Tactical PPSh: One Old, One New

I think this is an old photo, and I may have blogged it before, but it is no less awesome, so I am blogging it again …

Interestingly, the Soviets tried making the PPSh tacti-cool way back during WWII.

This 1943 vintage PPSh has a primitive Gen-0 night vision scoped mounted above the receiver. Unlike the German system which had a unwieldy IR spotlight mounted above the scope, this night vision device only worked if the target was illuminated with a IR floodlight.

[ Many thanks to Jarod for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Reverend Clint

    i bet red jacket is working on one right now

    • L.Jefe

      “Nevah Bin DUn Beefoe!”

    • NickB

      Oh my God I can just picture it now, “Let’s cut off the stock, cut the barrel down and put a suppresser on it, remove the heatshield and poorly mount some rails on the outside in free float style, also let’s drill the barrel for .40 S&W and mess up changing the reciver. While we’re at it let’s engrave what ever wood is left with random words to give it a artistic look. Let’s also remove the iron sites and put rails. NOW THAT’S A REAL TACTICAL PPSH!!!! LET’S TRY IT OUT IN FRONT OF THE GUN OWNER BY PLACING SOMETHING THAT EXPLOADS IN FRONT OF HIM AND HAVING HIM SHOOT IT ONE TIME!(gun blows up and almost kills guy) I guess our rifleing wasn’t exact time to take it back to the shop. Sometimes these things happen.” Side plot is Rick is trying to sell a way over-priced gun by throwing in something wothless. I can’t watch that show it makes me sad for the origional gunl.

    • John Doe

      “We’re gonna rechamber it for a more modern .45 ACP and we’re gonna cut down the barrel to 3″ while slapping on an integral suppressor and replacing the wood with aluminum and plastic. We’re gonna take off those iron sights and put on a laser pointer and a EOTech and then make it double barrel!”

      “Nevah been done befooor!!!”

      “Let’s make it a Gatling gun.”

      “Put it on a golf cart!”

  • David/Sharpie

    I like it, kinda cool.

  • 15yroldgunman

    They should issue it

    • SPC Fish

      they are definitely fun to shoot but nothing compared to more modern weaponry. the gun is a heck of a lot of fun but the ergonomics are very bad. there is no where to put your front hand except for behind the magazine with the mag catch folded. and mag changes are extra slow because you then have to unfold the mag release to drop the old one.

      nonetheless. i would love to have one

      • 15yroldgunman

        I just said that cuz I thought it was really kick***

      • Avery

        Also, the thing may as well be made out of lead for how heavy it is. The Shpagin unloaded weighed 8 pounds, and, with the 71-round drum (which may have to be underloaded to be more reliable), 12 pounds.

        For comparsion, a M4 carbine weighs around 6lbs., 7lbs. with a 30-round magazine and about 11lbs. with a 100-round Beta C-Mag. And that’s not including other advantages like “shoots farther”, “more accurate fire”, and “accepts modern attachments”.

    • 15yroldgunman

      All true but I still think it’s awesome

  • Joel

    Might work pretty well for under 100 yds. You get a flat shooting, good penetrating cartridge, 71 rounds, a red dot sight, foregrip for stablitiy on fun-auto, single shot and buzz-saw full auto. Sounds like a nice setup to me.

    • David/Sharpie

      I love this gun in CoD…I’m not a gamer, I play a little occasionally…

      I agree, nice setup for close in work and when you need high volume fire.

      • David/Sharpie

        Haha seriously? No one got the Bazinga in that?

        That’s so funny.

      • David/Sharpie

        Haha once again, to clarify…

        I am NOT a gamer, last time I played a video game was weeks ago.

        I more meant that video games are about the only place I would be able to fire one, I live in Canada and I do not have a Prohib license so I cannot own one, unless I travel to the US I will never be able to fire a full auto version.

  • Komrad

    I always liked the PPSh and similar guns (PPD-40, KP-31), but I don’t think I’d care much for a tacticool one (I’ve seen some tacticool KP-31s, it wasn’t pretty), but just a decent sight is just right. I think I read somewhere that soldiers love using captured PPSh-41s for room clearing, but I don’t recall the source.

    I really wish I could get my hands on one, but I supppse a Suomi KP-31 will have to do.

