H&K MP5 shooting in Prague

9x19mm Parabellum

H&K MP5: The Iconic Submachine Gun

The Heckler & Koch MP5, often referred to simply as the MP5, is a legendary submachine gun renowned for its reliability, precision, and versatility. Developed in the 1960s by the German firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch (H&K), the MP5 has become one of the most iconic and widely used submachine guns in the world.

Production and Service History

The development of the MP5 traces its roots to the late 1950s when Heckler & Koch sought to create a successor to its G3 battle rifle. The result of this effort was the G3-based roller-delayed blowback system, which formed the basis for the MP5's design.

The MP5 was officially introduced in 1966 and quickly gained recognition for its exceptional accuracy and reliability. Originally developed for law enforcement and military use, the MP5 found favor with numerous military and law enforcement agencies worldwide. It became especially renowned for its use in counter-terrorism operations due to its compact size, controllability, and versatility.

Over the years, the MP5 has seen service in various conflicts, including hostage rescue missions and counter-terrorism operations, solidifying its reputation as one of the most trusted submachine guns in the world.


The Heckler & Koch MP5's design is characterized by several key features that contribute to its excellence:

Roller-Delayed Blowback: The MP5 employs a roller-delayed blowback operating system, known for its reliability and reduced recoil. This system allows for accurate and controlled automatic fire.

Closed-Bolt Design: The MP5's closed-bolt design enhances accuracy and reduces the risk of accidental discharges during chambering.

Selective Fire: The MP5 offers selective fire capabilities, typically including semi-automatic, burst, and fully automatic firing modes.

Telescopic Buttstock: Many MP5 variants feature a telescopic or retractable buttstock, making the firearm highly adaptable for various operational requirements.

Interchangeable Barrels: The MP5 can be equipped with various barrel lengths to suit different roles, from compact personal defense weapons to longer-barreled variants for improved accuracy.

Delayed Roller-Locking Bolt: The roller-locking bolt system is highly reliable and helps mitigate the recoil associated with submachine guns.


The MP5 has seen numerous variants and adaptations over the years, including:

MP5A2: A standard version with a fixed buttstock.

MP5A3: Equipped with a retractable buttstock for increased maneuverability.

MP5K: A compact variant with a shorter barrel and no buttstock, designed for concealed carry and close-quarters combat.

MP5SD: Integrally suppressed variant, featuring an integral suppressor for reduced noise signature.

MP5-N: A variant optimized for naval use, featuring corrosion-resistant materials.

MP5/10 and MP5/40: Chambered in 10mm Auto and .40 S&W, respectively, offering increased stopping power over the 9mm versions.

Interesting Facts

Counter-Terrorism Icon: The Heckler & Koch MP5 is often associated with elite counter-terrorism units worldwide, including the British SAS, German GSG 9, and the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team.

Movie and Pop Culture Star: The MP5 has made numerous appearances in movies, television shows, and video games, cementing its status as a symbol of law enforcement and special operations.

Legion of Users: The MP5 has been adopted by over 40 countries, and its users include military, law enforcement, and security agencies around the world.

Evolution to the MP5/10 and MP5/40: H&K developed the MP5/10 and MP5/40 variants to chamber the more powerful 10mm Auto and .40 S&W calibers, respectively, while retaining the MP5's design and functionality.


The Heckler & Koch MP5, born out of German engineering, is an iconic submachine gun celebrated for its precision, reliability, and adaptability. Its enduring legacy as a trusted firearm for military, law enforcement, and counter-terrorism units underscores its status as one of the world's most iconic firearms. With its distinctive design and unparalleled reputation, the MP5 remains a symbol of excellence in submachine gun technology and a testament to Heckler & Koch's commitment to innovation and quality.


  • Heckler & Koch MP5 - Name
  • submachine gun - Type
  • Heckler & Koch - Manufacturer
  • www.heckler-koch.com - Website
  • MP5 - Model
  • 9x19mm Parabellum - Caliber
  • blowback - Action type
  • Tilo Möller, Manfred Guhring... - Designer
  • 1964-1966 - Designed
  • 1966 - In service
  • 2.5-3.4 kg - Weight
  • 680 mm - Length
  • 200 m - Firing range

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