Forgotten Weapons: MP7 A1 versus MP7 A2

Heckler and Koch is well known for their high-quality firearms, and their PDWs (Personal Defense Weapons) are no different. In this video review, Ian of Forgotten Weapons discusses the HK MP7 — specifically, the MP7A1 and MP7A2 — going over their various features and, of course, their history. If you’re into gun history, there’s no YouTube channel better than Forgotten Weapons to teach you more. And even if you aren’t into it, you’ll be into this, because HK PDWs are awesome.

HK PDW love with Forgotten Weapons. (Photo credit: Forgotten Weapons)

How Does the MP7 Work?

One of the things Ian gets into right away is how the HK MP7 compares to other military chamberings:

“Let’s dive into how exactly the MP7 works, because its significantly more complex than FN’s P90 [which is a select-fire PDW carbine designed in the 1980s, chambered in 5.7x28mm, with a 50-round capacity].

“…let’s start with a cartridge comparison. There’s our magazine, and…a 5.56 NATO cartridge. Here’s the 4.6x30mm HK cartridge [which the MP7 is chambered in]. …ballistically, there are a number of different loadings for it, but it is essentially 31 grains of bullet — typically armor-piercing bullet because that’s what it was designed for — traveling at about 2350 to maybe 2400 feet per second, depending on the loading. I will point out, for the sake of comparison…FN’s 5.7x28mm cartridge…[has] virtually identical ballistics on paper — 31 grain bullet at 2350 feet per second. …they are not identical, because they do have different performance, largely because of the different bullet diameters and construction. …they are [also] both substantially smaller than the 5.56 NATO.”

So, how does it compare to the FN P90?

Ian states “One of the things that I find really interesting is the P90 is kind of a study in unorthodox design decisions, and the MP7 is exactly the opposite. [The MP7] is a really clever engineering attempt and success at taking all of the existing orthodoxy of firearms controls and design, and shrinking them into a very compact, very lightweight, and controllable package. So when it comes to the controls [of the MP7] this all duplicates exactly what we’re used to seeing on typical…military firearms. …the P90 is almost all very unusual controls.”

Interested in learning more about the MP7? Check out the video below:

HK MP7 Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Highly portable
  • Easy to maneuver in close quarters
  • Somewhat concealable
  • Reliable
  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Standard military firearms features and design
  • Accurate
  • Can be carried in a drop leg holster
  • Folding aperture sights
modern HK PDW
A look at the internal workings of a modern HK PDW. (Photo credit: Forgotten Weapons)

Heckler and Koch list the following information on their website about this PDW:

“The MP7 is extremely compact, lightweight, can be used in very confined spaces, and is practically recoil-free. It can be carried continuously, making it the ideal personal weapon for the soldier of today. Those who carry it will be suitably armed for the broadest range of operations.

Comparing the calibres, the penetration and terminal effects of the 4.6 mm x 30 cartridge are several times those of the standardised 9 mm x 19 cartridge. By way of illustration: The new high-performance calibre penetrates the NATO CRISAT TARGET (1.6 mm titanium and 20 layers of kevlar) even at 200 m. One fundamental requirement: At the same time, the risk of overpenetration is reduced to a minimum.”

Manufacturer: Heckler and Koch

Model: MP7A1

Caliber 4.6 mm x 30
Operating principle Gas-operated
Magazine capacity 20/30/40 rounds
Modes of fire 0-1-D
Rate of fire approx. 950/min
Sights M
Buttstock R
Length min./max. approx. 415/638 mm
Width approx. 51.0 mm
Height approx. 169.0 mm
Barrel length approx. 180 mm
Sight radius approx. 230.0 mm
Weapon approx. 1.90 kg
Magazine approx. 0.10/0.15/0.20 kg
Other Data
Color scheme Black/Green Brown

It’s impossible to deny this is a cool gun.

Do you have a PDW? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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