HK SP5K PDW, No Compromises, now in “K”(Short) – Video Review

U.S.A.-( HK continues to hate us all a little less with the release of the HK SP5K PDW. While HK, the originator of this prolific design, has brought variants of the MP5K to the civilian market a couple of times in the past, this is the first full-featured, nothing missing or lacking, offering that they’ve done. After all, how many other sub guns were designed in the 60s, and are still relevant, prevalent, imitated, or simulated today?


Very few firearms have had the dramatic impact on the firearms industry as a whole, as the HK MP5. HK’s tag phrase is “No compromise”, and they do build some of the best small arms available. However, whenever they’ve brought a variant of the MP5 to the US civilian market in the past, they always had to compromise key features; bastardizing the gun and making it less desirable. That all changes at the end of 2019, when they unleashed the HK SP5. HK continues that amazing trend of giving US civilians what they want, with a no holds barred, no-compromise version of the MP5K; in all of its greatness brought to you by the company that originally conceived the MP5 and the MP5K.


Let’s do a quick history on the MP5, just so everyone knows exactly where all this is coming from. The Mp5 was based on the Hk G3 or Hk91 that was originally chambered in 308 and developed in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Hk started developing the platform in other calibers, like 9mm, developing the MP5. Capitalizing on the success of the MP5, in 1976 Hk made a mini version and called it the MP5K. The K designation is for “kurtz” the German word for short. It is notable that HK didn’t just shorten the barrel from the original, they actually decreased the length of the bolt and the receiver. Another thing they did to make the gun as small as possible, is to stop the barrel right at the front sight post, making it impossible to attach a suppressor. The K version was made available to civilians in 1989 for 2 years as the HK SP89, then again, much later in 2016 as the HK SP5K. Both of these civilian versions were actually pretty close to the true MP5K, other than they are missing the paddle mag release. Later, in 1992, Hk made another variant of the MP5K, the MP5K-PDW. This variant added a slightly lengthened, suppressor-ready barrel, and a folding plastic stock. This is the exact variant the SP5K-PDW is based on, and Hk has made it a full-featured version; not missing, or leaving you wanting for anything.

Size comparison of the “K” bolt carrier, versus the full size on top

As I said before, this is a shortened, suppressor ready version of the MP5. The barrel is 5.83 inches compared to the 8.9 in the full size. The SP5K PDW will also weigh in at 4.8 pounds, and as it ships from HK it will be 13.8 inches long. The charging handle on the forward left side of the gun can be locked open, and then slapped to charge the weapon. I’m not sure that there’s anything cooler than this, and it just adds so much to the nostalgia of the MP5. Another huge thing that has been sadly missing from every other MP5k variants that HK has ever brought to the states, and  for civilians is the paddle mag release. This is the way the gun was designed, and just feels so much better than the button that is also present. I’m pretty sure no one ever uses it as long as the paddle is available. Very nice that HK has included the paddle mag release on the SP5K PDW. You’ll get a pictogram trigger housing, with the smooth grip and ambidextrous safeties. US import laws state that the imported gun needs to be difficult to convert to a machine gun; so like all HK roller locks that have ever come in the country for civilians, the lower has been modified from the original design so that there is only one pin for disassembly, and not 2 like the original design. This doesn’t take anything away from the shooting experience just something to note, and we’ve got many questions about parts compatibility. There is really only one thing; full auto trigger packs will of course not drop right in by design. I wish I had those problems.


Another thing that’s just huge for a serious HK collector like myself, or anyone with a serious appreciation for fine firearms, is that all the major components of this gun have proof marks on them. This lets everyone know that this is the genuine article; made in Germany, HK through and through. Interestingly enough, on this SP5K-PDW, Hk is also now marking the trigger housing, and that is the first time I’ve seen that done. Mainly, because this is considered a removable part that can be swapped out for other grips. As it comes from HK, there will just be an end cap with a sling loop on the back, but there are many braces and stocks available that should all fit just fine on the back of your SP5. It also comes with the bungee sling, two authentic made in Germany mags, and a really nice hard case.

