Earlier this year I did a review of the cheapest PCC (Pistol Caliber Carbine) on the market. The Hi Point Yeet Canon XL. For the past five weeks, I have been shooting and evaluating the most expensive and innovative PCC on the market, the new JP5 from JP Enterprises.
The HK MP5 is more than 55 years old today. Its roller delayed blowback design can be traced back to the MG42 which was designed over 75 years ago. The MP5 became the most recognized sub-machine gun in the world during that time due to its use in hostage rescues and anti-terrorism responses in the early 80’s and blockbuster movies like Die Hard and Predator in the late 80’s.
I still remember going to watch Die Hard as a 16-year-old at the Cobblestone Cinema in Tahoe City, CA in the summer of 1988. I left the theater in love with the MP5, and three decades later bought a semi-auto clone of the MP5 as a direct result of Die Hard.
The MP5 has a few shortcomings. You need a sundial to measure reload times, the triggers are terrible and you need $100 HK mags to get optimal reliability. Where the MP5 shines is under recoil. The roller delayed system gives it a unique recoil feel compared to most PCCs that use a straight blowback system that requires a heavy bolt and a lot of reciprocating mass. With a roller lock, you get a little thump to the shoulder but the sights stay on target. It is a huge advantage when you want to shoot fast and accurately. The recoil is minimal but the problems mentioned above make it terrible for competition use and less desirable for tactical use as well.
The MP5 is old with some significant downsides, but JP Enterprises has breathed new life into the MP5’s roller lock design with their new JP5 PCC and fixed the issues with the MP5.
JP took the great controls, ergonomics, triggers, and ease of reloading from the AR-15 and paired it with the superior recoil of the MP5’s roller lock bolt system. The JP5 also uses inexpensive and readily available Glock mags. The result is the best PCC on the market hands down! Keep reading to find out why.
The JP5 as a concept has been discussed at JP for a few years but the first real engineering work on the it started in early 2019. It is the brainchild of JP’s lead engineer, Matthew Gangl. He took a long look at the MP5 and found a way to fit its operating system into an AR receiver. The competition PCC market has exploded the last few years and JP has enjoyed a lot of success in that market. Their GMR PCCs are the top of the heap in straight blowback so they wanted to find the next big thing.
Experienced PCC competitors might call me crazy for showing up to the Arizona PCC Championship with a brand new prototype rifle, but I did it anyway. A lot of PCCs on the market require a fair amount of testing, tuning and load development before they start running reliably. My JP5 did not.
The prototype version of the JP5 showed up at my FFL two days before the AZ Champs. I took it straight to the range with a variety of my own 9mm competition loads and some factory ammo to see what worked best, or at all. Surprisingly it ran great with all of them, and even with the hotter loads, the recoil was mild. The hotter loads gave me more of a thump in the shoulder and a tiny increase in dot movement. The loads ranged from a 100gr RNFP at 1595fps to a 150gr FP at 900fps, with a lot of others in between.
I was hoping the JP5 would feed my Montana Gold 124gr JHPs (because I have a good supply) but I was also skeptical. Montana Gold uses a truncated cone in their hollow points which is very similar in shape to the famed Hornady XTP 9mm bullets. The design features a sharp ogive and a flat point which makes them very accurate but also much harder for some guns to feed. The JP5 ate them without incident. In fact, it ate every bullet weight, velocity, and shape I fed it – even the Federal Syntech 150gr flat point which I was told would not feed in my prototype JP5 (The issue has already been remedied in the production models).
For the AZ PCC match, I settled on a load with a Montana Gold 124gr JHP at 1220fps with Vihtavouri N320 powder. This load worked out to 151 power factor, well above the minimum 125 that is required. I went with it for three reasons. The hotter load did not give me significantly more dot movement than softer loads. It was highly accurate, shooting a 5 round group under 3 inches at 100 yards using an Aimpoint H2 6moa and a 3x magnifier. It gave me a flat trajectory with only 6 inches of variance from 0 to 115 yards with a 25 yard zero.
The AZ PCC Champs is not a USPSA match; it’s what’s commonly known as an Outlaw PCC match. It uses IMA Multi-Gun scoring which means instead of Hit Factor Scoring where you get points for Alpha, Charlie or Delta hits on USPSA targets and the points are divided by your time, you only need one hit in the A zone or head, or two hits anywhere on the paper target. Steel must fall to score and you face targets you will never see in USPSA like a spinner or heavy buckshot plates that weigh about 20 pounds. All penalties are time added to your raw time for the stage. This match is also known for targets past 100 yards.
