Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch MP5 PIP, Improving Greatness – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for me to just tell you about it and to snap a few foggy cell phone pictures, though, so I brought along Othais of C&Rsenal to help me take high resolution light box photos of these unique and rare firearms.

Like the XM29 OICW that we showed off last time, what we’re actually looking at is a wooden mockup, not a functioning firearm. In fact, so far as I know, this mockup is the only example of MP5 PIP hardware that was ever made. Beyond the fact that the MP5 PIP was one of the early attempts to produce a follow on design to the MP5, along with the SMG I and SMG II designs, and the MP2000. I am not even sure when the MP5 PIP was developed; I have heard alternately late 1980s or early 1990s. What is clear is that the MP5 PIP has some interesting features, including a weaver-style top rail, a “chute” type magazine well, a centrally located button that appears to be a bolt catch/release, and a round magazine catch. Also, the MP5 PIP appears to be the origin for the distinctive “flipper” charging handle of eventually used in the G36.

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If you want to download all of these photos in their full resolution, you can follow this MediaFire link to a zip file containing them.

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


  • Richard

    Wow, that looks truly awful.

    Literally the only part I like about it is the rear sight.

    • Giolli Joker

      That is likely one of the only two functioning part of this model… the other one being the front sight.

    • Steve

      Looks like it’d be pretty easy to pick it up backwards, in a hurry…

    • MindMelder

      I have a completely different response to it. If batman needed a sub gun…here you go batman..

  • BattleshipGrey

    I’ve always liked that charging handle. I’m kind of surprised the G36 (and the neutered SL8) is the only model that sports it.

    • PK

      Something nice about a hide-a-way handle, ambidextrous, but retaining the leverage and ease of use of a 90° angle handle in relation to the path of bolt travel.

      • Rob

        Optics have made top mounted charging handles less than ideal.

        If iron sights where to the only thing going or good optics become smaller a top mounted charging handle would be a great idea. Until that happens it is a problem that requires compromises.

    • Giolli Joker

      It reminds me of solution adopted by the KBP PP2000.
      With the difference that the Russian approach seems sturdier and cheaper… go figure. 🙂

  • Anomanom

    Is that front bit a magazine or a foregrip or or a magazine well?

    • Magazine well, I believe.

      • ostiariusalpha


  • Jim N Jenna SK

    I want

  • wetcorps

    This thing is so undeniably German it almost hurts.

  • LazyReader

    Wow it looks outrageous, truly truly outrageous……in a bad way

  • TheUnspoken

    I think I like this over the SMG I/II concepts…

  • SP mclaughlin

    Let’s research the SMG 2000 next pls, Ocelot?

  • Vitor Roma

    The receiver is way too big. The barrel begins “too late” in the gun. Reminds of the main flaw of the AG42.

  • g box

    This is a joke, right? That is the number one the worse looking gun I have ever seen. This has to be some botched airsoft mock up.