By: Friedrich Seiltgen

The H&K SP-5 was introduced December 2019, just in time for Christmas and the 2020 SHOT Show. The verdict is in – and it’s a hit!

This weapon is billed as a semiautomatic sporting version of the legendary MP-5. The SP5 is designated a pistol and features the MP5 “Navy” barrel with threaded tri-lug adapter, fluted chamber, and paddle magazine release. Although the SP5 was created for U.S. shooters, the gun is built in HK’s main factory in Oberndorf am Neckar in Germany. This ensures the same quality as the MP5, as it is built on the same line, by the same technicians who have built the famous Sub Gun for years! HK’s press release states, “The new SP5 will make all those generic MP5 copies out there look like nothing more than gun store consolation prizes.”

The SP5 is the fourth attempt at making a semiautomatic MP5. The HK94 was a MP5 type carbine with a 16” barrel. I’m still kicking myself for not buying one that I saw at a gun show for $750! Other attempts at an MP5 pistol were the SP-89, and in 2016 the SP5K. All these versions were a bit awkward and lacked the features of the real deal MP5.

Operating System: Roller Delayed Blowback
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Magazine Capacity: 10 or 30
Weight: 5.1 Lbs.
Barrel Length: 8.86”
Total Length: 17.8”

The SP5 comes with an elastic type sling mounted to the rear of the receiver. This enables the shooter to use the SAS sling method to shoot. This method is credited to the British SAS (Special Air Service) as seen used in the raid on the Iranian embassy in London. SAS operators are seen entering the building with MP5s without stocks and a big Maglite flashlight mounted on top. Don’t laugh, this was High Speed – Low Drag stuff for its time! Combine this with wearing a bulky gas mask that prevents a proper cheek weld, and you get the SAS method. Basically, the technique requires the operator to connect to the sling and push the gun out forward. This creates tension on the sling and helps stabilize the gun for more accurate shooting. I have used this method for qualifying on the MP5 while assigned to the Orlando Police Airport Division, and it works!

Quality Isn’t Cheap!
The SP-5 is another quality product from HK. The $2,799 price, however, is out of order in my opinion. The MP5 has been produced for many years, and the production cost is nowhere near this, but the laws of supply and demand apply. HK products are expensive, and their resale value makes them a good investment. Currently, the SP5 is hard to obtain. HK has other priorities, and the SP5 is on backorder already! That’s not stopping hardcore HK fans who are paying north of $3,500 for the gun if they can get one.

Problems & Situations at H&K
HK has some problems with solvency. In 2018, an audit by KPMG showed money problems. n February 2019, HK was fined 3.7 million Euros ($4.2 million dollars) by a German court for illegal rifle sales to Mexico. In Mid-2019, HK technicians at the Columbus, Georgia plant took a pay cut to help. If HK needs money, I have an idea: start building more guns that we want! How about a Semi Auto MP-7 pistol for starters?

No Compromises!
HK’s motto is “no compromises,” which is outstanding when it comes to quality, but sometimes they take it too far. In 2006, I was fortunate enough to attend a week long armorers course at the HK office in Virginia. While there, I wanted to buy some HK anniversary swag. I filled out the form, but didn’t get the anniversary items because those items could only be ordered online. I assumed these items were coming out of Germany. I was then told those items were in the building I was standing in, but rules are rules! I have heard similar stories from gun dealers who were not happy with H&K’s snobbish business practices and stopped carrying HK products.

HK finally got it right with the SP5. Since the gun is based on the MP5, there are loads of aftermarket accessories to upgrade your pistol. You can even go as far as a Short Barreled Rifle (all NFA laws apply).

I hope the supply and solvency issues will be sorted out quickly, and HK can get back to designing some of the best firearms in the world.

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He is currently an Officer with the Starke, Florida Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. He is a contributor to The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at

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