The MSM compact subgun: Guns of Nelmo Suzano

In 1985, the LAPA concern made and association with the metallurgical company Haga (manufacturer of door locks, hinges, etc.), of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, and a new group was formed, ENARM – Empresa Nacional de Armas. Another Nelmo Suzano design came up and materialized as one more interesting prototype. Simply called the MSM (Mini Sub Metralhadora, Mini Submachine Gun), design work on this 9x19mm gun started in February of that year and a prototype was ready by December. Once again, the designer counted on his long-time friend Luiz Gonçalves’ help in this new venture.

The MSM is seen here with the pistol-type grip, stock retracted, and 32-round magazine removed. Note the three-position (“S”, “1”, “30”) fire selector lever on the left side.

The MSM is seen here with the pistol-type grip, stock retracted, and 32-round magazine removed. Note the three-position (“S”, “1”, “30”) fire selector lever on the left side.

Needless to say, the weapon was clearly inspired by the U.S. Ingram/MAC/Cobray family, consisting of a rectangular body primarily made of stampings, a wrap-around bolt of the same shape, and a 32-round magazine (curved and of polymer construction, though) inserted in the  centrally-located pistol grip. The non-reciprocating cocking piece was a button on top of the receiver. The retracting stock was a two-rail job with a polymer buttplate. Operation was conventional blowback firing from the open-bolt position (fixed firing pin on the bolt head). Ejection was to the right.

The two types of polymer grips were easily interchangeable to answer the shooter’s preference. Three perpendicular pins held the part attached to the gun’s body.

The two types of polymer grips were easily interchangeable to answer the shooter’s preference. Three perpendicular pins held the part attached to the gun’s body.

The MSM offered a somewhat novel departure in the ergonomics department. In addition to a somewhat conventional polymer pistol grip, with a finger rest on the forward end of the trigger guard, the operator could alternatively opt for fitting the gun with a pistol grip unit that also featured an integral forward grip expected to give  better controllability, mainly in full-auto fire. The grip units were retained by three pins and could quickly be attached/detached. For the record, the gun offered a relatively low cyclic rate of fire, in the region of 600 rounds per minute.

Specifications: barrel length (4 grooves, RH), 150mm; overall length (stock extended/retracted), 500/310mm; gun weight with empty magazine, 2.4kg.

The double-grip unit of the MSM gave it a characteristic look, as did the waffle-style polymer magazine. The gun is seen here being cocked.

The double-grip unit of the MSM gave it a characteristic look, as did the waffle-style polymer magazine. The gun is seen here being cocked.

Internal disruptions (oh, partners, partners) in the newly-formed company kept the MSM from undergoing official certification tests and, consequently, from being able to be offered for sale. The ENARM concern was disbanded some time later.

Used in conjunction with an extended stock tuck between the arm and body, the double-grip configuration gave a good support to fire the gun at very close-in combat distances. Cyclic rate of fire was a comfortable (for that weapon size) 600 rounds per minute.

Used in conjunction with an extended stock tuck between the arm and body, the double-grip configuration gave a good support to fire the gun at very close-in combat distances. Cyclic rate of fire was a comfortable (for that weapon size) 600 rounds per minute.

Author’s son Alexander showing how to fire the MSM pistol-like, while visiting the Haga factory in Nova Friburgo back in February, 1986.

Author’s son Alexander showing how to fire the MSM pistol-like, while visiting the Haga factory in Nova Friburgo back in February, 1986.

Nelmo’s Mini-Sub-Metralhadora might prove a useful tool for use in bodyguard, personal security detail duties. Stains in this and other photos in article come from old deteriorated negatives.

Nelmo’s Mini-Sub-Metralhadora might prove a useful tool for use in bodyguard, personal security detail duties. Stains in this and other photos in article come from old deteriorated negatives.

 





Ronaldo Olive

Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.


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  • Nicholas C

    Very cool!

  • gunsandrockets

    How did they manage such a low cyclic rate in such a stubby action? Rate reducer? It looks like it fires from a closed bolt.

    I like that forward pistol grip configuration.

    • noob

      It is impressive. a MAC-11 in 9mm runs at twice that cyclic rate, and a glock 18 even higher.

      I suspect there may be a “decocked and locked” mode of carry where you lower the bolt on an empty chamber and lock it down with a safety and then insert the magazine. I recall the PPsh-41 had a cut in the receiver to lock the bolt handle that let you lock the bolt forwards to prevent dirt and snow from getting into the action.

  • iksnilol

    You can’t convince me that smear on your elbow isn’t from tactically knocking out an enemy.

    • oldman

      Looks more like he is shooting the pigeons that did that to him.

  • TexianPatriot

    From this series, I see the inspiration for the mp7 and crye six12. I hope they gave this guy a nod atleast.

  • John

    Add a fixed stock, a suppressor and a 1911 rail, and would probably work for any number of applications.

    Maybe they’ll resurrect it again.

  • Anonymoose

    Hey HK, Nelmo wants his design back!

    • FactChecker90803

      You surely mean, that Gordon Ingram wants his design back.

      • Anonymoose

        That sliding stock, though.

  • Joseph Goins

    Looks like an UZI had sex with an MP7.

  • Tassiebush

    I’m really loving these articles

  • Hrachya H

    These Nelmo Suzano articles are really interesting!