RIA: MP3008 Sten Copy

The MP 3008, aka Gerät Neumünster, was one of two German efforts to copy the British Sten gun. The first was the Gerät Potsdam (“gerät” meaning device or project; basically project code name), which was a direct copy of the Sten distinguishable only by a marking details and a few differences in manufacturing processes. While 10,000 of those were being manufactured by Mauser, R&D engineer Ludwig Vorgrimmler was simplifying the Sten design even farther, resulting in the MP-3008.

This simplified design did away with the Sten’s barrel shroud, and used a vertical magazine well instead of the Sten’s distinctive horizontal mounting. These were the significant changes, although there was also a sling loop placed on the front of the magazine well and a few minor simplifications to the fire control parts. Unlike the Potsdam, significant variation can be found in the MP-3008 in the details of stock and grip design.

In a masterpiece of insane optimism, German official placed and order for literally a million MP-3008 submachine guns, which of course was completely insane. Manufacture was undertaken at a wide scattering of small shops, with guns being assembled by larger manufacturers from supplied parts. The total made is not known, but is probably in the range of 3000-5000. Some are marked with manufacturing codes from recognized factories, some with codes unknown, and some have no marking at all. This particular example is dewat made by “TJK” – an unknown factory.

68 Comments

  1. What is strange is that it would be hard to find a Brit that wouldn’t trade a STEN for a MP38 or MP40, and the Brits still loved the USA Thompson. War is hell!

    • Soldiers often thinks enemy weapon is better, sometime it is true, sometime it is not.
      During inter-war period most armies has low interest in sub-machine gun (saying that it is good weapon for gangsters not army), but when war broke out sub-machine gun proved to be feasible weapons, so sub-machine gun become more desired. With Fall of France and British retreat from Dunkerque, Great Britain become endangered with German invasion, so it needs guns fast! STEN was answer.
      I would say STEN is poor man’s sub-machine gun as it is inferior to most (if not all) other sub-machine gun of World War Two, but at same time is probably cheapest.
      BTW: Do you have data about man-hours/machine-hours needed to produced various sub-machine gun produced during WW2 or shortly after?
      I know:
      STEN Mk.III – 5 hours
      PPD – 13.7 hours
      PPSh-41 – 7.3 machine-hours (13.9kg of metal needed)
      PPS-43 – 2.7 hours (6.2kg of metal needed)
      I’m especially interesting with pre-war (not optimised for mass-production) vs optimised, say:
      M50 Reising vs M3A1 Grease Gun (United States)
      Beretta Modello 1938 vs TZ-45 (Italy)
      Star SI-35 or RU-35 or TN-35 vs Star Z-45 (Spain)
      Lanchester vs STEN (Great Britain)
      Carl Gustav m/45, Madsen m/46

      • PPS-43 was, of course, notably superior to the STEN, which is why I find it strange that the Germans never seriously tried to copy it in 9 mm Parabellum. The Finnish copy (SMG M/44) proved to be a very good gun for the low manufacturing costs, even if due to end of war only 10,000 was made.

        • Actually, they did- after the war.

          The Dux 53 was a copy of the Finnish MP44 in 9 x 19mm, made by Oviedo Aresenal in Spain for Mauser, and adopted by the West German border guards (Bundsegrenschutz). A team of engineers from Tikkakoski Arsenal under Willi Daugs were hired by Mauser to supervise the project at Oviedo.

          It was later developed into the Dux 59, a more “streamlined” and better-made version, very like the PPS-43 in most respects. This version was made in limited numbers by Anschutz, also under contract to Mauser. Both Dux SMGs remained in use with the BGS until the mid-1970s, when they were replaced by the H&K MP-5.

          http://world.guns.ru/smg/de/dux-m53-m59-e.html

          cheers

          eon

          • Yeah, I knew about the DUX-53, but since it was basically a copy of the KP 44, I didn’t count it. It wasn’t really a German copy as such even if it was used by the BGS.

    • I’d tentatively agree, but also quite heavy, no? Is it the case that Australians used Tommy guns, Stens and Austens in N. Africa and Europe but all the Owens were in the Pacific?

      I’d love to see a “Vorgrimmlerized” F1 9mm!

