MP7 is a defence weapon which is manufactured by Heckler & Koch and uses 4.6x30mm cartridge.
MP7 was designed to meet requirements published by NATO in 1989 for calling a submachine gun with more effect on body armor than the existing models which were limited because of use of standard handgun cartridges. This gun is a competitor of FN P90. MP7 has been under four revisions and the current version is MP7A1.
MP7, also classified as personal defense weapon was first launched in 2001. It is known to be very compact and uses polymers for its construction and hence is very light. High quality body armour made MP5 and USP quite ineffective. Thus HK designed MP7, along with UCP which uses similar ammunition. It had to be small enough to be placed in the category of submachine gun. MP7A1 acts like a scaled down assault rifle and has similar action to that of HKâ€™s G36. The muzzle velocity is quite near to that of 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge which is used in numerous modern rifles.
The ammunition is very unique as the bullet is almost entirely hardened steel penetrator instead of the softer lead or brass. This is very much exclusive to the gun and is only used in UCP and an underproduction variant of Brugger & Thomet MP 9. This gun offers a very low recoil. The round is comparably much smaller in diameter and has often been described as scaled down .223 Remington and thus allows a high capacity for even a very small magazine.
Even if the round is smaller in diameter, the special properties give it a good stopping power. The projectile is designed so that the bullet tumbles in tissue after it penetrates the body armor, thus causing much more damage. But this gun is yet to prove itself in action.
The weapon comes with a conventional 20 or 40 round box type magazine which is to be fit in the pistol gap and is comparable to 15 or 30 round 9 mm magazine. The gun also has ambidextrous fire-select lever and also a rear cocking grip. This gun can be used one handed and two handed.
MP7A1 was first designed in 2003, then updated in 2005. The update was just an addition of a Safety Trigger, as available in Glock. This prevents accidental discharges in case the trigger is bumped. The weapon grew heavier with each revision.
The gun is used by German army, Norwegian Army, UK MOD Police, Malaysian Police special Force, Irish Garda Siochana and South Korean Police. The weight of the gun is 1.8 kg, empty; 1.9 kg with 20 rounds and 2.0 kg with 40 rounds.