Hotchkiss Universal Video

The Hotchkiss Universal is a pretty interesting submachine gun, despite its rather clumsy appearance. 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.


  1. Ian,

    VERY unique rifle. Have always wanted to make a fold-up, Transformers like rifle. Never thought of having the barrel retract inwards. How does the barrel chamber end go past the bolt? I tried seeing it on the video with no luck. Does the bolt retract as well?


  2. I’ve only seen one in my life time that a Coast Guard guy had liberated while doing inspection boardings in Viet Nam. It was all folded up and he damaged it taking it apart. I’de love to have one in semi auto now that I know how they work.

    • Yeah, you and me both, Art. I did some looking, and the only source I found for parts kits was Long Mountain, and they are actually out of them (and haven’t updated their web site).

  3. Can you say over complicated KelTec P2000?It is an interesting setup..nice novelty piece with the extending barrel..good for the grocery bag if you were going to the market in most MIddle East markets and might have to fight your way out! Da Goat

  4. Damn. I’ve seen pictures of these before, but I never realized how awesome they are until now.
    I think the telescoping barrel feature is almost too cool to comprehend.
    I would pay far more than a reasonable amount of money to own one.

  5. I’ve been lucky to have seen BOTH versions – the first one I saw was at a F/A shoot held at Broward County’s (FL) Markham Park Range in 1992. the second was a semi-version at a show in Melbourne, FL sometime around 1999 or 2000…it is indeed a rare and most fascinating piece of engineering. Thank you for displaying this, Ian…most folks have never even seen ONE!!!

  6. A most interesting and innovative weapon. How did it rate among its users for reliability and general effectiveness ( within the scope of its intended purpose )?

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