The Mp5 is one of the most iconic firearms ever built. The great submachine gun has dominated every facet of the firearms world. It has been extensively used by militaries and law enforcement officials worldwide. It has been manufactured under license in several countries. The MP5 has also had a massive impact on pop culture, featured in countless films, and video games. We will review some of the top MP5 Clones.
The MP5 is a German submachine gun developed by Heckler & Koch back in the 60s. It used the same design as the popular and successful HK-G3 battle rifle and therefore used a roller delayed block back operating system rather than a direct blowback system, like most other submachine guns of the time.
This system meant that the MP5 could use a lighter bolt, and hence be a very smooth shooting submachine gun, which was easy to control. This made it an excellent firearm for special operations units, which had to operate in confined rooms. One of the biggest highlights for the MP5 was when it was used by the British SAS to respond to the 1980 hostage situation in the Iranian Embassy in London.
This was a practical showcase of how effective the MP5 was, and since then it became a go-to weapon for many special operations units around the world. The prominent features of the gun in action movies like “Die Hard” and almost every other video game also added to the immense popularity of the MP5.
Why Are There So Many MP5 Clones?
Even though the H&K MP5 is perhaps the most common submachine gun in the world, they were not available to civilians in the US for a very long time. The Mp5 is a full-auto capable sub-machine gun, which means that civilians can’t legally own it in the US, except for some of the pre-ban MP5s, which are obviously very rare and expensive.
You can also get the MP5 in .22 where HK has partnered with Umarex of German.
Therefore, many manufacturers made MP5 clones in the US, some under license from H&K, and some using slightly different operating systems. Recently, in 2019, H&K released the SP5 which was the first civilian MP5 in the US.
Still, here are some of the best MP5 clones that you can get in the US.
The Zenith Firearm ZF-5 comes in a pistol configuration, with an Mp5 design. Like the original Mp5, the Zenith Firearms ZF-5 also uses the Roller Delayed blowback mechanism, with aesthetics exactly the same as an H&K Mp5.
The ZF-5 has an 8.9-inch, cold hammer forged steel barrel. The barrel has a 3-Lug muzzle device platform on it, and 1/2 -28 muzzle threads as well. The ZF-5 comes with a simple A2-style flash hider that is mounted on the three-lug interface.
The handguard is the same as stock Mp5s and is made from polymer. It doesn’t have any accessory mounting capabilities but is great for shooters who want the original Mp5 aesthetics. However, the ZF-5 does have a Picatinny Rail section on the top, which allows you to mount modern optics. Like the original Mp5, the Zenith Firearm ZF-5 also has a rotating drum rear Diopter sight, and a hooded front sight.
As far as the controls of the ZF-5 are concerned, it comes with an ambidextrous safety lever and a paddle-style magazine release. The charging handle is on the left of the pistol, like a typical Mp5.
The ZF-5 comes with three 30-round Mp5 style metal magazines, and a hard case as well.
You may know PTR industries from their incredible PTR 91 rifles, which they have been manufacturing in the US for over a decade. The PTR 91 was a clone of the HK G3, and at the short show 2018, PTR also introduced their PTR 9CT 601 Pistol for the first time, which is an American-made clone of the MP5.
The PTR 9CT 601 is quite similar to the original Mp5, and where it retained the qualities of the original, it makes some improvements to the platform as well. First of all, it has muzzle threads along with a tri-lug adapter, which allows you to install a wide range of European and American-made muzzle devices. The aluminum handguard is also modernized on the PTR 9CT 601. It has M-Lok slots and allows you to mount all kinds of gear and accessories.
Paddle Style Magazine Releases
Furthermore, One of the main issues American shooters have with European firearms like the Mp5 is the paddle-style magazine release. Americans are more used to a button-style release, and the PTR 9CT 601 solves this problem by having both a paddle-style and button-style magazine release. You also get a precision-welded top rail on the receiver, which can be used to mount modern optics.
The PTR 9CT 601 comes with an 8.86” barrel, which has a 1:10 twist rate and is nitrite treated. This Mp5-style pistol comes in a hard case, which includes two 30-round Mp5 magazines. Overall, the PTR 9CT 601 is a modernized, and affordable clone of the Mp5, and is a great option for any shooter looking for an Mp5 pistol.
