Want an MP5 Machine Gun? Check out the HK SP5

The HK SP5 is really the only sub-gun pistol worth comparing to the MP5.

Since the MP5 for the most part is illegal for citizens to own in the United States, Heckler & Koch built the semi-automatic HK SP5 as a damn near one-for-one alternative.

Built on the same assembly line as the legendary MP5 in Orbendorf, Germany, there is no reason why you shouldn’t own one. I grew up on the 80s  and 90s action movies such as Lethal Weapon and Navy SEALs. Both movies featured the HK MP5. As a young boy, I always wanted to have one of my own; now I can.

Heckler & Koch

The SP5 from Heckler & Koch is the newest and ONLY true sporting pistol comparable to the MP5 because it’s the only one made by HK. There are many models of the MP5 out there made by different companies, but all shooters know the difference between an HK MP5 and one of the off brands, such as the Zenith Z-5RS and the PTR 9CT.

Both the Zenith and the PTR are actually incredibly well make sporting pistols, but the HK feels better and shoots better at a much higher consistency. Today, we will discuss the newest in the already legendary line of the HK submachine guns, known as the HK SP5.

HK SP5

$3,349.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing

HK SP5

As we all know, the MP5 reached legendary status with the British SAS in the Iranian Embassy Hostage situation. From this point on, everyone in the world became intrigued and infatuated with this unique automatic submachine gun.

British SAS making entry to the Iranian Embassy
SAS soldiers storm the Iranian Embassy in London during the siege in May 1980 (Twitter)

However, since it’s illegal for most Americans to own an automatic machine gun (need an FFL), HK had to create a semi-automatic version. The SP5 is built to be the premier replacement for the MP5 as a sporting pistol-caliber submachine gun.

The SP5 is very similar to the MP5 with its height, weight, operation, and feel, but it’s legal.  The SP5 is fully ambidextrous for easy use for either left or right-handed shooters with the famous paddled magazine release.

The HK SP5 is fitted with the patented MP5 threaded 3-lug barrel that is cold-hammer-forged and made from the same cannon grade steel. The barrel threading is meant to fit almost every type of suppressor on the market.

SILENCERCO Omega 9k Suppressor

$560.00
at Gritr Sports
Prices accurate at time of writing

Why Should You Consider The HK SP5?

The SP5 was built with a new bolt-carrier group, known as the F Bolt-Carrier Group, which increases the overall effectiveness of the gun. The following parts have been modified from the MP5 to make this gun more accurate and easy to shoot:

  • Improved firing pin
  • Much better retainer spring
  • smaller bolt carrier neck
  • Better recoil spring retainer for even more reduction in felt recoil
  • Larger bolt carrier recoil

Sling Shooting With The Included Bungee Sling

The HK SP5 ships with an adjustable single-point bungee sling which connects to a swivel at the rear of the pistol via a ‘mash hook’.

Not only does the bungee sling add to the nostalgia of the MP5, but it’s also practical for law enforcement, federal agencies, and executive protection details to keep the gun more concealed and closer to the body.

Shooting via sling tension works surprisingly well.

For more information on the SAS sling shooting method, check out our blog on Sling Shooting Subguns | SAS Sling Method.

HK SP5 Ballistics

The 8" barrel of the HK SP5 provides improved ballistics to the 9mm round being fired. 6" is generally the optimal barrel length for many pistol caliber carbines, but HK optimized the SP5 with an 8" barrel giving you the best performance possible out of this compact firearm.  The improved ballistics are more noticeable with heavier bullets and +P loads.

For example, Black Hills 124gr +P loads clocked an impressive 1,430 feet-per-second coming out of the 8" barrel. Why is this so impressive? Well, with this type of ballistic performance, you’re getting into 357 Magnum territory with a 9mm +P cartridge.

