H&K Unveils Mid-Life Upgrades for MP5 SMG At AUSA

H&K has unveiled a new upgrade package for the MP5 to modernize and improve the weapon, and was showing it off at the Association of the United States Army’s 2015 annual meeting. SoldierSystems.net reports:

This is the MP-5 Mid-Life Improvement. While they haven’t changed the weapon mechanically, they’ve upgraded to a new three position collapsible stock, the Modular Slim Line Handguard and Mounting Rail with STANAG 4694 Profile. All three of these items can be retrofitted to existing MP-5s.

The H&K MP5 has not only proven to be one of the most popular post-war submachine guns, but also perhaps the most enduring. Unlike its roller-retarded blowback stablemates, the MP5 has remained in H&K’s catalog, and the company still receives significant orders for the weapon, which is now over half a century old.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I am truly ashamed of the terrible things I would do to get one of these.

    I should go home and hug my family.

    • ostiariusalpha

      W-would you kill a man?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yes, if it was a person who had it coming anyway like somebody who brings hot ethnic food onto an airplane.
        Those people should be dragged onto the tarmac and executed in front of the other passengers.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Reminds me of the time we had a professional electronics cleaner come in and go over the shops computers & other equipment. He used our restroom and, when I entered a half hour after he left, my eyes immediately began watering & burning. Then the smell registered in my nose, and I stumbled out choking back bile. We sometimes have to work in areas with exposed raw sewage, and I’ve dealt with that fine, but that reek just exceeded my limits. It was like he’d been gorging himself on burnt tires seasoned with tear gas. At any rate, we never used his services ever again.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I don’t know whether to vote this up or down.

          • ostiariusalpha

            It still baffles me. I mean, what kind of food is there that can even produce such a smell? Demon feces? I don’t think I’d even want to know for sure.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Don’t wanna know

          • Anomanom

            Haribo Sugar Free Gummi Bears. The Amazon reviews detail the effects. Don’t read when eating.

          • ostiariusalpha

            I’ll definitely have to purchase a few bags to hand out the the neighborhood kids this Halloween. Those precious angels deserve a little karmic snack.

          • iksnilol

            Good God! I want to be you when I am old(er).

          • EP

            I once went to Japan for a few weeks on business. Let me tell you that when I took a dump I would swear that there was no way that vile stench came out of my body! It was the most horrendous thing I’ve ever smelled. I’m guessing the complete diet change threw my insides for a loop and man were they letting me know it in the most pungently aromatic way possible. Just nasty! !!!

          • Bill

            You haven’t been through the autopsy of someone who was killed in a fire, or whose body had been immersed in a farm pond or the like for a couple weeks in August. On the other hand, our office developed a broken waster line that no one could locate, plus an overfull sump that the people brought into clean just walked out on, so I can relate.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Now, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the guy wasn’t an ambulatory corpse. Burnt flesh and bog rot are truly offensive smells, but at least they have an organic cause. How does a living human produce that mustard gas effect though? It was unnatural.

          • Bill

            “Aliens Walk Among Us”

          • Christopher Stivers

            Gas station burritos?

    • Dan

      I would sell my family to get one. I wouldn’t even tell them. I might remind the kids as they grow older how lucky they are that daddy didn’t sell you for an MP5.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Don’t tell them.
        You might change your mind.

  • BattleshipGrey

    It’s kind of like the opposite of an infomercial, “but wait, there’s more…not only will you get these great upgrades, but it’ll now cost you and arm AND a leg.”

    • Yimmy

      It must be a German thing. Porsche is notorious for added little extras that should be standard at a cost that far exceeds anything reasonable.

      With that being said, I still dream of rolling around like a modern day Omega man in a porsche 911 with my new mp5…. is that so wrong?

      • iksnilol

        Porsches are pretty cheap as far as sports cars go, at least from what I’ve seen.

        • Badabing

          $85k is cheap?

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, comparing that to other sports cars. It is pretty cheap.

          • Badabing

            Yeah I’m not following you on that one at all. Mustangs are sports cars at 35k, and yes they can handle and perform like a bmw m3. Thats cheap. Miatas are sports cars at mid 20s. Theyre one of the best selling private race car for series competition in the US and Japan. Hell the corvette at 55k is easily affordable.

            So in other words, no 911s are not a cheap everyday affordable sports car otherwise they wouldn’t be as highly coveted or seen as exclusive cars. Compared to Ferrari and lamborghini or other supercars, yes they’re MORE affordable. However a like performance gt3 911 or even the turbo will set you back 150-175k. Regardless 911s for the general masses are not cheap.

