Ians Top 5 SMGs

One of the questions I got for this month’s Q&A was, “what are your favorite submachine guns?” Well, I figured that would be a good idea for a standalone video instead of just a Q&A answer, so here we are! My top SMGs are:

5: vz61 Skorpion (honorable mention; more PDW than SMG)
4: M/31 Suomi
3: US M2
2: Beretta 38A
1: Gotta check out the video for that!

74 Comments

  1. Here’s a Forgotten Weapon that didn’t make your bottom five:
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30029453
    It’s a copy of the US M3A1 but with a grip safety and in 9mm Parabellum. The IWM example on exhibit was captured from an Argentinean soldier during the Falklands War and I think I may have seen it when I was in London two decades ago. The PAM is so obscure that I only saw reference to the gun in “Small Arms of the World” and in Donald Hamilton’s “The Retaliators” (in that Matt Helm novel the bad guys had two PAM-1 submachine guns)–no photos. I’m unsure if I saw the PAM-2 because I took photos while in the Imperial War Museum but I can’t lay hands on the photo of that submachine gun at the moment. I was trained at Fort Riley to perform unit armorer tasks on the M3A1 submachine gun and fired it for familiarization while in Kuwait during the 1990’s, where my arms room had 70 of them–so I’m familiar with the gun that the PAM-2 was patterned after; but familiar with one doesn’t always mean the “copy” is the same as the original. There were some kits to convert the M3 submachine gun to 9mm but I’ve only read about those kits. When I brought up the subject during the Fort Riley Unit Armorer’s Course in August 1984 my instructor didn’t know what I was talking about–nor about the PAM-2, the course was all about the small arms issued to the First Infantry Division.
    Was the lack of distribution due to politics or was the PAM submachine gun simply unremarkable? It’s no UZI or H&K MP-5, it wasn’t made in mass quantities, and the biggest war the PAM served in was the Falklands Island War with Britain, so it’s not going to make anybody’s top ten list.

    I liked your top five selection and the fact that you have footage of firing those five. I won’t spoil your #1 selection–other people will have to watch the video.

    • My understanding of Argentine small arms has it that the PAM-1 was basically just a 9x19mm M3A1 grease gun and the PAM-2 had the addition of the two-handed-use-only front grip safety, which was commercially available on some post-war Berettas and also in use on the Danish Madsen M50/53 and the “peer competitor” Brazil’s .45 acp INA smg.

      Argentina’s arms exports emphasized the FAL rifle built at Rosario, and I think the only SMG that was ever sold abroad in any quantity or provided to U.S. proxies in Central America was the 9mm FMK-3 that squeezed together features of the Uzi, M3/PAM, and sa25 in a serviceable, reasonably compact, but uninspiring melange.

      • A.B.Zhuk uses P.A.M.1 and P.A.M.2 names and says only “like M3 A1 but in 9 mm Parabellum” and gives following data for P.A.M.1: 9 Parabellum cartridge, length (unfolded/folded) 538/728 mm, barrel 200 mm, mass empty/loaded 3,0/3,64 kg, capacity 30, fire: full auto only, Rate-of-Fire 450 rpm
        According to http://www.sadefensejournal.com/wp/pistola-ametralladora-p-a-m-the-argentine-grease-gun/ PAM 2 were created via converting PAM 1. It seems that lion share of PAM 2 are former PAM 1, with only 1100 PAM 2 being made from scratch and 16,544 made from former PAM 1. It says name of this weapon is Pistola Ametralladora P.A.M.2.

    • “(…)I liked your top five selection and the fact that you have footage of firing those five.(…)”
      I hope I would not unveil too much saying all of 5 are from Northern Hemisphere. It would be interesting to make round 2: sub-machine guns of Southern Hemisphere. I think OWEN MACHINE CARBINE would hold firm position here (unless you are doing choice based on external look).

