GSG’s 9mm MP40 Lookalike, Optics-Ready GSG-16 | SHOT 17

If you are a fan of the World War II German MP40 submachine gun and want to have one of your very own, you are pretty much out of luck unless you are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a transferable original. However, it has been possible to buy “trainer” replicas in .22 long rifle, made by German Sport Guns (GSG), which for many was as close as they could come to owning an original “Schmeisser” machine pistol.

Now, though, GSG has introduced something just a little closer to the originals: A visual replica in the original 9mm caliber. It should be said up front that this new gun is not a true replica MP40, but a new weapon in 9mm Luger than visually resembles the MP40. The differences between the GSG 9mm MP40 and the Nazi originals should be obvious from the photos I took of the weapon at the 2017 SHOT Show.

The GSG MP40 was announced all the way back at SHOT 2015, but was only approved by the ATF (as a pistol without stock) for import in February of 2016, making SHOT 2017 the first year when the pistols are being imported currently. However, it seems the guns are only trickling into the country, as the few examples are selling for $800 or more on GunBroker right now, far above their $649 MSRP.

Also on display at GSG’s booth was a prototype optics-ready GSG-16, an update to their .22 LR visual clone of the MP5. These weapons sport a full-length rail and compartment for a spare magazine in the stock. No MSRP was given, as these seemed to be in an early prototype stage.

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


  • datimes

    I don’t imagine there will be any interchangeable parts but it would be really nice if the new magazines were operational in the old guns.

    • Anonymoose

      New-production mags will hold a flat 30 rounds instead of 32, and hopefully will not have the original finicky double-stack-single-feed design. Also the receiver is made out of Zamak (same stuff they make Hi-Points and Ring of Fire Saturday Night Specials from). Original stocks probably won’t work but ATI said they’re working on sourcing a 922r-compliant stock.

      • nagurski

        ‘double-stack-single-feed’ Isn’t that how, pretty much every pistol mag works nowadays?

        • Anonymoose

          Most, but it doesn’t work very well in really long, straight mags. Lots of pressure forcing the rounds into a single stack can mess things up.

          • Michael Benjamin Mitchell

            I have Sten mags so they better work on that.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I like that .22.
    If its less than $500 ill snag one.

    • Mmmtacos

      Those are called the GSG-5, and other MP5 variant lookalikes have been on the market for years.

      An acquaintance of mine recalled how he wanted one, and everyone he talked to who had owned one advised him against it. Them having been told the same thing before and ignoring it, which this man did as well. Soon thereafter, he had buyer’s remorse as well, which apparently is stigmatic of this gun. It’s a fun toy at first, but you’ll be soon to find it lacking in many areas (including reliability) and just be wanting for the real deal in a more substantial caliber.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Thanks, ill proceed carefully.

        • Lupinsea

          I’d recommend the HK MP5-22 version. it’s an extra $100 or so over the GSG but it’s built by Walther under license from HK. So they can stick to the original MP5 aesthetics much closer. GSG had to alter the design slightly after a successful lawsuit from HK a few years back.

          When I was looking into it at the time, the GSGs were considered good guns but the HK (Walther) version were markedly higher quality.

          Eventually I ended up getting the HK version and I’ve really enjoyed shooting it. There has probably been about 2000 rd down range and I can’t remember any malfunctions in that time. Just solid reliable.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I’m fairly certain that the hk branded version has had the same issues as gsg and the hk version is made in the umarex plant, not by walther

          • Pilot

            Nope.. Walther makes it and Umarex imports them. I have the MP5SD version. Walther is indeed the manufacturer.

          • BOB

            no, the bolt carrier was redesigned to fix the weakness on it and the breach block. I replaced a broken gsg5 with the HK and it’s never missed a beat. worth the extra money up front for sure.
            They are all made by walther distributed by umarex in the USA

      • Lou

        My boys have two of the GSG MP-5 .22s nd we have run thousands of rounds through them. No problems! I have also owned full auto MP-5s and I feel that these are great.

    • Ben

      I’d pass on the GSG5 series. Mine was complete junk. It ran great for about 1 brick or 2 of ammo, then blah. And talk about impossible to clean. It was a nightmare to the point i stopped shooting it for awhile. I sent mine in for warranty repair because it started jamming so much. After it came back it only jammed once or twice every mag. After that I sold it.

  • John

    Meh. The Nazis used a tactical dildo for a magazine. No wonder they lost.


  • Ryfyle

    I like the Grease Gun more.

  • Blake

    So, other than a 16″bbl & stock (in that order), what does one have to do in order to convert one of these GSG MP40s into a non-SBR carbine? IIRC there’s some 922(r) shenanigans involved?

  • Marcus D.

    I’ve had one GSG gun. Still have it in fact since I can’t sell it. (No one wants to buy it.) Of course, at the time I bought it I thought it was a Sig Sauer, since it says so right on the gun. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that the Mosquito wasn’t a Sig at all…Bummer. It’s not that it is a “bad” gun, just that it is inaccurate and overly complicated on the safety side of the equation. I’d rather have a Ruger or a Buckmark.

  • roguetechie

    Nathaniel I am so proud of the remarkable restraint it must have taken in order to actually manage not to have the word wehraboo appear even once in this article…

    My wife is looking over at me as I type this sentence and has just asked me for a third time… No REALLY I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WTF A WEHRABOO IS and why when you clicked on this link you kept just laughing and saying wehraboo kruppstahl and oh Nate you poor poor bastard over and over

    • UCSPanther

      A “wehraboo” is the internet term for someone who is a absolutely convinced that Germany’s army was superior in WWII, and tends to flip out when someone points out its flaws and the reasons it lost WWII (Namely its insane and incompetent leadership).

      • PersonCommenting

        I thought it was pretty simple. Germany had to many people fighting her at one time from all sides. Seems pretty simple to me. They were a great army and probably could have lasted longer but that whole invading russian thing was a poor mistake.

        • UCSPanther

          The National Socialists also were nowhere near as good as the Soviets were with the cloak n dagger/covert manipulation of political opinion in the West. Brute force can only get you so far in war, especially if your foes have put a lot of effort into covert approaches…

      • Don Ward

        Wehraboo is also a term coined by Nathaniel. Not that he brags too much about that.


  • PersonCommenting

    Should of made a grease gun

  • jamezb

    Not having a photographic memory, I would have been very interested to hear the specific differences between this pistol and a true MP40. (aside from the obvious lack of a stock.)

    • Doom

      The internals are very different, and the externals have some key differences. Right off the bat you can see multiple screws holding this thing together, not a great sign.

  • John Henry Bicycle Lucas

    Great! I love my PPS 43 C it is a tremendous little piece of history from WWII. I’m thinking about how I could possibly work one of these into the safe!

  • Stephen Paraski

    The “Schmeisser MP 41” was a wood stock variation that Erma Werke had to go to court to stop because of Patent infringements.

  • John McPherson

    Be aware that this is a zink and plastic replica, not a gun anyone would buy and use for any time. The material is weak amd sweat will disolve it fast.

  • Cottersay

    Why in the HELL doesn’t someone come out with a .22LR “trainer” C96 Broomhandle Mauser?????????????????