- Robert E. Petersen Collection
- Ancient Firearms - 1350 to 1700
- Road to American Liberty - 1700 to 1780
- A Prospering New Republic - 1780 to 1860
- The American West - 1850 to 1900
- Innovation, Oddities and Competition
- Theodore Roosevelt and Elegant Arms - 1880s to 1920s
- World War I and Firearms Innovation
- WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Beyond - 1940 to Present
- For the Fun of It
- Modern Firearms - 1950 to Present
- Hollywood Guns
- A Nation Asunder - 1861 to 1865
Heckler and Koch MP5A3 Submachine Gun
First created in 1964, the H&K MP5 was developed as a pistol-caliber, blowback operated roller-locked member of the H&K weapons system. It has become the first choice of the world's elite law enforcement and military units for a selective fire submachinegun. Versions chambered for 10mm and .45 caliber cartridges are also available.
Still considered the preeminent submachine gun in the world after nearly four decades of use the HK MP5 has long been the choice of the worlds most famous elite anti-terrorist, special operations and special law enforcement organizations such as the U.S. SEALS, British SAS, German GSG-9 and the American FBI and Secret Service to name only a few. First created in 1964 the MP5 (Machine Pistol 5) was developed as a pistol-caliber member of the HK blowback operated, roller-locked weapons system, the basic design borrowed from the famous 7.62x51mm NATO HK G3 assault rifle. Firing from a closed bolt position (bolt forward) with ergonomics like that of an assault rifle the MP5 provides accuracy and full auto controllability far exceeding that of most conventional submachine guns allowing the operator to make surgical shots under extremis circumstances common in special operations missions.
The model depicted in the display is the basic 9x19mm NATO (Luger, Parabellum) MP5A3, the workhorse in the extensive family of MP5 submachine guns. This sample is fitted with a 2-round burst trigger group. Like all HK weapons the MP5 is a modular weapon that allows the assembly groups, to include buttstock, trigger group and forearm to be exchanged on a common receiver by the operator in the field and without tools to reconfigure the weapon for varying mission needs. This model is outfitted for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) use with a tactical forearm with integral flashlight, dual 30-round magazines with dual magazine clamp and detachable flash hider.
The MP5A3 has an 8.85 inch barrel, is 21.00 inches in length with the retractable buttstock closed (27.25 inches with buttstock open) and weighs only 6.6 pounds empty. The weapon can fire in the semi-automatic, 2 or 3-round burst or fully automatic mode of fire depending on the optional trigger group mounted and at a cyclic rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute. The "Navy" variants of the MP5A3 can be fitted with optional screw-on sound suppressors that reduce the sound signature of the weapon by more than 38 dB and allows the weapon to be fired immediately upon emergence from the water.
In repeated user testing the MP5 has proven capable of firing more than 30,000 rounds without a single stoppage or parts failure and it is not uncommon to find MP5's still serving with greater than 500,000 rounds through the original barrel and receiver. In addition to the MP5A3 there are three other basic models of the MP5. These include the small, concealable MP5K for use in confined spaces or from a specially designed firing briefcase, the sound suppressed MP5SD with integral "silencer" and the MP5/10 and MP5/40 chambered for the hard hitting 10mm Auto and .40 S&W cartridges respectively. While more modern submachine guns have been designed since the introduction of the MP5 it is still the submachine gun of choice when lives are at stake.