Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)

Machine Pistol / Submachine Gun (SMG) [ 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.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Germany national flag graphic


Machine Pistol / Submachine Gun (SMG)

Carl Walther GmbH - West Germany
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)

Overall Length
659 mm
25.94 in
Barrel Length
173 mm
6.81 in
Empty Wgt
6.17 lb
2.80 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Blowback; Select 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)


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
500 ft
(152 m | 167 yd)

MP - Base Series Designation
MPK ("Kurz") - Compact Version
MPL ("Lang") - Long barrel and handguard; increased engagement range up to 200 meters.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Walther MP (Maschinenpistole)
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons.

View day-by-day actions of the American Civil War with CivilWarTimeline.net. View day-by-day actions of World War II with SecondWorldWarHistory.com.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)