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MP40 (Maschinenpistole 40)

Submachine Gun (SMG) [ 1940 ]

The German MP40 Submachine Gun was a refined version of the revolutionary MP38 model intended for mass production.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/21/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

As the original German Army MP38 submachine gun series proving a success, it was also too expensive for war time production. As such, the MP40 was offered up as a slightly reworked design featuring more in the way of welded steel construction and pressed components. Modifications to the internal components were also made that attempted to decrease the number of jamming incidences being reported with operational use of the original MP38.

With these changes in hand, the MP40 became the definitive submachine gun for the German Army in the latter stages of World War 2. The weapon continued the revolutionary thinking behind the original German submachine gun approach including its folding stock and long magazine that doubled as the forward grip. The relatively compact size of the gun proved ideal for forces on the march, in particular, the German mechanized forces on all fronts. Its use, however, was not restricted as such for the submachine gun could stock the inventories of special operatives and logistical, second-line personnel as well.

Various attempts to produce specialized versions of the MP40 were made though few of these developments actually saw large-scale production. A dual-magazine version (MP40/II) did enter limited manufacture but did not see extensive action. A wooden butt version also existed as the MP41. The MP40, as success dictated, would go on to see service on a global scale after the war, a testament to its sound design and manufacturing. Some may even be encountered in operational service in far off places on the globe. Axis-aligned forces benefitted from the relationship by receiving stocks of MP40 submachine guns during World War 2 and many German victim-nations also took up the type in the post-war years.

Manufacturers of the Maschinenpistole 40 (MP40) submachine gun included Erfurter Maschinenfabrik B. Geipel GmbH, C.G. C.G. Haenel Waffen - und Fahrradfabrik AG and Osterreichische Waffenfabrik-Gesellschaft.

Features specific to the MP38/40 series (long magazine/foregrip, simple production measures and folding metal stock) went on to be utilized in foreign developments during the war, principally the American M3 Grease Gun and the Soviet PPS-43.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany


Submachine Gun (SMG)

Erfurter Maschinenfabrik B. Geipel GmbH / C.G. Haenel GmbH (among others) - Germany
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)

Overall Length
833 mm
32.80 in
Barrel Length
630 mm
24.80 in
Empty Wgt
8.82 lb
4.00 kg

Flip-Up Rear Notch; Hood Front Blade.


Blowback; Full-Automatic Only

Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
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)


9x19mm Parabellum

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
250 ft
(76 m | 83 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
1,250 ft/sec
(381 m/sec)

MP40 - Base Series Designation
MP40/I - Initial production models
MP40/II - Twin-magazine development appearing in 1942; revised receiver; limited production and use.
MP41 - Internals of the MP40 mated to the receiver of the MP28 submachine gun.

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