Wow, I finally own a Heckler and Koch MP5! Perhaps not the one I always wanted, but it is a very good one just the same. Moreover, the HK MP5 A5 .22 Long Rifle is easy on the pocketbook, for firing and feeding. Walther not only manufactures the MP5 A5 .22 but also distributes it.
The neat little carbine is well finished in flat black with excellent red and white enamel on the right places to make it look just like the legendary 9mm SMG. While designed for the war on terror, my MP5 .22 version gives you an affordable and fun rifle. The MP5 has many good features and merits far beyond its appearance.
The Walther-made rifle exhibits a high level of reliability and accuracy that, frankly, I did not expect. That is not a trick or gimmick. It is a well-made trainer if you will, the Ferrari of plinking rifles.
I have to say the MP5 .22, complete with a fake suppressor, is an awesome look-alike. In fact, the carbine was leaning against the wall a few days ago, along with other items being checked for images and range work, and it fooled an intelligent young man. My son-in-law is a fine young man not well versed in firearms—yet, but he knows a suppressor when he sees one. “Pop,” he said, “is that a suppressor?”
We previously had a great discussion about the inventor of the sound suppressor, Hiram Maxim. His patents still stand, and the family has made a tidy sum on his patent for the vehicle muffler. I explained that the HK is a fake. He did not quite get it. So I told him it is made to mimic an anti-terror SMG I could not own easily, at least without a ton of paperwork and considerable expense.
Now, I love black guns and all that but probably would purchase another truck first. He simply said OK. Well, the .22 is not loud and is not suppressed, either. It just looks like it would be an SMG with a “can.” Sort of like the fake can that used to be on MAC-10 copies so you could hold them properly.
This one neatly sidesteps the problem of making a legal-length carbine version of the SMG look off balance with a long barrel. After all, the real SMG is also a short-barrel firearm. With the fake suppressor, it does not look gawky. It looks cool. And in many ways, the Walther .22 looks cooler than the HK 9mm rifle with its long-for-the-size 16-inch barrel.
While it is fun to have a look-alike of the real thing, we could buy a fake or a dewat for an outrageous price and hang in on the wall. The Walther MP5 .22 is useful. It is more accurate and reliable than quite a few .22 rifles intended purely for sporting use.
The pistol grip, cocking handle and outline are all HK.
- I was surprised to find the sights are genuine, rotating-diopter rear sights with four apertures—pure HK and very similar to my PTR 91 rifle.
- The sight is fully adjustable and makes for excellent hit probability.
- The front post is ideal for practical accuracy.
- The front sight is about 0.65 inches thick, and inside the packing carton is a spare front-sight blade for fine adjustment. Simply use an Allen wrench to change the sight, backing it out—a neat trick—and the HK .22 is accurate enough that you will wish to precisely sight it.
The stock is high quality and folds neatly into the receiver. There is only one adjustment, in or out, but it is not as if the rifle kicks. It does not kick at all. The MP5 .22 is only 27 inches folded and 32.5 inches overall with the stock fully extended and locked. The release is a neat little lever that you twist to release the stock. Unlike a number of entry-level .22s, AR look-alikes and the rest, it is tight and solid without any rattle or play.
At more than $400, it is not an entry-level .22, so it should be tight and well made. Operation of the MP5 .22 is simple. Insert and lock in place a loaded magazine. The cocking handle is on the upper left side of the barrel. To cock the rifle, you move the cocking handle to the rear and then release it. The handle does not move when the rifle fires and can be used to open the action and lock the bolt in place. The safety is on the aluminum receiver, well located and positive in operation.
The sights, pistol-grip handle and fore end are all very ergonomic and easily used. The sights are particularly well made and useful. Trigger compression is not bad for a .22 rifle, breaking at just more than 6.5 pounds. The trigger feels like a military two-stage. For safety and instructing young shooters, that is a good trigger.
When firing the rifle, the trigger and push-button magazine release are more than manageable. The rifle weighs just more than 6 pounds, so firing is not a chore, and it handles quickly. I fired the MP5 .22 extensively with Winchester M22, designed especially for self-loading rifles, and the CCI Mini Mag. I also used the Remington 40-grain high-velocity loading. I have enjoyed good luck in feed and accuracy with those three choices.
There are others that probably work well, and any of those runs well in my self-loading rifles and handguns. After firing some 450 rounds between cleanings, I have experienced no malfunctions. That is something of a benchmark for any self-loading .22-caliber action.
The real surprise was accuracy. After one afternoon of emptying the 25-round magazine and finding I hit just about everything at which I aimed, I decided I would bench rest the next morning. After giving the rifle a good cleaning and lubrication, I rested it across the sand bags and test fired at a long 50 yards.
A short-barrel .22 at 50 yards is not always a success story. Firing three different loads, I achieved an average of 2 inches at 50 yards. However, on one occasion, the three-shot group of Winchester M22 settled into 1 inch, and the CCI Mini Mag’s best effort was a satisfying 1.2 inches. This dog will run!
I do not recommend the .22 for personal defense, although the caliber and rifles that chamber it are often pressed into service against predators and members of our protein-fed, ex-con criminal class; 25 rounds of high-velocity .22 may make a favorable impression on our behalf.
There even may be a certain intimidation factor with this carbine. It looks bad to the bone. When all is said and done, the HK MP5 .22 is one great rifle that is a very desirable addition to my modest battery of .22-caliber firearms.
So what is your dream rifle? Do you have an HK MP5 .22? Plan to get one soon? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooters Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
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