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  • MP38 (Maschinenpistole 38) Submachine Gun (SMG)

    The MP38 submachine gun set the mold for future submachine gun designs to follow.

     Updated: 5/9/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The MP38 served as the predecessor to the well known MP40 series of mass-produced submachine guns developed by the Germans in World War 2. The type was revolutionary principally in its construction which broke from the practiced norms of the time. However, the MP38 was eventually deemed too expensive to produce in the large numbers required for the German Army, resulting in the creation of its simplified sister design - the MP40 of 1940 - which utilized steel pressings and welds while keeping machining to a minimum.

    The submachine gun had gained steam in the interwar years following World War 1 as an interim firearm for use by general infantry, special forces and vehicle crews requiring self-defense. Submachine guns could be fired from the confines of a tank and even a non-combat detachment could arm themselves when traversing across hostile territory. For special forces groups or special units such as paratroopers, the submachine gun was portable and suitable for Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) and, with general infantry, it served well alongside established rifle units and machine gun elements in nearly any environment. In any case, the submachine gun remains just as important to the modern army today as it did in World War 2.

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    MP38 (Maschinenpistole 38) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1938
    Type: Submachine Gun (SMG)
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Erma-Werke - Nazi Germany

    Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

    Firing Action: Blowback; Full-Automatic Only
    Available Caliber(s): 9mm Parabellum
    Ammunition Count / Feed: 32-round detachable box magazine
    Overall Length: 832 mm (32.76 inches)
    Barrel Length: 247 mm (9.72 inches)
    Weight (Empty): 9.13 lb (4.14 kg)
    Sighting Assist: Front Tunnel and Rear


    Muzzle Velocity: 1,250 feet/sec (381 m/sec)
    Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 500 rounds-per-minute (rpm)

    Global Operators / Customers

    Austria; Bulgaria; Denmark; Finland; Greece; Indonesia; Hungary; Malaysia; Netherlands; Nazi Germany; Norway; Romania; Philippines; Poland; Spain; United States; West Germany; Yugoslavia; North Vietnam; Soviet Union

    Model Variants

    MP38 - Base Series Designation

    MP38/40 - Safety Catch installed to prevent unintended fire.

    MP40 - Simplified production variant