HORNADY 9mm +P Luger 124 gr FlexLock® Critical Duty

$34.99
at Kentucky Gun Co
Prices accurate at time of writing

H&K SP5 Specs

HK SP5
Overall Length17.8"
Barrel Length8.86"
Height8.86"
Caliber9x19mm
Weight5.1 lbs
Weight (empty mag)5.49 lbs (30-round mag)
Weight (loaded mag)About 7 lbs
Magazine Capacity10/15/30
Trigger Pull Weight6.7-10.1 lbs of force (30-45 Newton)
Trigger Travel.24"
Return Travel.12"
ActionSemi-Auto
SafetyManual
MSRP$2,800
Rate of Fire800/min
Width2.4"

 

Pros

  • Improved bolt carrier group makes this gun easier to fire and control
  • Bungee sling is easy to install and helps with preventing fatigue from a long day at the range
  • Ambidextrous magazine release
  • Ambidextrous safety lever
  • Almost 2 lbs lighter than the MP5!
  • more options for carrying capacity than the MP5
  • Almost 10" shorter than the MP5
  • Somehow provides even less felt recoil than the MP5 and MP5K
  • Easily accommodates accessories, such as suppressors, lights, lasers, optics, and scopes.
  • The roller delayed blowback system reduces the felt recoil enough to continually shoot with precision, shot after shot

Cons

  • Very expensive base price
  • Adding a suppressor or optic will push this gun to 5k, easily.
  • Shooters with smaller hands might be thrown off by the added width of the grip by half an inch

Features

  • Bungee sling
  • Fully Ambidextrous safety and mag release
  • Picatinny Rail system for easy and secure customization
  • Much improved bolt carrier group
  • Fluted barrel and bolt carrier to reduce the weight and increase accuracy

How Much Does an HK SP5 Cost?

The SP5 can be bought directly from an HK dealer or can be bought from some of our favorite online stores, such as guns.com and Armslist.

You could always try Gun Broker, but I recommend reading our Blog on the top things to know about Gun Broker before you buy.

Heckler and Koch SP5L

$3,045.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing

HK SP5 vs. MP5?

HK has earned the respect of so many people in the world that when they put out a new weapon every gun owner on the planet comes running. The HK SP5 is the civilian sporting pistol model of the HK MP5. Even with its stock retracted an MP5 is 4" longer than SP5 and at least 1.5 pounds heavier.

The SP5 is either identical to the MP5 or similar to the MP5 in capacity, trigger travel (creep), return travel, rate of fire, and barrel length. HK kept the same barrel from the MP5 and rebuilt the bolt carrier group with the F series bolt carrier group. The F-bolt carrier group makes the HK SP5 a little more accurate with the fluted bolt group and has less felt recoil than the MP5. However, the MP5 has a softer trigger and a little better max-effective range.

Obviously, you’d be lucky to own any one of these guns, but if you want the newer, smoother, and more efficient MP5, the SP5 will leave you in awe.

Specs

SP5MP5
Overall Length17.8"27.6 (stock extended)21.7 (stock retracted)
Barrel Length8.86"8.86′
Height8.86"9"
Caliber9x19mm9x19mm
Weight5.1 lbs6.8 lbs
Weight (empty mag)5.49 lbs7.2 lbs
Weight (loaded mag)about 7 lbsabout 8.5 lbs
Magazine Capacity10/15/3015/30
Trigger Pull Weight6.7-10.1 lbs of force (30-45 Newton)5-6 lbs
Trigger Travel.24".22"
Return Travel.12".11"
ActionSemi-AutoSemi-Auto
SafetyManualManual
Rate of Fire800/min800/min
Width2.4"1.9"
MSRP$2,800$800-1,600

HK SP5K

The SP5K is one of the hottest selling civilian sporting pistol-caliber semi-auto guns on the market, not only because it’s new, but it’s somehow better than the MP5K. I know this might sound sacrilegious to the gun community, but anyone who has shot SP5K knows, I’m not lying.