        • Ah yes. Once the cheap “plumber’s special” STEn(ch) gun came out, there was the brief German “Primitivwappen” program that came out with even more plumber-ish EMP44… Rejected as “too primitive” at the time! It was thought that the morale of the German landser would plummet as quick as during a Russian winter if issued such a cheap, disposable weapon… Fast forward, oh, about a year or so, and hey presto! Before you can say der Untergang des Deutsches Reich or Ludwig Vorgrimmler, and there goes the VG-1, VG-2, VG-3, 4, 5, Barnitzke Gustloffwerke, Gerät Neumünster und so weiter…

          Of course, as W. Darrin Weaver shows in his book _Desperate Measures_ the Volkssturm’s true “people’s rifle” was the Italian Mannlicher-Carcano. Postwar, the U.S. occupation AMGOV re-issued the Carcano carbines to Bavarian police agencies until M1 carbines became available much later.

          • Nazi logic: Ask for primitive weapon; reject it because is primitive.
            So far I know Third Reich was heavily bureaucracy-rotten and as dictatorship if you know dictator or high official you can force to build even craziest weapon – just see for example Bachem Ba 349 Natter (supported by Reichsführer-SS Himmler), wooden rocket-propelled aircraft armed with rockets, VTOL, which has to land on parachute, the single manned flight killed pilot.
            http://www.cracked.com/article_18839_7-planes-perfectly-designed-to-kill-people-flying-them.html

          • Perhaps I am nitpicking, but Mannlicher-Carcano is a highly inaccurate and ahistorical name for the Italian M91 rifle and derivatives. The design was no more a “Mannlicher” than the M1 Garand, which I haven’t seen called “Mannlicher-Garand”…

          • EW;

            According to W.H.B. Smith in Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols, the M1891 Italian rifle has a “straight” Mannlicher en bloc clip magazine, but the bolt is a modified Mauser type designed by Paraviccini and Carcano at the Turin Small Arms Factory in Italy. He suggests that “Paraviccni-Carcano-Mannlicher” would be a more accurate name for it.

            About the only thing that’s probably genuine, 100% Mannlicher about the M1891 is its 6.5 x 52 cartridge, which is virtually identical in dimensions and profile to the 1895-vintage 6.5 x 54 Greek M-S cartridge. Most likely, the Italian government asked Mannlicher to design the round for them to build their rifle around, much as the Greek government later did.

            While the two rounds are decidedly NOT interchangeable, they are close enough in dimensions that you need to use a micrometer and know the headstamps to figure out which is which.

            cheers

            eon

          • “6.5 x 52 cartridge, which is virtually identical in dimensions and profile to the 1895-vintage 6.5 x 54 Greek M-S cartridge”
            What about 6.5×58 Portugese Mauser? It looks very similar to 6.5×54 Mannlicher, is there link between these?

          • eon;

            Italian sources don’t mention Mannlicher’s involvement in the design of the 6.5×52mm Carcano cartridge and state that it was developed by Royal Pyrotechnical Laboratory of Bologna (Reale Laboratorio Pirotecnico di Bologna). If Mannlicher was involved, his involvement was “off the record”. The similarity to the later 6.5×54mm Greek M-S cartridge is undeniable, but may still be a coincidence caused by similar design goals and laws of external ballistics as they were understood in the late 1800s.

            I have read claims that Mannlicher wasn’t officially involved since he was Austrian, and while that is a convenient explanation, I have never seen any actual historical evidence to support that claim.

          • Daweo;

            The 6.5 x 58 Portuguese Vergueiro round was a pure Mauser development. It was developed from the 6.5 x 57 Mauser sporting rifle round of 1893, which in turn was a necked-down 7 x 57 Mauser.

            It was developed at about the same time as the 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser, which (again) was developed from the 6.5 x 57.

            So the 6.5 x 52 M-C and 6.5 x 54 M-S rounds were more parallel developments than “brothers” of the other 6.5s. Different designers, but working to roughly similar requests from their respective customers, resulting in different cartridges of the same bore spec and similar performance.

            For another good example, compare the .276 Pedersen to the French 7.5 x 54 MAS, and the 7.35 x 51 Carcano from Italy. All developed about the same time, and very little difference between the three ballistically.

