German weapons engineer Hugo Schmeisser lent his talents to the design of the famous MP18 (Maschinenpistole 1918) - the first mass-produced submachine in military history - that appeared in the latter half of World War 1 (1914-1918). As Germany began the process of rearming heading into World War 2 (1939-1940), German submachine gun development primarily evolved along the lines of the "MP36" of 1936 which, in turn, gave rise to the MP38 and - finally - the wartime MP40 model. While Schmeisser designed the MP18, he only held a patent to the MP40s magazine but, nonetheless, the weapon was identified by some as the "Schmeisser".
Schmeisser did develop an MP40 offshoot that was known as the "MP41". This was essentially the same weapon as the MP40 save for a wooden rifle-style stock used in place of the original's metal body and folding metal stock. A selector allowed for varied rates-of-fire and was largely based on that as seen on the earlier MP28 submachine gun. The rifle stock was of a single piece, making up the shoulder support, primary grip handle, and lower receiver. The trigger unit was installed under the wood body in the usual way. Into the top, carved-out section of the wooden body was the metal portion of the MP40's receiver. The forward section of the gun was also taken from the MP40 including the long, straight magazine that doubled as a forward vertical grip. By and large, the form and function of the MP41 remained the same as in the MP40 - it chambered the ubiquitous German 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and was fed by way of a 32-round detachable box magazine.
Unlike the MP40, which was adopted for wide scale, frontline use by German Army forces, the MP41 resided only as a specialist unit weapon - deployed within the ranks of the SS (the Nazi paramilitary force) and special local police forces. Manufacture of the guns were limited from the start and led to low production figures as the war progressed - it was only exported to Romania - and never reached the popularity or service numbers of the competing MP40 series.
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