Indian PDWs: JVPC/MSMC Carbine

    In the mid-2000s, India began looking for a carbine to replace their 9mm L2A3 Sterling submachine guns which they inherited from the United Kingdom. Two weapons were developed, one by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), and another by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a subdivision of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Ordnance Factory Board produced the AMOGH carbine, while the DRDO produced the Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC, also known as the Joint Venture Protective Carbine, or JVPC). These weapons reportedly competed against each other, and by the early 2010s, the MSMC had been selected as the Sterling replacement.

    Indian defense YouTuber Sandeep Unnithan has produced several videos on the MSMC/JVPC, embedded below:

    The MSMC, like the AMOGH, is fundamentally based around the action of the Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle, using a similar rotary bolt and bolt carrier, though with a dramatically shorter operating rod. However, it differs architecturally, having more in common in that respect with a telescoped bolt submachine gun like an Uzi than an AK. The receiver is still made of sheet metal, but it is stamped in an upside-down “U” shape, rather than a the AK receiver’s upturned “U” cross section. Two push pins connect the upper receiver to the mostly polymer lower receiver and fire control group. The barrel length of the MSMC is 300mm (11.8″), according to Max Popenker’s site. Like the AMOGH, the MSMC uses the 5.56x30mm MINSAS round, which feeds from a 30 round box magazine inserted through the grip, also like an Uzi. This makes the MSMC a highly compact weapon that is less than 20 inches long with the stock collapsed.

    The MSMC, though a promising-looking design, has not yet entered service despite having been selected sometime in the early 2010s. Its development has been unfortunately protracted, and perhaps a hint of this can be seen in the video, where the carbine is seen to malfunction twice. Sadly, this seems to be the way of things for Indian weapons development. Hopefully, someday a perfected MSMC carbine will see service.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]