My biggest question when reviewing a replica is usually; “Where do I start?”. Generally, it makes sense to start at the front and work back. But having already reviewed the near identical NGRS MP5A5, the more relevant question is; “Where do I finish?”.
As both are so similar, I’d strongly suggest that this and my previous MP5A5 review should be considered as two sides of the same coin. Standing here now with over a year and a half’s experience with the NGRS (Next Generation Recoil Shock) MP5A5, there’s nothing that leads me to change my mind on the system since the MP5A5 review.
The real MP5 SD is a true legend within the firearms industry; A weapon that has continued to remain as relevant and in-demand today as it’s always been, despite being older than almost everyone actually using it. It is a firearm that not only became a centrefold for the suppressed weapon market when it came out, it likely influenced how they’ve been employed ever since.
The internally suppressed design allows standard 9mm ammunition to be fired, lowering the muzzle velocity by bleeding off energy into the large tubular handguard via holes drilled directly into the barrel, keeping the bullet at sub-sonic levels and removing the crack you’d get with a supersonic round.
A baffled suppressor sits in front of the hand-guard, muting the report of the MP5 to around 70db. Low enough to be lost under the sound of a loud conversation or idling car, not Hollywood quiet… but pretty damn stealthy nonetheless.
But that’s enough about the real steel firearm, let’s talk about the hotly anticipated new replica MP5SD6 from Tokyo Marui!
Tokyo Marui MP5SD6 Next Generation Recoil Shock
Arguably the SD6 is the NGRS MP5 that people were waiting for, and I’ve spoken to several people who held onto their money in the hope that an SD version would be released. A wise move so it seems.
There’s also been a few people that didn’t want to wait and made their own NGRS MP5SD out of donor parts, something I also considered until the SD6 was announced. But thank god I waited, because Marui have thought of virtually everything you’d want on an MP5SD6, and a few nifty ideas I hadn’t even thought of.
The first thing you’ll see is the box; and in keeping with most recent Tokyo Marui releases, It’s rather sexy. It’s reminiscent of the MP5A5’s layout within the box itself, with the gun itself retained by a pair of Velcro onewrap straps and space for 2 spare magazines also being provided.
Along with the gun and one single 72 round midcap magazine, a few other items are provided: A muzzle plug, a bag of ammo, an adaptor to allow the use of Marui’s own tracer unit in place of the included suppressor and a battery compartment lid that can be used with very small LiPos such as offered by Marui themselves.
Starting at the front of the MP5 SD6, the blunt snout of the suppressor has a convex profile matching that found on the real SD. In addition to the shape, Marui have also given the body of the suppressor a rough, textured finish to better represent the real SD6.
The suppressor can be removed from the hand guard, revealing the noise dampening foam within.
It also provides access to a threaded muzzle for the internal mounting of tracer units, simply remove the plastic thread protector to reveal the 14mm Counter-Clockwise thread.
The cocking handle assembly is the same as found on the NGRS MP5A5, as is much of this model to be honest. As stated before, this cocking handle is pretty solid (despite it’s plastic construction), and slapping it silly doesn’t appear to make it break (or at least I’ve not managed to so far). But as with any Tokyo Marui replica, it’s important that you treat it with a degree of respect… They’re not indestructible.
The hand-guard is a reproduction of the original, with the only noticeable difference being that the real SD models have a slightly softer bonded rubber grip, not a simple plastic design as found on this replica. It’s not a massive issue, but it would have been nice to see this little detail recreated as well.
However, the hand-guard has one clever trick up it’s sleeve, with an internal battery compartment being accessed via a sprung self locking latch that can be opened by either inserting a small object into the hole at the bottom of the hand guard (1.2mm hex key works great), or by unscrewing the suppressor and pulling the latch down from the front.
As for space within the hand guard, it’s not great, but it’s big enough for small block packs or bigger split pack LiPo cells. Due to the shape of the cavity, it’s difficult to tell you what will and won’t fit, but the majority of packs that fit with wiggle room inside a crane stock should fit into the MP5SD6’s hand-guard.
The same MR30 battery connection as the MP5A5 is provided, with an included Mini-Tamiya adaptor that’s crying out for a conversion to deans. Just make sure you wire it up the correct way, or you’ll risk damaging your ECU/M-System board.
The upper receiver is a completely new design, with the SD6’s hand-guard recreating the modified version found on the real SD. The real world model number HK MP5SD and serial 63-100136 are marked onto the top of the receiver, along with proof markings as per the real steel.
After this point there are zero differences between the MP5SD6 the MP5A5, and so it’s very difficult to talk about the rest of the replica without covering the same ground again… But, I’ll give you a very quick rundown.
Internally they’re the same beast; the lower receiver group is 100% the same. The gearbox and motor are all directly transplanted from the MP5A5, and there are only minor tweaks to the inner barrel and hop… The SD6 having a pair of grooves in the barrel to provide a better fit to the hop rubber.
Functionality is the same as before; with stop on empty, having to “chamber” a fresh round from empty using the cocking/charging handle, and the ubiquitous “Recoil Shock” feature. The four way selector offers you Safe, Semi-Automatic, 3 Round Burst and Fully Automatic fire modes, utilising the same M-System ECU as used on the MP5A5.
