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GUNS Magazine March 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26
STORY: Holt Bodinson And a stunning understudy to its centerfire brother it is. hK MP5 .22 Lr N The MP5 safety is handy and ambidextrous. Note the authentic HK pictograms for “fire” and “safe.” ext to the AK/AKM, Heckler & Koch’s “Maschinenpistole 5” submachine gun is one of the world’s most identifiable firearms. For four decades, it has been appearing on the nightly news in the hands of police, anti-terrorist and special operations professionals. And now we can own one too! Well, not exactly, but HK has finally delivered a semi-automatic, rimfire version of their MP5 that is a spitting image of the real deal. When it comes to fun gun rimfires, the MP5 is as good as it gets. The archetype MP5 owes much of its success to its versatility. It’s a modular platform that can be configured in dozens of different ways with changes in calibers, barrel lengths, sighting systems, stock types, selective fire control groups and suppressors. Incorporating sheet metal stampings and polymer parts, the MP5 is easy to build, reliable, lightweight, yet rugged and simple to repair. It’s an inspired design, derived largely from the HK G3, and uses the G3’s proven delayed blowback, roller-locking, closed bolt system. the 1970s. The kit consisted of a .22 LR barrel insert, 20-round rimfire magazines and a complete rimfire bolt group. The system was adjusted for a cyclic rate of 650 rounds per minute, and like most fully automatic rimfire systems, it was susceptible to miss-feeds, stovepipes and excessive fouling. It was not a successful venture, and only several hundred units were manufactured. After a wait of 40 years, we now have two MP5 rimfire models from which to choose, plus a dozen or so accessories to modify stocks and sighting systems. The model pictured in this article is HK’s MP5 A5, featuring a retractable stock and an ersatz suppressor The distinctive, side-cocking handle of the MP5 (above) can also be used to lock the bolt open. HK’s signature rotary-drum sight (below) is adequate, but optics would really benefit the MP5. the original Historically, HK fielded a .22 Long Rifle conversion kit for the MP5 in 26 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M A R C H 2 0 1 2