Military Review

German in Estonian. Submachine gun Tallinn-Arsenal


German submachine gun MP-18. In the mid-twenties, Estonia had a noticeable amount of such weapons. Wikimedia Commons Photos

Many models of small arms were distinguished by a special design that could attract attention. Others in this respect did not stand out, but had a curious history. The latter include the Estonian Tallinn-Arsenal submachine gun. It was a slightly modified copy of an existing sample, but it was notable for a very interesting “biography”.

"9 mm automatic pistol"

Until the mid-twenties of the last century, independent Estonia did not have its own submachine guns. There were a number of German-made MP-18 products in service, however, the development of their own weapons of this class was not carried out and probably was not even planned. But the situation changed dramatically at the end of 1924.

On December 1, 1924, the Estonian underground, associated with the Comintern, attempted an armed uprising. There were attacks on several military infrastructure facilities. One of the goals of the Communists was a military school on the street. Tondi. It was planned to seize weapons for further battles.

German in Estonian. Submachine gun Tallinn-Arsenal
General view of the Estonian Tallinn Arsenal. Photo

However, this part of the plan did not work. One of the cadets of the school managed to take a comfortable position and denied the attackers to break into the second floor with dense fire. While he alone held the defense, the comrades managed to arm themselves and come to the rescue. The cadets successfully fought off the attack and prevented the loss of weapons.

According to available sources, the cadet from the second floor of the barracks was armed with a "9 mm automatic pistol." The specific type of this product is unknown and controversy is possible. According to a common version, the underground were stopped by fire from the MP-18 submachine gun - Estonia had such weapons and could be used in battles on December 1.

"Own development"

The battle for the second floor of the barracks showed the practical value of automatic weapons under a pistol cartridge. A fundamental decision was made about the need to produce their own submachine guns for arming the army.

External differences between the two samples are minimal. Photo

In 1925-26 The designers of the Tallinn Arsenal, led by Johannes Teyman, developed the first Estonian submachine gun project. Rather, it was about copying the German product MP-18 / I - but with noticeable improvements that take into account the wishes of the army and the technological capabilities of the enterprise.

Later, according to the name of the developer, the new weapon was called Tallinn-Arsenal or Arsenali Püstolkuulipilduja (“Arsenal submachine gun”). Also in some sources there is the designation M23, supposedly indicating the year of the creation of the weapon. However, this version does not correspond to other known data and is probably the result of some confusion.

Soon, the new model was successfully tested and was recommended for adoption. In 1927, an order appeared for serial production in the interests of the Estonian army. A few months later, the first serial products went to the customer.

design Features

At its core, the Tallinn-Arsenal submachine gun was an MP-18 / I product with certain modifications. The main design features and operating principles have not changed. At the same time, the changes introduced had a slight effect on the combat and operational characteristics.

The country's leadership is getting acquainted with new weapons. Photo

Like the base model, Tallinn-Arsenal was an automatic weapon under the pistol cartridge, using the principle of free shutter. The basis of the design was a cylindrical receiver connected to the perforated barrel casing. All this assembly was fixed on a wooden bed. The box magazine was fed into the receiver on the left.

Inside the receiver was placed the simplest system of a massive shutter and a return-combat spring. The trigger mechanism provided for locking the shutter in the rear position; shooting was conducted from the rear whispered. There was still no separate fuse - the shutter was blocked due to the L-shaped branch of the handle groove.

Armed with Estonia at that time was the FN M1903 pistol chambered for 9x20 mm Browning Long. Wanting to ensure the unification of small arms, the army demanded that the German submachine gun be processed to fit "their" ammunition. Under such a cartridge made a new elongated box magazine for 40 rounds. As before, he adjoined the weapon on the left. The receiver and latch did not change.

Soldiers on a halt. Only one fighter received automatic weapons. Photo

The original chamber was slightly lengthened under the new 20 mm sleeve, and a groove was added for the protruding rim. We recounted the parameters of the moving parts, taking into account the energy of the new cartridge. The barrel was lengthened to 210 mm, and outside it appeared dales for better cooling. On the original MP-18, the barrel was covered by a casing with many round holes. The Estonian-made casing had several longitudinal rows with three oval holes in each.

Some sources mention the refinement of the trigger, which provided the opportunity to choose single or burst shooting. However, these data do not find confirmation.

Tallinn-Arsenal differed from MP-18 / I in the form of a wooden box. The gunsmiths abandoned the pistol projection on the neck and made some other minor changes.

