PPSh-41 Submachine Guns in Hungary



7.62mm Submachine Gun PPSh41
Pistolet Pulemjot Shpagina Model 1941
7.62mm Géppisztoly 48.Minta

Made by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár (FÉG), Budapest, 1949-55
A number of Tula, USSR, wartime production guns were also used
Caliber: 7.62x25mm
40-round staggered row detachable box magazine or 71-round drum magazine
Blowback, selective fire
Length 842mm [33.2"] overall, 270mm [10.63"] barrel
Weight 3.65kg empty, 5.4kg [11.9 lbs] with loaded 71-rnd drum mag
Muzzle velocity 500-515 m/sec
Cyclic rate: 700-900 rpm

The PPSh41 was originally designed by Gregori Shpagin as a cheap and simple but effective war-time weapon. It featured simple blowback operated action, fired from open bolt. The striker was permanently fixed in the bolt face. The PPSh-41 was a select-fire, with the fire selector switch located inside the trigger guard, ahead of trigger.

The PPSh-41 (Pistolet Pulemjot Shpagina Model 1941) [Shpagin Submachine Gun] was one of major infantry weapons of the Soviet Red Army during WW2. The total number of PPSh's manufactured by Soviet State Arsenal Tula during WW2 estimated to more than five million. Retired from Soviet Army service soon after WW2, the PPSH was widely exported to the Warsaw Pact countries and pro-Soviet countries around the world, including Vietnam and many African countries.

During 1941-42 the Hungarian Army captured a number of PPSh-41 machine guns on the Eastern Front. These guns were re-issued to Hungarian troops. The troops did not like them, compared to the Hungarian Danuvia 39.M machine guns. The ammunition had a similar effectiveness, but the workmanship and reliability of the PPSh-41 was nowhere when compared to the 39.M. The biggest difference was in accuracy, as PPSh-41's barrel length was only about half of the M.39's. The 71-round drum magazine had a tendency of jamming if it was loaded with 65-68 rounds or more. However, the PPSh-41's shorter length gave it the advantage during house-to-house combat situations.
After WW2 the Hungarians were enforced by the Warsaw Pact and the USSR to adopt and use Soviet-type weapons. Interestingly the comparison and the option to chose between the PPSh-41 and the even more improved short Danuvia machine pistol then called Kucher K1 came up again. It is unclear how much political pressure or just plain stupidity steered the choice towards the PPSh-41.
Hungary adopted and manufactured a copy of the Soviet 7.62x25mm PPSh M1941 as the 48.Minta.
A version of this submachine gun intended basically for police purposes known as the 54.M was also manufactured. Starting in 1957 these 48.M's were replaced by the AK-47 type weapons in the Army, however the 48.M's were still in Army service as late as 1964. The 48.M's were used by the Hungarian Border Patrol for several more years.

Several pictures courtesy of Bvs Praha.

PPSh41 with the 40-round magazine, which could only handle 35 rounds safely without jamming.

A proud Hungarian Army solder with his 48.M circa 1952.

The soldier wears a 1949M Winter-issue uniform, with a 1950 Winter-issue hat.
Due to the tight Soviet connections of the Rakosi Government, starting in 1951 the Soviet-style 1951M uniforms were gradually replacing the 1949M uniforms shown on the picture.
After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Kadar Government, at least on the surface, somewhat distanced the country from the USSR and the 1957M uniform was more 'Hungarian' again, resembling the 1949M uniform shown here.


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