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Mitraillette Vigneron


Submachine Gun (SMG) (1953)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Left side profile view of the Vigneron M2 submachine gun

Jump-to: Specifications

The Vigneron submachine gun appeared with the Belgian Army in 1953 and was subsequently used in Africa in quantity.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/11/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Mitraillette Vigneron was born in post-World War 2 Belgium Army requirement for an indigenous and modern submachine gun. After the war, the rebuilding Belgian Army relied heavily on foreign stocks of weapons, principally of American and British origin for the most part. After testing of several designs, Belgian authorities selected an indigenous design to be known as the "Vigneron M1". The weapon was designed under the direction of former Belgian Colonel Georges Vigneron (hence the weapon's name) and chambered for the universally accepted 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge firing from a 32-round
"MP40 style" straight detachable box magazine (as such the weapon could make use of war-time MP40 ammunition stocks). After formal developmental trials, the weapon was accepted into service in 1953, becoming the standard-issue submachine gun of the Belgian Army.

Design of the Vigneron was relatively straightforward and borrowed much of the appearance of war-time designs such as the American M3 "Grease Gun" and French MAS38 submachine guns. The firing action relied on the blowback principle to which a rate-of-fire of 620 rounds per minute could be achieved, spent 9mm casings being ejected out of the right side of the receiver. Effective range was out to 100 meters and sighting was accomplished through fixed iron sights found at the rear of the receiver and at the muzzle. The charging handle was set to the left side of the weapon. The upper receiver was tubular in its general shape, attached to a squared-off lower receiver section. The stock consisted of a single-piece wire system forming two struts mounted to either side of the receiver. The stock was curved at the shoulder end for some comfort when firing. A selector switch was set near the pistol grip which itself was integrated to a solid trigger unit. Magazines were inserted ahead of the trigger unit in a typical fashion. Loops at the rear and front of the receiver allowed for use of a shoulder sling. The barrel was finned near its base for some basic cooling while the muzzle was perforated along the top facing. Construction was of stamped sheet metal while the grip frame was of plastic. The selector switch allowed the operator to manage a safety and semi-automatic and full-automatic modes of fire. Full-automatic fire was generally less accurate for obvious reasons, ultimately requiring semi-automatic fire at ranged targets to be the norm. As the Vigneron was principally a short-range weapon, this was negligible. A safety mechanism was also built into the grip.
The Vigeron M1 model series was produced until 1954 to which an improved form - the Vigneron M2 - was introduced. This included a reinforced dust cover over the ejection port, a revised rear sight (notched installation from the original peep sight) and a protector for the forward sight placement.

The Vigneron series of submachine guns endured operational service up until the 1980s. All production was held on Belgian soil through SAPL in Herstal, the Liege State Arsenal and the Brussels-based AFEM concern. Operators went on to include Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Portugal. In Portuguese Army service, the Vigneron was known as the "Pistola Metralhadora Vigneron M/961".

Specifications



Service Year
1953

Origin
Belgium national flag graphic
Belgium

Classification


Submachine Gun (SMG)


Vigneron - Belgium
National flag of Angola National flag of Belgium National flag of Portugal Angola; Belgium; Democratic Republic of Congo; Portugal
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)


Overall Length
872 mm
34.33 in
Barrel Length
300 mm
11.81 in
Empty Wgt
7.28 lb
3.30 kg
Sights


Iron Front and Rear


Action


Blowback; Selective Fire

Blowback Operation
Gas pressure from the rearward movement of the ignited cartridge case provides the needed bolt movement, ejecting the spent case and stripping a fresh case from the magazine.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


9x19 Parabellum (NATO)

Sample Visuals**


Graphical image of a 9mm pistol cartridge
Rounds / Feed


32-round detachable box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
328 ft
(100 m | 109 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
620
rds/min


Vigneron M1 - Initial Production Model of 1953
Vigneron M2 - Improved production model of 1954; strengthened dust cover over ejection port; revised rear sight; protected front sight.
Pistola Metralhadora Vigneron M/961 - Portuguese Army designation.


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