The MP3008, also known as the Volksmaschinenpistole (people's submachine gun), was a German submachine gun produced towards the end of World War II. It was an almost direct copy of the British Sten submachine gun.
The MP3008 was conceived in early 1945, shortly after the advancing Soviets captured the Erma plant in Erfurt, the manufacturer of the MP 40. Thus, a cheap replacement submachine gun was sought for the remaining German military forces. Mauser decided the best approach would be to copy the British Sten, a design which lent itself well to emergency mass-production, and designated their copy as the MP3008. Production of the MP3008 was completely decentralized; Mauser sent some blueprints and instructions to various German industrial firms, who produced their own models at their discretion. There was no standardized version of the MP3008, and each manufacturer's interpretation of the design was slightly different, leading to a variety of different models.
Production of the MP3008 did not last long before Germany's defeat in May 1945, and it is estimated that no more than a few hundred models were built, primarily by Mauser. Blohm & Voss also produced limited numbers, and some examples are known to have been constructed in local workshops.
Today, a modern, semi-automatic reproduction is available and is produced by Sport-Systeme Dittrich Kulmbach in Germany.
The MP3008 was a basic blowback-operated, 9×19mm submachine gun copied directly from the Sten; the only major deviation from the British design was the location of the magazine feed, which was vertical rather than horizontal. This was designed to emulate the magazine arrangement of the MP 40, so that the MP3008 would handle similarly. Whereas the magazine housing of the Sten was a separate component from the body, the MP3008's magazine housing was welded and was not removable. This meant that unlike the Sten, the MP3008's magazine housing could not be rotated to cover the ejection port from dirt.
The MP3008 was designed to feed from MP 40 magazines, as the original Sten was also capable of. While most examples of the MP3008 retained the Sten's right-side cocking, some versions placed the cocking slot on the left side; again, this was a design choice designed to evoke similarity to the MP 40. The design of the buttstock was also variable. Mauser's MP3008s used Sten-type wire stocks, whereas Blohm & Voss incorporated a wooden pistol grip onto their models, and some workshop-made MP3008s had entirely wooden stocks.