The famous MP5 series of submachine guns has served military police and counter-terrorism forces for decades now. Along the way, the MP5 became a titan of a firearm and was featured in action flicks like Predator and Die Hard and in video games like Counter-Strike. Sadly civilian MP5s were not always easy to find.
The National Firearms Act makes it tough to get a true MP5 submachine gun, as does the Hughes amendment. Heck, even getting a proper semi-auto model with a stock is a pain. Add in import restrictions and reluctant Germans, and it became quite tough for the everyday Joe to get an MP5.
However, that’s changed recently.
The floodgates have suddenly opened, and we are seeing a massive improvement in MP5s hitting the civilian market. With that in mind, we gathered the top five MP5s for your consumption.
5) The Walther MP5 22LR
So this isn’t technically an MP5. It doesn’t use the famous roller delayed system but is a basic blowback rifle. HK licensed the rights to a 22LR clone of the MP5 to Walther, and they happily provided a rimfire variant of the famed submachine gun. It’s simple and gives you the look and feel of an MP5 but at a very affordable price point.
As far as civilian MP5s, this is the cheapest choice available for the average consumer. It’s a rifle variant with the standard 16-inch barrel. That ungainly barrel wears a fake suppressor to make things look a little nicer. It mimics MP5 controls extremely well and gives you that MP5 feeling without the MP5 cost. It’s perfect for kids and big adult children like me.
4) PTR 600 series
South Carolina-based PTR made their name-producing G3 clones and had already mastered the roller delayed operating system. So, extending out to the MP5 wasn’t much of a stretch. PTR’s civilian MP5s come in various sizes and configurations. This includes a full-length rifle variant and several large-format pistols, including a K and standard-sized models.
PTR gives you an American-made option compatible with standard MP5 goodness. These civilian MP5s are modern guns outfitted with M-LOK handguard, Picatinny optics mounts, and sport the beloved HK drum sights and ergonomics. PTR does offer you substantial options and they tend to be somewhat affordable.
3) Century Arms AP5
Century Arms teamed up with the Turkish MKE to import a much more affordable series of civilian MP5s. The AP5 series utilizes all the features that make the MP5 so beloved. They call it the AP5 but that’s the biggest difference. The series comes in full-size and compact models.
The series utilize the famed roller delayed system to mitigate recoil and ensure controllability. We also get an accuracy-increasing cold hammer-forged barrel that’s topped with standardized threading of the ½ x 28 variety to attach suppressors. It’s a great option if you don’t want to dive deep into your pockets for a gun design older than you.
2) HK SP5
Yes, Heckler and Koch finally decided that the average consumer was worthy of an MP5. The SP5 gives you pure HK civilian-legal MP5s forged in the Teutonic mines of Germany. The SP5 provides you a true HK experience in both the K model MP5 and the full-sized SP5. This is as close as you can get to a true MP5.
HK doesn’t make them easy to find, but if you’re willing to search one out, the SP5 might be the best clone of the classic MP5. You get nothing fancy, no M-LOK handguard, no optic’s rail, just pure MP5 from HK. You also get the HK price, so be ready to empty your wallet. That being said, you can trust these guys can make an MP5. They’ve been doing this since the 1960s.
1) Dakota Tactical – The Best Civilian MP5
What! HK isn’t the number one option for civilian MP5s?! It seems sacrilegious, but Dakota Tactical simply does it better. How so? Well, they go above and beyond in their civilian MP5s. If you want an MP5 in 10mm, Dakota Tactical has you covered. If you want a K model, then you’re covered. And if you want an SBR, you’re also covered.
I can go on and on. Dakota Tactical adores the MP5 platform and even makes an SD variant. They also make extremely high-quality MP5 clones. These things are lovingly crafted and extremely well-made, and designed to be duty-ready. As such, they carry a hefty price tag. I can assure you, though, that they are well worth the money!
A Growing Market
Civilian MP5s offer you roller-delayed awesomeness in a platform that’s prevalent for both functional uses and a staple of pop culture. It’s odd it took so long for the civilian firearms market to recognize that people wanted MP5s, but here we are! What’s your favorite MP5 clone? Let us know below!