            And developed by three design teams in three different countries that absolutely were not “consulting” with each other.

            The hilarious thing is, none of the three was any noticeable improvement on… the 7.65 x 53 Mauser, that predated them by 40 years (1889).

            cheers

            eon

          • I do not think this was a matter of conscious decision – Italian rifles simply became available in large numbers once Italy opted out of the Axis camp.
            The English approach in an emergency may be best illustrated by a case of introducing steel helmets for the first time during the WWI: German helmet gave the best ballistic protection, French was the best-looking, whereas British was the cheapest in production.
            Before STEN the British affair with the submachine gun was Lanchester (basically a copy of MP28) which had all the drawbacks of the first-generation SMG’s – being an extension of a rifle: wooden butt, some even having a bayonet capability, selector of the type of fire, which altogether made it heavy (LAnchester was adopted by teh Royal Navy)and expensive (Thompson was the most expensive of them all). Disposable (or nearly-disposable) weapon was at the other end of the development continuum (given the choice of Thompson and MP-40, I think most British soldiers would choose them over the STEN.
            Regards,
            Andrzej

      • Yes, Owens were only used in the South Pacific campaign as Australian forces serving in North Africa were withdrawn to bolster the defence of the South Pacific. Thompson SMGs were also used at the onset of Australian participation in the South Pacific. As Owen SMGs became available they replaced the Thompsons. Many brand new Thompsons remained unissued in their original wrappers and were destroyed in the final decades of the 20th century. However, some of the brand new Thompsons ended up in some of the military museums around Australia and the Australian War Memorial.

  2. A very, very interesting examination of the Gerät Neumünster/MP.3008, Ian! I’m adding it to my bibliography of an article about the Sten and its derivatives I’ve been trying to write. So thanks!

    One question: My understanding is that the Sten was designed to use its own proprietary Sten magazines and also German MP38/MP40 magazines. If emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, did the Germans add the capability to use captured Sten magazines in their last-ditch Volksmachinepistol?

    One man hour to produce?! That’s quick! 2-groove barrels? Also, one more admittedly minor point: Your video shows very clearly that while seamless tubing was used on the Sten Mk.II, the Mk.III had a piece of sheet metal formed around a mandrel, and then spot welded into a sort of “rib” along the top that also served as the base for the sights. On the Vorgrimler simplification, or über-simplification, note the welds and use of metal filets alongside the ejection port and bolt handle raceway. So that is where the MP.3008 was joined during assembly.

      • Right. U.S. used 2-groove 1903A3 barrels, UK used Canadian and Savage Co. No.4s with 2-groove barrels, Sten 9mm “machine carbines” with 2-groove barrels… Hence my question about German practice?

        So if a PPS43/KP44/Dux53 are so cheap and efficient to manufacture, why was the Shpagin retained after WWII?

        Is it the case that the German last-ditch MP.3008 bested the PPS in swiftness and cost of production?

        • “So if a PPS43/KP44/Dux53 are so cheap and efficient to manufacture, why was the Shpagin retained after WWII?”
          PPSh-41 was produced in sheer number during WW2, also even when PPS become available, PPSh was not dropped from production, because they full-filed different roles, PPSh was for soldiers which use it as main weapon, when PPS was weapon for tankers/artillerymen/truck-drivers etc. which use it only in dire need.

          • Poland produced 1943/52 postwar with fixed wooden butt stock. In the U.S. there are anecdotes about very, very many PPS43s turning up in KPA and Chi-com “Volunteer” hands in the Korean War, particularly in the later period.

    • Mp40 and sten mags are not interchangeable, sten mags are wider front to back.

      Sten is fairly basic, with these ugly crude welds this is even one step lower on the primitiv waffen scale.

      This can be further simplified and cheapened by ommiting the fire selector, but with ammo scarce in ’45 I suppose single shot fire was not a bad idea.

  3. For historical value, and knowing that a firearm was made by slave labor, I’m interested as a gunsmith. We all are sure the craftsmen and women were quite adept at turning out something that would not win the war for the occupiers, yet looked correct.

