Four Must-Have Upgrades for the HK SP5 MP5 Pistol

U.S.A. -( So you’ve saved up enough to finally afford a Heckler & Koch SP5 – the long-awaited semi-auto version of arguably the most famous firearm in the world: The Maschinepistole 5, AKA the German MP5 submachine gun. Now what? In this golden age of firearms and firearm accessories, it’s all too tempting to modify and accessorize almost anything that’s out there. So what’s a girl to do? Should you leave it stock and try to relive the 80s? To do it right you’ll have to SBR the thing and get yourself a true OEM stock. It’s hard to say what the right thing to do is – morally, that is – but if you do decide to depart from the classic look and functionality of the MP5, you have some options. So here are a few practical upgrades that any new SP5 owner can consider to bring your German baby into the year 2020.

Magpul HK MP5 Handguard
The new Magpul M-Lok MP5 Handguard in all its glory. IMG Rob Radice

Magpul SL M-Lok Handguard:

The original MP5 handguard is both practical, ergonomic, and a large part of the MP5’s iconic look. However, with modern-day accessories like weapon lights being a must on any defensive firearm, adding and securing such things to the original MP5 handguard isn’t the easiest or prettiest thing to do. Magpul, the King of Polymer, has recently introduced their own handguard for the MP5, and it doesn’t disappoint. The handguard is made of Magpul’s standard high-strength anti-slip textured polymer and features M-Lok slots at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions for mounting accessories. Another feature of the handguard is a hand stop at the front 6 o’clock position. The bottom of the handguard and hand stop do extend farther forward than the original handguard – a nice feature – but thankfully not far enough to possibly interfere with mounting a suppressor to the tri-lug mount. Lastly, I found the SL handguard to be a simple and attractive addition to the host gun. Its features are modern yet don’t take away much from the classic profile of the MP5.

HK MFI Optics Rail
MFI makes some excellent optics mounts for roller-delayed guns like the MP5. IMG Rob Radice

MFI Optics Mount

Apparently, iron sights are the new bayonet lug – an appendix-like relic from our primordial past. Not really, but you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that after any trip to the range these days. Even ol’ timers have optics, and honestly, it’s probably better that they do give the increased difficulty in using iron sights as we age. Remember, this is 2020, and you’ve got one foot in the grave already, so of course, your new SP5 will need an optics mount for you to attach a red dot or holo-sight. The problem with the MP5/SP5 is that it was designed in the 1960s when such fancy things weren’t prevalent. However, unlike weapons like the AR rifle – which coincidentally had a design that was perfectly adaptable to a flattop mount – the MP5’s design never lent itself well to being modified with an optics mount. Everything on the top of the MP5 is round, thus the best optics mounts that I’ve seen are ones that are machined to contour to the top of the MP5’s receiver and then welded on.

The HK SP5 MP5 Pistol
The SP5 Pistol is very clearly an MP5. IMG Rob Radice

That might not be the solution for you, however. So your best option is a claw mount that hooks over two ledges on each side of the MP5’s receiver – directly forward and aft of the ejection port. A little known but highly experienced and reputable company named MFI makes one of the best MP5 mounts I’ve come across, and it’s made right here in the USA, using quality materials. It’s a 5.5” 12-slot low profile mount with true 1913 Picatinny specs, and the EOTech we mounted to it mounted rock solid.
Installing any claw mount can be a pain-staking process, as it’s easy to over tighten and accidentally strip the threads on the mount, and it’s also difficult to tighten the mount perfectly straight to where it isn’t canted to one side or the other. It can be done, of course, but since there’s nowhere on the MP5’s receiver to put a level, you pretty much have to eyeball it to get the mount straight. It is a 9mm sub gun though, not a PRS rifle, so it doesn’t have to be perfect to the micrometer.

The mount sits low enough to where you can still use the iron sights when an optic is not attached, and the mount will never interfere with the disassembly or maintenance of the weapon – which means there’s no reason to ever remove it once it’s been installed. As with most mounts of this type, however, you’ll want to watch your knuckles when operating the charging handle, as it’s easy to rake them over the edge of the mount when pulling back on the charging handle if you don’t have the right grip. Lastly, another cool feature unique to the MTI mount is that it has a window cut into the top of it which allows you to view your SP5’s serial number, which is located on the top of the receiver.

SB Tactical MP5 Brace
SB Tactical’s MP5 brace is excellent and matches the look of the original fixed stock – without the tax stamp and wait-time. IMG Rob Radice

SB Tactical SBT5A Pistol Brace ~ DISCONTINUED

The brace. Ahhhh the brace. Yes yes. While our cities and culture get burnt to the ground by Marxist revolutionaries, and governors here and there shrug their shoulders and make excuses for them, don’t forget that your government insists you put a floppy rubber arm brace on your firearm and not a stock. Putting a stock on a pistol without the Anarcho-tyranny’s $200-dollar permission slip could land you in prison for ten years. So, obey! you rube!

Luckily our friends over at SB Tactical make a whole host of attractive and functional arm braces that you can stick in multiple places on your body. You could put it on your arm. You could pull it away from your shoulder and just slap your face with it. You can straddle it. You can put it in your mouth. The sky’s the limit. Just don’t put it in your shoulder. That’s the no-no zone. The brace we used on our SP5 is a particularly beautiful piece that clones the look of the original HK folding stock. The added benefit to the SBT5A though is that – like the stock its look is modeled after – it does in fact fold. The folding brace swings to the right side of the gun, but clears both the ejection port and trigger guard and grip – meaning the pistol can be fired with the brace folded without an issue.

When the brace is extended it locks up solid. It greatly enhances the accuracy, controllability, and function of the pistol, and – almost as important – just looks beautiful on the gun. It’s cloned look of the original HK folding stock helps the SP5 retain the classic look of the original MP5s we all grew up loving.

MP5 Pelican Laptop Case
For the gunner on the go, the SP5 fits neatly in a Pelican Laptop Case. IMG Rob Radice.

Pelican 1490 Laptop Case

Oh, by and by – did you know that an MP5 with a folded brace or stock, inserted magazine, weapon light, and an EOTech holographic sight, fits perfectly (almost too perfectly) into a Pelican 1490 laptop case? Well, you do now. You’re welcome.

About Rob R.

Rob R. is a US Army / Iraq War veteran with a love for liberty, firearms, BMWs, and cats. After his military service, he worked for 9 years in 14 different countries across the African continent as a military advisor and trainer – preparing African Union peacekeeping forces for deployment to various conflicts in the region, under the US State Department’s ACOTA program. A Florida native, he currently resides in southwestern PA.


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Consider an aluminum M-lok compatible fore-end as a competitor to Magpul, and consider the collapsible brace rather than the folding.