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Tokyo Marui MP5 A4 / A5 / SD5 / SD6
  • Manufacturer 
     Tokyo Marui
  • Model 
     Heckler & Koch MP5 A4 / A5 / SD5 / SD6
  • Capacity 
     50 / 200 / 240 / 1000 (Drum)
  • Weight 
     A4-2200g, A5-1900g, SD5-2150g, SD6-2000g
  • Power 
     265
  • Motor 
     EG700
  • Hop-up 
     Adjustable
  • Battery 
     A4 / SD5 - Large, A5 / SD6 - Small
  • Shooting Mode 
     Semi, Full Auto
  • Construction 
     ABS Plastic, Metal

Pros

Very versatile lineup that is the staple of every enthusiast's collection. Compact and good looking.
 

Cons

Lacks rails for attachment of accessories
 

Verdict

So if you are looking for your first airsoft electric gun, or if you simply want another staple added to your already mature collection, consider the MP5 A or SD series guns. Some might complain that "everyone owns one", but our perspective is that "everyone owns one for a reason" and that's probably because it is a truly great weapon and a must have!

 

Heckler & Koch (H&K) is a relatively "new" company and was founded by 3 individuals; Edmond Heckler, Alex Seidel and Theodore Koch, all former Mauser Werke employees. H&K commenced operations in 1948 in Oberndorf/Neckar as a manufacturer of sewing machine parts and gauges for the machine tool industry. Amongst it's lineup of products, including the G3 series of rifles, the MP5 series is undoubtedly one of the most well known and most widely used series of weapons in the law enforcement and special operations segment.

The H&K MP5 was first produced in the mid 1960s as the HK54, an acronym established by H&K's internal Protocol Department for its first 9mm submachine gun. The H&K HK54 received it's current acronym "MP5" when it was officially adopted by the West German government for use by its Police and Border Guard as the "Machine Pistol 5", or MP5. The first MP5s were imported into the U.S. in the very early 1970s. Original HK-Oberndorf produced MP5s were imported into the U.S. and thus marked with "Harrington & Richardson", "Saco", "HK-Inc., Arlington VA", "HK-Inc., Chantilly, VA", and the present marking "HK-Inc., Sterling, VA". This stamp is located on the right side of the magazine well. All 23 or more of the officially recognized variants of the MP5 submachine gun have been imported into the U.S. The MP5 is imported into the U.S. exclusively by H&K for law enforcement and military sale.

First a little about the real steel MP5. The MP5 Submachine gun is a lightweight, air-cooled, magazine-fed, delayed blowback operated, select-fire weapon that can be shouldered or hand fired. The MP5 is chambered for various pistol cartridges to include 9x19mm Luger, .40 S&W, and 10mm Auto. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic, 2 or 3-round burst, and sustained fire modes. The weapon utilizes the unique H&K roller-locked bolt system used commonly throughout the H&K family of small arms. The unique features of the H&K MP5 submachine gun include a free floating cold hammer-forged barrel, stamped sheet steel receiver, fluted chamber, straight-line stock and a pistol grip with ambidextrous safety/selector lever. The modular design of the weapon consists of six (6) assembly groups, not including the carry sling. This design provides an unmatched degree of flexibility as these groups can be exchanged with optional groups to create various styles of weapons for numerous operational requirements. The bare metal surfaces of the MP5 are phosphated and coated with a black lacquer paint. This dry lacquer coating is applied with a magnetic charge and then baked onto the metal in an oven. The resulting finish is highly resistant to salt water corrosion and surface wear.

MP5A4 (fixed stock) with Surefire Flashlight fore-grip
MP5A5 with fully extended stock & OEM foregrip
MP5 Trademarks on spine of receiver and receiving well for sight mount

Used by military and law enforcement units in more than fifty nations, the MP5 is firmly established as the worlds preeminent submachine gun. Over 120 variants of the HK MP5 submachine gun are available to address the widest range of tactical requirements. A selection of optional trigger groups allow for single fire only, full automatic, 2-round, and 3-round burst options. The weapons unique modular design and a variety of optional buttstocks, forearms, sight mounts, and other accessories gives the MP5 extraordinary flexibility to meet most any mission requirement. For those of you who dream about owning an MP5 but yet do not serve on any law enforcement agency, there is an alternative. Introducing the airsoft versions of the MP5 from Tokyo Marui; one-to-one replicas of the MP5 submachine gun series. These extremely realistic replicas carry the utmost detail and are constructed from a blend of metal and high quality plastic, resulting in convincing finishes that are difficult to differentiate from the real steel versions. Tokyo Marui's attention to detail is exemplified by even replicating the mold points and stamping flaws found on the surface of the real steel.

Tokyo Marui makes quite a few replicas of the MP5 series, including the MP5 A4, MP5 A5, MP5 SD5, MP5 SD6, MP5K, and MP5 PDW, all of which are based on essentially the same mechanisms and designs but with various butts and stocks, and the SD series incorporating silencers into their barrel design. For the purpose of this review, we will only cover the MP5 A4/A5 and the MP5 SD5/SD6 series, and will leave the review of the MP5K and MP5 PDW for another time, though readers interested in the latter can learn almost everything they need to know about performance and operational know-how from this article.





Charlie Sheen uses an SD in the movie Navy Seals The MP5 series guns are also quite popular in the movies and they are sure to appear in any serious action sequence. Examples include Die Hard, The Rock, The Negotiator, Mission Impossible 2, HardBoiled, and Navy Seals, just to name a few. Interestingly enough, most who venture into the world of airsoft often start with a Tokyo Marui MP5 A5 or SD6. I'll start by talking a little about the MP5 A4/A5 series, and then touch on how the SD series differs from the A series, and then finally ending with a look at what it is like shooting the A and SD series guns.

Magazine well and clear view of trigger group markings
Metal rear sight assembly
MP5 A4/A5 3-lug muzzle with Surefire flashlight

MP5 A4 and A5
Overall Finishing
Probably the more commonly seen of the MP5 series, the A4 and A5 series guns are often selected over the SD5 and SD6 for their extra firepower (the SD series have less power in the real steel to allow for the bullet to travel at below certain sonic levels for silencing effect). Tokyo Marui's MP5 A series sports a plastic upper and lower receiver with integrated pistol grip, with the latter finished in textured matt black. A textured plastic fore-grip also allows the operator to comfortably aim the MP5. Metal parts are abundant and comprise the front sight assembly including sling mount, barrel lug nut, cocking lever, rear sight ring, rear sling mount, trigger, ambidextrous firing selector lever, magazine release switch, and magazine. The A4 has a plastic fixed stock (picture left) while the A5 has a retracting stock with metal guides (pictured lower left), though the extending stock butt itself is constructed of plastic.

H&K trademarks are religiously replicated on the spine of the receiver (photo below right) and all ammunition marks are also faithfully stamped in the side of the receiver; Cal. 9mm x 19 is stamped on the left side receiver just above the magazine well. A functional cocking lever is also present, and it can be pulled back and cocked and held in the full rear position. While it is extremely tempting to secure it in this position and then slap it down with your palm thereby sending the lever forward with a "kink", the metal used to mold the cocking lever is of a mixed alloy type and repeatedly performing this action might break it off (as we found out after 50 to 60 such moves). If you're already done this, you can get a replacement and reinstall it yourself relatively easily.

Extending the retractable stock on the A5 is very easy and can be performed with one hand. Simply press a lever located between the butt stock and the receiver body, and the stock extends out to two optional positions; 1/3 extended, or fully extended. In fully retracted position, the A5 is very compact and versatile totaling only 19.5 inches long versus the 27 inches of the full stock A4. We do admit though that the full stock gives a more sturdy feel but must say that the extendable stock on the A5 has a much more tactical look and feel. Both the MP5 A4 and A5 feel quite solid and their 2 Kilogram weight feels hefty enough in your hands to be convincingly real. The addition of accessories can really weigh it down for those preferring even more weight.


Trigger Groups
This refers to the lower receiver portion that I described above but it essentially includes the pistol grip and the firing selector switch. On the real steel, this piece can be switched out easily as a module and replaced by other "trigger units" of different functionality. On the real steel versions, there are now four trigger units available for the MP5 series. The standard "S/E/F" group provides safe, semi-auto and full-auto positions with a selector lever on the left side only. Its pistol grip has finger swells, while the others do not but are flared at the bottom in the front to prevent the firing hand from slipping downward. The so-called "U.S. Navy" group offers the same three positions but uses bullets rather than numbers or letters for markings and is ambidextrous (a selector lever on each side of the housing). There is also the ambidextrous, four-position, 3-shot burst group. Incidentally, U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 experienced a serious accident during a training session as a consequence of improper disassembly/assembly of the 3-shot trigger unit, and discarded this option for their weapons. Tokyo Marui chose to put the three position US Navy trigger group on it's MP5 with bullets representing the mode of fire. Flipping the switch to "one red bullet" puts the MP5 into semi-auto mode, and flipping it all the way up to the "seven red bullets in the a row" position puts the MP5 into full auto mode. The pistol grip also has a flared bottom, and not a finger swells. Safety is engaged by flipping the lever to the "white bullet" position, at which point the trigger cannot be pulled. The switching action is quite tactile and you can clearly feel and hear the clicks as you flip the lever across the modes. For those opting for a different trigger group, Classic Army does provide an aftermarket group that features the S/E/F selector markings and finger swells on the grip, which we here at RedWolf deem the A3 trigger group. I personally prefer this trigger group over the US Navy grouping that has the somewhat more cartoon-like markings.