  2. I’m sure I haven’t shot nearly as many SMGs as Ian, but I’ve used a few. My top 5 are;

    5. Sterling L2A1- Basically a product-improved Lanchester/MP28, but handling more like a Sten MK II or MK III with a proper pistol grip. There really isn’t much bad about it as an API straight blowback 9mm SMG.

    4. Thompson M1921/28- Because if you need a .45 ACP SMG, it’s one of the few that fires from a closed bolt. Also, as long as you stick to 20 or 30-round box magazines and avoid the drums, its 13.5 lb or so loaded weight rather makes up for its high bore line relative to the shoulder stock. Also very good for aimed, semi-auto fire out to 250 yards with that nice Lyman rear sight; I’ve won a few bets that way.

    3. Beretta M38A- I basically agree with everything Ian said about it. My uncle who ran into them in North Africa and going up the Boot said that in his experience, it was the most brute-reliable SMG anybody ever made.

    2. S&W M76- Basically a Carl Gustaf M45B, meaning a developed Sten MK II. But compact, comfortable to shoot, and considerably easier to hit something with than the MAC 10 or 11.

    1. M2 Carbine, .30 USC- Pretty much everything Ian said about the MP-5 applies here. Except that it’s gas-operated, more reliable than about any SMG ever made, and fires a cartridge that hits as hard at 300 yards as the 9mm or .45 ACP do at the muzzle. Like the Skorpion, it’s really a PDW, not an SMG, but after all, that’s what it was designed to be to begin with.

    Yes, compared to any SMG, if I had a choice of a full-auto weapon “below rifle caliber” as a C&R- or to take into an actual fight- it would be the U.S. M2 Carbine.

    cheers

    eon

  3. Huh! I was surprised! I held the sealed envelope to my head for number one and thought: “Aha! As a long-time viewer of the Forgotten Weapons channel, I *sense* that the Czechoslovak ZK-383 9mm SMG is in the top spot!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlFdhAK5c7Q

    Not so! Instead it was the —- spoiler alert!
    I was equally surprised to see that the Owen didn’t make the list, although maybe it was edged out by the Czechoslovak VZ61. “Terrorist chic.”

    I think that Timothy J. Mullin’s copious hands-on “experimental archaeology” of various European “machine pistols” pointed up that these serve a tactical niche as something a bit like the hoary old U.S. police and criminal “whippit gun” or sawed-off shotgun: At very close ranges, a number of projectiles are delivered to a target, which causes a terminal ballistics effect much greater than the paltry effects of a single buckshot pellet or a single .32 acp or 7.65mm or 7.62x25mm 9x18mm bullet.

    I will note, that like T. J. Mullin’s experimental archaeology, intrepid Ian’s “hands on” evaluations are about shooting the things, controllable characteristics, and above-all accuracy. And like Mullins, Mr. M’Collum finds in almost every instance (excepting the Czech terrorist special and the —- number one gun– to find the desired qualities in First generation SMGs! Wood stocks, lots of machining, built for hard use, damn-the-expense-full-speed-ahead! types of submachine guns. Suomi m/31 with wood stock and lavish manufacturing, Beretta M38A, even the Hyde M2, which of course was doomed by not being cheap enough the way the M3 and M3A1 were. Interesting.

    My own feeble/modest hands on experience with SMGs is limited to the Sten Mk.II and the H u. K MP5 with fixed stock, so my basis for comparison is pretty nigh zilch!

    Now that Ian has done a top 5, I think he’ll have to do a “worst 5” list no?
    Hmmm. Polish PM63…Czechoslovak samopal 23-26…Revelli OVP … Basically guns that were deemed “good enough” or “adequate” but would probably mostly fall in second or third generation?

    Ian sure tricked us by leaving that folded-up Hotchkiss there next to him! ;0)

  4. The previously-noted favorite ZK-383 didn’t even make the list?

    The .32ACP chambering is actually the Vz61’s only positive feature – not only the noted controllability at a reasonable mass, but also the recognition that A. its reduced recoil could compensate somewhat for non-infantry troops’ reduced marksmanship training and experience, and B. its capacity and FA capability could make up for reduced per-round KE.

