The submachine guns described in this chapter are presented alphabetically.
A-9 and A-7.62
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
These two submachine guns are derived from the A-91 compact assault rifle. As their designations suggest, the A-9 is chambered in 9mm (in this case, the Western Parabellum round) and the A-7.62 uses the 7.62mm Tokarev round. Both employ the same gas-powered action of the assault rifle, and many of their components are interchangeable with those of the A-91. Construction and operation are similar, with the same general arrangement and folding stock.
The gas-powered action is somewhat unusual for a submachine gun, which makes this a complex and expensive weapon. It is both more lightweight and more accurate than a conventional blowback system, however, making this weapon particularly well suited for special operations or counterterrorist use.
Who Uses Them: The A-9 and A-7.62 are both reportedly in service with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The AEK-919 Kashtan is a new submachine gun developed for the Russian Interior Ministry. It is similar to the Israeli Uzi, using a simple, blowback operated action with a telescoping bolt. It is made of mixed polymer-metal construction, which makes it relatively light. A folding metal stock is standard. A positive safety prevents accidental firing if the weapon is dropped or jarred.
The AEK-919 is chambered for the low-power 9×18mm Makarov pistol cartridge. It would be relatively simple to adapt the weapon to the new high-power derivative of the cartridge used by the PMM pistol, but for some reason, this has not yet been done.
Variants: A compact carry version of the AEK-919 is designated AEK-919K and has a range increment of 40 feet; its statistics are otherwise identical to the standard model.
Croatian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Agram 2000 was a hastily designed submachine gun that emerged from the chaos of the fighting in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Limited by an international arms embargo, which prevented the import of foreign designs, the Croatian government developed the Agram 2000 for use by its military and security forces. A simple and crude weapon, it was designed to be produced cheaply and quickly in any machine shop. Construction is from simple metal tubes and stampings with plastic grips. It is designed to accept standard Uzi magazines. A special suppressor, which screws onto the end of the barrel, is available as well.
Wartime conditions made the Agram 2000 a useful design for the Croatian forces. With the end of the fighting, and the more ready availability of better weapons, the need for the Agram 2000 largely disappeared, and it has gone out of production.
Who Uses It: The Agram 2000 saw service with the Croatian military and police forces during the civil wars. It remains in use in limited numbers.
Bulgarian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Shipka is a recent submachine gun design from Bulgaria, chambered in the relatively low-powered 9mm Makarov cartridge. Though the firing mechanism is a relatively unsophisticated blowback design, the Shipka incorporates a number of modern features. The action is housed in a high-impact plastic case that forms the grips and magazine well. A laser sight can be mounted within the forward grip, just under the barrel. A folding metal stock is fitted as well.
Variants: An e x port model, chambered in the more popular 9mm Parabellum cartridge, is also available. It uses a smaller 25-round magazine.
Italian 9mm Caseless Submachine Gun
The CB-M2 is the result of a joint venture between Benelli and ammunition manufacturer Fiocci. It uses a unique type of caseless bullet, in which the propellant charge is loaded into a hollow space in the base of the bullet itself. The weapon’s blowback action is relatively conventional in operation except that upon firing, the action simply moves back and draws the next round off the magazine, since there is no case to eject.
The system was much simpler and easier to perfect than the more advanced type developed for the H&K G11 caseless rifle, and the manufacturers claimed that it could be readily adapted to full-sized rifle calibers as well. In the end, however, this innovative design failed to attract any customers, and the CB-M2 never went into full-scale production.
Beretta Model 12
Italian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Model 12 was introduced in the late 1950s and was the first major postwar submachine gun design to emerge from Italy.
Its cylindrical body and twin pistol grips give it a distinctive appearance. Its action uses a telescoping bolt, much like the Israeli Uzi. This keeps the Model 12 compact and wieldy. It is also simple to manufacture and maintain, which makes it both cheap and reliable.
Variants: The Model 12 was made available with either a fixed wooden stock or a folding metal one as desired. An improved version, the Model 12S, was introduced in the early 1980s. The Model 12S incorporated numerous changes, all relatively minor. Most important of these changes, though, were a larger redesigned safety catch and an overall anti-corrosion coating.
Who Uses It: From the early 1960s, the Model 12 was the standard submachine gun in Italy and served with both the military and national police units. During the 1980s, the Model 12S replaced the Model 12. The Model 12S was also widely exported and was produced under license in Brazil and Indonesia.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Bizon is essentially an AK-74 assault rifle converted for use as a submachine gun chambered in 9mm Makarov. Many of the components are interchangeable with the AK-74, including the receiver and trigger group.
The Bizon’s most distinctive feature is a cylindrical helical magazine that runs under the barrel. The helical design allows a large capacity, and the Bizon holds up to 64 rounds. Holes in the magazine allow the user to see how much ammunition remains.
The operating mechanism is a simple blowback action. It is capable of firing both standard Makarov ammunition and the new high-power round developed for the PMM pistol.
Variants: The Bizon has gone through three different versions, which were appropriately enough designated Bizon-1, Bizon-2, and Bizon-3. The differences were relatively minor, resulting in little more than redesigned sights and forward grips. The Bizon-3 also added an accessory mount on the barrel for a suppressor or compensator and a new fold-over stock in place of the earlier side-swinging model.
South African 9mm Submachine Gun
The BXP is a design from South Africa. Its development was necessitated by that country’s international arms embargo, which prevented procurement of another weapon from overseas. It owes much to the Uzi, which preceded it in South African service, incorporating a telescoping bolt and a magazine housed in the pistol grip.
A few improvements were made on the basic design, most notably a sealed bolt that prevents debris from clogging the action should the weapon get dirty. A folding stock is fitted, and the barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor.
The BXP is fitted with an ambidextrous safety switch. Selecting between automatic or semiautomatic fi re is done with the trigger itself — a half-pull gives semiautomatic fire, and a full pull gives automatic fire. Thanks to its overall good balance, the BXP is easily controllable even in automatic mode.
Variants: A semiautomatic-only carbine variant is also produced for police or civilian sales; its statistics are otherwise identical to the standard BXP model.
Who Uses It: The BXP replaced the Uzi in South African service in the 1970s. Today, it serves with both military and police forces and has been exported as well.
American 9mm Submachine Guns
The California Instrument Company, or Calico, produces a series of submachine guns. Though they are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, all are built around the same basic operating mechanism. The weapon’s most distinctive feature is its large helical magazine, which loads onto the top of the weapon, above the receiver. These magazines hold the rounds of ammunition in spiraling rows. They are available in either 50- or 100-round versions.
Magazine aside, the Calico designs operate around a roller-locked operating system similar to that found on the H&K MP5.
Construction is largely of metal with plastic furniture, including an oversized housing incorporating the pistol grip.
The Calico design is produced in a variety of different variant models. These include fixed- and folding-stock versions, select-fire and semiautomatic versions, and long- and short-barreled versions.
Liberty Carbine: This is a semiautomatic-only model produced for civilian shooters. It is nonetheless illegal in the U.S. due to its high magazine capacity. It is available with either the 50- or 100-round magazine and with either a fixed or folding stock.
M900: This is another semiautomatic-only variant and is one of the more basic models in the Calico line. It features a collapsible stock and a long barrel with a conventional forward grip, like an assault rifle.
The M900-S is a similar model with a fixed shoulder stock.
M951: Another semiautomatic variant, essentially the same as the M900 but with a vertical forward pistol grip. The M951-S is the fixed-stock version.
M951-A: This is the M951 in a select-fi re version capable of automatic fire. It too is available in a fi xed-stock variant, the M951-AS.
Carl Gustav M45
Swedish 9mm Submachine Gun
The M45 was introduced in the closing days of World War II. A simple and unremarkable design, it has earned a reputation for dependability.
Tubular in construction and made primarily from metal with a wooden pistol grip, it features a folding stock that swings forward alongside the weapon. Interestingly enough, the 36-round magazine that was developed for the M45 has proven more successful than the weapon itself — because of the magazine’s excellent reliability, many subsequent submachine guns have been designed to use it.
Variants: The M45C can support a bayonet attachment. The M45E added a semiautomatic setting to the action; its statistics are otherwise identical to the basic M45 model. A version with an integral suppressor was also developed for special operations units.
Who Uses It: The Carl Gustav was widely exported during the 1950s and 1960s, when it was popular with police and military forces worldwide. The weapon was license-built in Indonesia and in Egypt, where it was known as the Port Said. The CIA also distributed it to a number of rebel groups when deniability dictated against using an American weapon. Silenced versions were used by U.S. Special Forces in the Vietnam War.
American 9mm Carbine
The Cobray M-11 is a modern derivative of the famous Ingram MAC 10. It uses the same operating mechanism and general configuration.
The action has been modified, however, to operate in semiautomatic mode only. To escape a BATF ban on the civilian sale of Ingram submachine guns in the U.S., the Cobray M-11 has been designed to make it impossible to convert it to an automatic weapon. Though its heritage is still apparent, many feel that today’s Cobray is a far cry from the 1980s-era Ingram.
Colt Model 635
American 9mm Submachine Gun
The Colt Model 635 is essentially an M16 assault rifle that has been rebuilt to fire 9mm Parabellum pistol ammunition. It is identical in appearance to a compact M16 carbine, except for the magazine.
The Model 635 uses standard Uzi submachine gun magazines, which are considerably longer and narrower than rifle magazines. They are inserted into the full-sized M16 magazine well.
Controls and operation of the Model 635 is the same as the M16. This simplifies the retraining of personnel already equipped with M16s. Internally, the action has been modified to fire as a closed-bolt blowback design. The bolt locks open when the last round has been fired, facilitating rapid magazine changes. The straight-through M16 pattern of the stock helps to control recoil, making the Model 635 a remarkably accurate submachine gun, even in automatic mode.
The Model 635 features the shortened barrel pattern and folding stock of the M16 Commando variants. This makes it significantly shorter than the full-sized rifle, which suits its submachine gun role.
The Model 635 is considerably more expensive and complex than most submachine guns; however, it is highly accurate and reliable and is particularly well suited to the needs of special operations units.
Variants: Variant models of the 635 incorporate semiautomatic-only or three-round burst settings, with statistics otherwise identical to the standard model. Knights Armaments Company produces a modified version with an integral suppressor built into the barrel.
In addition to the 9mm Model 635 from Colt, LaFrance produces a similar submachine gun derived from the M16. This is the M16K .45 chambered in .45 ACP.
Who Uses It: The Colt 635 is in service with the U.S. Marine Corps and with special units of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It has also been widely exported, especially to nations already equipped with the M16 rifle.
Czech 9mm Submachine Gun
The CZ 23 was introduced in the late 1940s for Czech military use. Chambered for the popular 9mm Parabellum cartridge, it was a highly innovative design for its time. The CZ 23 was the first weapon to make use of a telescoping bolt action, which dramatically reduced the overall length. In addition, the magazine was housed in the pistol grip. The result was a highly compact and handy design, which was very controllable in automatic mode. These two concepts have since been copied by many later designs, perhaps most famously in the Israeli Uzi.
Variants: The CZ 25 replaces the fi xed wooden shoulder stock with a folding metal design; it is the same in all other respects.
Who Used It: The CZ 23 and CZ 25 were adopted by the Czech armed forces following World War II. After only a few years, Warsaw Pact standardization policies dictated their replacement with the CZ 24 and CZ 26. The existing CZ 23s and CZ 25s were exported throughout the Middle East and Latin America.
Czech 7.62mm Submachine Gun
This is essentially the CZ 23 rechambered to fire the Warsaw Pact–standard 7.62mm Soviet pistol round, a change necessitated by the absorption of Czechoslovakia into the Eastern Bloc. The most noticeable external change is that the magazine and pistol grip are visibly canted forward. The rear sight was reworked as well. Despite the “standardization” order, the Czech designers managed to demonstrate some creativity, and the CZ 24’s 7.26mm ammunition is loaded to a higher velocity than the Soviet standard.
Variants: Like the 9mm CZ 24, the CZ 26 features a folding metal stock. It is the same as the CZ 25 in all other respects.
Who Used It: The Czech forces adopted the CZ 24 and CZ 26 in 1952. Around 1970, assault rifles replaced the guns in front-line units, though they continued in reserve units for some years thereafter.
Australian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Australian F1A1 is essentially a derivative of the British Sterling submachine gun. The biggest difference is the magazine well, which was rebuilt to feed vertically into the top of the weapon (a feature borrowed from the World War II–era Owen gun, which the F1A1 replaced).
This gives the F1A1 an unusual appearance but permits the user to lie close to the ground when firing prone — something difficult to do with a weapon whose magazines feed into the bottom of the weapon.
To keep manufacturing costs down, the F1A1 uses a number of components from the L1A1 FAL rifle, including the grip and shoulder stock. Like the Sterling, it features a straight-line arrangement, which directs the recoil forces directly back to minimize the effects of muzzle climb. The action is sealed, and the F1A1 is well suited to the harsh requirements of action in the field. A bayonet can be attached to the weapon.
Who Uses It: The F1A1 was adopted by the Australian Army in the early 1960s and was used extensively in the fighting in Vietnam. The AUG assault rifle and the MP5 submachine gun have largely replaced it, except in a few reserve units.
Chilean 9mm Submachine Gun
The Chilean SAF is an advanced submachine gun derived from the SIG 540 assault rifle (see Rifles). The action is modified to a blowback system and the weapon is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. It fires from a closed bolt, giving good first-shot accuracy. It incorporates several other features of the original assault rifle as well. The magazines are transparent so that remaining ammunition can be visually checked. They are also designed to be snapped together side by side, facilitating rapid changes.
Variants: The SAF is produced with either a fixed plastic stock or a side-folding metal stock. A version with an integral suppressor, the SAF Silencada, is available. There is also the Mini-SAF, a radically shortened ultracompact version designed for concealment.
Who Uses It: The SAF series is in service with the Chilean military and security forces.
Hungarian 9mm Submachine Gun
The FeG KGP-9 is a simple blowback-operating weapon chambered for the 9mm Parabellum weapon and incorporating a number of advanced features. The receiver is made of steel, with plastic furniture.
The selector switch is located inside the trigger guard, just forward of the trigger itself, allowing the shooter to easily set it without taking his or her hands off the grip. For cleaning, the KGP-9 can be quickly disassembled without tools.
Who Uses It: The KGP-9 is in service with the Hungarian internal security and police forces.
Philippine 9mm Submachine Gun
The MK-9 goes against the current trend in submachine gun design toward more sophisticated and accurate weapons. Instead, it represents a simple, inexpensive design using low-cost materials and manufacturing techniques, much like older second-generation submachine guns.
The MK-9 is made of metal, with the action housed in a tubular receiver casing. It features a short barrel that is suited to close-in fighting and is protected by a vented jacket. The configuration is conventional, with the magazine inserted forward of the pistol grip into an oversized well that also acts as a foregrip. The receiver extends well back, providing an attachment point for a folding stock and the rear sights. The MK-9 uses the standard M16 pistol grip, a cheap and readily available replacement part. It also uses the M16’s safety catch, positioned just above the grip as on the M16.
FMK-3 Mod 2
Argentine 9mm Submachine Gun
The FMK-3 Mod 2 is the most modern gun of the submachine gun series produced by FML (Fabricaciones Militares). It owes much to the Israeli Uzi for its design and configuration. The action is built around a conventional telescoping-bolt action, and the magazine is loaded into the firing handle. The housing is made from inexpensive metal stampings. The foregrip is plastic, and there is a folding metal stock.
Variants: Intended primarily for police use, the FMK-5 carbine has statistics similar to the FMK-3 except that it fires only on semiautomatic.
Who Uses It: The FMK-3 Mod 2 is in service with the Argentine armed forces.
Belgian 5.7mm Personal Defense Weapon
Introduced in 1988, the P90 from Fabrique Nationale was one of the first PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) designs to appear on the market. The designers sought to create a lightweight and practical weapon for rear-echelon military personnel who wouldn’t need full-sized rifles. The resulting weapon represents a radical departure from earlier designs in a number of ways.
The P90 fires a unique 5.7mm necked round, designed for extreme high-velocity performance. The bullet has excellent armor-piercing capability, yet recoil is minimal—signifi cantly less than with a standard 9mm round.