One of the surviving museum "Tallinn-Arsenals". Photo

The resulting submachine gun was slightly shorter than the base sample (809 mm versus 815 mm), but heavier - 4,27 kg versus 4,18 kg (without magazine). Due to the refinement of automation, the rate of fire was brought up to 600 rds / min. The effective range of fire remained unchanged.

Limited edition

The Arsenali Püstolkuulipilduja submachine gun was adopted in 1927, and then an order appeared for the serial production of such weapons. The weapon should have been a developer. The Estonian army required a large number of new automatic weapons, but due to limited funding, it was necessary to restrain their desires. Soon a new order appeared, this time from the police.

The production of submachine guns lasted only a few years and was curtailed in the early thirties. During this time, the army and police received no more than 570-600 new model submachine guns from the Tallinn Arsenal. However, against the background of the total number of power structures, even such a quantity of weapons did not look unacceptably small.

Museum submachine gun. Photo

From a certain time, Estonia tried to bring its “development” to the international market. Individual copies were handed over to third countries for testing. However, orders did not follow, and the only buyers of Tallinn-Arsenal were their own security forces.

Short service

The serial production of Tallinn-Arsenal was distributed between army units and police departments. Due to insufficient numbers, they did not become the main weapon of the army and did not supplant the rifles, but nevertheless improved the overall firepower of a number of units.

The new weapon was actively used at shooting ranges and during field exercises - and demonstrated all the positive qualities of automatic systems. However, it quickly became clear that it has a number of problems. An elongated store turned out to be unreliable and caused problems with serving. Dales on the surface of the barrel hardly helped cooling, but complicated production. There were also other disadvantages.

He, a view from a different angle. Photo

Finally, by the mid-thirties the design of weapons was obsolete. At the heart of Tallinn-Arsenal was a submachine gun from the time of the First World War, and since then the weapon thought has managed to move forward. Both the MP-18 and its Estonian counterpart could no longer compete with modern and promising models.

In the mid-thirties, the Estonian army began searching for a new submachine gun to replace the Tallinn Arsenal. These events ended in 1937 with the adoption of the Finnish-made Suomi KP-31 product. Then they signed a contract for the supply of imported weapons. Before joining the USSR, independent Estonia managed to get 485 ordered submachine guns.

In connection with the adoption of a new model, the old weapons were decommissioned and sold. Several submachine guns were sent to Latvia. One sample went to Japan. Probably, the Estonian army planned to interest foreign armies and sell unnecessary weapons. Third countries did not want to buy it - but almost all of the remaining submachine guns were acquired by a certain private company.

Finnish Suomi submachine gun replacing the Tallinn Arsenal. Wikimedia Commons Photos

Probably, one of the most interesting episodes in the “biography” of Estonian submachine guns is associated with the activities of this company. A certain amount of such weapons - according to various sources, from dozens to all the remaining items - soon ended up in Spain, in the hands of Republican fighters. How exactly and by what routes the decommissioned products came from Estonia to Spain is not known.

The Spanish Civil War includes the latest references to the Tallinn Arsenal in the armies and battlefields. Apparently, later this weapon was not used by anyone. The samples left in storage were sent to the scrap, although some products managed to survive and go to museums.

First and second
In terms of design and technology, there was nothing remarkable about the Tallinn-Arsenal submachine gun. However, this sample had a very interesting story. It was the result of Estonia’s first attempt to launch its own production of modern automatic weapons, even if using someone else’s design.

This experience was not entirely successful, and after a few years, their own submachine gun was replaced with an imported one. However, work on the independent creation of weapons did not stop. In the late thirties, the Tallinn Arsenal developed a submachine gun, known as the M1938.

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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 29 March 2020 07: 43 New
    Tallinn-Arsenal submachine gun. It was a slightly modified copy of an existing sample,
    it was about copying the German product MP-18 / I - but with noticeable improvements that take into account the wishes of the army and the technological capabilities of the enterprise.
    So with noticeable or slightly? Reread when we write ..... repeat
    1. Lynx-z
      Lynx-z 25 June 2020 06: 42 New
      alterations may be minor, but noticeable .. these are different concepts
  2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 29 March 2020 08: 12 New
    Thank you!
    What, what, but I didn’t hear about the Estonian submachine gun!
    Good day to everyone, Kote!
    1. cost
      cost 29 March 2020 08: 45 New
      In the late thirties, the Tallinn Arsenal developed a submachine gun, known as the M1938

      Under this name, the Beretta M1938 submachine gun is better known.