          • iksnilol

            Cheap compared to the Ferrari and Lambos.

            I usually mean those when I mean sports cars. I like mustangs and chargers, but they’re less practical and the newer ones aren’t as cool as the old ones.

          • wedelj1231

            Ferraris and Lambos aren’t sports cars, they are supercars. I get it, I’m being a detail nazi, but details allow clear discussion and prevent confusion. $85k is expensive for sports cars, and cheap for supercars.

          • FarmerB

            Not sure what an optioned up 911 Turbo costs in the US. I consider that the top of “normal” sports car range. Here they are over $200K IIRC.

          • All the Raindrops

            It’s more practical to drop 35k than 350k

          • iksnilol

            Maintenance and stuff on the new mustangs is gonna most likely push you to 85.

          • FarmerB

            MX-5 and stuff like that isn’t in the same league. They are good cars and fun for what they are – but a 911 is a few steps up (most 911 snobs won’t even call a Boxster a sports car.) They are pretty expensive – especially the options, but not supercar expensive. I should declare here that I own a 911 🙂
            And having expensive options isn’t just a Porsche thing – all the German makes do the same thing – Germans like to ‘design’ their cars to order. The ones they make for the US market are normally ‘packaged up’ and people tend to buy them off the shelf, but in this part of Europe, most are made to order (I have a BMW on order as well – it’s being made in the US and shipped to Europe!)
            It all depends on your definition of ‘sports car’. I certainly don’t include a Mustang as a sports car (nothing against them, I’ve owned some big muscle cars in my day).

          • All the Raindrops

            You got one?

          • iksnilol

            Nah, my brother did. Really fun car.

      • Southpaw89

        I’d prefer a Kubelwagen and a C-96 with a shoulder stock, but that’s just me.

  • Vitsaus

    Sounds like stuff they should have done 20 years ago.

  • I have run MP5s in just about every configuration, and nothing is worse than a damn optic and the collapsible stock. You have to chin-weld on the stock’s bar to see the reticle in your optic, and any kind of foregrip really does not feel right on one.
    A real upgrade on these would be a quick detach barrel.

    • mechamaster

      The quick change barrel like the HK 21 / 23.
      well, that’s interesting concept in MP5 configuration.

    • tony

      I agree, I have a hard time too.
      it really depends on the specific shooter’s build. the vertical distance from eye to shoulder should not exceed a certain limit

    • iksnilol

      Why a quick change barrel on an MP5?

      • Because swapping them is a Bit**. Uzis, MPLs, CZ26s, etc have them, so why not the MP5?

        • iksnilol

          Yeah, but how often do you swap barrels on SMGs?

          NOTE: I don’t have an SMG so I don’t know how often you change barrels on them.

          • All the time. Also makes cleaning easier.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I’ve cleaned my MP5 twice… since like 2010. I just don’t clean that thing, and it doesn’t seem to care.

          • I clean mine after every shoot. Of course it always goes out suppressed and sees one or two thousand rounds at a time.

          • Bill

            Cleaning guns? Like vacuuming them?

          • iksnilol

            Did not know that. I sorta imagined you using a part of your cocaine budget to burn MP5 barrels A-Team style.

          • TCBA_Joe

            A quick change barrel for SMGs isn’t a necessity in the same way it is for MGs.

            It allows for easy service, replacement, caliber diversity, configuration change. Right now you need serious gunsmithing skills and a press to do any work on the MP5. Bulged/squibbed, shot-out, want to change the length or thread pitch, convert the gun to another caliber? You need to send it out for expensive work.

            Having a quick change or user serviceable barrel also makes it easier for the manufacturer to increase quality control and reduce potential problems.

        • stfram1

          And none of those SMG’s you mentioned are still getting sizable orders. I’ll apologize to the Uzi carbine(s) in my safe later. 🙂
          Everybody likes quick-change barrels, but nobody actually uses them except for LMG’s where they are a necessity. Oh, and the AUG.
          An MP5 with a quick-change barrel would be nice, but end users are not clamoring for one.

  • TCBA_Joe

    I’ll post the same thing here I did on the SSD article:
    This mid-life improvement of the MP5 is nothing more than adding OEM options of aftermarket parts.

    A real mid-life improvement would be taking the operating system and
    improving the shell and user interface as well as updating construction.
    User serviceable/changeable barrel, multi-caliber ability, aluminum
    extruded upper receiver, monolithic pic rail, updated trigger pack with
    more ergonomic selector and provision for AR grips.

