Palmetto State Armory’s MP5 May Be More Modern & Cheaper than the Competition – SHOT Show 2020

Click HERE to learn more about Palmetto State Armory.

Developed by Heckler & Koch in the 1960s, the MP5 is one of the world’s most ubiquitous submachine guns. It’s been adopted by military and law enforcement agencies from around the globe, and H&K reports that there are over 100 variants of their popular design.

So, naturally, gun owners in the United States wanted another.

Palmetto State Armory has been teasing it for years, but it looks like they’re finally set to release an MP5 clone. Partnering with their sister company Lead Star Arms, PSA hopes to release their MP5 in the next few months, and Lead Star reps we spoke with at SHOT Show 2020 say it’ll be less expensive than the competition.

Lead Star CEO Derek Hicks, whose team is heading up the MP5 project, told us their goal is to modernize the MP5 and lower the cost of production while still maintaining the gun’s legendary design.

“The best part of that gun is the guts,” he said.

They’re keeping the internals largely the same (and full-auto rated), but everything else is getting a facelift. Starting at the front of the gun, Hicks noted that the three-lug adapter can be used to mount a suppressor or be removed to reveal 1/2×28” pitched threads. By adding a crush washer, users can mount virtually any muzzle device on their new MP5.

The front sight has also been upgraded to be more user-friendly. The easily adjustable design will resemble the front sight on an AR-15 more than the original MP5.

Models will be available with or without a top rail, so users can either go with a modern optic or keep the original look of the firearm.

PSA and Lead Star are partnering with Texas-based CMC Triggers to develop what Hicks called a “better MP5 trigger.” A few dry-fires at the PSA SHOT Show booth suggest that they may have achieved their goal (though only a full review can say for certain).

SEE ALSO: Private: New SOCOM Sniper Rifle – Barrett MRAD Advanced Sniper System – SHOT 2020

PSA and Lead Star also partnered with Magpul on the furniture. The legendary polymer gun accessory company will be making pistol grips and handguards for the new MP5, and purchasers can use the provided SB Tactical brace, shoot the gun like a pistol, or register it as a short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act.

The PSA MP5 will come with one 30-round magazine. Additional magazines will be available for purchase as well.

No word yet on an official MSRP or release date, but Hicks was confident that his team would be able to complete the project in a timely fashion.

Click HERE to learn more about Palmetto State Armory.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Jaybird July 22, 2020, 10:20 pm

    The bottom line here is that PSA gives you a Lifetime Guarantee with their products.
    People love to talk down High Point too, but they give the same guarantee also!
    NOBODY in their right mind will give that kind a guarantee and expect to stay in business if they make a substandard product!!!

  • Dan March 7, 2020, 12:59 pm

    I have purchased about $10,000 in PSA parts and have not had any issues, I am a retired tool maker with my own shop fully equiped. I purchased parts from all the major manufacturers to build my own rifles and pistols. I’ve had more issues with some of the big names but none with PSA.I am totally interested in seeing their version of the MP5 what I can tell from the pictures I see is their welds need to be improved.

  • Ej harbet February 5, 2020, 7:00 am

    If that top selector setting works as it should,take my money and hand one over.
    I shot a mp5 in shooters world phoenix az in 1992 and it was fun!
    A skilled person can get singles on full auto but its funner to strafe the target with a neat 3 rounds.

  • Robert Whitis February 5, 2020, 4:58 am

    Is it legal to buy a new sub-machine gun? I thought they had to be made before a certain date to be legal! That’s why all machine guns are expensive! It’s because of the rarity of the old ones! The old supply and demand thing! I would buy a new one in a heart beat if they were reasonable and be happy to pay $200.00 for the tax stamp and wait 8 months to a year to get approval. Buying an old one for $20,000.00 because it’s the only one available prices it out of reach for most folks! The $200.00 stamp and the wait is the same for any you want to buy!

    • Mo February 6, 2020, 1:34 pm

      No new civilian transferable machineguns can be made after May of 1986 except by SOT manufacturers.

      You can turn this into an SBR via $200 tax stamp…however to legally make this run full auto, you would need to buy a pre-86 transferable $30,000+ registered auto sear or $40,000+ registered box, cant do it with a $200 tax stamp.

  • Retswatcop February 4, 2020, 8:28 pm

    Bought a transferable MP5 31 years ago and used it in the Cover position on a SWAT team for 13 years. Retired it in 2003 and would never risk using it in a home defense situation as it would be seized until litigation was complete. I’m a firearms instructor at my state Criminal Justice Academy and I still shoot and demo it with new recruits at the academy. Use your shotgun, AR, AK, or favorite handgun for home defense and learn how to clear your residence with it. Practice shooting from different positions and at relevant distances.

    • Mo February 6, 2020, 1:51 pm

      Exactly why an inexpensive non NFA gun like this PSA would make a perfect home defense or trunk gun!

      I also own a pre86 toy and wouldnt dare use it for defense, but having a semi in the exact same platform is perfect for those situations.

  • Todd February 4, 2020, 12:17 pm

    How much cheaper than the SP5 ?
    I’m suspecting the SP5 to be around $2499 street price.
    If the PSA variant is around $1499 street price it’s going to be in very high demand.

    • Rando February 29, 2020, 6:28 am

      PSA has stated that their target price is sub-$1200. Rumor says it has taken so long because they’ve really committed to keeping the price down, which has been difficult.

