Firearms

Century Arms AP5 — The “Budget” MP5 Clone

Century Arms AP5 on messenger bag

If you’ve watched an action movie, especially ones from the ’80s and ’90s, you’ve probably seen the legendary HK MP5. From Special Operations to SWAT, the MP5 has been in the hands of the best of the best and has a cult-like following among civilian shooters. The only issue, the MP5, and even the semi-auto SP5, is incredibly expensive and hard to find. Fortunately, there are some great cost-effective alternatives being imported from Turkey by Century Arms.

Century AP5 Features

The Century Arms AP5 is not some cheap knock-off, it’s well made of good materials. The welds are near perfect. I can’t see any quality difference between it and the real HK. The AP5 consists of a stamped metal upper, paired with a polymer one-piece lower. 

Century Arms AP5 Charging handle
Slapping the charging handle on the AP5 is a blast!

The firearm features the classic HK-style drum rear sight that’s adjustable for different distances and a fixed post front sight. A Picatinny rail is included for mounting an optic, and there are versions that come with a red dot sight. Additionally, there are versions available both with and without the SB Tactical folding pistol stabilizing brace as well as an HK-style bungee sling mount. 

The Century AP5 incorporates both button and paddle-style magazine release options — both worked well. Magazine changes were quick and easy. The trigger broke clean and the press was smooth, leading to excellent accuracy.

Specifications

Action: Semi-auto, roller-delayed blowback
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Upper: Stamped metal 
Lower: Polymer one-piece
Sights: Fixed front, drum rear
Barrel length: 5.5 inches
Overall length w/o brace: 17.9 inches
Weight w/o brace: 5.5 pounds

AP5 HK Drum Sight
The rear sight works well and was right on the money.

Range Time

The Century AP5 was an absolute blast to shoot at the range. The enjoyable HK slap to charge the firearm is always fun in and of itself. The AP5 shoots like a laser and runs like a top. I fired several hundred rounds through the firearm and experienced no malfunctions. I could also punch holes through the bullseye with ease. The roller-delayed blowback action was smooth shooting, and paired with the pistol stabilizing brace and 9mm cartridge, produced very little recoil

After my time at the range I could only think of two improvements. The pistol brace is a bit short and the forend heats up fast when you dump mag after mag. These are minor issues that can be easily remedied with aftermarket parts if you find them to be too bothersome. 

Target with holes
The AP5 demonstrated good accuracy. This is a 2″ five-round group at 15 yards.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking to yourself, “I need to get me one of those.” I agree, and now is a great time to do so. Currently, Century Arms is offering a rebate on these pistols through August, making them less expensive than ever. This brings the cost down to close to a third of the price of a true HK, a deal that you shouldn’t pass up. Spend that extra cash on magazines, ammo, or range time, and you’re sure to have a smile on your face.

What do you think of the Century Arms AP5? Let us know in the comment section.

  • Century AP5 folded stock on bag
  • Pistol stabilizing brace
  • Century Arms AP5
  • AP5 safety selector
  • Front end AP5 pistol
  • Ap5 at range with target
  • Century Arms AP5 Charging handle
  • AP5 HK Drum Sight
  • Target with holes
  • Century Arms AP5 on messenger bag

About the Author:

Alex Cole

Alex is a relatively young firearms enthusiast who’s been shooting consistently for around seven years. Though he is fairly new to the industry, he loves consuming all information related to guns and is constantly trying to enhance his knowledge, understanding and use of firearms. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t do something firearms-related.

Alex tries to visit the range at least a couple of times a month to maintain and improve his shooting skills. He also enjoys disassembling and reassembling firearms to see how they work and to keep them properly cleaned and maintained. He installs most of the upgrades to his firearms himself, taking it as a chance to learn.

Additionally, he is very into buying, selling and trading guns to test different firearms and learn more about them. He is not only interested in modern handguns and rifles, he appreciates the classics for both historical value and real-world use.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (24)

  1. I was a SWAT officer in the ’80s & ’90s. H & K did a great job of marketing the MP5 but, as we gained experience with the platform, we came to realize that it has some significant, even fatal, flaws. The magazines are very fragile, there’s no way of knowing that your mag is empty (until you pull the trigger on an empty chamber). Aggressive marketing and hype only get you so far. There’s a reason that nobody uses them anymore.

  2. What’s the price? What does it cost? How much is it? How many American dollars does it require to own it? I can’t think of another way to ask it. Geesh……..

  3. MrFlorida: The stock is actually an arm brace and the weapon is registered as a handgun, so you don’t need SBR.

    1. It’s a pistol, so it does not need a stamp, so long as you do not put a longer stock on it than is allowed for a pistol. ~Dave

  4. Why is the price such a secret? That gives me pause. And if C.A.I finally got their stuff together Im glad because for ever they just assembled as best they coukd barells full of parts.
    I made a mistake of buying a Garand from them about 25 yrs ago and it had parts from 5 or 6 different manufacturers on it. It never worked at all and I finally alomst gave it away.
    And that wasnt just a one time lemon either but if they got it together now thats grest but I still dont like it when you are trying to sell someone something and you cant post the price of it or at least I didnt see it.

  5. Nice little piece. I’d like to have it and rely on it for home defense.
    California guy, probably should stay clear of one because nothin’ is legal in California

  6. I purchased the short barrel version,and I love it . trigger is great,I have a in yard 25 meter range and it is dead on .
    I’m so glad that Century made these affordable.

  7. I would buy it in a nano second except I live in California. Any means of making it California compliant?

  8. Bought this for my wife, and I love it. Fun to shoot, 9mm is much easier to handle than a 5.56 AR for a beginner shooter. It comes with an attachable rail for optics, which you can see in the first picture. There is a folding stock, which is pictured, but there is also an extendable one, which we got. None are included in the basic package. Bought it from a local dealer, so I’m not sure how accurate the price is compared to on line sales, but the price was $1,800.

  9. In the article you mentioned that the AP5 was less expensive than the MP5 but you didn’t give the suggested retail price. Just curious about how much this clone costs.

  10. Looks like a beautiful little firearm. How bad is it going to hit my budget? I need to know how much to hide from my wife.

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