Despite the sticker price, the HK SP5K PDW is very popular. So it can be hard to get your grubby paws on one. Here are links to common paces to check to see if you can catch one in stock. Warning there is a funny link, below, let us know if you find it?

Shooting the SP5K is an absolute dream. Just like the real MP5, the recoil impulse is so smooth and pleasant, and that comes from the roller delayed blowback operating system. This is a fairly unique operating system that very few firearms use. Basically, 2 rollers on either side of the bolt, recess into indentions in the receiver; upon firing, pressure builds in the chamber until it unlocks these rollers, allowing the bolt to move rearward. But in just that fraction of a second that the rollers provide, allows more pressure to escape the barrel, making felt recoil lighter. This also allows the bolt itself to be lighter, for instance, the bolt carrier from the SP5K weighs in at about 9.8 ounces; while a direct blowback AR chambered in 9mm has a bolt that weighs in at about 15.6 ounces. This gives you significantly less reciprocating mass, again lowering felt recoil. All of that means it is an absolute pleasure to shoot, and everyone who has shot an MP5 usually lists it as one of the most enjoyable guns they’ve ever shot. 

One of the rollers on the side of the bolt.

Roller delayed blowback also makes the MP5K, and likewise the Sp5K, probably one of the best 9mm suppressor hosts in existence. One of the things that makes shooting the SP5K-PDW suppressed so much fun is the tri-lug mounting system for attaching suppressors, that was first developed by HK. If you’ve never seen this, it’s a spring-loaded locking system. All you do is depress the suppressor, quarter turn, then the spring locks it. Nothing is faster.

Basically, the SP5K-PDW was everything you would expect from an MP5K made by HK. It was absolutely flawless through all the rounds we ran through it both suppressed and unsuppressed. It was extremely accurate, and at least in my opinion, the ergonomics were absolutely spot on because I love the MP5K, and this has all the features of the MP5K PDW exactly where they are supposed to be. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to shoot a lot of guns over the years, and the MP5s are my absolute favorite of all time. There are some that come close, but none that can quite top the MP5 for me, and now being able to have a true 5.8-inch variation in the states, for civilians, with truly no compromises, I have to admit is a bit of a dream come true.


It seems like too often, with things that are really impressive, they come with a price tag equally as shocking as the firearm is impressive. Unfortunately, the HK SP5K-PDW is more of the same. It will retail at $2799, and they’re going to be somewhat limited from HK, so you can bet the actual price to get one in your hands will be north of that. You are getting an MP5K from its originator, that was made in the exact same factory, on the exact same assembly line that has been building MP5s for the world since 1966. At least for me, there is a lot to be said for that. This is a piece of history that is a ton of fun to shoot, built by the originator of the design, and finally brought to the states in a form that isn’t lacking in any way, and everyone can embrace.

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I’ve always loved the MP5. I’ve had several opportunities to fire a couple of different configurations of them but, I can’t justify spending $3K on a semi only version of an otherwise really nice gun.


No shouldering of those *** “stabilizing arm braces”. BATFE is getting ready to ban those too just like they did with the “bumpstock”. Just watch. Every video of a Rambo shouldering that SAB is just one more bit of evidence for the Feds to outlaw them…


The Feds (executive branch) don’t have the powers to “outlaw” things. Their power is to “enforce laws”…made by the Congress. However, as we all know, the Congress abdicated lawmaking when they let federal agencies run amok with abusing our rights with overreaching federal agency bureaucratic “regulations”. Never mind that either of them “outlawing” braces is another can of unconstitutional worms.


So what your saying is that they CAN outlaw SAB’s, just like they DID ban bumpstocks, all because they CAN’T BAN THEM CONSTITUTIONALLY, right? I see now…


HK makes great and desirable firearms. But HK is NOT giving us what we want. And HK is not giving the German Army what it wants either. For the same reason…$$$. They lost out on the G36 replacement because charging too much. A competitor is going to supply the German Army pretty much the same replacement rifle for less. We want HK’s. But a “no compromise” $3000 MP5K? Others do it, and do it well,for FAR less. If HK wants to stay in business HK needs to make a permanent move to the U. S. and find a way forward… Read more »