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Chapter 9
Chapter 9. Tula defense
Chapter 9. Tula defense
Chapter 9. History of creation
Chapter 9. History of creation
Chapter 9. History of creation
Chapter 9. History of creation
Chapter 9. Что получилось?
Chapter 9. Manufacture
Chapter 9. Construction of the submachine gun
Chapter 9. Shooting process
Chapter 9. Magazine construction
Chapter 9. PPSh in battles
Chapter 9. PPSh in battles
Chapter 9. Soldiers’ sketches
Chapter 9. PPSh’s trace in culture

Shpagin submachine gun


The submachine gun is a fully automatic small weapon, which uses a pistol cartridge.
PPSh automatic principle operated due to recoil of a free breechblock.
A flag fire-control lever, i.e. safety bolt, allowed switching between firing of single shots and bursts.
The sleeve was removed by the ejector mounted in the breechblock, and a stationary rigid deflector fixed to the bottom of the return-spring housing.
Shooter hands were protected against overheating during shooting by an egg-shaped holes in the housing for better ventilation and cooling.
«Автомат ППШ. По своей простоте разборки и
сборки боевым действиям соответствует.
Замена дисковых магазинов на коробчатые
используется пистолетный патрон.
не мыслимо»...
«В бою бойцы при первой же возможности
меняли винтовку на автомат,
а расчёты ПТР и станковых пулемётов,
кроме своего основного оружия, имели,
по своей инициативе, автоматы»...
«ППШ по своему устройству прост и удобен
в обращении, дающий эффективный массированный
огонь для ведения ближнего боя незаменим,
особенно с диском-магазином, который менее отказывает
в работе, чем секторный»...
«Требуется лучшая по качеству пружина подавателя,
и рожок сделать прямым — по немецкому образцу»...
«Надёжнее коробчатый (секторный магазин),
но удобнее дисковый магазин,
последний удобен в носке автомата на ремне за спиной»
PPSh was good in all ways, much better than the German Schmeiser, but it weighted too much — 6.5 kilos. I still have the right shoulder, which carried the submachine weapon, is slightly below the left one
— once narrated the former miner Nikolai Posylaev
who went through the whole war.
Shpagin submachine gun became an integral part of the textbook
image of a Soviet liberating soldier.
The value of this weapon was fully perceived during the hostilities of the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939–1940. Suomi submachine guns that were used by the Finnish soldiers proved to be a rather powerful melee weapon, especially in forested and rough terrain.
Later on, Sergey Aleksandrovich Korovin and Boris Gavrilovich Shpitalny in Tula, and Vasily Alekseyevich Degtyarev in Kovrov indulged in the creation of the submachine guns to fit the TT pistol. His submachine gun was accepted into service with the Red Army in 1934. However, in 1939 Degtyarev submachine guns were discontinued both in terms of production and service, removed from the troops and forwarded to warehouses for storage.
Shpagin G.S.
Shpagin Georgy Semenovich
In the beginning of 1940, Georgy Semenovich Shpagin gained an assignment for the development of a new weapon.
Целью Шпагина было создание простого по технологии и дешевого в производстве пистолета-пулемета
This short name of a dangerous weapon is familiar and close to everyone who had a chance to defend the honor and independence of our country with a gun in hand during the Great Patriotic War
Yakov Fedotovich Pavlov,
hero of the Soviet Union
You can learn this model at the permanent exhibition of the Tula Museum of Weapons — “History of Firearms and Bladed Weapons from 1914 to 1945” on the third floor.
The model was given to the Museum in 1966 by Vasily Gavrilovich Zhavoronkov — Chairman of the Municipal Committee of Defense of Tula.
Learn more about the Tula defensive operation
Walnut gunstock
Ribbed elements on the butt stock neck
Stock swivel on the butt bottom surface
Inlay gold elements and commemorative plate with embossed portrait of Vasily Gavrilovich Zhavoronkov
Barrel sight
Fore sight with a cover
In our Museum...
