WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Heckler & Koch MP5
Essentially a miniturised G3 (the mechanisms are identical), the MP5 was a popular weapon amongst police and counter-terrorism forces pretty much the world over from the '60s to the '90s and remains one of the most iconic weapons of its type; in particular, the MP5's media badassery was established when the British SAS used them to break the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980. Like the USP, a large number of variants have been produced; of these, the most distinctive are the K ("Kurz," short) model, a shortened version designed to be easily stowed or concealed [1], and the SD ("Schalldämpfer," meaning "sound dampened") with an integral silencer. Has (along with other submachine guns) faded in visibility due to the rise of compact rifle-caliber carbines, though they remain popular among SWAT and counter-terrorism units, as for those purposes the less-penetrating pistol rounds have some distinct advantages. Movie MP5s may instead be played by modified 5.56mm HK33 or HK53 carbines, or by the civilian semi-auto variant, the HK94.

  • Cool Action: The "HK Slap," where the cocking handle is struck forward to chamber a round. Many movies add a huge ka-chack sound effect and turn it into a full-on Karate chop. The slap can actually be performed on most G3 derivatives, but is far more commonly associated with the MP5. Unlike most of the "Cool Action"'s on this list of guns, the "HK Slap" is actually a legitimate and even recommended way to charge the weapon.
  • Often used by The Unit.
  • Hans Gruber's men use them in Die Hard.
    • "Now I have a machine gun."
      • "Ho ho ho."
  • The default loadout for Team Rainbow in the early Rainbow Six games is one of the suppressed models. Being based on the SAS who made the firearm famous, they have cut-down versions, larger calibre versions, ones with custom sights, etc.
  • The main weapon of SG-1 before the P90 was introduced a few seasons in.
  • Metal Gear Solid, but only in the easiest difficulty mode of the Japanese Updated Rerelease and the PC port. Otherwise it's the FAMAS.
    • In MGS4, Snake can get an MP5SD.
  • The mercenaries on the freighter in season 4 of Lost.
  • A well-armed soccer mum blazes away at the protagonists in Cthulhu.
  • Usable with a scope fitted in Max Payne 2.
  • Soldier of Fortune 2: Gold has an MP5 available.
  • Usable with an optional silencer in Black.
  • Afraid of Monsters: DC had the MP5K as an alternate to the shotgun or Uzi. Being a survival horror game, there was little ammo for it. David uses the slap when reloading.
  • Tends to be the most powerful submachine gun in the Grand Theft Auto games. Multiple variations are used in the games, and Grand Theft Auto IV uses the Special Weapons MP10 clone.
  • The SMG in Red Faction is an MP5K with the front grip removed, redesigned as an over / under weapon with twin magazines; the cocking handle tube is a second barrel and the barrel has a second cocking handle.
  • The Mook weapons in Moonwalker are modded HK94 carbines with Aliens-style ammo counters.
  • The OCA PDW from All Points Bulletin is a weird hybrid of a full-length MP5 and MP5K.
  • The Rittergruppen SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after MP5K.
  • The Modern Warfare games have the MP5, though each exclusively have different versions of it: the first Modern Warfare has the MP5A3 (which becomes an SD3 when mounted with a suppressor), the second game has the MP5K, and the third has an A2 with a railed handguard. Black Ops has the ultra-rare prototype version of the MP5K, with the distinctive wooden foregrip that was deleted from the production model.
  • Tequila and various mooks in Stranglehold use MP5Ks Guns Akimbo style.
  • Lethal Weapon 2's South African mooks carry these.
  • In Counter-Strike, this is a popular choice due to its reliability.
  • 7.62 High Calibre features several variants. The MP5K cannot be modified in anyway, while the MP5PDW (a K variant) features a non-removable stock and can accept a suppressor. The MP5A3 can also accept a suppressor, while the MP5SD2 features an integral suppressor. While not the most powerful SMG in the game, it's quite good and being lucky during an attack on a city can net a player several of them (and tons of ammo) from dead police.
  • Raw Deal (1986). Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on The Mafia with an HK 94 carbine (a civilian-market MP 5 with extended barrel and foregrip) modified for full auto.
  • In the first F.E.A.R. game, the Sumak RPL is modeled off the Special Weapons MP10 with a mounted dot sight.