    Otherwise, its Rube Goldberg mechanism uses lots of extra parts to achieve much less rate reduction than Lage achieves in the MAC by simply increasing bolt mass, and quite likely equal/less than what the Skorp itself could achieve by simply dedicating the extra receiver space to free recoil travel!

    After coming away from the previous Skorpion praise-fest thinking “What does it do that a .32 MAC wouldn’t?” I still didn’t really want to mess with the semi-rimmed .32, but wanted to verify my hypothesis empirically. I happily noticed that Shockwave sells the same magazines for use with both the M-11/.380 and M-11/9 (which I own). The Lage .380 barrels screw right into the 9mm upper, and doing so achieves the exact same results as their tungsten 9mm bolts: increased bolt mass to recoil impulse ratio increases controllability and lowers ROF (no high-speed cameras or timers available, but noticeably less than the Skorp’s 850rpm); all with no fancy clockwork, from a cheap sheet-metal stamping.

  5. I was surprised the Owen did not make the list given that Ian has called it one of the best SMGs of WW2 era. Could have edged the Suomi out on the basis of weight although not a light weight either at @10lb loaded

  6. Hmm… given a choice of more “obscure” SMGs for use in a Police raid (indoor skirmish), which would you grab?

    1. MAS-38 Police version
    2. MAT-49/54
    3. Reising M50
    4. Ingram Model 6
    5. SIG MP41
    6. American 180
    7. Or, per the usual, screw the budget and add your favorite toys to this list!

    • I’d grab the MAT 49 and leave the rest. Just because it’s a pretty easy-handling 9mm, and if space was an issue I could leave the M3 Grease Gun type stock retracted.

      The final confrontation in the movie The Day of the Jackal pretty much shows what an MAT 49 can do in such a situation.

      If I’m really concerned with Not Being Seen going in, I’d probably go with the Hotchkiss Universal Ian had sitting at his elbow in this vid. It’s a bit more involved to “open” than the 49 or a police MAS 38, but only the Ares/Warin Stealth or the later Russian PP-90 is more compact;

      https://www.guns.com/news/2017/08/08/foldable-submachine-guns

      cheers

      eon

      • It could be Beretta 38A is softer shooting than later model due to the difference in bolt, later using fixed firing pin compared to (re)movable one, as my theory is with moveable firing pin you get primer actuation not directly connected with bolt and thus more flexibility.

        • In theory, the fixed firing pin should provide API, so allowing to lighten the bolt in respect to the MAB38A one, where the firing pin hit the bolt only when the case and bolt were perfectly seated. In practice…
          However I think the difference in controllability was mainly due to the M38A being more point heavy (longer barrel, barrel shroud and forestock) and having a more complex compensator in respect to the later models.
          Beretta used the same “trick” with the BM59. The integral bipod, the grenade sights and the massive tri-compensator were useful, yeah, but were meant to add weight to the barrel too.

          • In every open bolt smg there is no primer detonation before case is fully seated.

            Now with separate firing pin like in mp40, you get a bolt that theoretically “floats” on pin in the moment of detonation (because mainspring is connected to firing pin, not bolt)
            as opposed to fixed firing pin where forces act at the same time on both firing pin and bolt.
            So, in moment of firing, bolts strips the round, places it in the chamber, aligns it with firing pin and then when pin contacts the primer you have a situation where bolt is free to move (but only like max. 2 millimeters, or whats the fp protrusion) as firing pin protrusion/tip disconnected the bolt from the firing pin acting mainspring.
            But this all happens in very small distance and amount of time.

            My musings are, does this provides softer open bolt shooting and action.

