Submachine guns, which were developed in Ukraine immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, unlike pistols, cannot boast of "exotic" solutions in their designs, however, they are quite interesting to familiarize yourself with. Despite the fact that in specialized publications a lot was said about this weapon, and mostly only in a positive way, these samples did not flood the whole world, and very few know about them inside the country, since the weapon was not adopted by the army, no law enforcement agencies.
Goblin submachine guns
One of the rather interesting Ukrainian developments of the late twentieth century is the Goblin submachine gun. It is not entirely clear what was the reason for choosing a name for the new weapon. The appearance of this PP, though not "smart", but quite acceptable, especially for weapons of this class. This submachine gun is positioned as a concealed carry weapon and has a folding design. It was assumed that the Goblin submachine gun should interest the country's security service, but the lack of funding from the state did not allow the design to be brought to acceptable indicators in terms of reliability and to deploy large-scale production.
For those interested in handguns, the similarities with the Russian PP-90 submachine gun will be obvious. It is not uncommon to find heated debates regarding the copying of weapons. If we talk about the very idea of a submachine gun with a similar design, then the ARES submachine gun, which was developed by Francis Varini back in the 70s, can put a fat point in such disputes. Well, if we talk about direct copying, then, to the regret of many fans to argue, it also does not exist. Of course, the weapon cannot be completely different, since both submachine guns are made in the same layout and according to the same automation scheme, but it is impossible to talk about complete copying, which will become clear with a more detailed study of the design.
As mentioned above, this submachine gun was actively advertised in various print media. So in one of them a phrase flashed about the uniqueness of the new weapon. In particular, it is said that at a distance of 500 meters, a bullet from a Goblin submachine gun pierces 4.5 mm of armor. At the same time, the weapon was developed for cartridges 9x18 and 9x19. Needless to say, this is really "beyond the power of any modern submachine gun." As you know, it is the ammunition that determines the main characteristics of the weapon, as well as the prospect of further development is also determined by the cartridge. No one has ever managed to jump above their heads. Even with the perfectly matched barrel length of the submachine gun, which would allow the full use of the energy of the powder charge to achieve the maximum possible bullet speed, it would be foolish to talk about even more or less aimed shooting at a distance of 500 meters. The declared indicators of armor penetration can also be called stupidity. It is impossible to ignore the mention of the fact that, according to separate statements, 26 thousand shots were fired from the prototype of the Goblin submachine gun, while the weapon was not subjected to any cleaning or lubrication during all this time and retained its performance.
Actually, such statements are quite often found in articles about Ukrainian hand-held firearms, one can only guess whether the journalists assigned an additional zero and instead of 500 meters one should read 50, or doubt the competence of the person talking about the new weapon. A completely natural question arises, why is this nonsense duplicated in this material? As I see it, such, let's call them mildly, "inaccuracies" in the description of weapons should be pointed out, since many who are far from the world of firearms can easily believe in these fantastic indicators that cannot be reproduced in reality even under ideal conditions.
In open sources, there is a mention of three variants of Goblin submachine guns, with serial numbers 1, 2 and 3, the Transformer submachine gun is also mentioned, which, obviously, is nothing more than the Goblin-3 submachine gun with minor improvements in ergonomics and appearance. The data for each individual version of the weapon varies greatly from source to source, however, this is not surprising, since the weapon was in development, and in the process of solving some individual problems in the design of new submachine guns, the parameters of the weapon could change every week. From the information that we managed to find, we can conclude that the Goblin-1 submachine gun was developed for 9x18 PM cartridges, Goblin-2 for 9x19 cartridges, Goblin-3 or Transformer was based on an automatic system with a semi-free shutter. The exact classification, now, can only be given by the designers who worked on the weapon, therefore, in this case, it is only for information.
Before assessing the appearance of the weapon and its ease of use, it is probably worth mentioning that this submachine gun is more a special weapon than a product for widespread distribution. Whatever one may say, but the ability of a submachine gun to fold into a relatively small "brick" is needed only for hidden wearing. You can often come across the opinion that such a weapon would be completely superfluous in the armament of armored vehicle crews, pilots, and drivers. It is difficult to argue that a weapon with the ability to collapse to compact dimensions is necessary, however, with the proliferation and cheapness of body armor, the effectiveness of submachine guns decreases, which means that, in the context of effectiveness of use, a more acceptable option is a small-sized machine gun, or a submachine gun, but not under cartridges 9x18 or 9x19.