    • People forced to make G43’s or auto cannon ammunition would put intentionally bad defects in the products. Rifles would be missing gas ports and 20 mm shells would have paper or cork filling rather than high explosive content… Trust me, some defective shells turned up in American bombers and the crew of one of the planes found a hand written apology in the projectile. “This is all we can do for you now.”

      • The german arms were proofed, so g43 with that big of a defect is unlikely scenario.
        The shells story sounds like out of the fiction book, like some novel, its a classic “workers message inserted” BS.

        • Actually, a B-17 crew returning from the bombing raid on Schweinfurt found 11 “dud” 20mm shells stuck in the plane. One of those duds had the aforementioned “workers message” written in Czech. THIS WASN’T AN INTERNET MYTH! I could imagine that by that point some munition factory managers decided just to “proof” the ammunition by getting a sample from a batch and looking into it. The workers conducting the sabotage would let the manager or quality control person have one of the only genuine rounds (the rest being duds) in the particular lot.

          As for G43 messes, read this passage:

          http://www.panzergrenadier.net/article-G43.php

          {…There were two other manufactures who joined in making G43’s. The first using the code “bcd” at Gustloff -Werker II Burchenwald concentration camp using prisoners under the watchful eye of the SS guards and the last to follow suit was BLM the same company that made G41’s with Walther using the code “duv”(later changing to “qve”) on its rifle. So the first few G43’s started to be seen in large numbers in mid 1944.Its interesting to note that the bcd’s are one of the rarest of codes as the allies bombed the factory in August following intelligence reported that they were manufacturing weapons there. Also many of the weapons were sabotaged by the workers, being mostly Jewish concentration camp inmates. It was therefore decided not to make any of these guns for use with scopes as they were likely to be sabotaged, making them very inaccurate, and since a lot of the metal work was not being heat treated properly, there was a risk that they were likely to explode!}

          • Also Evgeniy Mariinskiy in his memoirs (Red Star Airacobra) mentions bombed which fall near airfield, but don’t explode – in fact it did not contain explosive, but piece with inscription in Russian was found: “German communist do, what they can”

      • When Lt. Boris Gorbachevsky, a Jewish lad in the Red Army, accompanied his unit into East Prussia they were approached by a tall, gaunt, elderly German man holding out his KPD Communist Party card. He had kept it in spite of the very considerable risks of having one in the Third Reich. The first Russian soldat smashed his face with his rifle but. The next crushed his skull as he lay bleeding. Others bayoneted him, spat on the corpse, or kicked it.

        Just before Barbarossa was launched, a German communist in Wehrmacht uniform took the opportunity to defect to the Workers’ and Peasants’ State and raise the alarm. His intelligence, as very many other credible reports and indications of impending Hitlerite attack were rejected as provocations. Unless I’m mistaken, he was ordered shot.

  4. Why did they keep the selector button? A Grease gun didn’t need one and with a low enough rate of fire the Mp3008 would have been even simpler: 47 minutes per gun?

    • Each Volkssturmann or member of the Heer who was to get an MP.3008 was to receive *three* magazines. With 90 sintered iron bullet 9mm cartridges on tap, the “Einzelfeur” setting may have been left since “Dauerfeur” would use up all the ammo as quick as launching a Panzerfaust and running for it, I suppose.

    • I guess the design needs a pin there in any case, and making it a selector is so simple there was no point omiting it.
      The hour is not the time of a single worker building one gun. It is the sum of the time used for manufacturing each part. With the proper, very simple tools a single worker could make hundreds of safety buttons an hour, effectively adding 10 seconds of work time to each gun…

  5. The Sten design had a long history outside of England. Danish resistance groups made “homemade” Stens, as did the Haganah in Israel. (The latter would cut up worn-out SMLE barrels and bore and rifle them to 9 x 19mm, one SMLE barrel yielding two Sten tubes.)

    The Swedish Karl Gustaf M45 SMG, aka the “Swedish K” to U.S. SEALs in Vietnam, was fundamentally a simplified Sten MK II. This was more obvious in the M45B version with its fixed (very MP-3008-type)magazine housing, as the original M45 had a detachable housing to allow the use of either the 30-round Sten mag, its own 35-round “stick”, or the 71-round Suomi drum.

