MP 40 Submachine Gun
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Barrel Length||251.000 mm|
|Rate of Fire||500 rounds/min|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseMP 40 submachine guns went into production only two years after their predecessors, MP 38 submachine guns, arrived on the scene. Weapons of the two designs were collectively nick named "burp guns" by Allied soldiers. A more distinctive nick name for MP 40 was "Schmeisser", after the weapons designer Hugo Schmeisser, who actually had little to do with the MP 40; the designer of the weapon was Heinrich Vollmer of the firm Erma Werke. The literal meaning of the acronym MP was Maschinepistole, or in English, machine pistol.
MP 40 submachine guns were fully automatic, but the relatively low rate of fire allowed skilled shooters to prevent ammunition wastage by controlled trigger squeezes. Open bolts were seen atop MP 40 submachine guns, which also acted as safeties. They featured a folding stock, which was a first for submachine guns. The 32-round single-feed magazines that fed the guns from below were sensitive to dirt, and the soldiers who wielded MP 40 submachine guns quickly learned to slap when jamming, for that the jams were likely caused by dirt which could easily be loosened by sudden shakes.
Although just over 1 million MP 40 submachine guns were built through the course of the war, the usage of MP 40 submachine guns was relatively low. They were typically issued only to paratroopers, platoon leaders, squad leaders, and specialized urban assault platoons.
After the war, many MP 40 submachine guns remained in use. Ukrainian rebel groups used large quantities of them against the communist government in the 1940s and 1950s, the Israeli Army them until 1956, among others.
Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Nov 2007
MP 40 Submachine Gun Interactive Map
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945