Aging MP5: worn receiver rails, worn roller holders, side play of the bolt.


Well-known member
Feedback: 1 / 0 / 0
Oct 21, 2015
Northern Virginia
Hi all,

I’m trying to get a better understanding of how an HK MP5 with a registered receiver ages. While I am not sure exactly, it sounds like similar to M60s, there are some issues than are difficult to fix.

Like the AC556/FNC without spare parts, the M60 receivers that do not hold up well after a certain round count, how well does an MP5 age?

When I think about firearms like the M16, where the firing movement is separated from the registered lower, I could envision M16s, Macs, Stens, Sterlings and other more simplistic firearms holding up better. I just don’t know where the MP5 sits on the spectrum.



UZI Talk Life Member
Feedback: 9 / 0 / 0
Apr 28, 2012
With MP5, you will wear-out & break bolt parts, springs, buffers, & barrels.
If you run the wrong locking pieces, rails will eventually get bulged.
An Hk smith (or you) can fix anything that goes wrong
and worse case refinish it. Barrels are a PITA to replace& likely
Will result in a refinish. As long as you don’t kaboom the RR markings,
I don’t see how you couldn’t have a brand new gun for 1.5-3k of work.

WRT M60s wear (I own multiple of them)
M60 bolts,Oprods,barrels, and recoil springs are consumables
(figure hot swap them out yourself ~20k rds - With minimal care, you
can avoid 90%+ of the wear issues).
If you have a registered Channel M60, I’d basically consider it indestructible,
a complete receiver rebuild to new is 3K.

WRT repair costs

Hk sear < dias< mac < 1919 < m16 < mp5 RR < m60
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A&S Conversions

UZI Talk Life Member
Feedback: 5 / 0 / 0
Mar 9, 2006
Southern New Hampshire
In the HK MP5 Submachinegun book by Frank James, he stated that the Cape Canaveral security team had some MP5s that were specifically used for training. One in particular supposedly had over 500,000 rounds through it. The gun had had the barrel replaced three times with multiple bolt groups and rollers. The trunnion was so worn-out it needed replaced. To bring it back to spec, it would cost more rebuild than to buy new so the MP5 was removed from service and replaced. I think this was in the early 80s.

The armorer at The Gun Store in Las Vegas showed me a Pre Sample MP5 with over 1.2 million rounds through it. It looked pretty rough. I think he said the trunnion had been replaced three times and the barrel had been replaced around 10 times. They use frangable ammo to eliminate the lead hazard which was very hard on the barrels.

As far as longevity of any machinegun, Vegas machinegun rental would be the place to find out. Of course they are running a few mags and rotating customers. They are also shooting at short indoor ranges. The rounds could be keyholing. Accuracy is not that big of a deal in the rental business. Most anything can be repaired. Of course there is a huge difference between repairs for a Post Sample and a transferable.


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