Finnish Jatimatic SMG

The Jatimatic was a Finnish submachine gun intended for bodyguards and private security forces. It was designed in the 1980s, and never achieved much success despite having some interesting and clever features. The bolt is designed like and Uzi or CZ-23/24 bolt, wrapping around the barrel to allow a heavy enough bolt for direct blowback operation while maintaining a short overall length of the gun. The bolt also travels along an axis not quite parallel to the barrel, which helps reduce muzzle climb.

However, the Jatimatic did not have any provision for using a shoulder stock, relying instead of firing from the hip or with a carry sling. This significantly hampered its practical utility. In addition, the sling attachment on the rear of the gun is also the takedown catch, so putting tension on the sling in the wrong way can result in the gun disassembling (not a good design feature).


  1. The Jatimatic had it’s roots in a .22 caliber target pistol Jali Timari was developing in the late 1970s. A 9×19 mm variant was the basis for the to-be submachine gun. A prototype had a faulty trigger mechanism, and the gun ran away with a full magazine. It was observed that the rate of fire was somewhat slower than in a typical automatic 9 mm gun, and with softer recoil, also the spread of the fired burst on target was small. Eventually only the smg version was produced – the target pistol variants were deemed too unconventional for the market. Also the .22 (olympic) target pistol could have been barred from UIT events due to the recoil compensating features.
    The manufacturer, Tampereen Asepaja (“Tampere Gunsmiths”) were forced out of business in the 80s. Later Golden Gun ltd tried to revive production with some modifications. One of these was aligning the top cover with the barrel, which helped with instinctive aiming of the weapon.
    Some early airsoft replicas of the Jati were produced after it was featured in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle “Cobra”. It was seen in a few other hollywood movies in the 80s as well. These were apparently all promotional appearances negotiated by the importer, no Jatimatics came from film industry armourers.

  2. Whenever I see weapons like this, designed for as little recoil as possible, they almost always seem to be missing a few simple features that could make it even less. Obviously there’s having a stock in the first place, but having a springed stock like the FG-42, and then perhaps add a AK-74 style muzzle brake and you would really have a gun that would possibly have even less recoil than the overly loved Kriss Vector at only a fraction of the cost and without the overly weird action.

    Hmm, perhaps I should see if someone’s still got the patent on the Jatimatic in the USA…

  3. I was going to add that it became a quest of myself and my friends back in the 80’s to figure out what the SMG the partisan hunter played by L.Q. Jones in “Red Dawn” was. It took us almost a year to learn it was the Jatimatic, after I think it was Guns and Ammo, or SOF did an article on the film. Most of us thought it was a PM-63 originally.

    • Respectfully, it was not L.Q. Jones (Lone Wolf McQuade) it was William Smith. Smith, an American bodybuilder and character actor, actually did classified Intel work during the Korean War and was fluent in Russian. I well remember seeing this movie, in the theatre, and identifying the weapon -although I had the country of original wrong.

  4. The only other gun I’ve seen that used off-axis bolt travel like was the French MAS-38.

    It’d be interesting to see FW take a look at one of those someday for comparison…

  5. The quick change barrel feature draw inspiration from the Suomi M-31 smg, though not directly so in the technical implementation. The magazines were modeled after the very succesful Carl Gustav M45 design, which was manufactured under licence in post-war Finland for the Suomi smg. Lighter materials (aluminium IIRC) were used though, and some internal improvements towards more reliability were included. The shoulder stock was very purposefully not included in the weapon’s design, which was aimed more at situations where concealability and lightness are key; personal/vip protection and stakeouts. If you look at live fire videos, you can see the Jatimatic does have recoil to deal with, but it’s mostly pushing backwards. Especially with hands on both grips, the barrel stays very much level and on point. Also take into consideration that the weapon is less than half the weight of an Uzi, for example. In the end, it was a niche firearm, produced in a place where there was little local market – but it sort of reached all the goals set by it’s designer, and had some pretty good engineering. I can’t see it as a complete failure, even though it commercially certainly was. In it’s home country it has become somewhat iconic, an item of pop culture even, and a household word. In summary: it’s pretty cool.

  6. Yep,
    Jati Matic smg upper housing is actually fabricated from 2 sheetmetall stamped halfs between there is trunion or front barrel support part…
    Those 2 sheetmetall plates attaches to barrel trunion by 4 rivets,the top cover of housing have a barrel holder which gets pinned to the trunion..

    Acording to manual,
    There is 2 differant versions of barrels,the one you showed to us Ian is standart barrel other one is specificly developed for silencer use and have additional grooves on front of barrel…

    Interesting part of this smg is very easy to manufacture and inexpansive,so total number of Jatimatic parts is 36 despites magazine and its parts…

  7. Very neat. This is one of those “Reference book only” weapons – I’ve only previously seen them on paper in black and white.

    Am I the only one who keeps reading that is Jamimatic?

  8. one more thing: the rear sling swivel/take down lever was a recognized issue, and was to be redesigned on later models, along with aligning the top cover with the barrel. At least the later production guns by Golden Gun had a different swivel design, if I’m not mistaken.

  9. By the way it was revealed on Milipol Paris exhibition in 1983. In a finish article it’s said that Tampereen Asepaja Oy (TAP) lost it’s production rights in 1985 after some of the guns (22) were stolen from the workshop in 1984. Total production was about 400

  10. Question: Can this type of blowback be used for a belt fed machine gun with a heavier caliber as well?

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