MP40 Run and Gun

The German MP40 SMG is famous for its use during World War II, and was the Thompson’s rival on the Western Front. While there is no setting for semi-auto, with some trigger control we should still be able to have a go with it on the run and gun course.

Field Strip:

Thompson Vs. MP40:

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Transcript …

(automatic machine gun fire) – [Voiceover] Alright so now that we had a little bit of fun at the beginning of the video, this is Alex C with TFBTV and today’s run and gun is going to feature a MP40.

Now this one’s gonna be pretty tricky because the MP40 does not have a semi-automatic setting, these are open bolt, full auto only.

They’re simple but they have some cool features like a Bakelite resting bar under the barrel.

They also are very safe for an open bolt fire arm.

You can actually lock the bolt forward by pressing the charging handle inwards or you can lock it to the rear by pulling the bolt back and pushing it up under the safety slot and there’s no way that that bolt is going forward.

So on the run and gun course we’re gonna fire 30 shots in our typical fashion using two magazine changes starting at about 75 yards and this one is gonna be tricky because as I said there is no semi-automatic setting.

So let’s see how I can do in, also I’d to remind you the folding stocks on these are pretty dang wobbly as well.

I think it’s just kinda the nature of the design, but let’s see what happens when we take this gun to the run and gun course.

– Alright so he we go with the German MP40.

What actually inspired me to do this with an open bolt weapon was European sub-machine gun competitions.

Where guys with Swedish Ks shoot them at 100 meters and more basically.

Even though they’re full auto only like this gun.

So this is gonna require a lot of trigger control to basically get semi-automatic fire out of since it doesn’t have a semi-automatic setting.

Let’s see if I can pull that off.

(bullets firing and hitting metal) Not too bad, let’s go talk about it.

Alright so that was pretty dang tricky.

Those guys in Europe doing the sub-machine gun competitions really have it down.

I did have enough trigger control to pull off semi-automatic shots and it went okay.

I’ll put the total hits vs misses right here.

But I’d really like to try that on full auto just for giggles basically and see how it goes under those circumstances.

Alright, here we go again, this time with a little less trigger control.

I think the gun’s gonna leak some brass.

(fully automatic gun fire hitting metal) Not too bad, but not too good.

Anyways, let’s go back to the room and finish this one up.

– [Voiceover] So I think at this point I’m going conclusively say that the Thompson is a much more accurate sub-machine gun.

The sights are better and that’s really what comes into play in something like this.

With a pistol caliber long gun at 75 yards, it’s pretty tricky to make shots when your sight radius is like 8 inches long and you’ve got your sight mounted on the receiver tube forward.

Whereas the Thompson’s rear aperture sighted.

So, that helps a lot.

But, if you’re gonna give me one and say well you have to march 500 miles with one obviously I would not pick the 12 pound Thompson sub-machine gun for that.

So the MP40 was what it was.

It was a cheap, easy to make, stamped sub-machine gun that served it’s purpose without a whole lot of pizzazz or style to it, but some people might think it kinda has that cool, retro, futuristic look.

I guess I can see that as well, but the Thompson, in my opinion, is a sexier looking firearm.

That being said, this is Alex C with TFBTV.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with our videos and we hope to see you guys next time.

(fully automatic gun fire)


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Cattoo

    I always thought these were big for a machine pistol then the AK & AR pistols started getting out there and they are just large handguns anymore.

  • Are you sure they are not using the select fire version of the Swedish K? I have not seen any video of the competitions for SMGs in Europe so tell.

    I would much rather have a MP40 than a Thompson any day of the week.

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      No the kpist competitions use fully automatic M/45 here in Sweden. Being able to shoot it as a semi-auto with trigger control is part of the sport.

  • Martin M

    Great trigger control.
    The mag changes are rather superfluous given the open bolt.

  • Blake

    Anybody heard any more news since SHOT re: the 9mm MP40 carbines & pistols GSG has said they’ll be importing?

    • Rusty S.

      Should be June when they come stateside.

      • Blake


  • Max Blancke

    The folding stock does not have to be wobbly. It is a fixable problem.

  • Rusty S.

    Awesome trigger control with that MP40, Alex! This test needs to be done from a Zundapp KS750 sidecar. “Not so fast, Dr. Jones!”

    • TVOrZ6dw

      Side-car run down and gun- Great Idea!
      Alex, your trigger control was very good, both single shot and in burst mode. What did you do in your previous life?

  • MechanizedSwede

    Sadly K-pist (SMG) matches are a dying sport here in sweden…

  • Ed

    Served Germany well?? Hate to tell you Alex they lost the war!!!!