  • higgs

    Just zip tied on, doubt they shot it that way. but funny.

  • SPC Fish

    it looks like that stock is cut down. i dont remember having to hold it that close to my face. Can anybody confirm this?

    • Jeff Smith

      @SPC Fish – I believe you’re right. I think someone mentioned that it was an Iraqi capture. I believe that some people cut the stock down to make a more concealable weapon.

  • Lance

    Awesome like seeing modern rebirths of WW2 designs. the M-3 was updated I heard with rails as well since M-3s are still in some SOCOM armories.

    • Higgs

      Only ugrade ive heard of is the Filipino M3s with a built in suppressor.

  • jdun1911

    PPSh the best submachine every made. Entire Soviet divisions was equip with the PPSh. If any weapons that should be crown the savior of the Soviet Union against the NAZI it would be the PPSh.

    • Trev

      Do you have any evidence to back this up, or did you just get done playing COD?

      If you want to make claims like this, do some reading on Rogerian arguments so you at least sound intelligent and can back up your statements.

      • jdun1911

        You should start a fight with me kid. I’ve been around. I study WWII when I was in Jr High and still do so now and than.

        It is not my opinion that entire Soviet divisions was equip with PPSh. It’s a fact. It is a fact that PPSh play a important roll in defending against NAZI aggression at the start of the war. It is a fact that Soviet troops carrying PPHs enter Berlin .

        Modern myths is that the Soviet was not prepare against the NAZI invasion. The Soviet was prepare but underestimated the NAZI troop levels and the scale of the invasion. With over 3 millions well equipped and very combat harden NAZI troops. At a battle field scale that have never seen BEFORE and SINCE. It was impossible to stop the NAZI at the start of the war. Unless you use tactical nukes it doesn’t matter how prepare you are.

        Both the Soviet and NAZI play the hands perfectly at the start of the Eastern Front war. To said otherwise shows the lack of understanding of WWII.

        For those that wants to lean a little part of WWII history. I suggest you take sometime to watch COL (Ret) David M. Glantz talk about the Eastern Front Myths. He is the expert on the subject. Spend his entire life on it.

      • jdun1911

        Should have proof read more.

      • Mike Knox

        Going back to school sounds like a better idea..

      • RocketScientist

        Me is having mastery of English language tense of verbs and plurals of noun. Also of USING capitalizations for make of emphasis-es. This by how for I prove I am smarting than you on subject of NAZI and soviet preparings for WWII (even THOUGH this not topics of debate or even of comment I are RESPOND to).

      • jdun1911

        It that all you guys have? Are guys that fucking stupid.

        It is not my opinions that entire Soviet divisions were equip with PPSh. These infantry divisions were sent into place like Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow. It just plain facts.

        I really really hate talking to morons that think they are smart.

    • 6677

      Well according to the GCSE history text books in britain the russian army couldn’t even issue PPSH’s with full mags to everyone so I highly doubt entire divisions had them.

      • jdun1911

        How many PPHs did the Soviet made in WWII? Well over 5 millions.

        Their are a lot of Hollywood myths about how the Soviet and NAZI fought in WWII. Without the PPSh critical battles like Stalingrad.

        Lets use logic. Do you actually think battle harden NAZI troops in Stalingrad was stop by unarmed fighters like that shown in the movies? In order for the defenders of Stalingrad and other like it to be successful, those defenders must be well equip.

      • 6677

        Did i mention hollywood anywhere in my post. No. HISTORY TEXT BOOKS. Seems you need to read properly…

      • jdun1911

        Than you should either get better history books on the subject.

        Before the Germans enter Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow the Soviet Union fought every inch. Entire Soviet Army Corps destroyed by the German war machine. Let me stress ENTIRE SOVIET ARMY CORPS destroyed. The Soviet threw everything they had against the three NAZI Army Cops without denting it.

        Somehow people actually think that unarmed Soviet serfs was able to successfully defend Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow against an unstoppable NAZI war machine that took out many Soviet Arm Cops a month or two back. Do you know how stupid that sound?

        What changed? Why was the Soviet able to stop the unstoppable NAZI war machine in Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow when entire Soviet Army Corps previously could not? What the FUCK changed in those three cities. The PPSH in an urban environment.

