The Pistolet-pulemet Shpagin 41 (PPSh-41) (In Russian: Пистолет пулемёт Шпагин-41) Is a variant of Pistolet-pulemet. Designed by Georgii Shpagin. It is one of the more mass-produced submachineguns in WWII.
DescriptionEditThe PPSh-41 (Pistolet Pulemjot Shpagina model of 1941) was one of major infantry weapons of the Soviet troops during the World War 2. Total number of PPSh's manufactured during WWII estimates to more than 6 millions. The gun became one of the symbols of the Great Patriotic War. Retired from Soviet Army service in the mid-1960s, the PPSh was widely exported to some pro-Soviet countries around the world, including China, Vietnam and many African countries.
It was effective, but somewhat crude weapon, reliable in combat but not without certain flaws. It has somewhat excessive rate of fire, and its drums were uncomfortable to carry and prone to feed problems once spring is weaken.
The PPSh-41 was designed as a cheap and simple but effective war-time weapon. It featured simple blowback operated action, and fired from open bolt. To decrease the recoil stress, gun was fitted with bolt buffer at the rear of receiver. The buffer was made from fiber and was attached to the return spring guide rod. The striker was permanently fixed to the bolt face. PPSh-41 was a select-fire weapon, with fire selector switch located inside the triggerguard, ahead of trigger. The safety was integrated into the charging handle and locked the bolt in forward or rearward position. The receiver and the barrel shroud was made from stamped steel. The front part of the barrel shroud extends beyond the muzzle and acted as a muzzle brake / muzzle flip compensator. Early PPSch-41's were issued with drum magazines with capacity of 71 round, similar to ones used in PPD-40. Such high capacity increased the firepower but the magazines were too slow to refill and not too reliable, so in 1942 a curved box magazine was developed. This magazine held 35 rounds and was much more comfortable to carry in pouches. Early magazines were made from 0,5 mm sheet steel and were somewhat unreliable. Later magazines were made from 1 mm steel and were completely satisfactory. Usually, infantrymen carried one drum in the gun and some box magazines in the pouches or pockets. Early guns featured elevation-adjustable rear sights, marked up to 500 meters; late production guns had flip-type "L"-shaped rear sights marked for 100 and 200 meters range.
- Hungary: Captured and reissued PPSh-41s in the early 1940s.
- Nazi Germany: Used captured and converted PPSh-41s.
- North Korea: Made licensed copies under the designation Type 49.
- People's Republic of China: Made unlicensed copies under the designation Type 50.
- Soviet Union: Entered service with the Soviet Army in 1942.
- Vietnam: Used the K-50M license-built copy during the Vietnam War.
- Type 50: A Chinese-made version of the PPsh-41. Unlike its Soviet counterpart, it only accepts column-type box magazines.
- Type 49: A North-Korean made version of the PPSh-41. This model only accepts drum-based magazines.
- K-50M: A Vietnamese-made submachine gun based on the Type 50s supplied by China during the Vietnam War. The chief difference was that the cooling sleeve of the K-50 was truncated to three inches and a foresight based on that of the French MAT-49 was attached to the front of the barrel.Modifications include the addition of a pistol grip, a steel wire-made stock and the shortened barrel. The changes made the K-50 much lighter by 500 g (1.1 lb) lighter than the PPSh41 at 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) as opposed to 3.9 kg (8.6 lb). The weapon uses a 35-round stick magazine, but the 71-round drum magazine can be used if the stock was fully retracted.
- MP41(r): A captured PPSh-41 converted to 9mm Parabellum caliber for use by German forces.
- MP717(r): A captured, unconverted PPSh-41 placed in German service and supplied with 7.63x25mm Mauser ammunition
- SKL-41: A semi-automatic version of the PPSh-41 which became available on the German market in 2008. This version is converted to fire the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. Aside from replicas of its original magazines, it also accepts MP-40 magazines.
- Caliber: 7,62x25 mm TT
- Weight: 5,45 kg loaded with full 71 rds drum; 4,3 kg with full 35 rds magazine; 3,63 kg without magazine
- Length: 843 mm
- Barrel length: 269 mm
- Rate of fire: 900 rounds per minute
- Magazine capacity: 71 rounds in drum magazine or 35 rounds in curved box magazine
- Effective range: meters
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