The HK MP-7 Personal Defence Weapon (PDW) is a member of a brand new class of small arms, called Personal Defence Weapons. The PDWs are intended, as name implies, to be a defensive sidearms for second-line troops, vehicle crews and other military personnel who normally not issued with assault rifles. Previously, these troops were issued with pistols or submachine guns, but proliferation of body armour in recent years made those guns ineffective. The first firearm, intended as PDW and offered in that class was belgian-made P-90 by FN, and it had special low-impulse, high-velocity ammunition, capable of penetration of current military body armours and helmets at ranges of 100 meters and beyond, while being much smaller and lighter, than assult rifle. The MP-7, originally known simply as H&K PDW, is another entry in the PDW class, and direct competitor to P-90.
The MP-7, first announced in 2000, entered production in 2001 and, according to some sources, is adopted by some German special units, such as KSK, and also offered for export sales and for NATO-trials as an another could-be NATO PDW (the only other competitor is FN P-90).
The MP-7 layouted as a compact submachine gun, with magazine being inserted into pistol grip, with folding forward grip and telescoped buttstock, but it designed to fire special, high velocity ammunition, 4.6x30mm, that looks like scaled down rifle round. That ammunition is unique to the MP-7. The receiver, along with the pistol grip, is made from the polymer with steel reinforcements. on the top side of the receiver there is a picatinny-style rail for sight mountings. The action of the MP-7 is somewhat unusual for weapon of such small size, since it is gas operated, rotating bolt design, which stronly resembles the action of the HK G-36 assault rifle, suitably scaled down. The ambidextrous fire mode selector/safety switch allows for semi-auto and full-auto modes. Unlike the P-90, the MP-7 could be fired single-handed, or from thwo hands, either like the pistol or using a front grip. Telescopic buttstock can be extended to give additional stability. With buttstock and front grip collapsed, the MP-7 can be carried like any big pistol, in the special holster, and can be effectively used in the close combat, so this is why it also can be used as offensive weapon by different special units in close quarter battle.
The 4.6x30mm ammunition is loaded with spitzer-pointed, all-steel bullet with brass jacket. Bullet weight is 1.6 gramm (25 grains) and the muzzle velocity is 725 m/s (ca. 2400 fps). Manufacturer claims the 100% penetration of the CRISAT body armour (1.6mm of Titanium plus 20 layers of Kevlar) at the distance of 200 meters.
The MP-7 is an interesting development, ant it yet to be seen, which concept (MP-7 or P-90) will be more suitable for NATO, and which weapon system will be sold better.
HECKLER & KOCH GmbH P.O. Box 1329 D-78722 Oberndorf, Germany
4.6 x 30 mm
(Unloaded) 1.5 kg
(stock closed/open): 340 / 540 mm
20 or 40 rounds
Rate of fire: