The HK SP5 is Overrated - HK SP5 Review

The HK SP5 is Overrated - HK SP5 Review

Disclaimer: I paid for the HK SP5 and ammunition for this review using my own money. I do not have a sponsorship or affiliation with Heckler & Koch in any way other than being a customer.

For the longest time I was eying up the authentic Heckler and Koch HK SP5. The German-made, civilian clone of the iconic MP5. 

But they weren't in stock. The gun continued to elude me no matter how many gun store website email lists I was on. I finally was able to purchase one in 2022 for a whopping $3,299. 

As an owner of this weapon platform, here is why I think the HK SP5 is overrated.

Why the HK SP5 is Overrated

Purchase price: The biggest let down of this is the value you get for the price. If you can snag one of these for $2,500 it's one thing. But after spending $3,300, I think the cool factor is highly diminished. Not to mention applying any modifications will balloon the weapon platform in price. I already optioned out an optics mount, authentic stock, and a few other upgrades and am coming out to the $5,000 – $6,000 range.

While I make great money and can manage to build this gun out (I already purchased an AimPoint Micro T2 for it), I am moreso doing it because I know I'll own the platform for the rest of my life and typically don't sell back anything I acquire so I make the best of the situation.

But dollar-for-dollar all of my ARs and long-range rifle builds are far more capable.  

Difficult to Enjoy: Leaning on the prior point. The SP5 purchased was bone stock. That meant it had no stock or sights. I don't really need sights but I do not find joy shooting it with the British SAS sling method. 

To spec out the SP5 the way I want would involve SBR'ing it. That means I would have to deal with the ATF and 992R Compliance stating that 6 major components of the gun need to be made in the USA. 

Expensive Parts: HK will rake you over the coals for any parts or accessories. Want a genuine HK SP5 magazine? One 30-round 9mm magazine is currently sitting at $78.95 on HK Parts. Yes, it's made of metal and I'm sure is ultra durable but if you hypothetically wanted 10 mags you're looking at hundreds of dollars. Meanwhile PMAGs and Glock Magazine are a dime-a-dozen for other platforms and can be had for somewhere between $10-20. 

Competition is Extensive: Say you really love the MP5 platform. With the clones like the AP5 and US-made Zenith existing, it makes it hard to recommend the SP5. 

But the market has expanded too. If you're hellbent on a 9mm sub gun you have amazing options with the SIG MPX, B&T APC9, CZ Scorpion EVO, or even the Kalashnikov KP9. Most all of these 9mm sub guns are at one-half or one-third the price of the HK SP5. 

And for those who want to move away from the 9mm sub gun life, I think a .300 Blackout AR15 rifle would give you more bang-for-your-buck, ease of use, and better terminal ballistics. I take my 9-inch .300 BLK rifle out much more than the SP5 and would prefer using it in time of need than a fully-kitted SP5. 

Why you may consider the HK SP5 

Quality Parts & Machining: I think it's a great gun if you are willing to pay that $1,000+ premium for a genuine HK product, just like how people are willing to pay for the HK MR 556. You cannot say that this pistol/rifle is poorly made. 

The Form Factor & History: The SP5 isn't the most ergonomic. It isn't the most mod-friendly. But the iconic slap still brings a joy to my face. And knowing the vast military & policing history of MP5 makes me really appreciate having an SP5 in my hands. If you are purchasing the SP5 as a collector's item then your purchase may be justified. 

Real Recognize Real: When I rolled up to the range with my HK bag, it did attract attention. Some guy further down the line came over and showed me his authentic SP5 build. The snobbery in the gun world extends past Instagram and Reddit. 

Shooting 9mm suppressed: The SP5 is buttery smooth with suppressed shooting. You will save money practicing and shooting with 9mm over rifle cartridges. You will also have the ability to shoot the HK SP5 on handgun ranges and don't need to take it over to the rifle range. 

Money Is of No Concern: If you have way too much disposable income that spending the premium is okay, go for it. I kind of fell into this category at one point but have shifted priorities for my money. If you are living large then buy the very best you can get. 

Closing Impressions

When friends and family hype of the MP5 platform, I suggest a more affordable alternative like a Century Arms AP5 or ZF-5. You won't have the bragging rights of a genuine HK product but I don't think the brand is worth the difference in price here for the common man that doesn't bend over backwards for brand snobbery or collector's appeal. 


  • Quality, Fit, and Finish: 20/20
  • Performance & Accuracy: 17/20
  • Reliability: 20/20
  • Aesthetics & Cool Factor: 19/20
  • Price & Value: 9/20


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