    When the supply of M45Bs ran down in 1969-70 (due to an embargo by the Swedish government), the Navy contracted Smith & Wesson to build an “Americanized” version, the S&W M76. This was even more Sten-like, except for is fixed vertical mag well and Madsen M50-type side-folding sock, both also features of the M45 series.

    In the event, “Vietnamization” resulted in most of the M76s going to the U.S. domestic market, where they mainly showed up in police SWAT team armories and Stembridge Gun Rental’s inventory. They were a common sight in action movies and TV “cop” shows in the early to mid-1970s, and still show up now and then;

    http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_M76

    Next to the Thompson and MP-40, I still think it’s one of the neatest and best-handling SMGs of its generation. I know it feels better in my hands than the parent M45 does, probably due to its better-shaped pistol grip. YMMV.

    More recently, Sten MK IIs showed up in the “Zapatista” peasants’ revolt in Mexico, with no one knowing where they came from. And in the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s, the Pleter 91 SMG was, once gain, pretty much a Sten, out of M45, by M56, Heath Robinson up;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleter_91_submachine_gun

    The thing is, if all you want is a 9 x 19mm gun that fires full-automatic, is easy to build, reasonably rugged, and cheap, the Sten MK II design is about as simple and mule-stupid as it gets.

    Assuming you don’t bugger up the building part, and nobody uses it for a tire-iron, it will generally go “bangbangbangbangbang” when you pull the trigger. Which is after all what it’s all about.

    cheers

    eon

  6. Okay, which would you take if you had to procure weapons “on site” while heading to a rendezvous with local resistance against some evil despot? I’m warning you, there probably aren’t any better toys around here…

    1. Sten MK IIS or suppressed Mauser 1934
    2. Gasser-Montenegrin 1870 or Pistolet wz.35 Vis
    3. MG 35/36A (Knorr-Bremse Kg M/40) or FN Model D
    4. Pruning sickle or shovel
    5. FN 1903 with suppressor and tranquilizer rounds (the enemy to whom this belonged hated killing)
    6. Sling-shot
    7. Bag of stick grenades and M.712 Schnellfeuer
    8. CQC any enemy you encounter and take everything (uniform included)
    9. Screw taking stuff on site and get your own toys (no vehicles, though)

    This mission is voluntary, should you choose to accept it. You are given the option of walking away right now and pretending that the cassette tape does not exist. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.

    Thank you,

    Cherndog

    • #7 hopefully followed by #8-2.

      Threw the video I was wondering what someone did to deactivate a weapon that only took an hour to make (yes economy of scale). Nice to see it pointed out, Ian.

    • Keith’s Third Law;

      Never Bring A Pistol To A Rifle Fight.

      Eon’s Corollary;

      Bringing A Heavy Weapon Is Always An Option.

      If I know I’m going into a serious infantry fight in support, I’m taking the support weapon. Plus as much ammunition, spare barrels, etc., as I, my helper, and any grunts I can sweet-talk or dragoon, can haul.

      An SMG is intended to deliver brief, massive firepower at “long pistol” range, out to about 100 meters. You do not want to be the guy with an SMG in a rifle engagement. First of all, you’re the designated “Fire Magnet”, and second, everybody on the other side has you out-ranged and out-powered. Not a good thing.

      The SAW in such a fracas is also a fire magnet, but there you have greater burst rate of fire plus sustained fire rate over most infantry rifles, even if five or so enemy grunts decide to make you their personal project, and you’re about on a par with the OPFOR in the range and wallop departments.

      BTW, I prefer the FN Mod D BAR. Nice pistol grip, quick-change, heavyweight finned barrel, 25 and 35-round magazines, the bipod sensibly mounted on the gas piston cylinder, and my choice of 6.5 x 55, 7.65 x 53, or (preferred) 7.9 x 57.

      Basically a Bren with a magazine you don’t have to crook your head around to see the sights. And which, BTW, can be fired off the left shoulder, unlike the Bren; you can’t use any ZB26 variant’s sights firing “southpaw”. Which I consider a major drawback, that is unfortunately common to almost every automatic weapon with a top-mounted feed.

