History

The MP-40 was the standard submachine gun issued by Nazi Germany in WW2.

Historical Notes

The MP-40 was widely used and issued because unlike most other small arms, it was the only submachine the Germans made in significant quantity. Production is figured to be approx. one million guns of MP-38. MP-40, and MP-41 combined. After World War 2 the MP-40 appeared in hot spots all around the world, but by the 1960's the gun had become a last resort as the guns wore out with no spare parts - especially barrels - to maintain them. MP-40's ended up having more value to collectors - sold as deactivated display guns in countries where De-acts are permitted and many thousands of MP-40's were cut and sold as parts sets to collectors here in the United States. An entire generation of post-WW2 gun, history, and war buffs fell in love with the MP-40 watching the war movies of the 1960'-1970's and as a result it is a sought after gun for collecting, shooting, and re-enacting.

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Techincal Notes

The MP-40 started its life as the MP-38 which was manufactured from mostly machined parts. The MP-38 receiver is easily recognized by the thin flutes machined into the receiver tube to increase strength and lighten weight and a flat sided milled magazine housing. The MP-38 also had a hook shaped cocking handle with no provision for locking the bolt to prevent accidental firing if the gun was dropped. By 1940 the MP-38 had been redesigned for mass production using what were then new techniques that had not been applied to the manufacture of firearms - primarily pressing, forming, and welding sheet steel into shapes that had previously been made by machining bars, blocks, or forgings into the final part. Also the use of wood for stocks and grips was eliminated and replaced with composite materials that would not warp or rot when exposed to moisture. We take all this for granted today but the application of these techniques was a new, bold step which was quickly copied by all of the major wartime nations. The MP-40 is one of the most famous and recognized guns ever made. It has a distinctive push-buttom folding stock(with folding buttplate) which, when folded, is tight against the bottom of the gun and out of the way. This stock design has been copied in numerous modern weapons. The MP-40 has one of the best recoil spring assemblies housed in telescoping tubes which protect the spring. The cocking handle is now oval shaped and has a locking feature which enables the bolt to be locked in the forward/shut position so the gun will bot fire if accidentally dropped. The MP-40 is probably one of the easiest guns to field strip, clean, and reassemble by means of a 1/4 turn the stock/grip assy. is removed from the receiver, followed by the bolt and recoil assy. The MP-40 handles well, and points and shoots easily from the hip - less so with the stock open and used as a shoulder fired carbine. The rate of fire is slow and controllable. (Don't be fooled by the fast blank firing guns in the movies.) The MP-41 is the basic MP-40 with a non-folding wood stock to speed production and eliminate the making of the many parts for the folding stock. If you are looking for faults for the MP-40 probably the main one would be the double-row but single-feed magazine which requires a special loading tool.