MP-5 overrated?


December 12, 2009, 01:10 PM
For the past couple of weeks I have been surfing around the web and looking at what the various Third-world armies arm their elite units with. I see an awful lot of H&K MP-5 submachine guns. If I were arming the elite units of a third-world country, I think I would give the MP-5 a pass.

Don't get me wrong, I think that in many ways the MP-5 is a great subgun. I certainly would not feel completely naked armed with one on a modern battlefield. My problem is with the 9mm round. Fear not, I am not a worshipper of the late Col. Jeff Cooper (may he rest in peace.) However, I remember reading about situations on the Eastern front in World War Two, where carriers of the MP-40 felt themselves outgunned by those who were armed with PPsh's and PPS-43's. It seems to me that 9mm, for a subgun, just doesn't have the range and punch of, say 7.62X25 or of .45acp.

If I were the head honcho of a Third-world army, I would ask the Red Chinese if they had a bunch of their copy of the PPs-43 in good condition sitting in a warehouse somewhere rather than going on a shopping trip in Germany. Do I have a point here or am I missing something?

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December 12, 2009, 01:18 PM
The MP5 is significantly more accurate than either of the other two SMGs you've mentioned. It has good sights. It is ergonomic (also unlike those other two), and recoils about as much as a 10/22 (IMO). The trigger break is of a clean enough design that on the FA setting, you can easily pop off single rounds, if you know what you're doing. Plus, 9mm is in some serious mass production around the planet right now, while 7.62x25....not so much.

Plus, it got a good "debut" with the SAS units in that embassy. :rolleyes:

It seems to me that 9mm, for a subgun, just doesn't have the range and punch of, say 7.62X25 or of .45acp. It's a subgun. If you're wanting range out of a're doing something wrong. :scrutiny: Plus, IIRC, there is AP 9mm out there if you need it (countering one of the "draws" of 7.62x25), and to the best of my knowledge there aren't really all too many decent .45ACP subguns in production (the HK offering cracks trunions, the Thompson is old, heavy, and had ridiculous rise, the Grease Gun isn't exactly "elite," and the KRISS is both unusual and hasn't been tested).

If the primary arm of the rest of your military is an AR type weapon, then I could see a 9mm AR being useful for logistics and ease of training, especially in the third world. But, those are expensive. Money, logistics, and availability all play a factor into that which your friendly neighborhood third-world dictator arms his "elite" forces.

Shadow Man
December 12, 2009, 01:27 PM
The Iran Embassy takedown? Beautiful to watch, the SAS boys really out-did themselves there. Plus, it was on live TV, if you look around, you can still find the footage.

Eightball hit the nail on the head there. And while the 9mm round is not as renowned for its "stopping power" as the 10mm or the .45 is, a controlled pair of 9mm rounds in a targets COM usually does the trick. During OIF1, quite a few of the SOF teams in the citys used the MP5. It provided them an easily concealable weapon, but still put a lot of firepower in their hands, in an easily manageable package. While the MP5 might not be my go-to gun, I certainly wouldn't feel undergunned with one in a close quarters setting.

December 12, 2009, 07:24 PM
the two big pluses for the MP-5 over any other sub gun is it's accuracy and its superior sights.

highly trained elite units' tactics are based on placing shots accurately. the Mp-5 has outstanding accuracy due to firing from a closed bolt. using it's stack sights, we used to be able to "snap shoot" accurately out to 50 yards.

H&K had a larger calibre model of the MP-5 available for a while but i don't think anyone adopted it...i think it was .40 or 10mm

when i was last in HongKong, i was a little surprised to see the security detail at the airport strolling the concourse armed with the MP-5

December 12, 2009, 07:33 PM
Don't some of our guys use them in the 10mm model - MP10. FBI & ATF?

December 12, 2009, 07:48 PM
Back between the 1960's and 80's the MP5 was the the coolest thing going.

Fast Forward to today's modern PDW's and there's no reason for a heavy handgun ammo firing "submachinegun" to exist.

December 12, 2009, 10:34 PM
Starting in the late-50s, the IMI Uzi became the world standard to which all submachineguns were held to.
In the 70s, the H&K MP5 took that position and has held it ever since.

Don't some of our guys use them in the 10mm model - MP10. FBI & ATF?
The MP10 was the creation of a fiction writer. No such thing as a H&K MP-10.
That said...
The H&K MP-5/10 was devloped for and used by the FBI. The FBI was the only official end user for the MP-5/10.
The MP-5/40 was created as a result of the MP-5/10. The MP-5/40 was adopted by numerous law enforcement agencies in the USA.
The BATFE, DEA, US Marshals, US Secret Service & US State Department DPS has always used the MP5 in 9x19mm.

