While the venerable HK Mp5 has been in service since the ’60’s, it gained true icon status in the 1980’s.  Between watching real world commandos take down the bad guys of the world on the news and enjoying Arnold and Chuck stack nameless henchmen into piles with the little subgun on the silver screen, the diminutive 9mm slinger caught the eye of an entire generation.  While the Mp5 family of firearms has largely been replaced within military and law enforcement units, there are still many shooters in love with the distinctive design of HK’s lightning in a bottle.

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look
Pushing the gun out against the sling is the best way to fire when using the endcap

The main downside to the Mp5 (and semi-auto only variants), is the cost.  Thankfully, HK has licensed out the design to a number of companies over the years, one being the turkish arsenal MKE.  Zenith Firearms is bringing these to the US shores to the delight of many.

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look
Three-lug suppressor mount AND threaded barrel, for your convenience

While Zenith imports a good number of HK clones in various calibers, the Specific model I recieved for T&E is the Z-5P SB, a licensed copy of the Mp5-K (K for Kurz, German for “short”).  Having owned and used various HK subguns over the years (OEM and licensed copies), I can say the Z-5P is the closest thing you can get to an HK without paying for the stamp.  This machine is so accurately reproduced, one would have to be well-versed in roller-lock guns to spot the (minor) differences.  These Z-5P’s were produced in factories designed from the ground-up to produce HK quality guns.  These are not cheap knock-offs.

The specs for the Z-5P as provided by Zenith Firearms:

  • Caliber – 9×19 mm Parabellum
  • OA Length – 13.7 inches
  • Barrel Length – 5.8 inches
  • Barrel – cold hammer forged 32 chrome molybdenum vanadium
  • Weight (Empty) – 4.6 pounds
  • Operation – semi-automatic, roller-delayed blowback
  • Twist Rate – 1:9.8
  • Sights – rear drum for elevation and windage, front protected post
  • Capacity – 30
  • Colors – black
  • Includes – Z-5P pistol with rugged plastic carry case, factory cleaning kit, two (2) extra take-down pins, Picatinny style optics rail, military style sling, three (3) magazines, and 5-year warranty
  • Additional – barrel has 3-lug quick attachment and 1/2×28 threaded end
  • Made in Turkey by MKE

The Z-5P came with a soft case from Assault Systems, which not only straps in the gun but has three built-in mag pouches as well for the included 3 x 30 rounders.  Also included were two options for the back-end: either a receiver end-cap or an arm brace made by SB Tactical.  The picatinny rail was an unexpected bonus, allowing me to instantly upgrade the iron sights to a Vortex Venom red-dot.

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look
Soft case interior

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look

When the out-of-the-box inspection showed a well-finished pistol variant of the famous subgun, I couldn’t wait to get to the range.  I’ve had experience with poorly made HK copies and it was apparent from the get-go this wasn’t one.  I hit the range with a couple of boxes of ammo rather than wait for more to come in the mail.  A more thorough range day will follow; for now, here’s how she ran.

Superb.  When using cheap steel cased rounds or premium brass cased ammo, the Z-5P ran reliably.  As is common for these roller-lock guns, it didn’t enjoy the aluminum cased ammo as much.

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look

Accuracy for the Z-5P was just as I’d have expected based on my experience owning an Mp5-SD: pedestrian when grouping, yet dead-on whenever you’re shooting under pressure.  I’ve heard remarkable tales of accuracy from reliable military, law enforcement and “alphabet agency” types who have used the Mp5 and its ilk in hostile zones.  Most of those who I’ve talked to directly also agreed these guns are best “off the bench”.

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look
Rear diopter

Once the above-mentioned ammo comes in, I’m taking the Z-5P out for a more extensive (and suppressed) series of range trips.  While you wait, head over to Zenith Firearm‘s site and check them out!  Retail on the Z-5P SB is $2014.  T&E product loaned by Zenith Firearms.

Stay tuned!

Zenith Z-5P subgun | Quick Look
The whole kit and kaboodle