Lightning Review: H&K MP5K Briefcase: Luggage you can fire

The 30 round curved magazine works best

The 30 round curved magazine works best

Several years back, I was strolling around the SAR show in Phoenix, having taken care of my most pressing business, when something caught my eye: an H&K MP5K Briefcase.   I had an MP5K, and had been on the lookout for cases for some time.  Unfortunately, any that I had come across in the past were modified and did not have the STANAG Claw mount.  This one had the correct mount and a good price, so I did not pass up the opportunity.

The outside of the case

The outside of the case

How it works:

The MP5 is inserted into the claw mount, with the muzzle connecting to the tube that leads to the firing port.  The Claw mount is then put into the closed position to secure the gun inside the mount. The MP5K must have an endcap installed, as the gun will not fit into the case with a side-folder or other stocks mounted on it.  Loading a magazine and charging the gun is awkward, but can be accomplished when the gun is in the mount.  Straight style 30-rounders are the most difficult to deal with, as the barely clear the bottom of the case when inserting or removing magazines.  The trigger in the handle is connected via linkage to the trigger bar inside the case, which fires the gun.  The knurled button on the handle functions as a sort of an external safety, as you close the case with the gun set on whatever rate of fire you want to employ with the trigger on the handle.  Shells are deflected downward away from the action so the gun does not malfunction due to cases bouncing back into the action.  There is a holder for a spare magazine on the other side of the case.  The case itself is lockable as well.

Range time:

The first time I tried firing it, I attempted to get results by holding it one handed with the case oriented vertically.  Results were not good at all.  The axis of recoil caused the rounds to string vertically downward in quite an exaggerated fashion.  I then found that by holding the case horizontally, braced against my chest, I could keep my rounds in a silhouette with practice.  The trigger is not good by any measure, but then again, a minor quibble when one is firing luggage!  The trim around the edge has started to flake off around the firing port, likely due to the plastic strip being brittle in cold temperatures and then broken by the muzzle blast.  Newer versions of this case have a riveted-on black trim that should solve the issue.

The trim has flaked off near the firing port, due to muzzle blast.

The trim has flaked off near the firing port, due to muzzle blast.

Overall impression:

As a range toy, the MP5 Briefcase is the ultimate accessory for the MP5K.  Its original intended use, as a clandestine tool for VIP protection, is outclassed in utility and concealability by such systems as the Glock 18, Steyr TMP, H&K MP7 and so on.  Is it accurate?  Yes, with practice.  All told, however, it is hand luggage that you can fire.  It makes a full-auto MP5K even more fun!  That in itself earns the MP5K briefcase my hearty stamp of approval.

An MP5K is a good thing to have, just in...case!

An MP5K is a good thing to have, just in…case!

Note:  If you are in the USA, and thinking of picking up one of these for an SP89 or any other semi auto MP5K clone, you must first register your gun as an AOW before attaching it to the briefcase. 

Thanks to Aaron of Hughston Shooting School (who is also an instructor at Thunder Ranch) for range time and technical assistance.



Rusty S.

Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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  • BattleshipGrey

    Thanks for the review! I’ve wanted one since the first time I laid my eyes on one in a movie back in the ’90’s.

    • Rusty S.

      You’re welcome! Was it “The Replacement Killers?”

      • BattleshipGrey

        It could have been. I know the briefcase gun wasn’t used in too many movies. It’s been so long ago now, it’s probably the only thing left of the movie that I remember.

        • John

          It was also in Romeo Must Die if I remember correctly.

          • Rusty S.

            That was actually an Olympic Arms K23B with a briefcase handle where the carry handle normally would be.

  • Lance

    I’ll wait for a case that hold a MP-5SD5 instead.

  • Ryan

    What is the sheet metal bracket below the trigger frame used for? Cleaning kit?

    • Rusty S.

      I’m not entirely sure, in photos from the 70’s and 80’s it was a square plastic box, probably a cleaning kit or accessories for the case. It definitely does not hold magazines.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        Standard HK type cleaning kit.