      1. John22
        John22 30 March 2020 10: 29 New
        Yes, Beretta 1938 is a good car, stable, but high-tech. The USSR strove for more simple ones.
    2. Mister X
      Mister X 30 March 2020 14: 16 New
      Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
      What, what, but I didn’t hear about the Estonian submachine gun!

      hi There are many things unknown to us ...
      These photos have something in common.
      Do not find?
  3. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 29 March 2020 08: 32 New
    I first read about this submachine gun in the book by A.B. Beetle, where the following is written about this weapon: "Slightly modified in details German Bergman submachine gun 2018. Produced before World War II." Moreover, in the same book, A.B. Zhukov wrote that the MR-18 submachine gun was developed by Schmeisser, but at the same time bore the name of Bergman, who was engaged in its production. If I am not mistaken, Estonia is the only Baltic republic of the Little Entente, which during the Interbellum period mastered the production of its own small arms, albeit in fact a copy of someone else's development.
    1. sibiryouk
      sibiryouk 29 March 2020 15: 30 New
      Schmeiser worked at the Bergman factory, so the PP was named after the owner of the production, but Schmeiser patented all of its designs.
      1. bunta
        bunta 29 March 2020 20: 08 New
        Quote: sibiryouk
        but Schmeiser patented all of his designs

        patents used in MP-18 are written in the name of Bergman
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 30 March 2020 14: 03 New
          Good day, Andrey! hi And what happened with the patents when Schmeiser, working with Heinel, created MP 28 on the basis of MP 18 / I?
          1. bunta
            bunta 30 March 2020 20: 07 New
            He didn't work for Herbert Hähnel. He was a full-fledged member of the company (or shareholder) with a 16% stake, like his brother in the weapons and bicycle firm of Karl Gottlebib Hähnel. Since the MP-18 used patents issued in the name of Theodor Bergman (although the inventor was, apparently, Schmeisser after all), he just changed the design a little to get around his own invention. If in the MP-18 the return spring was inserted inside the striker, then in the MP-28 it was larger in diameter and rested against the outer collar. And changed the receiver latch. This was enough to neutralize the patent claims of the Bergman family. Added a fire mode switch, like in Luis Stange's MP-19, and a scope marked at 1 km (!) - nonsense for a "great gunsmith". In general, a trivial example from the field of what is "invention", "patent" and how to get around it. Of the thousands of patents issued for inventions, only one or even fewer can be called the present invention. Smoke the basics of TRIZ by Heinrich Saulovich Altshuller. But just don't try to master this science on your own :)
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 30 March 2020 20: 18 New
              Thank you, Andrey. I had no doubt that I would get a completely comprehensive answer from you.
              If also about Altshuller in more detail, then I will be very grateful to you, from the bottom of my heart. The surname is very familiar, but I can’t attach it to anything, gaps in education. )))
              1. bunta
                bunta 31 March 2020 10: 11 New
                I think that you have already looked at the wiki what TRIZ is.
                A little from myself. The wiki says that G.S.Altshuller analyzed 40 thousand
                patents in an attempt to FIND REGULATIONS (!) in the process of solving problems and the emergence of new ideas. He really sat on the floor and sorted patents into bundles into five categories and came to the conclusion that there were very few present inventions. Most patents are issued for technical solutions,
                which can be circumvented by other design or technological means. Moreover, the more complex the solution, the easier it is to get around it. Which Schmeisser proved by changing the design of the receiver latch and return spring in the MP-28 in order to circumvent the patent claims of the Bergman family for their own inventions, but which belong to Theodor Bergman.
                The present inventions are, for example, a hole at the end of a sewing needle, or a round hole on a blade of a Spiderko folding knife. Well, or a wheel ...
                This was the first step towards TRIZ.
                Further, the GAW developed an algorithm following which, you can increase the effectiveness of the developer. The first step is the concept of the system and the formulation of the problem. Then the detection and description of the contradiction that needs to be resolved in the system and, finally, the actual set of methods for resolving the contradictions. As it turned out later, this set is universal for any problems, and over time TRIZ as an engineering theory was transformed into what is now called system analysis. That's just
                There are no Altshullers so that they can correctly write scientific literature, as the GAW did.

