By Nick Leghorn
USA - -(Ammoland.com)- The H&K MP7A1 is, unquestionably, a lethal weapon.
It’s killed many a terrorist. It has killed the career of Jerry Tsai. And it nearly killed Recoil Magazine.
But the lethality of this gun isn’t what makes it so cool — it’s the design. Whether or not you’re a fan of Heckler & Koch, you can’t say that they make ugly guns.
They are to the gun world what Lamborghini is to the car world, producing overpriced super
cars guns, the pictures of which are frequently pinned up on the walls of prepubescent boys.
But is the gun functional as well as aesthetically pleasing? We just had to find out . . .
The MP7A1 falls into the category of a personal defense weapon or PDW. The idea is that you produce a firearm that’s as compact as possible, capable of being fired either single-handed or with a stock and has a massive magazine. The resulting PDW is ideally still capable of putting down the bad guys, but has the added bonus of being compact and portable — perfect for close quarters fighting or where size is a major consideration.
For decades, the MP5 has been the gold standard of PDW firearms. Its compact size and lightweight design (well, for the time) made it ideal for combat helicopter pilots and executive protection details all over the world. And the fact that it looked like pure tactical awesomeness didn’t hurt either.
But the MP5 has issues, namely that as the firearms manufacturing processes improved, the MP5 stayed the same. When most gun manufacturers moved to CNC-machined aluminum for their firearms, the MP5 remained a stamped and welded piece of sheet metal. When most manufacturers were doing pinned or screwed-on barrels, the MP5′s was still riveted in place. And while 9mm ammunition isn’t any less deadly than it used to be, new concepts in bullet design means that smaller and faster rounds can be substituted for the relatively slow and heavy 9mm cartridges.
The world has pretty much left the MP5 behind and a replacement needed to be found.
H&K sensed that there was a need to update their PDW line, and so in 1999 they introduced the PDW. Yes, they really did just called it “the PDW.” Imaginative folks, those Germans. Two years later, no doubt after much ridicule, they changed the name to the MP7, and shortly thereafter the final version known as the MP7A1 was made available for sale to military and law enforcement organizations worldwide.
Read the rest of TTAG’s Heckler & Koch MP7A1 PDW Review at The Truth About Guns Blog: http://tiny.cc/yghr4w
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Robert Farago founded The Truth About Guns in February of 2010 to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns. The TTAG team’s been at it ever since. We’ve built the site on word-of-mouth, strong writing, and a no-holds-barred attitude. Visit:www.thetruthaboutguns.com