Another unconventional aspect of the P90 is its configuration, which is the result of extensive ergonomic design and engineering.
The high-capacity magazine lies on the top of the weapon and holds 50 rounds. It is transparent, allowing the remaining ammunition to be quickly checked. All the P90‘s controls are ambidextrous, and the spent cases are ejected out the bottom of the weapon, allowing use by either left- or right-handed shooters. The unusual shape of the P90 allows it to be effectively fired either from the hip or the shoulder, and either one- or two-handed as necessary. It was also designed to fit comfortably out of the user’s way when it is not needed.
The P90 features a built-in sight for rapid target acquisition and backup iron sights. Built-in rails allow the fitting of various accessories, such as illuminators. A screw-on suppressor is available as well.
Variants: A model with a built-in laser sight is also available. This is intended primarily for special operations units who use the P90 in close-quarters fighting, rather than the rear-echelon personnel for whom it was originally designed.
Who Uses It: The P90 has been adopted by several Special Forces units worldwide, including those of Cyprus, Peru, and Saudi Arabia. It is also used by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Italian 9mm Submachine Gun
Introduced in 1956, the LF-57 was the fi rst military weapon design from Franchi, a company better known for high-quality sporting arms.
It uses a telescoping bolt to provide a short overall length, resulting in a compact and stable design. To minimize complexity, the bolt mass was designed to move above the barrel, resulting in a simpler mechanical arrangement. The mechanism is contained in a stamped metal housing, which is shaped to form the grips, eliminating the need for attached furniture. A tubular metal folding stock improves controllability.
Ease of maintenance was another design consideration, and the LF-57 can be quickly disassembled without tools for cleaning.
Despite its compact and practical design, the LF-57 failed to attract customers and was not put into widespread production.
Who Uses It: The LF-57 was used in small numbers by the Italian Navy. It was largely withdrawn by the 1980s.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Gepard is derived from the AKS-74U assault carbine. It shares many components with the AKS-74U and operates in much the same fashion. Its configuration is somewhat different, with a magazine fed into the pistol grip and an unusual grip frame.
Internally, the Gepard uses a modular firing mechanism, which can be reconfigured to fire no fewer than six different 9mm cartridges.
This adaptability makes the Gepard an unnecessarily complex and expensive design. The user must keep track of a number of replacement bolts, springs, and other components that are necessary to switch from one caliber to another. Furthermore, this capability is of dubious value, since 9mm Parabellum is probably suitable for virtually any role the Gepard is likely to see use in. For this reason, it will probably never see widespread production or use.
Finnish 9mm Parabellum Submachine Gun
The GG-95 is an advanced lightweight submachine gun design from Finland with a long and spotted history. It has been put into production several times but has always failed to find commercial success.
The GG-95 is built around an ingenious operating principle. To improve controllability in such a compact weapon, the barrel is set at an angle to the bolt’s path of travel during recoil. This forces the bolt to press downward on the receiver, countering the effect of muzzle climb. It also allows the pistol grip to be set higher up, at the same level as the barrel axis. Recoil force is thus directed straight back, rather than up at an angle. Due to its unconventional configuration, the GG-95 is remarkably easy to control in automatic mode. It is also extremely lightweight and is only about half as heavy as comparable submachine gun designs.
The forward grip folds down for use and is used to cock the weapon. It serves as a safety device when closed, locking the bolt. Semiautomatic and automatic fire are controlled by trigger pressure. A suppressor can be fitted if desired.
Who Uses It: Despite the promise of its design, the GG-95 has yet to be adopted by any armed service. It has gone in and out of production several times, as its manufacturers continue to seek a customer.
H&K MP5 Series
The H&K (Heckler & Koch) MP5 is arguably the most successful submachine gun ever made. It is built around a relatively simple concept, combining the standard H&K roller-locked action used in the G3 series of assault rifles with the 9mm Parabellum cartridge to produce a compact submachine gun. The result is a weapon of exceptional accuracy and reliability.
In keeping with the assault-rifle origins of its action, the MP5 fires from a closed bolt. This means that when the first shot is fired, the only part of the action that moves is the firing pin. On most other submachine guns, the entire bolt snaps closed when the trigger is pressed; this causes a noticeable shift in the weapon’s center of gravity, which can pull the muzzle off target. The MP5, on the other hand, is very stable and accurate, especially when fired in semiautomatic mode.
The roller-locked action lacked the simplicity associated with submachine guns since World War II. The MP5 was initially criticized as being overly complex and expensive for a submachine gun; however, it soon won admirers in the counter-terrorist community who found its closed-bolt accuracy to give it a significant edge in hostage-rescue operations in which precision semiautomatic shooting was needed. Since then, the MP5 has been sold worldwide for both military and police use.
Construction of the MP5 is solid, using metal stampings and high-impact composite furniture. Its carefully engineered shape, designed with ergonomic concerns in mind, gives it a sturdy, no-nonsense look that has added to its success. The short, exposed muzzle features a mounting point for a clip-on suppressor or muzzle brake.
The MP5 uses the modular trigger pack of the G3 rifle. This can be detached without tools by removing two pins and easily replaced with another model. Early MP5s featured a trigger pack with an ergonomic pistol grip and alphabetic fi re-selector markings — S for safe, E for semiautomatic, and F for automatic. On more recent models, this has been replaced with a redesigned ambidextrous pistol grip and selector lever with pictographic markings. Semiautomatic-only and burst-capable trigger groups have been produced as well, allowing even more versatility. H&K has even developed a two-round burst trigger group, in recognition of the fact that recoil usually sends the third shot in a three-round burst high over the target.
The MP5 has been produced in an impressive variety of configurations including models with a fixed stock, a folding stock, or without a stock at all. Specialty models have also been developed to suit a variety of tactical applications.
MP5A1: This is the standard MP5 with the older SEF trigger group and no stock.
MP5A2: This is the model with the SEF trigger group and a fixed plastic stock.
MP5A3: This model uses the SEF trigger group and a retractable metal stock.
MP5A4 and MP5A5: These models are the same as the A2 and A3, respectively, except that they use the more modern ambidextrous trigger group instead.
MP5 Navy: This is a modifi ed version of the standard MP5 developed for the U.S. Navy SEALs. It takes the standard MP5 with the new ambidextrous pictographic trigger group and adds a threaded barrel for use with a screw-on suppressor.
MP5 RIS: H&K has recently developed a modifi ed MP5 with the Knights Armaments Company Rail Interface System, allowing rapid and versatile accessory mounting. The MP5 RIS features accessory rails around the forward grip and on the top of the receiver. It is compatible with a variety of different devices, including aiming lights, laser pointers, reflex or optical sights, and specialized grips.
MP5SD Series: The MP5SD is a specialized variant of the MP5 incorporating a built-in silencer. This gives it a distinctive appearance, with a longer, bulkier barrel. The silencer can be removed, if desired, permitting unsuppressed operation.
The MP5SD is produced in six variant models. The SD1, SD2, and SD3 use the SEF trigger group, while the SD3, SD4, and SD6 use a pictographic group with a three-round burst setting. The SD1 and SD3 have no stock; the SD2 and SD4 have a fixed plastic stock; and the SD3 and SD6 have the retractable metal stock.
MP5K: The MP5K is an ultracompact variant of the basic MP5. Intended for discreet use by bodyguards or similar users, it features a dramatically shortened barrel with a vertical plastic foregrip and a simple endplate at the rear of the receiver in place of the stock.
The weapon is fitted with a sling swivel, allowing the MP5K to hang vertically out of sight under a jacket or coat. For compactness, the MP5K is generally used with a short 15-round magazine. Some models have the sights removed to facilitate rapid draw from under clothing with less risk of snags.
MP5K PDW: The MP5K PDW is a compact variant designed to serve as a personal defense weapon for pilots, vehicle crews, and rear-echelon personnel. It takes the basic MP5K and modifies it with an extended muzzle, capable of mounting a suppressor or flash-hider, and a folding plastic shoulder stock.
