Zenith Firearms: MKE ZR5SS (MP5SD) Underway

Zenith Firearms has been successfully importing and selling MKE MP5 pistols for the past several years. Notice how I didn’t use the term “clone” or “patterned” when referring to the MKE? When talking with Michael Farruggio, Public Affairs Manager for Zenith, I was quickly corrected that the MKE guns are not HK “clones”: Farruggio refers to them as the “real deal” gun that comes from a HK factory line.

If you are a fan/follower of unique HK guns like the integrally suppressed 9mm submachine gun MP5SD, you may have been (im)patiently awaiting further news from Zenith/MKE on the plans to release their own version of the iconic gun. At the 2016 SHOT Show, Zenith announced the possibility of the importation of an SD pistol model and the HKPro forum has had a discussion thread active ever since.

After a brief Q&A with Farruggio, I got some of my questions answered about the MP5SD due to be released by Zenith/MKE.

1) Will Zenith be offering a MKE SD (MP5SD clone) for commercial sale?

We have built a “real-deal” (factory line, not a clone) MKE import version of the SD called the Z5RSS and are waiting for ATF approval for import.  It will be a pistol and a single tax stamp gun.  We will also sell it out of our custom shop as a two tax stamp gun if desired to LE and citizens.
2) What is the anticipated timeline for sales of the SD version?
We are hoping for 3Q 2016 but cannot be sure.
3) Who is making the suppressor for the MKE SD?
We will be making it but may use others as well.  The proprietary points are kept confidential.  
4) Do you have an idea on pricing?
Not at this time.
5) Will you offer a pistol and SBR version?

I also asked Farruggio to share any pictures of any prototypes. Sadly, he didn’t have any available. We’ll be following this story closely since their appears to be a healthy-sized market for an affordable MP5SD.

10950 Rockfish Valley Highway, Suite C
Afton, VA 22920
Phone: 434.202.7790


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • Strelok

    I can finally live the dream of being the cheekiest and breekiest kid on the block.

    • SP mclaughlin

      yuo see ivan

  • I wonder how the espionage charges filed against MKE’s Mustafa Tanrıverdi will effect their business relationship with Zenith. If you read between the lines, Tanrıverdi was trying to sell MP5 and MPT76 design plans to Zenith, and the informant “KK” was likely Zenith CEO Kutlay Kaya.


    • ostiariusalpha

      Hmm, considering that Tanriverdi is essentially just a manager, perhaps not much. I think it was in Kaya’s best interests not to entangle himself and his company in corrupt dealings of intellectual property.

    • Stan Darsh

      Well, there goes my chance to ever own an affordable HK417. Some of this is confusing. So, Kaya wanted info on the MPT76 and when Tanriverdi gave it to him, Kaya turns around and drops the dime on himself and Tanriverdi? Also, $200,000 for the MP5 TDP?

  • Cymond

    I paid to shoot an MP-5SD last year, and it was truly a sweet subgun, but malfunctioned several times. I don’t know how quiet it was because I had to wear hearing protection at the indoor range.

    I’ve read that original SDs have ported barrels that bring standard ammo down to subsonic velocities. That may be nice to shoot cheap ball ammo on the weekends, but doesn’t seem like a wise choice for serious purposes.

    How much barrel length would they have to add to avoid SBR classification?

    • thedude

      16 inch barrel and OAL must be 26in to avoid sbr designation

      • Cymond

        Yeah, but OAL is measured with the stock fully extended, so that shouldn’t be difficult to achieve.

    • Pete M

      I’d definitely opt for two stamps unless you legally are barred from SBRs. If so, it would be tough. The MP5SD needs frequent cleaning, so pinning/welding is out.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I wouldn’t be married to the old suppressor design all long as it had the look. I fact if it were a 1 stamp gun I’d prefer a modern design as would most of the market.

        Maybe I’m wrong but sides the suppressor the rest of the gun can be cleaned without removing the suppressor.

        • Pete M

          The ported barrel is the essence of the SD. So while there are newer builds and designs for the suppressors, the system needs to be cleaned often.

          • Cymond

            Ah, I didn’t see that aspect during short rental, I thought the SD suppressors were sealed.

            I thought disassembling suppressors was a relatively new aspect. They were mostly all sealed when I started reading about suppressors 9 years ago. Heck, even most of the rimfire cans were sealed back then.

          • iksnilol

            A rimfire can that can’t be taken apart is simply stupid.

            Centerfire cans usually get cleaned out enough by the high pressures going through them.

          • Cymond

            Stupid, yes, but it was the industry standard a decade ago in the US. Back then, major manufacturers sold sealed rimfire cans, and take apart cans were the minority.

            I might still have an old spreadsheet an external hard drive, comparing the suppressor models. I might look later, but I have a nasty cold, so maybe not.

            From what I understand, centerfire pistol cans need to be taken apart and cleaned, but not as severely as rimfire cans. Only high-pressure cans don’t need manual cleaning (like typical rifle calibers).

