By Lars Dalseide | August 22 2013 11:05

Having semi-auto submachine fun with a Heckler & Koch .22

American Rifleman says the HK MP5 is a hardcore submachine gun for operators If you've been holding off on a semi-auto you can afford the shoot, an HK MP5 A5 .22 LR could be the gun for you

The HK MP5 is a hardcore submachine gun for operators. The MP5 A5 is just as rugged in its exterior, but since it’s semi-auto and chambered in .22 LR, shooters can actually afford to pull the trigger.

Looks can be deceiving, and the wisdom of that motherly advice is underscored by the commando-tough appearance of the Heckler & Koch-licensed MP5 A5 .22 LR. Manufactured in Germany and distributed by Walther Arms, beneath its flat-black and rugged exterior beats the gentler, kinder heart of a budget-conscious blowback rimfire.

Sure, lots of lawful citizens have neutralized criminal threats with a .22 LR-chambered firearm, but this version has some intimidating cosmetics that do a good job making you think it’s a genuine 9 mm submachine gun. The fake suppressor, for example, caught my grandson off guard. He thought the non-functioning “can,” which is 7 7/8 inches long and 1.38 inches in diameter, was real. It cannot be removed, so the integral unit makes the overall barrel length officially 16.2 inches (so no federal stamp is required to take the gun home), although the rifling runs for only 13.78 inches.

The sights are equally convincing. A rotating diopter rear sight offers four different-size apertures, from a geezer-friendly .23-inch-diameter opening, to the more tack-driving .10. It’s both windage and elevation adjustable with the provided Allen wrench, and the metal construction makes it rugged enough for abuse. Rotate far enough in either direction and this sight will top or bottom out, so don’t be surprised if it happens. During testing the unit held zero, and adjustment was quick and easy.

A protective metal circle with an interior diameter of .70 inch surrounds the front post sight. Its walls are .11-inches thick, so don’t expect them to succumb to daily abuse anytime soon. The setup makes finding the front sight an effortless and fast affair, even during fast-firing drills. The post itself is .067-inch wide and the MP5 A5 .22 LR ships with an identical-width replacement that is .056 inch taller. Both posts are also made of metal to survive the rigorous use for which this rig begs, and swap-out is simple by loosening the post with the Allen wrench, backing it out of its dovetail and reversing to install the new version.

If you’re an AR-15 fan and haven’t handled a gun like this, the stock may seem a bit clunky. This design is a product of the mid 1960s, when the real MP5 came off the drawing board and fell into the hands of operators across the globe. So there are two positions, collapsed and extended. That’s it.

Read the rest of Guy's look at the Hekcler & Koch MP5.


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