MP5/10: This is the MP5 rechambered in 10mm auto. It was developed for the FBI after the Bureau adopted the 10mm as its standard pistol caliber in the 1980s. The MP5 features the same straight magazine of the MP5/40. It found few customers outside the FBI and is not widely used.
MP5/40: This is simply the standard MP5, rechambered to fire the .40 S&W cartridge. It can be identified by its clear plastic magazine, which sticks straight out rather than curving like the standard metal 9mm magazines.
Who Uses It: The MP5 has been adopted by military, police, and security forces around the world. Virtually every counterterrorist team in the Western world uses it, and it is also popular with police SWAT teams. It is produced under license worldwide. It is the standard submachine gun of numerous military forces, including those in Germany, Greece, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Turkey. Today, it is almost more notable when a force selects a submachine gun other than the MP5.
H&K MP7 PDW
German 4.6mm Personal Defense Weapon
The MP7 is a new, ultracompact submachine gun design from H&K.
Like the Belgian P90, it is a personal defense weapon, chambered in an exotic new cartridge designed to equip rear-echelon military personnel. Its firepower and compact size also make the MP7 a good choice for special operations units as either a backup or close-quarters weapon.
Ammunition for the MP7 is a new 4.6×30mm cartridge developed by Royal Ordnance in the U.K. The cartridge case is necked, giving the little bullet an exceptionally high velocity.
The configuration of the MP7 places the firing grip right at the center of gravity, giving good balance and allowing for one-handed use. With the foregrip folded, the MP7 can be held like a large pistol and easily stowed in a holster. Extended, it can be held like an ultracompact submachine gun, using two hands for improved control. A collapsible stock permits the MP7 to be fi red from the shoulder.
The top of the receiver features a standard accessory-mounting rail, allowing a variety of sights to be fitted. Fold-up iron sights are fitted as a backup.
The MP7 is a sophisticated weapon, with all the quality of design and manufacture associated with H&K. It is an extremely practical and versatile design, well suited to a variety of tasks. Though it has yet to enter service, development is complete and the MP7 is ready for full-scale production.
H&K UMP 45
German .45 ACP Submachine Gun
The MP5 is a popular and capable design, yet complex and expensive, especially for a submachine gun. With this in mind, Heckler & Koch developed the UMP 45 (Universal Machine Pistol, .45 caliber) as a more affordable alternative, especially for American police departments, which have proven to be among H&K’s best customers.
Like the G36 assault rifle, the UMP does away with the familiar H&K roller-locked action in favor of a less complex system—in this case, a simple blowback mechanism. The UMP is chambered in .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), a popular cartridge in the U.S. that packs substantially more stopping power than the more common 9mm Parabellum round.
The UMP’s action is made of steel, but it is housed in a casing of lightweight composite material, which results in a surprisingly lightweight design. It is arranged much like the MP5, with a contoured pistol grip and horizontal foregrip. A folding, open-frame stock is fitted. The magazine is set at an angle and is transparent to allow remaining ammunition to be easily checked.
The low velocity of the .45 ACP cartridge makes it particularly suitable for use as a suppressed round, and the UMP will accept a suppressor. Accessory mounting rails can be fitted both on top of the receiver and around the forward grip, allowing a variety of accessories or sighting fits. Flip-up Iron sights are also fitted.
Variants: A semiautomatic UMP carbine model is also available; its statistics are otherwise identical to the standard model. The USC sporting carbine (see below) also derives from the UMP.
Who Uses It: The UMP 45 was designed for the U.S. law enforcement market, and it has been adopted by a number of police SWAT teams. It has yet, however, to achieve anything like the popularity of its predecessor, the MP5.
German .45 ACP Carbine
The H&K USC is a semiautomatic sporting carbine, derived from the UMP submachine gun and intended for the civilian market. Like the UMP, it is primarily made of lightweight composites and uses the same blowback mechanism chambered in .45 ACP.
The USC is light gray in color and features a prominent red H&K logo, giving it a less “military” appearance. Attachment points for a NATO-standard sight rail are drilled into the top of the receiver, allowing a variety of different optical aids to be fitted. Backup iron sights are fitted as well.
To comply with gun control regulations, the USC cannot use UMP high-capacity magazines; instead, it uses its own 10-round box magazines, which are made from transparent plastic.
The USC is quite pleasant to shoot. The blowback action absorbs much of the recoil energy.
Israeli 9mm Submachine Gun
Carrying the concept of the Mini-Uzi one step further, the Micro-Uzi is an ultracompact variant of the popular Israeli submachine gun.
Though little larger than a heavy pistol, the Micro-Uzi is capable of automatic fire. It is arranged much like the Uzi itself, with a telescoping bolt and a magazine housed in the pistol grip.
Variants: The Uzi pistol is essentially the Micro-Uzi in a semiautomatic-only form with the folding stock omitted. It can be identified by its trigger guard, which is bent inward to facilitate a two-handed firing grip. Other than its rate of fire, this weapon has statistics identical to the Micro-Uzi.
Israeli 9mm Submachine Gun
The Mini-Uzi is a compact variant of the popular Uzi submachine gun. It is much smaller than the standard Uzi and is well suited for concealed use by bodyguards or commando units. Capable of both semiautomatic and automatic fire, it is both accurate and controllable despite its small size.
The Mini-Uzi closely resembles its larger cousin except that it is smaller in size and weight. Control layout is identical. The action operates much the same way as that of the full-sized Uzi, but it fires from a closed bolt. A folding shoulder stock is standard.
Who Uses It: Though popular, the Mini-Uzi has not found the widespread success of the Uzi itself. It is in service in Columbia, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama, and Uruguay, in addition to its native Israel. U.S. special operations units also use this weapon.
Israeli 9mm Submachine Gun
An excellent design, the Uzi is one of the most successful submachine guns in history. Originally created for the Israeli army in the 1950s, it has been license-built in a number of countries and has found widespread use in police and military units worldwide.
The Uzi’s distinctive configuration has been the source of much of its success. The magazine is housed in the pistol grip, leading to a compact overall arrangement and giving the weapon excellent balance when held in one hand.
The Uzi features a robust and reliable action and operates around a hollow bolt, which reduces the recoil force, making the weapon more controllable when firing in automatic mode. It also allows a shorter overall length, further adding to its handiness. Early Uzis had a wooden stock, but this has since been replaced by a smaller folding metal stock.
Variants: An Uzi carbine version is available to the civilian sporting market. It has a range increment of 60 feet and is capable of semiautomatic fire only; its statistics otherwise conform to the standard Uzi.
Who Uses It: In addition to serving as the standard submachine gun of the Israeli Defense Force, for which it was originally designed, the Uzi has been adopted by police and military forces in a dozens of countries worldwide. It has been built in a number of countries including Belgium, China, Croatia, and South Africa, both under license and as illegal copies. It saw considerable action in wars throughout the world in the 1970s and 1980s. In the U.S., it has found use with military Special Forces units and the Secret Service.
Ingram MAC 10
American 9mm Submachine Gun
The MAC 10 is probably the most popular American submachine gun design since World War II. Its small size and rugged dependability made it especially suitable for clandestine service, and it was widely used with commandos, bodyguards, mercenaries, criminals, and terrorists. It became a cultural icon in the 1980s in much the way the Thompson submachine gun did in the 1920s.
The MAC 10 uses a simple blowback operating mechanism. It features the telescoping bolt arrangement used by the Israeli Uzi to keep overall length down. The magazine is fed into the pistol grip, which is centrally positioned to permit one-handed firing. The cocking handle is located on the top of the receiver and features a notch to permit sighting with the weapon’s iron sights. The handle can be turned 90 degrees to lock the action and prevent firing. Doing this also blocks line of sight, giving the user an indication that the weapon is not ready to fire.
Construction is primarily from inexpensive metal stampings, and the action is sealed to keep dirt out. There is essentially no furniture.
Instead of a forward grip, a short webbed strap was affixed to a sling swivel, giving the non-firing hand something to hold onto. A collapsible metal stock was also fitted to aid control. This folds forward over the receiver when not in use.
The Ingram features a threaded barrel and was designed to work in conjunction with a screw-on suppressor. Customized models can be fitted with optical scopes as well, though the short barrel yields poor long-range accuracy.
