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HK MP5 A5 .22LR - review (not the GSG)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by G27RR, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Heckler & Koch MP5 A5 .22LR

    Background -


    For those who don't know, the real Heckler & Koch MP5 is a 9mm submachine gun that was developed in the 1960s. It was, and in some cases still is, popular with police and military special operations groups due to its accuracy, compact size, ease of control, full auto capability, and its chambering in a pistol caliber. This made it ideal for close quarters battles, boarding ships at sea, and other similar purposes. As a testament to its popularity, there are over 120 variants today including trigger groups allowing single fire only, full auto, and 2 or 3 round burst options. According to HK, there is even a variant that can be fired from inside a specially designed briefcase.

    The real MP5 is not widely available to civilians here in the United States due to federal law, including the National Firearms Act, which regulates fully-automatic firearms and short barreled rifles (an SBR has a barrel less than 16" long). The regulations prohibit the import of newly manufactured fully-automatic rifles, and HK has chosen not to make a semi-auto only, non-SBR, version of it for sale to the general public.

    In the past, if you wanted to shoot one, own one, or have a replica for plinking, you were pretty much out of luck or confined to an unlicensed .22LR replica. That replica was made by German Sport Guns and imported by American Tactical Imports. HK wasn't receiving a slice of the profits, which leads to the next point. Things got even more bleak for MP5 enthusiasts a year or so ago. HK forced GSG/ATI to either redesign their unlicensed versions to appear less like the MP5, or to cease manufacturing those firearms entirely. That left the enthusiast with the option of either finding an older GSG-5 or buying a new GSG-522* design and fitting old parts to make it look more realistic.

    However, for those wanting an MP5 .22LR replica, complete with markings that more closely resemble the original, things have recently improved. HK recently decided to officially license the appearance of the MP5 to Carl Walther for production of a rimfire replica. Walther is now producing .22LR replica MP5 rifles at its facilities in Germany, and they are imported into the United States by Umarex. These rifles even carry an MP5 model name.

    While some competing "tactical" .22LR firearms, such as Smith & Wesson's M&P15-22, are using polymer for the upper and/or lower receivers of their replicas, Walther is producing these out of metal. This gives the A5 the approximate weight and feel of a real MP5. Another bonus is that the bolt locks back on an empty magazine, while some competing rifles such as the "Colt" Ar-15 do not (notably, the S&W does have a bolt lock and is a nice rifle).

    The MP5 A5 rimfire, which is the subject of this review, most closely resembles the real HK MP5-N 9mm submachine gun built for the U.S. Navy SEALs by HK, which included a "wet technology" stainless steel sound suppressor. The MP5-N suppressor could be removed according to mission requirements, which, along with its collapsing stock, left a very compact and maneuverable gun. The suppressor was even capable of firing while full of water. The MP5 SD rimfire, which is also now available, resembles the real MP5 with an integrated suppressor.

    I was recently on the hunt for something a little more unusual in my neck of the woods, and after a look at several options, I decided to purchase one of these. After a brief search, I was able to find an A5 version for about $440 out the door. This puts it in about the same general price range as competitors' rimfire replicas of popular "black rifles," such as the Sig 552 and S&W M&P15-22.

    First Impressions -


    The rifle comes in a wide, yet short, plastic rifle case of the same external style used by Beretta for their Cx4 carbines. This one carries the Walther logo, with no mention of HK other than on the serial number sticker. This isn't too terribly surprising since Carl Walther is manufacturing the rifle.

    Inside the case, you will find that everything pretty much says HK on it rather than Walther. There are firearm safety brochures, merchandising, warranty registration card, a manual, a single 25 round magazine, various small tools, and the rifle itself. A flimsy blue plastic chamber flag was in the chamber to protect it during shipping. It isn't strong enough for repeated use at the range or elsewhere (mine broke the second time I handled it).


    The rifle is 33.8" in overall length with the stock fully extended, or 26.8" at full retraction. To fit inside the case, it comes with the stock retracted. It weighs a hair under 6 lbs empty. It sports HK style sights, with a hooded front sight and a rotary diopter rear sight. Both are adjustable for elevation, while windage is controlled at the rear sight only.