          • What counts for API is not if the case is fully seated, but the forward momentum of the bolt. If the bolt is still traveling when the primer is ignited.
            If the firing pin is solidal to the bolt, then the cartridge can be detonated, and so it can start to push the bolt rearward, before the forward movement is complete.
            In most submachine guns that use this principle, this effect is achieved by making the firing chamber’s length very slightly shorter than the overall cartridge length. This causes the firing pin to ignite the cartridge a little before the bolt slams into the face of the chamber.

    • Well, since I’ve been on about it lately, I guess I’d have to opt for the ERMA MP-60: same 9mm magazines as the Swedish kulspruta m/45–bonus!–the ease of operation and field stripping of the PPSudayev-43, and the internal reliability of the M3A1 grease gun… Admittedly, not from the list above.

      If limited to “generation?”
      “First?” Probably the Beretta M1918/30 self-loading only with top-fed magazine and syringe handle…Or maybe the aforementioned “police” version of the ZK-383-P kitted out for Bolivia but never sold, or the bipod-mounted version as sold to Venezuela?, perhaps the Steyr MP.34 (ö)…
      “Second?” Maybe the Gnome Rhône R5 Sten with wooden stock and safety modifications… Or the Owen…Or the Polish PM wz.43/52…
      “Third?” Hmm. The Hovea m/49? Australian F1? Brazilian Uru? Screw it: Czech Holek experimental ZB-47 with krummlauf around-the-corner barrel attachment?!

      If limited by nation of origin? Golly… How about the UD42 9mm then?

        • Oh yeah! I do like the CZ247! I’m aware a handful were sold–like to Bolivia! Where else?–and some turned up in Biafran hands during the Nigerian Civil War…. Gotta admit, that given the problems with magazine placement: if sticking down, the user/operator cannot really go prone, vs. sticking to the left, a host of other problems… this was really “thinking outside the box?” (to use the cliché-ridden phrase).

    • “(…)7. Or, per the usual, screw the budget and add your favorite toys to this list!(…)”
      If you need weapon which needs to fold into compact package then consider MGD PM-9:
      https://modernfirearms.net/en/submachine-guns/france-submachine-guns/mgd-pm-9-eng/

      “(…)Police raid (indoor skirmish)(…)”
      Excepting anything/anyone that should NOT be hit? (i.e. is collateral damage important?)
      If yes then consider AEK-919K Kashtan
      https://modernfirearms.net/en/submachine-guns/russia-submachine-guns/aek-919k-kashtan-eng/
      uses 9×18 cartridge (less penetration than 9×19), can be used with “red dot” sight (better chance of hitting intended target) and as bonus, can mount suppressor.

  7. I was expecting the ZK-383 based on your assessment a while back.
    I wonder if closed-bolt guns with locking systems aren’t almost another category:
    MP5, Hotchkiss Universal…Reising?

  8. Its not just that italians used that magazine afterwards, more famous its copied in Uzi !

    With magazine of Sten mag. reliability, Uzi would never gain its legendary status.

  9. The topic is called “Ians Top 5 SMG”.
    NOT the most “popular,” “effective,” or “universal.” And those who like Ian.
    And “liking” is an evil thing. 😉

  10. I like, perhaps, an UZI. Probably because I know him better than the rest. This allows you to confidently get up to 100 meters while standing. Well controlled in auto. Easy to carry. Sufficiently versatile and omnivorous.
    From the point of view of mechanics, perhaps an old-fashioned, dull, but optimally functional.
    The rest is classic. M3A1, MP38(MP41?), MAT49, L34A1.
    Spitting is not even considered.
    If the weapon already requires the use of a second hand (also a butt), then it MUST confidently HIT 100m. A better-200. So the cartridge, not less than 9×19.

  11. In regard to the Sterling/L2A3 having a relationship to the MP.28 and the Lanchester (neither of which related), the design stands alone, see :
    LAIDLER Peter, HOWROYD David. The Guns of Dagenham : Lanchester, Patchett and Sterling. Collector Grade Publications, Ontario, 1995. Hard cover, 330p., photographs, drawings.

