Tag Archives: MP5 clone

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.

A U.S.-made Consumer MP-5?

What’s not to like about an MP5?

Zenith Firearms has been a partner with the Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation, best known as MKE, since 2011, and as such long imported MKE’s MP-5 clones to the U.S. consumer market. However, with the Turkish company reportedly teaming up with Century Arms on the promised AP-5, Zenith has made the call to go it alone.

They advise an all-American MP-5 will be available sometime in 2021.

However, as I may have covered here before, PTR and Palmetto State Armory in South Carolina have both been going down that road since 2018 with varying degrees of success. There are also a host of smaller shops that specialize in the platform, for those who like to get on waiting lists. These include Pennsylvania’s Black Ops Defense, Brethren Arms in Utah, Dakota Tactical in Michigan, and TPM Outfitters in the Lone Star State.

Bottom line: we’ll see.

For those who want an HK MP5 but don’t have MP5 dollars

In the 1960s, Heckler und Koch hit the market with their MP5 sub gun and really set the gold standard for SMGs ever since. Just flat-out durable and reliable, they have circled the globe and remain to be seen (and unseen) in the most curious places.

Margaret Thatcher and three SAS personnel after the six-day Iranian Embassy siege in London, May 1980. Dig the claw-mounted lights on their MP5s

However, if you want an actual HK-made MP5 of your very own, you have to cough up serious cash for the gun and collect some stamps or two– and even then settle for a $20,000 HK 94 that has been converted.

Speaking of HK 94 carbines, they run $4K by themselves if you are lucky enough to find them, leaving those who want an MP5-ish gun to look for HK SP89s or HK SP5Ks for $2,000 and up and just make do with the wonky push-button mag release and other detracting features the MP5 never had.

No…this is not what the People wanted…

Hence the burgeoning market in clones that cost about the same amount of dough.

With that in mind, HK yesterday went public with the all-new SP5 pistol series that includes an 8.86-inch Navy tri-lug barrel, paddle mag release, and barrel sight. Further, it is a true HK, being made on the MP5 line at Oberdorf.

Oof.

More in my column at Guns.com.