    The entire rifle has a nice and even matte black finish. It is more matte in practice than it appears in the pictures accompanying this rifle. The faux suppressor has a rougher texture and is a bit more reflective, and has a dimpled surface. The markings on the receiver, including the pictographic markings for the safety/selector switch, are in white and red. Since this is a semi-auto rifle, there is no selector position for full auto and accordingly no pictograph for full auto. The forearm is the standard MP5 style, and it has the NAVY pistol grip. The grip is hollow but not enclosed for storage like you might see on some AR-15 grips.

    According to Walther, the A5 rimfire uses a match grade precision barrel with a 3 lug faux compensator. This allows the rifle to appear to have a "silencer" on it while hiding a full 16.1" length barrel inside. If the barrel had been made shorter as on a real MP5, it would have required the additional paperwork and a $200 fee as an SBR (short barreled rifle).

    The rimfire MP5 uses a simple blowback, semi-auto operation. This should help in the reliability department. Magazines are polymer with thumb tabs on each side to assist with spring compression while loading. The magazine proved very easy to load, even more so than the similar S&W M&P15-22 mags.


    Standard mags are 25 rounds, while ban state compliant magazines are limited to 10 rounds. These mags are sized and shaped to look like a real MP5 magazine, with the exception of the channels cut into the side where you can see how much ammunition you have loaded.

    Fit and finish on this rifle are some of the best I have seen on a semi-auto rimfire, especially a "tactical" one like the MP5 A5. It comes across as a real rifle, and not as a cheap knockoff. Parts fit well, and there were no rough or unfinished edges to grab you or detract from its appearance.

    Handling -

    Magazines can be released from the rifle one of two ways. The first is with the lever between the magazine and trigger guard. The second is with a button that falls near your right index finger when it is in the rest position (out of the trigger guard and pointing straight along the receiver). I like this feature, because you can use it like an AR-15 or sort of like a 10/22 depending upon what you are used to shooting. It also lets you access the magazine release from either side of the rifle.


    While we're discussing ambidextrous features, the safety lever and pictographs are present on both sides of the rifle. The safety has a nice little snap into position when engaging or disengaging it. It is right where it needs to be for quick use with your thumb.

    The charging handle moved smoothly and easily engaged/disengaged another great feature of this rifle - its bolt lock/last round hold open. Why is a bolt lock important? There are a few reasons. First, if you lock the bolt back, it is easy to show a clear chamber on the firing line. Secondly, if it locks back after the last round is fired, it prevents you from dry-firing the rifle inadvertently, which can damage rimfires over time. Finally, it allows easier function checks, cleaning, and other handling of the rifle.

    The collapsing stock is aggressively textured, which gives it pretty good purchase when you shoulder the rifle. If you have it collapsed and want to shoulder it, there is not enough room to get a sight picture through both irons. It would be more useful to use a single point sling with the collapsed stock and provide support that way, which would allow you enough room to use the sights. If you want a fixed stock, it is supposed to be available as an accessory.

    The sights are pretty easy to adjust, and so far have held adjustment without needing Loctite or anything like that. That's a good sign, because there is just the tiniest bit of recoil in a rimfire like this and it shouldn't have things loosening up on you. The rear rotary diopter moves easily and has positive detents on each of its settings.

    If you prefer an optic, either a scope or "red dot" type sight, a picatinny rail accessory is going to be released that will attach to the top of the upper receiver. Something like a Burris FastFire II would be excellent on this rifle. The rail wasn't available anywhere when I wrote this review, so I didn't have a chance to test it.

    Takedown of the rifle is very easy. Three pins hold it together. The first pin holds on the forearm. The second pin holds the receivers together at their front edges, while the last pin holds the rear edges of the receivers and the butt stock assembly. The stock assembly slides over the upper and lower and the pin is inserted through all three. It is actually much more stable than it sounds like and at first I didn't realized only a pin mechanically held the stock on the rifle.