    In regard to the Australian F1, a true miss-mass of parts, which the Australian Army sighed a sigh of relief when it superseded by the F88, until it was realised its faults. But with its magazine taken off, the F1 made a very good club.

    The OWEN good whilst it fairly new weapon, as the rounds went down so did its reliability. A major problem being the fore barrel, very easy in a used weapon to knock the front of the weapon and lose the barrel. Spare parts production ceased in 1945 and by the 1950’s the armourers concentrated on cannibalisation!

    No one has mentioned the Beretta 12, which looks good, feels good and shoots well.

    Totally agree with the remarks on the French MAT-49, for its time excellent.

    The Belgian Vigneron M2 SMG deserves a place, simple construction, easy to use with few vice, although the verticle magazine under the weapon body a bit of a problem in close country or house to house.

    There a number of ‘modern’ 9mm SMG which unfortunately appeared in the era of 5.56mm and never went anywhere, but the Austrian MPi 69, and the Steyr TMP; FN-H P90; the Italian Spectre H4 that felt just right but far too expensive, the later version of Spanish Star (now defunct) Z-84 in 9mm – only a few hundred acquired but very popular with their various special operations units, and the 9mm Colt that remains in low scale production by various manufacturers. The Russian 5.45mm AKSU SMG should not be forgotten, nor should the various Russian 9mm of this century (only photos seen).

    But the 4.7mm H&K MP7 has met with much appreciation by such as the USN SEAL Team, British Police and the US Secret Service, is probably the way ahead for the SMG.
    Yours, G/.

    • Vertical magazine is a problem in “close country and house to house” ?
      Jesus, what people would not write just to pad up their bs “knowledge”.

      • Storm, in response to your rude and ill informed remark, may I suggest to you that you read the three entries in the recently published official history, FISHER Richard. History of the Small Arms School Corps 1853-2017. Helion Press, Warwick, 2019. Hard cover, 512p., photographs, index. This 1.dealing with the TSMG in relation to close country fighting in Burma, and the development of British Army house to house fighting tactics developed at Barnard Castle-between 1942-44; 2. The acceptance trials of the Danish Madsen M1950 SMG in 1951-52 was running in par with the Sterling, But, the vertical magazine giving the same problems as in 1. The magazine did not allow the firer to use in the prone position, it caught on undergrowth whilst in close country, in buildings constantly caught on protrusions such as window sills, climbing over obstructions and more. 3. The H&K MP5 required special to weapon handling skills to developed to train personnel in the use of the vertical magazine in close quarters, and that developed in 1942-44 for the TSMG were adapted for use with the MP5. But as it says the USN SEAL Team used occupational psychologists to develop situational awareness skills for use with the MP5 during assault tactical training (including helo operation). It was for these reasons that H&K from early days developed and produced straight and curved 15 round magazines, which are widely used. The UK police did have a ten round magazine developed as even the 15 round one had a tendency to catch. There also a problem with ordinary use of such verticle magazines when egressing or firing from vehicles. The replacement of the G3 by the G36 in the German led to the development of handling techniques that stopped the catching problems in various German vehicles such as the Marder, Dingo (there had been similar problems with the wholesale use of the UZI in German Hotchkiss HS30 APC when jumping out of the back compartment. Weapon handling techniques are literally a science and the Small Arms School Corps has for many years provided such training to the US military, France, Germany and many others. And small arms design for infantry combat has to cover of the eventualities (for other types of use the development of correct weapon handling skills perhaps of less importance?). So I am afraid that your “BS knowledge” is incorrect when relating to ‘real’ soldiers on a two way rifle range.