A family of 9mm submachine guns, the first Uzi was designed in the late 1940s by Uziel Gal and named after him, and first adopted by Israeli special forces in 1954. It is commonly depicted as a favorite among Western Terrorists and mercenaries. The original Uzi is quite large at 18.5 inches long with the stock collapsed, and progressively smaller versions were later produced, these being the Mini Uzi and the Micro Uzi; the latter is often regarded as a machine pistol rather than a true SMG, and has a semi-auto only variant, the Uzi Pistol. A carbine version of the original Uzi with a 16 inch barrel also exists.

  • An iconic villain who used this was the Terminator in the first film.
    • It also shows up as the least powerful of the bullet weapons in Terminator: Future Shock.
  • Mad Dog of Hard Boiled used a Mini Uzi during the warehouse firefight, as did several other villains, including Johnny Wong himself in his most despicable act.
  • One is sold to a gang in City of God. The seller points out the Star of David on the stock to prove its authenticity, saying, "See? It's Jewish."
  • Chuck Norris uses a pair of Micro-Uzis against terrorists and Dirty Communists in Invasion USA.
  • The final gun that Lara gets in the first Tomb Raider.
  • Usable in the Half-Life mod Sven Coop, also available two at a time. Players who donate to the mod team are able to use golden ones that deal considerably higher damage.
  • A full-size Uzi is usable in Far Cry 2 as the higher-tier secondary slot SMG. The Micro Uzi appears on magazine covers.
  • A favored weapon of Snake-Eyes from the G.I. Joe comics.
  • The laser gun props from Moonraker were based on a plastic toy Uzi.
  • Golden Eye 1997 features an Uzi-sized Micro-Uzi as the "ZMG 9mm."
  • The submachine gun in both Left 4 Dead games.
  • The Samael SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after Uzi.
  • The N-FA9 SMG in All Points Bulletin is clearly modeled after the Micro Uzi.
  • The Micro Uzi shows up in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; CJ can duel wield them when he maxes out his skill level with them.
  • Beatrice uses the Micro Uzi in Gunslinger Girl.
  • Made famous by the US Secret service. During the attack on President Reagan several USSS officers produced Uzis from concealment rigs under their suit jackets.
  • The Uzi, Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi are all available in 7.62 High Calibre fairly early, making them suitable as "stop-gap" weapons between handguns and rifles. The Micro-Uzi especially is sometimes available from gun dealers at the start, and with the stock folded it can fit into standard pistol holsters or quick-access pockets as a very compact automatic weapon.
  • Shank gets one in his debut game, and his friend Corina has one in the sequel.

Heckler & Koch UMP
Basically a scaled down G36 assault rifle mechanism in a polymer shell, the UMP was intended as the successor to the MP5 submachine gun, but lack of demand for SMGs from traditional customers, along with MP5 users being very in love with and very invested in their MP5's, means it is not nearly as widely distributed as its predecessor. Civilian version known as the USC, features extended barrel and semi-auto only operation.

  • Team Rainbow starts packing this weapon from Rogue Spear onwards.
  • Available in Counter-Strike starting beta 7 onwards.
  • Seen several times in the latest James Bond movies. Daniel Craig is carrying the 9mm version in the advertisement poster for Quantum of Solace, the same one he was carrying at the end of Casino Royale while delivering Bond James Bond. The two mooks which chased him shortly before that are carrying the .45 ones.
  • Arnold is seen with one in Terminator 3.
  • A .45 version is used by one of the twins during the freeway chase in Matrix Reloaded.
  • Dead Set. A police officer is armed with one, which is later picked up by one of the characters.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Samuel Anders wields one on Caprica.
  • Some mooks in XXX.
  • In Modern Warfare 2, the UMP replaces the MP5 as the game's basic submachine gun.
  • The last unlock for the engineer class in Battlefield: Bad Company 2; comes with a handy silencer.
  • You can find one in 7.62 High Calibre, along with the associated suppressor, from clearing out a gang-occupied military base. It tends to be better in damage than other sub-machine guns, but slightly less accurate (though it can accept a red-dot sight, which most other submachine guns cannot).
  • In F.E.A.R. 3, the Briggs SMG is clearly modeled after the UMP, with a mounted red dot sight.

