Maschinenpistole 38 vs Maschinenpistole 40, in detail

Ian with Forgotten Weapons takes a look in-depth at the classic German 9mm sub guns of World War II, and what sets them apart.

The MP38 was an open-bolt, blowback burp gun with a folding tubular stock designed by Heinrich Vollmer who had something like a half-dozen different submachine guns in his resume beforehand. While it was a good gun, it was replaced after just two years of production by the follow-on and very similar MP40.

“Now the differences between these two guns are not mechanical at all, really,” says Ian, “They are industrial,” going on to elaborate on the manufacturing processes behind each, with the MP38 being extensively milled while the MP40 was stamped and simplified.

Further explanation and hands-on, side-by-side disassembly ensue.

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