Military Review

Submachine gun M3

It's no secret that the peaks of development weapons usually occur at the time of large-scale military actions and in the post-war period, in peacetime, however, most promising developments remain only prototypes. As shows история, most countries are not ready for war, even if they know in advance about its inevitability. This is due to the fact that there is no elementary or sorry money for the urgent development of promising areas in the means to destroy their own kind. But when the rooster bites, everyone starts to scratch quickly, trying to increase the efficiency of their army. As for the Second World War and handguns, first of all she “gave” us an intermediate cartridge, and later also a weapon for this ammunition, but this was after Victory, during the war the main weapon with the possibility of automatic fire, there was a submachine gun and not only here. Despite the fact that this class of weapons was already known for a very long time, many countries, up to the Second World War, did not have a good enough sample of PP that could be produced in huge batches, quickly and cheaply, while maintaining reliability and efficiency. It may sound strange now, but the USA was one of such countries.

Since the active participation of the United States in World War II, it became clear that the submachine gun is an indispensable weapon, the need for which the army is very high. However, at that time there was no sample, the production of which would have been drawn by the weapons enterprises in order to fully meet the needs of the army in such weapons. And it was not about the replenishment of lost or broken weapons, but about full security. There were attempts to push through the Thompson submachine gun, but even if you close your eyes to the size and weight of the weapon, then arming the army with such a model would lead to substantial financial losses, if not to ruin the country. For this reason, it was decided to develop a new sample, cheap, simple and effective.

The choice fell on the submachine gun, which was developed by General Motors. This submachine gun was developed entirely on the company's own initiative without an order from the Department of Defense, it was planned to offer it to American paratroopers. Due to its small size and minimum protruding elements beyond the weapon, this sample could well become a good weapon in its original form. In addition, this submachine gun had another very interesting feature. This feature consisted in the cartridge that used the weapon. Developed a submachine gun chambered for 9x19, and this was done in order to reduce the ammunition, which carries a fighter. The bottom line was that the calculation was on the replenishment of ammunition from the reserves of the enemy. It is difficult to say it was a plus or a minus. On the one hand, it is quite reasonable to use the same ammunition as the enemy; reducing the weight of portable equipment, weapons and ammunition is always a plus for a fighter. However, in my opinion, it is somewhat presumptuous to count on a quick fight and victory. The fight may be delayed, and elementary cartridges may not be enough for the soldiers, although you can, of course, politely ask the enemy to share ammunition, but for some reason it seems to me that such a request will not be successful.

Apparently it was for this reason that it was decided to modify the weapon a little, namely, to adapt it for the .45ACP cartridges. In general, this decision was very hasty. It is clear that at that time this ammunition was more common, however, if they left 9х19, but already without counting on the enemy’s ammunition, the weapon would be much more effective. The heavy slow bullet .45ASP had not the best trajectory of movement, which complicated the use of a submachine gun at maximum distances, and even reduced the maximum distance for using a submachine gun. Although, on the other hand, it is difficult to argue with the fact that hitting the bullet cartridge .45ASP more effectively. In general, the 9x19 for a submachine gun seems to me more suitable. Subsequently, submachine guns were able to supply 9x19 cartridges when replacing individual parts.

This type of weapon was adopted by the US Army under the designation М3, which is very strange, because under this designation it just didn’t have been accepted into service. After the weapon was run in military operations, it was decided to improve it a little. Namely, replace the sights with fixed, designed to fire at a distance of 100 meters, and also add a flame arrester. After these improvements, the sample received the designation M3A1.

By itself, the submachine gun is a fairly simple sample in production, despite the apparent complexity of the design. Virtually all parts of the weapon are made by stamping, so that the production of this submachine gun cost just 22 dollars and cents, compared with the Thompson submachine gun, the savings were obvious. The basis for the submachine gun was the free shutter of the weapon. The fire is conducted from an open shutter, which is not the best way affects the accuracy of the first shot. The trigger mechanism of the weapon does not allow firing by single shots, it is possible to conduct only automatic fire. In general, the sample is the simplest, if you do not take into account several interesting details, the use of which in the design of the weapon is quite controversial.

