The PPSh-41 (Russian: Пистолет-пулемёт Шпагина, Pistolet Pulemyot Shpagina, meaning "Shpagin submachine gun") is a Russian submachine gun.
History[edit | edit source]
The idea for the weapon is partly based on the Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun used by the Finnish. The weapon was evolved from the PPD submachine gun, which was expensive to manufacture in terms of both materials and labor. Georgy Semyonovich Shpagin's solution was to keep the gun at a low manufacturing cost so that it could be mass-produced, so most of the gun was made of stamped sheet metal instead of milled parts like with the PPD.
The PPSh was produced in factories in Moscow, and about 155,000 were produced within the first five months. By Spring of 1942, factories were producing about 3,000 guns a day. In 1943, another submachine gun was procured; the PPS, which was even simpler, but it never did fully replace the PPSh in front-line combat. By the end of the war, over 5 million PPSh-41s were produced, compared to about 90,000 PPDs. The PPSh was also supplied in large numbers to the Korean Army.
Design[edit | edit source]
The PPSh is an example of a design that was meant to be mass-produced; other weapons in this category include the M3 Grease Gun, Sten and MP40. The parts for the weapon, excluding the barrel, could be made by an unskilled workshop using parts from a tin shop or an auto garage; the PPSh also had fewer parts than a PPD, which numbers 87 parts compared to the 95 in the PPD. Usually, barrels would be created from Mosin-Nagant 91/30 barrels, where the Mosin's barrel would be cut in half, which would make two PPSh barrels after machining the chamber for the 7.62mm Tokarev cartridge.
The PPSh is renowned for its astonishing cyclic rate of 900 rounds per minute, one of the highest at the time; this is compared to most other submachine guns of the era with only a rate of fire that ranges from 400 to 500 rounds per minute. Because of this, the PPSh was nicknamed the "Burp Gun". Other World War II weapons in this league include the MG 42, the Suomi KP/-31, the PPD, and the MG 34.