The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make learning about obscure modern small arms my hobby, I am continually surprised by the new and unique weapons I uncover both on the Internet and in real-life excursions to some of the aforementioned collections.
TFB reader Bronezhilet recently visited the Bundeswehr’s (German Army) Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Germany, and shared with TFB the photos he took of the small arms in the collection there. Over the course of a few installments, we’ll be taking a look at groups of these photos. For the moment, we won’t be taking an in-depth look, but I encourage our readers to check out these weapons for themselves!
We previously looked at some of the great selfloading rifles and SMGs at the Koblenz museum, and today we’re going to continue, starting with another weird French folding SMG, the MGD PM-9, which features a highly unusual rotary action:
A Beretta 38A, which I would contest earns the title of most attractive-looking SMG of World War II:
A German language diagram illustrating the operation of the 38A’s twin triggers:
Also Italian, but much uglier, a prototype of the TZ-45 submachine gun:
Here’s a surprise: A British Experimental Model B SMG. I had not realized this weapon existed:
Here is something truly weird: A Solothurn tripod- or bipod-mounted S-17-100. Calling this an “SMG” would be stretching it, but it does fire pistol ammunition:
A gaggle of Swiss SMGs. The Solothurn “thing” is at the top, followed by the SIG MKPS (its close relative, the MKPO, still exists in inventory with the Swiss Guard… But then so do halberds), the MP41, and the strange looking Furrer MP41/44:
The huge Rexim Favor Mk. 4 (with its Croatian-sized length of pull) top, then the United Defense 42 SMG with its paired magazines. Below that is the unusual Cook SMG, whose eccentric designer insisted would revolutionize warfare. Below that, a relatively pedestrian M3A1 Grease Gun:
Detail of the Cook SMG. M.Sgt. L.C. Cook was a bit of an odd dude, who at one point claimed the 10″ barrel of his submachine gun would double the velocity produced by the 1911 handgun!
And then we have this rather unusual contraption, labeled only as “Prototype Machine Pistol”. It appears to use pistol magazines (they look like P-38 mags to me) arranged in series, instead of a conventional stick magazine:
Next to it is a rare Mauser MP-57, designed by a Frenchman, Louis Camillus. It lost out to the Uzi in Bundeswehr trials:
The Walther MP-K, more compact brother to the excellent Walther MPL:
Last for today, another competitor to the Uzi in Bundeswehr trials, the Erma MP-60. Below it is a Vietnamese M-50 SMG, based on the PPSh-41:
That’s all for now! We’ll continue looking at the great submachine guns of Koblenz next time!