Zenith MKE Z-5P SB | Subgun second to none

Manufactured by MKE of Turkey and imported by Zenith Firearms, the Z-5P SB is the closest thing you can get to an authentic Mp5 without buying an HK directly.  The Z-5P (and its roller-delayed brethren) are manufactured on the same machines and in the same factory as licensed Turkish-made HK guns.  I’ve written about my early impressions with this clone of a legend, but now that I’ve been shooting it for a couple of months, it’s time to revisit this gun.

In case you missed the quick look article, it covers the tech specs in detail.  For a brief primer (to those unfamiliar to the Mp5 family of guns) the Z-5P is the descendant of the original short-barreled submachine gun chambered in 9mm which uses rollers on the bolt to delay blowback.  The benefits of the roller-delayed recoil system are decreased recoil and comparatively greater accuracy when measured against open-bolt submachine guns.

Zenith MKE Z-5P SB | Subgun second to none

This Z-5P SB is a 4.6lb clone of the Mp5K, with the K denoting the shorter version of the Mp5.  We’re looking at a ~14″ overall length and a 5.8″ barrel that features both threading and HK’s three-lug suppressor mount.  This version with its short barrel, lack of buttstock and under 26″ overall length is legally defined as a pistol.  An arm brace and receiver endcap are both included, depending on your preference.  The receiver is topped with a length of Picatinny rail for optional optics attachment.

Zenith MKE Z-5P SB | Subgun second to none

I used the 1/2×28 threading to affix one of my AAC TiRant 45 suppressors.  While this adds a bit of length, the weight of the suppressor is pretty negligible and it lends a fantastic balance to this little shooter.  While the stock iron sights are more than adequate, who can resist the temptation of tossing a little red-dot on a gun such as this?  When not shooting with the irons, I’ve been using a Vortex Venom micro sight (review here), which takes the Z-5P’s natural point-and-shoot ergonomics and combines them with the speed of a reflex sight to devastating effect.

Zenith MKE Z-5P SB | Subgun second to none

While this gun handles silky smooth and shoots like a dream, there is one rub.  The Z-5P (just like my old Mp5SD) runs flawlessly with brass cased ammo.  Steel cased ammo provides the same level of dependability.  So where’s the problem?  Aluminum cased ammo.  The violent nature of HK designed extraction/ejection leaves poor aluminum cases not knowing what to do or where to fly.  Some did circles inside the receiver. Some stovepiped.  Changing back to brass or steel cased ammo totally and immediately eliminated the issue.  Again, this has been true for me when shooting legit/original HK Mp5’s as well as American-manufactured clones and this Turkish made Z-5p.

Aluminum cases don’t play nice

The universal aluminum case issue aside, this is a flawless recreation of HK’s legend.  MKE licensed the HK designs and has followed the plans to perfection.  Unlike some other “cloners” (*cough* SW/Cohaire *cough*), MKE has stayed true to the blueprints and has made the closest thing you can get to an HK produced gun.  This Z-5P shoots as well as any Mp5 derivative I’ve shot. German or otherwise.  The price tag is $1844 for the base pistol (which includes 3x 30 round mags, a plastic carry case and a cleaning kit) and $2104 for the big package, which includes everything from the base model as well as a discreet carry case and the arm brace.  While this is a steep price, it’s the cheapest I’ve seen for a quality replica of the legendary Mp5.  Check it out!

-Rex Nanorum