First of all, the absence of a handle for cocking the bolt catches the eye. The arming of the shutter of the weapon is carried out using a separate mechanism, the handle of which is located between the safety bracket and the weapon store. By pulling the handle on itself, the shutter can be cocked, but the handle itself will return to its place under the action of the return spring and will remain motionless when fired. On the one hand, the desire of designers to make the sample as closed as possible, protected from dust and sand is understandable, but this design complication had its drawbacks and primarily affected the reliability of the submachine gun. Proved the infidelity of such a decision and the practical use of a submachine gun. Subsequently, it was decided to completely abandon the cocking mechanism, and the cocking would still be quite original. In order to cock the shutter, it was necessary to pull the bolt back to its extreme rear position through an enlarged window to eject the spent cartridges with your finger. In order to protect the submachine gun from the negative effects of dust and sand, the window for ejection of spent cartridges is covered with a lid. This cover was also a weapon safety device, since it had a welded plate that prevented the movement of the bolt forward. Thus, for firing, it was necessary to open the lid that covers the window for ejection of spent cartridges. The weapon had some more interesting decisions, but more reasonable. The right shaft of the retractable butt could be used as a ramrod of a weapon, a small oiler was placed in the handle of the submachine gun, and so on. In general, really good ideas were combined into weapons with those that cannot be found in self-made samples.

Despite this, the weapon was quite popular and common even after the end of the war. The submachine gun even got its own name "Grease gun". The origin of this name is due to two reasons. Firstly, the weapon required quite frequent lubrication for its trouble-free operation, and secondly, the appearance of the weapon was very similar to grease nipples.

Despite some strange decisions in arms, in service with the US Army, this submachine gun stood 50 for years until 1992. I managed to take part in many military conflicts, in almost all where you could see the United States. Over the 50 years, according to official data, more than 600 thousands of units of submachine guns were created, which can be safely multiplied by 2, since the underground factories were very quickly mastered the production of weapons.

The weapon is alive and is now actively used by the Philippines Marine Corps, and is used since the 2005 of the year, of course, not in its original form. If we talk about earlier versions, it is impossible not to mention the silent sample that appeared in 1944 year, Chinese unlicensed copies Type 36 and Type 37 for cartridges .45ACP and 9х19, respectively. Type 50 from Taiwan, R.M.1 and R.A.2 from Argentina and so on. Despite the fact that the weapon was very far from ideal, it was widely spread, although I personally did not understand what they found in this submachine gun. Needless to say, this particular submachine gun is the permanent film actor of absolutely all US-made films about the Second World War and is associated with it, like our PCA. By the way, our cinema didn’t mark this weapon in the film “The Dawns Are Quiet Here”, however, the Germans are armed with M3, and almost a year earlier than the M3 was adopted by the US Army.

The sample weight M3 was equal to 3,63 kilogram, after upgrading 3,47 kilogram. The length of the weapon was 570 millimeters with a folded butt and 745 millimeters with a butt laid out. Ate a submachine gun from detachable box magazines with a capacity of 30 cartridges. The rate of fire, thanks to the heavy shutter, was 450 shots per minute. The sample showed the greatest efficiency at a distance of 50 meters using .45ACP and 90 meters cartridges when using 9х19.
Photos used:
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  1. Mikhado
    Mikhado 15 May 2013 09: 06 New
    Oiler as it is. In general, in the sector of cheap mass PP, our Sudayev is tearing the Anglo-Saxons like a hot-water bottle, two freaks - STEN and M3.
    1. bazilio
      bazilio 15 May 2013 12: 32 New
      Quote: Mikhado
      In general, in the sector of cheap mass PP, our Sudayev is tearing

      Definitely. and not only in the cheap mass sector.

      The oiler looks somehow absurd, although on the other hand, the designers were not set over tasks.
      1. the47th
        the47th 15 May 2013 14: 40 New
        Stan generally looks like a makeshift drunken farmer's craft of trimming a pipe. While PPP is like a normal factory weapon.
        1. Hon
          Hon 15 May 2013 17: 34 New
          and the walls were made of water pipes)))
          1. Raphael_83
            Raphael_83 15 May 2013 19: 00 New
            They were even called army wit: "plumber's dream" hi
            Although, look, the Mk5 sample - the base remains of course the same, but ergonomics were improved due to normal wooden fittings. The most massive Mk2, made all-metal, yes!
            1. Mister X
              Mister X 15 May 2013 21: 11 New
              They were even called army wit: "plumber's dream"

              "A plumber's dream" was called another PP, namely, "Walls."
              Same monograph, 117 page.
              1. Raphael_83
                Raphael_83 16 May 2013 17: 21 New
                About him and speech! My comment is a response to the saying: Hon (3) Yesterday, 17:34 ↑
                and the walls were made of water pipes)))
  2. avt
    avt 15 May 2013 09: 44 New
    Quote: Mikhado
    Oiler as it is. In general, in the sector of cheap mass PP, our Sudayev is tearing the Anglo-Saxons like a hot-water bottle, two freaks - STEN and M3.
    Got ahead. laughing Yes, the faculty will be a bit bigger! good
  3. ed1968
    ed1968 15 May 2013 10: 25 New
    the only worthy competitor pps at that time thompson IMHO
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn 15 May 2013 11: 38 New
      Yeah, his armor-piercing was especially appreciated, even tigers from a kilometer to a fly!
      And also low, almost not noticeable impact and weight like a feather.
      And an incredible range of 10 km!
    2. bazilio
      bazilio 15 May 2013 12: 24 New
      Quote: ed1968
      the only worthy competitor pps at that time thompson IMHO

