For those familiar with many different firearm production companies, it’s clear that the German produces Heckler & Koch do not rest to bask in the glory of current products. Instead HK is consistently attempting to push their small arms design and performance to perfection. Their introduction of the Universal Machine Pistol (UMP) in mid-1999, this company value really became clear.
The UMP was introduced as a complement of the MP5 family. However, the MP5 was not built for .45ACP ammunition, and thus the need for the UMP was born. Their main goal was the design a lightweight and powerful weapon that is cheaper than the MP5 in an attempt to attract more sales from American law enforcement looking for a modern submachine gun. Because of importation laws, it can be hard to find this firearm outside of American military and law enforcement.
The UMP45 is designed for the .45ACP pistol cartridge. It uses a blowback-operated selective firing design and fires from a closed bolt position. In addition, the gun offers 4 different firing modes: semi-auto, full-auto, 2-round bursts, 3-round bursts. These modes are fully ambidextrous and can also function as a safety lock.
The design and construction of the UMP45 may seem like a departure from previous HK. It is almost entirely polymer plastic throughout the gun including the receiver and many internal parts. However, there are metal inserts to provide strength and durability in the pressure bearing components. There is reportedly less service required for this firearm compared to others despite putting tens of thousands of rounds through it. Additionally, HK reports a minimum service life of 100,000 rounds.
The straight magazines are available with 25-round and 30-round capacities. The gun has an effective range of about 100 meters, and a large trigger guard capable of being used with gloves. However, the UMP45 also weighs in a bit heavier than other models on the market at 9lbs and because of its weight and larger, bulkier size can be difficult for those with smaller hands.
One of the most popular parts of this firearm, besides the caliber, is the amount of customizable attachments that can be used with the gun. There is a side-folding buttstock that can be folded and not incapacitate the firing capabilities. Additionally, the accessory rail on the foregrip is able to accent a wide variety of equipment (tactical flashlights, vertical grips, laser pointers, etc). As well, a silencer can be attached to the barrel without messing up the weight and balance of the gun.
There are adjustable iron sights and a weaver-type rail on top of receiver to mount various sights. So, for those looking for a firearm that is durable, has high stopping action of a bullet, moderate recoil, and high accuracy of fire, then looking into the HK UMP45 submachine gun might be a good idea.