Military Factory

Submachine Guns

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/30/2015

Bridging that "special" gap between pistol, machine pistol and assault rifle.





The submachine gun was born from the desire of warplanners to provide the basic infantryman with the voluminous firepower of a machine gun with the portability of a pistol in the early part of the 20th Century - the requirement proved most apparent during World War 1. The first useful submachine gun design was of German origin and became the Bergmann MP18. However, it would not be until World War 2 that the submachine gun would truly take the stage as a viable infantry weapon as its use was prevalent on all sides of the conflict. The war produced the reliable American M1 Thompson, the war-winning British STEN series and the famous German MP38/MP40 types. The Germans ushered in an all-new era of submachine gun design during the Cold War years with the introduction of the excellent Heckler & Koch MP5 which went on to be used by dozens of countries the world over.


There are a total of (96) Submachine Guns in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order. Flag images indicative of country of origin.




1998
Agram 2000
Origins of the Croatian Agram 2000 stem from the Italian Beretta M12 series of submachine guns. Thes... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Agram 2000

1986
Ares Defense FMG (Folding Machine Gun)
The Ares Defense FMG ("Folding Machine Gun") was a novel attempt by a gun manufacturer to create a c... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ares Defense FMG (Folding Machine Gun)

1999
Arsenal Shipka
The Shipka was developed to arm a variety of military personnel that would have a need for such a co... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Arsenal Shipka

1942
AUSTEN SMG
With the impending Japanese threat to Australia, and its allies in the United States and Britain tie... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the AUSTEN SMG

1982
Benelli CB-M2
During the 1980s, Italian firearms producer Benelli teamed with the Italian ammunition concern of Fi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Benelli CB-M2

1959
Beretta Model 12
A stalwart of the Italian military inventory became the Beretta Model 1938 series submachine gun whi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Model 12

1918
Beretta Model 1918
While the Italians developed and issued the first submachine gun in World War 1, it was hardly the q... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Model 1918

1942
Beretta Model 38/42/43/44)
The Italian Army of World War 2 went into the conflict with the very modern Beretta Model 1938A subm... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Model 38/42/43/44)

1938
Beretta Model 38A
Italian submachine guns were born from the original Fiat-Revelli Modello 1915 "Villar-Perosa" weapon... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Model 38A

1986
Beretta Model 93R
The Beretta Model 93R (or simply "93R") was produced by the Italian firm of Pietro Beretta SpA out o... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Model 93R

2003
Beretta Mx4 Storm
The Italian firearms concern of Beretta holds a long-running storied line dating back to 1526 - maki... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beretta Mx4 Storm

1918
Bergmann MP18/I (Maschinenpistole 18/I)
While much of the attention of early submachine guns is ultimately paid to the Germans and their MP1... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Bergmann MP18/I (Maschinenpistole 18/I)

1943
Blyskawica SMG
Under Adolf Hitler's direction, the German military began the invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Blyskawica SMG

2004
Brugger & Thomet MP9
Introduced in 2004, the Brugger & Thomet MP9 became a further development of the Steyr TMP ("Tactica... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Brugger & Thomet MP9

1990
Calico M960
The Calico M960 is a roller-delayed blowback submachine gun-class weapon marketed primarily to milit... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Calico M960

1945
Carl-Gustav m/45 (Kulsprutepistol m/45 / Kpist m/45 / Swedish K)
World War 2 showcased to the Swedes a general lacking of indigenous firearms. As an interim measure,... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Carl-Gustav m/45 (Kulsprutepistol m/45 / Kpist m/45 / Swedish K)

2001
Ceska Zbrojovka Scorpion EVO3
In 2001, Ceska Zbrojovka introduced an all-modern, compact-minded submachine gun chambered for the 9... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ceska Zbrojovka Scorpion EVO3

1961
Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 61 (Skorpion)
The Skorpion submachine gun is originally of Czechoslovakian origin and was designed in the late 195... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 61 (Skorpion)

1938
Ceska Zbrojovka ZK-383
The ZK-383 was a local Czech development of a submachine gun system brought about prior to World War... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ceska Zbrojovka ZK-383

2008
CIS / ST Kinetics CPW (Compact Personal Weapon)
The Singaporean concern of ST Kinetics (Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd) is no stranger to the d... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the CIS / ST Kinetics CPW (Compact Personal Weapon)

