Tag Archive for 'small arms'

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9 mm M.P. 38 and M.P. 40 (Schmeisser): Submachine Gun

MP 38 and MP 40 Schmeisser Submachine Gun

This submachine gun was originally designed for use by parachute troops but is now in general use in all combat units of the German Army. It is a gun of simple construction, reliable operation, and general accuracy.

The Model M.P. 40 like its predecessor the M.P. 38 is air-cooled, blowback operated, and fitted for a 32-round box magazine. It can be used as a shoulder or hip weapon, being equipped with a folding shoulder stock.

As the trigger is pulled, the sear disengages the sear notch in the bolt. As the bolt travels forward it pushes the top round from the magazine into the chamber. The extractor keeps the firing pin from hitting the primer until the round is chambered then snaps under the cannelure of the cartridge allowing the base of the cartridge to come back against the face of the bolt. As the cartridge is fired, the bolt starts to recoil. At the proper point, the ejector hits the base of the cartridge, pivoting it out into the ejection opening. The bolt compresses the operating spring at the same time. The buffer plunger hits the end of the small operating spring tube, compressing the buffer spring and stopping the recoil of the bolt. The bolt then moves forward to repeat the cycle of operation.


Caliber       9 mm (actually .347 in.)
Weight with loaded magazine 10 lb., 7 oz.
Weight with empty magazine 8.87 lb.
Length with stock extended 33.25 ins.
Length with stock folded 24.75 ins.
Barrel length 10 ins.
Capacity of magazine 32 rounds
   Front Partridge type ramp with hood
      Fixed Open V notch, sighted at 100 meters
      Folding Open V notch, sighted at 200 meters
Muzzle velocity 1,040 f/s-1,250 f/s
Range, effective 200 yds.
Rate of fire (practical) 80 to 90 r.p.m.
   (cyclic) 518 r.p.m.

German: p. 206

9 mm Pistole 38 (Walther): Automatic Pistol

9 mm Pistole 38 (Walther): Automatic Pistol

This weapon is steadily taking its place as the standard issue for the German Army. It is even believed to be gradually replacing the Luger (Pistole ’08) as the official German military sidearm.

Although the Walther lacks the stopping power of the U.S. Colt .45, it is, nevertheless, a handy weapon because of its good balance and its double action. This latter feature enables the weapon to be fired simply by squeezing the trigger without cocking the hammer. It is one of the few military automatic pistols with the double action feature.

The Walther is a recoil-operated pistol with a slide that moves directly to the rear, resembling in this respect the Colt rather than the Luger. It is fed by an eight-round magazine that fits into the pistol butt. The safety catch is located at the left rear of the slide. There is also a device which enables a quick check in order to determine whether or not there is a cartridge in the chamber. This is in the form of a small pin which protrudes from the back of the slide when a cartridge is in the chamber.

German standard 9 mm Parabellum ammunition is regular issue, but the pistol will accommodate British and United States manufactured 9 mm Parabellum ammunition for the Sten and Lanchester submachine guns. It will also use Italian Mod. 38 9 mm ammunition designed for the Beretta submachine gun.

A leather holster, spare magazines, and a magazine holder are issued with this weapon.


Caliber         9 mm (actually .347 in.)
Weight with empty magazine 2 lb., 1 3/4 oz.
Weight with full magazine 2 lb., 5 1/4 oz.
Length 8 1/2 ins.
Length of barrel 4.75 ins.
Principle of operation Short recoil, double action
Feeding device Removable magazine in butt
Capacity 8 rounds
    Front Inverted V blade
    Rear Open V notch
Muzzle velocity 1,040 f/s-1,250 f/s
    Effective 50 ft.
    Maximum 1,150 yds.

German: p. 203

9 mm M.P. 181 (Bergmann): Submachine Gun

9mm M.P. 18 Bergmann Submachine Gun

The 9 mm German Submachine Gun, M.P. 181, Germany’s original submachine gun introduced toward the end of the first World War, is still in use today. Several other models, modifications of this weapon, are, however, more widely used at the present time.

The gun is operated, like all the later types, by blowback action and carries on the left side a 32-round drum magazine of rather complicated design, consisting of a short straight portion terminating in a small drum. For loading, a lever in the bottom of the magazine is turned until a catch drops into a recess in the bottom plate, thereby taking the tension off the coil spring. The cartridges are then inserted into the mouth of the magazine. After it is fully loaded, the catch is released and pressure applied to the cartridges by the coil spring. A safety recess marked “S” is formed at the rear end of the cocking handle slot. To prepare for firing, the cocking handle is pulled back and rotated upward, the magazine is inserted, and the cocking handle is disengaged. There is no provision for single shots, the weapon being automatic.


Caliber         9 mm (actually .347 in.)
Weight 9 lb., 2 oz. without magazine
Length 32 ins.
Rate of fire 550 rds./min.—cyclic
Ammunition 9 mm Parabellum
Effective range 218 yds.

German: p. 204