H&K MP7 – Smaller than an UZI, but not small

After the RECOIL Magazine incident, many people have been discussing the H&K MP7. People often have the incorrect impression that it is a small gun. I put this down to video games, where the MP7 appears a lot smaller than it really it, and hyperbole from fiction and non-fiction writers. It is far bigger than a pistol. Here is a photo of Andrew holding two MP7s

Yes, it can be holstered, but so can a carbine.

I would be interested to see any photos of it being used as a sidearm/secondary weapon. I have only ever seen it being used as a primary weapon.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Kenny Blankenship

    Well if HK wanted all this publicity, I guess that article did a pretty good job.

    • bbmg

      They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity but I doubt this will have a positive effect on MP7 sales, the device does not stand up to scrutiny in the context of the role it was designed to fulfill and attracting attention will not be helpful.

      • John

        Like military and LE units read up on articles like these. Too bad they are not available to civilians.

  • Reverend Clint

    you would have to be 7 feet tall to think that was a reasonably sized pistol

    • John Doe

      Dolph Lundgren should’ve done that in the Expendables 2. That would’ve been priceless.

  • that guy is so handsome…oh wait

    • 032125

      Andrew and Nick Gillespie; separated at birth?

    • Harald Hansen

      I must say you look good with two MP7s. But then again, everyone looks good with two MP7s… 🙂

      • Thanks. They had four but I could only hold two at once…

  • Trev

    Hey, it’s almost as big as the Mk.23!

  • Ghostalker

    It seems to me H&K has a track record of not releasing ‘evil black’ things to market, at least not in the US.
    You can get the H&K SL8, but not a G36 in semi auto.
    You can get the H&K USC, but not a UMP in semi auto.
    Now it just so happens i don’t mind the look of these fixed stock variants (maybe because I live in CT and am used to no folding/tele stocks) but the point still stands H&K seems to either not want to import civvy legal black rifles, or can’t. They even make these models grey colored to avoid the evil black idea…

    • Mike

      Germans know everything about evil black things. They invented them.

      • gunslinger

        good one 🙂

    • Gadfly

      H&K would have to jump through all kinds of import regulations to bring this gun to the US market, plus German export laws. It fires an expensive and propriatary round. Do you think H&K would turn a profit on this gun after they add a 16″ barrel and redesign the fire control to meet ATF approval. I think H&K is pushing new pistol designs to the US because there is a profitable market. They even gave us a civilian version of the 416. What profit would there be in this nitch PDW? Is it cool? Yes. Would any of you line up to dump $2K on one and pay $1 per round to plink? Not many…

  • bbmg

    As posted in the previous article, the things is massive: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/PDWs%20×4.jpg

    I remember thinking the same about the MP5 and UMP, before you actually handle them they seem compact but are actually quite bulky.

    As it is, I see no practical reason why the MP7 should be preferred over a select fire pistol chambered in +P steel core loadings or subcalibre sabot rounds.

    The FN P90 which is its direct competitor is by comparison much more compact, not as many protruding parts, shorter than the MP7 with the stock extended, has a 50 round magazine which doesn’t stick out, and fires an arguably more effective cartridge.

    • Samopal

      There’s nothing “arguable” about it, extensive testing has concluded that the 5.7x28mm cartridge is superior to the 4.6×30 in every way.

      The 5.7×28 would have been standardized by NATO had Germany not cock-blocked the decision out of spite.

      • bbmg

        I qualified the statement prepared for some opposition, but as you say the FN round came out on top during trials.

        On the subject of NATO adoption, I’ve said it many times on this blog and I’ll say it again, given the ubiquitous nature of the 9x19mm round, why isn’t development focused on a subcalibre sabot for weapons chambered in this calibre? I just can’t see much disadvantage.

        A nylon or delrin sabot would be cheap to manufacture, and with the external shape of an FMJ round would cause no feeding problems. A solid steel subprojectile would be similarly economical to make and effectively punch through armour in the same way that the 5.7 and 4.6 rounds do.

        Probably the biggest sticking point is ensuring that a lighter round would still generate enough chamber pressure to result in reliable weapon function. Sabots would play havoc with most suppressors too but you wouldn’t be using them with these high velocity rounds anyway, and if they were necessary designs exist for shotguns and the like.

  • DW

    I don’t think it’s smaller than an Uzi Pro…

  • bbmg

    If only Magpul followed through with their PDR: http://www.defensereview.com/defrev-exclusive-magpul-pdr-personal-defense-rifle-556-pdw-photos/

    Using standard 5.56×45 rounds and magazines instead of a more feeble load in what looks like an extremely handy package would have rendered the MP7 even more redundant.

    • bbmg

      Just thinking aloud here, the above would presumably be readily converted to 300 blackout… with a stubby suppressor fitted it would put the MP5SD to shame as a covert entry tool…

      • Mike

        Yes, that’s a pretty good idea. If the PDR ever comes out, that is (Magpul apparently put the project on hold).

