Submachine gun Heckler & Koch UMP

Submachine gun Heckler & Koch UMP

The Heckler & Koch UMP (Universale Maschinenpistole, German for “Universal Submachine Gun”) is a submachine gun developed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch. Heckler & Koch developed the UMP as a lighter and cheaper successor to the MP5, though both remain in production. The UMP has been adopted by various agencies. Other than agencies, they also served in various military forces. A small number of UMPs chambered in .45 ACP were officially purchased by the 5th Special Forces Group of the United States Army Special Forces, with some of the weapons seeing limited service in the early years of the Iraqi insurgency, making them among the small number of submachine guns deployed by the U.S. military in recent conflicts.

Design details

The UMP is a blowback-operated, magazine-fed submachine gun firing from a closed bolt.

As originally designed, the UMP is chambered for larger cartridges (.45 ACP and .40 S&W) than other submachine guns like the MP5 to provide more stopping power against unarmoured targets (with slightly lower effectiveness at longer range) than the MP5 (largely offered in 9×19mm, albeit with short-lived production of 10mm Auto and .40 S&W variants). A larger cartridge produces more recoil, and makes it more difficult to control in fully automatic firing. To mitigate this, the UMP has a cyclic rate of fire of around 600–700 rounds per minute (RPM), it is worth to mention that the rate of fire increases if (+ P) ammunition is used. This makes it one of the slowest firing modern submachine guns in the market.

The UMP9 (the 9×19mm version of the UMP) is almost 0.2 kilograms (0.44 lb) lighter than its MP5 counterpart. Its predominantly polymer construction reduces both its weight and the number of parts susceptible to corrosion.

The UMP is available in four trigger group configurations, featuring different combinations of semi-automatic, 2-round burst, fully automatic, and safe settings. It features a side-folding buttstock to reduce its length during transport. When the last round of the UMP is fired, the bolt locks open, and can be released via a catch on the left side. The standard viewing sights are composed of an aperture rear sight and a front ring with a vertical post. It can mount four Picatinny rails (one on top of the receiver, and one on the right, left, and the bottom of the handguard) for the attachment of accessories such as optical sights, flashlights, or laser sights. Vertical fore-grips can be attached to the bottom rail for increased control during burst and automatic fire.


The UMP is interchangeable between three different calibres:

The UMP45, chambered in .45 ACP cartridge

The UMP40, chambered in .40 S&W cartridge

The UMP9, chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge

Apart from the different chambering, all versions feature the same design model, the exterior differences being the curved magazine used on the UMP9, while both the UMP40 and UMP45 each use a straight magazine. All three versions of the weapon can be cross-converted to any of the round chamberings via replacing the bolt, barrel, and magazine.

The USC or Universal Self-loading Carbine is a semi-automatic variant of the UMP for private citizens. It was designed following the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 in the United States and was introduced in 2000. Changes from the original UMP include a “thumbhole” type stock/grip instead of the pistol grip of the UMP, a longer barrel without the flash suppressor, a magazine limited to 10 rounds, and a semi-automatic-only trigger group and action. Originally available in gray, as of 2008 the USC came only in an all-black finish. Production of the USC was halted in 2013. In 2018 H&K announced a limited production run of new USC rifles.

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