  • Ricky Price February 4, 2020, 9:37 am

    I want one.

  • lou Bethel February 4, 2020, 9:11 am

    Of course it’s cheaper.
    PSA makes cheap product.

    But is it better?
    Is it accurate?
    Will it last?
    Will it function when it needs to?

    The Author went to a show and saw some glitter.
    Now he is an expert.
    Instead of looking at a non-functional firearm at a show, run some rounds through it.

    I don’t think I’d bet my life on a cheap PSA knock-off of an HK.

    • Billy Blastwave February 4, 2020, 10:44 am

      Are you REALLY going to be betting your life on it? Is your mp5 going to be your daily carry or your bedside bump in the night gun? Perhaps a bit of perspective is in order. While in theory any firearm can be a life saver it’s not un-reasonable to suggest that for the vast majority having an mp5 is going to be a range toy or a look what I got today gun. While it is perfectly valid to wonder about long term durability or accuracy it seems a bit much to suggest that nothing but an over-priced HK is acceptable. Justifying what at this point I can only assume is a shockingly higher price on the HK by making the bet your life argument is a straw man. That argument could be made over any weapon. By that reasoning no one would have ever bought a Glock when they were new and no one would ever buy a HI-point. Value for money is the issue here. Will the PSA deliver reliability, accuracy and entertainment over the long term? Only time will tell but to discount it out of hand because it’s not HK is a bit presumptive.

      • Matt February 4, 2020, 2:30 pm

        I own a SCAR 17. And yes all FNs are over priced. Ruger is going to kill their 5.7. So why do I own the SCAR. Guy needed some money so I gave it to him. At about half the cost of a new SCAR.

    • Kraig Vanderwyk February 4, 2020, 11:20 am

      As an owner of a PSA AR15, I’d bet my life on PSA. although mine is not their cheapest variant I’m still willing to bet they are quality all the way around.
      Maybe you shouldn’t base your judgment of quality on price. We’re not talking about Chinese knock off products. PSA makes high quality American made products, without corporate greed.
      My 2cnts.

    • Rabbit and Fox February 4, 2020, 11:33 am

      @ Bethel, I do not have any PSA products but am very interested in them. I wonder though do you have ANY experience with them? Please describe WHY their product in inferior? MAYBE HK has been ripping off the world…..

    • Slamskie February 4, 2020, 11:41 am

      I own a couple of PSA AR’s and one of their AK’s, although inexpensive they stand toe to toe with my premium Ar and AK models. I would trust my life to them. I think you are selling PSA short, their stuff is very well made. They took a long time to release this(if indeed it is) and if it follows the rest of their line it will be a well made reliable firearm.

    • Timothy Kollat February 4, 2020, 1:47 pm

      dumb comment by someone that has no clue about PSA. They do not make “cheap products” unless you think FN is a cheap barrel manufacturer. Their lower receivers are absolultely no different than any othe milspec lower like Colt or BCM. Their LPKs are just as good as any other.
      People think if they see a price that isnt inflated or doesnt have whatever is the current trendy name (Colt, BCM, DD..etc) then it must be cheap.
      PSA has a track record that proves they are not “cheap”

    • Ted February 4, 2020, 7:16 pm

      What a dumb post! A reporter does his job and reports what he could report on. And you just diss him. He wasn’t making himself to be an “expert,” though he definitely is more expert than you on this subject since he actually saw it. You seem to make yourself an expert on PSA products–why don’t you share with us your “expertise” on it and tell us how PSA is inferior in any way?

    • TINVOWOOT February 4, 2020, 8:16 pm

      Here comes the PSA rationalization crowd. Face it: PSA equipment is cheaper because it is of unknown quality (or known factory seconds). Quality control costs money, which you are not paying for when buying PSA gear. If that’s worth the gamble to you, enjoy.

      • Rando February 29, 2020, 6:34 am

        They also stand by their products with a 100% lifetime warranty. Their stated business goal is to put as many firearms into “common use” as possible.

    • Jim February 5, 2020, 5:58 am

      Have to strongly disagree. PSA puts out quality products.
      Recently bought a PSA AR. It’s the equal of either my Colt or Springfield and literally half the price.

    • Ej harbet February 5, 2020, 7:05 am

      Psa has learned some hard lessons in qc and ill bet the gun will hold up great!
      That being said anyone who bets their arse on a unproven weapon is foolish!
      Run it hard check it over after you clean it.better to break it on.the range than in a scrap.

  • Justin February 4, 2020, 6:39 am

    I hope PSA releases a full size version with a 9in barrel too and not just a K length 4.5 to 6 in model.

    • Harold Littell February 4, 2020, 9:42 am

      Agree 100%.

    • Ej harbet February 5, 2020, 7:11 am

      The 4.5 makes a nice pdw.compact comfortable and likely to be on you. For me fullsize is a battle weapon and mine will be in something more potent than 9mm.
      These are something id hand my wife and daughter because they are more accurate than a pistol but easier to carry than a full size rifle

    • Mo February 6, 2020, 1:42 pm

      Totall agree. I have a MKE k SBR and a Atlantic Arms Full size SBR and though everyone wants to shoot the k in the beginning, the full size gets the longest workout at the range every time.

      The LOP on most k stocks is short if you are taller (6’+). The cocking handle is harder to operate and too close to optics. The site radius is smaller and your knuckle hair will singe off. None of those are as pronounced in the full size.

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