Thursday, 12 July 2012

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The PPSh-41 (is a Sovietsubmachine gun designed by Georgi Shpagin File:Georgy Shpagin Novod 4.jpgas an inexpensive, simplified alternative to the File:PPD-34.JPGPPD-40. TheFile:Пистолет-пулемет системы Шпагина обр. 1941.jpg PPSh was a magazine-fed selective-fire submachine gun using an open-boltblowback action. It was one of the major infantry weapons of the Soviet armed forces during World War II. The total number of PPSh's manufactured during World War II is estimated to be more than 6 million. Made largely of stamped steel, it could be loaded with either a box or drum magazine, and fired the 7.62×25mm pistol roundFile:7.62x25 - FMJ - SB - 5.jpg. The PPSh saw extensive combat use during World War II and the Korean War. In the form of the Chinese Type 50 (a licensed copy), it was still in use in Vietnam with the Viet Cong as late as 1970. According to the 2002 edition of The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II the PPSh was still in use with irregular military forces.The impetus for the development of the PPSh came partly from the Winter War against Finland, where it was found that submachine guns were a highly effective tool for 


close-quarter fighting in forests or built-up urban areas. The weapon was developed in mid-1941 and was produced in a network of factories in Moscow, with high-level local Party members made directly responsible for production targets being met.sotto soldatini in 132
A few hundred weapons were produced in November 1941 and another 155,000 were produced over the next five months. By spring 1942, the PPSh factories were producing 
roughly 3,000 units a day.The PPSh-41 was a classic example of a design adapted for mass production (other examples of such wartime design were the M3 submachine gunFile:M3-SMG.jpg, MP40File:MP 40 AYF 2.JPG and theSten). Its parts (excluding the barrel) could be produced by a relatively unskilled workforce with simple equipment available in an auto repair garage or tin shop, freeing up more skilled workers for other tasks. The PPSh-41 used 87 components compared to 95 for the PPD-40 File:Soviet guerilla.jpgand the PPSh could be manufactured with 7.3 machining hours compared with 13.7 hours for the PPD. Barrel production was often simplified by using barrels produced for the 7.62mmFile:Mosin Nagant series of rifles.jpg M1891 Mosin–Nagant rifle: the rifle barrel was cut in half, and two PPSh barrels were made from it after machining the chamber for the 7.62mm Soviet submachine gun cartridge. 
The PPSh was popular in the German armies as well, and captured examples were frequently returned to service against their former owners. Because of the very close dimensional similarities between the Soviet 7.62x25mm Tokarev and the German 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge used in the Mauser C96 File:Mauser C96 M1916 Red 9 7.JPGpistol, the PPSh could fire either cartridge, and was thus easily supplied with ammunition. In fact so many were captured that it became the second-most-common submachine gun used by German forces.[
After the German Army captured large numbers of the PPSh-41 during World War II, a program was instituted to convert the weapon to the standard German submachine gun cartridge - 9mm Parabellum. The Wehrmacht officially adopted these converted PPSh-41s as the MP41(r); unconverted PPSh-41s were designated MP717(r) and supplied with7.63x25mm Mauser in place of the Soviet 7.62x25mm cartridge. German-language manuals for the use of captured PPShs were printed and distributed in the Wehrmacht.[4]
The Soviet Union also experimented with the PPSh-41 in a close air support anti-personnel role, mounting dozens of the submachine guns in forward fuselage racks on the Tu-2sh variant of the Tupolev Tu-2 bomber.File:Tu-2 at the China Aviation Museum.jpg
Over 6 million PPSh submachine guns were produced by the end of the war. The Soviets would often equip whole regiments and even entire divisions with the weapon, giving them unmatched short-range firepower. Thousands more were dropped behind enemy lines to equip large partisan formations to disrupt German supply lines and communications.After the war, the PPSh was supplied in large quantities to Soviet client states and communist guerrilla forces. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) fighting in Korea received massive numbers of the PPSh-41, in addition to the North Korean Type 49 and the Chinese Type 50, which were licensed copies of theFile:Mémorial uniforme soviétique WWII.JPG PPSh-41 with small mechanical revisions. The weapon was widely used during the entirety of the Korean War. Though relatively inaccurate, with a high rate of fire, the PPSh-41 was well-suited to the close-range firefights that typically occurred in that conflict, especially at night.U.N. forces in defensive outposts or on patrol often had trouble returning a sufficient volume of fire when attacked by companies of communist infantry armed with the PPSh-41. Some U.S. infantry officers ranked the PPSh-41 the best combat weapon of the war; while lacking the accuracy of the U.S. M1 Garand or M1 carbine, it provided more firepower at short distances. As one infantry captain stated: "on full automatic it sprayed a lot of bullets and most of the killing in Korea was done at very close ranges and it was done quickly - a matter of who responded faster. In situations like that it outclassed and outgunned what we had. A close-in patrol fight was over very quickly and usually we lost because of it."After the war, the PPSh was supplied in large quantities to Soviet client states and communist guerrilla forces. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) fighting in Korea received massive numbers of the PPSh-41, in addition to the North Korean Type 49 and the Chinese Type 50, which were licensed copies of the PPSh-41 with small mechanical revisions. The weapon was widely used during the entirety of the Korean War. Though relatively inaccurate, with a high rate of fire, the PPSh-41 was well-suited to the close-range firefights that typically occurred in that conflict, especially at night. U.N. forces in defensive outposts or on patrol often had trouble returning a sufficient volume of fire when attacked by companies of communist infantry armed with the PPSh-41. Some U.S. infantry officers ranked the PPSh-41 the best combat weapon of the war; while lacking the accuracy of the U.S. M1 Garand or M1 carbine, it provided more firepower at short distances.As one infantry captain stated: "on full automatic it sprayed a lot of bullets and most of the killing in Korea was done at very close ranges and it was done quickly - a matter of who responded faster. In situations like that it outclassed and outgunned what we had. A close-in patrol fight was over very quickly and usually we lost because of it."

