Monday, August 30, 2010



Prototype Laugo submachine gun, which served as a starting point for the design of SKORPION EVO III submachine gun

SKORPION EVO III submachine gun

SKORPION EVO III submachine gun

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 2.1 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 400 / 650 mm
Barrel length 196 mm
Rate of fire 1100 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 20 or 30 rounds

SKORPION EVO III submachine gun is a most recent product of the famous Czech small arms manufacturer Česka Zbrojevka Uherski Brod (CZ-UB). This weapon began its life in Slovakia in around 2002, as the Laugo submachine gun / personal defense weapon. Once the design became mature, it was sold to CZ-UB, which brought it to public attention in 2009 as SKORPION EVO III submachine gun. It seems that this weapon is targeted for police market, but it also can found some use by certain military units. An export version of the SKORPION EVO III submachine gun is also proposed, chambered for .40SW ammunition which is very popular as a police round in USA and certain South American countries.

SKORPION EVO III submachine gun is a simple blowback operated, selective fired weapon that fires from closed bolt. It has a separate hammer unit, with ambidextrous safety / fire mode selector, that offers single shots, 3-round bursts and full automatic fire modes. The charging handle is located on the left side of the gun, above the forend. The receiver, pistol grip / trigger unit and the forend all are made from polymer. The side-folding shoulder stock is also made from polymer, and can be adjusted for length of pull due to telescopic design. Iron sights are installed on removable bases, using integral Picatinny type rail on the top of receiver. Additional sighting equipment can be added using this same rail; three more accessory rails are installed at the sides and bottom of the forend. Feed is from detachable box magazines, made of semi-translucent plastic, that hold 20 or 30 rounds of ammunition.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tallinn arsenal submachine gun


Tallinn arsenal submachine gun

Caliber 9x20 Browning Long
Weight 4.27 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 809 mm
Barrel length 210 mm
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 40 rounds

Tallinn arsenal submachine gun was developed during mid-1920s by Estonian company Tallinn Arsenal. It was put into production in around 1927. Only about 600 of these submachine guns were ever made and issued to Estonian army and police. Circa 1937 Estonian government sold all its inventory of the Tallinn arsenal submachine guns, and sooner than later more than few of them turned up in combat during Spanish Civil war. The Tallinn arsenal submachine gun was based on the famous German Bergmann / Schmeisser MP.18/I submachine gun, with certain modifications, mostly cosmetic.

The Tallinn arsenal submachine gun is a simple blowback operated, selective fired weapon that fires from open bolt. The fire selector is made in the form of a small lever, located in front of the trigger guard. The manual safety consisted of the L-shaped cut, made at the rear of the cocking handle slot. This cut was used to lock the bolt in its rearward position by putting the cocking handle into the cut. Barrel was enclosed into the tubular jacket, with long slots for better cooling. Magazine is inserted from the left side, depending on the source its capacity is listed as 40 (more common value) or 50 rounds. The heavy rifle-type stock was made from wood. The rear sight was of tangent type, adjustable from 100 to 600 meters range.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Madsen M1945 submachine gun


Madsen M1945 submachine gun

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 3.15 kg empty
Length 800 mm
Barrel length 315 mm
Rate of fire 850 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 50 rounds

Madsen M1945 submachine gun was developed in 1945 by famous Danish arms-making company Dansk Industrie Syndikat AS (DISA), better known for its trade mark "Madsen". The Madsen model 1945 submachine gun was one of the last "old style" submachine guns, designed for expensive old-style manufacturing techniques that included plenty of milling and machining of steel, rather than stamping and welding. Not surprisingly, this gun was quite expensive and saw little success - it was sold in very limited numbers to Mexico and el Salvador, and within a year after its introduction it was replaced in production with much more simple and inexpensive weapon, the Madsen model 1946 submachine gun.

Madsen M1945 submachine gun is a blowback weapon that fires from open bolt, in full automatic mode only. The design of the bolt and return spring was patterned after the blowback pistols, as the breechblock was attached to the long "slide", which enclosed the barrel forward of the chamber for most of its length. The return spring was located around the barrel, and the cocking was achieved by gripping the serrations on the sides of the slide and pulling the slide back until the bolt is locked by the sear. The firing pin was a separate movable arrangement, which projected forward from the bolt face only when the bolt was fully in battery, thanks to the internal lever that controlled firing pin movement. The safety was made in the form of the lever, located in the front of the trigger guard. The weapon was put into rifle-type wooden stock, although a version with underfolding stock, made from steel wire, was also briefly promoted. Gun was fed from  Suomi-type 50-round 4-stack box magazines. Sights consisted of the front protected post and two separate folding rear blades, marked for 100 and 200 meters.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hovea M1949 submachine gun


Hovea M1949 submachine gun, with Suomi-type 50-round magazine

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 3.35 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 548 / 808 mm
Barrel length 216 mm
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 50 or 36 rounds

Hovea submachine gun was initially developed in Sweden by Husqvarna Wapenfabrik ams factory for Swedish Army trials. This design competed with the Carl Gustaf submachine gun, which eventually won the trials. During late 1940s Danish Army began the search for the new, modern submachine gun, and in 1949 selected the Husqvarna submachine gun for adoption as Hovea M/49. Manufacturing license was purchased and production set up at state arsenal in Copenhagen.