                An example of TRIZ is not entirely from the field of engineering:
                At the time, the GAW was in prison. The light was constantly on in his cell, he was constantly dragged to interrogations, but he was not allowed to sleep. Periodically, the guards looked into the camera through the peephole and controlled so that he did not sleep. But. When he was dragged for interrogations, investigators did not see signs of fatigue on his face. The problem is a person should sleep, but they will not give him. He can only sleep in a cell, but from time to time he is controlled by the guard. How does the guard determine that a person is sleeping? Through closed eyes. This is a contradiction - a person should sleep with his eyes open, but you can’t sleep with your eyes open. What can be done? Draw. The decision was this. GAW sat on a stool with his head back
                on the wall. He glued paper on his eyes. His cellmate, hearing the approach of the guard, began to walk in front of the GAW and prove to him, for example, the Pythagorean theorem. The guard saw the picture. Two learned convicts. One walks around the camera and rubs something to the other. That other
                sitting with his arms crossed and looking at the ceiling with a smart look. The problem is solved.
                1. Catfish
                  Catfish 31 March 2020 12: 02 New
                  Thank you, Andrew. hi As for the wiki, I don’t have much trust in it.
          2. Mister X
            Mister X 31 March 2020 09: 46 New
            Quote: Sea Cat
            And what happened to patents when Schmeiser, working for Heinel

            Not so long ago they wrote about this. I had no time to verify, I worked on my material)
  4. Avior
    Avior 29 March 2020 10: 47 New
    You can understand why the magazine for 40 rounds is too long, then this class of weapons was seen more like a machine gun under a pistol cartridge than a hand-held automatic weapon, hence the barrel casing
    But still, questions arise
    Cartridge 9 • 20 is noticeably weaker than cartridge 9 Steam, so why did the PP during rework get harder?
    Why lengthen the barrel with a weaker cartridge?
    The question arises by design
    It just begs to extend the box for a comfortable grip, since the store is still fastened to the side, and not from the bottom, and nothing prevents this?
    No, the bed is short, and when shooting it is inconvenient to hold because of the small distance between the hands.
    1. ssergey1978
      ssergey1978 29 March 2020 14: 47 New
      A longer barrel, and therefore heavier, allows for more intense shooting.
      1. Avior
        Avior 29 March 2020 18: 24 New
        The length of the barrel is tied to the cartridge in the calculation of obtaining maximum speed at the time of leaving the barrel
        For 9 mm pair it is 200 mm
        1. ssergey1978
          ssergey1978 29 March 2020 21: 04 New
          True galleries, and for MP 38 under the same 9x19, for some reason, the trunk is 251 mm.
          1. Avior
            Avior 29 March 2020 21: 30 New
            Probably shoots even more intensively.
            1. ssergey1978
              ssergey1978 29 March 2020 21: 35 New
              Probably. If you delved into the inner balistics, you would see that the bullet gains 80% of energy in the first 4-6 cm of the path along the bore. The difference in kinetic inertia and speed, for example, in Akm 715m. with. and RPK 745 m.s. scanty. Moreover, a short barrel is easier to make better. But a long, and therefore heavier barrel is needed for intense shooting.
              1. Undecim
                Undecim 30 March 2020 15: 28 New
                And if you still delved into the design of automatic weapons, you would be surprised to learn that the length of the barrel does not depend on the intensity of the fire, but on what ballistic solution you have chosen and on whether it is necessary to ensure this solution, while remaining in acceptable framework of the design characteristics of the designed weapon.
                In this case, all the components of the equation of work of the powder gases in the bore, except for one, are dictated by the selected cartridge, i.e. the caliber, the weight of the bullet, the powder charge, the fictitious coefficients of the mass of the bullet, the completeness of the diagram and the cross-sectional area have already been set and cannot be changed.
                Therefore, to ensure the necessary action of the bullet on the target at a given distance, i.e. To ensure the necessary muzzle energy, it is necessary, in this case, to ensure the corresponding bullet path length in the barrel channel. These conditions determine the length of the barrel.
                1. Undecim
                  Undecim 30 March 2020 17: 20 New
                  Since no minus comment accompanies, it should be understood that a person simply could not master the meaning of what was written.
  5. Gringo
    Gringo 29 March 2020 13: 41 New
    The country's leadership gets acquainted with new weapons.

    This is a photograph of the Latvian army, just an acquaintance with the Estonian "ersatz". Yes, and the signature is in Latvian, and it takes place in Dreilini, at the moment a district / suburb of Riga.
    1. alsoclean
      alsoclean 30 March 2020 13: 45 New
      Exactly! On the photo Karlis Ulmanis - "great and terrible". Dictator, president, "father of the nation", usurper and much more ...
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 30 March 2020 13: 54 New
      Thanks for the amendment, Sergey. hi The difference in the form of clothing in two old photographs immediately caught my eye.
  6. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 29 March 2020 18: 17 New
    Thanks to the author. Excavated non-trivial material. Easy to read.