoint?
So with the empirical out of the way, lets look at the other factors. First is, the MP5 is a roller locked action. Compared with other 9mm platforms out there, to me the MP5 is more controllable from a recoil standpoint especially when in select fire. Tuning can be Saiga 12 painful though on some firearms I have seen. A couple needed +.04 rollers due to wear pretty quickly (25k rounds) mostly due to poor servicing.
Next is, the side charge action. This is personal preference, but I prefer racking with my off hand. This is one of the main reasons you usually see me with a MKA 1919 over a UTAS XTR. For me it is just faster during function drills and reloads.
So will the MP5 be dethroned anytime soon? I think it already has been by the FN Herstal P90. As much as I love H&K and the MP5, the P90 is a serious platform. For CQC deployment, I do not think it can be beat. Be sure to check back for our upcoming P90 review. So why do I still have a soft spot for the MP5? Maybe it is the cheaper ammo, portability, ergonomics, or over all feel. Then again, maybe I just get sentimental over those Die Hard karate chop reloads.
Did we get it wrong? It does happen. Let us know what you think in the MP5 discussion topic here.
Edited by VS762