Military Review

John Stemple's collapsible weapons: everyone has their own hobby ...

John Stemple's collapsible weapons: everyone has their own hobby ...
Homemade "ball machine" brothers Tolstopyatov. Photo:

"... lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Gospel of Luke 11:4

Weapon and firms. Probably everyone heard (and people who lived during the Soviet era heard for sure) about the gang of the Rostov Tolstopyatov brothers - raiders-"phantomas" who robbed savings banks and ... built a lot of original home-made weapons for their gangster affairs, including even a "ball machine", firing balls from ball bearings loaded into homemade cartridges. There is a story on the Internet that one of the brothers tried to contact the Ministry of Defense through the newspaper in order to forgive him for the “deeds” he had committed, if only he would be given the opportunity to work on new types of small arms. There is another legend that the machine he created delighted specialists, but ... too late, they say, "the train left." Actually, there was nothing to admire there - because a submachine gun, it is a submachine gun, but one could be completely surprised. After all, people showed such resourcefulness and ingenuity. Another thing is that there is something to think about. There have always been and are people who, for a number of reasons, have not received a specialized education, but who, again for various reasons, are “drawn in the wrong direction.” And what about these? To support, to provide opportunities further ... to "deepen" or to nip in the bud, especially if such people are drawn to the creation of weapons? Well, how things stand with us, we all know this very well. But how is such a thrust realized in people across the ocean? Today, our story will be about one such example ...

Homemade weapons of the Tolstopyatov brothers. Photo:

And it so happened that in 1985, a certain John Stemple from Ohio opened his own small arms business: he began to rivet primitive submachine guns in his workshop, like two drops of water similar to the Smith and Wesson M76, which in 1967 this the company copied from the Swedish submachine gun "Karl Gustav" m / 45 - the only difference was that Stempl used in his crafts not a nine-millimeter Luger cartridge, like the Swedes, but along with them "Smith and Wesson", but so beloved by the Americans .45 ACP.

Stempl 76/45: the pattern that started it all. Photo BRP Corporation

The submachine gun, proudly (and very honestly) named by him "Stemple" 76/45, had the simplest automation - that is, with a blowback, 100% taken from the Swedes. Shooting was carried out with an open shutter and only automatic fire. There was no separate manual fuse, but, like on the German Schmeiser, the bolt in the open position can be locked by sliding its handle into the L-shaped groove of the receiver.

Receiver. “Elegance itself…” Photo by BRP Corporation

The receiver itself was made of steel and had a cylindrical shape. From below, a receiver for the magazine, the base of the pistol grip were welded to it, and from above - the simplest sights without any adjustment. Butt - "skeletal structure", folding sideways. Stores for it could be used from the American M3 submachine gun.

"Stempl" 76/45 (STG) and parts for two models at once in two calibers. Photo BRP Corporation

It was produced exclusively for the US civilian market and was, in fact, a real gangster weapon. And everything would have been fine with him if in May 1986 the United States had not adopted a federal law (Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986), known as FOPA'86, which, in particular, banned the manufacture of new automatic weapons for civilian turnover. And Stemple's business would have immediately collapsed, if not for one "but". The fact is that since the creation of this submachine gun in 1985 and until the entry into force of the new law in May 1986, John Stemple managed to manufacture and register about 2000 receiver boxes for him. And in the United States, the only part of the weapon that is subject to accounting and registration is the receiver - the receiver. And since the law does not have retroactive force in the United States, then ... it turned out that he had every right to use all of his registered receivers. That is, to create on their basis all the same old "Stemple" 76/45 and sell them legally, without entering into any conflict with the law!

"Stemple" 76/45 (STG). One of the "configs". Photo BRP Corporation

And yes - after 1986, Stempl continued to assemble submachine guns of his own design based on previously registered receiver boxes, and produced about 1000 units of such weapons. But further, namely in 2003, a small company BRP Corporation, Georgia, bought most of the receivers from him, and in close cooperation with John developed the original STG76 system (STG - Stemple Takedown Gun or "Stemple's collapsible weapon"). What is the essence of this innovation?

Stem attachment. Photo BRP Corporation

Stem attachment. Photo BRP Corporation

It’s just that in this way they got a kind of “set”, which, thanks to the presence of the original receiver of the Stempla system, can be turned into weapons of various configurations, using elements of various systems as “cubes” for assembling, starting from the Suomi submachine gun and up to the AR-15 carbine and even the MG34 machine gun. As such, "new" STG76 submachine guns continue to be on civilian sale until the manufacturer runs out of stock of Stemple's original registered receivers. Naturally, when they run out, Stemp 76/45 and STG76 will no longer be produced for the civilian market. And this automatically translates all these samples into the category of weapon curiosities, which also automatically increases their price and ... demand among amateur collectors!

