The Heckler & Koch or commonly known as HK MP5 is within a family of closed bolt submachine guns manufactured and developed by Heckler & Koch (HK) of German in the 1960s.
The MP5 was first introduced by Heckler & Koch in 1966, under the name HK54. This name comes from HK's old numbering system: the "5" designates the model as a submachine gun, while the "4" identifies it as being chambered for 9 Ãƒâ€” 19 mm ammunition. The current name dates from when it was officially adopted by the West German government for use by its police and border guard as the Maschinenpistole 5 ("Machine pistol 5", or MP5), in mid-1966. The GSG 9 (the counter-terrorist unit of the German Federal Police) then introduced the MP5 to other Western counter-terrorist units.
Future of the MP5
The future of the MP5 is uncertain due to the increased use of body armor. New forms and trends in firearm manufacture and design have begun to supersede the MP5; such as small caliber personal defense weapons (PDW). The Heckler & Koch MP7 and other compact carbines including the AKS-74U, M4, the G36C which is a variant of HK's G36. The sole significant criticism of the MP5 has been its relatively high cots at around US$900 for an MP5N with is the United States Navy Variant. Heckler & Koch began to complement the MP5 series with the less expensive UMP, which comes in 9mm Parabellum, .40S&W and .45ACP calibers. The two weapons however are not necessarily competitors because the MP 5 uses the roller delayed blowback and the UMP uses a simple blowback action. In addition, the lighter weight of the UMP makes the weapon much more difficult to control during firing in fully automatic mode than the MP5.
Notable Use of MP5
One very notable and famous counter-terrorist operation during which the MP5 was used is known as Operation Nimrod. The Operation took place on April 30, 1980 in the United Kingdom. During Nimrod, the Special Air Service (SAS) armed with MP5's was sent to assault and eradicate the terrorist who had taken over the Iranian embassy in London, England.
MP5 in Service
The MP5's reliability, accuracy, and wide range of variations and accessories have made it the preeminent submachine gun of choice for law enforcement and military agencies worldwide for over thirty years. Users of the MP5 include special operations forces, counter-terrorist groups and police forces.
The German terrorist group known as the Red Army Faction, pictured a Heckler & Koch MP5 in their insignia.
A typical stock and common MP5 fires 9 Ãƒâ€” 19 mm Parabellum ammunition from a detachable box which is curved and the magazine capacity is 15 or 30 rounds.
The MP5's trigger group is a replaceable modular component as is common with most weapons produced by Heckler & Koch. The trigger group of the weapon has a fire mode selector, which can include various and diverse combinations of 3 or 2 round burst, fully automatic, and semi-automatic, in addition to a selection of safe position.
More Powerful Variants
MP5s were initially chambered for the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge, commonly used in many pistols. In the late 1990s variants with more power were introduced and chambered for the .40 S&W and 10mm Auto cartridges. (MP5/40 and MP5/10, respectively). In 2000, with the introduction of the new UMP submachine gun, both versions were discontinued.
Tracing back to a mid 1940s German prototype commonly referred to as the STG45(M), the MP5 has a roller-delayed blowback mechanism. This system was further developed in the CETME rifle.