    Since this rifle comes apart so well, it is much easier to clean than some other rimfires. Even though the chamber, magazine well, and other parts are small due to the small size of the cartridge, access to them is enhanced greatly by the way it field strips. You also don't need any tools to take it down, unless you also want to take off the suppressor. A special wrench is supplied for that task.

    Finally, the rifle was well oiled and not covered in thick greases or preservatives, so cleaning and lubricating it before the range trip was a snap.

    Range Report -

    This rifle is great fun to shoot. Being a rimfire, there is much less noise to deal with, and recoil and muzzle flash are so slight as to not even be noticeable. I've had this rifle for less than a week, so I've only been able to take it to the range once, but I blew through quite a bit of ammo in the process.

    The manual recommends high velocity ammunition, and if you use the standard fare you may have problems with proper cycling of the weapon. The rifle even has the caliber stamped on the receiver as "Cal. 22LR HV". I used a variety of CCI, Federal, Winchester, and American Eagle round nose high velocity ammunition without any major issues.

    I did have a few rounds out of several hundred fail to fully chamber, as is sometimes common in semi-auto rimfires, but not enough to where I suspect there is anything wrong with the rifle. I haven't tried any hollow point rounds yet, so they may or may not have feeding issues. Firing pin strikes were solid and the pin shouldn't be the cause of any misfires. I didn't have any misfires, but I stayed away from Remington ammo as it recently seems to be the most prone to that.

    I wasn't able to do a full blown accuracy potential test without the scope mount and an optic, but this rifle is pretty accurate with the iron sights. The range setup I was able to use this time wasn't conducive to shooting from a prone or seated field position, so I was limited to shooting standing offhand or shooting from a high bench. Shooting at 25 yards is a piece of cake, 50 yards is pretty good, and 75 - 100 yards is doable if you have a steady hold.

    As mentioned, either a slinged up prone position or a bench rest and a scope would make for a more definitive accuracy test. If I ever locate the rail accessory, I will mount a scope and report back with results.

    Conclusion -

    The HK MP5 A5 rimfire is a great little plinker and all around fun gun. From the aggressive looks with the collapsible stock and faux suppressor to its easy handling characteristics, it's a great addition to the gun safe. The build quality on mine and the fun factor are well worth the $440 out the door.

    *For those interested in the changes to the GSG-5 that came out of the legal proceedings, the redesigned GSG-522 has a removable picatinny rail on top of the receiver, and changes to the grip, sights, magazine release, cocking handle, trigger guard and safety selector. Some of these changes are considered by some to be an improvement to the handling characteristics of an MP5, but they do lose a lot of the MP5 look.

    Heckler & Koch MP5 A5 .22LR (2245250) Specifications:

    Caliber: .22LR

    Barrel: 16.2" (412mm) match grade precision barrel
    3 lug imitation compensator
    1:13.75" twist rate, 6 grooves, rifling length of 13.78" (350mm)
    muzzle thread M8x.75

    Grip: NAVY pistol grip

    Stock: 4 position telestock
    standard MP5 forearm
    length of pull 6.5" to 12.375"

    Sights: H&K MP5 style, with a 13.2" (335mm) sight radius
    rear - rotary diopter, adjustable for windage and elevation
    rear sight aperture diameter 0.24", 0.13", 0.11", & 0.10"
    front - adjustable for elevation only (includes interchangeable posts)
    post width .07" (1.8mm)

    Trigger: single stage, factory set to 6.6-8.8 lbs pull weight

    Magazine: polymer with integral spring assist for easier loading
    25 round capacity (one included)
    sized to mimic the 9mm MP5 magazine

    Other: metal upper and lower receivers
    left side charging handle, right side ejection
    semi-auto, blowback operation
    last round bolt hold open with functional bolt catch
    ambidextrous safety selector mimics the 9mm MP5 operation
    H&K MP5 style sling swivels
    H&K style geometry, weight, markings and controls
    Officially H&K licensed and branded