Despite its compact size and initial success, the Ingram’s lack of accuracy and controllability limited its effectiveness. It was eventually unable to compete with more accurate designs, such as the H&K MP5, which came to dominate the submachine gun market.
After MAC went out of business, production of the Ingram moved through a series of other companies before finally tapering off.
Variants: The MAC 10 is available in both .45 ACP and 9mm Parabellum.
Who Uses It: The MAC 10 saw service in a number of countries worldwide in the 1970s and 1980s. It has since fallen out of favor, having been largely replaced in official service by the MP5, though it can still be found in developing countries. The MAC 10 was also popular with criminals and was widely used by drug dealers and street gangs due to its compact size.
Ingram MAC 11
American .380 ACP Submachine Gun
The MAC 11 is essentially a shorter version of the Ingram MAC 10, chambered for the less powerful .380 ACP cartridge. This reduced its stopping power but gave it a higher rate of fire. It is identical in all other respects to the MAC 10.
American 9mm Submachine Gun
The TEC-9 is a compact submachine gun chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. It uses a simple blowback operating mechanism and stamped-metal construction throughout. This makes it a relatively inexpensive weapon, cheap to manufacture and operate.
It is also inaccurate and unreliable, prone to jamming unless the shooter uses only the highest-quality ammunition.
The TEC-9’s low cost, high-capacity magazine and dangerous appearance made it popular with criminals. Furthermore, its simple blowback action is easily converted to automatic fire. Street gangs and mobsters found that the TEC-9 gave them an easy way to circumvent bans and obtain automatic fi repower. This quickly led to a reputation as a “crime gun,” prompting restrictions on its sale and tough new gun control laws in the U.S.
The heyday of the TEC-9 is now largely passed. It is much harder to obtain legally, and Intratec has switched over to produce a less controversial design known as the AB-10. In spite of this, the TEC-9 can still be found in large numbers on the black market and in the hands of criminal gangs.
Portuguese 9mm Submachine Gun
The Lusa is the standard submachine gun of the Portuguese armed forces, chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The action incorporates a double cylinder stacked one above the other, with the barrel and bolt face in the lower cylinder and the mass of the bolt above them. A telescoping stock collapses into the “waist” between the two sections.
An earlier version of the Lusa entered service in the 1980s. The current model, the Lusa A2, appeared in 1991 and incorporates only minor improvements — the stock was strengthened, and the weapon’s overall length was reduced. The barrel can be easily removed and replaced with a special suppressor if needed.
Who Uses It: The Lusa A2 is in service with the Portuguese armed forces.
Danish 9mm Submachine Gun
The Madsen M53 was the latest in a series of Danish submachine gun designs that emerged following the end of World War II. Based around a conventional open-bolt submachine gun action, it was meant to improve on the hastily produced wartime designs while still being cheap and easy to manufacture. It is largely made of metal stampings to keep costs low. When a nut around the barrel is removed, the weapon swings open like a book, exposing all the internal workings for cleaning and maintenance. Though inexpensive, the Madsen is simple and reliable.
Who Uses It: The Madsen was adopted by Thailand and several countries in South America, including Brazil.
French 9mm Submachine Gun
The MAT-49 was the first postwar French submachine gun design. It is a rather conventional weapon, chambered to fire the popular 9mm Parabellum cartridge and made largely from inexpensive stamped metal and plastic components. One unusual feature is the magazine housing, which folds forward when the weapon is not in use. This serves as a safety feature, since the weapon cannot be fired with the magazine folded. It also makes the weapon compact and transportable, especially with the stock folded.
Who Uses It: The MAT-49 served as the standard French submachine gun throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, eventually giving way to the FA-MAS assault rifle. It saw action during the French War in Indochina in the 1950s. Large numbers fell into the hands of the Communist rebels, who later used them against U.S. troops during the Vietnam War. The MAT-49 was also adopted by the French National Police, who continue to use it to this day.
Brazilian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Brazilian Mekanika Uru is a simple, inexpensive submachine gun made primarily from metal stampings. The action is housed in a tubular case. The firing grip is plastic; a large magazine well serves as a forward grip. The trigger guard is oversized to permit use while wearing gloves. The Uru features both semiautomatic and automatic settings. The user can disengage the firing pin from the action, preventing accidental discharge and allowing the weapon to be safely carried while fully loaded.
Variants: A semiautomatic carbine, with a wooden shoulder stock and a long barrel to improve accuracy, was also produced. A modified variant, the Uru II, featured an additional firing-grip safety but was never widely produced or sold.
Who Uses It: The Uru is in service with some police forces in Brazil.
Mexican 9mm Submachine Gun
Introduced in 1973, the HM-3 is a compact submachine gun chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. It operates in much the same way as the Israeli Uzi, with a telescoping bolt mechanism and a magazine fed into the pistol grip. Construction is metal, with plastic grips and a folding shoulder stock.
Who Used It: The HM-3 was adopted by the Mexican Army but served for only a few years before being replaced by the more advanced H&K MP5.
Peruvian 9mm Submachine Gun
The ultracompact MGP-84 is intended to serve as a PDW for special-purpose users such as bodyguards. It incorporates a modified telescoping bolt (similar to that of the Israeli Uzi), which allows the magazine to be housed in the grip. With the folding stock swung forward, the shoulder butt serves as a vertical forward handgrip.
The overall lightweight and good balance of the MGP-84 also permit one-handed use, if necessary. The MGP-84 uses standard Uzi magazines.
Variants: The MGP-14 is a semiautomatic-only version for police and security forces; otherwise, it has statistics similar to the MGP-84. Another variant, the MGP-14 Assault Pistol, omits the folding shoulder stock, replacing it with a folding forward pistol grip instead.
Who Uses It: The MGP-84 is in service with the Peruvian armed forces.
Peruvian 9mm Parabellum Submachine Gun
The MGP-87 is a modified and improved version of an earlier weapon, the MGP-79A, which it replaced as the standard submachine gun of the Peruvian armed forces. The MGP-79A’s design was simplified to make construction easier and less expensive.
The cocking handle was enlarged to make it easier to use. The overall length was reduced to make the weapon handier for closequarters fighting.
The MGP-87 is fairly conventional in design and operation and is designed to use Uzi magazines. The barrel and jacket can be easily removed and replaced with a special suppressor. A folding stock is fitted.
Who Uses It: The Peruvian armed forces adopted the MGP-87 in the late 1980s.
Slovenian .22 Submachine Gun
The MGV-176 has an unusual history. It was originally designed in the U.S. and appeared in the 1960s. After failing to find success there, it was produced briefly in Austria before the Yugoslav government finally adopted it after a long hiatus (MGV-176 is the Yugoslav designation for the design). With the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the MGV-176 languished again. It was revived by the Slovenian firm Orbis, which produced it for the Slovenian government.
The MGV-176 is unusual in both appearance and operation.
The firing mechanism is a simple blowback action. Construction is largely of plastic materials. The weapon is fed from an overhead ammunition drum, holding an impressive 176 rounds — more than some belt-fed machine guns. However, the bulky drum makes the weapon awkward to carry.
Oddly, the MGV-176 is chambered in .22 caliber. This is a particularly lightweight round that, because of its poor stopping power, is of limited combat use. The weapon is very controllable in automatic mode, however, and can easily be held on target. It is also easily suppressed. A screw-on suppressor is available.
Firing is controlled by the trigger, with single semiautomatic shots fired by a half-pull and automatic bursts by a full pull. A grip safety prevents accidental fi ring. A folding wire-frame stock is fitted, though the low recoil makes it almost unnecessary.
Who Uses It: Now out of production once again, the MGV-176 is in service with the Slovenian military and police forces.
Norinco Type 64 Silenced Submachine Gun
Chinese 7.62mm Suppressed Submachine Gun
The Type 64 was designed from the ground up as a suppressed submachine gun, rather than being adapted from an existing design (like the German MP5SD). It features a built-in suppressor that is completely integrated into the action.
Who Uses It: The Type 64 is in service with the Chinese armed forces. It has also been exported to the Chinese client states as well.