        In those cities the Germans lost almost all their advantages. In other words it was more or less even. It was infantry vs infantry. The German could not stop Soviet serfs with PPHS from entering the fight.

        The entire Soviet strategy base on a war of attrition. The strategy didn’t work UNTIL Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow. Those three cities grind the German Three Armys to death. The German knew it. The Soviet knew it.

        Those three cities won the war. Without the PPHS things might have turn out very different for the Soviet.

      • W

        jdun youre overexaggerating too much in regards to the PPSH.

        It was a outstanding weapon for close quarters, though it had its flaws. For one, it was heavy and the drum magazine was known to be less than reliable in the most inopportune of times. The PPSH’s flaws were fixed with the PPS43, which was cheaper, lighter, and more reliable with its box magazines. They also slowed down the rate of fire to enhance accuracy.

        There was no deus ex machina on the eastern front or any other war for that matter. A combination of tactical brilliance, superior resources, superior manpower, and industrial prowess contributed to the Soviet victory over the Nazis.

        The Soviets had superb artillery, the T34, infantry squads armed with a eclectic mix of small arms, and the battle space necessary to create near impenetrable defenses. Not all decisive battles were won in the cities; i.e. operation uranus, battle of kursk, and the battle of moscow.

    • Wasn’t it the brutal cold Russian winters that saved them? It’s been more than awhile since I learned that history, but as I recall it was the Nazi army not preparing for the cold winter that defeated the Nazi.

      • Avery

        They fell to the same hubris that did in Napoleon’s army: they had hoped to subdue all Russian resistance by the end of summer before the fall rains came and the winter set in.

        When fall came along with its weather, it became both a literal and figurative quagmire.

      • W

        regardless of the mythology behind “general winter” it inflicted just as much, if not more, suffering on the soviets as it did the germans. Stalin’s scorched earth policy to starve the nazis perpetuated disease, famine, and privation amongst the civilian population. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers froze to death in the hellish conditions as well.

        Avery is correct: hubris created by both Hitler and Stalin, both immovable tyrants, contributed to immense suffering among the civilian populations and soldiers in the conflict.

    • W

      like every army that achieved a staggering victory such as the Great Patriotic War, there was no single weapon system or piece of equipment that can be completely credited.

      The PPSH41 was a outstanding weapon, with a comparatively powerful cartridge, large magazine, and high rate of fire, not to mention it was rugged in abysmal battlefield conditions and simple to manufacture. By Soviet standards, it was still expensive (LOL) and material intensive to manufacture, so they began supplementing it with the PPS43, which was a stupid simple sub gun that took approximately 3 hours to manufacture (it was even constructed in a Leningrad under German siege).

      A series of poor command and control conditions, particularly from a purged officer corps and army managed by Stalin, led to intial Soviet defeats, though their strategy of holding ground, withdrawing when necessary to reinforce rear lines, and using Russia’s landmass paid off in the long run. Of course, most importantly, they had brilliant commanders like Vasily Chuikov, Georgy Zukhov, and Konstantin Rokossovsky that are the most underrated military leaders in history.

      The Soviet Union had advantages of immense natural resources and population, which would allow them and the similarly endowed United States to emerge as superpowers. Germany never stood a chance being locked between two titans.

      The fact is that conscripts were better off being equipped with submachine guns like the PPSH and PPS, though bolt action rifles were still being fielded by the millions.

      • RocketScientist

        But I saw this video online of one old man saying that the PPSh is the only thing that won the war for the soviets. Therefore your logical, reasonable, well-presented and understandable take on the multifaceted nature of worldwide warfare (which is backed up by historical records and analyses performed by both Soviet and western historians) does nothing to sway me. The PPSh was the only reason the soviets won. After the NAZIS killed all the unarmed serfs, the PPSh grew legs, stood up by themselves, marched into Stalingrad, and won WWII. They also cured cancer.

      • W

        rocketscientist, you missed one

        “its on the internet…trust the search button, dont be such a skeptic”

        My favorite quote is from winston churchill, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

  • jdun1911

    The picture above IIRC was from Iraq at the height of the insurgency. The person tthat is shooting it posted it on Arfcom or MP.net. IIRC the PPSh was captured. He was in charge of removing and transportation of the firearms. He decided with a bunch of his pals to have fun with the subguns. Hence the picture.