    Finish: matte black

    Length: 26.5" (675mm) with stock collapsed
    32.5" (825mm) with stock fully extended

    Height: 10.6" (270mm) with magazine

    Width: 2.2" (55mm)

    Weight: 6.0 lbs (2700g) without magazine
    2.5 ounces (70g) weight of empty magazine

    Warranty: 1 year parts & labor

    MSRP: $555 as of early 2011

    Manufacturer: Carl Walther, Germany

    Importer & Warranty Service: Umarex

    Official website: http://hk22rimfire.com

    Item numbers: #2245250/60 (A5 externally "suppressed" model with 25/10 round mag)
    #2245255/65 (SD integrally "suppressed" model with 25/10 round mag)

    Optional accessories: 10/25 rnd mags #2245310/11
    Fixed stock #2245332
    Picatinny rail #2245334
    Picatinny sling swivel #2245331
  2. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

    May 6, 2008
    Wow, what a great write up.

    I have the GSG-5 version, and I've never had a problem with it, although the metal used isn't what I would call gun worthy. Had the H&K version been available when I bought, I would much rather have that one.

    I use CCI Mini Mags and I have great results with it. The GSG forum says avoid Remington ammo.

    The .22's are cheap to shoot all day, but I find I miss the "kick" and "bang" of the real thing.
  3. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I'd been eyeing the GSG, but never came all the way around to buying it. When I heard the HK/Walther version was coming out I waited on it and grabbed the first one that was available. For the money it seems more impressive than most of the AR/AK type .22 out there. I do wish the faux supressor was slightly more convincing in appearance, but otherwise it's a well done rifle.

    Glad you liked the writeup. I hadn't seen any actual user reviews yet, so I figured if I was going to be the first to write one I'd put out as much info as possible.
  4. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    This does look a lot better than the GSG. Maybe because it's made by a gun company.
  5. InkEd

    InkEd Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Parts Unknown
    I like the telescopic stock and markings.

    The magazines look not so great quality. Any problems with them?

    The BIG question is does it shoot better than the GSG?

    I would really like to see an unbiased side by side comparision of these two guns.
  6. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    I was looking at the HK-416-22 a few weeks ago and it seemed well made and a decent replica. If Umarex comes out with an MP-7 .22 clone I will be all over it!

    The MP-5 clone certainly looks nice, it will be interesting to see how they hold up over time compared to the GSG-5. I like the look of the Umarex MP-5 better than even the original GSG-5, they did a better job of replicating the look of the HK MP-5 than GSG did and especially the new GSG-5's.

    It's made by Umarex, like GSG they are an Airsoft company that got into the business of making .22's.

    Another good marketing ploy was to label the gun as made by Carl Walther, it is not made by Walther, Umarex and Carl Walther are basically one in the same now, both owned by the PW Group. So Umarex can make these guns and then legally market them as made by Walther, a smart marketing decision because people are more inclined to want something built by Walther than by Umarex. These guns are quite commonly marketed as made by HK or made by Walther, it's a marketing decision nothing more, the same way the Colt AR-22 is completely made by Umarex but under license by Colt. If I'm not mistake the Colt AR-22 also states that it is made by Carl Walther, Umarex doesn't seem to want to advertise that they are really the manufacturer of these guns, I wonder why that is? In short these HK .22 clones are made by Umrex under license by HK and a marketing agreement with Carl Walther.

    Umarex was smart and cut a deal with HK to allow them to make an MP-5 replica in .22, GSG didn't do this and is why they ended up in a legal battle with HK and why the new GSG-5's look the way they do. It seems as long as HK is allowed to put their name on another companies product they don't care if it's made or not, which is understandable.

    However one should know that even though these .22 versions say HK on them they are not in any way manufactured by HK, they are completely built by Umarex under license with HK.

    I will add that I had a chance to look at one of these today at my local shop and I was pretty impressed with the feel of it and it seemed well made. It actually felt less like a toy than the GSG-5 and more like the genuine thing, might make a good compliment to my 9mm version. The price didn't seem too bad either at $449. However how it looks and feels is less important than how it functions and I'm going to wait until I hear more positive feedback on these things.