Norinco Type 79 Submachine Gun
Chinese 7.62mm Submachine Gun
The Type 79 features an unusual gas-powered action and functions more like an assault rifle than a conventional submachine gun. The resulting design is complex, as submachine guns go, but works much like an assault rifle, which simplifies training and provides excellent semiautomatic accuracy. It is also lightweight. Like many Eastern Bloc submachine gun designs, the weapon is chambered for the Soviet 7.62mm pistol cartridge.
Who Uses It: The Type 79 is in service with the Chinese armed forces and has been exported to China’s client states as well.
Norinco Type 85 Submachine Gun
Chinese 7.62mm Submachine Gun
The Type 85 is similar to the Type 79, with which it shares many components. Its operating mechanism is entirely different, however, using a more conventional blowback action. A cylindrical receiver housing distinguishes the Type 85 from the Type 79.
Norinco Type 85 Suppressed Submachine Gun
Chinese 7.62mm Suppressed Submachine Gun
The Type 85 Suppressed Submachine Gun is little more than the Type 85 SMG with an integral suppressor incorporated into its design. The blowback action of the submachine gun is retained, while the suppressor assembly of the Type 64 Silent Submachine Gun is fitted around the barrel.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The OTs-02 Kiparis was originally developed in the 1960s. At the time, Soviet doctrine had little use for submachine guns, and the design languished. In the 1990s, it was revived and put into production for the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs as a weapon for use against the growing threat posed by organized crime.
Design and operation of the Kiparis are straightforward. Construction is metal with a plastic pistol grip. A folding stock is fitted.
Various accessory devices are available for the Kiparis, including a boxy laser sight, which clips under the barrel and serves as a forward handgrip, and a special suppressor.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
During World War II, the Red Army made extensive use of submachine guns — perhaps more than any other army. After the war, the emergence of the Kalashnikov assault rifle led to the disappearance of submachine guns from Russian doctrine. Throughout the Cold War, no new Russian submachine gun designs emerged — but that all changed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The growing menace of organized crime led to the widespread development of submachine guns, primarily for law enforcement use.
The OTs-22 is one of these new submachine guns from Russia.
Interestingly, it is chambered in 9mm Parabellum, a Western caliber. This might indicate a shift toward that cartridge in Russian doctrine, or perhaps the OTs-22 was developed for the export market.
The mechanism of the OTs-22 owes much to the American Ingram submachine gun. The OTs-22 uses a telescoping bolt, permitting an ultracompact overall design that is balanced for one-hand use.
The stock folds forward over the top of the receiver. All controls are ambidextrous. For concealed use, a 20-round magazine that fits completely within the handgrip is available.
British 9mm Submachine Gun
The Parker-Hale IDW (Individual Defense Weapon) is designed to serve as a compact automatic-weapon system for bodyguards, special operations forces, and other users with a need for highly portable and lightweight weaponry. At its heart, the IDW is built around a blowback action with a built-in limiter designed to reduce the rate of fire. This makes it highly controllable, despite its small size.
It can easily be held and fired with one hand, though it is designed for use with a two-handed grip and has a folding shoulder stock for added stability. With the stock folded, the IDW is extremely small and can be discreetly carried under clothing if necessary.
The safety catch is a large ambidextrous level located just forward of the trigger. When engaged, it blocks the trigger guard, giving an automatic indication that the weapon cannot be fired.
There is a grip safety as well, which prevents accidental firing by disengaging the firing mechanism when it is not squeezed. Pulling the trigger halfway will fire a single semiautomatic shot, while bringing it down completely will fire the weapon in automatic mode.
The IDW’s upper receiver is one long accessory rail, which allows a variety of sights or other devices to be attached to suit any role.
The IDW can also be equipped with a bipod for sustained automatic fire, though the 30-round magazine limits its effectiveness somewhat in this role.
Slovakian 9mm Submachine Gun
The PDW PS-2000 was developed by the Slovakian firm Technopol as a commercial venture rather than for a particular government contract. It was intended for the export market, especially for police or paramilitary users, so it is chambered in the popular 9mm Parabellum cartridge.
The design of the PDW PS-2000 owes much to the H&K MP5, its greatest competitor, especially in overall arrangement. It features the same general layout with a telescoping metal stock. The PDW PS-2000 incorporates a number of innovative features of its own, however. The weapon is housed in a durable, ergonomically contoured plastic casing. All controls are ambidextrous, including the cocking handle. The user can also switch the extractor to eject spent cases either to the left or to the right as desired. A groove runs down the top of the receiver, so the user can attach accessories, such as optical sights.
Unlike the MP5’s complex roller-locked system, the PDW uses a simple and inexpensive blowback firing mechanism that fires from the closed bolt for improved accuracy. The selector switch allows four different fire modes — semiautomatic, automatic, and both two- and three-round burst. This feature makes the PDW PS-2000 extremely flexible in a tactical role. For maintenance, the PDW PS-2000 disassembles quickly into four main subassemblies. Each is designed for easy cleaning.
Thus far, no customer has appeared for the PDW PS-2000, and it has yet to go into wide production. The tremendous popularity of the MP5 presents a serious challenge, but Technopol seems willing to accept that challenge.
Polish 9mm Submachine Gun
The PM-84, also known as the Glaubeyrt, is a rather conventional submachine gun, similar in design and operation to the Israeli Uzi and chambered to fire the 9mm Makarov cartridge. It is fitted with a folding stock, and the magazine is housed in the pistol grip. It has an unusual dual cocking handle, with a knob on each side of the weapon, making it easy to use with either hand.
Variants: Though originally chambered in the 9mm Makarov round, a modernized variant, designated the PM-84P, has been produced in 9mm Parabellum. Its statistics are identical to the PM-84.
Who Uses It: The 9mm Parabellum PM-84P is in service with the Polish armed forces.
Polish 9mm Submachine Gun
The PM-98 is a development of the earlier PM-84 Glauberyt series of submachine guns. The most obvious difference from the PM-84 is the redesigned forward grip, which has been considerably enlarged to house an integral laser sight. A number of other minor modifi cations were made to improve reliability and affordability.
Variants: A slightly modified version, the PM-98S, is also available. Its statistics are identical to the PM-98.
Port Said Submachine Gun
Egyptian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Port Said is simple and cheap to produce, being made largely from metal stampings and pressings. It features a wooden pistol grip and a folding metal shoulder stock to improve stability. The barrel is housed in a vented jacket for protection.
Though simple and reliable, the Port Said is obsolete by modern standards. In spite of this, it remains in production to this day, primarily for export to developing countries where its low price tag will outweigh its obsolescence.
Who Uses It: The Port Said is in service with the Egyptian armed forces. It was used extensively in the Arab-Israeli wars.
Russian 9mm Folding Submachine Gun
The Russian PP-90 is a specialized submachine gun, designed to fold away into a compact package when not in use. When folded, it looks nothing like a firearm — just a simple metal box, small enough to be carried in a pocket or utility bag. Designed for individuals who need to keep a low profile, it can easily be carried by plainclothes or undercover personnel without attracting the kind of attention that another firearm might bring.
To ready the PP-90 for firing, the user simply unfolds it and snaps it into its open position. One half forms the receiver; the other forms the shoulder stock. The firing grip springs into place underneath. Simple open sights fold up as well.
Internally, the PP-90 uses a simple blowback mechanism. It has a low rate of fire and a two-tiered bolt to reduce the effect of recoil in automatic mode. The weapon has no semiautomatic setting. Internal safeties prevent firing if the weapon is dropped. The weapon cannot be fired if it has not been fully unfolded and locked open.
Variants: The PP-90M is slightly lighter than the standard model (4 lbs.) and features a redesigned buttstock, but otherwise its statistics are identical to the PP-90. The PP-90M1, which is chambered in the Western 9mm Parabellum cartridge, has statistics identical to the PP-90.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The PP-90M1 is a new high-tech submachine gun chambered in 9mm Parabellum. It should not be confused with the 9mm Parabellum version of the PP-90 folding submachine gun, which is also designated PP-90M1. Confusingly, Tula KBP manufactures both weapons.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs reserves the PP-90M1 for special operations. A simple folding stock swings over the top of the weapon to lie flush against the receiver when not in use.
