IV8888 Shoots the Zenith Z-5P SBR – Suppressed

Recently, our Alex Capps did a video on the “Top 5 Banned Weapons” which included a huge swatch of stamped HK weapons such as the MP5, HK91, HK93 et. al. Basically, they were not considered “sporting” and therefore banned by executive fiat, much to the chagrin of firearms owners here in the US.  This is further compounded by the German government’s ban on the export of military weapons to civlians (which is now loosening).

As such, demand for the roller-delayed blow-back weapons has grown tremendously. Companies such as PTR have bough up wholly licensed HK manufacturers and started growing production in the US. In other cases, foreign manufacturers not subject to the bans have partnered with US companies to import licensed and unlicensed copies of the old designs.

Zenith is one of those, having previously hit the US Market with its Z-5 series, which was a small dud due to the US market not liking all the changes to the base MP5 design. Taking feedback to heart, the re-released Z-5 is nearly true to the MP5 design, even made on the original German machines. They have now been released in multiple configurations, the “P” being the “K” version, the “RS” as standard and a full Z-5 16″ rifle.

IV8888 is one of the first to get his hands on a pistol and received the tax stamp to mount a stock to the platform. Combined with a can and sub-sonic ammo, the Z-5 is a fun little blaster.

We’ve likewise gone hands-on with the platform at Big 3. 


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Nicholas C

    I have been playing with the Z5RS suppressed when I had the Optimus for review. It is pretty quiet with sub sonics. But my friends with MP5SDs say it is loud compared to their MP5SDs.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Having time on the SD and my fullsize, a reverse stretch, and the K-PDW, I’d rank them like this, best to worst

      Fullsize with a large volume can (MK9K) and 147/158gr
      Fullsize with a pistol can
      Reverse Stretch

      The MP5SD and Fullsize with subgun can sound the same to me – except that the MP5SD is a unicorn and the ammo it shoots is about 2/3rds power compared to a subsonic 147gr. So I don’t really see the point at all – The MP5SD is an antique designed for a time when 147gr 9mm didn’t exist. It’s entirely obsolete, and for all the love HK gets the 9mm can it came with was a joke, a disposable item.

      That’s not to say the K-PDW or reverse stretch (which are tied) are bad at all! They aren’t! I just couldn’t get them to run the same locking piece that gave good suppressed 147gr as unsuppressed 115gr. The worst possible config of K-PDW will stomp all over the best 9mm AR any day of the week (in terms of recoil and gas, definitely not price or controls).

      IMO… Nothing beats a fullsize that runs all common parts, one locking piece, and 147/158gr ammo. But… unicorn lovers will do as they do 🙂

      • Nicholas C

        Never heard to Reverse Stretch. The MP5K style only interests me because of the HK Briefcase. But it is so expensive just for a range toy.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          RS is an fullsize receiver but you install the K barrel and cocking tube. So it’s party in the front, business in the back. It’s an MP5-Mullet.

          Running the most common fullsize receiver is only .9″ longer than an MP5-K and lets you run the fullsize trigger and fullsize stocks. It’s the best for commonality. However… Since the K stocks shave 2-3″ or so by folding flatter, the effective difference is more like 3-4″ overall longer than a K-PDW when folded. I didn’t use to “get” why anyone would want the K but I concede that ultimate packed size, it’s definitely smaller.

          • CountryBoy

            Thanks for your descriptions, the “mullet” brought a smile to my face!

    • iksnilol

      I presume the MP5SD has way more volume for gas.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        Yes, and it har an internal ported barrel, letting gases escape gradually.

  • Nicholas C

    Here is a short video of a real HKMP5 and Z-5RS suppressed with Griffin Armament Optimus.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    The K-PDW always gets me in that I love the idea. But keep forgetting everything I dislike about them until I handle them again and again. The magwell is stupid, even if the gun did have bolt hold open, and had a modern trigger, changing mags just is never as smooth as an AR. The control are bad, I have large hands and struggle with the safety lever on the SEF and Ambi packs even with the larger lever.

    It’s just not a gun for 6′ tall people, you look at it and think “yea! TINY!” but then get running it and it’s just so small. I really would rather run a fullsize (which is 4-5″-ish longer) as it just fits better not to mention runs a little smoother. You can see it in this video sort of, that gun just isn’t big enough for him.

    As much as I love the MP5, I feel it’s run it’s course. Too bad SIG messed up so badly with the MPX, they had the right ideas at least (minus the piston system).

    Trying to do everything I can to not buy an MP5K-PDW. Even considering the PS90 SBR since that’s at least smaller, cheaper, simpler, but does have the silly 5.7mm round as a big negative.

    MP5K vs 8″ 300blk vs PS90… Trying to decide before July like everyone else.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      You must be a blast to deal with on the range… 😛

    • I always thought it’d be cool to have an MP5, but not for the price these are going for. Add the SBR and can tax and it’s over $2000.. that’s pretty steep for what I’d consider to be a toy. Might as well just buy one of those GSG 22lr ones 😉

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Add the SBR and can tax and it’s over $2000

        Oh indeed. I looked at all the ways to save money, and no matter what you do, it’s well over 2k. I built my own fullsize years ago, I’m sure I was in over $2600 on that.

        • Dual sport

          A complete AR with all quality parts and tax stamp will run you even more. I figured up the price so far on my SBR 300 with the Noveske barrel. With a “cheap” scope in the Leupold VX-R I am already over $3,000 and still don’t have a light or $100 stock. I also don’t yet have a can.

          I believe one of these may be less overall if you are going the SBR simply because you just can’t do as much. I’m also assuming you like the older versions w/o the full rail.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Does the Zenith work with a select fire MP5 lower/bolt carrier?

    *NFA does NOT apply (to me).

    • Nicholas C

      Yes and no. According to my friend with select fire HK MP5 he looked at the Zenith. It has some things that you need to fix. There is a block at the rear of the receiver. The bolt needs to be changed to a full auto bolt. There might be more that needs to be done as well. Something about a shelf.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        A. You need to remove the block.

        B. You now have an unregistered machine gun, so the push pin must be filled in with:

        C. A shelf needs to be added which is sort of a pain with the paddle mag release (it’s welded in now).

        The legal order is not presented here. Really the block is the last thing to come out.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    How much for that set up?

    • Nicholas C

      Z-5P $1800
      SBR Tax Stamp $200
      Folding Stock $275
      AAC Ti-Rant $626
      Tax Stamp $200

      Total $3101

      • Budogunner

        o.0 Glad I held on to my MKE if that’s what they are charging.

  • SP mclaughlin

    whisper brother heckler
    whisper brother koch

  • valorius

    I approve.