On Feb 8th, 2006 Tokyo Marui released in Japan a new addition to their lineup, the HK MP7A1. At first glance the design of the MP7 evokes a similar "love it" or "hate it" response to that of the FN P90, which it was designed to compete with in real life.
The MP7 comes ready to go out of the box, in addition to the usual items such as BB's, loader, muzzle plug, manual, standard mag, Etc. it also comes with a custom 7.2v 500mah Nicad battery and wall charger. It also includes a birdcage type flashider as well as a converter to mount a mock silencer.
In keeping true to the latest HK designs most of the weapons frame is constructed of polymers, hence most of TM's MP7 is plastic with the exceptions of the barrel, flashider, top/side accessory rails, front/rear sights and the rails on the collapsible stock. Trades and other marks appear to be accurately molded, and include some nice additional features such as flip sights (fig. 4), folding fore grip, collapsible stock and sling loop/attachments on both sides to accommodate right/left handed users. Despite mostly being made out of the plastic the MP7 feels very solid and sturdy with no creaks. Most of the gearbox resides towards the rear/middle of the receiver and the battery towards the front, which give the MP7 a nice balance when grasped with one or two hands. Access to the hop-up is similar to that of other AEG's, pulling on the cocking handle provides access to the hop-up through the ejection port (fig. 1).
Firing the MP7 feels more like shooting with your average AEG more than a pistol, and even though smaller than an AEG it produces about the same noise level. Using .20g BB's I could shoot a target at center mast at approximately 40-50 Ft. with a 6-12" grouping. During my last two outings using the MP7 I have found it to be great for CQB situations, the shorter barrel was a plus for certain situations and was still comfortable for "slicing" rooms/corners.
Like a Pistol, but Larger
Even though the MP7 is larger than a pistol it's still somewhat compact, with an inner barrel that is (47 mm / 1.85 in) shorter than that of an MP5A4/5 the whole weapon is roughly shorter than the length of two M9/M92's (see fig. 2 for scale). In addition to its use in a CQB environment it could also be used as a secondary weapon for someone in a sniper or support role. Some of the advantages of the MP7 over other platforms is it size while still able to deliver a decent amount of fire, especially when used with 190rnd magazines (fig. 4). The ability to easily swap batteries in less than 15 sec is also nice. (fig. 5)
Perhaps the weakest point of the MP7 is the use of the custom Nicad battery, which is not as readily available as standard batteries and only has a 500mah capacity. Another problem with the battery is that there is no way to easily discharge it or to do a rapid charge as the wall charger is a slow charger (takes approx 2+ hrs to charge the battery). Some people have been purchasing a 2nd wall charger, cutting the wires so they can use the portion with the custom battery plug in conjunction with a peak charger to discharge/quick charge (fig. 3).
Shortly after the release of the MP7 other manufactures started putting out upgrade parts such as bearings, inner barrels, cylinders, Etc. so it shouldn't be too difficult to find something if you are looking to upgrade. One item that bears mentioning is a battery adapter that goes in place of the regular battery inside the MP7, this adapter has two wires than run outside of the gun (through the vent holes) and allow you to plug a standard mini battery of higher capacity. The trade off however is that now you have a bulkier MP7 with an external battery that you either have to place inside a battery pouch/box.
Despite the shortcomings of the battery the MP7 is a solid well made piece, and can definitely perform in certain roles.
Length: 14.96 in / 380 mm (Stock Closed) - 23.22 in / 590 mm (Stock Open)
Inner Barrel Length: 7.15 in / 182 mm
Weight: 3.06 lbs / 1390 g
Capacity: 50 rnds (Standard Mag) / 190 rnds (Hi-Cap Mag)
FPS: 250 (.20g BB / Chrono)