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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War

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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

View Poll Results: what's the best WW2 SMG?
Sten gun 3 4.69%
MP-40 9 14.06%
Thompson M-1928/ M-1 25 39.06%
PPSH-41 29 45.31%
Suomi m-31 7 10.94%
Owen 5 7.81%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 21 Jan 13, 20:17
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Arrow What's the best WW 2 SMG?

among the great variety of small weapons of ww2, the smg were the most produced and widespread used. specially the soviet union, with their PPSH-41, more than 5 milion produced, entire battalions were armed with it. the smg had drawbacks, of course, like short range, some soldiers that didn't know it had the semiauto function (they use it always in full auto, ) and in case of Sten gun, lack of strenght in early models. to me, the two best weapons in this class were the american Thompson M-1928 and M-1, and the soviet PPSH-41. they were weapons realiable, good handling, excellent stopping power (in M-1's .45 ACP), high capacity (PPSH-41 had a 71 round drum, M-1928 had 50 and 100 rd drums), and in city/close quarters combats, were second to none, until the german MP-44 came in use, but this is a matter to another thread. what's your opinion about this?
thanks for your comments!

the Sten Mk II


the German MP-40 (made by Erma Werke, not by Hugo Schmeisser)


the Soviet PPSH-41


Thompson M-1928 (left) and M-1 (right)


the Finnish Suomi M-31


the Aussie Owen Mk 1-43


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  #2  
Old 21 Jan 13, 21:19
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I went with the Thompson since its the only weapon on the list that I've actually fired.
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  #3  
Old 21 Jan 13, 22:17
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Other. I'd say the Beretta 38a is. It was widely copied by other nations and even today is a quality weapon.



Of the ones listed:

The Sten is a piece of crap and that's being nice.
The Sumi is a Beretta clone.
The Thompson is nice but expensive and really heavy.
The PPsH is okay but fires a pretty lame round and quality suffered during the war.
The MP 38/40 is touchy and has a bad tendency to spray rather than deliver accurate fire.
The Owen is better than the Sten but it is still a wartime expedient that wasn't copied by anyone.

Just none of those listed were really outstanding. But the Beretta was copied by Bergman in Germany, in Finland, and to a degree in Russia, along with elsewhere. Everyone practically used it when they could get their hands on one too.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 21 Jan 13 at 22:23..
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  #4  
Old 21 Jan 13, 22:27
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I'm a big fan of both the Thompson and the Owen sub machine guns. The Tommygun had enormous stopping power and the Owen was very effective and had excellent reliablity qualities in a jungle climate. It's top feed magazine concept was first rate. Small wonder the Australians kept them around for many years following WWII.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 00:07
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Having owned, built or shot everything on that list excluding the Owen, I would have to go with the Sten.
They work, they are cheap, easy to build, and the are controllable.
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  #6  
Old 22 Jan 13, 00:28
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how do the MP40 and PPSH stack up against one another?
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Old 22 Jan 13, 00:29
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Do we have data on what SMGs were eagerly scavenged by opposing forces for their own use? I read that on the Eastern Front, both the PPsh and the MP 40 were quite popular with soldiers on the other side.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 02:18
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Having fired none of them, but having read that the PPSh41 was preferred by the Germans who captured it for its toughness, I give it my vote.

Thompson is a second, because it the best looking design.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 02:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt tank 152 View Post
among the great variety of small weapons of ww2, the smg were the most produced and widespread used. specially the soviet union, with their PPSH-41, more than 5 milion produced, entire battalions were armed with it. the smg had drawbacks, of course, like short range, some soldiers that didn't know it had the semiauto function (they use it always in full auto, ) and in case of Sten gun, lack of strenght in early models. to me, the two best weapons in this class were the american Thompson M-1928 and M-1, and the soviet PPSH-41. they were weapons realiable, good handling, excellent stopping power (in M-1's .45 ACP), high capacity (PPSH-41 had a 71 round drum, M-1928 had 50 and 100 rd drums), and in city/close quarters combats, were second to none, until the german MP-44 came in use, but this is a matter to another thread. what's your opinion about this?
thanks for your comments!

the Sten Mk II


the German MP-40 (made by Erma Werke, not by Hugo Schmeisser)


the Soviet PPSH-41


Thompson M-1928 (left) and M-1 (right)


the Finnish Suomi M-31


the Aussie Owen Mk 1-43


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  #10  
Old 22 Jan 13, 02:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McBride View Post
Having owned, built or shot everything on that list excluding the Owen, I would have to go with the Sten.
They work, they are cheap, easy to build, and the are controllable.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 08:09
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Smile

I went with the Sten, seeing as how the only bloke to have used one in anger, speaks so highly of 'em!

ps wot about the Lanchester?

lanchester1.jpg

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Old 22 Jan 13, 08:36
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Thompson and Owen are the only ones that make sense ergonomically when firing (PPSH, MP, Sten and Suomi all require holding from the magazine). However when inserting magazine changes and jam clearing the Owen is clear out with the awkwardness of the top inserted mag.

Even though they were out before, drum fed SMG are also problematic to reload.

So, bottom line, I'm going with the Thompson.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 09:40
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Having only fired the Thompson, PPSh-41 and Sten, I went with the Pa-Pa-Sha. It spits rounds out lightning quick, has a large capacity (either drum or stick), is relatively light, and the rounds hit hard. For a quick room-cleaner or short-range spritzer, it's hard to beat.

That said, I heard the PPSh-43 was better - maybe just because it was easier and cheaper to make.
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Old 22 Jan 13, 20:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Richter View Post
I went with the Sten, seeing as how the only bloke to have used one in anger, speaks so highly of 'em!

ps wot about the Lanchester?

Attachment 51761

I can always rely on you Von, Ken. PS. The Lanchester a top class weapon dismissed in favour of that load of scrap called a Sten only because it was quality and you have to pay for quality!! An old saying,"You get nothing for nothing!!" lcm1
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Last edited by lcm1; 22 Jan 13 at 20:34..
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Old 22 Jan 13, 22:22
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I've fired all except the Owen, which I heard some very nice things about. The Thompson is highly controllable in the right hands, but heavy. A good weapon for conventional infantry warfare partially due to the fact that its round was definitely the hardest hitting. But my favorite WWII SMG was the MP-40, which may have been for totally immature teenaged reasons. Post-war my favorites were the MAT-49 and the Uzi.

Jon, I liked the Ppsh 43 myself, and had a Chinese paratroop version. The paradigm of simplicity. But I never fired it much due to a shortage of ammo.
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