Shooting the German MP40 submachine gun

The MP40 submachine gun was made to use with the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. This submachine gun was developed in Germany by the Nazis and the Axis powers used these guns extensively throughout World War 2.

The MP40 was designed by Heinrich Vollmer in 1938, he got the inspiration for them from the MP38 (its predecessor). The MP40 was used throughout the German army, by paratroopers, platoon leaders, infantrymen and squad leaders on both the Western and Eastern fronts.

It was designed with more modern features that were far more advanced than anything that had come before; this made it hugely popular with both German soldiers and countries around the world (following the end of the War). It was commonly called the ‘Schmeisser’ by the Allies; this was an incorrect name as Hugo Schmeisser had zero involvement in this gun, neither in its design nor in its production.

Between 1940 and 1945 it is estimated that approximately 1.1 million of these MP40s were manufactured – all made by Erma Weke.


  • Cartridge: 9×19mm Parabellum
  • Action: Straight blowback, open bolt
  • Rate of fire: 500–550 rounds/min
  • Muzzle velocity: 400 m/s (1,312 ft/s)
  • Effective firing range: 100 – 200 m
  • Maximum firing range: 200 m


Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.