I have no idea what’s going on in this image – for all I know the Portuguese Air Force is trolling the entire world. Originally posted on the PAF Facebook page in early August, I came across it on TFB reader ‘Southwood’s’ (@southwood_) Twitter feed. The picture obviously depicts a line of PAF enlisted staff possibly getting ready for inspection. While the men (senior airmen) are carrying G3 battle rifles, the woman (Technical Seargeant) is carrying a MAC-10 sub machine gun.

I know of helicopter pilots packing MP5Ks as PDWs. But the use of MAC-10s in the modern military world is a new one for me. If there is anyone out there with additional information, please speak up.

From the Portuguese Air Force Wikipedia page:

The Portuguese Air Force was formed on July 1, 1952, when the former Aeronáutica Militar (Army Aviation) and Aviação Naval (Naval Aviation) were united and formed an independent air branch of the Armed Forces.

However, the remote origins of the FAP go back to the early 20th century, with the establishment of the first military air unit in 1911, of the Military Aeronautics School in 1914, of the participation of Portuguese pilots in the World War I and of establishment of the Army and Navy aviation services.

Portuguese





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  • iksnilol

    Makes no sense. How are you gonna drive by somebody out of an airplane?

    • Major Tom

      Really low and slow.

      • Timmah_timmah

        LOL you win sir

    • Dougscamo

      Fly-by….not drive-by….

      • Twilight sparkle

        I don’t think you get the joke

        • Dougscamo

          Wouldn’t be the first time….but if you were flying wouldn’t it be a fly-by shooting?

          • Twilight sparkle

            I mean technically yeah, but the joke was related to the fact that mac 10s and similar guns like tech 9s are often the gun of choice for drive by shootings in less than friendly neighbor hoods

          • Out of the Blue

            But that name arose from the fact that those shootings involved driving, not flying, running or walking. So he’s playing off of that term’s origin. Though a walk-by shooting doesn’t sound anywhere near as effective.

          • iksnilol

            You’re correct, walk-bys usually evolve to run-bys.

          • Samuel Millwright

            It was a run by fruiting?!

            Mrs. Doubtfire

      • Random Disabled Person

        It would be a “TAXI-by “shooting not a drive by if on the ground….. I got your “Go to hotel” right here buddy….

        Unless it was during a “push out” and the puns lets not go there.

    • Brett baker

      So when are you going a-viking to the Iberian peninsula to get your newest concubine?😉

    • gunsandrockets

      How? Start watching at 1:50 minute mark…

    • B-Sabre

      It’s called “strafing.”

    • StickShift
    • CountryBoy

      Tough to carry a G3 in one’s cleavage.

    • Mazryonh

      Don’t knock it until you need it. There’s a book named A Hundred Feet Over Hell that tells the real-life stories of American recon pilots flying Cessna Bird Dog planes in the Vietnam War who in emergencies fired their M16 rifles and even handguns out the sides of their planes in order to act as emergency close air support.

  • ActionPhysicalMan

    That is funny. Everybody looking at her and all.

    • Brett baker

      Better than the hosts on TFBTV.

    • USMC03Vet

      Those are the faces when Tech SGT, Alba, shows up to inspection with the wrong firearm and with a magazine inserted….

    • William Conrad

      It’s more than likely a parade formation movement , their equivalent of our ” Dress right ,dress”.
      Line em up so they look purdy !!

  • Kelly Jackson

    Should have just given her a whistle, if there’s a war she can blow it and a man will come help her.

    • Timmah_timmah

      ZING!

  • ProLiberty82

    “However, the remote origins of the FAP go back to the early 20th century” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • iksnilol

      I thought people knew about the FAP before the 20t century?

  • John

    Hot woman with a subgun. Of course everyone stares.

  • Johnsmyname

    A Mac-10 really? I get that they probably wanted (could only afford) something really cheap, but come on.

