Gun Review: Umarex MP5 A5 .22

My life changed one fateful afternoon 15 years ago. The local cinema was playing older movies, discounted on Wednesdays. I bought a 32 oz can of Coke and sat down to an enormous box of Sour Patch kids. My buddies and I readied ourself for Navy Seals. I finished the movie with nary a sip of my beverage and all but three Sour Patch kids still in the box. Here’s what happened . . .

Charlie Sheen, while no John Wayne, made the MP5 SD in his hand appear to my young, impressionable eyes as a modern-day Excalibur. The black gun sickness struck me before I could even drive. An economic downward spiral, delving into H&K’s long guns, had begun.

I bought water-guns that looked like it. I sketched the MP5 SD in class, making it happen for crudely-drawn soldiers killing bad guys and saving the day. I was obsessed. For me, the MP5 was what the Winchester 1897 or the Colt SAA was to generations before me.

Years later, when I was legally and financially capable of purchasing a gun, I pursued my dream. When I saw the price of entry—about sixteen big ones—my jaw hit the floor so hard someone in Tokyo had to replant his Zen garden. I knew German precision engineering was expensive, but not Harley Road King expensive. The H&K MP5 SD was so far out of my range in college I might as well have been lusting over an M1 Abrams.

After much research I began to understand the complexities of owning restricted firearms in the US and of the diminishing market for fully automatic firearms. From this I discovered that what I really wanted (or rather, could afford) was an HK94 carbine. Unable to find one locally, I hit online auction sites and discovered, as I’m sure many of you have, that H&K no longer makes the HK94 and if you want one you’ll to pay a huge premium.

My next thought: maybe it’s like the AR15 and there are several quality vendors other than H&K. There aren’t. Every forum I visited said to expect to need work done on any clone of the MP5 – no matter how much you pay – to get it to run 100% out of the box. (The exception being the reports I read of the MKE guns, but they aren’t imported anymore and you need to install six parts to make the gun 922(r) compliant.)

Discouraged, I saw a glimmer of hope in the form of the GSG 522—until I held one. It felt less like an MP5 than its water gun stand-ins. Thankfully, H&K licensed the creation of an MP5 A5 in .22lr through Carl Walther of Germany and importation by Umarex USA. But I’d gotten my hopes up before and been let down so many times that I was apprehensive at best.

Beyond skeptical, I opened up MP5 A5’s box I’d picked up at the local fun store. A grin snuck past my lips and a look of approval replace my previously apprehensive scowl.

It looked and felt nearly identical to the MP5 A3 I had the pleasure of renting at a local range. While the Umarex was missing the happy switch, everything else was there. The only difference was the 16” barrel hidden underneath a faux suppressor, modeled after a real piece of equipment, a Knight’s Armament suppressor.

The semi-auto subgun’s weight and heft lent credence to the roll-marked claim of Maschinenpistole heritage.  If you spotted one of these at a local gun shop without its magazine you’d never guess it’s a rimfire blaster.

You don’t expect reliability from an auto-loading rimfire gun, especially one with a detachable magazine. Umarex and H&K recommend that you clean the gun approximately every 500 rounds. That sounds reasonable. As a reviewer, it’s my job to determine a firearm’s failing points. So I ran the Umarex MP5 A5 .22 with standard pressure ammo while dirty.

First, I fed the MP5 A5 CCI standard velocity rounds. After 450 rounds without so much as a hiccup, I reached deep into the bowels of my ammunition closet and pulled out a zip-locked bag holding around 300 rounds of old Remington thunderbolts. I added a few half-full boxes of CCI stingers and a box-fresh box of 555 Winchester hollow-points.

For such a sexy slim girl, she eats like a heifer, greedily devouring anything she’s fed. The little rimfire faux subgun blasted through every single round, roughly 1400 rounds in all. Bottom line: the Umarex MP5 A5 .22 is the most reliable .22lr auto-loading carbine I’ve ever shot. And .22lr auto-loading carbines I’ve shot a few.

I blasted away with the supplied 25-round magazines like a man possessed. The trigger, while long, is not particularly heavy. As you’d expect, there’s less recoil than a hamster fart. Put it all together and we’re talking about a rifle that feels like a pellet gun on steroids.

