The Argentine PA3(DM) / FMK series of SMGs replaced the aging PA2(DM) models that were based on the American M3A1 Grease Gun of WW2.
Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited:
Credit: Left side view of the FMK-3 Mod 2 SMG; note collapsed wireframe stock and pistol-grip safety
The PA3(DM) / FMK-3 submachine gun series was of indigenous Argentine design and chambered for the universally accepted 9x19 Parabellum cartridge. The series was brought online to replace the aged PAM 1 / PAM 2 (later to become the PA1(DM) and PA2(DM) respectively) series of submachine guns then in service with Argentine military forces - these weapons being nothing more than locally-produced Argentine copies of the famous American M3A1 "Grease Gun" made popular during the war years of World War 2.
As expected, the Argentines took to modifying the original design to meet their own requirements which introduced the M3A1 in a 9mm form with a lighter overall operating weight and shorter overall operating design length - in effect making for a more compact and accurate weapon system. Argentine factories undertook production of this robust and cheap-to-manufacture weapon throughout the 1950s and 1960s while garnering priceless experience in their design, production and operation. Ultimately development work began in the late 1960s on a new indigenous effort to overtake the M3A1-inspired clones, these becoming known as the "PA3(DM)", modeled largely after the uber-successful Israeli Uzi submachine gun family. The PA3(DM) entered production in 1970 and manufacture spanned into 1978 to which some 15,000 examples were delivered by Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles "Domingo Matheu" of Rosaria, Sante Fe, Argentina. Again, the cartridge of choice became the 9x19mm Parabellum round.
The PA3(DM) ("DM" signifying the "Domingo Matheu" factory) was released in two distinct production forms differentiated by their plastic fixed buttstock or wire-type collapsible butt, each differing only in the slightest ways but were more or less identical weapons. The latter fell under the designation of "FMK-3 Mod 2" to follow with revised Argentine military nomenclature upon its inception. The collapsible wireframe butt simply slid forward into two loops found on either side of the receiver.
The PA3(DM)/FMK-3 family featured a weight of about 7lbs, 8 ounces as well as an overall extended length of approximately 27 inches, 20.5 inches when the stock was collapsed (wire butt form). The barrel was 11.4 inches in length and sported six grooves with a right-hand twist fabrication. The outward design of the weapon consisted largely of the rectangular receiver with a straight pistol grip set at about the center of the body. Overall construction of the receiver was largely pressed metal. The trigger, curved and surrounded by an oblong wire ring, was held just forward of the grip with the straight detachable box magazines (of 25- or 40-cartridge counts) inserted into the base of the pistol grip. The rear of the receiver could lay flat upon the firer's arm allowing for single-handed firing (albeit at reduced accuracy), additionally supported by the extended wire frame stock or fixed plastic buttstock. The forward underside portion of the receiver was protected over in a plastic foregrip to allow for firm two-hand holds. The barrel protruded a short distance away from the gun body and sights were noted along the top of the receiver. A unique safety mechanism was built into the rear of the pistol grip and a firing selector was located above the grip along the left side of the body. Firing modes included safety, single-shot and full-automatic fire. Cocking was accomplished by way of a handle found on the forward left side of the gun body. Operation was of blowback with a wraparound bolt design - these design elements borrowed from the Israeli Uzi. Muzzle velocity was 1,300 feet per second for the PA3(DM) and 1,312 feet per second for the FMK-3 Mod 2.
The FMK-5 was another FMK-inspired weapon and simply based on the FMK-3 but categorized as a "carbine" assault weapon. It still chambered the ubiquitous 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge but also added a semi-automatic firing mode, eliminating the full-automatic fire mode option of the submachine gun form.
Manufacturing Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles Domingo Matheu - Argentina
PA3(DM) - Original Production Model Designation; fixed plastic buttstock; 9mm cartridge; single-shot or full-automatic fire modes.
FMK-3 Mod 2 - Follow-Up Variant sporting sliding wireframe butt.
FMK-5 Mod 2 - Carbine form; 9mm cartridge; single-shot or semi-automatic fire modes.
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