  • Tassiebush

    Firstly Merry Christmas everyone!
    That’s very cool seeing what these are like in use. It’s definitely a curious accessory that gets you thinking about it’s role and limitations.

  • USMC03Vet

    Probably the best brass catcher out there. Not only functional, but also stylish for when you have to range time after a high stakes business meeting.

    • Alan Feinstein

      ????

  • mzungu

    Room for about a half a kilos too. 😀

  • RICH

    A nice accessory that you can still buy….. if you want to pay the $3K price tag ! ! The most expensive breifcase I have ever seen……

    • Rusty S.

      3k? Wow, prices have gone up! I picked mine up for under 1k, but that was a while ago.

      • RICH

        Hey Rusty, it must have been quite awhile ago. You got a sweet deal. I’ve seen a couple of them for sale over the last year, year and a half or so and they have always been up around 3k. I don’t know if they are selling for that price though as i keep seeing them listed…. !
        Merry CHRISTmas, Brother…..

    • Alan Feinstein

      Surprising that they didn’t make you purchase a tax stamp.
      ?

      • Miguel Raton

        A whopping $5 for an AOW stamp: that I can live with! At least, if I could have the MP5k here behind the Granola Curtain, but that’s too “ugly” to be allowed here, even if you do hide it away in a briefcase! ::)

        • HH

          It’s not the 5 bucks thats the pain. It’s the forms, the 6-12 mo wait, the fingerprinting, the sheriff sign off, etc. And repeat to anyone who buys it from you in the future.
          I believe they are treated basically like Title 2 firearms.
          Huge pain for a brief case.

        • Cymond

          Well, it’s $200 to make a pistol into an AOW, and most people aren’t willing to deal with the red tape & FUDD, regardless of the $ cost.

  • spiff1

    We had real brief cases that had MAC 10 9m/m’s shooting through them back in the 70’s!

    • Rusty S.

      Interestingly enough, this was designed back in the 70’s as well.

  • K R

    That’s freaking awesome! I always like to see and hear about oddities in firearms, good article.

  • datimes

    My 1981 M-10 operating manual has this case designated as an operational briefcase. ATF calls it something else in the last sentence.

    • Jeff S

      LOfreakingL

    • LT

      The ATF has an “Assassination Device” category? Wow. I guess a single-shot Deringer should fall into that one, since Lincoln was shot with one.

    • I have a reference book I can use to shed more light on this particular piece if you’d like.

      • datimes

        Please advise.

        • From “The Mac Man: Gordon B. Ingram and His Submachine Guns” by Frank Iannamico and Don Thomas:

          “A ‘special purpose’ briefcase was designed and manufactured for the small frame .380 Model 11 submachine gun by the Military Armament Corporation. The case was made of leather and outwardly had the normal appearance of an ordinary businessman’s briefcase. However, the inside of the case was modified to house a suppressed M11 submachine gun, that could be fired while inside the case; through the use of a mechanical linkage connected to an external ‘trigger’ located at the bottom of the case.

          The weapon was positioned and secured inside the case with wooden blocks and velcro fasteners. A small port for the barrel was located on the end of the case. There was a frame that an ordinary business card or address label could be slid into to conceal the barrel from view. The velcro allowed the weapon to be quickly removed from the case and fired normally if necessary. A curved spent case deflector was mounted inside the case, but firing a MAC in side the case caused a few problems.

          One was the spent cartridge cases would bounce back into the ejection port resulting in a stoppage. The excessive smoke that emitted from the case when the weapon was fired caused a second problem. During 1972, the MAC 11 briefcase had a list price of $97.50 and retail dealer wholesale was $80.00.

          A similar briefcase was produced by the Military Armament Corporation for the larger Model 10. A special short suppressor was designed to fit the dimensionally larger M10 inside the case; the serial numbers of the briefcase suppressors had a letter K suffix to indicate ‘kurz’ or short. The original MAC briefcases are treasured collectors items today. Similar briefcases were later made and sold by RPB Industries Inc.”