Retracting the charging handle takes a bit of muscle. However, the amount of force necessary to open the bolt seems completely consistent, despite the buildup of carbon and wax in the action.

Add a red-dot or a low-magnification scope and the MP5 A5 would make a truly incredible plinker. Without it, not so much. The collapsible stock prohibits a solid and consistent cheek weld. Not that that’s unusual with wire-style stocks. I’ve seen guys wrap an AKS-47 in paracord to solve the issue—but then it can’t lock-up properly, which kind of defeats the purpose of a collapsible or folding stock. (Umarex offers a fixed, A2-like stock that should offer an improved cheek weld when using iron sights.)

The rimfire MP5 disassembles like the real deal, only you don’t remove the bolt, or at least the manual tells you not to. To disassemble the gun for cleaning, you rotate the fire-selector switch to safe and remove the magazine from the mag-well. Open the action to ensure the gun’s unloaded, remove the push pin at the rear of the receiver and pop off the stock. Pop the second pin forward of the trigger guard, remove the grip assembly and Bob’s your uncle.

The simplicity of the MP5′s disassembly masks the persistent determination required for the cleaning process. The gun doesn’t readily break down into smaller pieces; you have to use plenty o’ Q-Tips and cans of bore solvent to git er’ done. Because of the way the gun’s bolt assembly is secured you have to clean the barrel from the muzzle end. Luckily, the fake suppressor acts as a cleaning-rod guide and muzzle guard.

The mag-fed Umarex MP5 A5 .22 goes bang when you pull the trigger, no matter what ammo you feed it. For that alone the rifle deserves kudos. The fact that it’s cheap to shoot and looks so damn cool, transporting SEAL wanna-be’s to action fantasyland, makes it an obscure object of desire. If Umarex’s MP5 clone was easier to clean it would be my go-to range toy. OK, actually, it is.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Caliber:                         .22lr
Barrel:                           16.2″, 1:13-3/4″ twist, 6 grooves
Stock:                             Adjustable telestock
Sights:                            Interchangeable post front sight, adjustable rear sight
Overall length:           26.5″ to 32.5″
Height:                           10.6″
Width:                            2.2″
Trigger pull weight: 6.6 to 8.8 lbs.
Weight:                          6 pounds
Price:                              about $450 retail

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * * * * ½
The sight radius could be a bit longer but the match grade lothar barrel is plenty accurate for plinking and squirrel control.

Ergonomics: * * * * ½
I took half a star off because I felt the grip was too smooth for how front-heavy the gun is. H&K should have gone with (or offered as an option) the SEF lower that has both finger grooves and a thumb rest. That said, the gun includes both the magazine release button and the ambidextrous paddle release.

Reliability: * * * * *
In a word, perfect. The gun functioned 100 percent with both high capacity and low capacity magazines regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of the ammunition I fed it.

Customize This: * * * *
There aren’t a ton of accessories made specifically for the .22 MP5, but I know that with minor fitting, several genuine H&K parts can be adapted for the gun. That being said, anything that has the H&K logo on it isn’t going to be cheap.

Overall Rating: * * * * ½
The gun feels serious and is fun as hell. I guess you’d have to call it serious fun.

Special thanks to Archie Woodberry of Blue Line Shooting Center in Florence, SC for acting as my FFL for the review. Check out his website, http://www.bluelineshootingcenter.com/ 

 

34 Responses to Gun Review: Umarex MP5 A5 .22

  1. avatarJohn E> says:

    Awesome, I had the same thoughts regarding the GSG, just not “it”. I cannot wait to try this one out.

  2. avatarirock350 says:

    Well THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Now I have to spend the next half hour cleaning my keyboard, it’s a wonder the drool did not short the damn thing.

  3. avatarspymyeyes says:

    At 450 retail you are at the cost of a henry lever action or a respectable bolt action from any rifle manufacturer.

    On the other hand……

    This would be a REALLY fun range toy that would not break you on ammo costs!

  4. avatarEric says:

    Great review

  5. avatarbrigo50 says:

    mother of God…. they used to make 32 oz cans of coke??

    • avatarJames Grant says:

      How else would we fuel our 6-mile walks to school both ways uphill?

      • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

        Don’t forget we did it in the snow too!!! Wind blowing, tree’s bending AND No Shoe’s!!!!! LOL!!!!

  6. avatarGS650G says:

    My buddy showed up at my house to parade his .22 MP5 and as luck would have it a Bond movie was on TV and there was James standing there with the same (looking) gun. He struck the same prose with it.

  7. avatarBub says:

    I managed to get a GSG5 before H&K forced them to stop production of their original model. I agree to GSG’s (ATI) current crop is nothing to write home about. I always wanted a MP5 and the rimfire versions are about as close as I will ever get. Mine has been super reliable, but likes to be cleaned and lubed every few hundred rounds.

  8. avatarpercynjpn says:

    It’s a nice piece, sure; I have to wonder, though, why makers like Umarex don’t make “machine pistol” replicas like the MP5 or or MP 40 in 9mm and sell them at about $800 a pop. It’s got the 16″ barrel, and I can’t belive they wouldn’t sell like hot cakes – or is it a BATF obstruction problem?

  9. avatarJoe Grine says:

    “I saw a glimmer of hope in the form of the GSG 522—until I held one. It felt less like an MP5 than its water gun stand-ins.”

    I’m a bit surprised by this statement. Ac cording to factory specs, the Umarex is actually almost a pound lighter than the GSG 522 (2700 g vs 3160 g). GSG does make an all-polymer “lightweight” version of the 522 – it sounds like you may have been holding one of those.

    What about the accuracy of the Umarex? Can you post photos and/or or list group size for 50 yards?

  10. avatarTotenglocke says:

    Holy crap, I looked into what accessories cost for this thing and it’s just ridiculous. The gun itself may be $450, but it’s $100 for the A2 stock, around $150 for a rail to mount a scope / red dot and another $150 if you want a tri-rail forend to attach a vertical grip / laser / light. Paying $400 for some basic accessories on a $450 gun is insane!

  11. avatarshawn says:

    Great review… about an hour ago I picked my new MP-5 SD .22lr. This thing is just sick and feels very well built. The one thing the review did not mention, the HK charge slap! When your ready to go, just slap the charge handle. Love it!
    Also, the comment about the accessories price is off base. I got a weaver rail adaptor for $15 and a reflex sight for $45 both on Amazon and fit perfectly

    Will try to report back after I hit the range this weekend.

  12. avatarshawn says:

    Also, the comment about the accessories price is off base. I got a weaver rail adaptor for $15 and a reflex sight for $45 both on Amazon and fit perfectly

    Will try to report back after I hit the range this weekend

  13. Have a gsg 522sd runs great.put it up to the hk anyday.Just think hk wouldnt even have one if it didnt sue gsg ha!

  14. avatarJoe Cirino says:

    I have the SD version and it goes along every range visit. In testing it’s reliability, I ran a total of 2150 rounds through it without cleaning before I started having FTF and FTE! That is amazing! The chamber was all gummed up but this action has a way of moving the residue out of the way. To clean, I remove the whole bolt assembly out of the rifle and drench it in CLP and use compressed air to blow out crap. I am a very satisfied owner!

  15. avatarDannyboy53 says:

    How about the accuracy, can any of you shooters of this rimfire give us some idea of groups/ranges?!

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  16. avatarJordon says:

    The one sporting goods store near me has them on sale for $430 right now. I am so getting one!

  17. avatarPaul S says:

    If you find one for $450 you better jump on it. They are now upwards of $600. Just bought one for a little over $600 and about $400 in sights, extra mags at $60 a pop, Mag pouch, clip coupler and of course had to buy it a drag bag. Lets not forget the transfer fee and I also got the fixed stock and HK sling to change things up. So now adays to have a fun interchangable weapon cost me just over $1000. I thought I’d never pay that for a 22 but, I have shot a real MP 5 and this is so close to weight and feel as you are gonna get, without buying the real McCoy. I just had to add to my collection. Not 1 drop of regret. Highly recommend.

    • avatarPaul S says:

      I should have bought it back in the summer when it was cheaper. Almost everyone is sold out because of the gun ban scare. So if you can even find one now, you will enjoy it.

