Shooting the Yugoslav M49/57 Submachine Gun

The Yugoslav M49/57 submachine gun looks very similar to the Soviet PPSh-41, but it constructed quite differently, and has a much larger recoil spring. The question is, how will it shoot? Will it be fast and controllable like the Papasha or slower like the Sudayev?

Thanks to Marstar for letting me examine and shoot their M49/57!


  1. Looks okay to me. At least it isn’t too picky about magazines. Thankfully nobody tried to stick a bayonet lug on the thing.

  2. Watching the sapling thrashing about in reaction to the gun firing was fascinating, I cannot remember ‘backblast/sideblast'(?) being shown so clearly before.

  3. Ian
    “slower like the Sudayev?”
    What’s the limit on slow? To argue the absurd, if “supressing fire” is successful, everyone keeps their head down, then 100% of your shots “miss” and the ammo is “wasted”.
    900 rpm maybe fun but would 90 rpm be as effective and use 1/10 The rounds?
    Seola Creek

    • The whole point of suppressing fire is to keep the other team from getting anywhere while your friends do something to get rid of them. Ammunition waste is relative to whichever purpose is needed. If your objective is to outright kill with every shot, suppressing fire is NOT part of the equation. In that case, you’d probably want a sniper rifle instead.

        • If you watch the shooting video on the PPSh, it should help answer your question. Butchering what was said in that video, fast guns (+900) and slow guns such as the M3 grease gun are controllable while guns in the 6-700 range are less so. The Sudayev fits around this range.

          • Good point. The comment on the fire hose effect of the higher rates of fire reminded me of the of WW2 fighter aircraft. As the speed of convergence increased the window of time to aquire and shoot a target narrowed which drove the need for a higher rate of fire to hose down a target area to insure a hit.
            But if low and high rates of fire give good handling characteristics then what is the parameter for choosing between the two? If the grease gun works at 450 rpm would it work at 225 or 112 rpm? I suspect this is like a neurological functionwhere a certain rate of fire overloads the senses and produces a panic reaction.

          • Daweo: Neat prototype, low bore axis meets the SMG. Finding a million pieces of wood with good grain through the wrist might be tough, but synthetics were improving.

  4. The Yugoslav gun is sporting lot slower rate of fire (by at least 200RMP) in comparison to Russian reference gun. And no wonder, regardless of bolt weight, the distance from buffer to cartridge pick up point is 40% longer (scaled from frozen picture). Is it more controlable? I cannot tell, but for same unit of time it transfers less energy into shooter’s body. Overall this is an effective personal arm for its period.

    Preceding discourse on suppressive vs aimed fire is a dicey subject. I’d recommend all to watch battlefield use of small arms in Syrian war theatre. My guess is that 90% of all shooting is suppressive/ mopping up. Wherever there is a stubborn sniper, they dislodge them with higher calibers, including tank main guns.

  5. Jesus Christ! Why do you say P-P-S-H ???? The inventor’s name was SHpagin and in Slavic languages it is ONE letter – Шпагин – Špagin – SHpagin. Simply Pistolet-Pulemyot-SHpagina. that is why P-P-Sh NOT P-P-S-H. your pronunciation does not make sense! It

      • … neither is in German. It had been replaced by -sch group. I do not see reason to be excited. Different language, different perceptions.

        • halt die klappe du nazi scheisse, und was is ß ? Magst du es, amerikanische Arschlöcher zu lecken?

    • Why not whine about USSR instead of CCCP?

      Naples instead of Napoli.

      Munich instead of Munchen.

  6. It looked as if Ian, and the guy in the hat, were in reasonably good control. I recall that the Suomi, M3, Beretta M38, and the Czech ZK 383, all seemed contestants for ‘most controllable.’ But I’m sure my information is very limited.

    Has anyone clocked the actual rate for comparison. Ian seemed to think there wasn’t all that much difference from the Shpagin.

  7. I have shot Beretta, MP-40 and Yugo M56 and MP-40 is least controllable of all of them, by a large margin. M1A1 Thompson is worse however.

  8. Did Mr. M really fish out a magazine and snatch it from mid-air like some movie or sports character? You can have too much fun with this stuff.

  9. Name of the factory is not “Yugoslav”, but Crvena Zastava (Red Flag),
    though they dropped only to “Zastava” in Serbia after they abandoned communism.

    Supposedly this gun is very accurate in semiauto for open bolt,due to the short distance of bolt/breech when it is cocked.

    Interesting, in magwells they screwed something up during production/design phase, so they brazed a new portion to fix it – on complete series, not just few examples.

    Anyone knows similar after production factory fixes ?

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