      PS- the best compromise was probably the roughly 45-degree angled 40-shot magazine of the M1918 Pedersen Device.

      cheers

      eon

      • Hmm… Maybe I should have suggested using stealth to acquire the weapons first. I assume stealing a 7.5 cm Infanteriegeschütz 37 isn’t an option, but what would you do with that or the odd Schwarzlose MG 07/12 if you got your hands on either?

        • Medium MG, heavy MG. As long as I’ve got ammo, etc., it’s all good.

          Of course, if I can lay my hands on a four-deuce mortar, a hundred rounds of HE and WP, and somebody to help me hump it to a good firing point and feed it, I can probably end the fight before it starts, from about 2000 meters.

          The trick is to resist the urge to burst fire unless you’ve got them bunched and only need four or five rounds. As has been said, one round every seven seconds is the steady cadence that saves tubes- and breaks armies.

          cheers

          eon

          • When I trained on the 4.2 inch mortar, we regularly trained out to 5,000 meters and more. So I am curious why you would wait until the foe was only 2,000 meters away, assuming that you had a good F/O? When I am firing those 32 lb door knockers off, I want to hit the other guy as far away as I can; it gives me more time to reengage him several times before I have to get my team to lug that monster to a new firing site

    • “9. Screw taking stuff on site and get your own toys (no vehicles, though)”
      Get Stokes mortar:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stokes_mortar
      It has smooth-bore barrel so it should be easier to manufacture than rifled, also notice the simplicity of shell – piece of pipe with primer and propellant at one end and time fuse at second end.

    • Make mine the Sten gun. Please.

      I’m chuckling as I type because I’m looking at plate XV in Perry Biddiscombe’s book on the Nazi “Werwolf” underground fascist guerrilla/terrorist organization.
      Visible in Idar-Oberstein are all sorts of explosives and whatnot, very, very many potato masher stick grenades, and precisely 1 Sturmgewehr 44 and *three* French MAS Mle. 1938 7,65mm longue SMGs… A development of the Pedersen device, albeit far more compact than a 1903 Springfield Mk.I…

      For guerrilla warfare, heavy weapons are seldom an option. If one chooses an ambush site, then yes, they can be used. But to keep things highly mobile, MGs and even mortars will slow ya down. And slow means dire things…

      How ’bout the Salvadoran FMLN expedient: “Let’s put RPG rocket motors on mortar bombs and call the RPG-7 a direct fire artillery support weapon without the heavy baseplate and so on, compañeros?” Drawbacks are many, including the issue that the rocket gunner is decidedly in the blast zone of the 81mm mortar shell… Ay, ay, ay, no me gusta…

      • ” But to keep things highly mobile, MGs and even mortars will slow ya down.”
        Then go with recoilless rifle, weapons like M18 recoilless rifle or Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, are man-portable, but still able to provide support.

        • Yes. Hence my reference to the RPG. Of course the Volkssturm used to put some hapless, highly indoctrinated youth on a bicycle with two disposable Panzerfäuste clipped to the front handlebars as a means to take on the onrushing T34s…

          • Probably more of a unhappy concept than used in practice, but the photo stuck and circulated the net.

            But I would really worry if I’m riding in tank towards Beijing and same ploy they used there :-))

  7. Ian,

    I would find it useful if you would describe the firing type of a weapon you are doing a video on. You know, like “full auto, open bolt, fixed firing pin, blowback.” Keep up the good work!

    • I’m not Ian, obviously, but most visitors to the site probably know that “Sten copy” entails “open bolt, fixed firing pin, blowback operated *select fire*” submachine gun, erm, “machine carbine” using 9x19mm pistol cartridges, yes?

      • Thanks Dave for that info! Though I still would like Ian to include that few seconds of info in his videos. It would be useful to me and to others who are not already familiar with the great variety of unique weapons he presents.

  8. Perhaps so. In the vein of “The U.S. rifle, caliber .30 is a gas-operated, clip fed, air cooled, shoulder fired” killing machine, or “the 7,62mm Vintovka is the primary battle implement of the Red Army soldier to smite the enemy by aimed fire, stabbing with the bayonet, or clubbing with the butt..” like in the manuals.

    Certainly over on C+Rsenal they’ve got the animations and technical specs down.