    But sure, keep pumping out an increasingly obsolete design and
    “update” it with parts that have been available for a couple decades

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      AK5 —> AK5C and AK5D. That is some serious mid-life improvement.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Aluminum extruded upper with roller lock is what the UMP should have been. Some yahoo tried to do it with an MP5 and it looked terrible.

      I love my MP5. But this is definitely an end-of-life upgrade, not mid-life.

      • noob

        Seems a lot like my midlife. Ill-advised decisions on superficial changes, badly executed.

      • iksnilol

        Could you make an MP5 with alu receiver? Like, would it work? And how much weight would you save?

    • John Shore

      I guess that you just blew off the bit about ‘receiving significant orders,’ then. The gun is STILL considered one of the best submachine guns in the world, after half a century; What point is there in heavily modifying an obsolete, obviously piece-of-trash gun with, damningly, no modern bells and whistles, that governments still buy in large numbers, and that civilians would do ‘terrible things’ to own?

      WTF is a ‘user interface’ on a gun? Is that the LED round counter, or the on-off switch in the watch you have to wear to fire it?

    • noob

      They’re only calling it a “mid-life” upgrade because it’s the equivalent of getting a hair-piece, a spray tan and a convertible and hoping some 20 year old will work your charging handle and give you the HK slap.

    • AR-PRO

      The only issue I have with my MP5’s is that both have the 3 lug barrel. I know some were made with removable lugs, but mine isn’t. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. They function flawlessly as long as you clean them once in a while (like any firearm) and are extremely accurate. TCBA Joe, there are some upgrades you speak of available that are just add-ons, look around!

  • Steve

    Welcome to SHOT 2014.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea, I thought so… It was also there this year iirc.

      I own an MP5 SBR so I don’t pay too much attention to them in the wild. But yea, this is definitely not new.

  • aweds1

    How solid is that optic rail? It’s looks like a cuff squeezed onto the receiver. Why couldn’t they just weld a rail on top like PTR or many of the other clone manufacturers?

    • iksnilol

      Because it has a claw mount. At least that’s how you mounted top rails on MP5s before.

      • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

        If they wanted to modernize it they would do away with the claw mounts is all.

        • iksnilol

          It’s already there, why not just use it?


          • Paladin

            LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!!!!!1!!

            wait, what year is it again?

  • mechamaster

    A bit late for H&K..
    But I like if they focused in newer model like improved UMP for example.. Or create HK 416 in submachinegun configuration like SIG MPX.

  • Lance

    Love the MP-5 glad to see solder on in SOCOM for many years to come….. But enough &^&*%$# rails!!!!!!!!! Fire to have a mount for optics or light, but when handguards are no more and you have to buy a grip just to hold onto the weapon this is too stinking ridicules.

    • CommonSense23

      Yeah, its not really been soldiering on in Socom. Every year there is less and less of them in the armories. Doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon.

      • Paladin

        The only people still running MP5s are the ones who haven’t quite twigged on to just how much better a short rifle calibre carbine is in nearly every respect.

        • All the Raindrops

          This x1000. 5.56/x39 or 9mm in same size package. Not a hard decision. I’ll take my mk18/cqbr clone and bust targets out to 400 easy. With much more power than 9mm. The main thing going for the mp5 is it looks cool, but this new version looks tapco-fked

        • CommonSense23

          In fairness a lot of people are still running them cause they just don’t have the option. We had them on our last two deployments cause we weren’t cool enough to get .300BLKs. But if we decided to use one, it was carried as a secondary(MP5SD) for certain task only, while still carrying our MK18s.

          • Paladin

            It does seem to take a while for things to filter through the acquisition process, even if they’re really cool things.

  • Anonymoose

    Gibe factory SBR pls.

  • Kyle

    Does anyone agency even use these any more? I know FAST had a bunch but they never left the armory. Ever. Only reason we even knew they existed is that you could seem them on the rack through the armory window.

    • Bill

      There are plenty still in the field.

  • Bradley Chapman

    It just dawned on me that the HK Mp5 is the firearm equivalent of the Mazda Mx5. Light and nimble. Lacking in power but handles incredibly and is plenty of fun.