    • When they bought them, they were The New Kool Hotness. Even the US was looking at them (there were tests of the .45 MAC-10 as a possible 1911 replacement, complete to a flap holster for the LCE belt).

      • Mazryonh

        The .45 ACP MAC-10 as a possible M1911 replacement? That might fly only if those versions were locked to semiauto, changed to closed-bolt for better accuracy, and had better (i.e., less claustrophobic) sights installed. The original MAC-10’s fire rate was pretty extreme and difficult to control in full-auto, so using it as a pistol substitute might mean sacrificing the full-auto capability in exchange for a higher-capacity .45 ACP weapon in handgun size. But then armed forces around the world went and adopted “Wonder Nine” pistols instead.

    • iksnilol

      A small .45 subgun is bad now ?

      Dude, they were made for the SEALs and whatnot.

  • Brick

    However, the remote origins of the FAP go back to the early 20th century,

    No, it goes back way longer than that. Like, centuries ago.

    • Timmah_timmah

      Indeed!

  • john huscio

    The FAP? Ill be in my bunk……

  • Brett baker

    Wasn’t this the beginning of a MIAMI VICE episode?

  • Portugal has an airforce? Is that the real trolling?

  • Vhyrus

    I’d FAP to her…

    I’ll let myself out.

    • USMC03Vet

      Deployment 8 easily….

      • Beju

        I can only deploy 6 🙁

        • USMC03Vet

          ok i’ll explain the joke. While on deployment the hotness scale increases due to lack of women around.

  • Al

    That’s an interesting pic! I would have thought that all the Powder Springs – Marietta MAC SMG’s were out of everyone’s inventory after all these years. This one is a M10 9mm, it appears not to have a hanger loop installed on the barrel, and instead has a slot cut into the lower receiver to affix the hangar strap. I have to wonder where the Portuguese air force source repair parts and magazines these days.

    • B-Sabre

      Not only that….but the it looks like the hanger strap is actually unsnapped in that picture, and the only thing holding it on is interference with the snap button!
      It also looks like she has it on a sling under her right epaulet.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      [quote] I have to wonder where the Portuguese air force source repair parts and magazines these days.[/quote] I’m pretty certain there’s at least one sheet metal shop in Portugal by this late date! Precision tools MACs are not…

    • Ironwulf

      A great deal of MAC’s sales were part sets. I have to wonder, as simple as the receiver is to construct, how many unregistered units are “Out There”…

  • Dan

    I am probably wrong, but if I squint hard enough at that magazine and magwell, it ALMOST looks like it could be the .380ACP MAC-11 version, which would be even more comical. It unloads at 1600 rounds per minute, so you get one poorly aimed “BRAAAAAAP” and that’s it. Probably what most of the dudes commenting on here would actually do, given the chance to talk with her in the flesh….

    • Timmah_timmah

      Sounds fun… but not terribly practical.

      • Evil13RT

        Might depend on the specific task.
        A cheap and small bullethose is a viable way to keep unwanted folks from jumping into your aircraft.

        • Ironwulf

          Up Close and Personal all the way …

    • elryanoo

      It’s a Mac-10 you can tell by the number of pins on the front of the frame, as well as the magazine is more square at the bottom than a Mac 11.

    • iksnilol

      But such a big gun in a small cartrige such as .380 should be hella easy to shoot. Especially with suppressor.

      • ShooterPatBob

        The MAC-11 is a tiny gun, not at all the same frame size as the MAC-10 in 9mm and .45 acp.

  • Matt O

    They are simple to use and maintain, nothing wrong with the design. I can think of worse choices for a PDW on the cheap.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      MAC is short for “Military Armaments Corp,” so you should get the idea that when they 1st began designing the thing the hope was for large military contracts. Didn’t work out that way, but it makes sense that the non-com has the sidearm while the ranks have issue rifles…

    • Mazryonh

      Simple to use? Not very; the ergonomics of the MAC-10 clearly came second to the ease of manufacturing and size constraints. The very high rate of fire plus the rudimentary sights made it strictly a CQB weapon. Modern attempts at this concept like the B&T MP9 are more controllable while not being much larger, and that’s before the addition of features like accessory rails.

