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Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)

Machine Pistol / Submachine Gun (SMG)

Germany | 1963

"The Walther MP appeared in production from 1963 to 1985 and proved itself a serviceable submachine gun solution for various global operators."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/17/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The storied German concern of Walther - primarily recognized for their excellent work in pistols - took to the design of a machine pistol/submachine gun in the early 1960s. This was at a time when the German nation was still divided into an East and West, the lines drawn up after the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945) has subsided. The weapon in question became the Walther MP ("Maschinenpistole") and involved two distinct variations of the base idea - the short-barreled MPK ("K" = "Kurz" for short) and the longer-barreled MPL ("L" = "Lang" for long). Both versions relied on the proven blowback system of operation common to submachine gun designs as well as the ubiquitous 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. Feeding was from a 32-round straight detachable box magazine.

Construction of the MP incorporated steel pressings for a robust overall casing. Design was highly conventional with an integral pistol grip at rear, the magazine feed just ahead of the grip and a short handguard shrouding the barrel within. Sights were affixed across the top front and rear of the weapon in the usual way through a combination aperture/open arrangement. The shoulder stock was a single-piece wire frame hinged at the rear of the receiver and at the base of the grip to fold over the weapon for a more compact footprint. The selective fire control was fitted to the left side of the gun body. The MPK and MPL variants were more or less identical, the difference being the use of a longer barrel in the latter as well as a lengthened handguard.

The MPK featured a weight of 6lbs (the MPL slightly heavier) while the weapon measured a length of 26 inches (14.7 inches with the wire stock folded. Comparatively, the MPL was given a length of 29 inches with a folded length of 18 inches. Barrel lengths were 6.8 inches for the MPK and 10.2 inches for the MPL. Rate-of-fire was identical in both designs at 550 rounds-per-minute. Effective firing ranges differed some - the MPK up to 100 meters and the MPL up to 200 meters.

The Walther MP product did not end up seeing the market success of its competitors such as the Israeli UZI and Heckler & Koch MP5 lines. It was ordered by Brazil, Colombia, Mexico (Navy), Portugal (Navy), South Africa (police), the United States (special forces), Venezuela and Zimbabwe. West German naval forces and police units both utilized the type.

Production of MP guns spanned into 1987.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
500 ft
152.4 m | 166.7 yds
The physical qualities of the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
659 mm
25.94 in
O/A Length
173 mm
6.81 in
Barrel Length
6.17 lb
2.80 kg
Blowback; Select Fire
9x19mm Parabellum
32-round detachable box magazine
Iron Front and Rear
Notable series variants as part of the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole) Machine Pistol / Submachine Gun (SMG) family line.
MP - Base Series Designation
MPK ("Kurz") - Compact Version
MPL ("Lang") - Long barrel and handguard; increased engagement range up to 200 meters.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Carl Walther GmbH - West Germany
National flag of Brazil National flag of Colombia National flag of modern Germany National flag of Mexico National flag of Portugal National flag of South Africa National flag of the United States National flag of Venezuela National flag of Zimbabwe

[ Brazil; Colombia; West Germany; Germany; Mexico; Portugal; South Africa; United States; Venezuela; Zimbabwe ]
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Image of the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Going Further...
The Walther MP (Maschinenpistole) Machine Pistol / Submachine Gun (SMG) appears in the following collections:
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