1966
Colt CAR-15 Commando (XM177)
The Colt CAR-15 Commando (XM177) was an assault carbine developed during the United States military ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Colt CAR-15 Commando (XM177)

2002
CZW 438 PDW
The CZW 438 is a modern Czech automatic weapon offering for the Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) role. ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the CZW 438 PDW

1990
Fabrique Nationale FN P90
The Fabrique Nationale FN P90 of Belgian origin is marketed as a "Personal Defense Weapon" with qual... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Fabrique Nationale FN P90

1993
FAMAE SAF
The SAF is an impressive-looking Chilean submachine gun designed and developed by state-owned FAbric... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the FAMAE SAF

1948
FBP SMG (Fabrica de Braco de Prata)
With development stemming from 1940, this Portuguese submachine gun evolved in the post-World War 2 ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the FBP SMG (Fabrica de Braco de Prata)

1915
FIAT-Revelli Modello 1915 (Villar Perosa)
The submachine gun was born in a World War 1 requirement seeking a high-volume weapon capable of cle... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the FIAT-Revelli Modello 1915 (Villar Perosa)

1956
Franchi LF-57
The Franchi LF-57 proved a high-quality submachine gun design attempt that was only limited by the g... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Franchi LF-57

1944
Giandoso TZ-45
The Italians were the first to introduce the machine gun and this was during 1915 in the midst of Wo... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Giandoso TZ-45

1985
Glock 18
The Glock 18 (or Glock Model 18) was similar in many ways to the preceding Glock 17 production model... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Glock 18

1966
Heckler & Koch HK MP5
One of the most popular submachine guns ever produced, the Heckler & Koch HK MP5 ("Maschinenpistole ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch HK MP5

1976
Heckler & Koch HK MP5K (Kurz)
The Heckler & Koch HK MP5K ("K" = "Kurz" meaning "short") was developed to specifically meet the nee... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch HK MP5K (Kurz)

1983
Heckler & Koch HK MP5N
The HK MP5N is another variant of the highly successful HK MP5 series of submachine guns. The 'N' de... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch HK MP5N

1974
Heckler & Koch HK MP5SD
The excellence of the original Heckler & Koch HK MP5 series pushed the need for a dedicated suppress... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch HK MP5SD

2001
Heckler & Koch HK MP7
By and large, submachine gun class weapons were largely designed around existing pistol-type cartrid... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch HK MP7

1999
Heckler & Koch UMP
The UMP family ("Universale Maschinenpistole" or "Universal Machine Pistol") is a series of submachi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heckler & Koch UMP

1973
IMI Galil ARM / SAR
In the post-World War 2 world, the United Nations partitioned Palestine in 1947. In 1948, the nation... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the IMI Galil ARM / SAR

1980
IMI Mini-UZI
The Israeli Military Industries (IMI) Mini-UZI is a smaller, more compact form of the base UZI subma... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the IMI Mini-UZI

2006
IMI TAR-21 (Tavor)
For decades the Israeli Army relied upon its trusted and true line of Galil and M16 automatic weapon... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the IMI TAR-21 (Tavor)

1950
IMI UZI
The UZI 9 mm was created soon after Israel became a nation state in 1948. The UZI used a revolutiona... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the IMI UZI

1970
Ingram MAC-10 (M10)
The Ingram MAC-10 (M10) was a short-lived, compact submachine gun initiative seeing limited producti... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ingram MAC-10 (M10)

1998
INSAS (INdian Small Arms System)
The INSAS family was inducted into service with the Indian Army in 1998 and has already seen extensi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the INSAS (INdian Small Arms System)

2006
JS 9mm
The JS 9mm (or simply "JS 9") is a conventional Chinese submachine gun type firearm designed exclusi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the JS 9mm

2014
Kalashnikov AK-12 (AK-200)
The AK-47 altered the world military stage by becoming a ubiquitous combat system available to the g... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kalashnikov AK-12 (AK-200)

1983
Kalashnikov AKSU-74 (AKS-74U)
The AKSU-74 represents a submachine gun derivative of the AKS assault rifle, both operating with the... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kalashnikov AKSU-74 (AKS-74U)

