Submachine gun Suomi
Finnish submachine gun system Aimo Lahti. He was in service in Finland (since 1931) and a number of other countries, was used in the Soviet-Finnish war and the Great Patriotic War.
Aimo Johannes Lahti has been creating submachine guns since 1921. The “Suomi” model of 1931 was developed in the early 1930s based on the design of the 7.65-mm submachine gun KP / -26 (konepistooli Suomi m / 26), which was produced in small quantities since 1926. The word Suomi is the self-name of Finland.
Variants and modifications:
m / 26 - the first production model chambered for 7.65 × 21 mm Parabellum.
KP / -31 SJR - submachine gun 9 mm, with a long barrel 925 mm. Weight: 4.9 kg.
KP / -32 “KORSU” - a 9 mm pistol-submachine gun, for armament of bunkers and other fortified objects, with a pistol grip instead of the butt, the barrel in the “Lytistetty” type casing is 745 mm. Weight: 4.35 kg. Released in small batches (approximately 500 copies).
KP / -32 "TANKKI" - a 9 mm machine pistol for arming tanks and armored personnel carriers with a long swine 610 mm.Some models have a casing with a coupling for mounting in the ball mask of an armored vehicle.
Lettet-Forsøgs is a Danish modification of the Suomi submachine gun from the Hovea factory.
KP m / 37 is a Swedish modification of the Suomi submachine gun produced by the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori plant.
Hispano Suiza MP 43/44 is a licensed copy of a Suomi submachine gun produced in Switzerland. Issued about 22,500 copies.
From the very beginning, “Suomi” was considered as a weapon for supporting the level of a close-combat squad, a kind of light manual submachine gun, the Finnish army experiencing a serious shortage. Hence - a number of design features of weapons, such as a relatively long, and, moreover, quick-change, barrel, large-capacity stores, the presence on some models of bipods, and so on. Although at the same time the manual machine gun was also created by the same designer (Lahti-Saloranta L / S-26) and was adopted in 1926.
But still, the short range of effective firing and the rather low damaging ability of pistol bullets did not allow the use of PP as a full-fledged weapon of support for the infantry unit. As a result, the Finns had to reconsider their military doctrine during the hostilities and supplement the armament of the infantry department with a light machine gun under the rifle and machine-gunammunition, whose role was played first by the Finnish "Lahti-Saloranta L / S-26", then also the trophy more successful Soviet DP, simultaneously with the increase in the number of PP from 1 to 2-3 per detachment.
And yet, on the whole, “Suomi” itself turned out to be a rather successful model, although not without certain, and rather significant, flaws. The handling of "Suomi" required a high level of training of personnel, since The vacuum shutter moderator included in it was very sensitive to dirt, dust and misting of weapons.
Submachine gun was exported. Licensed in Denmark (m / 41), Sweden (m / 37) and Switzerland (MP.43 / 44, 22,500 copies).
The “Suomi” device as a whole was typical of the first-generation PCBs, leading their “pedigree” from the MP18 and other early samples. In particular, the design of the gate is very similar to the German Rheinmetall MP19, which in turn is also the ancestor of the Austro-Swiss PP Steyr-Solothurn S1-100. But still, this weapon had a number of very distinctive features that were not encountered at that time on the PP of other systems.
The weapon was made very soundly, with high quality and extensive use of machine tools. For example, the boltbox was made completely from a steel forging.The downside of such a decision was a very large mass (more than 7 kg in a curb condition) and the high cost of Suomi, which did not allow it to become a truly mass model.
The submachine gun consists of a solid wooden box, a solid-milled receiver of circular cross section, a barrel, a removable casing, and a trigger mechanism. A fuse in the form of an L-shaped part, which also serves as a translator of the fire regime, is located in front of the trigger guard.
Automatic reloading works by rolling back the free recoil when fired. The fire is fired from the rear sear (from the open bolt), the drummer is fixed in the cap of the bolt, the barrel is not locked at the moment of the shot.
To slow down the rate of fire, a vacuum braking system is used: the receiver, its lid and shutter fit tightly, so that the bolt moves like a piston in a cylinder, there is practically no air breakthrough between the walls of the receiver and the bolt. In the back of the receiver, a valve is installed that allows air to flow only from the inside to the outside, but not vice versa.
When the valve moves backward (after the shot), the air from the rear part of the receiver comes out through the valve (at the same time, the overpressure slows down the valve's rollback somewhat). When the valve moves forward, the valve closes, a vacuum is created behind the valve, which slows down the valve. Due to this system, it was possible to slightly reduce the shutter mass, improving the accuracy of shooting, especially with single shots.
To ensure tightness, as well as to prevent dust and dirt from getting inside the receiver, through the slot for the gate handle, the latter was placed separately from it, behind the receiver butt plate, and remained fixed during firing. For a weapon with a brisk motion fixed on the mirror, which was “Suomi”, this also gave the advantage that when the cartridge was not enough to get into the chamber, the shooter who was not trained or in a stressful situation did not physically have the opportunity to manually slide the bolt forward due to the absence of a hard connection between him and a plunger handle; in weapons with a more sophisticated percussion mechanism, such as an automatic or conventional magazine rifle,this is quite a normal way to eliminate such a delay when firing, but in the case of a submachine gun with a fixed brisk, sending the bolt forward manually would have led to an accidental shot and the inevitable injury of the hand with a drew-in handle.
