July 11, 2019
By David M. Fortier
The Soviet short sword of World War II was the Pistolet Pulyemet Shpagin-1941 (PPSh-41) submachine gun. Manufactured in huge quantities, this simple yet robust “burp gun” became the badge of the Red Army infantryman. Chambered for the Soviet M1930 7.62x25mm cartridge, it featured a high 900 rpm cyclic rate. This was considerably faster than the German MP 40. A high capacity drum magazine holding 71-rounds provided a reserve over twice as large as a MP 40 stick mag. Muzzle velocity for its 86-grain FMJ bullet was right around 1,800 fps. Distinctive in profile thanks to its metal barrel shroud and wooden stock, it proved very effective during the brutal combat on the Eastern Front. Issued in huge numbers, it provided Soviet infantry with a very effective weapon for close-range fighting whether on offense or defense.
I had the chance to fire one with my friend Garry James while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV. We were filming at DriveTanks.com in Uvalde, Texas and I shot the accompanying video during a break in filming. We had a lot of fun with this old Soviet design. If you’re a fan of the PPSh-41 Sarco, Inc. has 71-round drum magazines for just $40 http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/ppsh-7-62mm-71-round-drum.aspx and non-shooting display guns for $199.95 http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/russian-ppsh-41-smg-non-firing.aspx. The display gun is just the thing to liven up your gunroom or den.
The PPSh-41 seen here was featured in the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV which is available on The Sportsman Channel. If you’ve cut the cord to cable TV you can stream it through our MOTV.com streaming service. We have a lot more interesting videos on the way this year so check back here often.
Operation: Blowback from open bolt
Barrel Length: 10.6 inches
Muzzle Velocity: 1,780 fps
Sights: Protected front post and rear flip sight for 100 and 200 meters
Cyclic Rate: 900 rpm
Feed: 71-round drum and 35-round detachable box magazine
Weight: 8 pounds unloaded
Length: 33.2 inches
Practical Range: 200 meters