Ammunition is fed from one of two magazines, either a 32-round box or a 64-round helical drum. When the box magazine is used, a plastic foregrip piece with a feed well is snapped into place under the barrel. With the helical magazine, this piece is removed, and the cylindrical magazine itself serves as the forward grip.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
Like the Kiparis, the PP-91 Kedr is an old submachine gun design that wasn’t built until the demands of fighting organized crime necessitated its revival. Evgeni Dragunov, who was also responsible for the famous SVD sniper rifle, designed the PP-91. The PP-91’s name, Kedr, is something of a pun — it is both the Russian word for “cedar” and stands for Konstructsiya Evgeniya Dragunova, which means “Designed by Evgeni Dragunov.”
The Kedr is a simple, straightforward design using a blowback action. It fires from a closed bolt and features both automatic and semiautomatic rates of fire. It uses metal construction with a plastic pistol grip. A folding stock is also fitted.
Variants: A modernized version known as the Kiln fires the high-power Makarov cartridge of the PMM pistol but has statistics identical to the Kedr. An export model, chambered in 9mm Parabellum, also shares the Kedr’s statistics.
Who Uses It: The Kedr and the Kiln are both in service with Russian law enforcement agencies.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The PP-93 is essentially a nonfolding version of the PP-90. Its internal action is similar and designed to fire the high-power modernized Makarov 9mm cartridge. Unlike the PP-90, the PP-93 also has a semiautomatic fire setting.
The PP-93 is constructed from inexpensive steel pressings and fitted with a metal shoulder stock that folds over the top of the weapon when not in use. With the stock folded, it fits neatly into a large holster.
It has a centrally located pistol grip that permits one-handed firing.
Both a laser sight and suppressor can be readily fixed to the weapon.
Who Uses It: The PP-93 is in service with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Romanian 9mm Submachine Gun
This modern submachine gun, similar in appearance to the Model 96 (see below), is chambered in 9mm Parabellum and designed to be cheap and easy to produce, making extensive use of metal stampings.
The firing grips are made from a composite material. The BORD has automatic fire only and features a prominent Kalashnikov-style safety lever on the side of the receiver. A folding stock is standard.
Romarm Model 96
Romanian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Romarm Model 96 is a new submachine gun chambered in the popular 9mm Parabellum caliber. Simple in design and construction, its steel stampings reduce manufacturing costs. The action, a simple blowback mechanism, is easy to produce and maintain. A single-strut folding metal stock is fitted to improve stability during firing.
The jacketed long barrel protects the firer’s hand from heat buildup during sustained firing. It also features a muzzle brake to counter muzzle climb in automatic mode. The Model 96 can accept a variety of accessory devices, such as illuminators and laser sights.
American 9mm Submachine Gun
This modern submachine gun, designed by Uzi Gal (creator of the famous Uzi), is produced by the American company Ruger. It is similar to the Uzi in both appearance and operation. The lower receiver is made from composites instead of stamped metal. It is shaped with an enlarged trigger guard, which can be used for a two-handed grip. It also extends behind the firing grip, forming an open frame onto which the folding stock can be retracted.
As on the Uzi, the magazine feeds into the centrally located pistol grip, providing good balance. In addition to a standard safety catch, the MP-9 features an internal trigger safety, which disengages the action except when the trigger is pressed. This allows the weapon to be carried loaded without the risk of accidental fi ring if it is jolted or dropped.
The MP-9 is designed for ease of maintenance. It disassembles easily, and the barrel can be unscrewed for cleaning. The MP-9 is also compatible with a range of accessory devices, including weapon sights, which can be attached to standard sight rails on the top of the receiver.
Sa 58/98 Bulldog
Czech 9mm Submachine Gun
At the end of the Cold War, the Czech Republic found itself holding large surplus stocks of the Model 58 assault rifle. The Sa 58/98 is an attempt to put these weapons to good use by converting the Model 58s to submachine guns chambered in 9mm Parabellums.
The Sa 58/98 uses the receiver and trigger mechanism of the assault rifle, but much of the rest of the weapon is new. The operating system is converted to a conventional blowback action. The feed mechanism is new, necessitated by the change in caliber. The magazines are plastic, holding up to 30 rounds each. The weapon comes with a folding stock, and an accessory rail on the top of the receiver allows a variety of sights to be attached.
Variants: The Sa 58/98 S is a carbine variant with a longer barrel for improved accuracy.
Rate of Fire: S, A Restriction: Res (+2)
Saab-Bofors CBJ MS
Swedish 9mm/6.5×25mm Personal Defense Weapon
The Saab-Bofors CBJ MS was designed to serve as a personal defense weapon (PDW), an assault weapon, and even a light machine gun. Although similar to the Mini-Uzi in appearance, the Saab-Bofors CBJ MS has a much more advanced design with a number of remarkable features.
The CBJ MS is capable of firing either standard 9mm Parabellum or specialized 6.5mm high-velocity rounds developed specifically for this weapon. The 6.5mm rounds are necked cartridges designed to be roughly the same size and to have the same recoil as 9mm rounds and to use the same magazines. They fire a saboted high-velocity projectile made of tungsten, a very dense material. This gives the projectile excellent armor-piercing capability; it can even penetrate a lightly armored vehicle.
The CBJ MS is a compact weapon constructed from lightweight metal pressings with plastic grips. Both a folding stock and a forward pistol grip are fitted for improved controllability.
The foregrip is hollow, allowing it to hold a spare magazine for rapid changes. Either a suppressor or a rifle grenade launcher can be easily fitted. The fire mode (semiautomatic or automatic) is controlled by trigger pressure, with a half-pull used to fire a single semiautomatic shot.
In addition to compact 20-round magazines (which fit flush within the pistol grip) and 30-round magazines, the CBJ MS can also use a large 100-round drum, giving it a sustained fire capability for use as a light support weapon. A bipod can be attached for additional stability in this role. A rail runs the length of the receiver, allowing a variety of scopes to be mounted.
Georgian 9mm Submachine Gun
The SCH-21 Gorda comes from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and was developed by the State Military Scientific and Technical Center, not by a private company. It is chambered for the Western 9mm Parabellum cartridge, however, suggesting that its designers were hoping for export sales.
The Gorda’s construction makes use of a number of component parts from other weapons. It owes a great deal to the AKM, perhaps indicating an attempt to recycle old Kalashnikovs into something more useful in today’s arms market. The receiver, trigger mechanism, and pistol grip all come from the AKM. The firing mechanism is rebuilt to use a simple blowback operation. The 9mm magazines are fed into the oversized AK magazine well.
The Gorda’s folding stock swings forward along the side of the receiver, and the weapon can be fired with the stock folded. The forestock is taken from the new OTs-14 Groza weapon system from Russia.
Several accessories are available for the Gorda, including illuminators, laser and optical sights, and a replacement barrel with an integral suppressor. Flip-up iron sights are also fitted.
Who Uses It: The SCH-21 Gorda is just now completing development and becoming available. It has yet to find any customers or go into widespread production.
Czech .32 ACP Submachine Gun
The Skorpion was originally designed to provide a self-defense weapon for vehicle crews and other troops who needed something compact and portable. No larger than an ordinary autoloader pistol, the Skorpion has a folding metal stock to improve stability. Its .32 ACP round performs poorly, however, and the weapon is considered a failed experiment by many experts.
The Skorpion’s action operates on the blowback principle. A special rate-reducing mechanism, intended to hold the rate of fire down to controllable levels, is located in the pistol grip.
Variants: The Skorpion was also manufactured in small numbers in rechambered variants, firing the 9mm Short (vz64), 9mm Makarov (vz65), and 9mm Parabellum rounds (vz68). Though the latter gave greatly improved performance, none proved particularly popular.
Who Uses It: The Skorpion was adopted by the Czech armed forces. It was also exported to numerous Soviet client states and was supplied to various Soviet-backed rebel and terrorist groups worldwide.
Socimi Type 821
Italian 9mm Submachine Gun
As its appearance suggests, the Socimi Type 821 has much in common with the Israeli Uzi. It operates on the same telescoping bolt principle and houses the magazine in the vertical pistol grip. It differs in construction, however. Much of the Type 821 is made from light alloy to keep weight down. It can be rapidly disassembled for cleaning. A screw-on suppressor is available.