Hovea submachine gun is a simple blowback weapon which fires from open bolt, in full automatic mode only. The safety was made in the form of the L-shaped cut at the rear of the cocking handle slot, which was used to lock the bolt in rearward position. Feed was from detachable box magazines. Initially, Suomi-type 50-round 4-stack magazines were used, but later on these were changed to more reliable and less expensive 36-round double-stack magazines, designed for Swedish M/45 Carl Gustaf submachine gun. The Hovea submachine gun was equipped with perforated barrel jacket and a side-folding buttstock, made from thin steel tube. The sights consisted of the protected front blade and L-shaped flip-up rear sight, marked for 100 and 200 meters range.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gevarm D4 submachine gun



Gevarm D4 submachine gun.

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 3.3 kg
Length (stock closed/open) 535 / 782 mm
Barrel length 233 mm
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 32 rounds

The Gevarm D4 submachine gun was developed during early 1950 by French company Gevarm. It was produced in limited numbers, and used to some extent by French police.

The Gevarm D4 submachine gun is a simple blowback operated weapon which fires from open bolt. It had a safety / selector lever on the left side of the trigger unit, which allowed for single shots and full automatic fire. For aded safety, gun had an automatic grip safety, built into the front of the pistol grip. Charging handle also was located on the left side of the gun. The receiver, trigger unit and short barrel jacket were formed from sheet steel, making the gun rather inexpensive to manufacture. Gevarm D4 submachine gun was equipped with flip-up rear sight, marked for 50 or 100 meters, and with retractable buttstock, made of steel wire.

M/44 Tikkakoski submachine gun


M44 Tikkakoski submachine gun with 20-round box magazine

M44 Tikkakoski submachine gun with 71-round drum magazine originally designed for Suomi SMG

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 2,9 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 620 / 830 mm
Barrel length 250 mm
Rate of fire 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 20 or 36 rounds box or 71 rounds drum
Effective range 150-200 meters

This submachine gun was developed during 1943-44 at Tikkakoski OY, Finnish arms-making company, as a less expensive alternative to excellent but overly costly Suomi submachine gun. This weapon in fact was a reverse-engineered copy of Soviet Sudaev PPS-43 submachine gun, adapted to 9x19 ammunition and used Suomi submachine gun magazines. Significatn numbers of M/44 submachine guns were manufactured at Tikkakoski factory during 1944 and 45, and these guns sreved with Finnish army for several decates after the war. It must be noted that the chief designer of M44, someone Willi Daughs, has left Finland soon after the war, and during early 1950s landed in Spain, along with manufacturing documentation for M44. There he managed to find manufacturing facilities, and a copy of M44 was produced in Spain as Dux M53. Small numbers of 9mm Dux M53 submachine guns were subsequently sold to West German Border Guard (Bundesgrenzshutz).

Tikkakosky KP M44 submachine gun is blowback operated, full automatic only weapon. It fires from open bolt. receiver and barrel jacket are made from single piece of sheet steel, cut, bent and welded to shape. Trigger unit is of simple design, copied from Sudaev PPS-43, with similar sliding manual safety, located in front of trigger guard. The magazine housing is designed to accept all types of magazines, originally developed for Suomi submachine gun, including 20- and 50-round box magazines and 40- and 71-round drum magazines. During ealry fifties M44 submachine guns were slightly modified so it was possible to use new and highly reliable 36-round box magazines from Swedish M45 Carl Gustaf submachine guns (compatibility with older Suomi magazines was retained). Standard sights were of open type, with protetcetd front and L-shaped flip-up rear, marked for 100- and 200-meters range. Metallic butt was of top-folding design.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

MGD / ERMA PM-9 submachine gun


7,65mm MGD submachine gun (possibly prototype) with fixed wooden stock

9mm MGD PM-9 submachine gun in ready position, right side

9mm MGD PM-9 submachine gun in ready position, left side

9mm MGD PM-9 submachine gun in folded position

Close-up view on receiver of MGD PM-9, with rotating charging handle and folding magazine housing

The compact size of MGD PM-9 submachine gun in folded configuration

Drawing from original US patent, issued for design of the MGD submachine gun

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 2,53 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 359 / 659 mm
Barrel length 213 mm
Rate of fire 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 32 rounds
Effective range 100 meters