A copy of the Finnish M31 Suomi magazineFile:Submachine gun Suomi M31.jpg, the PPSh drum magazine held 71 rounds. In practice, misfeeding was likely to occur with more than about 65. In addition to feed issues, the drum magazine was slower and more complicated to load with ammunition than the later 35-round box magazine that increasingly supplemented the drum after 1942.
 While holding fewer rounds, the box magazine did have the advantage of providing a superior handhold for the supporting hand. Although the PPSh was equipped with a sliding bolt safety, the weapon's open-bolt design still presented a risk of accidental discharge if the gun was dropped on a hard surfaceAfter the German Army captured large numbers of the PPSh-41 during World War II, a program was instituted to convert the weapon to the standard German submachine gun cartridge - 9mm ParabellumFile:9mmLuger.jpg. The Wehrmacht officially adopted the converted PPSh-41 as the MP41(r); unconverted PPSh-41s were designated MP717(r) and supplied with7.63x25mm MauserFile:763 mauser.jpgThe PPSh-41 fired the standard Soviet pistol and submachine gun cartridge, the 7.62x25mm (Tokarev). Weighing approximately 12 pounds (5.45 kg) with a loaded 71-round drum and 9.5 pounds (4.32 kg) with a loaded 35-round box magazine, the PPSh was capable of 900 rounds per minute, a very high rate of fire in comparison to most other military submachine guns of World War II. It was a durable, low-maintenance weapon made of low-cost, easily-obtained components, primarily stamped sheet metal and wood. The final production PPSh had top ejection and an 'L' type rear sight that could be adjusted for ranges of 100 and 200 meters. A crude compensator was built into the barrel jacket, intended to reduce muzzle climb during automatic fire. The compensator was moderately successful in this respect, but it greatly increased the muzzle flash and report of the weapon. The PPSh also had a hinged receiver to facilitate field-stripping and cleaning the weapon. A chrome-lined bore enabled the PPSh to withstand both corrosive ammunition and long intervals between cleaning. No forward grip or forearm was provided, and the operator generally had to grasp the weapon behind the drum magazine with the supporting hand, or else hold the lower edge of the drum magazine. Though 35-round curved box magazines were available from 1942, the average Soviet infantryman in World War II carried the PPSh with the original 71-round drum magazine

ammunition (which is dimensionally identical to 7.62x25mm, but somewhat less powerful). German-language manuals for the use of captured PPShs were printed and distributed in the Wehrmacht.During the war the PPS,File:PPS.jpg

an even simpler submachine gun, was introduced in Soviet service, although it did not replace the PPSh-41 during the war.

1 comment:

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