Who Uses It: The Type 821 was adopted by a number of law enforcement agencies.
Italian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Spectre M-4 uses a unique action that operates much like a double-action autoloader pistol. This gives it many of the same advantages as an autoloader pistol — it can be carried safely with a round in the chamber, allowing the user to put it into action quickly and without working a cocking lever.
Once the magazine is loaded and the weapon is cocked, the firing pin sits at a “half-cocked” position (from which accidental firing cannot occur) until the user pulls the trigger, which draws the firing pin back and then releases it to discharge the weapon.
Lightweight metal stampings complement the composite furniture.
A folding stock and vertical foregrip are standard. The Spectre uses an unusual magazine, in which the rounds are stacked four columns wide, allowing unusually high capacity (50 rounds) in a relatively short clip.
Who Uses It: The unique advantages of its double-action operation have made the Spectre popular with law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Russian 9mm Submachine Gun
The SR-2 is a new submachine gun chambered for the powerful new 9×21mm cartridge, originally developed for the P-9 Gurza pistol. Its armor-piercing capability made it useful against armored targets and automobiles.
The SR-2 uses a complex gas-powered rotary-locked action similar to that of an assault rifle. The magazine is fed vertically into the hollow pistol grip, giving good balance. A vertical foregrip can be screwed into a socket under the barrel if desired. A large, AK-style selector lever is located on the side of the receiver. A receiver-mounted accessory rail permits the use of a variety of sighting systems, including optical sights and night vision devices.
Spanish 9mm Submachine Gun
The Z-70B is an improvement on an earlier design, the Z-62, which used an unusual two-tiered trigger; pulling the lower part of the trigger would fire semiautomatic shots, while pulling the top would trigger automatic fire. This configuration proved unsatisfactory, and the Z-70B is essentially the same design with a conventional trigger and selector switch arrangement.
The Z-70B uses a straightforward blowback action housed in a tubular metal casing and chambered in 9mm Parabellum. It is cheap to manufacture and easily maintained in the field. A folding metal stock is standard.
Who Used It: The Z-70B was adopted by the Spanish police and military forces. It has now been largely replaced by the newer Z-84 (see below).
Spanish 9mm Submachine Gun
The Z-84 was designed with ease of manufacture in mind and, to this end, makes extensive use of low-cost metal stampings and spot welds. It is conventional in both operation and appearance. Its action is derived from the Uzi, with a telescoping bolt and a magazine housed in the pistol grip.
Redundant safety mechanisms are installed to allow users, particularly police or security personnel, to carry the weapon while it’s loaded. The action is sealed to keep out dirt and debris. It can function even if submerged in water, which makes it particularly well suited for use by marine commando units. The feed mechanism is specially designed to facilitate use of hollow-point and unjacketed rounds without malfunctioning. A folding metal stock is fitted.
Who Uses It: The Z-84 entered Spanish military and police service in 1985, replacing the earlier Z-70B. It has also been exported to a number of other countries.
British 9mm Parabellum Submachine Gun
The Sterling was developed for the British armed forces in the late 1940s and features a distinctive side-loading magazine. The Sterling is somewhat more complex and expensive than other postwar submachine gun designs. However, it performs well in fi eld conditions. It features a folding metal stock and a bayonet lug.
Variants: Numerous minor improvements made over the years led to a series of variants known as the L2A1, L2A2, and the L2A3. The L34A1 is a special version incorporating a built-in suppressor to the barrel.
Who Uses It: The Sterling served with British armed forces from 1953 until the L85A1 IW rifl e replaced it in the early 1990s. It was also adopted by British police forces, which continue to use it to this day. The Sterling was widely exported and serves with numerous armies and police forces worldwide.
Austrian 9mm Submachine Gun
This submachine gun version of the Steyr AUG assault rifle differs from the standard rifle in the fitting of a new barrel and bolt group designed to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.
Semiautomatic fire is available with a half-pull of the trigger, while pulling it back all the way will result in automatic fire. A special suppressed barrel can be substituted if desired.
Who Uses It: The AUG-9 has been adopted by a number of the countries using the AUG assault rifle, including Austria.
Austrian 9mm Submachine Gun
Steyr Mannlicher developed the MPi 69 with affordability and reliability in mind. The weapon is simple in design and operation, with the action housed in a plastic frame cover. The weapon has both semiautomatic and automatic settings; a single semiautomatic shot can be fired with a half-pull of the trigger, while pulling it back all the way will release a burst of automatic fire. The shoulder sling attaches to the bolt handle, enabling the shooter to simply pull back on the strap to cock the weapon.
Variants: Because some purchasers disliked the sling-cocked mechanism, Steyr developed a variant with an ordinary cocking handle called the MPi 81. It is otherwise identical to the standard MPi 69.
Who Used It: The MPi69 served with the Austrian military and police, until it was replaced by the more modern Steyr AUG-9 (see above) and Steyr TMP/SPP (see below). It was also widely exported.
Austrian 9mm Personal Defense Weapon
An advanced PDW design from Steyr Mannlicher, the TMP fires the conventional 9mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. The design of the weapon itself is quite advanced and makes extensive use of composite materials. The weapon can be quickly disassembled without tools, simplifying maintenance in the field. As with the AUG rifle, the fire of the TMP is controlled by trigger-pressure — a half-pull for semiautomatic fire, a full pull for automatic fire. In addition, the safety catch can be set to a semiautomatic-only setting to prevent unintended automatic bursts in the heat of combat. For automatic fire, a vertical foregrip improves stability.
The TMP is a compact and versatile weapon, well suited to the demands of close-quarters battle. Its small size makes it easy to carry in a large pistol holster.
Variants: For the law enforcement market, Steyr also produces a semiautomatic-only variant known as the SPP (see the Steyr SPP in Pistols). Other variants include models that fire 10mm and .41in AE rounds.
Belgian 9mm Submachine Gun
The Vigneron M2 is the first postwar submachine gun design from Belgium. A conventional second-generation submachine gun, it uses inexpensive metal-stamped construction, a tubular housing, and a simple blowback action. Its most distinguishing feature is its long barrel, which is fitted with a muzzle brake to aid controllability.
A grip safety is fitted to permit the user to safely carry the weapon when it is loaded. A simple folding stock is standard as well. The M2 is capable of both semiautomatic and automatic fire. When the weapon is set to automatic, a single semiautomatic shot can be fired with a half-pull on the trigger if desired.
Who Uses It: The M2 entered Belgian military service in 1953. It was widely used in the fighting in the Belgian Congo and afterward was distributed throughout Central Africa, where it can still be found today. It was also used in Portugal.
German 9mm Submachine Gun
The MPL is a stamped-metal, blowback-operation submachine gun from Walther. Its action incorporates an overlapping bolt situated above the barrel to reduce length. The housing is made from stamped metal, with plastic grips. A folding wire stock is fitted for stability. The sights are dual-use by design, with both quick-acquisition open sights and more accurate rifle-style iron sights for more deliberate aimed fire.
Variants: The MPK is a shorter variant for concealed carry or close-quarters use.
Who Uses It: The MPL was an excellent design. Military sales were never forthcoming, but it was widely adopted by police units in several countries. It was quickly superseded by the more popular H&K MP5, however, and has almost totally been withdrawn from service.
Polish 9mm Makarov Submachine Gun
The Polish WZ-63 is one of the earliest examples of the personal defense weapon — an ultracompact automatic weapon designed for rear-echelon personnel who don’t need a full-sized rifle. Its operating mechanism is basically that of an overgrown autoloader pistol.
The magazine is housed in the pistol grip, and the weapon includes a folding stock and a folding vertical foregrip.
The WZ-63 is cocked by drawing the entire slide back, like on an autoloader pistol. It is locked back in the open position. When the trigger is pressed, the slide snaps forward, firing a round. It is then forced back to the open, locked position by the recoil of firing. Squeezing the trigger all the way down results in automatic fire.
Accuracy is poor — because the entire slide moves when the weapon is fired, its balance shifts considerably, and the sights are constantly moving as well.
Who Uses It: The WZ-63 served with the Polish armed forces
and was exported to a number of other Warsaw Pact states as well. It has now been withdrawn from service.