Most people think that the MP41 is simply an MP40 in a wooden stock, but this is actually not the case – and unlike the MP40, the MP41 can be accurately called a Schmeisser – because it was Hugo Schmeisser who designed it.
The MP41 is actually a combination of the upper assembly of an MP40 with the lower assembly of an MP28 – the gun which was Schmeisser’s improved version of the MP18 from World War One. Where the MP40 fires only in fully automatic mode, the MP41 has a push-through selector switch located above the trigger which allows either semiauto or full auto function.
For the typical user, however, this mechanical distinction is not particularly important, as the MP41 handles very much like the MP40. It has the same relatively low 500 rpm rate of fire, and weighs about 82 pounds (3.7kg). It uses the same magazines as the MP40, although the magazines made and sold with the MP41 were marked “MP41”. As with many other SMG designs, the MP41 was never formally adopted by the German military. In this case, the majority of MP41 production (26,000 guns in 1941 and another 1,800 or so in 1944) went to Romanian troops.