The MGD PM-9 submachine gun was developed during late 1940s and early 1950s by frenchman Louis Debuit, who at the time worked for French company Etablissements Merlin & Gerin in Grenoble. The idea behind this unusual and little-known weapon was to provide a compact and easily concealable weapon with low felt recoil. Apparently, the MGD name comes from names of the company (Merlin & Gerin) and name of designer (Debuit). Early prototypes were made in French 7,62x20 Long caliber, but later development switched to 9x19mm caliber weapons. M & G built undisclosed numbers (probably several thousands) of MGD PM-9 submachine guns in several modifications, including versions with fixed or folding stocks, and with standard (short) or quite long (rifle) barrels, all between 1954 and 1955. In about 1956, German arms company Erma Werke tried to produce 9mm MGD PM-9 submachine gun under license from Merlin & Gerin. According to available sources, Erma produced about 10 prototypes of MGD, and then switched to other designs, which were less complicated to make and thus less expensive. Actually, what killed this interesting weapon was it expensive construction, which required a lot of milling and other labor-extensive metal processing. It is not known if these weapons were ever issued to any military or police service, or participated in any military conflicts.
MGD PM-9 submachine gun is deleayed blowback operated weapon which fired selectively in single shots or full automatic mode, from open bolt. The most unusual design solution was very light and compact bolt (breechblock), with additional mass provided by rotating flywheel located in the circular extension on the right side of the receiver. The flywheel was connected to the clockwork-type spring, and had a projection on one side, which entered the vertical cam track, cut in the rear extension of the bolt. To cock the gun, shooter has to rotate flywheel for about 180o counterclockwise (looking from right side of the gun) through the handle which is located on the right side of the gun. Once wlywheel is fully rotated back, it is locked there by the sear. This cocking movement also pulls the bolt back. Upon firing, the pull on the trigger releases the flywheel, and its spring rotates flywheel clockwise, thus pushing the bolt forward, to load the fresh cartridge from magazine and then fire it once the cartridge is fully seated in the chamber. Upon discharge, the rearward movement of the bolt is delayed by inertia of the flywheel, the force and the spring, combined with the leverage, provided by the position of the pin on the flywheel relative to the axis of the flywheel.

Other features of MGD included a folding magazine housing (which received widely available MP38 / MP40 magazines of German origin), and a side-folding stock, made from thick steel wire. The sights were of simple fixed variety, set for 100 meters range.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MAS-38 (MAS Mle 1938) submachine gun


MAS-38 submachine gun, left side

MAS-38 submachine gun, right side

Caliber 7,65x20mm Longue
Weight 2,83 kg empty
Length 635 mm
Barrel length 222 mm
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 32 rounds
Effective range 50-100 meters

The MAS-38 (MAS Mle 1938) submachine gun was developed by French state arsenal in St.Etienn (Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Etienne or MAS in short). Development of a new submachine gun for French army commenced at several state armories during early 1930s; in about 1935 MAS produced a prototype weapon known as SE-MAS 1935, which by 1938 evolved into MAS-38. It was officially adopted by French government in 1938 and production started in 1939, but only few were in service when Germany took over France in 1940. MAS-38 saw limited use during the World War 2, and soon after the war it was replaced in military service with more powerful MAT-49 submachine gun, although few MAS-38 saw the action i the early stages of the Indochina war. In police service, on the other hand, MAS-38 survived during at least for two more decades.

Generally speaking, MAS-38 was quite good weapon, reliable and rather accurate and controllable; its only problem was underpowered 7,65x20 Long ammunition, which greatly limited is effective range.

MAS-38 submachine gun was blowback operated, full automatic only weapon that fired from open bolt. The most unusual thing about MAS-38 was that bolt rode at a slight downward angle to the axis of the bore; in theory, this was done to reduce recoil and slow down the movement of the bolt by additional friction. The bolt reciprocated inside the long tube, that run through the wooden buttstock. The cocking handle was located on the right side of the gun and had a dustcover attached to it. Once gun was cocked, the cocking handle remained in retracted position and not reciprocated when gun was fired. Additional dustcover was fitted to the front of the magazine housing, and closed magazine aperture when magazine was removed. The manual safety was made in the form of folding trigger; to render the gun safe operator had to fold the trigger forward. Standard sights consisted of front blade and two folding rear blades.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Good Military Food Fight


Saw this article from the Readers' Digest. Food can also be seen as part of the technology for war. Without good food, the fighting man weakens and would not be able to perform efficiently on the battlefield. Have a read at this article below.


Far from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, a small army of scientists is facing a different kind of foe: bad chow

Wendy Johnson pulls on white surgical gloves and rips open a kitchen-size trash bag. Underneath a crumpled Pop-Tarts wrapper and an empty tuna container she finds it—yet another unopened packet of artificially sweetened, powdered lemon iced tea mix. She double-checks the soldier's food card, on which he's logged what he consumed during the day. He claims he drank the tea. But like so many other research recruits at Fort Lewis, Washington, he has tossed it instead. The sad verdict, laid bare in the garbage: The Army's new beverage has bombed. Of the 208 packets Johnson distributed to soldiers, only five have been consumed. The powdered apple cider hasn't done much better; only 11 of 394 packets she handed out have even been opened.

Johnson is neither a trash collector nor a spy. But she knows that rooting through the garbage might yield invaluable information. She works as a consumer psychologist in a branch of national security that's more obscure than Delta Force: the Department of Defense's Combat Feeding Directorate, which has been toiling for more than 50 years to ensure that military food is all that it can be.

