The Heckler & Koch MP5 (from Maschinenpistole 5, "machine pistol model 5") is a German-made submachine chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. It was originally developed in the 1960s and went on to become one of the most widely-used submachinegun designs of the late 20th century, seeing service with 40 nations and numerous military, law enforcement, intelligence and security organizations. Over 100 variants of the weapon were produced, including several semi-automatic versions intended for civilian ownership.
In 1999, Heckler & Koch developed the Heckler & Koch UMP as a successor to the MP5, although it was not met with the same level of success and both weapons remained in production.
The MP5 was developed from the successful G3 series of battle rifles and as such shares many similarities, most notably its sighting arrangement and general layout, as well as its internal mechanism. The weapon can also accept a wide array of accessories, including various optics, illumination devices, laser sights, extended magazines and suppressors — Heckler & Koch notably manufacture a quick-release scope mount for the weapon, along with a foregrip that can accommodate an integrated flashlight. Likely because of its ability to be heavily customized, the weapon has proven popular with special forces around the world, including the British SAS.
While the MP5 was officially superseded by the Heckler & Koch UMP in the mid-1990s, both are still being manufactured.
Numerous variants of the MP5 are offered, including a large number of trigger grouping and stock combinations. Perhaps the most well-known variant of the MP5 is the compact MP5K, designed for close quarters battle use by clandestine operatives and special forces; several variants of the MP5K itself are also available.
Several LAPD police officers were equipped with MP5A2s and MP5A3s during the gang wars of 1997, including Officer Zinck. Soldiers sent to clean up after the Gunnison, Colorado incident were armed with MP5A3s fitted with suppressors, optics and flashlights. One of the soldiers is armed with an MP5SD3, a version with an integral suppressor.
On the Game Preserve Planet, Cuchillo carried a pair of compact MP5K submachine guns with custom leather covers on the foregrips. He appeared to only carry one magazine per gun, as he quickly ran out of ammunition and was forced to switch to his side-arm instead.
Loonie member Nettles carried an MP5A3 during his encounters with the Fugitive and Upgrade Predators. Quinn McKenna and Casey Brackett also briefly armed themselves with MP5A3s while confronting the Predators.
- At one point, the M41A Pulse Rifle props in Aliens were going to be built from MP5A3 submachine guns. The M41A based on the MP5 still appears on in the film on Frost's "PEACE THROUGH SUPERIOR FIREPOWER" T-shirt.
- The MP5A3s seen in Predator are not actually MP5s, but rather civilian-legal semi-automatic-only HK94s, cut down to resemble MP5s and converted to fully-automatic. These weapons were used extensively in action movies of the 80s and 90s as it was cheaper to acquire and convert an HK94 than it was to obtain a real MP5.
- In the novelization of Alien vs. Predator, Max Stafford and his mercenaries are predominantly armed with MP5s. However, in the film Stafford's team instead use Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles.
- The MP5 is one of two firearms to appear in all of the Predator films, the other being the Colt M1911 pistol (or variants thereof).
- The MP5 is one of several Heckler & Koch weapons to appear in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises; the others are the VP70, the HK45, the MP7, the UMP, the G36 and the G3.