Raffica Special: February 1999 - SAR ID Guide to the HK Machine Guns, Part I

By Dan Shea

SAR is pleased to present the first of the series in the HK ID Guide. We kept this one to the pistol caliber machine guns imported by HK. This Guide is intended to give the reader a photographic look at each of the HK variants, with the general information on each item. In-depth analysis of these firearms will be covered in future issues of SAR. The future ID Guides of the HK products are as follows: HK Rifle Caliber Machine Guns and Destructive Devices, HK Semi-Automatic Rifles, HK Aftermarket Machineguns - Pistol Caliber, HK Aftermarket Machineguns - Rifle Caliber, HK Aftermarket Semi-Automatic Rifles.

We will be covering both the imported and the US modified HK products in the Aftermarket categories. SAR readers who have unusual HK products are encouraged to contact us and help us complete this series. SAR would like to thank Jim Shatz from HK for help in this series.

9mm machine pistol

The VP70-M is a select fire machine pistol. Safe, Semi, and 3 round burst. Pistol is blowback operated with an inertia bolt, stationary barrel, and firing pin ignition. The pistol itself is a semi-automatic, the addition of the buttstock allows the 3 shot mechanism. Calibers may be 9x19mm or 9x21mm. Markings are on the slide and the bolt.

Pistol, no mag: 29oz
Holster Stock: 16oz
Length w/stock: 21.46”
ROF: 2200 rpm


The MP5K is one of the most compact SMG’s ever made.

Length: 12.8”
BBL: 4.5”
Wt.: 4.4lbs
ROF: 900rpm
SEF lower
15/30 rd mag


The “Navy” model has a safe-semi-full, ambidextrous lower and longer barrel that has 3 lug adapter capability and is also threaded for a suppressor.

Length: 13.75”
BBL: 5.5”
Wt.: 4.4lbs
ROF: 900rpm
Navy Lower
15/30 rd mag


The PDW is the “Personal Defense Weapon” variant of the MP5K-N submachinegun. With its side folding stock, it is compact, yet offers a very stable shooting platform.

Length: 14.5”
Length, Stock folded: 23.75”
Weight: 6.14 lbs.
BBL length: 5.5”
ROF: 900rpm
Navy Lower
15/30 rd mag

MP5 with receiver cap

One of the original variants of the 9mm HK MP5 util ized a buttcap, not a stock. The sling base allowed for an underarm carry for concealment. Sample shown has a forearm guard and 3-shot burst lower.

ROF: 800 rpm
Length: 17.5”
BBL Length: 8.85”
Weight: 5.2lbs.

MP5A2 9mm.

The basic MP5 is the A2 variant with fixed buttstock. This one has a tactical light forearm, flash suppressor, and the winter trigger is at the arrow.

Length: 26.77”
Barrel: 8.85”
Weight: 5.59 lbs.
ROF: 800rpm.

MP5A3 9mm

The retracting stock variant of the MP5 carries teh “A3” designation. Thi sexample has a slimline forearm.

Length with the stock extended in 27.25”. Retracted langth is 21”. BBL Length: 8.85”
Weight: 5.61 lbs
ROF 800 rpm.

MP5SFA2 9mm

This is the semi-auto only variant. The receiver is still a “Swing-down” type, so these are classified as machine guns even though they use the semi-safe trigger group. All other specifications are the same as for the MP5A2. This example has the standard forearm. Early MP5SF’s were assembled with the semi-auto only HK94 bolt carriers. Developed for the FBI in 1987.

MP5PT w/fixed stock

The need for a “trainer” was evident, and HK fielded the MP5PT. This is identical to a standard gun, and is indeed a machine gun. The cocking handle is made from bright blue plastic. Note the brace for floating chamber at the front of the magazine well. Regular ammunition can not be fired from this model, only special training ammunition. Specs are the same as for the MP5A2.


This is the configuration of the official MP5 Navy model. It features a 3 lug barrel ehich is also threaded for the Navy suppressor which is manufactured by Knigt’s Armament Company. The lower is ambidextrous, safe-semi-full auto, tactical forearm light is offset for the suppressor. Original Navy suppressors were made by HK under license from Qual-A-Tec.

Length, stock ext
no suppressor: 27.25”
Length, stock retr.
no suppressor: 21”
BBL Length: 8.85”
Weight, no supp:


The integrally suppressed version of the MP5 is called the “SD”. These have long been cnsidered to be one of the quietest, most efficient submachine guns on the market. Proted barrels bring the velocity of the supersonic 9mm ammunition to a subsonic level.

Length: 30.42”
BBL Length: 5.73”
Weight: 6.83lbs.
ROF: 800 rpm


The “Navy” version of the MP5SD utilizes an HK manufactured suppressor that was originally designed by Qual-A-Tec. It has a Navy lower ambidextrous, safe-semi-full.

Length: 31.69:/25.68”
BBL Length: 5.73:
Weight: 7.83 lbs
ROF: 800rpm


The market dictated that HK offer their submachine guns in some of the newer calibers that the law enforcement agencies had moved to. The .40 caliber MP5 has a high degree of parts interchangeability with the 9mm. The arrow indicates the new bolt hold open device. Uses polymer magazines.

Length: 26.77”
BBL Length: 8.85”
Weight: 5.88 lbs
ROF: 800 rpm


In 1994 the FBI adopted the MP5/10 as their new submachine gun. This 10mm SMG will use either high or low impulse 10 mm with a change of locking pieces. At the arrow is the bolt hold open device.

Length: 21/27.25”
BBL Length: 8.85”
Weight: 6.41 lbs.
ROF: 800 rpm.

UMP 45

The serial number is on metal that is embedded in the polymer of the receiver side. UMP’s sidefolding buttstock is similar to the stock on the new G36 rifles.

Cal: 45ACP
Length: 17.71 / 27.17 “
BBL Length: 7.87”
Weight no mag: 4.63 lbs.
ROF: 580/700 +p


30 mfg’d in 1982 for testing, never fielded. Blowback select fire 500rpm.

Length: 29.76”
BBL: 5.75”
Wt. w/ supp.: 8.35lbs.


SMG II was actually manufactured and 60 were shipped for operational uses that are still classified.As in the SMG, the suppresor is removable. There is a gas release valve for subsonic firing. 30 mfg’d in 1984 testing, 60 operational mfg’d. SMG II is select fire, adding a 3 rd. burst - Blowback select fire 500rpm. MP2000 (Not Shown) was the predecessor to the UMP. SAR was unable to obtain good photos of this unit before press time.

Length: 29.76”
BBL Length: 5.75”
wt. w/supp.: 7.90 lbs.


The PIP was never manufactured, but was seen in model form. The model is still at the HK Sterling, VA location, and pictures occasionally show up. Blowback, select fire, ROF - Never Mfg’d.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N5 (February 1999)
and was posted online on August 26, 2016


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