Submachine Guns

4 MP9

  The concept of the submachine gun or machine pistol was first pioneered during the final bloody years of the First World War. It dawn on the Germans that it would be quite handy to have a light, fully automatic weapon firing the standard 9mm pistol cartridge. This was called the Bergmann MP18. The German idea for a submachine gun was much better than another Italian design which did not have a stock and used a bipod to steady the weapon firing the Italian pistol service cartridge. The MP18 was so feared the terms of the Treaty of Versailles specifically banned German Army from possession of the MP18.

The German design proved so effective in the hands of the German Shock Troops in making trench raids that the British High Command placed a bounty on each submachine gun captured and turned over to the chain of command. The British later copied a later version of the German MP18 called the MP28 and called it the Lancaster.

  The inter-war years brought much research and development into the submachine gun field by all countries. The results most notably was the MP38/40 in Germany, the Beretta 38 in Italy, PPS in the Soviet Union and the famous Thompson in .45 caliber in the United States. The British after their painful defeat in Dunkirk quickly realized that they required a cheap, rugged and quickly produced sub machine gun to make up for their losses. The STEN was their solution which served in all theaters and even many years after the war all over the world.

After the war the submachine gun still found a place in most armies and police agencies in spite of the introduction of the assault rifle. The reason for this has been the evolution of manufacturing processes, material used to produce the weapons and the design of the weapons itself and of course the improvement of various 9mm ammunition. The MP5 by Heckler & Koch is a good example of this. Designed in 1964 and is still found in service with police and military units in almost every country in the world.

  The evolution of the submachine gun did not stop with the MP5. The industry took two directions. One direction was to develop and promote new ammunition under the concept of the Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). The two best known were the P90 in 5.7mm from FN Herstal and the MP7 in 4.6mm from H&K. The other direction was to stay with the tried and proven 9mm such as Steyr with their TMP. Brügger & Thomet believed in the 9mm direction as well and in 2001 negotiated with Steyr to acquire all the rights, drawings, patents and spare parts for the TMP.

The gun was completely redesigned and re-launched as the MP9.