    Oh BTW I forgot to mention earlier, good review G27RR. Please give us another review once you've had a chance to put a few thousand rounds through it.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  7. Quiet

    Quiet Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    bouncing between the 909 & the 702
    What he said.

    And I would like to add, that Umarex first made the HK416, MP5 and MP7 as H&K licensed airsoft guns and that the .22LR HK416 & .22LR MP5 are built off the airsoft variants that Umarex made.
    Prior to the .22LR HK416 being released, the H&K USA webshop was selling the H&K licensed Umarex airsoft versions of the HK416, MP5 and MP7.
  8. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    I like it! I don't suppose a HK registered FA lower would fit on these? I know they didn't on the GSG versions.
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Didn't umarex make the disappointing Colt M4 22LRs? I'm not confident that this is any improvement over a GSG-5, other than perhpas more authentic markings for playing navy seal.
  10. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    This is hardly just an airsoft quality rifle, and I was quite clear that HK is not the manufacturer. BTW, Walther has been part of PW since 1993, so this isn't some recent acquisition just to fool people.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  11. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    Well, I would bed to differ on that.

    The fact that they want you to believe that Carl Walther manufactured these guns and not Umarex is reason enough to see their marketing strategy.

    They did the same thing when the Walther P22 came out. There was much debate at first as to whether the P22 was manufactured by Walther or Umarex and it to this day people are still shocked to find out their new Walther P22 is completely manufactured by Umarex and not Walther.

    Every time Umarex manufacturers a new .22 they seem to try their hardest to try and convince consumers that the gun is actually made by the company that has it's name plastered all over it, i.e Colt, HK, Walther, etc.

    It's actually good marketing because consumers are familiar with the names like HK, Walther and Colt, whereas the name Umarex is associated with a company that makes Airsoft.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to bash Umarex, I owned a P-22 and it was garbage but it was also very early on when they just hit the market, the new ones might be better quality now that they've been out for a number of years. Although I've been extremely impressed with my GSG-5 I wouldn't mind picking up the Umarex version to see how it compares. I would certainly not say that the Umarex MP-5 is junk without having experienced it first, as I said earlier I was very impressed with it when I looked it over at the shop, seemed quite well built and solid. I wouldn't mind picking one up this summer perhaps and put it through it's passes to see how it compares side by side with my GSG-5.
  12. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Here are some pictures without the fake suppressor. The barrel is actually pretty thin and is housed in a barrel shroud, which is the part that actually looks like the barrel from the outside. The end of the barrel is threaded. The suppressor has a bare end that slips over the shroud and is held in place by an o-ring. The muzzle end of the suppressor screws onto the barrel threads. That is what ends up centering the barrel in the shroud.

    It looks like making this an SBR may not be too straightforward. Since a shroud is used, I would guess that you could cut down the barrel and shroud, rethread the barrel and then make some sort of short faux thread protector or muzzle brake that takes the place of the longer faux suppressor so that the barrel still has support at the muzzle end and remains centered inside the shroud. I'm not an expert of that sort of thing but that's my first take on it.






  13. carlspeed

    carlspeed Member

    Apr 29, 2010
    Hi guys, I just wanted to throw out there that about the time of this review, or maybe a bit after, I bought the gun above. I finally hit about 2,000 rnds through it, which I did without cleaning it, simply to see how it would shoot. I think that in the last 2,000 rnds, I've had maybe 4-5 fte's, and I completely figure that's due to my choice of ammo. Pretty much whatever is in the biggest box for the cheapest price at Walmart. I finally was able to grab a few more mags for the gun, and it's definitely becoming the gun I always have with me when I go to the range. It's so much fun, and so cheap, that it is foolish to not shoot it when you go to the range. I mounted a red dot on the top of the gun with a claw mount from a regular MP5. It doesn't fit perfect, but it's good enough to hold zero and make the gun even more fun to blast.

    Definitely a must buy.
  14. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    Which dot did you use? I'm considering one for mine.
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