A two position sliding stock allows the MP5SD6 to be collapsed into a rather small package, or extended to provide a minimalist but perfectly adequate brace for stable shooting. The stock is modelled on the older, thinner design (which I personally prefer over the newer chunky padded design).
Any more information than this is simply repetition on previously covered ground, and I’d strongly suggest that anyone looking to buy one reads my MP5A5 review as soon as you’re done reading this as there’s so much shared detail between the two, it’s uncanny.
Both range and accuracy are great, with the AEP type hop rubber (Marui’s new go to option) happily lifting .3 ammo out of the box to around the 50m mark. I’m getting 260-265fps (0.80 joule) using the stock set up and .25 ASG blaster tracers, which is powerful enough without having to look at reinforced parts to counter performance related wear.
If you’re after a little bit more punch, Prometheus offer a 6.03 AEP cut steel barrel for the NGRS MP5, and there’s a range of AEP hop rubbers that’ll certainly offer options. The majority of the gearbox is V2 NGRS compatible too, barring the recoil/blowback parts and the nozzle/tappet plate. I’ve yet to touch any of my MP5s, they’re part of my CQB collection and as such, the performance out of the box is more than up to task.
The M-System ECU offers a surprisingly snappy shooting experience, impressive when you consider that there is no AR Latch and therefore, no pre-cocking function.
The controls, as part of the lower receiver group are exactly the same as the MP5A5. The cocking handle on my previous MP5A5 has withstood as much punishment as you’d expect without issue and I’ve only seen one case out in the wild so far of any mechanical damage, someone’s recoil assembly seemingly failing due to a fault in the casting process. Is it enough for me to worry about? No, but it’s happened so I feel obliged to pass the information on to you guys.
Overall, the performance is pretty damn good. Will it stand toe to toe with a bleeding edge, fully upgraded (god I hate that term) TM Recoil? Well, no.
But, fresh out the box I’d put it up against any current NGRS platform and expect it to not only keep up alongside it’s bigger brothers, but blow it out the water when it comes to features such as a functional cocking handle, burst fire and a factory fitted ECU (To date, the only other NGRS to come fitted with an ECU is the Mk46 Mod 0).
So I guess one question that you could ask is “Why buy a £600 MP5SD6, when there are other SDs available for half the cost?”. Well if the review has so far failed to persuade you into buying one, then consider that this is probably the first time in about a decade that anyone has actually looked at Marui’s original MP5 AEG design and said “This shit is just not up to task anymore, lets re-design it”.
They’ve literally started back at the drawing board and have discarded everything that let Marui’s original MP5 series down, without falling down the same fully proprietary rabbit hole that fucked the Mk46 Mod 0. The rotary hop design is exceptional, the electrical system provides a crisp trigger response. The metal one piece upper make this MP5 feel as solid as the real thing… The list goes on.
When you look at what it takes to produce an NGRS platform, unmeasurable attributes such as a low tolerance for poor workmanship and genuine passion play a big part in the end product. For those who want me to back this up, I say that the proof is in the simple fact that in around 15 years of the NGRS series being available, no one else has successfully cloned and marketed an NGRS equivalent.
Army Armament failed because they didn’t build their clones to a high enough standard, and the obvious contender; Bolt, well they have their BRSS MP5 range, but unfortunately they simply lack the finesse and refinement (not to mention features) of Marui’s NGRS system. They simply don’t sit in the same league as far as I’m concerned. Fanboy bias aside, it’s really tough to argue against Marui’s flagship range sitting at the top of the league as far as features and performance goes.
So, let’s look at what I don’t like about the MP5SD6; The M-System ECU is still irreplaceable. This isn’t an issue for 99% of people, but IF you manage to break it, you’re left with an MP5 shaped paperweight. There’s also Marui’s recent problems in regards to keeping up with demand for new release magazines, they’ve seriously dropped the ball.
There are customers who have yet (at time of printing) to receive the magazines they pre-ordered from retailers, when the original MP5A5 was released over 18 months ago. In some cases it’s the retailers who are partly to blame, but even those retailers such as Impulse 101 who have direct access to Marui’s domestic sales team have only just stopped prioritising magazine sales to people who’ve bought MP5s through themselves, so there’s definitely a shortfall in manufacture. So make sure you grab magazines when you buy your MP5, because whilst they’re certainly more available that they were, you don’t want to be caught short between batches.
Would I recommend the MP5SD6 to a friend? Unequivocally yes. The only conversation I’d have with someone looking to buy an NGRS MP5 is “Which one best suits your needs?” The MP5A5 offers more options for external accessories, but there’s no denying the sex appeal of the SD6, it really is a case of shooter’s choice.
The reviewed MP5SD6 was purchased direct from Impulse 101 immediately upon release. I’ve used Impulse 101 on several occasions and have always been very happy with their service, speed and communication. However, due to the increased shipping costs and import fees, I paid pretty much the same price as if I’d waited and bought domestically.