$3,000+… was the expected price to pay for a genuine H&K MP5 variant. With MSRP’s hovering just south of $3k and the need to add stocks, braces, slings, and magazines it was easy to hit $4k, or even flirt with $5k without trying too hard.
Why? Even clones like the Turk Zenith or American PTR push $2k and more after accesories while the .308 G3 clones hover just above or below $1,000.00. The roller guns were some of the earliest in “modular” firearms since the parts commonality on the models were very high, especially for the era.
The G3, HK33, and MP5 are easily the most successful non-gas operated rifle and submachine gun series of the 20th Century. They are iconic, and the winner of the whole series is undoubtedly the MP5. The G3 had other successful 7.62 NATO rifles competing with it, the FAL undoubtedly the most successful, and the AK was a major competitor as well. The HK33 was competing against the AR-15, AR-18, the concept of a “NATO” standard rifle instead of just ammo was lost after the US didn’t pick up the FAL.
But the MP5 stood alone as an accurate low recoil CQB SMG that fired from the far more reliable closed bolt position and was deliberately select-fire like the emerging battle rifle and assault rifle systems. Earlier legacy SMGs were designed as open bolt and nearly always be used on automatic. No other system would gain the successful status or maintain the longevity of the MP5. Even in H&K’s own catalog of offerings never ousted its champion.
It wasn’t until the 21st Century, with weapons like the SIG MPX and CZ’s Scoprion EVO3 S1, that the MP5 really even developed a peer group. Now there is a thriving Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) category at a variety of price points. The MP5, in a manner like the AR-15, has managed to keep a slot as a premier firearm in its niche and maintain it for decades. In fact, the AR-15 only has 3 years on the MP5 since it was introduced by Colt in 63′ and the MP5 was introduced in 66′.
Despite being decades ahead of the MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail, those rails were adopted successfully into the design and today M-LOK is readily available too.