Over the next few weeks, I shot the JP5 in 9 more matches for a total of 11 matches and 55 stages and I shot just under 3000 rounds. It was a mix of Outlaw PCC, USPSA, Steel Challenge, and bang n clang steel matches. I tallied 6 overall match wins and 18 stage wins. I cleaned the JP5 the day before the state match and have not touched or lubed it since. I sent it back to JP this morning full of carbon and other junk and dry as a bone after shooting 2500 rounds. The JP5 never missed a beat. Across all the matches, test, and practice sessions with the JP5, I had 4 rounds fail to fire. Examination afterward showed that three had backward primers and one had a sideways primer so all failures were the fault of the guy reloading the ammo (me for 3 of the 4) and not the fault of the JP5.
Picking up a new PCC days before a major match, purposely not cleaning or lubing it, and shooting 2500+ rounds without failure is an anomaly in the PCC world, but with a JP5 it is the norm.
A Deep Dive with the JP5 would not be complete without comparisons to other PCCs. First, a friend brought out his Gen2 MPX and we each shot them back to back through several drills. First, one of us would shoot the MPX then the JP5 with the same ammo. We ran each drill with a few different types of 9mm.
The MPX was not stock, it had mild tuning and upgrades while the JP5 was a prototype. We both felt that dot movement was close when it came to pure speed doing bill drills (low ready, shoot 6 rounds as fast as possible) on steel at 15 yards. Split times for both of us ranged from .13-.17 seconds per shot. To me, the JP5 had about 10% less dot climb during the bill drill. With 115gr or 147gr competition loads, both were easy to hold on target and the JP climbed 1-2 inches while the MPX climbed 2-3 inches. Both were significantly harder to hold on target with factory 124gr NATO spec ammo.
The bigger difference between the two was in controls, weight, reliability, and maintenance. I thought the JP5 controls were far better and easier to manipulate when you want to, and not accidentally hit when you don’t. My friend commented that several times he had accidentally dropped the mag in his MPX when starting from a table. The right side bolt release is fantastic and the left side bolt hold open is much easier to engage. The ambi mag button on the JP5 is firm so you won’t accidentally drop a mag but easy to hit when you do. The JP5 also uses $20-30 Glock mags versus the $60 proprietary MPX mags.
The JP5 with one Aimpoint H2 on a Scalarworks leap mount weighs in at 5.98 pounds. The MPX with an Aimpoint T2 on a different mount weighs 7.55 pounds. The JP5 swings and stops easier due to its lighter weight, especially up front. My friend has to clean and lube his MPX every 1000 rounds or so and regularly replace extractor springs to keep it reliable while my JP5 went over 2500 rounds with zero maintenance without issue. When you do have to clean the JP5 it is much easier. Pull the BCG, pull apart the bolt and spray with some kind of aerosol gun scrubber product, reassemble and lube. I also hose out the upper receiver and run a bore snake down the barrel. I can do it in 5 minutes or less. The MPX is far more complex and if you need to clean the piston or rings you have to take the barrel out of the upper then re-zero the gun after cleaning. My friend has to clean the piston and rings at 2500 rounds on average.
Another friend brought out his JP GMR PCC. It was also equipped with am Aimpoint T2 and weighs in at 7.8 pounds. The GMR line from JP is a straight blowback PCC. I would consider it to be the top of the line for blowback PCCs. We ran the same drills using a few types of ammo again. The JP5 crushed it in dot movement and controllability. The GMR was hard to hold on the 12×12 steel for bill drills and the JP5 had no issues.
Both PCCs I tested against the JP5 were tuned and not quite stock. My JP5 was a prototype (production versions already have several improvements) and in stock form. Production JP5s will benefit from being able to tune the weights on the Silent Captured Spring buffer system and from changing the angle on the locking piece that engages the rollers in the bolt. The JP5 already has less dot movement than any other PCC and it will only get better with the addition of the tuning parts in the future. JP plans to offer all the common HK lock piece angles but it will be adding some angles that have never been made before. They will also have rollers in various sizes for bolt gap adjustment.
So which to buy? If I had a blowback PCC of any brand and I wanted to have a distinct advantage over my competitors I would buy the JP5 in a heartbeat. If I had a tricked-out and tuned MPX that was reliable it would be a tougher choice for most folks. If money is not a consideration then absolutely get the JP5. In its prototype form what I would do would all depend on what I could sell the MPX for. With the tuning parts that will be available in the future, I would have to get the JP5.
