PPSh-41 (Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina)
(Shpagin Machine Pistol)
Country of origin

Soviet Union


Georgy Semyonovich Shpagin

Production began


Production ended


Weapon type

Submachine Gun


7.62x25mm Tokarev



Overall length

843 mm

Barrel length

269 mm


3,63 kg

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

71-round detachable drum magazine
35-round detachable box magazine

Cyclic rate

1200-1300 RPM

Maximum effective range


Muzzle velocity

830 m/s

The PPSh-41, or Pistolet Pulemyot Shpagina, is a submachine gun.


The idea for the weapon is partly based on the Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun used by the Finnish. The weapon was evolved from the PPD submachine gun, which was expensive to manufacture in both terms of materials and labor. Shpagin's idea was to keep the gun at a low cost so it could be mass-produced, so most of the gun was made of stamped sheet metal instead of milled parts used on the PPD. The PPSh was produced in factories in Moscow, and about 155,000 were produced within the first five months. By Spring 1942, factories were producing about 3,000 guns a day. In 1943, another submachine gun was procured; the PPS, which was even simpler, but it never did fully replace the PPSh in front-line combat By the end of the war, over 5 million PPSh-41s were produced, compared to about 90,000 PPDs. The PPSh was also supplied in large numbers to the Korean Army.


The PPSh is an example of a design that was meant to be mass-produced; other weapons in this category include the M3 Grease Gun, Sten and MP40. The PPSh's parts, excluding the barrel, could be made by an unskilled workshop using parts from a tin shop or auto garage; the PPSh also had less parts than a PPD, which is 87 parts compared to the 95 in the PPD. Usually, barrels would be created from Mosin-Nagant 91/30 barrels, where the Mosin's barrel would be cut in half, which would make two PPSh barrels after machining the chamber for the 7.62 cartridge.

The PPSh is renowned for its astonishing rate of fire of 1200 to 1300 rounds per minute, one of the highest at the time; this is compared to most other submachine guns at the time with only a rate of fire of about 400 to 500 rounds per minute. Because of this, the PPSh was nicknamed the Burp Gun. Other World War II guns in this league are the MG 42, the Suomi KP/-31, the PPD and the MG 34.



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