A Lesson on Gun-Flation

Back in 2019, I was considering a Zenith ZP-5, which is a Turkish-made (by MKE) semi-auto-only Heckler & Koch MP5 clone imported and rebranded by the Minnesota-based company. MKE, which worked with HK closely back in the 1960s and 70s– as Bonn was much cooler than Berlin on gun and gun technology exports– to license-produce G3s and MP5s, has retained the tribal knowledge and continues to make decent versions of those classic, pre-CNC, guns.

Zenith had a really nice lineup of roller-locked 9mms– back in 2019 (Photo: Chris Eger)

At the time, the ZP-5 was $1,700, which was (and still is) a big ask. So big of an ask that I didn’t pull the figurative trigger.

Then, in 2020 (which is just last year), HK announced the Oberndorf-produced SP5 pistol, which is just a semi-auto and very legit MP5 without a stock. I met it at SHOT Show and really, I mean really, liked it.

What’s not to like? (Photo: Chris Eger)

The thing is, the MSRP on the HK SP5 was $2,799, with the best “street price” I could find at the time actually being a $300 jog higher than that.

Now, just 13 months after SHOT 2020, MKE has switched ships and is being imported by Century Arms as the AP5– for $3,000— and the HK SP5 is retailing for $5K where you find it in stock.

The new Century Arms AP5 is just an MKE-produced MP5 clone for $3K. In other words, Zenith’s old ZP5 with extra steps at twice the price.

What a difference a year or two makes.

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