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Top open bolt SMG's by quality and operation!


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Okay, so this has kinda popped its head up on many of the different threads, so because it's Sunday, and there are not a lot of posts, I thought it might generate some cerebral exchange of thoughts and opinions on the topic.

The question is this: Which pistol caliber SMG, (Open bolt only you MP5 dogs!) do you rank as best in quality and operation. I'd ask that you rank at least four, maybe five and add a short note as to why you chose as such.

I'll start this off;

  • No 1: MP38 Just a great overall gun, excellent quality and great operation, fully representative of superb German manufacturing.
  • No 2: Swedish K (M45) What can we say! Everyone loves the "K" and it is excellent quality and super reliable operation and looks sooo cool!
  • No 3: PPSH 41 Another great gun, amazing continuance of quality considering how many were made, and 100% reliable.. keeps on chugging.
  • No 4: Thompson M1A1 A final variant of what was at first a too heavy gun, but this version is gorgeous, great quality and super reliable!
  • No 5: Sterling L2A3 Totally forgotten amongst collectors, the pinnacle of SMG technology. Gorgeous, super reliable and uses the best magazines ever made.
  • No 6: M.P. 18,I, & MP 28,II Not well known, but a superb quality early SMG's that are darned good guns and easy to operate.

I could go on and on...

What do you guys think?

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11 minutes ago, StrangeRanger said:

Seriously?

The Shpagin is on your best list but the Uzi and the Beretta 28 Series are not?

My list! Yours?

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If I vote, I select US .45acp M3 or M3A1. There are a few advantages:

1. Being a C&R, it can be sent directly to the C&R licensee upon ATF approval.

2. It is an all-steel structure, only s/n is on the magazine well. Other numbers are parts numbers. Spare parts are available and there is no mismatching issue.

3. Barrel is easily replaceable. You can shoot it without wearing the original barrel coming with the gun. Many submachine guns have fixed barrel, and some have impractical replaceable barrel. 

4. Firing rate is low. The sound is like a lawn mower. Low rate submachine gun can be controlled easier.

5. Not cheap, but it comes at certain amount of money, it could also go with similar amount.. the cost is aligned with other C&R submachine guns. Not really a outstanding concern.

6. Bolt moving on a pair of steel rods, no attrition between moving bolt and the steel receiver. It's very smooth and reliable. Single feeding magazine is well made.

 

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On 5/23/2023 at 11:27 AM, yohuang said:

If I vote, I select US .45acp M3 or M3A1. There are a few advantages:

1. Being a C&R, it can be sent directly to the C&R licensee upon ATF approval.

2. It is an all-steel structure, only s/n is on the magazine well. Other numbers are parts numbers. Spare parts are available and there is no mismatching issue.

3. Barrel is easily replaceable. You can shoot it without wearing the original barrel coming with the gun. Many submachine guns have fixed barrel, and some have impractical replaceable barrel. 

4. Firing rate is low. The sound is like a lawn mower. Low rate submachine gun can be controlled easier.

5. Not cheap, but it comes at certain amount of money, it could also go with similar amount.. the cost is aligned with other C&R submachine guns. Not really a outstanding concern.

6. Bolt moving on a pair of steel rods, no attrition between moving bolt and the steel receiver. It's very smooth and reliable. Single feeding magazine is well made.

 

I do like my M3 and because of all the reasons you noted above. I will tell you however, as the owner of a "K", MP40 and PPSH, they are really good guns also. Now, the M3's issue in my opinion, are the ergonomics. That gun just does not feel real good when you shoulder it. I mean sight pictures are tough and it's just sooo big!

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23 hours ago, Rekraps said:

Now, the M3's issue in my opinion, are the ergonomics. That gun just does not feel real good when you shoulder it. I mean sight pictures are tough and it's just sooo big!

M3 is a little bit too heavy,  relatively speaking, it is still lighter than Thompson.

Its sights is crude, that's true as well. But still being practical. SMG is not an accurate weapon for a single bullet, the emphasis is on short range group accuracy.  From that perspective, M3 bullet grouping is good due to its low recoil, the barrel does not jump a lot in full auto shooting.

Let me see a few types in this topic. For me, the K is out of consideration, I don't like its rectangular stock.

Sterling could be fun. But most of them are "tube guns" in the US. I have no interest in tube guns. 

Other few types are classical SMGs. They are great.

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Sterling L2A3 - Ergonomics, reliability, smooth action, easy to shoot well, easy to maintain, and the best SMG magazines ever!

Swedish 'K' M45 - Reliability, accuracy, smooth action, easy to maintain, 2nd best magazines.

Beretta 1938 - Classy, accurate, smooth action, natural pointer.

PPS43 - Simple, reliable, points well, ergonomics are surprisingly good!

Thompson M1A1 - The best Thompson as a useful weapon.  Good magazine design, reliable, accurate, and it's a .45!

Honorable Mentions:  Uzi, Beretta PM-12s, MP40, MAT-49

 

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I have no experience with several on y'all 's lists, but of those I've owned/fired, my preferences are:

 

1. Swedish K, mine digest everything loaded into it, smooth and reliable. 

2. M3 Grease Gun, I just love shooting mine.

3. M1A1 Thompson, big, heavy, little recoil and old world craftsmanship. 

4. MP 40, another great gun and probably equal in my opinion to the Thompson, but for the wonky stock.

5. Uzi, good design, compact,  reliable.

 

 

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1. 1921 Thompson - Delayed blowback smooth operation, superb steel and wood finish, a panache unmatched by any other subgun, "The Gun That Made The Twenties Roar".

2. 1928 "Navy" Thompson.  See 1. above plus the added reciprocating mass reduces the rate of fire so that even raw recruits to the force could handle them.

3.  Who cares.

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This is a very difficult question, because I can only go by what I own.   I am going to miss some weapons that might be superior such as a russian burp gun, never owned one, but heard they are a really good sub gun.  My Dad sure did not like them during the Korean War!   I also don't own an UZI so that is another miss.

So I am going to list 1 to 5 with my current collection of open bolt sub guns.

1.  Swedish K

2.  MP 40

3.  M3A1

4.  Thompson M1A1

5.  Sten Mk2

 

Edited by NFA amnesty
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Why all the love from sp many of you for the Thompson M1A1?  The Thompson M1 is a much superior design.  Unlike the fixed firing pin M1A1 it cannot have an out-of-battery discharge.  In all other respects they are the same.

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