The submachine gun itself is a design with the ability to fold in the middle. One half of the weapon is, in fact, the submachine gun itself, the second plays the role of a butt in the unfolded position. To reduce the size of the weapon, during firing, the bolt, rolling back, enters the butt, in which a buffer device is located, which reduces the fire. It is, the fastest of all, a conventional spring with a guide. Conversely, in order to reduce the size while maintaining the length of the barrel of the weapon, the bolt is "rolled" onto the barrel.
Since the barrel and butt of the weapon are located on the same line, the submachine gun is obviously quite stable during firing, which is facilitated by both the buffer device and the long stroke of the bolt group. However, this arrangement also has its drawbacks, since the sights have to be installed on high racks so that the shooter does not break his neck while aiming. In this case, the sights are two stamped parts that can be folded. Given the fact that the front sight is installed on the front of the weapon, and the rear sight is on the butt, we can say with confidence that during operation the submachine gun will lose exactly because of the sighting devices, which will sooner or later become loose, as well as the connection receiver with butt. However, if you do not count on the previously mentioned 500 meters, but modestly limit yourself to fifty, then this is not such a big problem.
The weapon is implemented in a very original way by switching fire modes. The trigger has the ability to move perpendicular to the receiver. So, when the trigger is shifted to the right, the weapon fires with a cutoff of two rounds, when shifted to the left, the submachine gun goes into automatic fire. The solution is quite interesting, no doubt, but accidental shots during the switching process cannot be ruled out if the shooter does not calculate the strength from the adrenaline in the blood.
In the front of the receiver at the bottom, there is a small handle for cocking the bolt, which remains stationary when firing. Behind it is an additional handle for holding a submachine gun. The same handle plays the role of a holder for an additional weapon magazine in the unfolded position of the submachine gun, the magazine enters the slot of this handle, in the folded position of the weapon.
It is not difficult to see that the design itself allowing the weapon to fold is in many ways similar to the design of the Gnome pistol, which proves back that any developments in the field of firearms are not in vain, since they can be used in other works, although, in this case, not the most successful.
This submachine gun, with such an abundance of stamped parts, had to be very cheap in mass production. However, it seems to me that even if weapons were adopted, it would hardly have been necessary to release more than several thousand weapons, since such submachine guns are very specific and are not suitable for mass weapons in view of their characteristics.
The Goblin-1 and Goblin-2 submachine guns models are characterized by the use of an automation system based on the principle of using recoil energy with a free slide. In order to make the weapon more stable when firing and reduce the rate of fire, the designers used a buffer device that reduces the speed of the shutter. It is noteworthy that along with this, the possibility of firing with a cutoff of two rounds was realized. As I see it, when shooting with a cutoff of 2-3 rounds, the time between shots should be minimal, in order to achieve a minimum withdrawal of the weapon from the line of sight, and, accordingly, reduce the distance between two or three hits. But for some reason the designers decided otherwise.
It can be assumed that a decrease in the rate of fire of Goblin submachine guns was necessary due to overheating of the weapon during intensive shooting, since there is information about the implementation of forced cooling of the barrel of the weapon. This is implemented in the simplest way. The bolt, moving in the receiver, plays the role of a kind of pump that "drives" the air around the barrel. True, it is not entirely clear where exactly the warm air should go with this design, since the receiver is actually deaf and has no holes for ventilation either on the side surfaces or on top. Obviously, such a solution could not provide normal cooling, and therefore it was necessary to reduce the rate of fire.
One of the interesting features in the design of the weapon is the use of a polygonal rifle barrel. From here, apparently, came the information about the incredible survivability of the weapon. At the moment, there is not a single version of the design of the barrels of weapons that would not require cleaning, not to mention the fact that the design of the barrel does not affect the maintenance of other mechanisms of the weapon in any way. And yes, a trunk with a polygonal groove can really do without cleaning longer, has a greater resource, and the cleaning itself is much easier, but here everything will largely depend on the quality of workmanship.
Regarding the automation system in the Goblin-3 and Transformer weapon variants, nothing can be said for sure. There is a mention that the automation system is based on a semi-free shutter, but there is no information how exactly this is implemented.
As mentioned earlier, it turned out to be difficult to find the exact characteristics for all weapon options, therefore the figures below do not pretend to be accurate and rather for information.
The weapon is fed from detachable magazines with a capacity of 25 or 32 rounds, it is obvious that with magazines of larger capacity, the weapon will not be able to fold. The weight of the submachine gun is 1.9 kilograms. The length in the folded position is 290 millimeters, in the unfolded position - 510 millimeters, which, most quickly, is far from reality, since the ratio of the unfolded and folded sample indicates a difference of almost two times in length. The rate of fire is 400-500 rounds per minute. At a distance of 100 meters, the accuracy of the weapon was noted, allowing 85 percent of the bullets to be put into a half-height target, although it is not specified in what mode of fire.
The main advantage of these submachine guns, of course, is their ability to fold into a relatively small parallelepiped. But this "plus" clearly cannot be attributed to the positive qualities for mass weapons. So, to bring the Goblin submachine gun into full alertness, you first need to unfold, then raise the sights, send the cartridge into the chamber and only then shoot. All these procedures take incomparably more time in comparison with bringing into combat readiness a weapon of a more familiar design.
So if we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this submachine gun, then you must first determine for what tasks it will be used. If we talk about the Goblin submachine guns in the context of concealed carry weapons, for which there are no requirements for the time to alert, then the submachine gun is not bad at all. If we talk about the massively widespread submachine gun, then it will lose in all respects to the "classic" designs.
Talking about the reliability and parameters of the weapon as a whole is meaningless, since we are talking about a submachine gun, which was at the development stage. Not only is there no truthful data on the combat characteristics of the weapon, but also those characteristics that were in reality could greatly go aside in the serial production of weapons.
Elf submachine guns
Continuing the story about weapons with the names of fantasy creatures, let's try to get acquainted with the Elf submachine guns. Unlike the previous submachine guns under consideration, they have a more familiar layout, one might even say more, many call Elf submachine guns analogs of the Israeli Uzi. Let's try to figure out what this weapon is, as well as how correct it is to call them Ukrainian Uzi.
When externally examining the weapon, the question of similarity with the Israeli submachine gun does not even arise, Ukrainian designers tried to improve the weapon, and many experts agree that it was exactly what they tried, not improved.
Of course, the Elf submachine guns have no complete external similarity with the Israeli PP, but even the location of the weapon controls suggests that this submachine gun was made, at least with an eye on Uzi.
On the left side of the weapon, under the thumb of the holding right hand, there is a fire mode switch. To ensure safe handling of the weapon and to prevent an accidental shot, there is a button on the back of the handle (you can only call it a key with a big stretch) of the automatic safety device. At the bottom of the pistol grip, the designers placed a magazine latch, although it is obvious that with large-capacity magazines protruding beyond the dimensions of the grip, such a latch is unlikely to be convenient for its small dimensions. In front of the Elf submachine gun safety bracket, there is an additional handle for holding, it also serves as the location of an additional store. There are several versions of this handle, including those without the possibility of installing an additional magazine in it. In the upper part of the receiver, in front and behind, there is a front sight and a rear sight, between them there is a handle for cocking the shutter, which remains stationary during the firing process. There are also variants of weapons where the cocking handle is made in the form of two stops on both sides of the receiver or in the form of a folding handle on the left side of the weapon. The retractable shoulder rest is also found in several versions, but this detail does not differ fundamentally from each other in different samples.
It should be noted that the more the designers gave the weapon a presentable look, the more the submachine gun resembled the Israeli Uzi.
The basis for the Ukrainian submachine guns Elf was an automation system using recoil energy with a free slide. The shot is fired from an open bolt, thanks to which you can find interesting information that the submachine gun has no recoil when firing. So, in many articles about this weapon, you can find the phrase that in this submachine gun the bolt group moves forward during the shot, while in the Kalashnikov assault rifle it moves back. Next, there is usually a discussion about a balanced automation system, which, of course, does not smell here.
The designers did not leave everything at the level of the cheapest and simplest submachine guns. The bolt group, in addition to performing its main function, also plays the role of a kind of "pump" that pumps air between the receiver and the barrel of the weapon, cooling it. It can be assumed that such a solution, in addition to cooling the barrel, also serves as a "moderator" for the bolt group, since the rate of fire of the weapon is 400-500 rounds per minute, but this is only a guess. In this case, the statement about the balanced automation system begins to be at least slightly true, since immediately at the moment of firing that part of the bolt group that cools the barrel of the weapon continues to move forward, but vice versa, is it worth considering as a balanced automation system? In my opinion, definitely not.
Separately, it is noted that the trigger mechanism of the weapon is completely different from the Israeli Uzi, much simpler and consists of fewer parts.
The barrel of submachine guns has polygonal cutting.
In the process of searching for information on this weapon, you can repeatedly stumble upon data that the division of submachine guns into Elf-1 and Elf-2, according to the ammunition used, is not entirely correct. Obviously, in the process of working on the weapon, many of its parameters changed, and since the process of work itself was not finished, it makes no sense to even talk about any specific data. Nevertheless, in order of acquaintance, some figures should be given, but it is necessary.
The Elf -1 submachine gun is powered by 9x18 PM cartridges. It has a mass of 2.45 kilograms. The barrel length of the weapon is 240 millimeters, with a total length of 360/560 millimeters with the stock folded / unfolded. It feeds from magazines for 25 or 32 rounds.
The Elf-2 submachine gun "eats" 9x19 ammunition. It has a mass of 2.5 kilograms. With the same barrel length of 240 millimeters, the weapon is longer - 416 and 580 millimeters with the stock folded and unfolded. Everything also feeds from stores with a capacity of 25 and 32 rounds.
Even with a great desire, any exceptional qualities of the weapon cannot be noted. The reason is not at all that the weapon is bad, just from whatever angle you try to look, you still compare the Elf submachine guns with Uzi. Yes, Ukrainian weapons turned out to be easier, perhaps simpler, if you look at the trigger mechanism. However, it is not entirely clear why it was necessary to reduce the rate of fire by half, and even add forced cooling of the barrel of the weapon. Even if we assume that all this was done in order to prevent the overexpenditure of ammunition, why was it impossible to stop at all the usual 600 rounds per minute? In general, there are more questions than answers and it is impossible to give an adequate assessment of unfinished work.
Despite the fact that the design bureau "Spetstekhnika" has long been gone, you can still find relatively fresh statements about the adoption of Elf submachine guns into service. Of course, the matter does not go further than statements, although it is possible that a small amount of these weapons is still present in the troops and law enforcement agencies, but faster as a weapon for acquaintance.
This begs the question of how weapons can be somewhere other than in museums and warehouses, awaiting disposal, because the Elf was not mass-produced. The answer to this question can be the TASCO 7ET10 and 7ET9 submachine guns. These submachine guns are a continuation of work on the Elf, they have lost all the features, in the form of forced cooling of the barrel, the barrel itself with polygonal cutting, and have become very similar in design to the Uzi submachine gun.
Both submachine gun variants are based on the Elf-2 model. Model 9 uses 7, 62x25 ammunition, model 10 is powered by 9x19 ammunition. Judging by individual reviews, of which there are not so many, the weapon needs to be improved, the quality varies from one submachine gun to another, but the price of the weapon is more than low. And once again it should be noted that in this case, submachine guns in their design are not much different from Uzi, which is almost 65 years old.
It is impossible to remain silent about another interesting development that concerns Elf submachine guns, namely a three-row store. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether there was a variant of the Elf submachine gun designed for this store. Due to the fact that the magazine is thicker, it obviously simply would not fit into the handle of the weapon. The design of the store is nowhere simpler. Cartridges laid in three rows, as they are used up, are rearranged in two rows, and the feeder, in order to pass a narrower section of the store, simply protrudes through the slot in the body. It goes without saying that it is not possible to assess the reliability, but judging by the simplicity of the design, we can say that such a store will at least work.
As with many other Ukrainian developments, not everything is clear and transparent with the Elf submachine gun. It remains unclear why it was impossible to say as it is that the purpose of the work is to improve the older foreign model. It is clear that the design used a trigger mechanism of its own design and the bolt group has its own unique features and is not much like the Uzi bolt, but the external similarity of the weapon is obvious. Perhaps one of the heads of the design bureau was an ardent fan of Israeli weapons, and this is precisely what explains the external similarity. In the mid-90s, at the time of the development of the Elf submachine guns, there were a lot of different submachine guns with better ergonomics, why couldn't they be taken as a basis?
In any case, the development of Elf submachine guns, at least to some extent, turned out to be successful, since their highly simplified versions are now offered for export by the TASCO company, although clearly not in the volumes in which the company management would like.
If we talk in general about the Ukrainian submachine guns, which were developed within the walls of "Spetstekhnika", one cannot fail to notice that the designers tried to make their weapons too complicated in pursuit of higher characteristics. If we started the production of domestic weapons "from scratch", then it was necessary to start with the simplest designs, after consulting and finding out what kind of weapon one or another potential customer needs and whether it is needed at all. As a result, it turned out that the weapon seems to be being developed and some money is allocated for this, only it turned out to be massively unnecessary, there is nowhere to produce it, and what they have developed - well done, put it on the shelf.