Folding example. Photo BRP Corporation

Folding example. Photo BRP Corporation

That's how just one single serial number, stuffed on just one metal part before the change in the law, made this cheap submachine gun not only completely legal, but also turned it into a "source" for weapons design.

Without "Pikattini" now nowhere! Photo BRP Corporation

Today, one of the most popular options for such a design is the “a la Thompson” submachine gun, inside which the original receiver from “Stemple” is hidden, which allows this “remake” to fire bursts completely legally. Moreover, although the base Thompson has a fire switch for firing single shots, on its alternative model this translator is a purely decorative detail, and it can only fire in bursts.

STG 34k 2018 Photo by BRP Corporation

STG 34k 2018 Photo by BRP Corporation

In 2007, John Stemple died at the age of 57, and now the BRP is functioning without his participation. However, it should be noted that he lived long enough and was patient enough not to sell all the spare parts immediately after the closure of the company, but to wait until several thousand dollars could be asked for a “legal” submachine gun of his design. Although, in principle, there is nothing special about this weapon - the most primitive welding of finished components and parts, and that's it. That is, it is just pure design. But… dear! For that STG 34k based on the German machine gun MG34 today they are already asking for $ 13! But there are samples and more expensive ...

Here it is - this "machine" for $ 13! Photo BRP Corporation

With an elegant movement, this "machine" turns into ... an easel machine gun! Photo BRP Corporation

In addition, the company also promises a number of unique USPs, such as: this is a simple and reliable design, so these submachine guns are very difficult to break and very easy to repair. The blowback allows them to fire long bursts very smoothly. Due to the fact that the .45 ACP submachine gun has a long bolt stroke, and even a hydraulic buffer, it has minimal recoil when firing in fully automatic mode. And there is nothing in this PP that cannot be easily replaced. All parts that may wear out can be easily replaced without going to a repair shop.

And this is how this machine gun looks in a firing position. Photo BRP Corporation

The worst thing that can happen to this submachine gun is damage or breakage of the receiver, which is completely unlikely. All other parts that may wear in STG configurations are not subject to registration. In addition, the company reports that it has a lot of spare parts and offers free service.

Want black parts, want white… Photo by BRP Corporation

Another important USP is the versatility of the STG76: for example, if you have a STG 7,62 submachine gun in 7,62x25 caliber, a set of Suomi 9 mm parts will allow you to easily change a smaller caliber to a larger one!

Kit (STG) U45-U9SF with suppressor. This is both a flame arrester and a silencer at the same time. I bought myself such a case and shoot for health. Wherever you want and whoever you want! Basically… Photo by BRP Corporation

It's also a very fast-firing weapon. So, STG34k with a blowback, similar to the Suomi M31, which provides a rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute. And besides, this sample has a translator for semi-automatic or fully automatic fire.

Almost like MG34! Photo BRP Corporation

Pressing the trigger in the upper position turns on the single shot mode; pressing on its lower part enables fully automatic fire. Moreover, this trigger can be easily attached to and removed from the 76/45 receiver.

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  1. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 12 February 2022 04: 13
    Somewhere I saw a photo of our PPSh with a bipod converted into a small machine gun ... in the USA, tuning is very well developed.
    I envy the inventors of the United States where they reveal their talent to the fullest, and some kind of rock hangs over our country ... numerous prohibitions, restrictions, pressure from ill-wishers, lack of money deprive people of the opportunity to express themselves.
    Invention has froze in Russia ... this is clearly manifested in civilian weapons .. you look at the crafts that offer our citizens, you want to spit.
    I thank Vyacheslav for the article ... they stepped on a sore spot in the article.
    1. kalibr
      12 February 2022 06: 10
      Quote: Lech from Android.
      stepped on a sore spot in the article.

      Whatever topic we have is a big callus!
    2. Bratkov Oleg
      Bratkov Oleg 25 March 2022 11: 35
      In 1951, my uncle, at the age of 12, stole money from his mother (my grandmother), went to the store, and bought a gun with cartridges. I didn’t have time to shoot, my mother discovered the loss, kicked her ears, handed over the gun back. It was in the Rostov region.
  2. yuriy55
    yuriy55 12 February 2022 04: 40
    Another interesting read! good
    I fully share the opinion of Lech from Android. (Lech from Android)
    Quote: Lech from Android.
    Invention froze in Russia... this is clearly manifested in civilian weapons .. you look at the crafts that offer our citizens one wants to spit.