        • Ok, I stand partially corrected, you did a good explanation, referenced with books, I give you credit for that.
          Ergonomics are pretty important, however here with these official trials I got an impression they were making too much science out of it, as you cannot escape the vertical magwell in vast majority of smgs. Thats a fact, now are you gonna make a study on how many trees, windows and brushes something snags, you always could but maybe it wont yield any improvements.
          I personally cannot see or when used indoors shouldered or from the hip how a SMG with vertical or any other direction magwell can be such a hinderance, main consideration could be the length of whole fiream.

          • Storm. To give a prime example the West German Heer used to describe a SMG when used for house clearing (urban warfare) as a “House Broom”, when held snugly to the body you could move through a closed environment without fear of catching on snags. In the pre-dismemberment of the Swedish Army there were specific units called “Urban Battalions” whose prime role was to fight in the built up areas of Swedish cities. Their various manuals used to show the use of the K-SMG (the Carl Gustave M/45) when used inside closed/confined areas having the skeleton butt closed, the pistol grip in the right hand, and the magazine placed over the crook of the left arm, making it positioned within the confines of the thoracic/abdominal region of the body (still used by the Home Guard for such combat until 2007). The West German method shown being to place the Uzi firmly under the right arm pit, with magazine angled across the body to the left. These techniques required specialised training. In the British/Canadian armies FIBUA (Fighting in the Built Up Area, you did not need specialist weapon handling techniques, the left hand facing magazine fitted comfortably over the crook of the left arm, under the right arm pit the skeleton butt, or closed up making the weapon into a sort of pistol configuration.

            With such as the French MAT-49 the magazine goes into the hand grip which held close to the body – solving the problem. The double grip of the Beretta M12 solved it. While in UK service, the L85> with its bullpup configuration solved the problem, but, was of course a bit too long. When seconded to the Training Team up in the Long Hai Mountains training the FANK (Cambodian Army) we used US M3A1 for training in close quarter fighting, which led to a lot of problems with the very small Khmer soldiers with the magazine length, and then stability problems when the magazine emptied!!!!

            All infantry weapons have to be a compromise of design, and getting it right is a major problem. In Australia we have the major problem with the rebuilt F88 into the EF88 (which is the A3 variant of the AUG) which in the words of the then NZ Army as being a utter piece of junk. Thales the manufacturer in Australia developed it further into the F90CQB (Close Quarter Battle) specifically for such combat with the Indian Army and to be built in India, they totally rejected it.

    • “(…)But the 4.7mm H&K MP7 has met with much appreciation by such as the USN SEAL Team, British Police and the US Secret Service, is probably the way ahead for the SMG.(…)”
      We will see. Russian point-of-view is that for military purpose (i.e. no expanding / easily tumbling bullet) such small caliber has not enough terminal performance and thus most modern Russian sub-machine gun use one of three 9 mm calibers (9×18 or 9×19 or 9×21). U.S. Army recently run competition for Sub Compact Weapon and then selected one: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a27021124/us-army-submachine-gun/
      which fires 9×19 Parabellum cartridge.
      (do not ask me why they do not call it sub-machine gun, which is bit ironical considering that sub-machine gun term was introduced by John T. Thompson, who was U.S. Army officer)

      • WHOOPS. I should have wrote “the left hand facing magazine of the Sterling SMG”
        Apologies, yours, G/.

        • Err… none of sub-machine guns I mentioned has magazine sticking to left. Can you explain connection between “(…)the left hand facing magazine of the Sterling SMG(…)” and one of modern Russian sub-machine gun or Sub Compact Weapon?

          • Daweo, my WHOOPS should have come under my response to Storm.

            It is interesting in regard to ergonomics, with the right side of the body being for the bulk of the population the first practical SMG the MP-18 had its snail magazine feeding from the left. According the initial concepts for the development of the STEN Machine Carbine, the right hand side kept control of the weapon ie. kept it on target whilst reloading from the left. And since the right keeps the weapon “stable” the autonomic actions of removing the magazine and replacing it can be done without using the eyes to control the actions, the brain automatically knowing the location of the right hand, and therefore with training the magazine change becomes second nature. Which I think for 1940 was a exceptional concept of ergonomics.