This is not as simple as it sounds. The food must be tough enough to survive a 1,250-foot parachute drop from an airplane or a 150-foot chuteless plunge from a helicopter into the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. It must be edible at temperatures ranging from at least minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit to upwards of 120 degrees and have a shelf life of at least three years at 80 degrees and six months in 100-degree weather. And it must still be tasty enough to ensure that soldiers will eat what they need to stay healthy and strong on the front lines.

Enter Dumpster diving. "We needed to see what soldiers were actually throwing out," explains food scientist Kathy Evangelos, a 31-year veteran of the Combat Feeding Directorate, who helped pioneer the scavenging practice. "Dumpsters don't lie." Not long ago, soldiers hid the truth about military chow—they were too polite to spill. But while the standard fare in the field was officially tagged Meals, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, the nutritionists eventually learned what the grunts called them: "meals rejected by the enemy" or, even less kindly, "meals refused by everyone."

MREs hit the trenches in 1983. At the time, they were a revelation. Easier to carry than the heavy enamel C ration cans distributed during World War II, they were also cheaper to produce and packed with nutrients and a hefty dose of necessary calories. Only problem: the taste. "They contained such delicacies as ham and chicken loaf, freeze-dried pork and potato patties, and lots of frankfurters," says Gerald A. Darsch, the director of Combat Feeding. Soldiers dubbed the hot dogs, which came four to a package, the "four fingers of death."

The grumbling eventually reached the top brass. After the first Gulf War, Gen. Colin Powell summoned Darsch to his office for a heart-to-heart. "Much of what he said is unprintable," says Darsch. "But his message was clear: ‘Fix it.' "

So Darsch's staff did some field research. They sent investigators to T.G.I. Friday's and Applebee's, establishments soldiers frequented when stationed at home. They studied nutritional trends among young Americans. But the most important strategic maneuver was staged by Darsch in a military research complex outside Boston. He issued a bold command to his own army of food technologists, chemists, microbiologists, engineers, and dietitians: Follow your taste buds.

The Combat Feeding Directorate is part of the Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center, known as the Natick Labs, and is tucked away on a sprawling, 78-acre campus on the eastern shore of Massachusetts's Lake Cochituate. I arrive at the nondescript two-story building on a quiet Wednesday morning for a tour of the facility at the forefront of the good food fight. On the first floor, I pass a giant kitchen, where technicians in crisp white lab coats, plastic gloves, and hairnets move among countertops and stainless steel ovens and stoves. I meet chemists and engineers testing the durability of new kinds of food pouches and protective wrap for packaging the MREs.

In the sensory lab, trained food tasters sample about 4,000 new appetizers, entrées, snacks, and beverages every year. Before they even open their mouths, each taster takes a class on rating food, which is judged on a variety of characteristics, including color, odor, flavor, texture, and appearance. The scale runs from 1 ("dislike extremely") to 9 ("like extremely"). No item rated below an overall 6 makes the cut. Even those that pass are usually modified based on tasters' input. Recently, for instance, the lab decided to crank up the raspberry flavoring in its raspberry-swirl sweet rolls, a breakfast favorite among soldiers and tasters alike, in response to complaints that they were a little bland. Since 1993, more than 217 new items have been added to the MRE pouches, while some 65 of the least popular items have been withdrawn.

I don't get a swirly sweet roll, but I am offered a slice of pleasingly yellow, syrup-drenched pound cake by lab supervisor Jill St. Jean. With some trepidation, I poke my plastic fork into the center. It's amazingly soft for cake that has been stored in a plastic pouch for several months. I take a bite. The maple syrup flavoring explodes in my mouth. I give it an 8. St. Jean smiles. Most of the tasters love that cake, too, she confides. In fact, items containing maple syrup are so popular that this year, the lab is introducing a blueberry pound cake with maple syrup.

I'm offered a palate cleanser of either arctic-ice mint or cinnamon gumballs. Each contains the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee. While initially terrific, the pleasant flavor is quickly dominated by a bitter taste. Still, the gum serves its purpose: delivering a pick-me-up to drowsy war fighters. "We had to find a way to put what they need into gum or food, since we don't use pills," says Betty Davis, one of the team leaders.

After a break, it's lunchtime. I prepare to sample the newly approved beef brisket. The military, my hosts assure me, never adds MSG or any preservative. They don't need to—instead, they regulate the pH level and the amount of chemically bound water in each meal, to make it inhospitable to microorganisms. The food is packaged in a three- or four-layer shell that keeps out water and oxygen. Finally, the meal is pressure-cooked at 250 degrees Fahr¬enheit for up to 90 minutes, to kill bacteria.

I dunk the meat in the gravy. Not bad. A little lackluster, but nothing that a mini bottle of Tabasco can't cure—and in fact, hot sauce is included in many MRE packs. My next dish is Mediterranean chicken, a meal that will be introduced to soldiers next year. While the mashed potatoes that accompany it leave something to be desired—they, too, could use some chili pepper—the meat is tender and tastes … just like chicken. (Earlier, I'd tasted powdered scrambled eggs that tasted eggy and, bonus points, were neither overcooked nor runny.) The snack pack of jalapeño-spiced cashews is delicious.

On today's battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, the "four fingers of death" are a distant memory. Boneless pork ribs and chicken fajitas have taken their place. Other treats, such as maple-flavored breakfast sausages and a potato-Cheddar soup with home-style corn bread, are already set for this year. Vegetarians—their ranks within the military are increasing—are catered to with penne and meatless sausage in spicy tomato sauce and vegetable lasagna. And strips of chicken breast smothered in salsa, along with Mexican rice, enchiladas, and tortillas, have been introduced as a nod to the military's growing Hispanic population.

With new techniques in microwave sterilization and high-pressure processing on the horizon, says Evangelos, "our pasta will finally become al dente." Other technical innovations will also extend shelf life. At the end of my tour, Darsch's pride and excitement are hard to contain. "We've gone from ‘meals rejected by everyone,' " he says, "to ‘meals respected by Europeans' "—a tasty development indeed.

And not just for members of the military. The Army's culinary revolution has affected civilian food too. When the lab "restructured" (the insider term) meat and poultry in the 1970s, it helped lay the basis for chicken nuggets. Its research on freeze-dried coffee, pressure-cooking, processed cheese, and dehydrated egg and dairy products has been exported to commercial food production. And new Army refinements in high-pressure processing are being used to pasteurize supermarket cold cuts, chicken products, and guacamole.

The rating system devised for military food tasters, known as the hedonic scale, has become standard practice in the larger food industry:  the ultimate tribute, perhaps, to the Combat Feeding Directorate's discerning palate.

Thanksgiving in a Box
The military understands how much a turkey dinner can mean for those who spend Thanksgiving in the trenches. The holiday Unitized Group Ration-Express (UGR-E) contains a tray each of turkey slices with gravy, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, and corn bread–and–sausage stuffing. While the MRE is designed to feed just one soldier, the UGR-E produces food for 18. Just pull a tab and presto—a hot turkey dinner. Salt water inside the box reacts with magnesium and iron to generate enough steam and convection to heat the meal in 45 minutes. On the side: raisin-nut mix with chocolate candies, beverage powder, and cranberry jelly. Utensils and trays come with each box. Bring your own tablecloth.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hotchkiss "type Universal" submachine gun


Hotchkiss "type Universal" submachine gun in ready-to-use configuration

Hotchkiss "type Universal" submachine gun in collapsed configuration (note that the size of package can be further decreased by telescoping the barrel back into receiver by about 1/2 of its length)

Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight 3,43 kg empty
Length (stock closed/open) 540 / 776 mm (440 mm when completely "folded")
Barrel length 273 mm
Rate of fire 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 32 rounds
Effective range 150-200 meters

Hotchkiss "type Universal" submachine gun is one of most unusual weapons that appeared during early post-WW2 period. It was announced by once famous French arms-making company Societe des Armes a Feu Portatives Hotchkiss et Cie in 1949, and was produced until about 1952. The idea behind this gun was to made it as compact as possible when carrying or storing; the intended market for such weapon could be either paratroopers or people engaged in all sorts of clandestine operations. As a result of development, the "type Universal" submachine gun was able to be folded into a rather small package, only 440mm long when completely "collapsed". On the minus side, resulting weapon was overly complicated and expensive to make. It had many parts and probably was not reliably enough for any serious use. Small number of Hotchkiss "Universal" submachine guns saw action during earlier stages of war in the Indochina; few were purchased by Venezuela during early 1950s, but there were no more buyers and production of this gun has stopped.

It is also possible that it was the Hotchkiss "Universal" submachine gun that inspired Eugene Stoner when he devised his Ares Folding Machine Gun.

Except for its ability to fold down into a small package, Hotchkiss "type Universal" submachine gun is rather conventional weapon, using simple blowback action. It fires from open bolt, and capable of selective fire (fire mode selector is made in the form of cross-bolt button above pistol grip). The cocking handle has a sliding dustcover on its slot, and does not move when gun is fired. The sights consist of hooded front and flip-type aperture rear, marked for 50 and 100 meters.
The buttstock and pistol grip are made from sheet steel. When gun need to be collapsed, the pistol grip is pivoted forward to cover trigger guard, and magazine housing is folded forward to lie below the barrel. The buttstock then folds down and forward, and locks to the outer walls of magazine housing. If gun has to be further collapsed, operator shall depress a special latch that is located at the front of receiver, below the barrel. barrel then can be pushed backwards and into the receiver. It must be noted that it took more than few seconds to bring gun back to action from "fully collapsed" state.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Type 05 5.8mm / JS 9mm submachine gun


Military issue Type 05 submachine gun, caliber 5.8x21mm

Police-type JS submachine gun, caliber 9x19mm, fitted with telescope sight and detachable silencer

  Type 05 JS (Jian She)
Caliber 5.8x21mm DAP92-5.8 9x19mm DAP92-9 (9mm Luger/Para)
Weight 2.2 kg empty 2.1 kg empty
Length  500 mm 450 mm
Barrel length n/a n/a
Rate of fire n/a n/a
Magazine capacity 50 rounds 30 rounds
Effective range 150-200 m 100-150 m

The Type 05 submachine gun is the join development of the PLA's 208 Research Institute and Jian She Group. This design won the Compact Submachine gun trials initiated by PLA in early 1990s, and is intended to replace earlier weapons in service with PLA, such as Type 85 silenced submachine gun. Externally resembling the new Chinese assault rifle, the QBZ-95, the Type 05 is much simpler design internally. For military use it is produced in the new Chinese 5.8mm caliber, chambered for 5.8x21 DAP92-5.8 cartridge, which is loaded with pointed, armor piercing bullets; subsonic loadings also available for use with detachable silencer. For police use and commercial export sales, Jian She Group also produced a 9mm version of the Type 05, generally known as JS submachine gun. This weapon is similar in design to its military brother but uses standard Picatinny rail instead of carrying handle, and also uses commonly available 9mm magazines compatible with famous German HK MP5 submachine gun.

Type 05 submachine gun is blowback operated weapon that fires from open bolt. Gun is made in bullpup configuration, with compact aluminium receiver and separate polymer shoulder stock / housing and pistol grip / trigger units. Safety / fire mode selector switch is located above the pistol grip, and allows for single shots, 3-round bursts and full automatic fire; charging handle is located at the top of the receiver, inside the carrying handle on Type 05 submachine guns, and on the right side on the JS 9mm submachine gun. Both weapons also fitted with automated grip safety. Despite the bullpup design, ejection is possible only to the right side, so firing from the left shoulder is seems to be impossible or art least dangerous for the shooter. Type 05 submachine guns are fitted with open sights and with proprietary scope mounts at the top of carrying handle; JS submachine guns have no open sights and fitted with Picatinny rail at the top of the receiver which can accept various types of sighting equipment. Either weapon can be equipped with detachable optional silencer. Military issue Type 05 submachine guns are fed from proprietary four-row box magazines that hold 50 rounds of 5.8mm ammunition; JS submachine guns use two-row 30-round box magazines compatible with HK MP5.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Madsen model 1946 (m/46) 1950 (m/50) 1953 (m/53) submachine gun

Madsen model 1946 submachine gun

Madsen model 1950 submachine gun

Madsen model 1950 submachine gun, butt folded

Madsen model 1950 submachine gun; receiver is partially opened for disassembly

Madsen model 1950 submachine gun, completely disassembled. Note the magazine loading tool stored inside the hollow pistol grip

Madsen model 1953 submachine gun

Madsen model 1953 Mark 2 submachine gun, with optional barrel jacket and bayonet

Madsen M1946Madsen M1950Madsen M1953
Caliber9x19 Luger / Parabellum
Weight, empty3.15 kg3.15 kg3.2 kg
Barrel length200 mm200 mm200 mm
Length (stock closed/open)550 / 780 mm530 / 780 mm530 / 800 mm
Rate of fire480 rounds per minute550 rounds per minute550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity32 rounds

The famous Danish company Dansk Industrie Syndicat AS 'Madsen', usually referred simply as Madsen or DISA, manufactured various weapons since the early 1900s. In 1946 Madsen introduced a modern submachine gun, the m/46, which featured an entirely stamped receiver, integral with pistol grip and magazine housing. This SMG also featured unusual charging handle, a bracket-shaped slider above the receiver. But the most unusual feature of the m/46 was the field stripping procedure. The receiver was made from two halves, left and right, hinged at the rear, and held together at the front by the screw-on barrel nut. To disassemble the gun, one must unscrew the barrel nut, and then open the left side of the receiver/housing. Barrel, bolt, return spring and trigger unit will remain in the right "half" of the gun, easily accessible. The hollow pistol grip contained magazine loading tool, and there wee no manual safeties; instead, Madsen m/46 had an automatic safety in the form of the lever just behind the magazine housing; to fire the gun, one must grasp the magazine and this lever securely by non-firing hand, to be able to release the bolt. Otherwise, the m/46 was a fairy conventional blowback design, which fired only in full auto.

Following the initial sucees of the m/46, DISA introduced the M/50, a slightly modified M/46 with more conventional and comfortable charging handle at the top of the gun, and in 1953 Madsen introduced the last gun in this line, M/53, which differed mostly in that it used a curved magazines instead of straight ones, and can be fitted with optional barrel shroud, which had a bayonet mount lug. The M/53 Mark 2 version differed from all other guns in this line by having a fire mode selector. Madsen SMG's were sold to various Asian and South American countries. Brazil also manufactured a licensed copy of the Madsen m/50 in .45ACP caliber.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suomi submachine gun

Suomi M/26 submachine gun, caliber 7,65x22 Parabellum.

Suomi M/31 submachine gun with 71-round drum magazine, standard version.

