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Shooting the H&K MP7


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum, and we are out
today taking a look at the HK MP7. This is specifically an MP7A1. So it’s had a couple
little improvements from the original base model, but not quite all the really fancy
desert coloured stuff of the A2 pattern. Now there’s an interesting backstory to this, and of course this was designed as a quote/unquote
PDW, a Personal Defence Weapon. And the requirements for this sort of
firearm originated in the very late 1980s when NATO discovered that the
Russian military was starting to issue body armour as standard equipment. And at this
point, of course, the Soviet Union was still fully intact, and NATO’s major concern was
what if Russia attacks Western Europe? They’re going to have Spetsnaz teams,
you know, running around behind Allied lines, behind NATO lines, they’re gonna have
paratroopers dropping into, you know, Western Germany and unleashing all sorts of
havoc, and they’re all gonna be wearing body armour, and so all of these support
type troops behind the front lines are going to be running around with 9mm
pistols that are going to be incapable of going through the body armour
on all of these Soviet combatants. So NATO issued a requirement for a new Personal Defence
Weapon that could defeat this Soviet body armour. And there were two main firearms developed in response
to it, one was the FN P90, and the other was the HK MP7. Now, the MP7 has had a little bit of an uphill battle in the
marketplace because it came out several years after the P90. And so the P90 garnered a lot of
attention, and interest, and clients, and the MP7 kind of has to prove itself
to a level that the P90 maybe didn’t. There are also some very significant
mechanical differences between the two. The P90 is a simple blowback action,
it is selective fire, as is the MP7. But the MP7 is a short-stroke gas piston rotating
bolt. This is basically a little teeny miniaturised G36 action, or AR-18 action, or kind of similar to
the 416 action. You’ve got a gas port right up here, you have what looks like a miniaturised
AR bolt. And that allows a couple of things, well mainly that allows the
weight on the MP7 to be reduced, because … the P90 is dependent on
just the weight of the bolt to stay locked, the MP7 isn’t, so it can be lighter. This is
very similar to the MP5 being a delayed action, compared to the standard blowback
of most other submachine guns. Now in its original guise the idea was
this PDW (be it the MP7, or the P90 or … any other firearm, just the way NATO conceived this), these would be issued to basically everyone who
wasn’t a frontline soldier issued a rifle or a carbine. So instead of getting a 9mm pistol you’d get an MP7 if you
were a cook, or a clerk, or a driver, or anybody else like that. In this role it’s kind of similar to
the M1 carbine during World War Two, issued to replace the .45 calibre pistol
because it was a lot easier to shoot accurately, but largely issued to guys who weren’t really
expected to need them much, at all, if ever. However, in the intervening years between
when NATO issued these requirements, and when the MP7 actually came on the market fully developed (this took about 10 years, the MP7 was
delivered for production first, I believe, around 2001), well, the problem is between … those
two years the Soviet Union fell apart. There’s not really that much concern
today about Soviet paratroopers, you know, dropping into Western Germany and
columns of tanks coming through the Fulda Gap. So the need to actually issue these
out has pretty much gone away. Much of the combat today that forces are
actually seeing, and this isn’t like full-sized armies, but much of the combat is against,
say, insurgents in the Middle East, people who aren’t typically wearing body armour. And so a small calibre cartridge like this, this
fires the [4.6x30mm] cartridge, which is kind of equivalent to like .17 HMR rimfire. It’s a 31 or
32 grain bullet traveling at about 2,350 feet per second. It’s great for penetration, but it’s not as good at
actual lethality as something a lot bigger, and so shortly after these guns came out you would see also
a resurgence in, say, .45 calibre submachine guns. Focused on what was really kind of the
more direct immediate threat at the time. Anyway, before I digress too far, this has ended
up becoming an issued weapon largely for specialist troops, for special forces guys who need
something better than, or more capable than just a handgun, but smaller and more mobile
and compact than a full-size rifle. There were allegedly, apparently, a bunch of these were
used in the US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and that’s the sort of application that you see these
in today. So where it was initially intended to be a massive scale, you know, a standard
infantry weapon for the guys who don’t have rifles, it ended up being a sneaky squirrel and specialist
troops sort of gun, simply because of needs. Alright, let’s try doing some shooting. I’m
gonna go ahead and extend the stock out, because this is really much better as a
carbine than as a very large pseudo-handgun. These were issued with 20 round magazines, or
made with 20 rounders which are flush with the grip, 30s, and 40s. This is a 40 rounder. We
have a bolt release, here safety lever here. It is selective fire, so semi-auto, and full-auto.
And let’s see how this goes. I’ll be honest, the recoil on this is a
little more jarring than I had expected. If you go into this expecting kind of like, you
know, a vaguely oversized rimfire cartridge, .17 HMR, you’d expect it to have basically
no recoil and it actually does. It has, it’s not a hard kick, but it’s a very abrupt and sharp
kick for what it is. Let’s try a little bit in full-auto. Yeah, kind of the same thing, it bounces
around a little bit more than I had expected. I suspect with more practice (which I certainly haven’t had,
this is my first time out at the range with one of these guys), with a little more practice it’s gonna be very easy to control,
but right at first, it’s a little more than I had expected. Magazine release is the lever on the bottom
of the trigger guard, push it down to eject. Now, one of the uses that was not maybe originally
intended for this gun is shooting it suppressed. You know, if you’re issuing it to everybody, not so much. But when you issue this to Special Forces guys
who are gonna go do secret, sneaky stuff with it, putting a suppressor on it makes a lot of sense.
Especially because it is this little tiny cartridge, it’s quite easy to suppress. In fact, with a can this size
it’s completely hearing safe, so I can pull those guys out. And let’s see what we can do here. You’re still going to get a supersonic crack from it
of course, because this is supersonic ammunition, but that really makes it very convenient and easy to use. Alright guys, well hopefully you
enjoyed this little bit of an intro to the MP7. There’s a lot more to talk about on something like this. Of course, this is a gun that is still in very active
use, still actively being improved and refined. So a big thank you to H&K for letting me
come out here and play with their MP7A1. Also thank you to Trijicon for giving
us access to their range and slapping a cool MRO optic on
this thing for us. And of course, what you’ve probably been waiting for is a
magazine dump. So 30 rounds in there… Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Shooting the H&K MP7

