Russian PPSh-41 Submachine Gun

Russian Submachine Gun produced in 1943.
Very good condition. Demilled to German specifications.
Bought in Germany, August 2011

About The PPSh-41 Submachine Gun
Designed by Georgi Shpagin as an inexpensive, simplified alternative to the PPD-40. Intended for use by minimally-trained conscript soldiers, the PPSh was a magazine-fed selective-fire submachine gun using an open-bolt, blowback action. Made largely of stamped steel, it had either a box or drum magazine, and fired the 7.62×25 mm pistol round. The PPSh saw extensive combat use during World War 2.

The impetus for the development of the PPSh came partly from the Winter War against Finland (1939), where it was found that submachine guns were a highly effective tool for close-quarter fighting in forests or built-up urban areas. The weapon was developed in mid-1941 and was produced in a network of factories in Moscow. A few hundred weapons were produced in November 1941 and another 155,000 were produced over the next five months. By spring 1942, the PPSh factories were producing roughly 3.000 units a day.

The PPSh-41 is a classic example of a design adapted for mass production. Its parts (excluding the barrel) could be produced by a relatively unskilled workforce with simple equipment available in an auto repair garage or tin shop, freeing up more skilled workers for other tasks. The PPSh-41 used 87 components and could be manufactured with 7.3 only machining hours. Over 6 million PPSh submachine guns were produced by the end of the war.

The PPSh was popular in the German armies as well, and captured examples were frequently returned to service against their former owners. Because of the very close dimensional similarities between the Soviet 7.62×25 mm Tokarev and the German 7.63×25 mm Mauser cartridge used in the Mauser C96 pistol, the PPSh could fire either cartridge, and was thus easily supplied with ammunition. In fact so many were captured that it became the second-most-common submachinegun used by German forces.

The Soviets would often equip whole regiments and even entire divisions with the weapon, giving them unmatched short-range firepower. Thousands more were dropped behind enemy lines to equip large partisan formations to disrupt German supply lines and communications.

Photos of PPSh-41 in use during World War 2

Captured PPSh-41 Submachine Guns in the hands of German soldiers

The iconic PPSh-41 used by Russian forces during World War 2

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