Heckler & Koch MP7
A compact submachine gun marketed as a competitor to the P90, the MP7 is another weapon based on a scaled-down G36 action, this time firing a proprietary 4.6mm round designed to penetrate body armor at close range. Its small size makes it relatively easy to carry, and it can even be holstered (a rarity for submachine guns). The MP7 is in use with the German military and police, and several other countries have begun to replace police stocks of MP5 SMGs with the MP7. Criticism of the wapon for lacking killing power with its small and low energy 4.6x30mm round is extremely widespread. The fact is that all PDW's have this problem. It certainly does not help that EVERYTHING PDW is proprietary and extremely expensive.

  • Used by the Combine soldiers of Half-Life 2, fitted with a tiny under-barrel grenade launcher. Interestingly, it is actually possible to attach a grenade launcher to the MP7; it would, however, protrude beyond the end of the weapon's barrel.
  • Rainbow Six started stocking this weapon in the third game's expansion pack, Athena Sword. In the Vegas subseries, both Jung and Walter use suppressed ones when the player tells them to go silent.
  • Snake of the Metal Gear Solid series also uses this in the fourth game.
  • Used by the titular team in one episode of Stargate SG-1, during an undercover operation on Earth; it's smaller and much more concealable than their standard P90s.
  • Zombieland. Tallahassee is overjoyed to find one of these in the back seat of a redneck's Hummer, and later uses it to good effect against zombies while on a merry-go-round.
  • The Big Bad's Dragon in Die Hard 4 carries one.
  • The Hamilton SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after the MP7.

FN P90
The Fabrique Nationale P90 is a submachine gun chambered for the 5.7x28mm round. The round was designed by FN and is currently used only by the P90 and the Five-seveN pistol, also made by FN. One of the P90's most innovative features is the 50-round magazine that lies flat along the top of the receiver, the rounds double-stacked sideways. The feed end of the magazine has a mechanism that rotates each round and drops it into the chamber pointing in the right direction, ejecting spent casings downwards through a chute behind the grip. Was once fairly rare in real life, yet many works, especially those set Twenty Minutes Into the Future, featured it, partly due to its futuristic appearance -- a case of Truth in Television as it were. The 5.7x28mm round has severe lethality problems; it has with achieving sufficient penetration, even with the anti-armor rounds.