Suomi M/32 "tank" or "pillbox" submachine gun with 50-round 4-row magazine, no butt and special barrel jacket.

Suomi M 37-39 submachine gun with short barrel, produced under license in Sweden by Husqvarna Vapenfabrik (original M37 weapons were chambered for 9x20 Browning Long ammunition, modified M37-39 - for 9x19 Luger ammunition).

Images from US patent issued to Aimo Lahti for basic design of Suomi submachine gun

Patent diagrams explaining (left to right) 40- and 71-round drums designed by Lahti and 50-round box magazine designed by Schillstrom

Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 4.6 kg empty, 7,03 kg with loaded 71-round drum
Length: 870 mm
Barrel length: 314 mm
Rate of fire: 900 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20, 36 or 50-round box magazines and 40- or 71-round drum magazines
Effective range: 200 meters

The Suomi ("Finland") submachine gun was developed by Finnish arms designer Aimo Lachti in 1920-1930 period. First prototype was built by 1922, and by 1926 Lahti produced a working weapon, chambered for then-standard Finnish army's 7,65x22 Luger / Parabellum ammunition. Definitive version of the Suomi submachine gun was adopted by Finnish Army in 1931 as Suomi-KP Model 1931, or simply KP-31 (KP stands for Konepistooli - Automatic Pistol in Finnish language). Suomi submachine gun was manufactured by Finnish company Tikkakoski Oy, and licensed to Denmark (Madsen), Sweden (Husqwarna) and Switzerland (Hispano Suiza). Used mostly by Finnish and Sweden armies, it was also widely exported into Baltic countries, some European and South American countries. Suomi was used with great success during Winter War of 1940 against Soviet Union, when, wisely used, this SMG showed to the world the importance of the submachine guns to the modern warfare. Manufacture of the Suomi was ceased in Finland in 1944, but it was used well until the 1990s, when finally rendered obsolete and replaced in Army by assault rifles.

Suomi submachine gun is a blowback operated, selective fire weapon. It fires from the open bolt, and used so called "differential locking" or "advanced primer ignition" principle, when fixed firing pin ignites the primer BEFORE the bolt stops on its way forward into the battery, so the bolt momentum of inertia is used to lock the chamber during the initial phase of shot, when pressure in the chamber is high. The bolt and receiver were machined from high quality steel and bolt was fitted to the receiver almost airtight. The rear cover of the receiver was screwed on to it also almost hermetically. This was necessary to achieve a fire rate reduction by using a simple vacuum valve in the receiver cover - when bolt moved back, the valve let the air out easily from the space behind the bolt. When bolt started to move forward, the valve closed itself, so difference of air pressures behind the bolt and in atmosphere slowed the bolt on its way forward into the battery.

The charging handle was somewhat similar in appearance to one found on bolt action rifles; it is located behind and below the receiver, and does not move when gun was fired. The safety - fire selector is located at the front of triggerguard, and gun could be fired in semi-auto or in full-auto
Another interesting feature was the quick-detachable barrel and barrel jacket. This feature, more adequate to machine guns, was a welcome during intensive fire-fights, when many hundreds of shots were fired in fully automatic mode. Sometimes the barrel was also fitted with machined muzzle brake / compensator.

Suomi was fed from box or drum magazines. Box magazines were conventional staggered-column ones for 20 rounds or twin-staggered-column magazines for 50 rounds each (also known as "Coffin magazines" due to their shape, these could be described as two staggered-column magazines clipped together and having common cartridge exit). Drum magazines held 40 (rarely encountered early versions) or 71 rounds and later inspired Russians to adopt drum magazines for their PPD and PPSch SMGs. In mid-1950s Finnish army also adopted 36-round magazine, designed in Sweden for M/45 Carl Gustaf submachine gun, and Suomi submachine guns were slightly modified to accept those magazines.

In general, the Suomi KP-31 was a highly effective, reliable and accurate gun, but too expensive to manufacture.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sa. 23 / Sa. 24 / Sa. 25 / Sa. 26 submachine gun

Cz-447 prototype submachine gun (1947)

Sa.24 submachine gun, with fixed wooden butt, caliber 7,62mm

Sa.25 submachine gun, with folding butt in opened position, caliber 9mm

Sa.25 submachine gun, with folding butt in folded position

Sa.26 submachine gun, with folding butt in opened position. Note that magazine is sloped forward because of different ammunition used (7,62mm)

Caliber: Sa.23 and Sa.25 9x19mm Luger/Para; Sa.24 and Sa.26 7.65x25mm TT
Weight: 3.27 kg or 3.5 kg empty (with folding or fixed stock, respectively)
Length (stock closed/open): 445 / 686 mm
Barrel length: 284 mm
Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 24 or 40 rounds (9mm) or 32 rounds (7.62mm)
Effective range: 100-200 meters