      • Ironwulf

        YES ! CQB indeed. I wrote a couple of books on the MAC. The 1st was in the ‘Full Auto’ series for Desert Pubs. I was also a licensed dealer for some time and I found that the .45 cal version was the most ‘jam proof”. Not to mention silenceable… Handles much better with a suppressor too.
        My personal fav is the H&K Model 5.

    • eddyjames

      Another plus would be if it ever fell into enemy hands they would never be able to hit you with it over 10 feet away.

  • Madcap_Magician

    I only noticed two things about this picture. One, the woman with the MAC-10 is pretty cute. Second, what the hell is it with the hipster beards?

    GAS GAS GAS.

    • Luis Sousa Pereira

      In the Portuguese military it is allowed to wear a beard and/or mustache, provided that the cut follows certain authorized models.
      To use them, the soldier needs to make a request for a “Autorização de Talhe de Barba” (beard triming authorization)…
      And yes, the girl is pretty cut… but if you look better for is eyes and the way she grips the M-10 with the index finger in the correct position, maybe you notice that she is a professional who knows what is doing! 😁

      • Madcap_Magician

        Thanks for the subject matter expert opinion!

  • USMC03Vet

    Makes about as much sense as women in the military…….

    ZING!

    • Novelty Account

      May I suggest a different horse? This one is dead.

      • USMC03Vet

        Hardly.
        Who knew TFB were such white knights though. I am disappointed.

        • Novelty Account

          The time to register a complaint closed 70+ years ago.

  • datimes

    Wow! A nice looking chick in uniform with a MAC-10. And white gloves no less.

  • Blake

    BTW the PotD submission page doesn’t seem to work…

    These are G3s license-made by EBO for the Greek Navy, on parade on the island of Tinos for the 15th August commemoration of the 1940 sinking of the cruiser Elli, which is basically the event that brought Greece into WWII:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_cruiser_Elli_(1912)#Fate_and_aftermath

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b931be300fca9105ac4532a7b37c2c306d69747e000265222df8b8c2df4aaa2.jpg

  • Blake

    “The use of MAC-10s in the modern military world is a new one for me. If there is anyone out there with additional information, please speak up.”

    The Wiki article on the MAC-10 does list Portugal as one of the many state users of the MAC-10: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC-10#Users
    (The source cited is Jane’s who makes it their business to know what they’re talking about…)

    It makes sense as a basic PDW for non-frontline soldiers: it’s small, available in 9×19 NATO, & inexpensive.

  • Andrew

    The Portuguese military hasn’t been relevant since match lock muskets were in use so I guess a MAC-10 is cutting edge for them.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      Portugal and Sudan were the only militaries to field the AR-10 after the U.S. missed the boat on that. Ever hear of a place called Angola? Please don’t post unless you have something useful to contribute: the internet is cluttered enough w/o the troll infestations…

  • SuperFunkmachine

    Not a bad choiceif you have limted space or only really need a gun if every thing has gone wrong.

    • Cymond

      If things have gone that wrong, I still think there are better choices than a MAC-10.

      • Samuel Millwright

        Style points

  • SP mclaughlin

    Ronaldo probably has a good explanation for this.

  • Uniform223

    I bet when they do staffing runs they yell, “break yo self fool!”

    • iksnilol

      All you had to do, was follow the darn train, CJ.

  • Al Wise

    MAC M-10, not MAC-10. Never has been a MAC-10

    • iksnilol

      Then why is it listed as MAC-10 everywhere?

  • i’d hit it

  • Kyle Blaylock

    Supposedly some US Special Forces have used the MAC series in various clandestine operations dating back to the Vietnam war (particularly with a suppressor and leather foregrip strap). They have certainly never been general issue to my knowledge.

