WWII PPSH-41 Goes Through Destruction Test


RT/Moscow: Kalashnikov Concern gun experts have put an iconic WWII-era PPSh-41 submachine gun through a stress test, trying to destroy it with the continuous full-auto shooting. The 78-year-old weapon, however, did not give up easily.

The renowned gun maker produced a new video in its ‘Destroyers of Weapons’ series. Unlike previous ones, Kalashnikov did not put one of its own guns through full-auto torture, testing a true classic instead – a legendary wartime PPSh-41 submachine gun, designed by Georgy Shpagin back in 1941.

A whopping 913 7.62×25mm Tokarev rounds, packed in box and drum magazines, were prepared for the test to try and put the veteran of a gun to a fiery demise. Yet, the submachine gun – that was manufactured back in 1942 – chewed through all of them, experiencing troubles only with the last 71-round drum.

The issues were apparently linked to the magazine itself – the PPSh mags were not very reliable and often were not interchangeable between different guns.

The only change in the gun’s behavior, that the expert noted, was an increase in its rate of fire around the 500th round when the PPSh apparently got all warmed up. The post-test examination showed that the gun sustained no damage at all and was ready for more after cooling off a bit.

Soviet soldiers advancing. Still from wartime documentary on December 1941 – May 1942 Moscow counter-offensive. © Sputnik

Over six million pieces of PPSh-41 were produced by the Soviet Union during WWII and it became the most used submachine gun of the war. While the gun was quite heavy and not very wieldy by modern standards, it was significantly more suitable for mobile infantry warfare than classic bolt-action rifles and carbines which were the main weapons of the Soviet Army when the war began. In 1945, over half of all the Soviet infantrymen were armed with PPSh submachine guns.

Soviet soldiers, armed with PPSh-41s and carbines pictured in 1943. © Sputnik / Sergey Baranov

A very thick barrel (comparable to a barrel of an AKM), a minimum of contact metal and wooden parts, and use of a quite weak pistol round make this iconic gun virtually indestructible. The only way to make it jam, apparently, is to shoot so many rounds that powder discharge blocks the barrel completely. And try not to bash your enemies too hard with it, so as to not break the vintage gun into pieces.


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