Bill's PPSh-41 Pages
History of the PPSh-41

Two national catastrophes contributed to the Soviet enthusiasm for submachine guns. The first was the Winter War with Finland in 1939-1940 when the Finns used submachine guns with devastating effect during close combat in the forests, and the second was the German invasion of 1941 when the Russians lost in the retreats both huge quantities of small arms and much of their engineering capability. spetznatz There then arose an urgent demand for a light and simple weapon capable of a high volume of fire, and the answer to this was the PPSh-41, designed by Georgii Shpagin. It was much cheaper and quicker to make than the preceeding models and was finished roughly; the barrel was still chromed, however, and there was never any doubt about the weapon's effectiveness. Stripping was simplicity itself, as the receiver hinged open to reveal the bolt and spring. There was no selector lever on some of the late models, when the gun was capable of only automatic fire, and the magazine was the proved and tried 71 round Suomi drum. The rate of fire was high, but a rudimentary compensator helped to steady the climb of the muzzle. About 5 million PPSh guns had been made by 1945, and the Soviets adapted their infantry tactics to take full advantage of such huge numbers: often complete units were armed with nothing else. In Russia, the PPSh went out of service in the late 1950s, but it has been supplied in enormous quantities to the satellite and pre-Communist countries, so that it will still be seen for many years. It has been made in various Communist countries, and in Iran, there are a multitude of variants. At one time, the German Army converted a few captured guns to 9mm by changing the barrel and magazine housing.
this is just to take space (from "Military Small Arms of the 20th Century" by Ian Hogg and John Weeks)


Early in 1952, death ended the career of Georgii S. Shpagin.  

In  little more than a  decade, he had  risen from  relative 

obscurity to the status of chief designer  of infantry arms.

Designer of the famous PPSh-41 and redesigner of the D/Sh/K-1938, 

his position in the arms design field is permanently assured. 

Cartridge: 7.62x25 (interchangeable with 7.63 Mauser; aka- .30 Mauser)
Type of Operation: Blowback
Cyclic rate: 900 rpm
Muzzle velocity: c.1600fps (488mps)
Type of Fire: Selective: full-automatic and semi-automatic
Length: 33.10 in. (828mm)
Barrel: 4 grooves, right-hand twist
Barrel Length: 10.60 in (265mm)
Weight unloaded: 8 lbs. (3.64 kg), with drum 12 lbs. (5.40 kg)
Type of Feed Mechanism: Single position feed, stamped sheet-metal, curved box magazine.
    Also, a drum magazine similar to the PPD type, but possessing two feed lips.
Magazine capacity: 35 round detachable box or 71 round drum
Weight of Loaded Magazines: 1.5 lbs, box type (.680 kg), 4 lbs. drum type (1.840 kg)
Sights: Tangent with open "U" notch, adjustable from 50 to 500 meters. On the later models,
    there is an open "U" notch "L" flip rear sight set for 100 and 200 meters.

Oleg Volk's PPSh pictures
Technical Specs & Diagrams Wehrmacht PPSh article
9mm conversion 9mm conversion kits!
PPSh-41 tips Reloading 7.62x25, 9mm & 9x23
Receiver markings Semi-Auto PPSh
Unusual PPSh-41s SR-41 review (Nov 2000)
Russian PPSh poster PPSh manuals, shirts & misc.
Waco/ATF poster PPSh related pictures  
Warning! Dangerous 7.62x25! Georgii Shpagin
PPSh article ("Master Gun"-1998) Suomi SMG site
7.62x25 article  ("Master Gun"-1996) PPSh-41 Videos!! (downloads)
How to Load a Drum Russian PPSh variations
Blank-firing barrel Comparison of Russian SMGs
Hudson PPSh model replica PPSh-41 in the Movies
PPSh-41 Parts For Sale PPS-43 Parts For Sale
New SVT40 Parts For Sale


-web page design & updating by bill berg-