Soon after the end of WW2 the Czechoslovak army began the search for a new submachine gun for both infantry and non-infantry use. After much testing, a prototype Cz-447 (4th model, 1947) was selected for further development. It was designed by J. Holecek at arms factory in the city Uhersky Brod (now it is a famous CZ-UB arms factory). In mid-1948 the improved weapons were adopted by Czechoslovak army as "9 mm Samopal Vz. 48a" (with a solid wooden stock; Samopal stands for "submachine gun" and Vz. stands for Vzor, or "model of") and "9 mm Samopal Vz. 48b" (with a folding stock). Production of new weapons commenced at CZ-UB in 1949, and early in 1950 both versions were renamed to Sa 23 (Samopal 23, fixed but version) and Sa 25 (folding butt version). Later this year Czechoslovak army decided to retire both weapons, because, under pressure from Soviet Union, it switched from 9x19 Luger pistol ammunition to 7,62x25 TT pistol ammunition. Basic weapons were quickly redesigned to fire "new" round, and were subsequently adopted in 1951 as Sa 24 (solid butt) and Sa 26 (folding butt). Most of 9mm Sa 23 and Sa 25 submachine guns were either passed down to local militia or sold for export as surplus; many of these guns later surfaced in countries like Cuba, Chile, Cambodia, Libya, Lebanon, South Africa and others. The service of 7,62mm versions was somewhat longer, but by early 1960s Czechoslovak army started to replace submachine guns with much more effective Sa. 58 assault rifles.

One interesting aspect about those submachine guns is about its general layout. It is a generally accepted fact that Sa 23 and Sa 25 were the first production submachine guns to have magazines in pistol grip and wrap-around bolts. However, weapons of similar layout were designed in Great Britain toward the end of WW2, circa 1944-45. These prototypes are known as MCEM-2, and are very similar in appearance to Sa 25, which appeared couple of years later.

All Sa 23 series submachine guns are blowback operated, select-fire weapons which fire from open bolt. The trigger works as a fire selector - short trigger pull produces single shots, while long pull produces burst fire. The wrap-around bolt has firing pin fixed into it near its rear end and encloses the breech part of the barrel with the most of its length when closed. Box magazines are inserted into the pistol grip (much like most semi-auto pistols). All Sa 23 family SMGs have built-in magazine loading device at the right side of the handguard, which is designed for loading box magazines from 8-rounds stripper clips. The charging handle is located at the left side of the gun. The sights consist of hooded blade front and adjustable drum-type rear.

The 7.62 and 9mm models can be distinguished by the magazine insertion: 7.62mm models have magazines that slope forward whereas those of the 9mm models are vertical.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drown proofing technique as shown by the Malaysian Navy Special Forces

Below is a video of the technique used by the Malaysian Navy Special Forces or PASKAL to save themselves from drowning if tied up and thrown into the sea. This video clip was obtained from a television show. The language spoken is Malay.


Monday, August 9, 2010

MAT Modele 1949 / MAT-49 submachine gun

MAT-49 submachine gun, right side. Shoulder stock is retracted, ejection window dustcover is closed.

MAT-49 submachine gun, left side

MAT-49 submachine gun, with shoulder stock retracted, magazine removed and magazine housing folded forward for compact storage or transportation

Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum
Weight: 3.6 kg w/o magazine
Length (stock closed/open): 404 / 660 mm
Barrel length: 230 mm
Rate of fire: 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 and 32 rounds
Effective range: 100 meters

MAT-49 submachine gun was developed at the French state arms factory MAT (Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle) in the late 1940s, and was adopted by the Armee de Terre (French Army) in 1949. First batches were delivered in 1950, and production of the MAT-49 continued at Tulle until mid-1960s, when it was transferred to the MAS factory at the St.Etienne. Production was ceased in about 1979, when French army officially adopted the FAMAS assault rifle. For some 30 years the MAT-49 was widely used by French military and police forces, and it was brought through the Indo-China and Algeria campaigns, and it still could be encountered in ex-French colonies in Africa and Indo-China. It should be noted that North Vietnamese once produced local copy of the MAT-49, chambered for 7.62mm TT round. MAT-49 is no longer used by French army, but still can be sometimes seen in the hands of the Police and Gendarmerie officers. For police use, MAT also produced a specialized version, known as MAT-49/54. This was fitted with longer barrel and with selective fire mechanism with dual triggers.

MAT-49 is a blowback operated, box magazine fed submachine gun which fires from open bolt. Most parts of the gun, including the receiver, pistol grip and a magazine housing, are stamped from sheet steel. Magazine housing can be folded forward and below the barrel when gun is not in use, to save space. Buttstock is made of steel wire and is retractable. MAT-49 is equipped with automated grip safety, located at the back of the pistol grip. Bolt retracting handle is located on the left side of the receiver; its slot is covered with sliding dustcover. Ejection window on the right side also is fitted with spring-loaded dustcover which opens up automatically when bolt is cocked. Army issue MAT-49 submachine guns can only fire in full automatic mode, but some batches were made for Gendarmerie and Police with dual triggers, and those guns were capable of both full-auto and single shots. Police guns also sometimes were made with longer barrels and non-retractable wooden stocks. Rear sights are of flip-up type, "L"-shaped and marked for 50 and 100 meters distance.



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