          • Pete M

            Sorry, I wasn’t very clear.

            The can itself is still sealed, but the porting in the barrel can foul up making it hard to unthread the can.

          • Cymond

            Ahh, stuff that nobody ever told me before. I assumed the entire barrel/suppressor assembly was sealed & fused, like the old integral suppressors built on Ruger MkII pistols.

            I’ve never shared the fascination with the MP5, but do understand more now that I’ve shot one. I’m just not very interested in things I cannot (realistically) own.

          • Pete M

            Hopefully will be highlighting a few makers of MP5s, especially the MP5SD. There is some awesome work being done out there.

          • Anthony “stalker6recon”

            I am confused by some of these comments, but I think I got it now. The ports are in the end of the barrel, and thus contained within the suppressor?

            Ports before the suppressor would defeat the purpose, unless I am mistaken.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Makes sense. I’d almost rather see an newer suppressor design that looks correct externally. While it may not appease collectors it would work better for most owners.

    • HollowTs

      Carried one in USASOC. The action is louder than the report. Mine never malfunctioned and was the most accurate firearm I’ve ever fired, to the 9mm capabilities, other than a sniper system! Needless to say I want one and always have!

    • John Wisch

      Why did you have to wear hearing protection ? It is super quiet.
      It goes pop, and then you hear the bullet rip thru the card board target down range.

      If it was malfunctioning it most likely was dirty as hell. You gotta clan them after about 300/350 rounds.

      • Cymond

        Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear, I was at an indoor shooting range with other shooters, and none of them had suppressors. Also, the range requires hearing protection for all shooters, probably for their insurance

        This was Palmetto State Armory in Columbia, SC. Sadly, the guns I wanted to shoot the most weren’t there that day (STG-44 and MP-7).

        • John Wisch

          That makes a boatload more sense. Thanks for your response. It still is pretty cool to shoot those things though even if he had some jams and you had to wear that hearing protection but I promise you they’re quiet not silent but real quiet. I hope you got some pictures of yourself doing it

  • Lance

    Sucks that they can’t import a carbine version.

  • Chris Cosby

    I get selling the standard version as a pistol to make transferring them to people easier where the end user can then do a form 1 but for something that is already going to need a form 3 transfer I don’t see why most wouldn’t want it already on two stamps.

    Pretty interested in this overall depending on price. I’d want them to go ahead and form 2 the gun itself first though.

    • Pete M

      I agree. SBR is the way to go. Especially with this gun.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      It makes since for travel purposes since you don’t have to get ATF approval to travel out of state with a suppressor.

      But a pinned and welded suppressor and barrel combo with 16+inch OAL make more since to me.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    What the OAL on the barrel of an MP5 SD is the can is pinned and welded? Can it even be pinned and welded?

    You if be long enough to meet 16inches and make it a one stamp gun for travel purposes?

    • Pete M

      You’d be better off with a K. The SD is ported so that all 9mm stays subsonic.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        With the MP5SD I’m more interested in the look than functionality.

  • Fargo007 .


  • Todd

    Rollerlock delayed blowback design is reliable? With a ported barrel?

    How many rounds will it take (fouling) for a stoppage?

    • Pete M

      Very reliable. The cleaning is to prevent the suppressor from getting fused to the ported barrel.

  • iksnilol

    I doubt it is made on real H&K machinery if it doesn’t have a ridicilous price 😛

    • Nicholas C

      They are. HK sold MKE the machines to make MP5s.

    • Adam

      Yep Turkish MKE and Pakistan POF are all on original H&K Tooling…

      • iksnilol

        I know.

        It was meant as a joke.

  • Nicholas C

    I am curious if it will be like a real MP5SD suppressor and that it is designed to shoot 115gr and vent gases to make it sub sonic. According to my friends with HKMP5SDs you do not shoot subsonics out of them.

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    I want this so badly, but the odds of them selling this in the Philippines, is probably very low. I know there are a lot of HK haters out there, and not without merit, but this is still one of the best CQB weapons out there. H&K tried to replace it, and failed, and it is still used by many militaries and law enforcement agencies around the globe. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    There are Norinco “clones” available in the Philippines, but I hate not seen any lately, and they are a chinese brand with quality questions to be certain. The price of one of their standard MP5 clones, is just about 2,500 dollars US. Far better than the ridiculous price of an authentic MP5 in the US.

    This version I will bet is much better than the Norinco, and probably priced at an affordable range for the average guy. Just hope I can get my hands on one, legally of course. The gun laws are difficult to navigate for a foreigner living in the Philippines even the laws stink for their own citizens, which has created a very large, thriving black market.

    • Adam

      Lock & Load were importing the Norinco,MKE and POF MP5s… They were about $2500 for the Norinco and up around $10,000 for the MKE

  • maodeedee

    I’d much rather they made a 16 inch barreled carbine with either a fixed or collapsible stock than a “pistol” or an SBR