          I highly recommend the book for anybody who’s interested in MAC’s or just arms design during the 50s to the 80’s. Well written, provided with great photographs (including many of the MAC briefcase) and reasonably priced. I got my copy new for $40 dollars this summer and for the information and quality, that’s a steal.

    • Core

      Hahaaa

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Times were much different back then…;)

  • MrSatyre

    I’m wondering when the ATF will ban bracing luggage against your chest.

  • buzzman1

    These things have been around for over 40 years and haven’t improved. I once got to play with the one Noriega’s body guard carried.

  • Dual sport

    There was a movie years ago involving a terrorist that also carried a K in his brief case. It was completely different in operation, however. When he hit the trigger in the handle the clamshell case flew off and he had the K in his hands, ready to be used in a traditional manner.

    I have never seen a reference to this style case since watching the movie. Does anyone remember the movie name? Does anyone have more info about that type of case?

    Thanks for the interesting article.

    • Cymond

      Do you mean this? I don’t think it really exists, just roughly based on real concepts like the one in the article.
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TIiRRgb0nPE

      • Dual sport

        I love the Alucard series in that same format! Thanks for the clip.

        That is the same concept but the base firearm is an MP5k with the HK claw mount. The claw mount has a handle that extends beyond the clam shell of the case and forms the case handle when the K is cased. A small trip wire type trigger inside the handle was tripped, the case dropped off and then one had access to the two pistol grips.

        I wish I could remember the name of the movie but it had to be the early 90’s at the latest when I watched it. It may have been a take on Carlos the Jackal. He was playing with the set up in his hotel room and then deployed it while boarding a plane. Naturally the good guy won and while I remember the bad guy getting the K deployed I don’t recall his getting a shot off.

  • f.t.

    This is just the sort of thing that makes people think all gun people are nuts. There is no purpose for this thing in the world of a NORMAL, LAWFUL law abiding person who isn’t paranoid beyond all reality. I don’t need one of these. I never have and I never will. I don’t work for the CIA as a hit man. This just makes pro 2nd amendment people look like we’re ALL NUTS.
    If you buy one, who are you planning to kill with it? That’s the only justification for spending thousands of dollars for it.

    • Governments use them on protective details. It’s just like any other NFA item.

    • the_duck

      This is America, deal with it.

    • Miguel Raton

      Uh, the anti-2nd Amendment people think all us pro-liberty people are ALL NUTS already, so there’s nothing lost, is there? And the legitimate purpose in the world of NORMAL, LAWFUL people is when someone who has real kidnapping or stalker threats against them & can’t afford a full-detail of off-duty po-po around them all the time, but *does* have a concealed carry permit and doesn’t want to appear strapped. And beside, it’s all James Bond & cool & like that! Yay freedom! Yay US!

    • wetcorps

      You won’t go anywhere by resricting yourselves in fear of what “antis” will think of you. Other tried before and they got all their stuff banned.
      And it doesn’t stop. Next thing you know you’re shunning anyone that isn’t doing groupings at 50 yards with a single shot 22 bolt action, which you will lose anyway. And there is no one let to fight with you.

      Fight for the freedom to own something “just because”, it’s priceless.

    • Ewe Sheep

      Not sure if OP is trolling or just plain that stupid.

    • HH

      Oh pleeeeeease.
      And there’s no reason to have a magazine that holds more than 10 , right?
      After all…if we can save just one life! Let’s do it for the children.

    • lucusloc

      I didn’t want one until I read this comment. Now I want one just to give people like you an aneurysm. Why? Because F*ck you, that’s why. No other justification needed for free men.

      In case you missed it, this is more than just whether or not anybody needs or wants some silly device. This is about the freedom to own and innovate as we see fit, regardless of what other people think. There are many in this country that think I don’t need firearms of any kind. I disagree. I am also a free man, so why should I give a crap what they think? They will agitate for laws that restrict me? So what, I will agitate for real and honest freedom. They win the political battle? Ok, come an take them. how far are you willing to go? Are you willing to kill to prevent someone from owning that device, even if they do nothing wrong with it? Because that is what those laws actually mean.