I shot the JP5 in a couple of USPSA and 2 full Steel Challenge matches. Normally for these matches, I would want a PCC with a 6/16 style barrel. That is where the actual rifled portion of the barrel is 6 inches long and the other 12 inches is just a lightweight shroud to give it a total length of 16 inches to comply with ATF minimum rifle barrel length rules. It keeps the front-end light for very fast transitions. JP sent me the Steel Challenge version of the JP5. The main difference is that it uses an ultralight Mission First Tactical Minimalist stock and a lightweight contoured 14.5 inch barrel with a pinned titanium compensator. It also comes with JP’s light weight M-LOK handguard. It is lighter and has a smaller outside diameter than JP’s regular handguard. The M-LOK slots also make adding stuff to the handguard super simple. The handguard also features a subtle but very nice texturing on the outside for a positive grip. It’s the first time I’ve seen a handguard with that feature and I really like it; small things can make a big difference.
While the JP5 is not as light up front as a 6/16 style setup it is still light enough for very fast transitions. Over two Steel Challenge matches I was able to shoot a 98% GM score on 5 to Go and a new personal best 99.86% GM score on Smoke and Hope (I was .01 seconds off of a perfect 100%). It’s safe to say that the front weight of the JP5 was not holding me back.
After shooting so many different PCC disciplines I would still go with the Steel Challenge version of the JP5. It’s light enough for the speed games like Steel Challenge and USPSA but still has the accuracy needed for Outlaw PCC and shots past 200 yards.
Another cool feature of the JP5 is its parts compatibility with some MP5 parts. The firing pin, firing pin spring, extractor, extractor spring, rollers, rollers retainer spring and lock pieces all interchange with genuine HK parts. If you have an MP5 clone the parts may or may not fit as some clone manufactures have modified the parts.
It’s obvious by now that I love the JP5, but I did not love all of it. I took issue with a few things on the JP5 but most of them are trivial. First, it comes with a 90-degree throw safety. On a PCC that is on the cutting edge of competition PCCs, it should really have a 45 or 60-degree safety. This is easily remedied by replacing the safety with a short-throw unit for about $40.
My second minor complaint is the magwell. This is a custom lower receiver made by JP and they could have easily made the magwell larger while designing it. Again, it will be easily remedied shortly. Taylor Freelance currently makes a large add-on magwell for the JP GMR PCCs and is currently developing one for the JP5.
My final complaint is a little more significant but mostly personal. The JP5 uses a traditional charging handle instead of a side charging handle. The included traditional charging handle is very good, it’s a Radian Raptor, and I consider it to be among the best of the traditional styles. However, after switching to a side charging upper for my 3 gun rifle, I have seen the light and the many advantages to a side charger. It is easier and faster to use in pretty much any situation. The only downside is that it is harder to “mortar” your rifle to get a fat round out of the chamber, but that is a rarity if you use quality ammo and don’t ugga dugga your forward assist. A modern version of the MP5 should only be a side charger as an ode to the original MP5. I asked JP about releasing a side charger version of the JP5 in the future. JP said “Nothing to announce yet, but we know there is interest”.
All that performance in the JP5 comes at a cost, however. MSRP on the Steel Challenge version I tested is $3349. I’m sure a few readers just did a spit take and covered their screen with coffee or something stronger. It’s a big price, but lets compare it to some other competition guns. A widebody 1911 pistol for Limited will cost you $4000 minimum from a reputable gunsmith and good production versions are about $3000. A JP GMR15 with side charger and all the go-fast parts but nothing cosmetic added is $2780. A competition version of the MPX with a quality stock and lightweight handguard will cost you about $2800. An H&K SP5 will run you close to $4000 on GunsAmerica.com.
I strongly agree with 19 time National Champion Nils Jonasson about the most important things to have in a competition gun. 1, it must be reliable. 2, it must be accurate. 3, you must like it. The JP5 checks all three boxes. I feel the same rules apply to carry or tactical guns as well.
The best of the best is never cheap, and serious competitors know this. It’s $500-600 more than the next best thing, but I think the advantages are worth it. Going to a small club match and fighting your equipment all day over reliability sucks. It’s that much worse when it happens at a major match you spent $2000 to attend. For me, the incredible reliability, ease of maintenance, lighter weight, and superior performance makes it worth it. Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.
In the Spring/Summer of 2022 I will be revisiting the JP5 for part 3 of this series. I will be exploring the tuning parts and how to set up the JP5 for maximum performance. I will also be using those tuning parts to adjust the dwell time and how it affects the volume of the shot with a suppressor.
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