  • Video games love it, but particularly in older games the designers may have some rather odd ideas about how the P90 actually works; game P90s often eject in the wrong direction, and a fairly common mistake is showing the carrying handle as hinged at the front, popping up so the magazine can be inserted into it and then swung back down.
  • Occasionally appears in futuristic settings in Doctor Who, usually with extra bits attached to make it look more interesting. In "The Time of the Angels" / "Flesh and Stone", they're beige, have longer stocks, and the front rail is replaced with a flashlight, making them one of the more authentic-looking of the recent sci-fi guns.
  • There's quite a few in the James Bond game Golden Eye 1997, known as the RC-P90. It's one of the fastest-firing submachine guns in the game and has the highest magazine capacity, at eighty rounds. And it can shoot through doors. And on the Train level, you can dual wield them for insane amounts of dakka.
  • It's semi-standard issue for Mooks under the usual AKA-47 moniker in the Bond game Nightfire.
  • Valentin Zukovsky and his goons carry these in The World Is Not Enough.
  • Along with the original Goldeneye version unlockable, an upgraded RC-P90 appears in Perfect Dark, here called the RC-120, which can also generate a cloaking field.
  • A few enemy troops use this weapon in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and it's available in multiplayer (some call it the "easy button"). It appears again in the Modern Warfare 2 and 3.
  • After it was introduced a couple seasons in, the P90 became the standard-issue weapon for SG Teams in Stargate SG-1 for much of the remainder of the series (everyone in Stargate Atlantis used it too). In-universe, the USAF commissioned Fabrique Nationale to design and manufacture the gun specifically for alien fighting.
  • The P90 is the standard issue weapon amongst the Arsenal Tengu troopers in Metal Gear Solid 2, though it also sees some use by Solidus. The P90 is also the weapon of choice for the Haven Troopers in MGS4, and probably the best submachine gun in the game that doesn't require unlocking.
    • It gets some rather weird focus when Solidus starts twirling it by the thumbstock. Hey, at least he's not likely to accidentally fire this particular weapon when pulling that stunt...
  • Gunslinger Girl. The P90 is Henrietta's signature weapon.
  • Counter-Strike. Often derided as a noob gun, due to its high accuracy and capacity.
  • An unlockable weapon for the Anti-Tank class in Battlefield 2.
  • Available as a sidearm in Army of Two and a primary weapon in The 40th Day.
  • Used by Rainbow and mooks in the Rainbow Six series.
  • Rei Fukai uses one in episode three of Sento Yosei Yukikaze.
  • Doom 3's machinegun is an obvious P90 homage, albeit with the magazine entirely enclosed by a hinged cover with a Halo-style ammo readout replacing the carrying handle.
  • Appears in Ghost in The Shell, where it's the Weapon of Choice for Major Kusanagi.
    • Stand Alone Complex has Section 9 use them at the start, when they rescue the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    • Actually the weapon used in SAC is fictional, called the "Seburo C 26 A", Seburo being a common manufacturer of fictional guns in Shirow's works. It's ergonomically similar to several FN designs since Shirow seems to like how they look.
  • Also appears in Black, with a 100 round magazine, the only weapon in that game with that many rounds (other than the M249 BFG with 150).
  • Makes a brief appearance in Hellsing when two heavily customized P90s were used by Jan Valentine in the attack on the Hellsing mansion. Interestingly, it also subverts the Hollywood Silencer trope.
  • In The Dresden Files, Karrin Murphy uses one of these from White Night and onward, mostly because the compact size of the weapon makes it ideal for her small size, and it makes for a damned fine weapon during the short story Aftermath.
  • In the second F.E.A.R. game, Project Origin, the Andra FD-99 is essentially a slightly modified P90 with sharper, harder angles than the more rounded frame of the P90, and the aforementioned hinge on the receiver.
  • Available late in 7.62 High Caliber in both the original version and a TR variant with triple rail mounts. The 5.7mm ammunition is uncommon, but it penetrates armor well and has good accuracy for such a small weapon.

The gun that made the Twenties roar. Although the Thompson was famously used in World War II as the M1 submachine gun, it is mainly remembered as the Thompson M1921, which could be used with the famous 50 to 100 round drum magazine. The use of this is a Hollywoodism based mostly on Rule of Cool; gangsters avoided the drum magazines because they made the weapon difficult to conceal, while militaries never used the drum magazines because the ammunition inside tended to rattle, it jammed easier, and made the weapon more cumbersome to carry and even heavier. The "Tommy Gun" has a rather exaggerated reputation as a gangster weapon, mostly due to a few high-profile users rather than actual common use; Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly and John Dillinger were the most famous. Movies would have you believe every gangster had one, and the Thompson is de rigeur for any Al Capone-esque, old school gangster Badassery. Goes great with fedoras and pinstripes, too. The Thompson was retired more or less immediately after World War 2; SMG design had become far more focused on low-cost mass-production weapons like the M3 and Sten, and the Thompson, by comparison, was hugely expensive.

