The Navy SEALs and many other elite counter-terrorist units around the world – to include the British SAS, Germany’s GSG 9, and Spain’s GEO — use the compact submachine gun. What’s unique on this automatic machine gun is the roller-delayed blowback system which operates the weapon in a fully locked breach position. Where other automatic systems rely on the weight and velocity of the returning breach to seal the chamber the MP5 does this through a series of locks and cams.
The MP5 was first used by GSG-9 in action against terrorists who hijacked a Lufthansa aircraft on October 17, 1977 and flew it to Mogadishu, Somalia. It was also prominently displayed in pictures of the SAS takedown of the terrorist-held Iranian Embassy in 1980. The MP5 has also seen action in U.S. operations such as the Grenada and Panama invasions.
The MP5N Navy Model, developed by H&K especially for the U.S. Navy SEALs, fires from a closed and locked bolt in either the semiautomatic or automatic modes. This provides superior accuracy, especially critical on the first shot, which can mean the difference between life and death. The MP5 fires a 9mm parabellum round in single shot fire, three-round bursts, or full automatic at 800 rounds per minute. It has a retractable buttstock, a removable suppressor, and illuminating flashlight operated by a pressure switch that is custom-fitted to the pistol grip.
The SEALs primarily use the MP5 for Counterterrorism, Close Quarters Combat, hostage rescue, and personal protection operations. It is compact, concealable, durable, maneuverable and hard-hitting. It is easily controllable and the recoil is extremely smooth, allowing the shooter to obtain highly accurate shot placement. Depending on the mission, the MP5 may be operationally used in conjunction with the M4A1, for increased firepower. H&K has an MP5SD model for missions where stealth and secrecy require fully-integrated sound suppression. It also makes a version called the MP5K Machine Pistol, which weigh only 4.4 lbs, is less than 13 inches in length, and can be fired from inside a specially designed briefcase. This variant has three firing modes – semi, three-round burst, and full automatic.
- Caliber: 9×19 NATO
- Weight: 6.47 lbs
- Barrel Length: 8.85 in.
- Overall Length:
- Stock Extended: 27.25 in.
- Stock Retracted: 21.00 in.
- Cyclic Rate: 800 rpm