AR-15 of the Colt company. Right view. Swedish Army Museum, Stockholm
The same rifle. Left view
“A son must become a hero if his father is a hero!”
The future famous gunsmith 24 of September 1884 of the year was born in the family of Luis Schmeisser, one of the leading designers of the Bergmann company, which specialized in the development and production of automatic weapons. So Hugo inherited the profession of a gunsmith from his father and subsequently got a job in the same company.
But this is a very interesting photo: a sentry with the M16 rifle, pacing in front of the princely palace in Monaco. Well, at least from the principle they have adopted something ... European. But no - M16, and no nails!
And then it was he who invented and embodied something completely epochal in metal - a short quick-fire carbine that fired pistol cartridges, that is, the first submachine gun in the history of mankind. In fact, from a formal point of view, this machine was second, since the first was the Italian Villar-Perosa M1915. However, in the original version it was a real machine gun, moreover, with a shield and two barrels, designed to equip airplanes and only then literally accidentally fell into the infantry. This weapon was not widely used, which cannot be said about the creation of Schmeisser. Here is his submachine gun called MP18, which not only turned out to be convenient for use, but also became the prototype for all the constructions of this type of infantry weapon that followed.
Submachine gun MP18
A new type of weapon
When firing a cartridge of 9 mm caliber from the Parabellum pistol, it had acceptable overall dimensions, which made it easy to use it in the trenches, a convenient wooden stock with the same stock. The store was located on the side and this gave the shooter a number of specific inconveniences, but on the other hand, he could snuggle up to the ground while firing from a prone position - a very important property for an infantryman on the battlefield. Shop design engineer Leer on 32 cartridge, also used Luger from P.08. It was heavy, expensive and difficult to manufacture. But time was running out, so Schmeisser used what he had on hand. Therefore, stores with direct feed capacity of 20 and 32 cartridge for MP18 appeared only after the war.
In total, at the end of the war, Germany managed to produce 18 of thousands of such submachine guns - a seemingly impressive number. But here in the troops they got much less, no more than 10 thousand. So they simply did not manage to play any special role.
And then Germany, having lost the war, received the Treaty of Versailles, which banned it from manufacturing and submachine guns - only a small number of them were allowed to be used by the police. All German arms enterprises, except for the Simson company, were closed under this agreement, so the gunsmiths who worked for them had no choice but to cross over. At the same time, Theodor Bergmann and Hugo Schmeisser quarreled very seriously because he transferred the right to manufacture MP.18 to the Swiss company ZiG, while the patent belonged to him, not to anyone, namely Schmeisser.
They broke up already in the 1919 year, and Bergmann began to cooperate with the Swiss, but Schmeisser, together with his relative Paul Koch, managed to found the company Industriewerk Auhammer Koch Co. She was engaged in the production of spare parts for bicycles and air rifles, but Schmeisser himself continued to develop promising models of submachine guns. In 1925, the Koch and Schmeisser venture went bankrupt, and they got a job at CGHaenel, owned by Herbert Genel (or Henel).
Meanwhile, the Reichswehr tested the MP28 / II submachine gun - an improved version of the MP18, which had a more technological design and a simple box magazine on the 32 cartridge. He had to compete with the Bergmann MP34 and MP35 submachine guns, but it turned out that the design proposed by Hugo Schmeisser was still more reliable and more efficient. The new model was immediately adopted by the German police, and its commercial sales began in Latin America and Africa, and was widely used in China, Spain, Belgium and Japan. It was used in a number of wars: the Gran Chaco war, the civil wars in Spain and China, as well as during the Second World War.
Another historical shot ...
In 1932, Schmeisser and Genel joined the NSDAP, a step that was completely understandable, and testifying to the fact that both of them very well understood that Hitler’s coming to power promises military orders and new profits. And so it happened. As soon as Hitler discarded all the limitations of the Versailles Peace Treaty, the money flowed into their pocket.
All the pre-war years, Schmeisser continued to do what he liked: he designed the MK.34 / III submachine gun with a wooden box from the 98K carbine and the 1936 model of the year, which already had a folding stock.
Schmeisser submachine gun MK.36, III.
Hugo Schmeisser had nothing to do with the MP38 and MP40 submachine guns - their designer was Heinrich Volmer, an engineer from Erma. Volmer even sued Schmeisser because he used a number of its structural parts in his 1936 machine gun of the year, and Schmeisser lost this process.
Bergman M39 submachine gun
Schmeisser submachine gun also happened to fight!
