Magpul SL MP5 Stock: Comfort with Sub-Gun Swagger

The Magpul name has long been synonymous with quality at an affordable price. Founded in 1999, the company began with its original product and the source of its name: the Magpul 5.56. Since its inception, they’ve continued to innovate and expand its lineup with a wide product variety designed to improve firearm performance and ergonomics. Most recently, the Magpul SL MP5 stock, designed as an improvement over the venerable MP5A3 stock, has continued that mission.

The Heckler and Koch MP5 is the definition of swagger. It’s hard to not feel like some kind of special forces operator preparing for the snatch-and-grab of some South American dictator. I’m not saying that’s happened, but it probably has. Nevertheless, there’s a reason the MP5 has remained at the forefront of the submachine gun market despite its increased cost compared to later Heckler and Koch products like the UMP. With renewed availability and interest in the MP5 civilian market, the Magpul SL MP5 stock was conveniently introduced. After getting my hands on one, I’m convinced Magpul has a magical source for developing new ways to improve upon tried and true platforms.

Magpul SL MP5 Stock

The Magpul SL MP5 stock is an extension of Magpul’s SL offerings. The “SL” is a designation for their “slim line” product assortment. They’re meant to be simple, practical, and efficient for the end user. In most cases with the SL lineup, they’re minimalistic and weigh less than many other stocks. Furthermore, most of their SL products operate intuitively.


The Magpul SL MP5 stock is really nothing overtly special at first glance. It doesn’t have 10,000 attachment points or elaborate features. In classic Magpul fashion, it’s a functional polymer stock with practical features. As it should, the stock doesn’t require any special modifications to mount to an existing Heckler and Koch MP5, 94, or similar clone. Remove the rear takedown detent pin and old stock, install the new stock, and push the pin back in. Done. Installation is mind-numbingly simple.

Stock attachment point
The original takedown pin worked seamlessly once the new stock was installed. Swapping from the original A3 stock to the new Magpul was a few seconds.

Stock Positions

The Magpul SL MP5 stock is a single-position stock. It’s either collapsed or extended. Frankly, I would have liked Magpul to have integrated a few extra positions for use with body armor or heavier clothing. If I had one complaint about the stock, this would be it. Beyond that, it’s functional and practical. The stock release is different from the classic latch tab of the original A3 stock. Traditionally, the A3 stock is released by rotating a lever clockwise. The stock was then pulled back to its extended position. To collapse the stock, the user rotated the lever counterclockwise and pushed the stock in. Occasionally, it was easy to inadvertently not push the stock in far enough to secure it in the collapsed position.

retracting stock
The tab for collapsing and retracting the Magpul stock is placed in an intuitive and natural location. However, it’s conveniently located where the user is unlikely to inadvertently disengage it.

The Magpul SL MP5 stock has a different take on extension/retraction that is nicely intuitive. The receiver trunnion has a vertically traversing lever on the bottom. In a comfortably normal movement, the user grabs the stock. The index and middle fingers naturally find their way to the lever. This makes depressing the stock release easy – especially under stress where rapid deployment is necessary (especially when given the go-ahead to storm an embassy). To collapse the stock, the user presses the lever again, and the stock easily and securely closes. In my opinion, this design is far more natural and eliminates some required fine motor skills and potential failure points inherent to the original A3 stock design.


In my opinion, one of the best features of the Magpul SL MP5 stock is its weight. The stock weighs in at 13.8 ounces, and while I didn’t have an appropriate scale for my old A3 stock, it felt considerably lighter. This didn’t affect the overall balance or feel of the gun. The SL stock includes a removable rubber recoil pad in class Magpul MOE fashion. This stock felt more secure than the hard plastic of the A3 and was a nice improvement.

Magpul SL MP5 stock butt
The rubber recoil pad, a common feature of Magpul’s stocks, was comfortable and gripped the shoulder nicely while shooting. Recoil isn’t a problem with the MP5, especially in 9mm. However, the rubber helped keep the stock where I wanted it, which greatly improved stability and control.

The Magpul SL MP5 stock also includes ambidextrous QD sling swivel studs at the rear. I recently added a Midwest Industries MP5 rail to my SBR and plan to add a forward QD attachment point. These upgrades bring this weapon system into the 21st century. Furthermore, I feel John McClane would have appreciated a better stock and sling setup than he experienced at Nakatomi Plaza. While I would have conducted this testing, a proper environment and willing volunteers were nowhere to be found.

Magpul SL MP5 QD studs
The integrated ambidextrous sling swivel studs were a convenient feature bringing this legendary weapons system well into the 21st century.

Magpul SL MP5 Stock at the Range

The rubber recoil pad definitely enhanced the presentation of this sub-gun. The non-slip surface kept the stock where it needed to be. With the addition of a modern two-point sling, I anticipate it will perform even better. The stock was secure and didn’t wobble, twist, or loosen after several hundred rounds. There were no issues with accidentally releasing the stock while collapsed nor it collapsing while being fired. Once locked into place, it wasn’t going anywhere.

Magpul SL MP5 cheek weld
The Magpul SL MP5 stock’s cheek weld was comfortable during presentation and shooting. While not a massive improvement over the original A3 cheek weld, it’s just enough to comfortably use the rifle.

One of the biggest benefits of the SL stock was the cheek weld. Historically, Heckler and Koch’s collapsible stocks weren’t the most comfortable. If you’ve ever fired a Heckler and Koch 91 or 93 (in .308 and .223, respectively), it’s not the most comfortable experience. While the 9mm’s gentler recoil impulse helps, it’s hard to argue against a more comfortable shooting position. The SL MP5 stock does a great job of offering this for the shooter. During range time with it and passing it amongst fellow range companions, we agreed the configuration was comfortable and improved the shooter’s cheek weld while not significantly sacrificing the compactness of the original A3 stock.

stock collapsed and extended
Even with the additional cheek weld, the new stock didn’t add much to the gun’s overall length when collapsed. Regardless, the improved shooting position is worth any nominal gains in length.

Is the Magpul SL MP5 Stock Worth It?

The Magpul SL MP5 stock is a relatively affordable upgrade for those looking to improve their MP5 or associated clones. The QD mounts, additional cheek weld, and intuitive operation advance a proven submachine gun/pistol caliber carbine platform into the 21st century. Beyond the practical aspects of this stock, it just looks cool. The stock’s aesthetics keep the attractive appearance of the MP5 while making it a better handling rifle. It does all this without really breaking the bank too. Currently, the Magpul SL MP5 stock upgrade is available from GMW for $117.99. At that price, why wouldn’t you go for one?

Tom Stilson began his firearms career in 2012 working a gun store counter. He progressed to conducting appraisals for fine and collectible firearms before working as the firearms compliance merchant for a major outdoor retailer. In 2015, he entered public service and began his law enforcement career. Tom has a range of experience working for big and small as well as urban and rural agencies. Among his qualifications, Tom is certified as a firearms instructor, field trainer, and in special weapons and tactics. If not on his backyard range, he spends his time with family or spreading his passion for firearms and law enforcement.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap