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Hotchkiss Universal SMG

The Hotchkiss “Universal” submachinegun was put into production in 1949, and saw only very limited sales. It was originally designed in 1949 as a semiautomatic-only police carbine, but after being released it was quickly refitted as a select-fire submachine gun. We don’t know for sure, but suspect the Universal competed with the MAT-49 for a French military contract (which it did not win.

The overriding design intent was to make a very compact folding carbine, and Hotchiss certainly met that objective. However, the gun ended up being too expensive and complex to achieve any real commercial success. Some wound up in Indochina, and some sales were made to Venezuela and Morocco, but that was about the extent of the Universal’s production. There are a few of these guns that were imported into the US as live semi-auto carbines, interestingly.



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