    It is all the more curious to see how people do it somewhere. And there are plenty of brainy people in the country.
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 12 February 2022 06: 02
    A toy for adult boys, but a smart business move! That's what it means to know the laws...
    Thank you, Vyacheslav Olegovich, we made you happy on Saturday morning.
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 12 February 2022 06: 33
      Igor, Hello! hi
      Very interesting and funny article. good , sincere gratitude to Vyacheslav!
      So, I agree with you, Vyacheslav raised his spirits in the morning. smile drinks

      Homemade cartridges are clearly visible here, and a muffler to the heap. By the way, they also made body armor for themselves. From Gorshkov's testimony:
      "I said to Slava Tolstopyatov - After all, they shoot at us, they can kill us. Don't be afraid, Slava told me, I'll make you a bulletproof vest. And I did" request
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 12 February 2022 07: 53
        I know, Uncle Kostya. I "studied" this topic a little after watching our series "It was in Rostov", if I'm not mistaken. I thought - the director's fiction or the truth? It turned out to be mostly true.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 12 February 2022 08: 05
          And we knew about this gang only by rumors. Only later, when the brothers were taken, large and detailed articles appeared in the Literary Gazette. I didn’t see the film, they told me that politics was put in there, so I didn’t watch it. What the hell is politics - bandits, they are bandits.
          1. The leader of the Redskins
            The leader of the Redskins 12 February 2022 08: 12
            No, I heard that too. From my father, mostly. Not only that - in his depot, in the 70-80s (I don’t remember exactly), some kind of "craftsmen" set up the "release" of pocket revolvers for a "small" cartridge. A few pieces were made, got burned on the sale. But the court and the case were conducted quietly - they did not disturb the public.
            With this, the conversation then about homemade products began.
            The series is not bad in my opinion. It’s just that the directors added the case in Novocherkassk (a hunger riot when people were shot) and lyrical lines - here they are, as for me, they dragged out the series a lot.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 12 February 2022 08: 26
              added there also the case in Novocherkassk (

              This happened long before the story with the Rostov gang, in the 62nd year, they tried to classify the case, but anyway, the rumors went right away, it was impossible to hide the executions of people.
          2. kalibr
            12 February 2022 08: 33
            I was very lucky. My stepfather at that time worked at the Rostov State University at the department of jurisprudence. Worked with correspondence students from the police. Well ... he asked me to show him everything and then he told me everything in detail. I should have written it down, but... who knew. They sent me to sleep anyway, when in Anapa he told the local major there about the three people's commissars ... But I didn’t sleep, ha ha ...
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 12 February 2022 09: 37
              .But I didn't sleep ha ha...

              It's not a sin to eavesdrop, And what kind of people's commissars?
              1. kalibr
                12 February 2022 10: 23
                Well, of course: three Enkavedes - Yagoda, Yezhov, and Beria. He served with them in front of everyone, well ... he was a witness.
                1. Catfish
                  Catfish 12 February 2022 10: 34
                  I would listen myself.
                  I heard enough about Semyon Budyonny from my father, he worked with him, there was little pleasant, I mean Semyon's methods of leadership.
  4. Catfish
    Catfish 12 February 2022 06: 05
    STG34k with a blowback similar to the Suomi M31, which provides a rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute. And besides, this sample has a translator for semi-automatic or fully automatic fire.

    And the trigger mechanism from the scheme and up to the appearance completely copies the MG-34. smile
    Well, that's right, it's figs to rack your brains when everything has already been invented a long time ago.
    1. Gato
      Gato 12 February 2022 06: 15
      And yet yes. What is fundamentally new can be invented in small arms? Only compilation of successful solutions
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 12 February 2022 06: 24
        And on this model

        he, it seems, pulled the fuse at Sudayev.))
        1. kalibr
          12 February 2022 06: 31
          Yes, very similar...
    2. Torukmakto
      Torukmakto 14 February 2022 17: 16
      He doesn't just "copy".
      According to Ian of ForgottenWeapons, many STG34s have stock trigger parts and grips from the original MG-34s.
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 14 February 2022 17: 23
        But this is in vain, it is stupid to disfigure well-made things, creating an idiotic installation out of them. negative
  5. Coward
    Coward 12 February 2022 06: 12
    If the barrels are interchangeable, then you can’t tie a bullet to a specific machine gun?
    1. kalibr
      12 February 2022 10: 26
      Quote: Coward
      If the barrels are interchangeable, then you can’t tie a bullet to a specific machine gun?