      In terms of ammunition, the competitor is yes. In all other respects, Thompson cannot compete with PPP43. Thompson is very expensive to manufacture (that's why the Americans adopted the M3). Tommy has a lot of weight. If you do not take into account the thompson disk magazine, then the thompson horn with 20 rounds against the PPS-th with 35 rounds. Well, maybe thanks to Hollywood, Thompson has a more interesting appearance (models up to M1928), but only with a front handle and a disk magazine.
    3. papas-57
      papas-57 16 May 2013 22: 11 New
      '' the only worthy competitor to PPS at that time Thompson '' The only worthy competitor to PPS at that time was not Thompson, but PPS
  4. Pharao7766
    Pharao7766 15 May 2013 10: 50 New
    I read that the M3 we received under the Lend Lease received very negative reviews in the army, not only because of the total deficit of 45ACP, but also for the capriciousness of this device.
    1. Mitzhel
      Mitzhel 15 May 2013 11: 15 New
      If he were capricious, he would not have been in service with him in the USA until the 90s and licensed in other countries. Anyway, when was the M3 delivered to the USSR?
      1. Timeout
        Timeout 15 May 2013 12: 23 New
        I had to shoot from the M3 in Vietnam, the museum of the Vietnam-American War in Saigon. full-time weight distribution, when shooting even with short bursts the barrel lifts up, it is not possible to control the weapon. In short, even compared to the Sten water pipe, this is a weapon burp.
      2. Pharao7766
        Pharao7766 15 May 2013 12: 28 New
        Also, the M3 was called the "Oiler", due to the fact that in the hollow pistol grip there is an oiler with gun oil for cleaning and lubricating the weapon. In the USSR, where M3 was supplied by Lend-Lease, he was nicknamed the "syringe" for a similar external shape. In a combat position, a butt made of thick wire extends from under the receiver. The sight is not adjustable, diopter. Since the submachine gun was originally planned to be used in a humid tropical climate, the ejector window was covered with a special cover to prevent moisture from entering the weapon. But this did not help, and when moisture got in, the weapon corroded. In the first place, the shutter cocking mechanism failed. In 1944, taking into account operating experience, the following option was developed, called the M3A1, which compares favorably with its predecessor in that it had no shutter cocking mechanism at all. Its role was played by a recess in the shutter, where the shooter inserted his finger and pushed the shutter back.
        1. bazilio
          bazilio 15 May 2013 15: 36 New
          Quote: Pharao7766
          where the shooter inserted his finger and pushed the shutter back.

          Imagine that a fighter shot a couple of stores in long bursts. I think the shutter, like the barrel, will have a temperature above comfortable and stick a finger there .... these are my guesses, but still
          1. Ch0sen1
            Ch0sen1 15 May 2013 16: 26 New
            And in winter gloves it is probably "very convenient" to cock the shutter wink
  5. Mitzhel
    Mitzhel 15 May 2013 11: 18 New
    Normal technological PP, in some countries still in service in a tuned version ...

    1. smershspy
      smershspy 15 May 2013 12: 06 New
      Respected! I can notice that you are right!
    2. Argon
      Argon 15 May 2013 23: 54 New
      Come on, well, what’s normal here, it’s good at the shooting range, to shoot the entire store with 50 mixes from 6 meters through the optics. Until then, in battle, with a sudden contact, you open the lid, poke your fingers in there, you’ll be left a little alive. I agree with Timeout - "weapon burps"
  6. Mister X
    Mister X 15 May 2013 15: 57 New
    I want to supplement the article with a statement by Chris Bishop

    “After starting production at the beginning of 1942, it became clear that, despite the simplicity,
    M-3 has a number of design flaws.
    This could be explained by the fact that the factories at which the M-3 was manufactured,
    were more accustomed to producing cars and trucks than weapons.
    The shutter handle broke, the butt bent, some mechanisms failed,
    since their metal was too fragile.
    But be that as it may, it was possible to come to terms with this, moreover, in combat
    Weapons proved to be quite effective.

    M-3 was not popular in the army.
    First of all, his civilian origin played against him.
    In Europe, he received the nickname "Syringe", and soldiers often abandoned him,
    preferring the Thompson or captured MP-40.

    The main disadvantage of the M-3 was a single-row store.
    Like its German counterpart on the MP-40, it was prone to delays in delivering cartridges.

