Reising Submachine Gun: Good Initiative, Bad Design

The Reising is an example of a firearm design that worked perfectly in the rear but performed horribly in actual combat conditions. It was a Second World War era submachine gun that had much potential but ultimately failed the big test down range in use by frontline infantry units. Suffering from poor quality control, awkward controls, and a low magazine capacity, the Reising was readily discarded by Marines in the Pacific in favor of literally any other small arm than the submachine gun. However, this didn’t completely doom the 120,000 Reisings made during the Second World War as a large number were picked up by police departments across the United States and abroad. These law enforcement officials found the Reising to be ideal for their purposes, being much cheaper than most equivalent submachine guns. It wasn’t being utilized in the jungles of Guadalcanal, thus it proved to be much more reliable on in urban environments where it could be easily kept clean and maintained.

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Reising: the wannabe Thompson

This post is part of two others, about a recent range outing with some very historically interesting small arms, the DeLisle commando carbine, the M50 Reising submachine gun, and the Russian PM1910 Maxim heavy machine gun. All of these are NFA items (either Class III or suppressed) and the owner was extremely kind enough to take me out and blow over a thousand rounds through his small arms.

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Odd Guns: The M50 Reising Submachinegun

Ah the Reising. If you are like me and constantly check NFA classifieds like Sturmgewehr and Subguns, then you definitely know that the price of the Reising is perhaps its most alluring feature. Deemed a “poor man’s Thompson” by most, the Reising is known but to a few gun enthusiasts and small arms aficionados for a multitude of reasons, albeit the gun is known above all else for one thing: sucking.

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