Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

Home | Advanced Collection Search | Advanced Archival Search | Rate Your Search

Send us your own comments about this object.

Maker/Manufacturer:VOLLMER, HEINRICH
Date of Manufacture:C 1935
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 1712
Measurements:OL: 33 3/8" BL: 7.8" 8.82 lbs. unloaded; 9.92 lbs. loaded.

Object Description:

Manufactured by Erma-Werke, Erfurt, Germany - Standard German EMP submachine gun. Short-barrel version. Blowback design. Select-fire. Fires from open bolt position. Blued finish; wood butt and forearm. Tangent open V-notch graduated from 50 to 1000 meters rear; blade front sight. 6-groove rifling; right hand twist. Muzzle velocity 1250 fps. Cyclic rate of fire 500 rpm. Weapon weighs approximately 8.82 lbs unloaded. Based on Henrich Vollmer design.

Receiver: EMP/10954. Last 3 digits (954) repeated on barrel jacket and magazine housing.
Rear sight: Eagle/K (police issue marking).

Weapon transferred to the Museum from the U.S. Marshall's Office, Cleveland, Ohio, on 31 August 1961. At that time weapon was appraised at $30.00.

Notes: "The Vollmer submachine gun was developed in the mid and late 1920's by Heinrich Vollmer, together with Berthold Geipel. The patent was applied for in 1927, although the weapon did not go into production until 1930. It was offered on the commercial market by the manufacturer, Erma-Werke, in Erfurt, and the firm of Will and Kohler in Schmalkalden, Germany. Most of the literature covering the weapon is dated mid-1932. Sales in the early 1930's resulted in limited deliveries to France, Mexico and several South American countries. It is also reported that a number of these early weapons were using during the Spanish Civil War in the middle and late 1930's.
The original Vollmer (ERMA) submachine gun was produced in two models and is easily identified, because it has no barrel jacket. The first model has a long, tapered barrel and a telescoping monopod tube in the wood foregrip. The apparent purpose of the monopod was to steady the weapon when firing from the prone position. The second model Vollmer (ERMA) had a short barrel and omitted the monopod in the foregrip. Other than these differences, both models are identical.
All Vollmer-designed submachine guns fire from the open-bolt position and utilize a telescoping main-operating-spring assembly which extends into the rear of the bolt. The spring is housed in a metal tubular housing which telescopes into the bolt when the weapon is firing. The weapon is made of seamless steel tubing, and most early models show excellent machining and finishing. The stock is of heavy wood with an integral foregrip permanently joined to the forward end." - Thomas B. Nelson

"The mid-1920s produced another submachine-gun designer destined for fame, Heinrich Vollmer, who, together with Berthold Giepel, patented a new weapon in 1927. The novelty in his design lay in the construction of the bolt and return spring as a self-contained unit. The bolt carried a telescoping tubular spring casing on its rear end, inside which was the return spring, and concealed within the bolt, the firing pin and its housing. Thus when the weapon was dismantled there was no danger of the spring shooting from the receiver, the entire bolt and spring unit being lifted out as one piece. Giepel was the manager of the Erfurt Maschinenwerk, or 'Ermawerke' of Erfurt, and in 1930 this company began making the Vollmer design marketing it as the 'Erma' submachine-gun. It was available in a variety of calibres and was unusual in having a telescoping monopod built in to the forward pistol grip. This could be extended to rest on the ground and support the gun when being fired from the prone position. The barrel was not concealed by any form of jacket, while the box magazine was entered into the left side of the receiver.
After seeing this product on to the market, Vollmer made some changes, the principal one being the addition of a perforated barrel jacket and a bolt-locking safety catch mounted on the front right of the receiver. By switching this to the 'Safe' position, a lug entered a specially-cut slot in the bolt and firmly anchored it, preventing any movement. This was a useful addition, since by this time one of the defects of the simple blow-back system had become apparent. If a blow-back operated gun were dropped butt down, t- when the first of the new 'EMP' (Erma Maschinen Pistole) appeared - it seems to have escaped other designers for several years." - Hogg

"First developed in Germany in 1934 this submachine gun was chambered for the 9mm cartridge. It was fitted with a wooden vertical fore-grip. The gun was fitted with a 9.75" barrel with a 20-or 32-round magazine. The rate of fire was 500 rounds per minute. The weight was about 8.25 lbs....Production ceased in 1945." - Schwing

Hogg, Ian. THE COMPLETE MACHINE GUN: 1885 TO THE PRESENT. Exeter Books. N.Y., N.Y. 1979.
Hogg, Ian. GREENHILL MILITARY MANUALS: SUBMACHINE GUNS. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, Pa. 2001.
Nelson, Thomas B. THE WORLD'S SUBMACHINE GUNS. Vol. I. T.B.N. Enterprises. Alexandria, Va. 1977.
Schwing, Ned. 2000 STANDARD CATALOG OF FIREARMS. Krause Publications. Iola, Wi. 2000.

Rate Your Search

Searching provided by:
 Re:discovery Software Logo, and link to go to www.RedsicoverySoftware.com