Hugo Schmeisser developed the MK36 in the mid-1930s; it was intended as a military weapon designed to imitate a rifle so that it could not be easily identified as a submachine gun, as it was believed by some German officers that NCOs carrying submachine guns would be specifically targeted by enemy troops. In order to achieve this, Schmeisser used furniture from the Gewehr 98, the standard German infantry rifle.
The MK36 was built in prototype form only and was blocked from entering production, as its telescoping return spring violated a patent held by Heinrich Vollmer. Only two models were produced; one imitating a Gewehr 98, and the other imitating a FÉG 35.M, the standard Hungarian infantry rifle; this implies that Schmeisser had plans to market the MK36 to Hungary.
Some models marked M.K.36,II, rather than ,III are known to exist. It is not known in what way these models differ.
The MK36 was a blowback-operated submachine gun that was internally largely based around Schmeisser's earlier submachine gun, the Haenel MP28. The MP28 return spring was replaced by a telescopic return spring that delayed the bolt's movement slightly, resulting in a moderated fire rate. The MK36 used a vertical magazine feed and fed from MP28 magazines. The German model featured the cocking slot on the left side of the receiver, whereas the Hungarian model had right-side cocking. Both models had bayonet fittings.
- ↑ The World's Machine Pistols and Submachine Guns Vol.II, Nelson & Musgrave, 1980