Home:  Other Weapons: WWII RUSSIAN PPSH 41 MACHINE GUN, 1942


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Dated 1943 first adopted in 1942 designed by Georgii Shapagin. in Russia, many were sold to Germany whilst they were still allies, then used against them later.Calibre 7.62mm. with round magazine.
The impetus for the development of the PPSH came partly from the Winter War against Finland, where it was found that sub machine 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, with high-level local Party members made directly responsible for production targets being met.

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 was a classic example of a design adapted for mass production (other examples of such wartime design were the M3 Grease Gun, MP40 and the Sten). 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 to other tasks. The PPSH-41 used 87 components compared to 95 for the PPD-40 and the PPSH could be manufactured with 7.3 machining hours compared with 13.7 hours for the PPD.

On the field, the PPSH was a durable, low-maintenance weapon that could fire 900 rpm. The weapon had a crude compensator to lessen muzzle climb and a hinged receiver which facilitated field-stripping and cleaning the bore in battle conditions.

Over 6 million of these weapons were produced by the end of the war. The Soviets would often equip whole regiments and even entire divisions with the weapon, giving them unmatched short-range fire power. Though 35-round curved box magazines were available from 1942, the average infantryman would keep a higher-capacity drum magazine as the initial load.The PPSH-41 drum magazine was a copy of the Finnish M31 Suomi magazine which held 71 rounds but in practice misfeeding of the spring was likely to occur with more than 65 or so. The standard load was probably one drum and a number of box magazines, when box magazines were available.

Your comments:

  • Nicknamed the "Burp" gun, this weapon was used widely by the CCF during the Korean War.
    .......... Colin Bowles (Formerly 22952096 Spr,12 & 55 Sqns RE 1954/6), Luton, Bedfordshire, UK, 7th of April 2016

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