Over the last decade, the availability and after-market support for the MP5 platform has exploded. With a number of companies offering MP5 clones or variants, there are now a number of different companies to look at when it comes to purchasing an MP5 variant. I have an SP5K from HK but wanted to try out a clone variant. It’s fairly crazy to see how much fighting online there is about the overall performance of these clones so it’s time to put one to the test. I ended up settling on a Century Arms AP5 and I’ve had it for a few months now. Let’s take a closer look at the Century Arms AP5.
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The AP5 is originally made by MKE in Turkey and then imported by Century Arms. They have three model variants available on the US market. The full-size model is the AP5 and there is a K variant that comes threaded or flush fit. For this review, I decided to pick up the full-size variant. This variant weighs in at roughly five and a half pounds with a total length of around 18 inches. The standard AP5 has a number of variants with or without an SB Tactical brace and Shield Arms red dot. I opted for a standard model since I planned to turn it into a short-barreled rifle from the beginning.
When your Century Arms AP5 arrives, it will come with a quality hard case, two 30-round magazines, a gun cleaning kit, and a gun lock. In addition to all this, it also comes with a Picatinny rail mount for optics which is a nice touch to come standard. The full-size AP5 is a classic roller delayed blowback pistol, the same as any other classic MP5s on the market. The muzzle comes threaded with a 1/2×28 thread pitch with a tri-lug muzzle device attachment interface, so you’ll be able to run really any muzzle device you want, but I decided to stick with the classic tri-lug set up. When it comes to sights, the AP5 comes with a fixed front sight and rear drum sight with adjustments from 100-400 yards. MSRP on the AP5 variants is $1,999.99 and they are available on the market right now.
I’ve had my copy of the full-size Century Arms AP5 for right around 7 months now. I have shot a few different courses with it and really have made it my own with a few changes. The classic round handguard makes me feel all sorts of nostalgic back in the glory days of the 1970s but there are better options on the market in my opinion. Everything that comes on the gun is definitely perfectly capable of performing flawlessly without modifications, but what’s the fun in that? I upgraded the handguard from the standard round handguard to the Knights Armament RAS rail system. Once my stamp came back, I put on B&Ts telescoping stock and a Trijicon RMR on an Anvl Ukon mount. To test out how the AP5 handled suppressed shooting, I threw on a Dead Air Wolfman as well.
Range Time and Value
Throughout my time with the Century Arms AP5, I have roughly 2,900 rounds through it without so much as a hiccup or oddity at all. Throughout my shooting sessions with the AP5, I found myself comparing it to my Heckler and Koch SP5K in terms of quality and overall impressions. The welds throughout the gun look clean and the overall fit and finish are rather impressive for being a few hundred dollars cheaper than the HK SP5. With the addition of the KAC RAS handguard and B&T stock, I came out to roughly the same price as a factory SP5 which does offer exceptional value for what you’re getting.
Recoil and Durability
Anytime you take an MP5 variant out for a range session, the first thing that always strikes me is just how smooth and soft shooting these guns truly are. They are some of the softest shooting guns you can fire and even with a suppressor, there’s little to no gas blowback that lands in your face. I wanted to see how long I could go without cleaning the firearm and made it the entire duration of testing with no issues. Truthfully, I really like the fact Century includes the Picatinny rail attachment so you can mount red dots or optics onto your AP5. I decided to give the standard mount a try and it held zero the entire 7 months with no issues. It may be a bit bulky but it’s rock solid and I can appreciate that.
A Good Alternative?
I know half of you are going to ask me if you think it’s worth going with an MP5 variant over the original SP5 from Heckler & Koch. I’m well aware the other half of you are calling me a “just as good” guy right about now. The honest truth is there’s definitely a market for this gun. HK makes a fantastic MP5 and I’m very happy I purchased my SP5K when I had the chance. Not everyone has $3,000 to spend on an MP5 and that’s ok.
I was able to set up an absolutely fantastic MP5 clone for around the same price as a factory HK SP5 which gives the Century Arms AP5 a truly great value for money. If you don’t agree and want an HK over everything, I totally respect that and don’t blame you. If you’re the average guy who wants a solid MP5 for range sessions, I would most certainly say go with a high-quality MP5 clone.
So the big question is, is it a good alternative to the original SP5 from H&K? Short answer is yes, if you don’t have the money or want to really build out an MP5, I would really look at the Century Arms AP5. I’m extremely impressed with the overall fit and finish these guns have and even though I have an HK MP5, I really like this AP5 done up like I have.
I have abused this gun and really put it through its paces with no issues. The ability to customize this firearm with any aftermarket MP5 accessories is a great option as well to really give you options to make it your own. What do you guys think about the AP5 from Century Arms? Is it a solid option for the MP5 market or would you rather have an SP5 from HK even with the price difference? Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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