buy an MP5 or MP5SD?

by Erik  

If you are thinking of choosing between an MP5 or MP5 SD, chances are you already know a lot about the MP5 platform. For those who don't, I will enlighten you. The MP5 and MP5SD are both submachine guns because they are chambered in a pistol caliber.

However, due the Gun Control Act of 1968, they were no longer allowed to be imported from Germany. So if you want to own one, you have a few different options:

  • Purchase a clone in semi-auto only (sub-gun)
  • Use a clone with a registered sear
  • Try to find a pre-ban (before 1968) model

Any pre-ban models are highly collectible and EXTREMELY expensive due to the VERY limited number. Since genuine HK MP5s are very rare in civilian hands, several companies produce "clones" of the MP5 which usually consist of mostly genuine HK parts with a few exceptions. Some things like barrels, stocks, triggers, and other parts are made in the US to satisfy 922r compliance and to lower the cost. Most of these companies produce MP5 clones that are "sear ready." Meaning, if you own a registered sear, you can drop it into the trigger pack to make it an automatic or submachine gun.

If you don't own a sear, chances are you just after a semi-automatic model. There are companies who will even produce the SD model using an integral suppressor. While the idea of using a suppressor designed specifically for the weapon sounds like a good idea (no pun intended), it has some drawbacks.

The MP5SD is designed to use be used with 124 gr. ammo. Shortly after the mouth of the barrel a series of holes act as vents to slow down the bullet before it enters the suppressor and leaves the barrel. This design yields a very messy operation and HK suggests cleaning the gun every 500 rounds. Although, the SD does manage to be one of the quietest 9mm sub-guns without using true subsonic ammo that is also full auto rated.

In contrast, a regular MP5 with a standard suppressor and subsonic ammo is a pretty damn good setup. It won't be as quiet as the SD, but you still get a quality suppressed weapon that can run full auto if the suppressor is rated for it. Going this route allows you to use an existing suppressor that you may already own.

MP5 subguns in a rifle configuration are considered short barrel rifles in accordance with the National Firearms Act.

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