Over the years, H&K has come up with several variants of the Mp5. They made a shorter and more concealable version called the Mp5k and made civilian versions called the SP89 for export as well. Although the original Mp5k and Mp5k-PDW saw a lot of use in the military, civilian versions like the SP89 didn’t get the sales that were expected.
So, in 2020, H&K finally released the Sp5k-PDW, which had all of the features of the Mp5k-PDW. It has a 3-Lug attachment point for muzzle devices, a slap charging handle, and a paddle magazine release, unlike the old Sp89. Moreover, these guns are made in Germany, on the same assembly line as the Military and law-enforcement H&K Mp5s, and therefore, are the most realistic clones you can get.
Sp5k-PDW Shortened Bolt and Barrel
The Sp5k-PDW has a shortened bolt and a short 5.8-inch barrel. Therefore, it has a much faster cyclic rate than a traditional Mp5. Still, if you put a pistol brace on it, or pay the tax stamp to convert it into an SBR, it is very controllable, even when shot in full auto. However, most civilian versions will only be semi-automatic so that is not an issue.
The handguard on the Sp5K PDW also features a small hand stop, which prevents your hand from sliding in front of the muzzle. Moreover, it has a notched drum sight, instead of the Diopter sight mounted on full-sized Mp5s. To stay true to the original Mp5k design, the Sp5K PDW doesn’t have a Picatinny rail on top for mounting optics, however, there are aftermarket solutions.
The Sp5K PDW comes with two 30-round magazines in the hard case, and a bungee sling as well, which can help in creating forward tension when shooting this pistol without a brace. Overall, the Sp5K PDW is an excellent personal defense weapon and is really fun to shoot at the range.
GSG or German Sporting Guns is a German firearm Manufacturer, and the 522SD is a .22 caliber version of the Mp5. It is imported by American Tactical Imports in a rifle configuration
The aesthetics of the ATI-GSG 522 SD are very similar to the Mp5SD, however, there are some minor differences. It has a 16-inch barrel, which is covered by a faux suppressor or barrel shroud which makes this rifle look like the Mp5SD.
However, where the aesthetics are similar, the internals are quite different from an Mp5. GSG 522 SD has a simple blowback operating system, which is better for the small .22 caliber, whereas Mp5s have a roller delayed blowback system. Because of the smaller caliber, the dimensions of the barrel and other components of the rifle are also slightly different.
ATI-GSG 522 SD vs MP5
The controls are very similar to the MP5SD, however, the design of certain parts like the safety selector is different. The pistol grip on the GSG 522 SD is also textured, unlike the original Mp5. You also get a small section of Picatinny rail on top of the GSG 522 SD, which allows you to install optics.
Overall the GSG 522 SD is an excellent gun for plinking at the range. It allows you to fire a very low recoil and affordable caliber, out of a platform that gives you the feel, ergonomics, and aesthetics of one of the coolest guns on the planet.
The Ap5 is a clone of the H&K Mp5 manufactured by MKE in Turkey and imported by Century Arms in the USA. MKE is the biggest weapons manufacturer in Turkey, and they make everything from pistols like the Ap5 to RPGs and Tanks for the Turkish Military. Moreover, they have been working with H&K since 1909, and therefore, have quite the expertise in making guns like the Mp5, which have been made by MKE under license from H&K since the 70s.
Century Arms Ap5 is identical to the MP5
Therefore, the Century Arms Ap5 is identical to the MP5 in almost every way. The parts are interchangeable as well. The controls are the same, except for the safety selector, which will obviously only have two positions for Safe and Fire, whereas the original Mp5 also has a Full-auto position. You have the same slap charging handle on the left and a very similar trigger. Staying true to the original Mp5 design, the Ap5 only has the 3-Lug muzzle device attachment system. Unlike some other American Clones, which also have threads. The sights are also identical, and the Ap5 comes with a Picatinny rail section which can be mounted using Mp5 Claw Mounts.
The Ap5 comes with two 30-round magazines, a hard case, an original 70s style Mp5 sling. Also an Authentic Mp5 cleaning kit that is the same as the one issued with the military and law-Enforcement guns.
Overall, if you want a well-built Mp5 clone that is identical to the Mp5, the Century Arms Ap5 is an excellent option.