Pick up the PPSh and take a wonderful photo!
Barrel extension latch
Firing trigger
Fire-control lever
Barrel extension
3D: Assemble a PPSh
Firing trigger spring
Firing trigger spring
3D: Shooting
On February 12, 1942, the fan-shaped magazine for 35 rounds was adopted in the PPSh design. This decision was arisen out of the shortcomings of pan-type magazine revealed during war actions.
A fan-shaped magazine is convenient to wear, but the small capacity makes its replacement in battles often difficult. A fan-shaped magazine failed to meet its purpose as the spring quickly lost elasticity and went unserviceable. A pan-type magazine is not convenient to wear, but it maintains the capacity without aggravated reloading.
A fan-shaped magazine would be more convenient, but its spring structure is very weak — the spring loses its elasticity and fails to feed cartridges when a magazine is kept loaded for a long time.
3D: Disassemble a PPSh
The submachine guns appeared during the First World War as weapons characterized by small dimensions and intended to conduct maneuver combat operations.
In the USSR, the production of submachine guns as secondary weapons began in the mid 1920s. The merit of creating the first Soviet submachine gun belongs to Fedor Vasilyevich Tokarev, who in 1927 proposed a pilot model to fit the revolver cartridge of a 7.62 mm caliber.
The Chief Military Council of the USSR decided to return the Degtyarev 1934/38 model to the troops during the Soviet-Finnish war due to the shortage of submachine guns.
And at the end of February 1940, the Red Army received the Degtyarev submachine gun
upgraded prototype. It was distinguished by the modified magazine and gunstock.
I set a goal that the new automatic weapon was extremely easy and simple to manufacture. I thought, if to comprehensively provide the whole huge Red Army with automatic guns, and to make attempts to use a complex and labor-intensive technology previously adopted, what an incredible number of shop-floor machines should operate at their maximum performance rate and what a great number of people should be engaged in operating such production machines. This was a way to give birth to the idea about the pressed and welded configuration
Why did it become possible to reduce the cost and simplify production?
The main PPSH’s advantage in wartime conditions was the ease of parts’ machining and availability for mass production without the use of alloy steels and complex tooling. Owing to the factors above, its manufacture was established on a large number of enterprises that had a special equipment for the release of weapons.
The vitality of Shpagin’s designed prototype was tested by firing 30,000 shots, after which the PPSh showed satisfactory accuracy of fire and good condition of parts. The reliability of the automation was tested by firing at angles of elevation and declination of 85° in conditions of the artificially dusted mechanism, in the absence of lubrication (all parts were washed with kerosene and wiped dry with rags), with 5000 thousand rounds shot without weapon cleaning. All this gives an indication of the exceptional reliability and faultless functioning of the weapons along with high combat qualities
— said D.N. Bolotin. “History of the Soviet Small Arms”
The captured PPShs were popular among the German soldiers because of the large capacity magazine. In 1943–1944, more than 10,000 Shpagin submachine guns were refurbished to fit the Parabellum German pistol cartridge.
At the very beginning of the Great Patriotic war, the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army experienced an acute shortage of submachine guns. The situation was so critical that those weapons were allocated by Iosif Stalin personally.
Soon, however, many enterprises deployed mass production of this type of weapon.
In this respect, in 1942 the USSR defense industry produced about 1.5 mln submachine guns, thus 16 times exceeding the output in 1941. In total, about 5.4 million units of this type of weapon were produced during the Great Patriotic War.
It is immortalized in the monuments to Soviet soldiers, ...
... on postage stamps...
... in toy soldiers...
... in chastushkas and songs.
As soon as I have sighted my PPSh,
Fritz’s soul is gone away.
I found my friend at the front,
His name is simple — PPSh.
I go with him in the snowstorm and blizzard,
And my soul is easy living with him.
During the Great Patriotic War, the Shpagin submachine gun became the most loyal comrade in the struggle against the invaders.
History of Firearms and Bladed Weapons from 1914 until 1945
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