The local rumor mill was buzzing of targets at 250 yards or farther for this year’s match. As I am a regular Multi-Gun and sometimes PRS shooter I prepared for this match the same way. Rifle bullet manufactures generally published the BC for their bullets but that is a rarity with pistol bullets so I had to figure it out myself. My Lab Radar chronograph will give me velocity readings at specified distances. I plugged that data into a free Ballistic Coefficient (BC) calculator on the interwebs to figure out the BC of my bullets. I plugged the BC, velocity, barrel twist, height over bore, atmospherics, and a lot of other data into my ballistic app to build a DOPE card, just as I would for a new load for PRS or Multi-Gun.
Once you have a DOPE card you need to verify that it is correct. So 18 hours after getting my JP5 I was on an all-steel rifle range testing my DOPE out to 335 yards, with a 9mm rifle. It sounds insane but you can get hits that far if you have done your homework. To be clear I was not going 1 for 1 on a 16-inch steel at 335 yards, it’s pretty hard to estimate 14.4 feet of holdover with a red dot. I was able to score about 40% hits which I felt was pretty damn good for a 9mm rifle. The bullet went transonic at 75 yards and at 335 yards had slowed down to 720fps.
I would be shooting the JP5 in Open division which basically means anything goes for support or other accessories. I changed the Hogue grip the JP5 comes with to an extra Magpul from my spares box as I like the texture and angle better. I also removed the right-side safety from the JP5 as my knuckle sometimes got in the way when disengaging the safety. An M-LOK pic rail was added to the front of the handguard for attaching a bipod if needed.
For optics I chose the Aimpoint H2 6moa . As described in my review of the H2 the big dot is superior for all things and would not obscure targets at long range. I added a second H2 6MOA on a 45 degree offset mount on the back of the handguard also. The offset optic helps when stages have a very hard left lean around a barricade or other obstacle to see the target. I put it on the handguard so I had room for a 3x flip-out magnifier behind the primary H2 for long range shots.
The primary H2 was zeroed at 25 yards as mentioned, but I zeroed the offset H2 at 10 yards. Stage 10 of the AZ PCC Champs featured a Texas Star at 10 yards, but not a regular star. Each steel plate was actually a ring with a 2.5 inch clay target inside. The clay was the target, the steel plates were no shoots. When you knock a plate off a Texas Star the whole thing starts to spin. So if you messed up and shot one no-shoot plate, the other 4 would be spinning and your odds of hitting more no-shoots went way up. You might not win the match on a stage like this, but you could lose it. I went so far as to range the star with my rangefinder to confirm the distance and then double-checked my zero before the match.
I started the match on Stage 10 but I was confident in my JP5 and the homework I did. I took my time on the star and hit all the clays and none of the no shoots. In the end, I won the stage in Open. Not bad for my 2nd ever PCC match and only my 5th stage with a PCC.
Stage 11 was the long-range stage, which many considered the hardest stage of the match. I was super disappointed that the longest target was a full-size IPSC steel at only 131 yards. The stage started with 2 regular clays and 2 paper USPSA targets at 10 yards. Then you moved to prop with good support and shot six 12 inch plates on a rifle rack at 90 yards and full-size IPSC steel targets at 92, 93, and 131 yards; then you moved to a rooftop and shot all the steel again. I watched many people struggle with the steel targets because they did not have accurate DOPE or they were not sure how to use the props or both. For example, I watched a few people lay down on the rooftop with a 50 round mag that stuck out a foot below the gun. As you can guess the mag got in the way. Being familiar with props like these from shooting other disciplines I used a lightweight bag (pump pillow) strapped to the handguard instead of bipod as there were large lateral transitions. I also reloaded to a short Glock 17 round mag for the rooftop. I finished the stage 2nd in Open and was confident after doing well on the two hardest stages.
The rest of the match was a mix of standard run-n-gun, memory, and mixed distance stages and I made a few mistakes along the way. The JP5 however was flawless; it ran 100% without a single issue the entire match. After 10 stages I finished 5th in Open and 17th Overall out of 196 shooters. I consider that a great success as this was only my second PCC match ever; my first was the day before the state match. If you are a PCC shooter you should look at the AZ PCC Champs for 2022. The match is well run and a ton of fun with a large variety of stages and challenges. You can find more info on the match at Rio Multigun.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the JP5 Deep Dive where I do a live-fire side-by-side comparison of the JP5 against the Sig MPX and JP GMR PCC.
“The JP5 roller lock PCC at the Arizona PCC Championship.”
Operating System JP5 Roller Delayed Bolt with 90-degree locking piece
Weight 5.7 pounds
Barrel JP Supermatch 14.5 inch – 1 in 10 twist rate
Compensator JP Competition Series 3 port Titanium pin and welded
Handguard JP M-LOK series 12.5 inches
Changing Handle Radian Raptor LT
Trigger JP Enhanced Reliability 3.5 pound
Buffer JP Silent Captured Spring
Stock Mission First Tactical Minimalist
Grip Hogue Overmold
Availability Pre Orders are open for Q2-Q3 2022 delivery