Note that replacing the trigger group is not as easy as on the real steel and is not a simple matter of removing several retainer rods and pulling the unit off the gun. In fact, replacing the trigger group on Marui's version requires complete disassembly of the gun. If you wish to convert your Marui MP5 such that the trigger group can be removed quickly for quick take-down like on the real steel, you can opt for an aftermarket receiver design (by ICHI) that replaces the upper receiver for a metal body, and the lower trigger group into a detachable unit. Note however that you cannot combine the A3 trigger group from Classic Army with this quick take-down kit from ICHI.


Aiming
Well engineered front and rear sights make these extremely functional for accurate shooting. The well protected but non-adjustable metal front sight post can be perfectly aligned with an aperture-adjustable rear sight. It should noted that rotation of the rear sight on the MP5 will bring into view apertures of different diameter only while elevation remains constant. You can adjust the horizontal alignment quite easily though by using a Philips screwdriver and your fingers to fine tune the alignment (see photo on right). Once zero adjustments have been performed there is little requirement for continued sight adjustment. Best employed as a ghost ring, the largest rear aperture should be used at all times, except when engaging targets at longer ranges with semiautomatic fire.


Accessories
One of the most attractive aspect of the MP5 (A series and SD series included) is its ability to take all sorts of add-ons and accessories (both in the real world and for the Marui version). You'll notice in the picture in the above left that the barrel is of a 3-lug design. This is allows the installation of various accessories including the silencers and tracer units. Incidentally, the Marui tracer unit can be easily attached by inserting over and twisting the unit to lock itself it place over the 3-lug barrel. You can also opt to install silencers like the SOCOM silencer from KSC but these require adapters that do away with the 3 lug barrel.

Another common accessory is the integrated Surefire flashlight fore-grip which provides tactical lighting for night-time warfare. This is a direct replacement of the stock fore-grip on the A4/A5 and it's rubberized ABS plastic provides a more realistic texture. A laser unit can optionally be switched into the fore-grip, replacing the flashlight unit, for more of a tactical feel. You can also install smaller laser units and attach via a front sight adapter from Marui.

For those requiring fast aiming action, you can easily attach a sight by installing an H&K sight mount that clamps easily over the spine of the MP5. Detachment is easy as well with one simple push of a lever. H&K sights fit all MP5's within the H&K series, and even fit G3 and SG1 rifles (another example of how modular H&K guns are, which allow easy interchangeability of accessories and parts.

Metal parts are also quite abundant for the MP5 and include everything you can possibly imagine, including metal receivers, metal cocking tubes, flash hiders for the A4 and A5, extendable stock butts, butt plates, and even a full metal silencer for the SD series. Building a full metal MP5 is relatively easy since all the required parts are readily available - if you are technically inclined, installation simply takes some patience. A full metal MP5 can weigh up to 4 kilograms with everything installed (including full metal sight mount), so think twice before you do this since that could be a burden when lugged around a skirmish field for a full day!

Buttplate shows EG700 motor
A4/A5 cocking lever pulled back
Surefire foregrip integrates a Surefire flashlight with pressure switch


Magazine
The real steel versions of the MP5 magazines come with 15 and 30 round magazines. Tokyo Marui designed their standard magazines (the ones that come with the gun) with 50 round capacity (MP5K's and PDWs come with 28 round magazines), but you can opt for a 200 round high-capacity magazine for those long skirmishes. And if that were not enough, you can get a 240 round high capacity magazine that looks like two 28 round magazines clamped together. You can also get a metal dual magazine clamp to secure two standard sized magazines together, giving you up to 400 rounds if you clamp two 200 round magazines together.

The magazines are constructed of metal and the paint chips off gradually over time. We've found that the magazines will rust slightly through the years which gives them a very authentic look. 9mm x 19 markings are also faithfully stamped on them for authenticity. The marking "IF" is also stamped to indicate the year and country that the magazine was produced in, though I will not get into that here as there are abundant articles on the web that cover this particular topic.