H&K has discontinued the MP-5/10 & MP-5/40.

H&K is encouraging end users of the MP5 to switch over to the UMP series and the MP7.

December 12, 2009, 11:29 PM
Now that I think about it, it was a Tom Clancy book that refrenced the MP10.

December 13, 2009, 12:07 AM
The subgun is essentially obsolete for most purposes. Of the subgun bunch, the MP5 is a pretty good one. The former roles of the subgun are almost entirely taken over by short carbines ("entry" carbines, 10-11" barrels are common) firing rifle cartridges, large conventional handguns, and the PDW concept.

December 13, 2009, 01:04 AM
H&K also makes the UMP 45, which is a .45 sub gun. Its (IMO) a much better gun. It has a poly reciever and has basicly two parts, a bolt and a bolt carrier/ op rod combo. (yes there are sub parts to those two, but its a very basic gun). Also very reliable

December 13, 2009, 01:05 AM
one note about the link I posted above,
The site claims the max effective range is 100 meters, that might be a stretch

December 13, 2009, 02:01 AM
not really... a head shot at 100m with a 9mm is a kill.

December 13, 2009, 02:08 AM
How bout this Thompson Vs Mp5?
Hey...I'm a Saving Private Ryan guy!!!!!:)

December 13, 2009, 02:30 AM
I fired an MP10 years ago. an FBI agent was using on at the range I was running, and let me run two mags through it. Two round burst not full auto, and the best use of 10mm I ever saw. :)

December 13, 2009, 04:47 AM
One time flying home from the middle east we stopped at an airport somewhere in the Netherlands, cant remember where. The airport guards all had MP-5s and us gun guys started talking to them.

They were loaded with a 9mm bullet I had never seen. It was a lot more rounded in profile, almost like a .45 ACP and had a green tip.

Anyways he stated they routinely trained at 100 meters and it was easy to make hits at that distance. He said they have shot out to 300 meters and it was accurate enough to give you a really bad day.

December 13, 2009, 05:27 AM
at 100 meters and it was easy to make hits
I'll sometimes put clay pigeons out on the 100 yd berm and break them with a .38 SPL snub nose firing subsonic "cat sneeze" loads. Not every shot, but at least once per cylinder (usually). Not that I’m a great marksman. Anyone can do it with just a little practice.

December 13, 2009, 06:40 AM
lol, a chinese submachine gun for improved ranged accuracy.

maybe if i squinted my eyes, the 3 foot group will appear smaller...

December 13, 2009, 06:46 AM
The site claims the max effective range is 100 meters, that might be a stretch

With a regular fullsize MP5, 100m is a laughingly boring affair to hit.

With my K-PDW clone, effective caps at about 125, some of it being sights (I prefer the castle vs the peep on that model), some being the shorter 5" barrel.

It is the only gun I trust for defensive use that has the footprint of a large handgun in a tiny, tiny case or bag or under a coat - the invisible urban defense weapon.

I wish they were cheaper, but you can't have everything.

December 13, 2009, 04:39 PM
lol, a chinese submachine gun for improved ranged accuracy.

maybe if i squinted my eyes, the 3 foot group will appear smaller.

they may not appear smaller, but if you squint when shooting, you might shoot smaller groups...smaller aperture, larger depth of field

December 13, 2009, 05:15 PM
Eastern front in World War Two, where carriers of the MP-40 felt themselves outgunned by those who were armed with PPsh's and PPS-43's.

Uhh, I think they were using them due to ammo availability.

The Mp5 was the standard of high speed low drag guys for a reason, the SEAL's though have stopped using them in favor of the M4 platform

December 13, 2009, 05:16 PM
The MP-10 is from Rainbow Six, by Tom Clancy. My hthory is that to avoid any confusion, he shortened MP5/10 to MP-10. BTW, all the MP10s Rainbow had were suppressed and had three-round burst. They might have been a custom job, possably MP5SD4/5s in 10mm, since they always have suppressors.

December 13, 2009, 07:20 PM
I admit I'm a big fan of HK rifles (I love the HK slap...), but the MP5 is long past its glory days. The UMP is a BIG upgrade over the MP5/HK94 series, and there are other carbines out there that can offer more. For example the CX4 Storm has a 16" barrel, but the overall size is only an inch or two longer than an mp5 with a fixed stock and a 9" barrel plus it has last round bolt hold open and a "slide lock", so mag changes are much quicker.