            It was also part of the concept that with the magazine on the left hand side of the weapon, this came across the front of the body mass so it did not catch on protrusions whilst fighting in a trench system (remember 1940) or in house clearing or fighting in close country.

            An article in the British Army professional journal, The Infantryman, describes the use of a modern lightweight video camera in 1978 in the then FIBUA Village at Warminister (Fighting in the Built Up Area, used before MOUT came into use in the 1980’s). this used to film the actual actions of soldiers clearing houses room by room, and it showed the then unknown that left handed soldiers in a automatic manner cleared rooms in a different way to right handed. and this left them open to be killed or wounded. So the battle drills had to be altered to train left handed soldiers to adapt to clear the same as right handed, and to make the whole team work in an identical manner.

            I find it quite fascinating, and have been interested in it since 1978 when forged items in gold and silver were pointed out to me that the engraving on the items was done by a left handed craftsman (you can see with a good magnifying class or a microscope the cant of the engraving chisel as the letters are cut out). And in the periods when these forgeries were made (1890’s to 1950’s) there was no such thing as a left handed tradesman in the world doing such – the various craft guilds did not allow left handies-it the mark of the devil!!!! So they either learned to use their right hand (but a skilled person could tell such) or did not do their apprenticeship.

          • @Gordon

            If so interested on inside house and urban combat, I guess bulpup design could be the best here (for your search of ideal item), lookup and study Sidewinder smg.

          • “(…)first practical SMG the MP-18 had its snail magazine feeding from the left(…)”
            Said Trommelmagazine predated that sub-machine gun, which has peculiar shape – drum with long neck (so it could be used in Pistole 08), see 3rd image from top here:
            https://modernfirearms.net/en/submachine-guns/germany-submachine-guns/mp-18i-schmeisser-eng/
            so if it would stick to bottom it would hang lower than drum magazines used in most other sub-machine guns, like SUOMI or Thompson M1921, which get magazine designed specifically for them.

  12. Hard to disagree with Ian, except on the VZ61, which is a nasty little thing. Something like an MP5PDW or Micro-Uzi is much more capable, and only slightly larger.

    As a Brit, I’d always make the case for the Sterling.

    He’s right on the Beretta. Really nice. If a big big and heavy.

    Agree with earlier commenter that things like the MPi69 and Spectre deserve a look.

    Always liked the Beretta M12. And the Star Z62/70.

    Owen is definitely up there.

    Honourable mention for the PPS43. Quick and cheap to make, light, short, handy, reliable, simple and and an ergonomic safety catch. It’s only vice is that it’s rate of fire is a bit too high, meaning it tends to climb unless muscled. But it’s arguably the “best” WW2 SMG set against the WW2 needs of cheap, simple, safe, and good.

  13. re: the VZ-61,

    In both Ian’s talks with “The Chieftain”, Nick’s take on small-arms for tankers was that ease of carriage/compactness is essential. You need to grab it and go, or just GO because, “OH BUGGER, THE TANK IS ON FIRE”.

    Second, you need to be able to keep the other guys’ heads down while you make like Sir Robbin and bravely run away to get a new tank. Accuracy and power are secondary considerations

    I would much rather have a VZ-61 and 50 rounds of full auto available on my person, than anything with a 30 round magazine still burning in its rack inside my knocked out tank. Likewise for aircrew, dispatch riders etc., you are NOT there to fight, your weapon is for breaking contact and getting the hell out of there. I doubt your target would know or care that the round buzzing around his head or kicking dirt in his face is a .32 and not a 9mm. This is who the weapon was designed for, after all.

    Also, for the other main users, (i.e. terrorists and black ops type people), it also works fine. For the terrorist, you are dumping the mag into your victim at bad breath range from the back of a motorcycle at a traffic light, or when they answer the door. I doubt you would survive a mag dump of .32 at that range any better than a mag dump of 9mm ball.