    • All the Raindrops

      Alrighty then

    • Otis

      not cheap though

  • Wetcoaster

    I wonder if every time an MP5 upgrade rolls out, the ex-UMP9 engineers get ribbed by their colleagues

    • Mazryonh

      Aside from its polymer construction, ability to fire .45 ACP and slower firing rate, what exactly did the UMP have over the MP5? Certainly not enough to replace the MP5 like HK hoped.

  • John

    This feels like HK is fighting off the EVO Scorpion. HK never cared about rails before, even when everyone begged for them in the MP5 years ago.

    • Likely more worried about the Sig MPX.

      • wedelj1231

        Or really any SMG that has come out in the last decade or more. I think the MP5, while a great design half a century ago, is extremely dated and only lives on through hype and reputation.

    • Bill

      And everyone put on Surefire forends that negated the need for rails. You just proved your operatorness by how much your light was flame-etched and how sooty your lens was.

  • AK™

    Needs Magpul AR grip…


  • All the Raindrops

    IMO these look like crap compared to nicely kitted out “traditional mp5’s”

    We still get aimpoints, lights, lasers, collapsible /folding stocks on the “old” ones, and they have class.

  • Bill

    The MP5 is hardly obsolete, and if there is a better submachine gun out there I haven’t found it, though I have no experience with the new Scorpion. No one says that the AR or AK platforms are obsolete (yeah, I guess some people do, but not enough to knock them from the top of the heap). The primary reason for the MP5 sort of fading into the background is that 9mm ball over-penetrates for LE work, duty ammo is costly to train with, and it won’t punch through armor. The advent of the short AR negated all those issues, plus is ballistically superior at longer distances. I love the MP5 and it is an extremely effective design and tool, but it essentially just doesn’t fit in with newer doctrine.

    • iksnilol

      Tho an MP5K with a suppressor and subsonics is quieter than a short barreled AR while being just as handy.

      • Bill

        The K is my favorite, but still has the disadvantage of not being able to punch through armor. While I don’t know that anyone has ever done a brief on the number of terrorists who wear armor, they do wear a lot of old-school AK chest rigs, which are a close second to armor. In domestic LE, a number of agencies that had them issued ball ammo which will over-penetrate an entire trailer park.

        I still like them, a lot, but they have to have the right ammo that feeds reliably, and the user has to know it’s limitations against hardened targets. I never saw one in the flesh, but a leg or shoulder rig for a suppressed, folding stock K would be a really neat adjunct to a carbine, though in LE they sort of frown on us doing sentry eliminations at drug houses and such. You cut one guy’s throat and everybody starts writing letters about “community policing”- sheesh.

        • iksnilol

          AP ammo is a thing, y’know? Get some lower pressure hollowpoints, put a steel ball bearing in the cavity, glue it in. Presto, APHP, probably illegal, like, everywhere. Works well though.

          There is an MP5 like you describe it, MP5K PDW. And there exists a shoulder rig for them.

          • Bill

            That’s the one I’m referring to. I’m not a huge fan of huge pistols, and don’t have the need to get an $800.00 briefcase to assassinate people. I’ve shot one using the sling, but far prefer the side folder. I’m not sure why more agencies didn’t go for them over the “normal” MPs – I’ve also seen a couple different shoulder rigs – the Brits had a really cool one.

          • iksnilol

            I am also confused, the small MP5 looks so handy. Just like an SMG should IMO.

            I’ll admit, the want for an MP5K-PDW is strong.

    • Mazryonh

      MP5s have some advantages over short ARs in CQB. The shorter you make an AR, the louder and less efficient you make it, which means parts (suppressors included) that wear out faster and more hearing damage. MP5 ammunition can be easily made subsonic which helps when using suppressors.

      MP5s are also much less dangerous than ARs when it comes to friendly fire incidents, since pistol bullets are usually much easier to stop than 5.56mm NATO ones. Using the MP5/10 variant would increase the effective range substantially too.

      You can in fact make an AP loading for 9x19mm, and the Russians have done so already. No word on whether the MP5 could use that, though.

  • Tim U

    Meh, I’d just pick the Scorpion. This is too little too late. The mp5 is overrated with what it can do, even if it was awesome in the 80s.

  • Donald Darr

    Always liked this weapon. The closest I got to owning one is the .22 made by GSG before H&K forced them to stop making an exact copy of the MP-5.

  • RickOAA .

    Tacticool MP5…FDE and rails everywhere. Bleh.

  • Mazryonh

    The HK UMP was designed and made to replace the MP5. Since that hasn’t happened and the MP5 is still receiving upgrades from HK, does that mean the UMP failed?

  • CavScout

    I see no real improvements.