    • Japan had the Type 100 sub machine gun but it was freakishly expensive compared to a Type 99 short rifle. Also, one must remember that Japan was on a very tight budget, so tight that civilians were forced to give up half their food to feed the army and navy. Having so few metal resources to spare, it would make no sense to manufacture an infantry weapon that isn’t expected to effectively one-shot any enemy at the usual 600 meter or longer battle range.

      • This is before my time, but they poured steel to make the Worlds largest battle ships, but their handguns were not exactly something to write to Mama-San about. Rifles are excellent.

      • The second, simplified version of the Type 100 (sometimes called Type 100/44) was not that expensive. Certainly cheaper than Thompson, Suomi or Beretta MAB 38 or 38A.

        You must also be kidding about the “usual 600 meter” battle range. Such ranges must have been quite rare for most campaigns of the Pacific War. Even in Eastern Europe with it’s relatively large proportion of open spaces, personal weapons were usually not required to fire at ranges longer than 400 meters. Hence the development of the intermediate cartridge and assault rifles. SMG’s were also hugely popular and well-liked weapons, despite their theoretical range shortage, among both German and Soviet soldiers. In North Africa the MAB 38A was the favorite weapon of Italian soldiers despite the prominence of open spaces.

        Nevertheless, it is true that with the late start the Japanese industry was not able to produce SMGs in significant numbers. By the time the Type 100/44 reached production, the shortage of raw materials was already critical and US bombing hindered production efforts. The Type 100 also had one significant shortcoming compared to European SMGs, namely the 8 mm Nambu cartridge, which was too weak for SMG use and limited the effective range of the gun significantly compared to the hot-loaded 9x19mm and 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridges used in Europe. (In comparison, the .45 ACP had plenty of hitting power, but suffered from low muzzle velocity and consequent highly arced trajectory of the bullet.)

        • The Japanese also acquired some MP28.II Schmeissers when they were assailing China before their war linked up with the European war. Couldn’t have been too many. Clearly, the Japanese Type 100 design is along the lines of the ZK383 menioned up post: very, very rifle like. My understanding about the Mk.II/1944 version is that it only turned up in numbers during the battle of Okinawa.

          While Japan did indeed produce “a navy second to one” the quality of metallurgy really declined during the long, horrific slog to the inevitable conclusion of Japanese defeat. Prewar, the Japanese had some of the best fed troops. Many dishes in modern Japanese cuisine actually first originated with army rations. During the war, the IJA and IJN starved. Literally. Gudalcanal was the harbinger. In New Guinea and the Philippines there was corpse eating, and literally full-blown cannibalism where people were killed to serve as food.

        • “namely the 8 mm Nambu cartridge, which was too weak for SMG use and limited the effective range of the gun significantly compared to the hot-loaded 9x19mm and 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridges used in Europe”
          Also, considering size of cartridge, Type 100 was unnecessary heavy, France which also used weaker cartridge than 9×19 (namely 7.65x20mm Longue) developed sub-machine gun – MAS-38 – which was much lighter and shorter than Japanese.

          “This is before my time, but they poured steel to make the Worlds largest battle ships, but their handguns were not exactly something to write to Mama-San about.”
          It must be remembered that IJA and IJN heavily compete between each other, to extent not existing in other, as the Japan was island and Japanese planners said that deciding battle will be between IJN and U.S.Navy it is not surprise Navy should have priority

          • Japanese handguns were not great, but they were adequate for the job. Pre-war Nambus were generally well made, and as has been discussed here and elsewhere earlier, the dangers of the Type 94 have been greatly exaggerated by popular account. Many smaller European nations were still using .32 ACP as the main military pistol cartridge and even the Germans used it as secondary cartridge, so the 8 mm Nambu cartridge was really not that weak in comparison for pistol use. It was also more powerful than the .38/200 used by the British (albeit some would say that the .38/200 was better since it fired a larger and heavier bullet, but the significance of that is highly debatable).

        • The “job” being executing prisoners, wounded, and giving the “coup de grace” to those executed? That job? I don’t think many of the casualties in WWII were caused by handguns, even in the PTO. Just saying… Certainly the Japanese LMGs and HMGs and AA guns and mortars were responsible for the largest share of U.S. casualties during the island fighting. A higher ratio or proportion of small arms wounds than in the ETO, in fact.

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