Submachine Gun / Machine Pistol / Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)
Appearing in 1984, the Polish-originated PM-84 Glauberyt submachine gun still sees operational use today with select forces around the world.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
In the post-World War 2 period, the Polish Army inventory was made up largely of Soviet-originated equipment which began with acceptance of such storied weapons like the PPS-43 Submachine Gun. Its localized copy became the wz. 43/52 and this offering featured a few alterations to suit Polish Army needs. By the time of the end of the Cold War in 1991, however, the country had worked hard to rebuild a standalone industry and which served to fulfill local requirements through indigenous design, development and manufacture. The PM-84 Submachine Gun (SMG) is one example of this commitment.
The PM-84 "Glauberyt", introduced in 1984, was taken on to supplant the earlier PM-63 RAK SMG model. The PM-63 appeared in 1965 originally chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge and fed by way of a 15- or 25-round detachable box magazine. Various global operators utilized the type with many having since been retired from formal frontline service (though a few continue on with lesser forces). The PM-84 continued its tradition by being of the submachine gun class, compact (355mm with stock collapsed) and lightweight (about 1.85kg), and issued to special units, special forces elements, police, reconnaissance teams and the like - essentially any operating group that lacked good close-range firepower but could not be issued an assault rifle.
The weapon was given the standard Israeli UZI SMG configuration with the grip handle found at center mass and doubling as the magazine well. This allowed for the compact overall design to be had as well as made for a better-balanced weapon. The receiver was rectangular in its general shape and housed a reciprocating bolt function, the action being of straight blowback. The buttstock was of a simple wire arrangement and fully collapsible through channels cut into the sides of the receiver. The shoulder pad itself could fold down against the receiver rear along its own hinge, to be kept out of the way when the buttstock was fully collapsed. Under the forend of the weapon lay a folding handgrip to help support the front of the weapon when firing (though the system could be managed easily enough with one hand). A unique quality about this weapon when compared to other SMGs was that the charging handle was accessible from both the left and right sides of the receiver. The fire selector allowed for semi-automatic, full-automatic and a safety mode (lettered P, C, and Z respectively near the switch).
The PM-84 series continued use of the 9x18mm Makarov pistol cartridge but, like the PM-63, appeared other another form chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol round - this became the PM-84P - and subsequent related models followed suit as the PM-98, PM-98S and the PM-06.
The PM-84P arrived in 1993 until succeeded by the PM-98. This model relocated the magazine release closer to the thumb and the cocking handle now resided along the left side of the receiver only. The receiver itself was strengthened and the trigger ring enlarged for use of a gloved primary hand. The model also introduced support for accessories like laser sights and tactical lights.
The PM-98S was a slightly modified offering in which the rate-of-fire was increased during full-automatic fire to 770 rounds-per-minute (from about 640rpm). The PM-06 brought along a new, three-position telescoping buttstock and offered MIL-STD-1913 accessories support. The civilian model of the SMG line became the BRS-99 but these arrived in semi-automatic-fire-only.
Since its introduction in the mid-1980s, the PM-84 went on to find homes beyond the Polish Army inventory. Indonesia, Kurdistan, Lithuania, and the Philippines all became primary operators of the gun. At least 6,000 were sold to the Iraqi government to help stock the rebuilding Iraqi Army following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Polish use extends beyond its Army as the PM-84 is in circulation with special local law enforcement units and military police forces. Combat service has seen the gun in the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan 2001-2014) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011).
The guns are manufactured out of FB Radom and can be seen designated as the "FB Glauberyt".