Last time we stopped at the fact that already during the war years, the soldiers of the belligerent armies began to distribute questionnaires to find out their opinion about a promising submachine gun. For example, on May 6, 1943, the Australian Army sent out a questionnaire to a large number of soldiers with combat experience. The questionnaire focused primarily on the design of small arms. For example, there were questions about where they would prefer to have a reload handle and whether they think a submachine gun needs a bayonet. The results of the survey were analyzed by Major Eric Hall, after which he, using the information received, designed a new submachine gun "Kokoda", very different from the "Owen". Basically, it was the same "Owen", only the magazine was not installed on top of it, but inserted into its handle. It turned out that most of the soldiers liked just such a system of ammunition. Improvements have also been made to weapon balancing. And in the end, we got a sample of rather futuristic outlines, clearly sinning with the minimalism of wartime.
Submachine gun "Kokoda" MCEM-1.
Testing the new SMG took place in the British Army at Pendin from 8 to 16 September 1947, along with Patchett, BSA submachine guns, British MCEM-3 and STAN Mk. V. During the tests "Kokoda" received the MCEM-1 index (stands for "military carbine, experimental model"). In the process of firing, the sample heated up very quickly, and the welded seams that held the body and the trigger cracked, that is, the welding turned out to be of poor quality! "Kokoda" lost outright to its rivals, but one cannot fail to notice that by its design it was a very advanced mechanism, which may well be attributed to the third generation of submachine guns. It was compact and had a second handle, fixed almost at the very muzzle of the barrel. Its length with extended shoulder rest was 686 mm, and its unloaded weight was 3.63 kg. A magazine for 30 rounds was inserted into the pistol grip from the bottom, and the trigger was located in it. The rate of fire was 500 rds / min, the muzzle velocity was 365 m / s, with a barrel length of 203 mm.
Kokoda submachine gun with extended stock and without magazine.
As you can see, many technical solutions of submachine guns of the future found their embodiment in it, including our Russian submachine gun "Veresk" SR-2, which probably took all the best from foreign and domestic samples of this type of weapon. But there was already material about him on the VO ("Submachine gun SR-2" Veresk ", March 14, 2014). And if we compare it with other samples of the war and post-war times, we will again see that … usually they were created according to the principle of "step by step" (step by step), when one designer came up with something one thing, another another, and then already a third person united their "steps" into something fundamentally new, and therefore aroused admiration among everyone.
And, again, many developments were already ahead of their time, but, nevertheless, they did not come to the court. Indeed, in the same competition in 1942 to replace the PPSh-41, the result of which was the appearance in our army of the Sudaev submachine gun, the submachine gun of the designer of the Shchurovsky test site (NIPSVO) Nikolai Rukavishnikov, in which the store was located in the handle, and … there was a bolt running on the barrel. By the way, an interesting article by Mikhail Degtyarev “Who is the first?” Was published in the magazine “Kalashnikov”. Experienced Rukavishnikov submachine gun”, in which this design was described in great detail. That is, here, too, we were “ahead of the planet”, and Rukavishnikov himself, in his conceptual vision of what a submachine gun should be like, overtook the Czech designer Jaroslav Holechek with his vz. 48, and British Army Lieutenant Podsenkovsky, who submitted his MCEM-2 submachine gun to the competition with Kokoda as a replacement for STEN in 1944. It is hard to imagine that the British and Australians knew about what Rukavishnikov had invented. They figured it out themselves, because in the case of "Kokoda" the store in the handle was placed precisely "according to the requirements of the workers." But, nevertheless, it is pleasant to realize that we thought of this solution a little earlier, and in addition, it was our designer who combined this one technical solution with another - a bolt running on the barrel. True, it was vz. 48 was the first in the world to go into mass production. And, by the way, where he did not fight only later, starting with Cuba and ending with the countries of the Middle East.
MSEM-2. Length 380 mm, magazine for 18 rounds is in the handle. The submachine gun was well balanced, which made it possible to shoot from it with one hand. The half-cylinder bolt has a length of 216 mm and covers almost the entire barrel. The bolt is retracted in the same way as on the American M3 - with the help of your fingers. The holster is at the same time a butt, like a Stechkin pistol. The PP had a very high rate of fire, which is probably why it was not adopted for service.
MSEM-2. Front view.
MSEM-2. Oncoming shutter.
But then everything again turned out exactly the same as with us. There was a good PPD-40. Was! But … it was not very technological, and therefore expensive to manufacture. And what did Shpagin do? He just simplified it in relation to the needs of mass production! Yaroslav Kholechek combined two innovations in his development at once - a magazine in the handle and a bolt running on the barrel. But … the body of its PP remained traditional, cylindrical, which means it was sensitive to pollution. The production of the new model began in 1949. Note that at first it was designed for 9 × 19 mm Parabellum cartridges, but in the same year the Czechoslovak army, under pressure from the Soviet Union, instead of this cartridge introduced our domestic 7, 62 × 25 mm from TT. And, it is believed that this submachine gun only benefited from this. It has been exported to Cuba, Chad, Syria and Libya, as well as Mozambique, Niger and Somalia.
Submachine gun vz. 48 (aka Sa. 23).
And it was here in Israel that "his own Shpagin" was found, a young officer Uziel Gal, who essentially repeated the design of Holechk (experts are still hotly debating whether Gal was familiar with his submachine gun or not), but in a more technological and adapted form for war in a sandy desert. So, he provided in the walls of the bolt box large stamped "pockets" for sand and dirt that got inside, which at the same time became stiffeners. The hinged cover increased the convenience of cleaning by an order of magnitude compared to the one-piece and rather long receiver of the Czech PP, which looked like a pipe. That is, it has always been and will be so, who follows the path of individual improvements, and someone manages to solve the problem in a complex and at a higher technological level.
Sample of a standard "Uzi" with a metal folding stock.
But most importantly, over the decades that followed this time, the layout of the vz. 48 (aka Sa. 23) and "Uzi", which entered service in 1954, became common for a whole family of small-sized submachine guns, in which there were many samples, for example: MAC-10, MPi 69, Steyr TMP, PP- 2000, MP7 and many others.
MSEM-2 with a bayonet. Why a bayonet on such a short weapon?
And yet, oddly enough, the war showed that the military experts of the 30s, who argued that the PP is a police weapon, turned out to be right in the end. Already at the end of the war, the appeared automatic rifles and machine guns for the intermediate cartridge sharply narrowed the niche of submachine guns and practically ousted them from the army. This happened, for example, in the Soviet army after the adoption of the SKS carbines and the AK-47 assault rifle, while in the USA the automatic rifle became the dominant weapon. A similar situation took place in Europe with the CETME and FAL rifles, but the submachine guns remained with the border guards, gendarmes, police and special formations. In the army, they were now used very limitedly: for arming tankers, as well as technical personnel. And, again, in the US Army, even the specialists of the water treatment service received M16 rifles, not submachine guns. But various "security" became their main consumers, which caused a real boom among the firms that started their production. As part of military assistance, a lot of PP went to third world countries, where they then fought against each other for a long time, and very often the past allies now fought against each other. New concepts of submachine guns, new ideas appeared, and all this, in turn, gave rise to new designs at the turn of the century.