Heckler & Koch MP5 SD5 - ICS
Having owned (and sold) a couple of other AEGs, I did not really intend to buy another, but I saw Elite's prices on ICS MP5s and could not resist the idea of a full metal, suppressed MP5.
I plumped for the full stock model as I prefer large batteries, but pretty much everything here relates directly to the sliding stock version as well.
In the Box
ICS don't spend a great deal on expensive artwork boxes.
My box was completely plain expect for "SD5" printed on the top.
Inside, though, the gun was secured with tie-wraps to an inner base to hold it securely and there was an English manual (hurrah!), a loading tool, a cleaning rod and a few extras included in the Elite Airsoft bundle, including a new battery, trickle charger, a sling, and a big box of HFC brand BBs.
Having only handled TM AEGs before the most impressive thing about the ICS MP5 was the feel. It is metal, so it felt cold to the touch as I lifted it out of the box.
It also looked great, with a very consistent finish and looking very realistic in its matt black paintwork.
On the other hand, especially without the battery, it did not feel as heavy as I had expected. As with gas pistols, metal does not always mean more weight. It doesn't feel toy-like light, but my FA-MAS was heavier with the battery fitted. However a real steel MP5 is around the same weight, with an empty magazine, so it is probably unfair to criticise it.
The selector felt disappointingly mushy, but the rest of the gun looked and felt well put together and reassuringly solid.
Everything that should be metal (so basically, not the stock and pistol grip) is on the ICS MP5, although the complete lack of H&K trademarks struck me as slightly disappointing after a short while.
Being an SD (Schalldämpfer - Sound Dampener/Muffler) model, the gun features an integral silencer and the all metal unit screws onto a stub barrel and features foam for noise suppression.
Starting at the back, the full plastic stock features a removable butt plate (the full sized battery fits inside - a mini-battery goes in the front handgrip on a sliding stock version), which is pushed down and then pulls off. There are two small round holes in either side of the stock and the, in this case, bright yellow, battery is visible through them, which is a bit of a shame, but easily solved if it really bothers you.
The pistol grip (in which the motor is housed) is a plain plastic affair, which (as on the real MP5) extends up to include the selector mechanism), but feels very solid and features a hefty looking heat sink at the base to improve reliability when firing full auto. The trigger is metal and feels comfortable to reach and fire for me.
Unfortunately, the ambidextrous selector switch is a disappointing aspect of the gun. There is no detectable 'click' at the various positions (safe, semi and full auto), so without looking it is impossible to be sure where the selector is set. Equally, the selector can be between settings, meaning even a visual check is not always conclusive. However, I am sure most skirmishers just set the gun to full auto and rely on their finger to keep bursts down to 2-3 shots most of the time.
The long, curved magazine fits with a reassuring click into the mag well and feels secure. The gun comes with a metal hi-cap magazine, but any TM compatible MP5 magazine will fit (I have a couple of G&P midcaps, which are shown in these pictures). The release button has a good strong feeling spring and I do not believe it would be any easier to release a magazine on this gun than on any other MP5 style AEG.
The front handguard is a rounded, ribbed design, common to all SD models and it covers the threaded stub barrel, onto which the integrated suppressor screws. It is possible to fit other 14mm threaded silencers, although there seems little reason to consider doing so.
Above the handguard there is the cocking handle. Unlike the Maruzen GBB MP5K's, this is just for looks although it is spring loaded to return forward when released. Behind this, on the same (left hand) side, is a small lever which adjusts the hop-up mechanism.
As standard, the MP5 SD5 features the usual MP5 sights, with a rotating drum with different sized holes for the rear sight and a simple blade, protected by a hoop atop the cocking tube for the front. These sights work perfectly well, but there are, as shown in some of these pictures, options for fitting an optical sight (A G&P Aimpoint replica in my case), including the H&K claw mount design, replicated by TM in my case, although other versions of this mount and other, lower profile mounts also exist and will fit the ICS MP5 range.
The stock is fitted with a sling loop on the left side and there is a circular 'eye' at the front of the cocking tube's left side to permit the fitting of a sling.