    In my limited experience, the MAC series is a reliable and easy to control weapon as long as it’s manufacturer had tight QC, it’s kept clean, and the magazines are in good shape.

  • demophilus

    Not for nothing, but the weapon she’s carrying appears to be “sterile”, as they said back in the day. There are no s/n or other marks on the right side of the receiver, where they are usually stamped. Unless they’ve been Photoshopped out (which would also be interesting), this would be a deniable weapon. Which might jibe with Portugal’s various colonial and domestic adventures in the 70s, when the MAC-10 was in vogue.

  • cmbv79

    The PoAF “boots on the ground” unit have G-36, HK MG-4/5, G28, etc. The G3 and MAC10 are for parades, that’s it!

  • Luis Sousa Pereira

    The history of aviation in Portugal begins in 1709, when the Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão presented to King D. João V a small hot air balloon that rose in the air; this device made him the inventor of the airship, opening the doors to ballooning and aviation.
    The first Portuguese aeronaut, Abreu de Oliveira, took flight in a gas balloon in 1884, eventually falling on the Tagus River, near Lisbon.
    At the end of the 19th century, Cipriano Pereira Jardim invented the first Portuguese airship balloon, built for military purposes.
    And, on July 12, 1909, the Portuguese military officer Óscar Blank became the first Portuguese (and one of the first in the world) to receive an aviator pilot license.
    The military aviation in Portugal began in 1912 with the creation in the Army of the “Aeronáutica Militar” (Military Aeronautics) and later, in 1917 with the creation in the Navy of the “Aviação Naval Portuguesa” (Portuguese Naval Aviation).
    On 01-07-1952 these two forces are unified and form the “Força Aérea Portuguesa” (Portuguese Air Force).
    In the United States the first military air corps, the “Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps” was formed in 1907, but only had its first airplane with engine in 1909.
    Throughout the time the US had several military aeronautical organizations, being the USAF created only in 18-09-1947.
    Today we operate among other aircraft the Lockheed Martin F-16 AM Fighting Falcon and we are developers of the weapon systems for General Dynamics…
    As a result, as early as 1952 Portugal was among the few countries with a considerable jet air force power, and for a small European country like Portugal, we can say that we are not far behind the United States in the creation and development of an operational air force.

    About the photograph, within the FAP there are women who have the same rights as men in terms of rank and career progression, and what appears is a Second Sergeant Specialist in an official ceremony with a Portuguese version of the Ingram MAC M-10 submachine gun in 9x19mm, in the “shoulder arms” position!

    The FAP Ingram MAC M-10 sub-machine gun does not have the suppressor thread, with the front wrapping tape being mounted in a rectangular cut made in front of the receiver
    They were bought in the mid-1970s and do not have the suppressor thread, with the front strap being mounted in a rectangular cut made in front of the receiver.
    Because they were small and compact they were used by the K-9 handlers of the “Polícia Aérea” (Air Police).
    However, the soldiers did not like them because of the high firing rate, and the dogs did not feel confident when they saw the handlers with those small arms, preferring to see them with the FBP G-3A3 rifles…
    Therefore, these weapons were eventually removed from the active service and from the mid-80’s are only used by sergeants in official ceremonies…

  • DwnRange

    That’s a MAC 11, 9mm not a 45acp.

  • Luis Boavida

    Hi guys,
    The Ingram MAC-10 is in limited use, primarily by the Portuguese Air Force Police although other elements performing guard duty can also use it.
    It was adopted as a PDW in the early 70’s when Portugal was still fighting for its colonies in Africa (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau).
    Although the national independence movements (of “Marxist inspiration”) were being sponsored by the USSR, China, Cuba etc, Portugal still had enormous difficulties procuring armament due to international sanctions.
    Thus some unorthodox acquisitions were made. Rhodesia went through the same difficulties at the time.

    Love TFB. Keep up the good work.