But in the 1941, Schmeisser created the MP41 machine gun in which the plastic console of the bolt box, the metal folding butt and the pistol grip were replaced with a wooden box with the usual butt from his MP.28 / II. MP41 was also able to shoot with a single fire, and due to some increase in weight and size, as well as due to the presence of a strong stock, it became more convenient for infantry to use it. Including them to fight in hand-to-hand combat. But despite all its advantages, the MP41, although it was released in a small amount, did not supplant the old submachine guns.
And he created the famous Sturmgever!
Then Schmeisser created his most famous design: an automatic (assault rifle) Stg.44. It was one of the first small arms development to be adopted for special intermediate cartridges (the first, many experts consider the American M1 carbine to be the first). The contract with Schmeisser for its creation was concluded in April 1938, but only in April 1942, its first samples were submitted for testing. In 1943, the machine passed military tests and was called MP43. Then it was renamed MP44, and then, finally realizing that the new weapon was shooting a much more powerful cartridge than a pistol, they gave the name Sturmgewehr, (Stg) - that is, an “assault rifle”. Produced in the amount of almost half a million copies of Stg.44 was used at the final stage of the war, but for it was constantly lacking ammunition - cartridges 7,92 × 33. Then, after the end of World War II, another successful development of Schmeisser was carried out in various countries of the world, including Argentina, the USA, China, Yugoslavia, Turkey and Czechoslovakia. He fought in Korea and Vietnam, found use in various local conflicts, and in Latin America the police of many countries still use it, since there are enough cartridges for him now. In West and East Germany, after the war, this machine gun was used until the seventies of the last century, but only spare parts and cartridges were produced for it, since the machine guns themselves were taken from stocks of wartime.
MP44 chambered 8x33 mm. (Swedish Army Museum, Stockholm)
Schmeisser in captivity
When fascist Germany was defeated, Genel’s factory was redesigned at the request of the Soviet commandant to produce consumer goods, and, in fact, people weren’t interested in hunting rifles then. Nevertheless, in 1946, she was still allowed to produce and sell hunting weapons. But Hugo Schmeisser himself was “taken prisoner”, that is, they offered to work in the USSR for good money, where he was taken away in the autumn of that year along with other German gunsmiths. He was supposed to work at the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant. Documents about the stay of the Germans on Izhmash were classified, hence all the speculation that the Kalashnikov assault rifle is the brainchild of Hugo Schmeisser. In fact, he did not really try to work there. He prepared a sketch of a submachine gun under the 9-mm "Luger cartridge, a couple of minor projects, and most importantly, what he was doing there was" consulting on the design of models of infantry small arms. "
Feature on Hugo Schmeisser written in Izhmash in the fall of 1951
A sketch of a submachine gun under an 9-mm cartridge, made by Schmeisser for the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant in November 1949.
He worked a little for the Bolsheviks and ... enough!
In the characterization that the party organizer of the plant wrote in 1951 in 44 in the year 1947, it is reported that “it did not bring any benefit during his stay”, that he was unfamiliar with the secret works of the plant, which means that he was not involved in the development of the latest Soviet small arms and out of the question. In general, involving him in cooperation with the Soviet side turned out to be a “shot idle”. Slave is not a pilgrim, and that’s it. Although yes, indeed, the sector stores Stg.XNUMX and AK XNUMX are very similar in appearance. However, outwardly similar, in general, are hammers and all aircraft, since this similarity is determined by their functionality.
Hugo Schmeisser was only allowed to go home to Germany in the summer of 1952, and a year later, on 12 of September, he died in a hospital in Erfurt, at the age of 68.
The right marketing is all over the head!
And then in our days there were smart people who thought that the name Schmeisser is a great brand and why not use it? T. Hoff and A. Schumacher, who owned the Waffen Schumacher GmbH on shares, did just that - they created the new Schmeisser GmbH. It is located in the city of Krefeld, not far from the famous Belgian city of Liège - the forge of European small arms. And if their former company was engaged only in wholesale sales of finished weapons and various weapons accessories from different manufacturers, but now they are engaged in its production.
Here, of course, a lot depended on marketing, that is, choosing the best model for the market. And they decided to produce the American AR-15 rifle, and for several segments of consumers at once: those who are involved in sports shooting, for hunting, and also for police units. Prior to this, the AR-15 rifles were imported into Europe from the United States and Great Britain, but these supplies did not fully satisfy the market. Marketing analysis showed that it is profitable to produce them in Germany, focusing on traditional German quality in their advertising, and this is what partners decided to play on!
Moreover, and this is the most important, no special changes were made to the AR-15 design. Both rifles and carbines based on it work according to the direct gas extraction scheme, that is, powder gases act directly on the bolt without any intermediate parts, and they fall into the receiver through a long tube placed above the barrel. Well, the breech of the barrel, like the base model, is locked by a rotating shutter.