1991
Kbk wz.89 (Onyx)
Like the wz/88 "Tantal, a locally-produced Polish copy of the Russian AK-74S assault rifle, the wz/8... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kbk wz.89 (Onyx)

2006
KBP PP-2000
In 2004, KBP Instrument Design Bureau unveiled an all-new Russian-originated submachine gun in the "... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the KBP PP-2000

1995
KMP AEK-919 SMG
The Russian KMP AEK-919 is a highly compact submachine gun in the mold of the classic Israeli UZI wi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the KMP AEK-919 SMG

2004
Knight's Armament Company M4 MWS (Modular Weapon System)
The M4 MWS (Modular Weapon System) is based on the M16A4, which in itself represents a newer incarna... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Knight's Armament Company M4 MWS (Modular Weapon System)

2006
Knight's Armament Company PDW (Personal Defense Weapon)
The Heckler & Koch HK MP5 submachine gun is currently used by most of the world's elite special forc... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Knight's Armament Company PDW (Personal Defense Weapon)

1941
Lanchester (SMG)
After the heroic evacuation of the Dunkirk survivors and the subsequent Fall of France in 1940, the ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Lanchester (SMG)

1963
Lithgow F1 SMG
The F1 submachine gun replaced the World War 2-era Owen submachine gun series then in service with t... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Lithgow F1 SMG

1983
LUSA SMG (Lusitania)
The LUSA submachine gun line emerged during the early 1980s though never found widespread use with i... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the LUSA SMG (Lusitania)

1938
M1 Thompson (Tommy Gun)
The Thompson series of submachine guns (not quite a pistol yet not a full-fledged machine gun) began... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the M1 Thompson (Tommy Gun)

1943
M3 (Grease Gun)
The M3 "Grease Gun" was an economical weapons design meant to arm large quantities of American troop... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the M3 (Grease Gun)

1944
M3A1 (Grease Gun) Suppressed
Designed in 1942 with serial production beginning in 1943, the original M3/M3A1 "Grease Gun" submach... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the M3A1 (Grease Gun) Suppressed

1939
MAS 38 (Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS modele 38)
World War 1 introduced the concept of "machine pistols" to help bridge the gap between the portable ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MAS 38 (Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS modele 38)

1949
MAT-49 (Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle 49)
The MAT-49 is a submachine gun developed in France by Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle (MAT) a... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MAT-49 (Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle 49)

1984
Milkor BXP
Arms embargoes set against the nation of South Africa (due to Apartheid) led to the development of a... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Milkor BXP

1953
Mitraillette Vigneron SMG
The Mitraillette Vigneron was born in post-World War 2 Belgium Army requirement for an indigenous an... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Mitraillette Vigneron SMG

1960
Model K-50M
During the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the North was supplied by outside parties including communist Ch... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Model K-50M

1945
MP3008 (Maschinenpistole 3008)
1945 proved a disastrous year for the German military. By April, Hitler's territories had shrunk to ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MP3008 (Maschinenpistole 3008)

1938
MP38 (Maschinenpistole 38)
The MP38 served as the predecessor to the well known MP40 series of mass-produced submachine guns de... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MP38 (Maschinenpistole 38)

1940
MP40 (Maschinenpistole 40)
As the original German Army MP38 submachine gun series proving a success, it was also too expensive ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MP40 (Maschinenpistole 40)

1941
MP41 (Maschinenpistole 41) / (Schmeisser)
German weapons engineer Hugo Schmeisser lent his talents to the design of the famous MP18 (Maschinen... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the MP41 (Maschinenpistole 41) / (Schmeisser)

1943
Orita Model 1941
The Romanian Army of World War 2 (1939-1945) utilized a variety of foreign-born weapons during its p... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Orita Model 1941

1918
OVP Modello 1918 (Officine Villar Perosa)
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the OVP Modello 1918 (Officine Villar Perosa)

1941
Owen SMG (Owen Machine Carbine)
Despite its obvious battlefield value today, world militaries took some time to warm up to the idea ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Owen SMG (Owen Machine Carbine)

1974
PA3(DM) / FMK-3 Mod 2
The PA3(DM) / FMK-3 submachine gun series was of indigenous Argentine design and chambered for the u... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PA3(DM) / FMK-3 Mod 2

1952
PM wz. 43/52
Following World War 2 (1939-1945), the Polish military arsenal was rebuilt with largely Soviet-origi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PM wz. 43/52