  • Ben

    I’d like to see an actual PPSH that was modernized, maybe a black synthetic stock and an optics rail or maybe a built in foregrip. I mean if they did it with the TT-33 then I’m sure they can do it with this too, hell the new TT is actually quite nice 😀

  • huey148

    I just recently got a Tokarev pistol that shoots the same 7.62×25 round…having put several rounds cleanly through 8″ tree trunks I can attest that this is indeed one hell of a round it fires…

  • jim

    While not the best submachinegun ever made, definitely the best and coolest wwe subgunl

  • jim

    While not the best submachinegun ever made, definitely the best and coolest ww2 subgun.

  • John Doe

    A tactical PPSh could give the P90 or MP7 a run for its money.

    • Mike Knox

      Especially since it’s in 7.62x25mm Tokarev making it the first light PDW..

      • David/Sharpie

        Plus price of ammo.

      • snmp

        7,62X25 TT is same as the 7,63 Mauser (hot) of the MAuser C96

    • W

      the 7.62x25mm cartridge was far ahead of its time, thats for sure. the PPSH is a superb weapon.

    • 6677

      Or at least a modern weapon chambered in that round could

      • snmp

        In moderne weapon you could found the smg PP-19 Bizon (with PPS43 box mag)

  • Big Daddy

    OK listen up for one of you here that is a real idiot.

    Russia was saved by the Germans not having long range bombers like the B-17, B-24 and Brit Lancaster. The Russians moved their industry and the Germans coud not reach it.

    It too was saved by having almost unlimited manpower and some weapons that were easy to make and tough like the T34. Plus they had a lot more of them.

    It’s true many more of these simple weapons were issued but not whole divisions, that’s like saying everyone in the US Army has a M4.

    • W

      you are absolutely right big daddy.

      The luftwaffe was mauled when they entered Russia following the Battle of Britain, especially their bomber fleet.

      It is well known and documented that Soviet industry and access to immense natural resources was decisive…like the case with the United States. Moving production in the Urals

      No, “entire divisions” were not equipped with the PPSH. That goes against Soviet motor-rifle troop doctrine, which integrated a mix of bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, and other weapons. The soviets learned of the effectiveness of specialized weapons for each role, which is why the AK, RPD/RPK, SVD, and PKM were born.

      • David/Sharpie

        Entire units? No. But a hell of a lot more guys per unit were armed with the PPSH or similar than before. Once they got into close quarters they used close quarter weapons

      • Big Daddy

        Yes in WWII Russian close quarter combat use done with pistols, grenades and a sharpened entrenching tool. Very effective….

        Like some people do on the internet I do not make things up I look things up.

    • mosinman

      big daddy is right, the germans really didnt have long range tactical bombers and the ones they did have sucked (like the Griffen) so they wer´nt used much. that and im sure with american and british pressure in the west plus lend lease also helped…….

  • NickB

    I read in my old text book that it was the russian winter combined with scorched earth that made the german army retreat. That and the almighty leader Stalin’s moustache.

  • Perkele-Man

    This is SUOMI-submachine gun! Nothing to do with Russians. With this remarkable gun we beat Russians in winter war 1939

    • Alex

      I beg to differ, but you are wrong in what regards both photos. The gun pictured is obviously a PPSh 41, as can be seen by its distinctive, squarish ventilated cooling jacket (the shape of the Suomi KP-31 jacket is quite different, as different were the entire manufacturing process, but I digress)…

  • snmp

    Rugged weapon, Semi & full auto, Effective range 200m 3.63 kg (8.0 lb) (without magazine) …. With Magpul stuff & many Rail that could become an uptodate PDW

  • mechamaster

    PPSH need EBR-ish or MOE-ish aftermarket stock.. with whole receiver covered in full picatiny rail.

    • John Doe

      NO! NO! No more rails! We need LESS rails!

      • David/Sharpie

        No, No, No, it needs to be tacticool to fit in with everyone today!!!


  • charles222

    Avery: Yes the M4 is undoubtedly easier to carry on patrol. The PPSH is going to be a hell of a lot more controllable with the added weight when it’s on full-auto.