    The cost of manufacturing M-3 was 10 times less than when manufacturing Thompson.
    And in the Pacific, where there were no alternatives, M-3 was less hostile. "

    Dismantling the submachine gun M-3
    1. Ch0sen1
      Ch0sen1 15 May 2013 16: 33 New
      PPS and PPSh were produced not only in automobile factories, but often in semi-handicraft workshops. Here you have the notorious technological advantage of the states .....

      PS By the way, how can there be a cartridge in the barrel of a PP firing from an open bolt, with the exception of a misfire?
      1. scrabler
        15 May 2013 19: 35 New
        Checking the presence of the cartridge in the chamber is a mandatory procedure with which any actions with the weapon begin. Even if the cartridge cannot be there, you still need to make sure of it. It will not take a lot of time, but the benefits of such a good habit are exactly as much as each person assesses his health and life, as well as the life and health of those around him. There are more than enough examples of what happens when this rule is not used. In general, it is necessary to check without fail.
    2. Raphael_83
      Raphael_83 15 May 2013 19: 03 New
      Well ... I myself wanted to insert into the comments something clever from this monograph by K. Bishop (I wanted to appear smart) ... recourse got ahead ...
      1. Mister X
        Mister X 15 May 2013 20: 00 New
        I myself wanted to insert something clever in the comments
        from this monograph by K. Bishop

        In der grossen surnamen nicht beak clap-clack wink
        1. Mister X
          Mister X 15 May 2013 22: 28 New
          There was a manual comic for fighters: solving problems with the M3A1.

          Later, when they adopted the M-16 and problems began,
          the corresponding comic book was compiled for the new model.
          1. Mister X
            Mister X 15 May 2013 22: 57 New
            Manual Comic for Fighters: Solving Problems with M3A1
  7. smprofi
    smprofi 15 May 2013 17: 05 New
    There have been attempts to push through a Thompson submachine gun

    and not without success.

    Thompson M1928A1 at the Soviet sailors (Marine Corps), Kola Peninsula. quite a lot of similar photos.

    gringo in france

    Well, what about without "our smaller brothers"? somewhere around Beijing
    1. Thunderbolt
      Thunderbolt 15 May 2013 17: 29 New
      Quote: smprofi
      somewhere around Beijing
      Thank you, interesting photos. I especially liked the first one. And your "somewhere in the vicinity of Beijing" inspired ...
      1. smprofi
        smprofi 15 May 2013 17: 33 New
        if interested, then a lot of photos here:
        the main thing in the search is to ask the right question
        1. Raphael_83
          Raphael_83 15 May 2013 19: 08 New
          Despite the fact that just the same M-1928 (it is easy to identify by barrel finning, a compensator, the top location of the bolt handle and a complex sight with an adjustable whole) were delivered in very small quantities due to the high cost and low practicality of a number of elements (including 50-100 charging disks, compensator). Therefore, the main version of the “Tommy” (produced in at least some decent amounts) was the M1A1 without a radiator, front handle, with a shutter transferred to the right side of the receiver.
          1. Mister X
            Mister X 15 May 2013 21: 50 New
            Quote: Raphael_83
            without radiator, front handle, with a shutter transferred to the right side of the receiver.

            Thompson M1 was also distinguished by the work of automation: it had a free shutter and the Cutts compensator was taken from him.
            And when M1A1 appeared, he lost the opportunity to fire with single shots.

    2. Argon
      Argon 16 May 2013 00: 00 New
      As I understand it, the neighbors with the demogaphic crisis have gathered to fight, I mean overpopulation. bully
    3. Timeout
      Timeout 16 May 2013 13: 21 New
      And you read the memoirs of the Marines, after the fighting ... Reviews are clearly not in favor of American weapons.
  8. Mister X
    Mister X 15 May 2013 20: 33 New
    Quote: Ch0sen1
    PPS and PPSh produced not so much in automobile factories,
    and in semi-artisan locksmith workshops often.
    Here you have the notorious technological advantage of the states .....

    I think that one of the positive factors is the quality of Soviet metal.
    Another factor is that Soviet people have straight arms and grow where necessary.
    Almost everyone owns several professions.

    For example - my friend who is engaged in window design:
    she drives a little bus, she herself takes measurements from the windows, sews curtains.
    He takes part in all stages: from the project to the delivery of the object to the client.
    Able to use a drill, jigsaw and even a welding machine.

    And the third (although the first one is more true) factor: the simplest construction and as a result -
    the ability to make and repair the same PPSh, PPS "on the knees" without a manual.
  9. papik09
    papik09 16 May 2013 06: 49 New
    Quote: the47th
    Stan generally looks like a makeshift drunken farmer's craft of trimming a pipe. While PPP is like a normal factory weapon.

    Why is it "like"? Offend. am
  10. Gunslinger
    Gunslinger 22 August 2013 12: 08 New
    Appearance, of course, is very ugly ...