        • Chortles

          From what I recall, a Magpul rep (or whoever it was posting on their behalf) posted on ARFCOM that the US military didn’t return their calls about the PDR (although if I recall the “PDR-D” foregrip variant was specifically to conform to such a traditional foregrip design), and if the interest wasn’t there from the would-be biggest customer and target demographic, then proceeding further wouldn’t be be worthwhile.

          My personal speculation: I wouldn’t be surprised if behind the scenes they decided that they’re more likely to turn a profit through the airsoft replica (the Magpul PTS PDR) or through licensing the name/likeness for video games, than from trying to resurrect the PDR as a functional firearm, much less market and sell that to law enforcement and civilians.

          Video’s about the airsoft version:

  • Andrew Racek

    Maybe after all this H&K will revise their current attitude on the commercial market. Maybe they’ll make cool stuff for the civilian sector as well.

    A man can dream.

  • Avery

    I think the impression that the MP7 is small is from some of the initial photos and video games. It didn’t help H&K that they had a big dude as a model along with the “as a pistol” photos. And video game heroes always tend to be bigger than the average person in real life.

    • 6677

      Take a look at gears of war, no-one is as big as the characters in that, but then there’s no mp7 in that.
      I have noted that alot of kids in schools play CoD and seem to think they know loads about guns as a result. If only they realised how unrealistic the guns are… Hell they even made name mistakes and mistakes including guns in black ops that simply didn’t exist then…

      • Mobious

        Those games aren’t even worth bringing up to argue against them being used in arguments… it’s not getting the names wrong but a combination of copyright and differentiation from other games.

        And you play those games too, and might as well be talking about your colleagues in the same school

      • 6677

        I find it insulting to suggest I play CoD, when did I ever say I did. Its a dreary piece of turd. Ignore firearms for 1 moment, its the same game every release.
        Gears of war I do own, its all-right, I was more using it as an example of larger than life characters as the original poster said. Steve even attributed the perception of the gun being small down to video games.
        Yes I do play video games but more for the enjoyment of the game itself (hence why I don’t play CoD).

        And they are not my colleagues. When I say kid I mean kid, years 7 through to , maybe 10. This is an age bracket of 12 to 15 maybe. I’m 18, not an experienced adult (ok legally am in the UK) but certainly not some little kid.

        I think you need to learn how to read and not ignore the context.

  • Burst

    Alright. Fair point.

    I concede it would make a bit more sense to release it as a rifle than a pistol, if that were tenable. That’d keep the grip intact and allow for SBRs.

    And Andrew’s jacket looks nice. I want one.

    …so there.

  • Brick

    Well I am not a big fan of secundaries in general. With the MP7 I can actually see one use as a sidearm, where it is worthwhile. German snipers use the AWM (G22), so the MP7 would be an excellent addition for short range defense. Perhaps it would even make sense for DMs (HK MR308 and G3) especially in buildings. I have not seen any pictures of such a load out. Rheinmetall mentions the MP7 for the “Infanterist der Zukunft” “future soldier” as part of the load out for “Bediener schwerer Waffen” “users of heavy armament”. But that could mean IFVs, where it would be and is used as primary.

    The Heer (army) mentions as part of IdZ for the squad leaders armament. This could suggest it is planned to use it as secundary.

    In my opinion it does not make sense to use it as secundary other than for snipers.

    • Zach

      It doesn’t make much sense as a primary either, since there are plenty of other more compact options for IFV/Tank crewmembers.

      • charles222

        All of which have precisely zero ability against body armor.

  • allen

    Shows the MP7 as a secondary for (fmr) DEVGRU operator Matt Bissonnette

    • JD

      Hmmm. The optical set up on the MP7 looks dumb. Night vision that doesn’t line up with the red dot? I don’t see a quick release lever on that either, so something tells me that was a photo op from the beginning.

      Remember Spec Ops aren’t immune to questionable purchases driven by hype either. Remember the original EOTechs?

      • Adam

        Not a red dot, that’s a PEQ-15.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      Don’t think that is a secondary, he said he used it as a primary when boarding ships, in the jungle or when he needed to be particularly quiet.

      • bbmg

        To my knowledge there are no subsonic loads for the MP7, so I doubt that if noise was a factor, this would be the first choice as a weapon.

      • Mr Mxyzptlk

        Well you will have to take that up with Bissonnette as he said it. He claimed that on occasions he shot someone with the suppressed MP7 in one room and didn’t wake up the people in the next room. Even if the round is still supersonic there is a hell of a lot less muzzle blast than from a short barrelled HK416, making it a relatively much quieter alternative.

      • bbmg

        Must have been very heavy sleepers in the next room then… granted a good suppressor will cut down on the muzzle blast, and even with supersonic ammunition the shot will be relatively quieter, but it will still be extremely loud.