  18. avatarRon K says:

    I was fortunate enough to find one on Bud’s a couple days ago, and I hit the buy button so fast I almost broke the keyboard. About ten seconds later they were all gone :-) It should be here (at my FFL) in a week or so. I also spent several hours looking for a couple extra mags on the web. I found some, but they were not cheap……. I’ll post a review as soon as I get the MP.

    Nice review James!

  19. avatarTom P says:

    My brother bought one of these last year and I told him he was crazy to pay that kind of price for a .22. (I’d been saying that about the GSG for years, too and this thing was MORE expensive)

    I really didn’t see the point, until we got the thing home and started shooting it.

    Holy crap! What a fun blaster! It is pretty accurate, but the trigger is so well tuned for mag dumps that I find myself doing that more than anything. You can really empty that 25-round mag in no time flat! It never fails to put a smile on your face.

    He trades up guns a lot and has considered selling it, to get more “real” guns, what with the scare going on. I now tell him he’d be crazy to get rid of it. He hasn’t been able to do it yet and probably won’t.

    As for accessories, there are many out there that are more reasonably priced. He picked up UTG “MP5″ rails for it from a local shop on clearance for $39 (Normally $79, they were blowing it out because it would not fit the GSG). Classic Arms and NC Star both make rail mounts that reportedly work well and cost $30 or less.

    Truth be told, I might end up with one of these myself. The only play locally that carries them gets closer to $500 for them, but I might actually pay it. It’s that fun.

    In short, I completely agree with the review. This is a wonderfully fun .22. You can shoot all day for next to nothing and don’t care that you were “only” shooting .22.

  20. avatarJerry says:

    I bought one, picked it up Sunday, been to the range 3 times and it is only Wednesday. So far me and the two boys put over 600 rounds thru this thing with only two jams, mostly due to the mag on the last two shots. This thing is solid; heavier than my friends bushmaster, go figure. It shoots the same hole at 18 yrds using a 3-9 cheap compact ncstar scope. Once I had my headphones adjusted correctly due to the stock interference, I was getting near perfect same holes. My son shot a 25 round quarter at 18 as well. This isn’t saying much, but I have yet to do this on my buddies 10/22 with a red dot. For some reason, I always get a wild shot or two with his gun. It could be his aftermarket stock not fitting tightly. If I were to bet, I would think it is the added weight of the MP5.

    Anyway, I highly recommend this gun for the faux looks, weight and excellent barrel all done by Carl Walther with the stamp of h&k.

    Jerry

  21. Amesi eksipiretisi. Stis kaliteres times tis agoras.

  22. avatarChad says:

    Well I found the magazines for $34 at RRAGES.com . They also have all kinds of accessories. I am currently waiting on a Form 1 to get back. I have a 9″ barrel from the Hk 416 .22 pistol, waiting to go on it. It is a direct fit and can be ordered straight from Umarex. These little guns are very impressive and well built.

  23. avatarSteve Riddle says:

    I have 5 extra 25 round mags for this still in the plastic . I just bought this for my son and really don’t need all the extra mags . I will say this , this thing is really really accurate out of the box . I’ve only put 400 through It so far though . If anyone would like the mags , let me know . I’ll let em go at $27 ?

  24. avatarGwb says:

    Took mine back
    Great gun but the finish is weak
    Get a small nick and it starts to flake off
    Solvent will soften it if left on to long
    The barrel is way thin take the can off and it floats – my problem was it the can was bumped the barrel tube may be damaged

    Wish it was blued or coated in other
    Than krinkel paint!

  25. avatarGary says:

    I own the HK/Umarex MP5 SD .22LR and love this gun. The accuracy is outstanding out to 100yds. As for accessories, I bought a rail mount off amazon for under $30 and did have to do a little filing to make it fit perfectly but no real problem. Mounted a Redfield 3x9x40 scope on it and put a primary arms flashlight on the secondary rail which made the gun a real conversation piece among my friends. The scope made the gun way more fun to shoot at 50-100 yds. The flashlight cost $100 and shines out to over 200yds. This gun is a must have if you love to plink and my wife and daughter shoot it all the time and love it when I get it out.

  26. avatarMark Foley says:

    Anyone have a lead on a lower rail setup for the MP-5 A-5 SD

    • avatarkyrk says:

      What about a 22 magnum MP5…I think it would be better in protection ,and more worth getting

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