    With a suppressor, used for taking out sentries just past arms length and so on, again, caliber is not much of a consideration, so again for SF, just fine. I read a memoir of a South African Recce, who used one on a ultra long range op where they didn’t have room for anything bigger. For them, they were not supposed to be found and get into combat, but if everything went wrong, they needed a break contact in the dark weapon, and a VZ-61, with or without suppressor would do the job for them.

  14. Ppsh with a pps43 mag. Keep the Sks, and Pkm, an Ak in 7.62×39 is so not a smg in full auto; it just isn’t, ok its better than an M14 in .308 but that is not a smg… Good in 5.45… As an smg. Less so as a rifle, pros and cons eh.

  15. Daweo, my WHOOPS should have come under my response to Storm.

    It is interesting in regard to ergonomics, with the right side of the body being for the bulk of the population the first practical SMG the MP-18 had its snail magazine feeding from the left. According the initial concepts for the development of the STEN Machine Carbine, the right hand side kept control of the weapon ie. kept it on target whilst reloading from the left. And since the right keeps the weapon “stable” the autonomic actions of removing the magazine and replacing it can be done without using the eyes to control the actions, the brain automatically knowing the location of the right hand, and therefore with training the magazine change becomes second nature. Which I think for 1940 was a exceptional concept of ergonomics.

    It was also part of the concept that with the magazine on the left hand side of the weapon, this came across the front of the body mass so it did not catch on protrusions whilst fighting in a trench system (remember 1940) or in house clearing or fighting in close country.

    An article in the British Army professional journal, The Infantryman, describes the use of a modern lightweight video camera in 1978 in the then FIBUA Village at Warminister (Fighting in the Built Up Area, used before MOUT came into use in the 1980’s). This used to film the actual actions of soldiers clearing houses room by room, and it showed the then unknown that left handed soldiers in a automatic manner cleared rooms in a different way to right handed. and this left them open to be killed or wounded. So the battle drills had to be altered to train left handed soldiers to adapt to clear the same as right handed, and to make the whole team work in an identical manner.

    I find it quite fascinating, and have been interested in the concept of Left/Right hand since 1978 when forged items in gold and silver were pointed out to me that the engraving on the items was done by a left handed craftsman (you can see with a good magnifying class or a microscope the cant of the engraving chisel as the letters are cut out) and this was how they were found to be forgeries although in precious metal. And in the periods when these forgeries were made (1890’s to 1950’s) there was no such thing as a left handed tradesman in the world doing such – the various craft guilds did not allow left handies-it the mark of the devil!!!! So they either learned to use their right hand (but a skilled person could tell such) or did not do their apprenticeship. Yours, G/.

  16. If you narrow down your preference to “what’s good for a tanker,” then such things as MP5, Spectre, Micro-Uzi and PPS-43 are definitely not suitable.

    MP5 is moody. Reliably works only with those cartridges for which it is configured. Requires regular maintenance by a qualified user.

    Spectre, poor ergonomics. Complicated and predisposed to various breakdowns. And again, requires regular maintenance by a qualified user.

    Micro-Uzi, not even funny. Narrowly specialized device. Probably not bad for a bodyguard or hitman, but not for a tanker. Suitable only for shooting in the direction of the threat, during the “bravely run away”. 🙂

    PPS-43.
    Russian STEN.
    And the same piece of ****.
    This was (possibly) a step forward, but only in comparison with the PPSh-41.
    Fragile, inaccurate, reliable (if very lucky) only while new. If it were possible to choose between PPS-43 and PPSh-41, it is better to choose…STEN.

  17. “Agree with said above”(C)
    Maybe I agree.
    At least I don’t mind.
    Just, it would be nice to first understand what exactly, from a few sheets from above … 😉

    All these lengthy arguments about virtual SMG in a vacuum …
    Yes, and between people who know about them mainly from games or pictures on the network…
    Can you specify please?..

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