Where the MP7 is that “cool gun” that almost no civilian in the United States can get these hands on (much less see), we can at least take comfort in knowing that the well-respected weapon has a few choice homes here amongst those who protect us. We may yet get to see one in person.
But, did you know that the MP7 had a handgun little brother? Neither did I until HistoricalFirearms.info had a nice little expose on a true ghost gun, the Heckler & Koch UCP.
In the early 2000’s, NATO was keen to procure a “Personal Defense Weapon” that was a bit more compact and maneuverable than main assault rifles, yet packed enough punch to get through body armor. The basic idea was these weapons would be useful for rear-echelon troops and vehicle/aircraft crews. Both HK and FN competed on this program, yielding two popular platforms today, the MP7 and the P90, respectively. Where FN has released their Five-Seven handgun, HK’s offering has stayed in-house.
Dubbed the UCP or “Universal Combat Pistol” the handgun was the smaller true pistol-sized companion to the MP7. Chambered in the same 4.6x30mm cartridge, it would allow troops to carry common ammo weapons or simply give others a bit more punch in their handgun against modern soft-armored troops.