  • Just about all World War Two movies, video games and TV shows. In games, it's usually more powerful than the MP40 but harder to get ammo for.
  • Used to get past the censors in Batman: The Animated Series by gangsters, also giving the series a nice Noir flavor.
  • Likely inspired by the above, this is the signature weapon of The Family in City of Heroes. Beating enough of their bosses unlocks this as a skin for the Assault Rifle power set.
  • Two-Face's Mooks in Batman Forever used them.
  • New Reno is rife with these in Fallout 2. And they all suck, possibly due to being almost three hundred years old.
  • Some US soldiers in Goldfinger (the others have M1 carbines and M14s).
  • One of the most powerful weapons in Resident Evil 4, where it's called the Chicago Typewriter (a reference to how it was used in the Roaring Twenties: its close association with the Chicago Mob and its distinct rapid-fire sound).
  • Used in Bioshock by the hero and mooks alike.
  • The Mask: "A TOMMY GUN!"
  • Features heavily in the anime of Baccano, which is to be expected as it's mostly set in New York during the 30s.
  • Also features in the film version of Dick Tracy.
  • In "One Lonely Night" Mike Hammer recovers a Tommy gun from a crashed FBI vehicle and later uses it to blow away a bunch of Dirty Communists who are torturing Velda.
  • Famously used as the basis for the rifle portion of the M41A Pulse Rifle in Aliens.
  • Used by Pinstripe and his mooks in Freedom Force.
  • Michael Jackson rather memorably (not to say randomly) pulls one out during the legendary "Smooth Criminal" music video featured in Moonwalker.
  • In The Wrath of God, both the Jack Higgins book and The Film of the Book starring Robert Mitchum, "Father" Oliver van Horne tells some Banana Republic cops he's got the proper identity papers. He reaches into his luggage ... and blows them away with his Thompson. "That was one hell of a Mass, Father!"
  • The Thompson is available in 7.62 High Calibre, in both the M1A1 version and the M1928 version. Both are extremely heavy, and magazines cannot be exchanged between the two. This is kind of Truth in Television; the M1 and later versions with the horizontal foregrip couldn't take the drum magazines; "stick" mags were interchangeable between the two, though.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, The Pain somehow manages to create a fully functional M1921 Thompson out of live hornets. Not quite sure how that's supposed to work, but that's Metal Gear Solid for you.
  • One of the standard weapons in Blood.

The MP40, descended from the MP38, is the classic Nazi gun; a straight-blowback 9mm submachine gun used throughout WW 2. Much like the Luger, simply having one is often proof the character is a bad guy, no matter what the era, and it's often shown as the standard issue German weapon in video games; often on at least a one-to-one basis with the Kar 98, which was actually much more common.

  • Cool Action: The classic "cool" grip is to hold it by the magazine rather than the well above it; in practice this was actually an extremely bad idea (much as it was for the British Sten, which used the same magazines) as it was likely to cause misfeeds. But it sure looks badass.
  • You will see this in more or less anything with Nazis; as noted, in video games it's likely to be vastly more common than in real life.
  • It's also popular as a mook weapon in James Bond movies; bad guys use them in Moonraker, Goldfinger and From Russia with Love.
  • German soldiers in Defiance, Tuvia and Zus almost always seen carrying these, they obviously took them from dead Nazis.
  • Frequent in the Indiana Jones movies. [2]

Shpagin PPSh-41
The Eastern Tommy gun; the PPSh-41 is a blowback-operated weapon firing the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round, and was the most common submachine gun in the Red Army during WW 2. The weapon owes much to a 1934 design called the PPD by Vasiliy Degtyarev, which was shelved owing to high-up Party members such as Molotov, Zhdanov and Malenkov sharing the common-at-the-time belief that submachine guns were not military weapons. With the outbreak of the Winter War, the Finns quickly showed the Red Army the worth of the SMG, and the decision was quickly reversed, a refined version of the PPD going back into production with a new 71-round drum magazine (directly inspired by the Finnish Suomi M31's drum magazine of the same capacity). Shpagin's gun was essentially a refined version of Degtyarev's still-too-complicated design, using the same magazines but redesigned for mass production. By using stamping and welding rather than time-consuming machining, the PPD's 13.7 man-hours per gun were cut down to just 7.3, and the result also proved extremely reliable, requiring minimal maintenance. It was also so easy to manufacture that production could be handed to companies with no experience in gun manufacturing whatsoever, and because the Soviets standardized all rifle and pistol ammo at 7.62mm caliber, Mosin-Nagant rifle barrels could be salvaged from bad or damaged weapons and cut in half to make two PP Sh-41 barrels. The Soviets soon learned that new recruits could be turned into cheap killing machines by giving them More Dakka, so unlike the MP40, it was issued extensively, sometimes whole divisions being issued with only this weapon. It proved such an icon of the Soviet army that statues were built of soldiers holding them throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. Can use a curved 35-round box magazine, but, like the Thompson, is more likely to be seen with its 71-round drum magazine fitted. This is actually a case of Coconut Effect as in Real Life 71-round drums were considered Cool but Impractical as they were rather time-consuming to load by hand and prone to jam if not individually fitted (not to mention more complex and expensive than box magazines).

