At the beginning of Croatia’s Homeland War, a severe need for small arms led to a whole plethora of simple submachine gun designs. Some were made in proper factories with professional tooling, and some were made by a couple blokes in a shed – and the Vila Velabita we are looking at today definitely falls into the “blokes in a shed” category. Designed by one Juraj Đelalije, it takes many elements form the Yugoslav M56 (which in turn took many of them form the German MP40). It is chambered for 9mm Parabellum, using modified Uzi magazines. Only a very small number were made, possibly less than 100 and definitely not more than 200.
A big thanks to the Croatian Police Museum (Muzej Policije) in Zagreb for giving me access to film this cool piece for you! Check them out at: https://muzej-policije.gov.hr