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MP 40
A German landser with an MP 40



Entry into Service



9x19mm Parabellum

Magazine Capacity

32 rounds

Effective Range

100 - 200 m

The MP 40, or Maschinen Pistole 40, was a blowback-operated, fully automatic machine pistol used mainly by German officers during World War II.


It took the 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum Cartridge, had a rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute and fairly controllable recoil for the time.

Derived from the MP38, the MP 40 was an easier to manufacture weapon with a 32 round box magazine and a metal, collapsable stock. The empty weight was about 4 kg and the length was 83.3 cm with the stock extended. The effective range was about 100 meters and the muzzle velocity was about 365 meters per second. Because the MP40 has the same magazine and cartridge size, 9x19mm Parabellum, as the British Sten Mk II, the weapons and ammunition were interchangeable.


There were two variants of the MP 40 and the were the MP 40/II and the MP 41. The MP 40/II was meant to have the same volume of ammunition as other Soviet SMGs such as the PPSh-41. To do this, it featured a dual magazine housing to create a total 64 rounds. However, this model was plagued by jams and malfunctions, especially if dirt or debris was present, and it's lack of success meant it was little used.[1] The MP 41 featured a wooden stock and a trigger that was similar to the MP 28 and it was produced along with the MP 40/II in limited numbers.


The MP 40 was the successor of the MP 38 which had several problems including that it did sometimes fire without the trigger being pulled. The MP 40 was mainly made out of stamped steel and one of the common misconceptions about the MP 40 is that the its magazine is meant to be used as a foregrip, but in reality the magazine will jam if this is done. It was then used extensively by German troops in all theaters that they were present. Often incorrectly called "Schmeisser" by allied troops, the MP 40 was not actually created by Hugo Schmeisser, but originated with the Erma concern[1] - The Schmeisser was an SMG from the First World War. The sound of the gun earned it another nickname; 'Burp Gun'.

Another misconception about the MP 40 is that it was not used initially by nearly every single German soldier. It was actually used mainly by the SS and paratroopers. This changed later on in the war however and by the end of WWII, over 1,000,000 MP 40s were made.[2] The change to issuing many submachine guns to the Wehrmacht was largely effected by the Soviet's use of submachine guns in Stalingrad. There were many different manufacturers including Erfurter Maschinenfabrik Gmbh and Haencl Waffen-und Fahrradfabrik AG. Regardless, after entering service in 1940, the MP 40 was used a wide variety of locations all the way until 1945. 


  1. 1,0 1,1 Vorlage:War Machine Issue 6 - Sub machine guns of World War II. Page 116

Vorlage:German Infantry Weapons en: MP 40