1965
PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow)
Despite the Soviet influence in Poland during the Cold War decades, the nation managed an indigenous... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow)

1984
PM-84 Glauberyt
In the post-World War 2 period, the Polish Army inventory was made up largely of Soviet-originated e... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PM-84 Glauberyt

1996
PP-19 Bizon (Bison)
The Russian branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs called for a new lightweight, close-in fighti... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PP-19 Bizon (Bison)

1935
PPD SMG
The submachine became a Soviet Army staple in World War 2 when automatic weapons were selected ahead... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PPD SMG

1942
PPS-42 / PPS-43
The PPS submachine gun was designed by Leningrad engineer A. I. Sudayev in 1942. Leningrad was encir... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PPS-42 / PPS-43

1941
PPSh-41 (Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina 41)
The Soviet Army began experimentation of submachine gun class weapons in the latter half of the 1920... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the PPSh-41 (Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina 41)

1941
Reising Model 50 (M50/M55)
Before the arrival of the various storied American firearms of World War 2 such as the M1 Thompson, ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Reising Model 50 (M50/M55)

1995
Ruger MP9
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ruger MP9

1984
SITES Spectre M4
The Spectre M4 was a submachine gun of Italian origin and presented a highly compact automatic weapo... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the SITES Spectre M4

1967
Smith & Wesson SW Model 76 (M76)
Entering the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the United States Navy SEALs (SEa, Air and Land) special force... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Smith & Wesson SW Model 76 (M76)

1984
SOCIMI Type 821-SMG
The SOCIMI Type 821-SMG was a rather nondescript, no-frills submachine gun of the 1980s developed to... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the SOCIMI Type 821-SMG

1930
Solothurn-Steyr S1-100 (MP34)
Because of the restrictions placed upon it following its defeat in World War 1 (1914-1918), the nati... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Solothurn-Steyr S1-100 (MP34)

1935
Star Model Si35
The Spanish-originated Star Si35 became a very conventional submachine gun offering of the interwar ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Star Model Si35

1984
Star Model Z84
Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A. based its post-World War 2 submachine design on the German wartime M... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Star Model Z84

1941
STEN SMG
The British STEN submachine gun is one of those rare firearms in history that was born of desperatio... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the STEN SMG

1944
Sterling Submachine Gun (L2A1)
The submachine gun was developed as early as World War 1 but was not featured prominently in the bat... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Sterling Submachine Gun (L2A1)

1988
Steyr AUG Para
The success of the Austrian Steyr AUG assault rifle family naturally encouraged the weapon to span o... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Steyr AUG Para

1969
Steyr MPi 69
The Steyr MPi 69 was an UZI-influenced submachine gun of Austrian origin intended for military and s... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Steyr MPi 69

1993
Steyr TMP
The international security situation of the 1970s and 1980s brought about a market need for more por... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Steyr TMP

1931
Suomi KP/-31 (Konepistooli m/31)
When World War 2 began in September of 1939, Poland was split into two halves by the victors - the N... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Suomi KP/-31 (Konepistooli m/31)

2010
TDI Vector (KRISS Super V)
The TDI Vector (also known as the KRISS Super V) is a new breed of submachine gun that intends to re... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the TDI Vector (KRISS Super V)

1942
Type 100 SMG (100 Shiki Kikan-tanju)
Despite their far-reaching strategic and tactical advances in the early stages of World War 2, the I... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Type 100 SMG (100 Shiki Kikan-tanju)

1966
Type 64 (SMG)
Following in line with other major armies of the period, the Chinese adopted a dedicated suppressed ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Type 64 (SMG)

1981
Type 79 (SMG)
For several decades the Chinese enjoyed a close working relationship with the Soviet Union. Perks of... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Type 79 (SMG)

1985
Type 85 SMG
The Chinese Type 85 submachine gun appeared in two forms in the 1980s as a budget-conscious replacem... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Type 85 SMG

1942
United Defense UD-42 (Model 42 / M42)
A myriad of varied weapon types proliferated the market during, and after, World War 2. Many were pu... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the United Defense UD-42 (Model 42 / M42)

1963
Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)
The storied German concern of Walther - primarily recognized for their excellent work in pistols - t... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)