Shooting the H&K MP5K Operational Briefcase

Heckler & Koch’s “Operational Briefcase” is a clever system for covert carry of a submachine gun without the need to conceal such a large type of weapon under bulky clothing. By putting the gun into a briefcase, they gave security personnel a way to blend right into the business and executive type of environment. Of course, the idea has become rather well known, at least in some circles. It may not have quite the same element of surprise it once did, but it is still a remarkably discreet contraption.

Thanks to H&K and Trijicon, I had the chance today to actually do some shooting with one of the briefcases. When properly used (which is to say, braced against the belly and aimed with the torso) it is quite a lot more useful and accurate than I had anticipated! It should definitely say something that H&K still sells these briefcases to law enforcement and security firms to this day…


  1. fwiw,

    the unmodified briefcase was widely available at the time for very little money in almost every hardware store, thus quite popular.

    i had one for school.

    40 years later and still in use sans handle as car toolcase, as it fits perfectly between the runners of most front seats.

  2. Briefcase guns aren’t a new thing. They were around back when most travelers were waiting for trains or buses.

    “Hand over your wallet and I’ll let you live!”
    “Alright, let me put my stuff down… SUCKER!!” BANG!!

  3. Perhaps the reason HK isn’t objecting to this video is to ensure that potential amateur assassins (keyword: AMATEUR) think twice about going after politicians in the open. If two of the suited security guys (at minimum) patrolling some open-to-public political rally have no visible weapons in sight but are carrying briefcases, it’s painfully obvious that they were expecting trouble from the very start and will NOT hesitate to turn any bomb-throwing (or knife-swinging) anarchist into a post-modern splash painting on the wall. Attacking any suited dude holding a briefcase is an even dumber idea, because once ONE guy goes down, his friends will retaliate with blood-thirsty interest. Did I mess up?

  4. I personally thing this is rather clumsy. I would like to hear about one actual and intended use of this contraption. Given the opportunity (mostly videos), it is my favored activity to watch high end dignitaries and ‘clicking’ around them. Certainly the guards are interconnected and pass observations in real time to each other. Usually, the taller one with dark glasses scans the crowd and gives his assessment to rest of the team. It is fun to watch. Sometimes I see them with these “un-conspicuous” briefcases but more often without them.

    Btw, I wonder if anyone thinks/ believes that current U.S. president ‘carries’ during public appearances. I heard him saying at least once that he is gun friendly. In addition, there might be a possibility he carries body armour. Who knows. :-

    • Mussolinni supposedly was wearing body armour regulary in public,
      it also gave him a dominant, bigger stature on photos.

    • The briefcase gun is surprisingly manageable even thought it forced the shooter to a static position. Not the best idea when being shoot at. Especially considering a bodyguard should try to stay between the threat and the VIP.

  5. There are probably more suitable high-volume fire guns for plain-cloth bodyguards to carry than MP5. As one possibility (and probably would be my pick, if I was in that position) would be SITES Spectre.

    It can be carried safely fully loaded with chambered shot, actuated with double action trigger. If ejection was forward instead as commonly used to side it could be operated from under a coat.

  6. Cool thing to fire.

    Always thought that was a marketing gimmick with no great practical utility, compared to a decent sidearm or the same weapon on a sling under an overcoat or slightly too big suit jacket. Did any credible CP team ever use them for real?

    • That was my question too. When comes to serious actions, they are typically in overwhelming force. One such bit dated sample which comes up is assassination of Anwar Sadat or more recently president Maduro. The second one made it, so far.
      Menachem Begin was shot up close from pistol.

      • This would probably need more statistical analysis, but at first glance it looks that doing with bullets is westerner way while with explosive might be called easterner way.

  7. Two things stand out to me.
    One, the whole rig is complicated and thus, pretty much by definition, unreliable.
    Don’t dare argue the point, it just is.
    Longer term analysis will certainly reveal an unacceptable failure rate. The real giveaway however is “Little or no record of actual deployment/usage.” Like this one.
    You think that’s an accident or there’s a reason for that?

    Two, the realities of Celebrity/VIP protection has far more to do with defensive tactics than technical solutions. I cite no particular protective organization, other than mine…many years ago…but after a number of years of escort and large volumes of cash, we never lost a dime nor our people collectect so much as a scratch.
    Go figure.

  8. Inconspicuous? Maybe at Akron Bank & Mobile Home Finance. Those very shoddy leatherette and plastic cases absolutely scream that they aren’t genuine document bags.

  9. I’m astonished, that no one mentioned, that this SMG-case was heavily “inspired”by the so called “Terorist-case”, which was used by the GDR Boarder troops. This case contained a scorpion SMG and worked very much the same way.

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