Inserting the magazine into the gun is a snap and you simply push it gently into the gun with a "click". Removing the magazine is easy as well and you simply push down on the magazine release lever, which is located for easy access for both right and left hand users. With practice, you can keep your gun aimed precisely at your target while you change magazines, all within a 1 second time frame.


Battery Storage
The key thing to remember here is that the fixed stock of the A4 and the SD5 allows internal storage for a LARGE battery (eg. 8.4v 1700mah - 3000mah battery) while the extendable stock versions of the MP5 can only accommodate storage of a small battery; the A5 can only accommodate storage of a SMALL battery (ie. 8.4v 600mah battery) while the SD6's slightly larger fore-grip can take a slightly bulkier custom 9.6v battery. This matters if you intend to upgrade your weapon where battery size can dictate how much power you are able to upgrade to. Access to the A4 and SD5 butt stock battery compartment is accomplished by simply sliding off the butt stock rubber bumper. Accessing the A5 and SD6 compartment involves removing retainer pins and sliding the fore-grip off (on the A5) or forward (on the SD6).

Silencer is detacheable and really silences MP5 SD5 and SD6
The Silencer
The only difference between the MP5 A4/A5 and the SD5/SD6 is the addition of the integrated yet quickly removable silencer. The silencer is made from plastic and provides a silencing effect to the MP5, just like on the real steel version. It is also finished in a dual tone finish, with the tip of the silencer slightly smoother than the rest of the cylinder body, just like on the real SD. While shots from the MP5 A5 and A4 give off a "plak" sound, the SD5 and SD6 sounds more like "phut" when shooting. Removing the silencer returns the SD to a loud gun, confirming the functional contribution of the silencer. When used outdoors for skirmishing, shots from the SD5 and SD6 are almost inaudible from a distance of 50 feet. For those who intend to put a tracer unit onto the SD, the tracer unit can be directed twisted on just like the stock silencer. It's dimensions are also similar to the SD silencer and you can hardly tell the difference! The inner barrel of the SD is the same length as that of the A4 and A5 so power is the same, though some enthusiasts take the opportunity to install a longer barrel that ends at the tip of the silencer, thereby creating more power. Note however that this would remove the silencing effect.


Shooting the MP5
Shooting both the A series and SD series produced similar experiences and performances though the SD is much quieter and provides a certain feeling of stealth for the operator! Flipping the gun over, you quickly notice the EG700 butt-plate that houses the EG700 motor. Note that Marui switched to using EG700 motors for their entire MP5 series so far, except for the SD5, which was still produced with the EG560 motor in its last production run. The SD5 has not been in production for the last year and should resume production in the middle of year 2000.

With the magazine loaded up and inserted into the MP5, and a full charge on the battery, the EG700 motors powers strongly to produce approximately 13 rounds a second with an 8.4v small battery, and close to 16 rounds a second with a 8.4v 2000mah LARGE battery. Emptying the 50 round standard magazine takes a few seconds. The MP5 is quite easy to work with and has a high degree of maneuverability for quick aiming, especially when attached with a 3-point sling to your body. We did find that installing a red-dot scope made aiming much easier, but for those on a budget, the stock sights were extremely accurate and allowed us to hit targets the size of an apple from a distance of 20 feet quite easily.

Chronograph tests showed that the MP5 A4/A5 shot at 263fps on average while the SD5 and SD6 shot at 266fps on average. The extra 3 fps might be attributed to the longer travel through the silencer that provides additional room for BB acceleration before leaving the muzzle. All tests were conducted on 0.2g BBs from Marui. Maximum distance travelled for BBs shot from an MP5 A and SD series is about 120 feet with maximum effective kill range at approximately 80 feet. Adjustable hop-up can be tuned through a small lever located on the left side of the front cocking tube. Pulling it back gives more hop-up while pushing it forward reduces hop-up. We found the optimal position to be halfway, or where the lever is pointing straight up.

Accuracy is quite high at 1 inch deviance when shooting targets from 20 feet. From 12 feet, hitting the bull's-eye consistently is quite easy as long as your aim is good. Of course, shooting at full auto allows you to put many holes through a target the size of a piece of paper quite quickly even from distances of up to 50 feet. This is all with no wind though of course!

Our long term test also indicates that the MP5 is quite reliable and sturdy. We at RedWolf have quite a few that were purchased over four years ago that are still functioning perfectly. So if you are looking for your first airsoft electric gun, or if you simply want another staple added to your already mature collection, consider the MP5 A or SD series guns. Some might complain that "everyone owns one", but our perspective is that "everyone owns one for a reason" and that's probably because it is a truly great weapon and a must have!

Large battery for SD5 stored in stock
Small battery in SD6 stored in foregrip
MP5 SD6

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