  • El Duderino

    I really want a MAC-10 range qual badge…

    • Mazryonh

      I’m thinking that one of the requirements might be to get 5 rounds on target at the 50-yard or 75-yard line, in a single burst at full-auto. Now that would be something to see given the bare-bones sights, the very high rate of fire, and the lack of a foregrip on a factory-standard MAC-10, but it would be much easier with one of those slow-fire uppers available from Lage Manufacturing for MAC-10 lowers that also has room for accessory rails.

      • El Duderino

        Overthinking it a bit. As long as you don’t ride the bolt home and cause an ND, and actually don’t kill yourself or someone else on the firing line with a mag dump, you qualify.

        • Mazryonh

          Sounds like a low bar, but then I remembered how hard the MAC-10 is to control in full-auto.

          • Ironwulf

            Hard to control without a suppressor. It makes all the difference in the world.

          • Mazryonh

            Yes, the famous Sionics suppressor lowered the recoil and gave a better place for the support hand to hold onto than the factory standard MAC-10 had. But adding the suppressor didn’t do anything about the MAC-10’s enormously high rate of fire (1000+ rounds a minute) or the very rudimentary iron sights.

            That’s why there are “slow-fire” uppers offered by companies like Lage Manufacturing that take MAC-10 lowers and decrease the original firing rate to a more manageable 600 rounds per minute, as well adding accessory rails for better sights and space for an actual foregrip.

  • valorius

    For as much as they fight the Portuguese military could be armed with air soft weapons. Portugal is totally irrelevant on the world stage.

  • Luis Sousa Pereira

    About the photograph, within the FAP there are women who have the same rights as men in terms of rank and career progression, and what appears is a Second Sergeant Specialist in an official ceremony with a Portuguese version of the Ingram MAC M-10 submachine gun in 9x19mm, in the “shoulder arms” position!

    • Luis Sousa Pereira

      These submachine guns did not have the barrel suppressor thread nor the ring to mount the front strap, being this one mounted directly in a rectangular cut in the front of the receiver and fixed with push buttons, solution much more solid and silent that the original hook in sheet metal.

      • Luis Sousa Pereira

        Therefore, these weapons were eventually removed from the active service and from the mid-80’s are only used by sergeants in official ceremonies…

    • Luis Sousa Pereira

      Because they were small and compact they were used by the K-9 handlers of the “Polícia Aérea” (Air Police). However, the soldiers did not like them because of the weight and the high firing rate, and the dogs did not feel confident when they saw the handlers with the small M-10s, having better performances when they saw them with larger weapons, such as the FBP G-3A3 rifles (the G-3 version with retractable buttstock)…

      • Nunya Bidniz

        Seriously? Or are you pulling our leg(s) there? The dogs actually cared what their handlers were carrying? [More likely, they were just picking up on the handlers’ non-verbal cues as to their own confidence in their equipment…]

        • Luis Sousa Pereira

          It was the Políca Aérea K-9 handlers
          (Air Police) who said it…
          Dog exercises included rifle and pistol shots, and their behavior was better when the handlers use the G-3 rifle than when they used the M-10 submachine gun!

  • Luis Sousa Pereira

    For those who said that the Portuguese Air Force is not relevant…

    • Luis Sousa Pereira

      The history of aviation in Portugal begins in 1709, when the Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão presented to King D. João V a small hot air balloon that rose in the air; this device made him the inventor of the airship, opening the doors to ballooning and aviation.

      • Luis Sousa Pereira

        The first Portuguese aeronaut, Abreu de Oliveira, took flight in a gas balloon in 1884, eventually falling on the Tagus River, near Lisbon. At the end of the 19th century, Cipriano Pereira Jardim invented the first Portuguese airship balloon, built for military purposes and, on July 12, 1909, the Portuguese military officer Óscar Blank became the first Portuguese (and one of the first in the world) to receive an aviator pilot license.