December 13, 2009, 08:01 PM
As others have suggested, it's not necessarily the MP-5 that is finished so much as the idea of subs in general. There isn't a job the MP-5 is suited for that I can't do at least as well with my M-4. But my M-4 can do a lot of things the MP-5 can't.

Having said that, I would take an MP-5 with or over any SMG you can name. While I'm not as much of a fan of 9mm in general, it's a different picture when you can put five of them center mass with no trouble. I am always amazed at how they took the apparent tiny shape and made it man-size with a full grip and controls. It just WORKS. It's so controllable, a few months ago I took a few governmental tourists out with the 19th Group to shoot some weapons, and while they said they just don't use them much anymore, they had these secretaries and accountants zapping out chunks of torso with two magazines, it just seems like it shoots itself. I like Uzis, Mac-10s, etc, but none of them are as easy to shoot. I haven't shot an UMP, and it might well be fantastic, but the MP-5 became so standardized and universal during their run, I can't see a newer design ever having the influence and love of the MP-%. There are pre-86 MP-5s you can buy. They are expensive, but there will never be that many UMPs available.

December 13, 2009, 10:15 PM
The MP-5 is not overrated. Shoot one and you will see what I mean. I can easily hit silhouette targets at 100 yards. With a sound suppressor, you only hear the faint clicking of parts as the empty casings are extracted. You may also hear the slight puff as the round exits the barrels. the MP-5 is much more compact than a rifle, with the Kruz version beings only slightly larger than a pistol. I am a .45 fan. However, in submachineguns, I think the 9mm is superior for a few reasons. It is more accurate and has greater range. furthermore, the smaller casings allow for easier and quicker extraction. Moreover, you can carry more ammo.

I definately would not pass on the MP-5. It does what it was designed to do and does it well. It is the king of submachineguns.

December 13, 2009, 10:22 PM
There isn't a job the MP-5 is suited for that I can't do at least as well with my M-4. But my M-4 can do a lot of things the MP-5 can't.

I would argue that an MP-5 offers more stealth when the suppressed versions of the M-4 and MP-5 are compared. I will say that the 11.5 inch barreled M-4 rifles are basically the same size as the MP-5 only in a rifle caliber, but then again, we go back to comparing a rifle to a SMG.

December 13, 2009, 11:24 PM
the mp5 is one of the top in it's class (first would be the p90 imo) but to arm your elite forces with it and they say come across a fire fight with the ever so popular ak47, i don't think they stand a chance in terms of range and power. yes it is capable of midrange but the 9mm wasn't design for it. but the mp5 does serve it's purpose well such as close quarter combat against light armor, not against someone hiding behind a wall/tree some several hundred feet away.

December 13, 2009, 11:27 PM
I would like a MP5/10 it would make a nice all around carbine for hunting and home defense.

December 14, 2009, 12:06 AM
IMO the MP-5 is all around the best sub-machine gun. When the type of enviroment and situation calls for a stealthy closeup engagement a lot of SF teams like them. I get this opinion and information from a friend that is SF's right now. As a matter of fact he's coming to bring me some special forces command goodies in a couple of weeks. :D

December 14, 2009, 12:15 AM
i would take the M-4 with 11.5" barrel over the MP5 any day. MP5 doesnt have the penetration to bust through barriers as the M-4 so i think the MP5 is a waste of weight .

what is more armor piercing MP5 or M-4 SBR? of course the SBR. never know the BG wearing chinese made body armor i would opt with the M-4.

December 14, 2009, 12:23 AM
Depends what type of penetration your looking for, on animals a 10mm MP5/10 will do a lot more with 180 or 200 FMJ's than a 5.56.

If your talking soft body armor it is the reverse.

December 14, 2009, 12:33 AM
My PD used to issue MP5/10mm before AR-15s became the coolest thing to have in the rack of a patrol car. Quite a few agencies in the SF Bay Area issued them in all three calibers and all kinds of configurations. We have ARs now but I still miss the MP5. It was more compact than our 16" rifles and less blast than our 10" rifles. We never shot past 50 yards but headshots were easy at that distance.

They are not overated as long as you understand the limitations of the platform.

December 14, 2009, 12:40 AM
Just give me a small weapons system that works. MP/5s are great put there other weapons that will do the job just as well. HK is very good at marketing, almost as good as FN.