      There are consequences to acting like a petty tyrant, I suggest you learn from history and stand for liberty, even if someone will use it in ways you dislike. We can play “smart” an pick our battles, but we should never give up ground willingly, and we should never turn on our own even if we think they are over reaching. (Ignore and work around sure, but direct attacks like yours only give ammo the opposition).

      • Justin

        FYI, you sound like a lunatic with the whole “free man” argument. Surely you realize that laws and the enforcement of those laws are necessary for the regulation of an orderly society. Would you like to live in a place like one of the Mexican border towns that are basically lawless and have headless bodies hung from overpasses on a daily basis?

        There is a democratic process for changing laws. You don’t get to just ignore the ones you don’t like because you consider yourself a “free man” with “natural rights”.

        • lucusloc

          Since when did being free mean not having to obey laws? There are just and natural laws (or “malum in se”, like laws against murder for example), just as there are just and natural rights. For a truly free society to function those natural laws must be documented into an enforceable codex, one that carries the weight of force behind it (otherwise what incentive is there to obey?). There are also just regulations that are not natural, such as enforcing orderly traffic regulations on public roads. These are not malum in se, but they prevent behavior that could lead to imminent threat of harm to other parties (going the wrong way on a freeway is not evil per se, but it is very dangerous to other parties). These laws also need to have the threat of force behind their enforcement. The role of government in a free society is to codify and enforce these necessary restraints on our actions, to ensure liberty is available to all parties equally, and not just to the ones strong enough to take it all for themselves. Yes this means you do not have 100% freedom, but that was never the case to begin with. Being a free man in this context simply means you have the maximum amount freedom available to you without infringing on someone else’s freedom (or putting them at undue risk [which means imminent and probable risk of harm]).

          However, governments never seem to stick to their intended role, and instead usurp the power of the individual to strengthen the position of the ruling class. As a free man (free because I choose to be free, not because freedom is granted to me) I reject laws that serve no purpose but to hinder my liberty to advance someone else’s position. (As an aside I would argue that it is trivial easy to identify such laws.) Yes, we often obey them to avoid costly legal entanglements and other such risks, but where possible I shun and ignore them (as many a free man is wont to do. See NY, CT and CA for examples of ignored firearms laws, just for a start. There are many other examples in many other areas of law as well), and either way I will never shirk from pointing them out and calling for their repeal.

          Don’t lump me in with the anarchists, “sovereign citizens” or other borderline lawless movements just because I used some easily misconstrued terminology. Being free does not mean living in the absence of laws. The absence of laws is actually just the tyranny of the strong over the weak, and should be shunned just as harshly as any other tyranny. I use the term “free man” in the Classical American sense, where we live with maximum liberty under the rule of law (and not under the rule of men).

          • Justin

            Wow… You love typing. In any event, glad to hear you aren’t a crazy person.

          • lucusloc

            Yeah, it is unfortunate that ideas like equal freedom and liberty for all take paragraphs to adequately convey. We try to shorten it to buzzwords like “free men” but those just get hijacked by other not so great philosophies (see the above mentioned anarchists and “sovereign citizen” types). Even the above novella uses buzzwords for many more complex topics which could be drastically expanded for those not already in the know. I wish the concept of freedom could be explained well in just a sentence, like other less that ideal (or downright terrible) ideas (like “I think health care should be free!”). If we could communicate good philosophies as quickly and effectively as bad ones think of how easy our proselytizing wold be (you try effectively refuting “free” health care in one sentence without sounding like an ass that thinks all sick people should just die. . . ).

            Oh, and just a point of clarity, you would agree that there are some laws worth ignoring due to their unjust nature?

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    Silly, for people who love Bond, that’s about it.

  • Core

    I’ve seen a model similar to this but it seemed much higher quality. I wonder how many companies have made these things? I think it’s practical for VIP protection if outfitted with sapi plates and a higher capacity magazine.