With the improved bolt-carrier group and the elastic bungee sling, you can shoot this gun all day with the utmost accuracy and control. Weighing 1 pound less and more than 4" shorter than the full-sized SP5, the SP5K provides an excellent alternative to a full-size sporting pistol with similar ergonomics and control. The only thing you’ll be giving up from the SP5 to this compact model is your maximum effective range and capacity options (No 15-round mag).

The SP5K also comes with a unique handguard that is designed to protect you from the heat and even improve the ergonomics of the pistol.

H&K SP5K Specs

HK SP5K
Overall Length13.9"
Barrel Length4.53"
Height8.66"
Caliber9x19mm
Weight4.2 lbs
Weight (empty mag) 4.6 lbs (30-round mag)
Weight (loaded mag) About 6 lbs
Magazine Capacity10/30
Trigger Pull Weight 6.74-10,1 lbs of force ( 30-45Newton)
Trigger Travel.24"
Return Travel.12"
ActionSemi-Auto
SafetyManual
MSRP$2,500
Rate of Fire800/min
Width2.4"

 

Pros

  • Improved bolt carrier group makes this gun easier to fire and control
  • Bungee sling is easy to install and helps with preventing fatigue from a long day at the range
  • Ambidextrous magazine release
  • Ambidextrous safety lever
  • Easily accommodates accessories, such as suppressors, lights, lasers, optics, and scopes.
  • The roller delayed blowback system reduces the felt recoil enough to continually shoot with precision, shot after shot
  • Shorter than the SP5, this gun can conceal in a backpack or shoulder holster (best-concealed carry backpacks)

Cons

  • Very expensive base price
  • Adding a suppressor or optic will push this gun to 5k, easily.
  • I think it’s almost too wide at the grip for such a small pistol

Features

  • Bungee sling
  • Fully Ambidextrous safety and mag release
  • Picatinny Rail system for easy and secure customization
  • Much improved bolt carrier group
  • Fluted barrel and bolt carrier to reduce the weight and increase accuracy

HK SP5K Vs. MP5K

The SP5K and MP5K are incredibly similar in barrel length, weight, capacity, and rate of fire. The SP5K has better components with the F-bolt carrier group, but it’s also at least $1,000 more expensive than the MP5K.

Personally, the MP5K would be my choice with a thinner grip by more than half an inch and a much softer trigger pull. Both guns are great, as with anything from HK, but I would make my decision solely on price point.

SP5KMP5K
Overall Length13.9"12.7"
Barrel Length4.53"4.5′
Height8.66"9"
Caliber9x19mm9x19mm
Weight4.2 lbs4.4bs
Weight (empty mag) 4.6lbs4.8lbs
Weight (loaded mag)about 6 lbsabout 6 lbs
Magazine Capacity10/3015/30
Trigger Pull Weight6.7-10.1 lbs of force (30-45 Newton)5-6 lbs
Trigger Travel.24".22"
Return Travel.12".11"
ActionSemi-AutoSemi-Auto
SafetyManualManual
Rate of Fire800/min800/min
Width2.4"1.9"
MSRP$2,500$1,000-1,600

Conclusion

The SP5 is the civilian version of the MP5 with upgraded components to provide smoother operation and a better overall feel for the gun. The SP5 is made with the same canon-grade steel of the MP5, but the frame and stock are shortened by at least 4" for a collapsed stock and 10" for an extended stock. The SP5 is made for sport shooting, but could be a great home defense weapon when loaded with a 30-round magazine.

The SP5K is the civilian version of the MP5K and gives shooters their chance to conceal this new beautiful pistol in a nice concealed carry backpack. However, the MP5K is shorter, has a lighter trigger pull, and is at least $1,000 cheaper than the newer upgraded SP5K. To me buying the new SP5 is like buying the iPhone 11; sure it’s better than the 10, but you have to ask yourself if paying $1,000 more for it is worth it. For me, I’ll take an MP5K and save my money for maybe a new Tikka T3.


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