ARSENAL BLOG 009:
MP7

SILENCERCO’S ARSENAL SERIES showcases guns we love for various reasons that reside in our in-house arsenal. We are best-known for making guns quiet–in order to do this, we must interact with a great variety of amazing platforms. In these posts we will tell you about each platform we like, why it’s different and relevant, and why we think it belongs in our pantheon of greatness.

MP7

After a proliferation of overbuilt subguns with pistol grip magazines in the 60s, 70s, and 80s like the Uzi, the Steyr SA23, and the Ingram MAC series, there wasn’t a modern offering made with lightweight composite materials until the MP7 in 2001.

The MP7 is a German Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) manufactured by Heckler & Koch and chambered for the HK 4.6x30mm cartridge. This round is exclusive to the MP7, and was designed in response to NATO’s requirements published in 1989. The requirements called for a personal defense weapon class firearm, with a greater ability to penetrate body armor. The cartridge resulted in a light round with less recoil fired at high velocity so that it could still penetrate armor.

The MP7 went into production in 2001. Its rival, the FN P90 (featured in Arsenal Blog 007), was also developed in response to NATO’s requirement. The weapon has been updated since then as the MP7A1 and MP7A2.

MP7

With increased availability of high quality lightweight body armor, firearms that use pistol ammunition (such as Heckler & Koch’s earlier MP5) have become less effective for military and police units. In response to this trend, Heckler & Koch designed the MP7 along with the now-cancelled UCP pistol, which uses the same ammunition but is small enough to be used in place of either a pistol or a submachine gun.

Instead of a traditional blowback system employed by most pistol grip subguns, the MP7 uses a short stroke piston gas system like the H&K G36 and HK416. Magazines come in 20, 30 and 40 round options that fit in the pistol grip. The 20 round mag is comparable in size to a 15 round 9mm mag. The weapon features an ambidextrous fire selector, bolt catch lever, and magazine release. It can be fired either one handed or two handed (though we recommend two handed unless you’re in Hollywood).

The full-length, top-mounted Picatinny rail comes as standard with folding fore- and rear-iron sights attached. The sights can easily be removed by loosening a single screw. The MP7 can fit additional rails on the sides of the barrel, which allow it to mount additional accessories.

MP7

Unfortunately, the MP7 is only available for law enforcement and military use or to a private citizen with the appropriate NFA license on a demo letter. There isn’t a semi-automatic civilian version available.

The best silencer we have found for the MP7 is the Saker 556k ASR. We have tried everything but 4.6mm feels like hot dog in a hallway on the Omega 9K and we know we are bleeding off dBs from the aperture diameter from anything larger than a 5.56mm. Unlike the PS90 in 5.7mm, we do not recommend using 4.6mm ammunition in a rimfire silencer.

MP7

THINGS WE LIKE

– High capacity 40 round magazines while still compact and lightweight.

– Extendable stock and a folding front grip lets the shooter go from concealable under a jacket to controllable full auto fire at 950 rpm cyclic rate within seconds with minimal recoil.

– Factory sights act as pistol sights when collapsed – When the sights are folded flat, they resemble pistol style open sights. Folded up, they feature aperture sights. [See example below]

MP7

THINGS WE DON’T LIKE

– Platform Availability – Not available for civilian purchase except with appropriate NFA license.

– Ammunition availability – ammunition is hard to find though possible to obtain. The armor piercing ammunition is restricted to law enforcement and military use only.

– Ergonomics – The bolt catch is awkwardly located above the trigger.

BOTTOM LINE

Anyone who has ever hefted an Uzi is comforted by the fact that it can be used to cause blunt force trauma when it jams but has always wondered what it would be like on a diet and how to control it on full auto. The MP7 is the answer as the lightest, most compact, and easiest to control on full auto subgun in its class. Given its rarity, it is easily one of the most sought after platforms when shooting our videos with people new to silencers.

NEXT UP: Arsenal Blog 010: Calico 22 – when you first see this futuristic platform and find out it can take 100 rounds in its helical top mounted magazine, you have to give it a try (as long as someone else will load it).