This is Palmetto State Armory’s affordable MP5 alternative

Let’s face it — the MP5 might very well be one of the most legendary firearms of all time.

Having equipped military forces and law enforcement agencies worldwide since the 1960s, it’s no surprise that the civilian gun market constantly clamors for Heckler & Koch’s 9mm machine pistol.

While MP5 clones can run up an incredibly lofty price tag, South Carolina-based Palmetto State Armory seeks to change things up by offering firearms enthusiasts an affordable alternative that looks and functions virtually the same.

After years of teasing an MP5-inspired build, the company finally debuted the final version of their PSA5 at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Gear Scout got up close and personal with the gun.

(Photo Ian D’Costa)
(Photo Ian D’Costa)

At first glance, the PSA5 looks incredibly similar to the MP5 (namely the MP5K short-barreled machine pistol), though the differences are noticeable. The PSA5 features an ambidextrous selector capable of switching between three settings — safe, semiautomatic, and automatic (for the LE and military side of the house).

The lower and the gun’s handguard (with an integrated finger stop) are both designed by Magpul, who has signed on to produce polymer parts and accessories for the gun.

Like the MP5, the PSA5′s charging handle sits forward and to the left of the receiver (HK-slap capable, for all you fanboys), and makes use of a roller-delayed blowback system.

A welded upper Picatinny rail offers users plenty of space for optics, especially red dot sights which tend to be highly popular with the MP5 cloner community.

Unlike the MP5′s diopter sights, the PSA5 uses a slightly different setup inspired by the front sight post from the AR-15, designed for user-friendliness.

Palmetto will sell their PSAs as pistols with SB Tactical braces, though users can add a fixed stock by going through the NFA-governed conversion process to turn the gun into a short-barreled rifle.

The PSA5 will be officially released later this year, and company officials expect the selling price to be far below what most other MP5 clones currently sell for. According to a PSA rep at SHOT 2020, that means an MSRP at or below $1,200.