        44 mag is perhaps not the best comparison but there are plenty of supersonic vs subsonic videos on youtube, the difference is clearly audible and from personal experience to my ears suppressed supersonic 22LR is louder than unsuppressed subsonic 22LR.

    • W

      i like the blooper. Ive seen the stocks cut on them before 😀

  • Martin Rudolph

    I’m thinking HK got with Recoil to do some CRAAZZZYY article so that we-the-people would create its own media hype for free. Look at all these MP7 bits that keep poping up 😀 I like it though, so its all good.

  • Mike Knox

    Well there is the other way. Andrew may be under 5’3″ there. Just look at the other guy at the left of the photo, his forearm’s at least bigger than Andrew’s thigh.

    I’ve already handled an MP7A1 (biggest version so far) and it’s just as big as a Mk23 with a buffer block the size of an iphone instead of a hammer. I was surprised it could fit in a jacket holster or small-of-back holster. I’m just as big as the guy in the linked holster photo..

    • I’m 5’11. He was standing closer to the camera.

  • Lance

    The only down side about a MP-7 over the MP-5 is that it has a grip mag well and makes the design a bit heavy and large for small handed people. other than that its a good weapon.

  • ruben

    i usto work a gun range/gun store and hk was the most difficult arms manufacture to work with, they never returned calls, parts seem to take forever to arrive, whens the last time youve seen full page or any hk ad in a gun magazine, they really dont like selling to civillians, but do it cuz no modification is needed to pistols to make them civi ready. people keep using elitest, when talking about hk, i just think their a**holes.

    • AnoSymun

      Maybe they just couldn’t stand your spelling?

  • W

    Yes! The MP7 is not a “small gun”. Nobody cares what the size it is in a video game or airsoft.

    A sidearm it does not make. Just like the P90. Of course, the misconception is that a PDW is supposed to be as small as a pistol; a PDW is supposed to be a blend between a carbine and a submachine gun/machine pistol.

    • bbmg

      From Anthony William’s article on the subject: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/PDWs.htm

      “The problem is that handguns require a high degree of training and constant practice in order to achieve and maintain proficiency. This is fine for specialist troops who use them in an offensive role, but much less suitable for a PDW. With admirable foresight, the US Army recognised these problems and introduced the self-loading .30 M1 Carbine in 1942, primarily as a handgun replacement. Chambered for a much smaller and less powerful cartridge than the .30 M1 (Garand) rifle, the Carbine was a light and handy weapon which saw service in more offensive roles than were originally intended, particularly in the M2 version which introduced a selective fire capability.

      Other armies seeking to improve effectiveness turned to the sub-machine gun firing pistol ammunition. Introduced in the First World War, they were commonly carried by NCOs in the Second, as well as specialist troops and – in the case of the Soviet Army – whole regiments of infantry. The support gained from firing from the shoulder gives these a far longer effective range than a pistol; around 100 metres or so. They are also more compact and handier than rifles but not usually any lighter, and in practice have been used more for offensive than self-defence roles. In the last quarter of the 20th Century, SMGs were gradually replaced in many armies by shortened versions of the standard rifles, which in the new small calibres (5.56 mm and 5.45 mm) are just as compact as SMGs, usually lighter, and have the benefit of simplifying training and logistics. “

      • W

        yup. awesome link

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I remember seeing a photo of a German KSK soldier in Afghanistan carrying a G36 of some sort (can’t remember the details on this) as his primary, with a suppressed MP7A1 in a holster on his hip/thigh, and then also a suppressed USP in a chest holster. Can’t find it now though, anyone ever seen what I’m talking about?

    • bbmg

      Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

      Remove the weight of the Mk.23 and its ammo and replace it with more ammo for the MP7, or vice versa.

      Even better, have a PDW chambered in 5.56 x 45 like the currently hypothetical Magpul PDR so you only have to carry one type of ammo and magazine.

  • John Doe

    So it really isn’t much bigger than a P90. Either way, both are impractical for civilians (doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be sold), and the P90 has much more interesting engineering put into it.

  • Zee

    Caption this picture.

    I went to H&K and all I got were these lousy MP7s.

    I’m actually 4ft tall, these guns are tiny.

    Great, now…where the hell can I get ammo?

  • coined

    “In all fairness to HK, Andrew isn’t much taller than a hobbit….”

  • AnoSymun

    Well, HK sure seems to think it can be used as a secondary. They just released this new holster for it:

  • Nicks87

    Why does Andrew always look pissed off?

    When I handle firearms I have a perma-grin from ear to ear. 🙂

  • Mike Knox

    Why does it sound like peeps are pissed at H&K because they can’t have it due to Laws made by the government. It’s like some valley girls hating Ford because their parents won’t let them have one for thier sweet sixteen..

  • Brian

    Is it just me or would a civvie 16″ barrel MP7 look REALLY bad unless fitted with a faux suppressor?