  1. I love guns.
    I also love the background stories I get here.
    Ian is awesome.
    Forgotten weapons is awesome.
    Thank you.

  2. need to make one chambered in 5.7×28 and release as semi-auto. OR release this in semi-auto with a companion pistol similar to the FN Five Seven.

  3. Maybe I'm Wrong for it but there are few guns that I actually legitimately hate one of them I fired before which was the high point C9 and its other variants and the other one I've never fired which is the HK MP7 I fired an MP5 absolutely love the MP5 however I adamantly hate something about the MP7 that I just can't put my finger on.

  4. Sorry, but it is not true that this weapon is just used by special forces or other specialized units. The MP7 replaced the Uzi (MP2) as the standard submachine gun of the German Army. So at least for the German Army this is not just a weapon for SOF-units.

  5. I remember I had just graduated high school and my first video of FW was of the “street sweeper “ shot gun was published.

  6. The P90 was going to be the standard NATO PDW, but west Germany got butthurt at the idea of adopting a Belgian weapon, and insisted on bringing a German offering to the table. The MP7 was simply created out of bitterness, with no real innovation behind it. The MP7 was nowhere near as widely adopted as the P90, and it was inferior by almost every metric, but west Germany still prevented the adoption of a standardized PDW.

  7. It is cool, quiet and yes expect a sonic crack… but is that thing on black powder? How smoky can smokeless go???
    Great video!

  8. What kind of distance is the little scope intended for? Maybe loosing the scope would be better for combat distance situations.

  9. I'd honestly love to see more shooting videos. I definitely enjoy your Forgotten weapons series, I'd love to see how half the weapons you cover perform on the range.

  10. Too bad they never adopted a standardized PDW cartridge like the 5.7 mm. This design would've been amazing with the 5.7 mm cartridge.

  11. Actually at the Moment the German Gouvernement is building the biggest and strongest Bunkers since WW2 so they are afraid of russia maybe more then ever before

  12. I've actually been issued one of these, and I'd recommend not using the front grip for single fire. It moves slightly and makes it less accurate.
    The Norwegian military still issues this to most troops who's main purpose is anything other than killing, like medics, soldiers with K9s etc

  13. Their idea just… sort of dumbfounded me. You're going to replace 9mm pistols… with that? That's a serious upgrade. lol Just not at all what I would have thought of for a pistol replacement/upgrade.

  14. Anyone else notice the charging handle kick back on the slowmo videos straight towards the face? Reminds me of the Sig Sauer Rattler. Known for doing the same thing.

  15. Noticed A LOT of gasses escaping around that charging handle when suppressed. Also during the second slow mo shot, the charging handle almost comes back and punches the shooter in the eye. Good thing they had eye-pro.

  16. Honestly that gun And that awesome holster thing you had it on are just so freaking awesome. Deffientnly one of my dream weapons

  17. Got the chance to play with one of these, amongst others in the winter of 2001 at H&K's range outside Oberndorf. Fun day. Thanks for stirring the memories.

  18. Wow that thing desperately needs an OBS flow through Can on it to reduce the gas coming from the ejection port… 15 rounds of burst fire and your sight picture looks like it would be smoked out

  19. It's construction and engineering are more impressive in my opinion than it's actual capability

    That's not to say it isn't an incredibly capable piece of kit, just that, it's really well made, well designed and highly reliable, it is an engineering masterpiece

    That is what I love the most about the MP7, it exudes quality.

  20. This weapon is ideal for home defense, and i wish these were more common than AR15s in the U.S.

    Because it was designed for auxiliary troops, it would make sense to replace the AR 15 market with HK mp7 clones if you had a magic wand.

  21. HL2 SMG 🙂 although it had 45 round mag instead of 40. The firearm itself is pretty neat though I'm more of an MP5 type fan 🙂

  22. I thought the other big reason the MP7 has an uphill battle is because its cartridge has worse ballistics vs body armor? I didn't know the gun the 4.6mm was intended for was so compact, though. I think that puts it in a different role than the P90–the MP7 is a lot smaller and easier to fit in cramped spaces (ie, armored vehicles like our new 2-person JLTV), but the P90 is definitely closer to the rifle side of things than the MP7. Trying to maneuver a P90 or full rifle in a JLTV is going to be an exercise in futility, whereas this upgraded Uzi will have no trouble at all.

    Apparently the price is somewhere around $2k a gun, so maybe this is a pricing and marketing issue. Drop it a couple hundred, toss in some extra mags, pitch it as the perfect companion weapon for armored vehicles, guard posts, etc.

  23. It almost seems a bit more stable in full auto than semi. Maybe its just me but bursts in full auto look better than semi

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