A few months ago, I bought and tested the full-size AP5 from Century Arms. Made in Turkey by MKE, the full-size AP5 turned out to be a great clone if you wanted something to customize without worrying about ruining something like an original SP5 from HK. Last month, I decided to pick up its little brother, AP5-P, from a local gun shop to see how the smaller variant shook out. This gun took on three different variations from stock to braced and then moved to its final form of being an SBR. Let’s take a closer look at the Century Arms AP5-P.
Century Arms @ TFB:
Specs On The Century Arms AP5-P
The little AP5-P is the compact version of the full-size AP5 which still has the tri lug barrel installed for a suppressor or muzzle device. The AP5-P is manufactured by MKE in Turkey and then imported by Century Arms. Currently, there are four different variants of the P model with either a red dot optic, brace option or both available for order. Mine came as the standard model without a red dot or brace. Weighing just over 4.5lbs and chambered in 9mm, this compact variant is a small but handy version as a PDW or personal protection firearm.
The overall length without a brace or stock is 13.7″ making it a very compact package. My AP5-P came with a Picatinny mount from the factory, a cleaning kit, two 30-round magazines, a sling and a hard case. Since it’s a clone of the original MP6K, almost all aftermarket parts will fit this AP5-P giving you a wide variety of aftermarket options to build this firearm exactly how you want it. MSRP starts at $1,999.99 for the firearm and goes up to $2,269.99 for the brace and stock kit from Century Arms.
- Product Name: Century Arms AP5-P
- MSRP: $1,999.99
- Chambering: 9mm Luger
- Magazine Capacity: 30 Rounds
- Sights: Fixed Front Sight, Fully Adjustable Rear Sight
- Barrel Length: 5.8″ in
- Weight: 4.6 lbs
- Overall Length: 13.7″ in
- Safety: Manual Safety
Since owning this firearm, I have roughly 2500 rounds through it and participated in at least two training courses with the little AP5-P. From the beginning, I wanted to be critical of the AP5-P because I own a true SP5K from HK. You see all the time on forums about the just as good guys going to town about budget MP5 clones but are they as good? The full-size AP5 truly impressed me with its overall quality and reliability. I still have that gun and it still is running like a Swiss watch. I knew from the beginning I wanted to make this AP5-P an SBR so I filed the E-from almost immediately and waited for it to come back before tricking this little guy out.
Shooting the AP5-P is completely doable with just the sling pressed out giving you reverse support. This is typically how security teams would shoot the MP5K back in the day and it still works today. A brace will make life easier, but just having the tension on the sling does a great job as well if you’re looking to keep costs low.
I started out with a basic AP5-P with iron sights and the sling for tension to see how it did without any accessories on it. I was surprised by how effective a sling tension method is when making hits on target. It may not be as simple as having a brace or actual stock but it will do a good job if you find yourself in a pinch. During the first few range trips, I really picked up on how soft of a shooter the AP5-P is since it’s a delayed blowback system. This type of system is notorious for being incredibly soft shooting and the AP5-P is no exception, shooting with hardly any felt recoil.
Once my forms came back approved for the SBR, I immediately ordered parts from HK Parts and turned it into a classic MP5K style SBR with a folding stock. This took a fun little range gun into an incredibly capable PDW. There’s most certainly a reason why certain countries are still using the MP5 platform as their CQB weapon and I totally understand it. When looking up parts, the classic vertical grip handguard along with the triangle folding stock were an obvious choice. I also included a RAD 45 suppressor from HUXWRX and Trijicon RMR riding on an ANVL Ukon.
Training and High Fire Testing
After my paperwork came back, I really started to use and abuse the AP5-P. There would be times when I had a weekend course and shot through 1,000 rounds that weekend suppressed without cleaning and the gun just continued to run like a top. During testing, the suppressor would get carbon locked on the tri lug occasionally but that was the only small issue. For shooting, the ammo used was mostly LAX Ammunition 115gr reloads and Federal 124gr American Eagle ammunition. The only thing I have noticed about the AP5-P is the slightly thicker tri lug adapter making the suppressor fit very snug which means zero play but once it gets slightly carboned up, it can be tricky getting it off the weapon.
The trigger on the AP5-P definitely smoothed out and started to consistently break around 4.6-4.8lbs. The stock trigger has a little bit of creep until you hit a defined wall as well as a short reset making it easy to fire quick follow-up shots. Combine that with little to no recoil and you can really drive this gun hard into transition drills or engaging multiple targets. Reloads are different from most systems out there but are surprisingly fun and can be rewarding when you get them right after some practice. If you plan on shooting your AP5-P a good amount, a good idea would be to get an extended safety selector. Typically on MP5s, it can be a reach for most people but other than that, this gun is good to go and really impressed me so far.
Some have asked over on my social media if it’s possible to conceal this AP5-P inside of a bag or backpack. The short answer for this is a definite yes, but keep in mind all state and local laws when it comes to these types of firearms. There’s definitely a reason why secret service and protection agencies around the world carried the MP5K as much as they did for such a long duration of time.
They are incredibly easy to control especially full-auto variants and with a 30-round magazine, they pack quite a punch with upgraded ammo. There’s been a number of times people ask if it’s a good carry option for a bag or truck gun to which I say yes. Sure there are options out there like the SIG Rattler and 300 Blackout offerings but this is still a very valid choice as well, especially for female shooters who want something lightweight and manageable.
So after a few months of owning this firearm, I have one big question to answer. Is it as good as the SP5K and which one would I prefer? In the past, I’ve shot both a fair bit and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my SP5K, but the much lower price of this AP5-P combined with the overall build quality has me second guessing if the SP5K is that much more worth the money. Currently, with the rebate from Century Arms, I have heard people getting these for as cheap as $1,550 which is nothing short of an incredible value for money. I’ve utterly abused my variant so far and it hasn’t missed a beat. Truthfully I haven’t cleaned it yet and don’t plan on it until I start seeing consistent malfunctions.
I really want to see when this will be but if you’re in the market for an MP5K style firearm, I cannot think of a better value for money than the AP5-P. That’s about as high of praise as you will hear from me. What do you guys think about other options than the SP5K from HK? I know some of you will write this off since it’s not a true HK which is a shame but that’s just how things are. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions about the AP5 series or firearms in general feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.
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A Closer Look At The Century Arms AP5-PThe Firearm Blog is written by Matt E for www.thefirearmblog.com