My first introduction to the world of Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCCs) was at the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships in 2016. After shooting a JP Rifles (JP) GMR13 at a side match, I understand quickly what all the excitement was about. In the past five years, there has been a surge of companies bringing their own PCCs to the market. Innovation has been relatively limited to weight reduction, ergonomics, and different recoil systems. They have all focused on the widely adopted AR 15 design, until recently. JP announced the JP5: a 9mm PCC based on the Roller Delayed Blowback System. Why has the Internet been buzzing? Let’s first understand the history of the Roller Delayed Blowback System and why it is important to the world of PCC.
The Roller Delayed Blowback System was originally discovered by Mauser engineers during World War II in Germany. The most famous example of the Roller Delayed Blowback System is the Heckler & Koch (H&K) MP5 submachine gun chambered in 9 X 19mm Parabellum developed in the 1960s which is one of the most widely used sub-machine guns around the world. While discussing the MP5 design, JP Marketing Director, Jesse Gangl shared: “For gun buffs and law enforcement, the H&K MP5 and its roller delayed operating system is a landmark of firearm design. Both in terms of reliability and felt recoil, it’s a marvel of a system that some JP guys have enjoyed for decades now. While it definitely adds more components and complexity to the operating system compared to a direct blowback, the advantages for the shooter are very noticeable. And thanks to H&K, it’s a proven concept.”
The traditional blowback system is widely used because it is simplistic in design with recoil tuning the average gun owner can do with basic tools such as the Silent Capture System (SCS) from JP. The felt recoil is manage by adding or taking away weight with steel and tungsten weights. In addition, there are various springs used to give the ‘feel’ the shooter desires. The JP5 design is drastically different. The main platform of the gun is completely different from a traditional AR15 although the two platforms share peripheral items such as grip, stock, handguard, and fire controls. The barrels, recoil system, upper receiver and bolts are not interchangeable.
After receiving my Steel Challenge configured JP5, I sat down with Jesse with JP to discuss the Roller Delayed System and how it works.Jesse shared with me: “The bolt of the JP-5 uses two rollers that engage with the trunnion and resist the bolt opening. These rollers bear on the locking piece. These locking pieces are available in multiple angles, which affects how the rollers interact with it, and hence, how much resistance there is to the bolt opening. Higher angles require less pressure to open the bolt, while lower angles require more. This allows the operating system to be tuned and optimized to run best with specific combinations of barrel lengths, ammunitions, suppressors, etc.” Each of the new JP5s will be sent out with an ‘all-purpose’ locking piece and alternate angles will be available for shooters to optimize for different loads.
After receiving my JP5, I broke down the bolt, which took 3 seconds, to separate the locking piece. My gun came with a marked ‘90’ locking piece. I have run a couple thousand rounds 115 power factor loads and I am happy to report it has run flawless, recoil impulse is short, soft, and the dot remains on target. At the 2021 World Speed Shoot Championships in Talladega, Alabama, I spent time with JP’s Dustin Sanchez with the first JP5 and tested this innovative gun. I ran a PCC Steel Challenge load from PNR Ammo which is a 135 grain bullet going approximately 850 feet per second out of my Ultralight Weight Barrel in my GMR15. After trying a couple locking devices, the ‘70’ optimized the platform for this load. People over use the statement my gun shoots like a .22, well this JP5 shot smoother than a .22. It is noted, we did not change out the SCS of the rifle but unsure how further improvement could be made over the felt recoil. Double taps on targets were routine with negligible dot movement at 15 yards.
The first production run sold out like a New Kids on the Block reunion tour: in just moments. These rifles will be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2021. JP is currently offering the JP5 in 3 configurations for pre-order for delivery in late 2nd quarter of 2022 into early 3rd quarter. The configurations for pre-order are: JP5 All-Purpose Carbine (MSRP $3199), JP5 Competition PCC (MSRP $3269), and the JP5 Steel Challenge Carbine (MSRP $3349). All configurations are outfitted with the same Machined Billet JP5 940 receiver set, 14.5” Supermatch light contoured 1:10” twist barrel, Radian Raptor top-charge handle, 3.5-4.0lb trigger, Hogue grip, and a 9mm JP5 Silent captured Spring. The main differences in the three models are barrel finishes, compensators, handguards, and stocks. The All-Purpose Carbine features a Black Teflon barrel finish with a tactical compensator, MK III Rapid Configuration 12.5” Handguard and Hogue Overmolded stock. The JP5 Competition PCC has polished steel barrel with competition compensator, MKIII Rapid Configuration 12.5” Handguard and Hogue Overmolded stock. Finally, the JP5 Steel Challenge Carbine has a titanium pin and welded compensator, M-Lok series 12.5” handguard with a Mission first Tactical stock. The Steel Challenge setup drops the overall weight from 6lbs to just over 5.5lbs as verified with my Steel Challenge setup. For those who are interested in a full custom build, JP will be opening up full-custom builds at some point in 2022.
In the Steel Challenge community, we are greatly anticipating the release of the Ultra Light Weight (ULW) barrel. The 5.5” shrouded barrel should get the JP5 just under the 5lb barrier resulting in one of the lightest PCCs on the market. The weight of the 14.5” barrel with a pinned and welded Titanium compensator feels uncompromised while transitioning the gun from target to target at speed. The M-Lok handguard shaves a couple of ounces off the MKIII handguard to mitigate left over weight of the light contour barrel. One of the surprises of the JP5 is the built-in ambidextrous controls with a bolt release on the right hand side of the gun. From a shooter perspective, you can tell there is weight removed from both the bolt as well as the recoil system allowing the gun to feel ‘faster’ in operation compared to my GMR 15. The gun is always ready for me to pull the trigger. The height over bore of the JP5 offers the familiarity we have with the AR15 style GMR15.
With all of these options coming to market, JP has us remembering why they are the market leader in Rifles. If you are interested in ordering your own JP5 of any other JP products, visit JPRifles.com.