        • Luis Sousa Pereira

          The military aviation in Portugal began in 1911 with the creation in the Army of the “Aeronáutica Militar” (Military Aeronautics)), and later in 1917 with the creation in the Navy of the “Aviação Naval Portuguesa” (Portuguese Naval Aviation), having been equipped with the best aircraft available at the time (one SPAD Deperdussin Type B, one Avro 500, and one Maurice Farman MF4 for the Army in 1912, and one FBA Type B reconnaissance flying boat for the Navy in 1917). On 01-07-1952 these two forces are unified and form the “Força Aérea Portuguesa” (Portuguese Air Force) and on 01-09-1952 bought its De Havilland DH.115 Vampire and in 1953 bought the Republic F-84G ThunderJet, Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star and Lockheed RT-33A.

          • Luis Sousa Pereira

            In comparison, the United States first military air corps, the “Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps of the Army” was formed in 01-08-1907, but only had its first airplane, the Wright Military Flyer “Signal Corps (S.C.) No. 1”, in 02-08-1909. The first American jet aircraft, the Bell YP-80A Airacomet, was adopted in late 1944 (but did not enter in combat during World War II). Throughout the time the US had several military aeronautical organizations, being the USAF created only in 18-09-1947.

          • Luis Sousa Pereira

            Today we operate among other aircraft the Lockheed Martin F-16AM Fighting Falcon and we are developers of the F-16 weapon systems for General Dynamics (a statute that many European air forces wanted to have but which remains in Portugal due to the excellent mechanics and technicians of FAP!)…

          • Luis Sousa Pereira

            As a result, Portugal have one of the first military organizations of the world operating airplanes and early as 1952 was among the few countries with a considerable jet air force power, and for a small European country like Portugal, we can say that we are not far behind the United States in the creation and development of an operational air force, and today, even with the budget constraints that the FAP has, it demonstrates an enormous competence in all national and international missions that are attributed, being able to show the high quality of its fighter pilots by repeatedly surpassing the expertise tests in the NATO Tiger Meet, proving to be respectable opponents!

          • Nunya Bidniz

            Thank you for the history lesson, Luis! Would you mind please replying to Madcap_Magician’s comment a couple of posts above yours regarding the facial hair on the airmen? What are the grooming standards in the FAP, if you know? Kind of curious about that myself, now that M_M pointed it out…

          • Luis Sousa Pereira

            Thanks Nunya Bidniz
            In the Portuguese military it is allowed to wear a beard and/or mustache, provided that the cut follows certain authorized models.
            To use them, the soldier needs to make a request for a “Autorização de Talhe de Barba” (beard triming authorization)…

  • Adam

    Whats wrong with using a MAC10?

    • Mazryonh

      Simply put, it was made to be a concealable, easily-manufactured bullet hose for close-in work and not much else. Compared to the newer MP5K-PDW or even the older WWII-issue Tommy Guns, the MAC-10 loses out in the following ways:

      1) There’s nowhere on the MAC-10 to comfortably put your support hand on to help brace the weapon, and nothing to stop your support hand from wandering in front of the muzzle while you’re firing it (the MP5K has a foregrip with a handstop to prevent that outcome). A flexible strap was added below the muzzle to act as a makeshift foregrip, but that’s a stopgap solution compared to the usefulness of a solid foregrip firmly attached to the weapon.

      2) The MAC-10’s factory sights were rudimentary and hard to see through, and also gave you a very short sight radius.

      3) The extreme rate of fire (1,000 plus rounds per minute) made it very difficult to control in full auto.

      4) The open-bolt nature of the original version of the MAC-10 made shots on semiautomatic more difficult to perform than with a closed-bolt weapon.

      So it’s not the most practical weapon to have on you outside of very close-quarters battle situations. Modern takes on the MAC-10 concept, such as the B&T MP9, are much easier to control and use while not being much less compact or concealable.

  • Luis Sousa Pereira

    Almost none of the portuguese Ingram (hiz the way we call the M-10…) have the barrel threads to install the suppressor…

  • Richard Lutz

    G3 yes, Mac 10 no.