Last time we stopped at the fact that during the war years, samples of submachine guns began to appear, as close as possible to the requirements of the time. That is, to the maximum extent they are technologically advanced, respectively - cheap, "soldier-resistant", although they are not devoid of a number of shortcomings. The soldiers accepted the new weapon with disapproval, which speaks of the inertia of human thinking. In fact, for a total war, and weapons must be "total", and varnished walnut stocks of such weapons are completely useless!
Another thing is that the new PP samples differed in design and design features and were in some ways better, and in some ways worse than others.
Australian soldier with Owen.
Take Australia, the British dominion, for example. The Australians also had to fight back then. Moreover, a very real threat of a Japanese invasion arose over them. And they hoped to receive weapons, and in particular, STEN submachine guns from the metropolis. But… these hopes did not come true. And then, luckily for the Australian army, with his submachine gun, Lieutenant Evelyn Owen "turned up" to her, who since 1940 had been pounding the thresholds of the relevant departments with a submachine gun of his own design. Need, as they say, is the best teacher. Therefore, the decision to adopt a new PP was made very quickly. True, a trial batch was released in four calibers at once in order to choose the most suitable one. As a result, the traditional 9mm caliber turned out to be the most suitable.
The very first experienced "Owen" …
But this is Evelin Owen's very first submachine gun, which he assembled in his workshop in 1939. This "monster" was powered by.22 LR rimfire cartridges, which were loaded in turn into the chambers of a 44-charge drum with a gramophone spring. By the way, this PP didn't have a trigger! But there was a trigger behind the receiver under the thumb. It was necessary to come up with such a thing !!! (For more details see "VO" dated 7.12.2015 and 9.12.2015).
Army submachine gun "Owen".
Outwardly, "Owen" looked, of course, terrible. It was an ordinary water pipe, to which a barrel was threaded at the front. The shutter is free. The barrel is quick-detachable. The reloading handle with the shutter is not rigidly connected. But the most unusual thing about it was the store, which was inserted into it from above, and not from below or from the side. Therefore, the sights on it were shifted to the left, but … this had very little effect on the accuracy of the fire, since most of the "Owen" was fired from the hip. But the reliability of feeding cartridges increased significantly, because now they were pushed down not only by the spring, but also by their own weight. Therefore, the feeding system worked without inherent delays. The magazine (containing 33 rounds) did not interfere with prone shooting. But with the German MP-40 in hand, the body had to be lifted strongly and thereby substituted itself for the bullets. Two handles made it possible to securely hold the Owen when firing, and its camouflage color, as well as a high rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute, was the best match for the war in the jungle, which was just being waged by Australian soldiers at that time.
The popularity of "Owen" was so high that it remained in service with the Australian army until the end of the 50s. Moreover, for some reason, even a long bayonet was installed on the 1952 modification! They fought with him in Korea and even in Vietnam. And only in 1962 was it replaced with a new F1 sample, which, again, was designed by Evelyn Owen! Outwardly, it looked like a new English submachine gun "Sterling", but had a butt, placed in line with the receiver, raised sights and … a sector magazine from "Sterling" again inserted from above. Truly, “they do not seek for good, for good”!
Submachine gun F1 sample 1962
A striking example of the creativity of Soviet gunsmiths was the Sudaev PPS-42 submachine gun. It is hardly worth writing about him in detail, since VO already had material about him on February 16: "PPS: a submachine gun for total war." But, it should be emphasized once again that A. I. Sudaev in besieged Leningrad, where, however, the factories continued to work, and various equipment was preserved. The new submachine gun, like most wartime models, was entirely metal so as not to fiddle with wood processing. The joints were on studs-axles and welded, the butt was made for folding convenience for the sake of. On the trunk there was a brake-compensator, installed after front-line tests, also right near the city limits.
PPSh-41 with stores from PPS-42/43
The PPS-42 itself was modernized, received the name PPS-43, and it was in this capacity that it was put into service. And not only in the Red Army, but also in the Finnish, after 1944, and also standardized in the German army under the designation MP 709 (r). It is interesting that in 1942 in the USSR a competition was held (about its participants on the VO there were materials on July 1 and 4, 2016) for a sample of a submachine gun, devoid of the shortcomings of the PPSh-41, and Shpagin himself presented a sample of the PPSh-2 (first publication on VO dated November 21, 2013). Factory production of PPS-43 required much less time and metal compared to PPSh-41. So, PPSh-41 required 13, 9 kg of metal and 7, 3 machine-hours, but PPS-43 only 6, 2 kg of metal and only 2, 7 hours. A wooden stock was not needed either. So the submachine gun of the very design of Sudaev went into the series, the PPSh-2 did not see the light, and the PPSh-41 remained a mass weapon of the Soviet infantry until the end of the war.
Chinese and Vietnamese soldiers massively armed with them during the Korean War and the Vietnam War against the French. It was delivered to many countries of the world, so it is still found today. In the Wehrmacht, it was used under the designation MP 41 (r), but was converted to 9 × 19 mm "Parabellum" cartridges, although not converted, captured samples were widely used. In this modification, the barrel was replaced and the receiver was placed under the MP 38/40 magazines. Their alteration was carried out in 1944 in the weapons workshops located in the Dachau concentration camp, where about 10 thousand of these submachine guns were manufactured.
Either China or Korea. And, however, everything is one, the main thing is that everything is with PPS-43.
K-50 - Vietnamese version of the PPSh.
Type 50 - China.
And this, of course, is sunny Africa … And again, PPS-43. Well, how could it not help the brothers in the class in their struggle against the vile white colonialists ?!
In addition, the same PPSh-41 also served as a model for a number of, so to speak, hybrid models. This was, for example, the M49, a Yugoslav submachine gun adopted by the Yugoslav army in 1949. In it, a lot of structural elements were taken precisely from the PPSh-41, but much from the Italian Beretta M38 submachine gun. At first glance, this is almost an exact copy of the PPSh-41. However, it has a completely different receiver, and if you disassemble it, then there will be even more differences. The fuse was borrowed from the "Beretta", but the firing mechanism and the translator of fire from the PPSh-41, and they also had almost identical boxes. Thanks to the tubular design of the receiver, this submachine gun was easily disassembled - it unscrewed the back cover and it was possible to remove both the spring with the shock absorber and the bolt.
Fighter of the Yugoslav army with M49.
The M49 was in service with the Yugoslav army for a relatively short time and was replaced by a somewhat more compact and cheaper model of the same caliber M56 Zastava. Interestingly, this PP was, on the contrary, copied by Yugoslav engineers from the German MP 40, but … and most interestingly, it was made for our Soviet 7.62 mm pistol cartridge and is equipped with a magazine from PPS-43 in the same way as the M49 model. The main difference from the German assault rifle, again, was the simplification of the basic design. The telescopic casing of the return springs in it was replaced with one large spring, the bolt was simplified even more, and for some reason they put a bayonet on the barrel! The main drawback of both samples is the caliber, experience has shown that 9mm is still preferable for submachine guns.
In general, all these examples are probably very good examples of the fact that war is the best teacher who very quickly helps to overcome inertia, and old traditions, and the inertia of thinking inherent in the entire human race. Although not completely … But we will tell you about this next time!