Heckler & Koch MP7 Submachine Gun

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Heckler & Koch MP7

The Heckler & Koch MP7 is a German submachine gun manufactured by Heckler & Koch (H&K) and chambered for the 4.6x30mm cartridge. It was designed with the new cartridge to meet NATO requirements published in 1989, as these requirements call for a personal defense weapon (PDW) class firearm, with a greater ability to defeat body armor than current weapons limited to conventional pistol cartridges. The MP7 went into production in 2001. It is a direct rival to the FN P90, also developed in response to NATO's requirement. The weapon has been revised since its introduction and the current production version is the MP7A1.

The proliferation of high-quality body armor has begun to make guns that fire pistol ammunition (such as HK's earlier MP5 submachine gun or USP pistol) ineffective. In response to this trend, HK designed the MP7 (along with the now cancelled UCP pistol, which uses the same ammunition) to penetrate body armor, but small enough to be used in place of either a pistol or a submachine gun.

The Heckler & Koch MP7 features a full-length, top-mounted Picatinny rail that comes standard with folding fore and rear iron sights attached. When the sights are folded flat, they resemble simple open sights. Folded up, they feature aperture sights. The sights can easily be removed by loosening a single screw and lifting them off. It can fit additional rails on the sides of the barrel, which allow it to mount commercial optical sights (telescopic and red dot sights), laser aiming modules (LAM), and tactical flashlights. The MP7 can also accept a suppressor.
Heckler & Koch MP7
Type Personal defense weapon and Submachine gun
Place of origin Germany
Service history
Used by Albania, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Jordan, Norway,
Oman, South Korea, United Kingdom
Production history
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Produced 2001–present
Specifications
Weight 1.2 kg (2.65 lb) with 20 round empty magazine
Length 638 mm (25.1 in) stock extended / 415 mm (16.3 in) stock collapsed
Barrel length 180 mm (7.1 in)
Width 51 mm (2.0 in)
Height 169.5 mm (6.7 in)

Cartridge 4.6x30mm
Action Gas-operated, short stroke piston, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 950 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity Approx. 725 m/s (2,379 ft/s)
Effective range 200 m
Feed system 20 or 40 round box magazine

MP7 Design

Heckler & Koch MP7The MP7 essentially operates like a scaled-down assault rifle, with the same action as HK's G36, a short stroke piston. It fires a specially designed, armor-piercing round with a muzzle velocity nearly as high as that of the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge used by many modern rifles. This ammunition is unique among submachine guns in that the bullet is made almost entirely of a hardened steel penetrator instead of softer copper or lead. The ammunition is virtually exclusive to the gun (save for the now cancelled H&K UCP and a planned variant of the Br├╝gger & Thomet MP9) and also offers low recoil. VBR of Belgium produces a 4.6x30mm 2-part controlled fragmenting projectile that is claimed to increase the content of the permanent wound cavity and double the chance to hit a vital organ. Heckler & Koch claims that the CPS Black Tip ammunition made by Fiocchi has a muzzle energy of approximately 525 J, which would be comparable to 9x19mm Parabellum rounds.

The round also has a small diameter (it can almost be described as a scaled down .223 Remington ), allowing for high capacity in a very small magazine. The weapon allows a conventional 20-round, 30-round, or 40-round box magazine to be fit within the pistol grip (the former being comparable in size to a 15-round 9 mm magazine, while the latter compares to a 30-round 9 mm magazine). The weapon features an ambidextrous fire-select lever and rear cocking grip. It has an extendable stock and a folding front grip; it can be fired either one-handed or two-handed. It is compact and light using polymers in its construction.

MP7 Variants

  • PDW: The first prototype shown in 1999 was designated the 'PDW' (Personal Defense Weapon). It had a short Picatinny rail on the top and a smooth pistol grip surface.
  • MP7: In 2001 it was named the 'MP7' and went into production. It included a full length Picatinny rail, a thick curved stock and an anti-slide surface on the pistol grip much like the HK USP. It also featured folding iron sights mounted on the Picatinny rail and the button to fold the foregrip was made larger for easier operation.
  • Heckler & Koch MP7MP7A1: In 2003 its designation was changed to 'MP7A1' and featured a redesigned pistol grip with a different surface and curved shape, a smaller stock with a straight buttpad, side mounted Picatinny rails as standard and the folding iron sights were made more compact. The weapon was made slightly longer, but because the stock was shortened, the overall length did not change. The stock is also able to be locked into 3 positions. Recent MP7A1 models have a trigger safety similar to a Glock pistol; the middle section of the trigger must be pulled first before the outer part will move. This helps to stop accidental discharges if the trigger is bumped.

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