  • Commonly seen in Eastern Front WW 2 and Korean war movies.
  • Appears a few times in Stargate SG-1.
  • Somewhat infamous as a supergun in the WW 2 Call of Duty games thanks to high accuracy, very friendly recoil and a vast magazine; each iteration after the first game attempted to Nerf it somehow. Note: there was no gameplay balance in the real WW 2; the PP Sh was really that good.
  • This gun is probably the inspiration of the model for the Combat Shotgun in Fallout 3, with the drum placed slightly forward.
  • Appears as one of several weapons available to the Engineer class in Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam, presumably meant for the NVA faction, but usable by everyone. It has the expected high fire rate, but its magazine capacity is reduced to 25 for balance.
  • One of the weapons available in 7.62 High Calibre, with both the box and drum magazines available (the drum increases the dirt rating of a weapon faster, which will result in a jam when it gets high enough). The rebels often use them with box magazines, and the high rate of fire makes them excellent at close quarters.

A British submachine gun which was developed from the Sten during and after World War 2. It is easily recognizable by its side mounted magazine similar to the Sten and its perforated hand guards (in some models). It saw very few changes in design while in service, eventually being replaced by the L85 assault rifle. It is still manufactured today in some countries, including India. After the 70s, its role in fiction is largely replaced by the MP5 and Uzi.

A submachine gun developed in the 1960s, firing .22 calibre ammunition at 1200 rpm from a top-mounted pan magazine of up to 275 round capacity. Much was made of its ability to chew through concrete blocks and body armour, though the latter was only possible if the person wearing it was standing still for an unlikely length of time. The primary purpose of the A-180 was as a riot control weapon for prison guards.

  • The Professionals. A stolen A-180 is the McGuffin in "Hunter/Hunted", though in actuality it was a 7.62mm AR-10 rifle with prop bits bolted on. Presumably getting hold of a blank-firing A-180 in 1970's Britain would have been too difficult.
  • The killer in Hooligans, a novel by William Diehl, uses one (that he first acquired in a black ops unit in Vietnam) for his Vigilante Man activities.
  • The terrorists in the novel Terminal 3 use these when seizing Heathrow Airport's control tower.
  • Appears in Fallout: New Vegas as the "Silenced .22 SMG", to pair with the silenced .22 pistol.

TDI Vector
A new submachine gun developed by American company Transformational Defence Industries, the Vector uses an off-axis recoil mechanism claimed to be revolutionary, though in actuality the design is a hundred years old. Starting to show up in video games due to its futuristic appearance and rather exaggerated marketing; much like the XM8, it's a tacticool gun. Often labelled incorrectly as the "Kriss Super V," a name used in early marketing.

  • Used as the basis of one of the weapons in The Conduit.
  • Seen in Modern Warfare 2.
  • Showed up in one of the season finales of CSI: New York where the mechanism was cited as the reason two bullets hit the exact same spot on somebody, and was incorrectly called the Kriss Super V.
  • Shows up in Army of Two: The 40th Day.
  • Shows up in MAG.
  • Shows up in Episode 11 of Angel Beats
  • Used by Deadpool in the leaked script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, writers of Zombieland. Incorrectly called a "Kriss .45 Caliber TDI".
  • Usable in Home Front, called the Super V submachine gun.


  1. The picture on the main page is of an MP5K with fancy engravings.
  2. Notably, one of the Arab thugs in Raiders of the Lost Ark may be the only fictional character in existence to hold the weapon correctly.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.