      Yes, the number is only on the receiver!
      1. Coward
        Coward 12 February 2022 11: 17
        In this case, indeed "was, in fact, a real gangster weapon."
  6. Gato
    Gato 12 February 2022 06: 21
    As for collapsible weapons, the couple reminded:
  7. Thrifty
    Thrifty 12 February 2022 09: 01
    Well, according to Tolstopyatov, it was the quality of the weapon, the accuracy of fitting every detail that surprised the experts there. The story is that during one raid, the machine gun from Tolstopyatovs misfired only a beautiful bike, objectively speaking, high-class craftsmen worked, the assembly was really flawless!
    1. kalibr
      12 February 2022 10: 24
      And they worked on good machines!
  8. John22
    John22 12 February 2022 10: 56
    Speaking on the topic of the pack about Stempla's PP - a weapon for a shooting range. For the US, this is topical. But it's not a field weapon. The cylindrical receiver is prone to contamination and jamming. The Swedes have this police weapon, and the police do not crawl on the ground. In general, a matter of taste. In the US, weapons are a priority for citizens - we can't live like that. The Soviet government wanted to be untouchable and everything was forbidden to the people. So it goes.
    1. Terran ghost
      Terran ghost 13 February 2022 17: 06
      But it's not a field weapon.

      What exactly is a "non-field weapon"? Civilian carbines, about which the article or the original Swedish submachine gun "Karl Gustav m / 45"?
      Cylindrical receiver prone to contamination and jamming

      Why would a cylindrical receiver be more prone to contamination than a semicircular or square one?
      However, it should be noted that the specific Swedish software "Karl Gustav" with its rather large "wind-open" groove for the movement of the handle is still less protected from pollution than, say, the American software M3A1 "Oiler" or the French software MAT-49, which do not have only there was no such groove, but also the window for ejecting spent cartridges was protected by a special spring-loaded cover.
      The Swedes are a police weapon, and the police do not crawl on the ground.

      What? The original Swedish SMG Carl Gustaf M / 45 is an ARMY weapon that had only an automatic fire mode. His police modifications m45BE (to which a fire mode translator was added) and m45BET (with a single-fire mode, used to launch tear gas grenades) appeared later.
  9. sergan m
    sergan m 12 February 2022 11: 52
    "as in the German "Schmeiser", the shutter in the open position can be fixed by turning its handle into the L-shaped groove of the receiver"
    Schmeiser! Disgrace.
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 12 February 2022 13: 15
      Schmeiser! Disgrace.

      Of course, but in kind - MP-38/40. By the way, they have the stigma "Schmeisser patent" on their stores. they are from P / P MP-28II, maybe that's why they called it Schmeisser - it sounds good and is easy to remember.
  10. Tests
    Tests 12 February 2022 13: 15
    Coward (Sergey), dear, on the cartridge case there are mechanical traces from the mechanisms of a particular sample of firearms, which makes it easy to identify a sample of a weapon, not a difficult task for a forensic expert from the 60s of the 20th century. I don’t even remember about microparticles and DNA analysis. Although, if weapons were confiscated from the scene by those for whose studies the elder brother gave 20 rams ...
    1. Coward
      Coward 12 February 2022 14: 14
      I assume you are talking about the groove from the shutter on the sleeve? And about pricking the capsule with a striker? Which are also removable parts.
  11. Tests
    Tests 12 February 2022 13: 37
    Thrifty, respected, it was not difficult to surprise those experts. Now, if the Tolstopyatovs’ homemade products were given to experts from the Soviet G8 - 17 of the Main Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, they would be surprised ... Yes, the former G1947 will soon celebrate its anniversary. On February 80, 5,6, the USSR government instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to form the in the village of Sarovo, the first police unit with direct subordination of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is this day that is considered the day of the creation of internal affairs bodies at sensitive facilities - OVDRO ... At the very beginning of the 90s of the last century, guys from Kaliningrad were practicing at my native Zvezdochka. One, with the itch of homemade, seeing the machines, in different shops ordered parts for a homemade submachine gun chambered for a "small" cartridge XNUMX in the image and likeness of the Uzi. I assembled and welded some of the parts myself, took them out of the factory, assembled the software in my hostel. Until the moment they came to him with a search, he could not solve the problem with the reliable supply of cartridges. There was a lot of gross cartridge - "chernushki", he used them, but they were in the osalka, each one had to be thoroughly wiped ... that the black market for weapons is wider and deeper than the Baltic Sea...
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 12 February 2022 15: 17
      The settlement "Sarovo" never existed. In 1946, after the placement of a strictly classified facility for the development of nuclear weapons KB-11 in the Sarov Desert, it fell under the heading of secrecy. The documents called: Base No. 112, Gorky-130, Kremlev, Arzamas-75, Arzamas-16, since 1995 - Sarov [
  12. Tests
    Tests 12 February 2022 17: 08
    Aviator_ (Sergey), dear, you are right on 202% the village was called "Sarova", and not Sarovo, as I wrote.
  13. Tests
    Tests 13 February 2022 18: 50
    Coward (Sergey), dear, experts on the sleeve can find 10 traces. You, in the PP, will load the cartridge not into the chamber one at a time, for sure, you will start by equipping the magazine with cartridges, especially if there is a choice of cartridges.