Markings are nicely cast and cleanly painted in the case of the 'bullet' markings around the selector, but you will hunt in vain for any H&K or even lookalike markings, which disappointed me (being used to GBB realism), but seems less important to AEG buyers, in general, as few AEGs seem to feature truly realistic trademarks.
Aside from the 'bullet' markings around the selector, there are markings on the magazine well. "Kal. 9mmx19" on the left side and a serial number on the right.
Aside from the grip and stock, everything else on the gun is metal (as with the real thing) and the overall look, feel and finish is extremely consistent and looks high quality.
Obviously, an AEG's true purpose is accuracy and performance at a decent range.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Firing at my standard A4 sized target at around 75 ft, the MP5 was able to place shots consistently on target, using the iron sights.
Over 10 shots, the MP5 SD5 averaged 312 fps using .2g BBs. As you can see below, the performance was also very consistent from shot to shot.
Automatic Rate of Fire (ROF) is obviously important and I have recently started assessing ROF of automatic guns, by recording the sound and counting the peaks of each shot. This yielded 32 shots in 2.033 seconds, with a freshly charged 8.4V battery, or around 940 rounds per minute, which is pretty fair for an AEG.
Click here to hear the ICS MP5 SD5 in action.
With the suppressor removed, the MP5 SD5 produced around 86dB at 4" from the muzzle. This fell to 80dB with the suppressor fitted and the sound is distinctly muffled by the suppressor, although a considerable amount of noise emanates from the motor still, obviously. A 10dB difference equates to roughly a doubling of 'loudness', so 5 or 6 dB is quite a significant drop.
In the charts above, you can see how the highlighted spike is higher with the silencer removed (the two images are not perfectly aligned, but the one on the left reaches almost 1.0, the one on the right, just 0.8).
Charts above were produced using Audacity and a PC connected microphone.
Take down is very simple on the ICS MP5, although not quite as easy as on the TM FN P90.
There are two body pins, one securing the stock and the other the pistol grip unit to the receiver, which can be removed by unscrewing the screw heads and then pushing the pins out of the opposite side of the receiver.
With these removed, the stock can be removed from the receiver, by sliding it back and then the whole gearbox, pistol grip and selector mechanism can be slid back out of the receiver making access for maintenance or upgrading remarkably simple.
Someone with the pseudonym of EchoSex got in touch with a suggestion about the selector.
"I noticed you disliked something as much as I did, which seems to curse ALL lefties when choosing an MP5: That is the problems with the ICS version of the modern HK fire selector. It's the only ambidexterous model, so it's the only model for us lefties.. But it's.. Squishy. I've found a way to solve this, however, and thought you might want to know how.
"Unscrew the tiny screw at the bottom of the fire selector and pull off the end, sliding the piece holding the bar out the other end. You might want to now remove the pistol receiver and remove the gear box/motor. Use a drill bit slightly bigger than the small notches on the receiver for the fire selector and make your own holes. Now take the fire selector pieces and look at their undersides. One should have a small nub or bump that is SUPPOSED to click into the notches you now enlarged.
"Take a piece of solder and mold it onto that bump, making it larger and longer (Yeah, that doesn't sound dirty at all). Now the selector should be able to STAY IN PLACE and make a nice CLICK when pieced back together."
I have not tried this myself, but if you really hate the selector, it could be worth a try.
Overall, the ICS MP5 SD5 feels a step above the TM AEGs I have owned.
As well as the greater solidity delivered by the all metal construction, the gun is more powerful and equally accurate, at least.
The lack of H&K markings are a bit of a shame and the mushy, indistinct selector switch could do with improving, but overall I believe the ICS MP5 SD5 is a very good AEG, available at a good price, most places.
Reports from skirmishers on the forums report good reliability (aside from a fragile hop-up bucking, easily and cheaply replaced with a TM unit) and performance out on the skirmish fields and there are almost unlimited accessories and upgrades available for the MP5 range - What more could you want?
Weight : 2,660g (with battery)
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : *****
Accuracy : ****
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