So, what is the difference between the MP5 and the MP5K? By the end of this article, not only will you know the broad differences between the two firearms, you’ll know more details than most seasoned enthusiasts.
Although there are more, the two main differences between the MP5 and MP5K is barrel and receiver length. The stock assembly and reinforcing plates are also different, as well as some of the internal hardware.
But first, some context. As you are probably already aware, the Heckler & Koch MP5 is one of the most widely used 9mm machine guns in the world. Thanks to the platform’s modularity, the custom variations are nearly endless.
The MP5K specifically, was designed to be more of a personal defense weapon. They have been used by the secret service and other security and intelligence agencies. Even pilots have been known to have an MP5K in their cockpit. The MP5K was also designed to be able to fit in a specialized briefcase with a trigger in the handle or attached to an over the shoulder harness hidden under a suit coat.
If you want to read up on the legalities of owning an MP5, please refer to the blog post we made on the topic here.
The MP5K Versus the Standard MP5
First of all, the “K” in MP5K stands for “kurz,” which means “short” in German. The “K” is added to signify the primary difference between the MP5 and the MP5K, which is the barrel length. This compact version of the MP5 came out in 1976. The MP5K has a 115mm (4.52 inch) barrel versus the 225mm (8.86 inches) barrel length of the standard MP5.
MP5 has a slower rate of fire as opposed to its shorter counterpart. An MP5 fires at 800 rounds per minute and the MP5K fires at 900 rounds per minute.
However, the differences between the two firearms does not stop there.
In addition to the shorter barrel, the stock set up on the MP5K is also a bit different. There are two push pins that keep the stock on the MP5K versus the single large push pin found on the MP5 stock assembly. This is one of the reasons stocks aren’t interchangeable between the two rifles, so be sure to double check compatibility when purchasing stocks for your MP5 or MP5K.
You’ll also find two reinforcing plates on the MP5K. These plates are another reason an MP5 stock will not fit on the MP5K. The bolt carriers are also not interchangeable between the MP5 and MP5K (although the bolts themselves can often be used in both firearms). Spring assemblies and grip housings are also not interchangeable between the two.
So, to recap, double check compatibility on parts when ordering for your specific firearm.
Items That Are NOT Interchangeable
This is a list of items that are NOT interchangeable:
- Hand guard
- Cocking tube
- Cocking tube support
- Some of the receiver weldments are not interchangeable
- Bolt carrier
- Recoil rod assembly
- Trigger group housing
These are not all the differences between the two firearms but these are the main ones to know.
In short, the main difference between the two firearms is size. They’re both excellent options so pick the one that works best for you, or, just buy both!