Wes Janson
December 14, 2009, 08:39 PM
How many people here have actually shot a fairly wide variety of submachineguns?

Just curious.

I'm not a subgun expert, but there are far more platforms out there in the world than the MP5: a weapon whose ergonomics clearly betray the fact that it was designed in the same era as the original M14. Weapon design has gone lightyears beyond the MP5, but half the world is still stuck using it - not because it's the best, but because it works reasonably well, and it's achieved the defining hallmark status within its class of firearm. Agencies and governments buy the MP5 not necessarily because it's been tested and found superior to other offerings, but simply because it's common and widely known. Ergonomics, manufacturing techniques, and design have progressed considerably in the past half-century. Were I to look for the "best" all-round submachinegun on the market, I'd be looking towards more contemporary offerings, both in the West as well as some of the less obvious international arms manufacturers in the Souther hemisphere.

Personally, I choose my weapons based upon their attributes, not their publicity.

December 14, 2009, 09:16 PM
How many people here have actually shot a fairly wide variety of submachineguns?
I've shot a few submachineguns.

Cobray M-11/9 [open bolt]
Colt RO-635 [closed bolt]
Gas Lamp M-3A1
Group Industries Uzi [open bolt]
H&K MP-5A3 (HK94 sear gun conversion) [closed bolt]
H&K MP-5K (SP89 sear gun conversion) [closed bolt]
STEN Mark II [open bolt]
West Hurley M-1928 Thompson [open bolt]

I've shot the Uzi the most (approx. 2000 rounds) and, out of all the open bolt subguns, it was the most accurate.
However, out of all the subguns I've ever shot, the MP-5A3 was the most accurate.

December 14, 2009, 09:37 PM
Remember where the MP-5 came from and why it is so accurate. The MP-38 and MP-40. Accurate, reliable weapons and excellent for what they were designed to do.

December 14, 2009, 11:52 PM
How many people here have actually shot a fairly wide variety of submachineguns?

i guess it depends on how many it takes to qualify as a "wide variety"

i've shot the:
Mac -11
M-3 "greasegun"
MP-5K...yes, in the briefcase

the most fun was the MP-5SD (suppressed is just cool), the least was the Greasegun (not very accurate and loud)

December 14, 2009, 11:53 PM
I've also played with a number of different SMGs, and would consider the MP5 the best I've trained on, though it definitely has its minuses as well as pluses (placement of the safety is the main one I noted).

December 15, 2009, 01:28 AM
How many people here have actually shot a fairly wide variety of submachineguns?

Out of the available stuff in the US for non-exotic agency civilian types, that'd be Macs, M76, Reisling, Thompson, MP-40, Uzi, MP5. Semi-auto versions including the PS90 and the UMP builds for more modern stuff.

For a personal gun, it's about what I shoot best. The fullsize MP5 I shot first before the K, got me from the start - it was a laser beam that almost wasn't fun to shoot because it was too easy to use. My personal K-PDW is one of those guns that just does what it's supposed to, regardless of marketing or hype or whatever.

It's not perfect. Bolt hold open/safety could use work. It's heavy for what it is (but not as bad as the Uzi or Thompson by a long shot), and I'm not sure that making it lighter wouldn't take something away from the shootability.

And the shootability is what matters in the end for me. I'd sell many, many other things before having to get rid of mine. Even if zombies never come, and I'm forced to defend myself against roving clay pidgeons or cans, I'll be happy with it.

But none of that will ultimately matter, because HK hates me as it makes $60 a magazine from me and god knows how much in spare parts. I know it because that's what these threads devolve into.

December 15, 2009, 03:34 AM
I read an article many moons ago (more like 8 plus years, IIRC) that showcased some 500,000 round or higher MP-5's that were being used as security weapons for a government facility. Again, IIRC, it might have been a NASA site.

They loved their subguns but knew that with all the training they were doing that eventually they would be replaced.

But you have to admit, knowing that as long as you had spare parts these weapons would keep right on chewing up the ammo like a fat kid in a candy store definately puts it in a well deserved category of it's own.


December 15, 2009, 04:41 AM
For an SMG, it is a great gun. I really like them.

December 16, 2009, 02:26 AM
Why do people keep bringing up an m4 in a sub-machine thread? Two different firearms two different purposes.

December 16, 2009, 01:55 PM
Because I use an M-4 for the purpose which an MP-5 was previouslly issued.

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