CETME C2, aka CB-64: Spain’s Version of the Sterling SMG

This is Lot 2068 in the upcoming October 2019 Morphy’s Extraordinary auction.

Developed by CETME in the 1960s, the C2 (aka CB64) submachine gun was clearly inspired b y the Sterling, but includes several clever mechanical safeties. The charging handle is non-reciprocating and integrates a bolt lock which it automatically deactivated when the charging handle is used. This allows a loaded magazine to be safely carried with the bolt forward on an empty chamber. It also has a bolt block that is retracted when the trigger is pulled, which will stop the bolt from fully closing if the gun is jarred or the charging handle snagged. Finally, it has a retracting spring loaded firing pin that does not come forward until the bolt is fully forward, thus preventing out of battery detonations. Made in both 9mm Parabellum and 9mm Largo, it is a clever and well designed submachine gun, only let down by an uncomfortable folding stock.


  1. I’m not really sure where the “C2” name came from, all the marketing stuff from CETME and the markings on the production models call it the CB-64.

    Back in the late 1970s/early 80s there was apparently a brief attempt to revive this gun, but it did not come to fruition. I suppose it looked too outdated. Apparently it was actually a pretty good gun and the safety system was ingenious.

    • I should say, early production models. Obviously there must have been a rebrand as “C2” at some point but I’m not sure why this was. It actually caused confusion among some sources who thought it was a successor to the Canadian C1.

  2. There’s one question I have to ask for the sake of asking it, even if it’s too obvious and almost a cliché: do you HAVE to hold the thing by the magazine well?

  3. off topic question. what happened to your gun vault pages on this site? i cant find them anymore. there were lots of cool rare photos in those pages.

  4. I haven’t seen the video yet, but the written description sounds a lot like the features of the Star Z62 and Z70a SMGs, just with the magazine housing stuck out of the side.

    The Star models used a larger diameter tube compared to the Sterling, allowing for some length to be saved

    But included the non reciprocating cocking handle (and no slot to allow crap into the rear of the receiver and spring, the bolt inertia lock that keeps the bolt from going back if you drop the gun, and the firing pin that only goes forward at the correct position during bolt travel.

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