In 1976 a shortened version of the MP5A2 was introduced; the MP5K (K from the German word Kurz = "short") was designed for close quarters battle use by clandestine operations and special services. The MP5K does not have a shoulder stock (the receiver end was covered with a flat end cap, featuring a buffer on the inside and a sling loop on the outside), and the bolt and receiver were shortened at the rear. The resultant lighter bolt led to a higher rate of fire than the standard MP5. The barrel, cocking handle and its cover were shortened and a vertical foregrip was used to replace the standard handguard. The barrel ends at the base of the front sight, which prevents the use of any sort of muzzle device.
The MP5K is produced (by Heckler & Koch and under license in Iran and Turkey) in four different versions: the MP5K, MP5KA4, MP5KA1, MP5KA5, where the first two variants have adjustable, open-type iron sights (with a notched rotary drum), and the two remaining variants – fixed open sights; however, the front sight post was changed and a notch was cut into the receiver top cover. The MP5K retained the capability to use optical sights through the use of an adapter.
A civilian semiautomatic derivative of the MP5K known as the SP89 was produced that had a foregrip with a muzzle guard in place of the vertical grip.
In 1991 a further variant of the MP5K was developed, designated the MP5K-PDW (PDW—Personal Defense Weapon) that retained the compact dimensions of the MP5K but restored the fire handling characteristics of the full-size MP5A2. The MP5K-PDW uses a side-folding synthetic shoulder stock (made by the U.S. company Choate Machine and Tool), a “Navy” trigger group, a front sight post with a built-in tritium insert and a slightly lengthened threaded, three-lug barrel (analogous to the MP5-N). The stock can be removed and replaced with a receiver endplate; a rotary drum with apertures from the MP5A2 can also be used.