Comment(s)

The HK MP5A5 is one of five .22 LR models made by Walther that bear the Heckler & Koch name. And these are more than MP5s in name only. With the exception of the caliber, the semi-automatic MP5A5 looks, feels and handles like the original HK submachine gun introduced to military and law enforcement personnel in the 1960s. Though nearly 50 years old, the MP5 and its variants—there have been approximately 29 versions—remain a staple of military and law enforcement agencies in more than 80 countries around the world. These countries include the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

HK introduced the MP5 in 1964 to fulfill military contracts for a compact submachine gun. There were five standard configurations. These include the MP5A1 (which lacked a buttstock); the MP5A2 (which featured a fixed buttstock); the MP5A3 (which featured a collapsible buttstock); the MP5A4 (a modified version of the MP5A2); and the MP5A5 (a variation of the MP5A3 and the model most commonly recognized today as an MP5). Models later equipped with silencers for special operations were given the suffix “SD” (schalldämpfer). The MP5N, on which the new MP5A5 rimfire from Walther is essentially styled, was developed for the United States Navy and features a specific pistol grip and triggerguard. The fact that it’s a design replica of the weapon U.S. Navy SEALs carry into battle makes the MP5A5 .22 one of the coolest semi-automatic rifles on the planet.

While the MP5 platform has over the years been chambered for a number of calibers, Walther’s MP5A5 is the first official MP5 chambered in .22 LR. Authentic in looks, feel and operation, the MP5A5 and MP5SD are engineered as dedicated .22 rifles. Both feature the Navy SEAL pistol grip as well as HK-style sights.

Walther offers 10- and 25-round versions of both the MP5A5 and the MP5SD. Both models feature a match-grade precision barrel, a metal receiver and a retractable stock. For the MP5SD variant, the sound dampener is actually a built-in compensator, as is the MP5A5’s barrel-mounted dampener. They are attached to conceal the rifle’s 16.1-inch, match-grade barrel. The magazines are made of high-strength polymer. They’re designed for ease of loading, with dual grips for holding the spring down while loading. For authenticity, both the 10- and the 25-round magazines are sized proportionately to the 9mm magazine. These dedicated rimfire rifles are engineered and built in Germany by Walther, which also manufactures the gun’s match-grade precision barrels.

Rimfire Redux

A nearly exact copy of the original, the .22-caliber MP5A5 has the classic MP5 look made famous by both countless action films and the real-world adventures of law enforcement and military personnel. The MP5A5 features the MP5’s traditional tapered forearm and barrel-mounted suppressor. As previously noted, the barrel-mounted “suppressor” is actually a long compensator shrouding the barrel. Every model uses the traditional blowback operating system, and disassembly for basic cleaning is remarkably simple—there are no loose parts. Just remove the rear receiver pin, pull off the shoulder stock and pivot the rear of the MP5A5’s upper receiver upward to open.

The fit, finish and weight (5.9 pounds, as opposed to the 9mm SD’s 7.5 pounds) of the Walther MP5A5 are so nearly like those of the MP5A5 submachine gun that it must rank as one of the most authentic .22 LR tactical weapons ever produced. If not for the muzzle opening and the .22-caliber rounds in the magazine, the MP5A5 would be almost indistinguishable from its famous 9mm counterpart. That’s the real appeal of the .22 model, which is also the first semi-auto version of the MP5 in many years to see production. The last were the 1983 HK94A2, featuring a full stock, and the HK94A3, which featured a retractable stock. Both are now considered collectibles, selling for prices as high as $4,000.

Range Time

The HK MP5A5 in .22 LR is equipped with a traditional diopter drum rear sight, which offers four differently sized rear apertures and is adjustable for windage and elevation. Also standard is the interchangeable, barrel-mounted front post sight. The trigger pull on our test gun averaged 8.1 pounds with 0.44 inches of take-up, no overtravel and a quick reset. Shots click off as fast as you can work the trigger, and since it’s a .22, the MP5A5 offers nearly zero recoil, making it possible to stay consistently on target.

The bolt locks open after the last shot, there is no magazine disconnect and the rifle will fire a chambered round with the magazine removed. As for ease of handling, the MP5A5 .22 is a military arm at heart, and thus was made as straightforwardly as possible. The right-side charging handle makes chambering the first round quick work, and the ambidextrous safety is easy to operate with either the trigger finger (right side) or thumb (left side). The iron sights are easy to adjust, and the sight picture is very well defined by the front sight’s hooded ring.

Of the several brands of .22 LR ammo I fired through the MP5A5, Federal’s Champion 40-grain load, with an average velocity of 1,240 fps, performed best. I tested the MP5A5’s accuracy at a distance of 50 feet. The best group spanned 1.25 inches, all in the 10 ring at 3 o’clock. A second group fired into the X ring measured 1.5 inches. A second series fired from 25 yards at a circle drawn at 10 o’clock in the 8 ring produced a best group of 1.75 inches.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Walther’s HK MP5A5 in .22 LR is about as real as it gets outside the universes of Navy SEALs and SWAT teams. Extremely accurate, the rimfire MP5A5 is an ideal training weapon, and it’s one of the smoothest and easiest-handling.22 LR carbines on the market today.

Walther HK MP5A5 Specs

Caliber: .22 LR
Barrel: 16.1 inches
OA Length: 26.8-33.8 inches
Weight: 5.9 pounds (empty)
Stock: Collapsible
Sights: Front post, diopter rear
Action: Striker-fired
Finish: Semi-auto
Capacity: 10+1, 25+1
MSRP: $475

For more information, visit waltherarms.com.

This article was originally published in “The Complete Book of Guns” 2017. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.

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