The cocking handle of it is quite traditional T-shaped, and, as in the original image, is located in the back of the receiver, above the level of the butt. When shooting, it remains stationary. And also on the right side of the receiver there is a characteristic device - a bolt rammer so that the shooter can be able to close it manually in those cases when it did not close due to clogging or due to insufficient force of its return spring.
Conveniently, the window for ejecting spent cartridges is closed with a special spring-loaded anti-dust curtain, which then opens automatically when the shutter is cocked. The main difference between the German AR-15 trigger mechanism is that it has a single action, that is, these rifles cannot fire bursts. Only single shots. Sights can be mounted very different, depending on the model, and there can be a lot of options for their installation on weapons. Again, it is interesting that the trunks - the most important part of the weapon are not made by Schmeisser GmbH, but by Lothar Walther. However, not only the barrels, but also all the details of the Schmeisser AR-15 rifle (both large and smallest) are also made to order and drawings by numerous third-party manufacturers, and the Schmeissers at their plant only assemble ready-made samples.
Moreover, all Schmeisser AR-15 weapons fully comply with the latest NATO standard “Mil Spec”, with 100% interchangeability of all its parts with rifles and carbines of this type already manufactured. The receiver uses the durable aluminum alloy 7075 T6, and it is of the same quality as the materials used in military weapons. The shutter is made of the best Thyssen Krupp steel. At the same time, forgings are used with minimal tolerances using Schmeisser GmbH's own equipment. The forging process is carried out in such a way that the compaction of the surface and internal structure of the metal occurs to the same extent. Hence the excellent quality of all the parts, even if the company works mainly in the civilian market.
The assortment range of the company consists of a dozen AR-15 variants, which are produced under three-caliber cartridges: .223 Rem, .222 Rem and 9х19 mm. The main differences are in the length of the barrel and its mounting options. Well, this is understandable, because the design of the rifle is based on the development of J. Stouner. And all its advantages and disadvantages, and it is known - this is both low reliability and great demand for care, along with lightness and compactness, migrated to all Schmeiser models. However, company representatives say that its engineers managed to cope with most of the shortcomings, not only through the use of new technologies (for example, better materials and a “slippery” coating), but also through minor, at first glance, structural changes. So the slogan of the company "Made in Germany" is by no means an advertising cliché. By the way, it is possible to buy the products of this company today in Russia too, there would be money, but if you just order and pay, you will be sent immediately by mail.
AR-15 M5 - carbine with a barrel 425 mm. Telescopic, four-position butt. Forend immediately with four Picatinny rails. The receiver is made of aircraft aluminum, and the entire upper and lower forend, as well as the side surfaces, are Picatinny rail guides. The kit includes a removable carrying handle and an 10 magazine for plastic cartridges. You can buy 20 or even 30-charging stores. Installation of a standard plastic forend is possible. Caliber .223 Rem (standard) or .222 Rem (customer choice)
AR-15 M4 - an analogue of the American carbine M4, with a barrel length of 374 mm
AR-15 A4 - a sample with a barrel length of 508 mm. "Classic" butt from M16A4
AR-15 S4 - carbine with barrel length 267 mm
AR-15 S9 - a submachine gun under the 9-mm "Luger" cartridge. In the receiver there is an adapter for box magazines for pistol cartridges. Barrel length 267 mm. Model AR-15 S9 Carbine. This is the same submachine gun all under the same 9-mm "Luger" cartridge, but with a barrel length of 425 mm
AR-15 M5F - Schmeisser AR-15 M5, but has a free-hanging trunk. Has a Picatinny rail. Butt and pistol grip - adjustable
AR-15 Ultramatch - a rifle for target shooting, with a freely suspended match barrel length 425 mm or 508 mm. The stock is permanent. Standard forend can be replaced by a cylindrical
AR-15 Ultramatch STS. Barrel - stainless steel length 508 mm or 610 mm
AR-15 Solid 1 is a self-loading rifle of the new series, which was issued taking into account the requirements of the law for army and police forces. The main feature of its design is that the upper bar of the receiver is made at the same time with the forearm, which is why it also has such a name - Solid (that is, a monolith). The attachment of the butt, and, accordingly, the attachment at the junction of parts of the receiver, are reinforced. The barrel length can be both 425 mm and 374 mm. AR15 Solid 2 is a civilian version of the same army rifle. But the upper bar is detachable.
AR-15 Dynamic 1 / 2 - a very light example of AR-15
Color sniper rifle
To be continued ...