Another design feature of the “Suomi” - the barrel cover and the barrel itself are easily removed and put in place. This allows, in the presence of spare trunks, to conduct active firing without fear of overheating and damage to the barrel - an overheated barrel can always be replaced directly in the course of a battle.
The sight is sector, with adjustment to 500 meters. The real range of effective fire, like most submachine guns, does not exceed 200 m when firing bursts.
The receiver of the store had an unusual “open” design, which allowed the use of wide stores of large capacity. Especially for “Suomi”, several types of stores were designed: a box for 20 cartridges, a disc for 40 cartridges, designed directly by Lahti, and a disc magazine for 70 cartridges of the Koskinen design, adopted in 1936 and weighing as much as a 40-charge one. Later, the 70-cartridge shop “Suomi” was copied with the receiver for it by Soviet gunsmiths and was used at PPD-40 and early releases of PPSh,but it turned out to be impractical and was later replaced by a sector magazine for 35 rounds. Four-row box stores for 50 rounds, better known by the nickname “coffin” because of their characteristic shape, were also used. Much later, as early as the 1950s, box magazines for 36 cartridges from the Swedish submachine gun Carl Gustaf M / 45, backward compatible with the Suomi previously held in Sweden, also began to be used.
It is curious that the soldiers were strictly forbidden to hold the PP for the store when shooting, in order to avoid loosening the latch and the receiver. However, it was also forbidden in the Red Army in relation to the PPSh. However, this prohibition was very often violated in battle.
Some "Suomi" equipped with a bipod near the muzzle. In addition, a small Suomi batch for armament of bunkers and other fortified objects was released, which had a pistol grip instead of a butt, a shortened barrel casing and a special stop near its muzzle for firing from the loophole.
“Suomi” is a fairly efficient and reliable weapon by the standards of its class, which showed itself well when used in harsh conditions, in particular, in Finland in winter, at extremely low temperatures.The quick-change barrel also turned out to be a very useful innovation (up to “Suomi”, the replaced barrels were made only in machine guns) - although not widely used, but still used later on a number of successful samples of machine guns, like Uzi.
Despite the small volume of production, the skillful use by the Finns of their “Suomi” during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 made a great impression on the rank and file and command personnel of the Red Army, essentially giving impetus to the expansion of production and mass armament of the army with this type of weapon. However, it should be borne in mind that plans to expand the production of PP were in the USSR even before the Finnish War, which thus played the role of a “catalyst” for this process.
Of the shortcomings, a rather large mass of weapons can be noted: an automatic with one fully equipped disk magazine weighs about 7 kg. Another disadvantage of “Suomi” was the high cost and complexity of manufacturing. In particular, due to the mechanism of vacuum deceleration of the shutter, the shutter itself, the receiver and the cover of the receiver, required very precise machining in the manufacture, which led to additional costs.
During the Winter War, there was a limited use of the Red Army of Fedorov rifles. According to the testimony of the participants of the battles, the machine guns demonstrated an indisputable advantage over the machine guns of the Finnish army. It is curious that the weapon firing with an incomparably more powerful cartridge turned out to be lighter than the Finnish submachine gun.
The use of a large-capacity drum shop, as practice has shown, is largely unjustified. Drum shop is much more complicated and expensive to manufacture, while it is less reliable than simple box-shaped. It weighs more than a few box magazines of the same total capacity, and significantly weights the weapon. Time to change the store is not so great, and it is more convenient for a soldier to carry an extra supply of ammunition in a cartridge pouch rather than directly on the weapon. It is indicative that in the USSR, having fired drum shops for the late version of PPD and PPSH, following the pattern of “Suomi”, in the second year of the Great Patriotic War they returned to the rozhkov shops.
-Finland - adopted by the Finnish army in 1931, remained in service with the Finnish army until the early 1990s.
-Bulgaria - 5505 pieces purchased in the years 1940-1942.
Denmark: more than 1,400 machine gun pistols called M / 41 were produced at Madsen and Hovea factories; the official name is the Letteta-Vorsegs submachine gun.
-Poland - in 1933, 20 pcs. purchased for the police.
-SSR - during the Soviet-Finnish war, captured Suomi handed over to the Red Army intelligence groups operating in the "neutral zone" and in the near rear of the enemy. Also used during World War II.
- Switzerland - 100 pieces purchased, produced under license under the name MP 43/44.
-Sweden - 420 units purchased, produced under license (under license under the name M / 37, 35,000 units were manufactured; specially adapted for the 9x19 Parabellum cartridge).
Independent State of Croatia - purchased 500 pcs. (according to other data 1,250 pieces) in the years 1942-1943.
-Estonia - in 1937, 485 pieces were purchased.
-The Third Reich - 3,042 pcs. The Finnish-made Suomi entered service with the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units (most of them were used in units that fought in Karelia and Lapland, as well as in the 3rd Finnish battalion of the Nordland regiment of the 5th Panzer SS division Viking). In addition, after the occupation of Denmark in 1940, the Wehrmacht had a number of Madsen-Suomi P2 submachine guns, licensed in Denmark (they were used under the name MP.746 (d))
In addition, several “suomi” units were used during the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939, but the source of their appearance in Spain was not established.