Though rare in the wild, mostly seeing use with special units and some police departments, is a favorite of Hollywood movie-makers and Triple-A video game developers, thanks to its compact size, striking looks, and fully automatic firepower. The gun itself, however, was originally intended to be an inexpensive, compact, and unobtrusive weapon that would be better for troops far from the front, the MP7 eventually became a weapon more commonly associated with the tip of the spear, direct action teams, and SWAT officers.
The MP7 began life in the last year of the 20th Century as the Heckler & Koch PDW, which was intended to compete directly with the Fabrique Nationale P90 in NATO trials to standardize an echelon weapon for second-line troops, vehicle crews, and support personnel. Below are embedded two documents from that period, a presentation given at the 2000 NDIA Small Arms Symposium, and H&K’s brochure for the prototype weapon:
The resultant MP7 differed somewhat from the PDW, in that it was heavier (1.9kg/4.2lbs vs 1.6kg/3.5lbs) had a longer rear receiver, a flash hider, full length top Picatinny rail (deleting the molded in fixed iron sights of the prototype), taller buttpad, and mounting points for rails on the sides of the forward receiver housing, all changes which hastened the PDW’s evolution from a dedicated personal defense weapon to a more generalized submachine gun that could be used equally well by echelon troops or direct action teams. This evolution is ongoing today, as Heckler & Koch recently released the MP7A2 variant, which does away with the folding vertical foregrip of previous versions in favor of a tri-rail mount.
Below are embedded two videos, one that is an action spot of the MP7 produced by Larry Vickers’ channel, and the other is a slideshow produced by Heckler & Koch about the MP7A1. Straightgrain, the channel hosting it, also has some excellent videos demonstrating the terminal ballistics of the MP7’s suite of 4.6mm ammunition.