Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Maker/Manufacturer:ERMA CO.
Date of Manufacture:C 1941
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 1715
Measurements:OL: 86.3CM 34" BL: 24.7CM 9 3/4" 8.15 lbs. unloaded; 9.65 lbs. loaded.

Object Description:

Manufactured by Haenel, Suhl, Germany - Essentially the MP40 that has been modified for use with a permanently attached shoulder stock, a fire select switch, and magazine housing adapted for two MP40 magazines. Blowback-operated. Blued finish with wood butt. Selective-fire. 6-groove rifling; right hand twist. Open U-notch L-flip rear sight set for 100 and 200 meters; blade front sight. Muzzle velocity 1250 fps. Cyclic rate of fire 500 rpm. Weapon weighs approximately 8.1 lbs. unloaded and 9.65 lbs. loaded.

Cartridge: 9mm Parabellum.
Barrel: 23062.

Notes: Limited issue, mainly to police and Waffen SS.

"The M.P. 41 has never been adopted by the German Army. It was manufactured in very limited numbers at the C.G. Haenel factory in Suhl, Germany (code designation "fxo"). The weapon is primarily a combination of several successful submachine guns. The basic receiver and action design is copied directly from the Erma designed M.P. 40, while the wood stock and fire-selector mechanism is similar to that of the Schmeisser-designed MP 28, II submachine gun. The major modifications were the elimination of the metal or plastic fiber bar usually located below the barrel on the MP40, and the addition of a receiver-closure cap, and the addition of a receiver-closure cap, complete with a spring-loaded catch at the rear of the receiver.
The weapon is marked 'M.P. 41,' Patent Schmeisser, C.G. Haenel, Suhl', on top of the receiver. It fires from the open-bolt position and is mainly composed of sheet-metal stampings. - Thomas B. Nelson.

Item No. 2, File NO. XXX-14, Copy No. 23. "REPORT ON VISIT TO ARMS FIRMS ZELLA-MEHLIS AND SUHL THURINGIA. C.I.O.S. Trip NO. 547 - 1. INTRODUCTION. 1.1. Nature of the Target - The target consisted of the various arms manufacturing firms, some of medium size and some very small in the towns of Zella-Mehlis and Suhl in Thuringia. These towns were centres for the manufacture of sporting rifles, shot-guns and hand weapons of all sorts in Germany and it was known that their capacity had been turned over to the production of military weapons for the German armed forces.
1.2 Object of the Visit - The party was to examine the various firms to see what development in new weapons may have been in progress and to watch for any improved manufacturing processes. Two members of the party, Col. H. Peploe and Mr. S.L. Moon were also looking for ammunition development and to this end visited Erfurt and Schleusinger. Their report will be rendered separately on these places. 1.3 Condition of the Target - There had been no fighting in either of these towns and the firms were largely untouched by war. The foreign labour had, however, celebrated their liberation in the usual fashion with the result that much wanton damage and looting obscured the activities of the firms. It was discovered that a thorough technical investigation of the firms had been carried out by U.S. Army Ordnance Corps personnel, hence the visit was largely abortive so far as producing new knowledge was concerned. Such information as was gained in set out below....
3. FIRMS IN SUHL. 3.1. - HAENEL, A.G. This firm had been manufacturers of sporting weapons, air rifles and air pistols; had been turned over to the production of military weapons. The factory was not engaged on any main development work though an interest had been kept up by Herr Schmeisser, their head development technician. He was interrogated at considerable length about the work he had done recently but pointed out that after his M.K.b 42 (H) had been accepted and produced as the M.P.43 practically no further work had been required of him except improvements for manufacture. He produced two samples of the solid portion at the fore part of the body to show on what lines he had been working. These consisted of lightening cuts and slight re-design to improve ease of machining. Schmeisser also reviewed the history of his machine carbines from the M.P.1918 (Bebeen working no drawings or components remained, all having been removed by previous investigators.
The firm had been supplied with the infra-red gunsight developed by the Germans, for fitting to the St.G.44. This had been buried at Linden together with some drawings and precision instruments of the firm and was collected by the party. This was handed to M.I.10 on instructions from F.I.A.T. for transmission to the proper authorities. The G.w.Z.F.4 telescope was also supplied for experiments in fitting it the St.G.44. The firm had also been engaged on a copy of the British Sten machine carbine on which they were working to produce an easily manufactured and cheap weapon for the closing stages of the German war.
Schmeisser was of the opinion that Barnitzke of Gustloff Werke and himself were the only designers of military weapons in Suhl (a compliment which Barnitzke returned independently and apparently without collusion by saying Schmeisser and he were the designers in Suhl). The party was shown a M.P. 43/1 in Schmeisser's possession which had been modified by the Gustloff-Werke to operate by blow back. This will be described under the notes on that firm."

"This model was built by Schmeisser to compete with the official MP40. The gun was not adopted by the German army. The result is that very few of these guns exist. The MP40-style receiver and barrel were fitted to a wooden buttstock and a select fire mechanism was added. Weight is about 8 lbs." - Schwing

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.
U.S. Army Ordnance. GERMAN SUBMACHINE GUNS. Aberdeen Proving Ground. Aberdeen, Md. 1958.

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