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Until the supply of 22LR dried up, my metal-receiver GSG 522SD had become one of my favorite range toys.  Accurate and reliable (if the chamber is periodically cleaned), the GSG 522 has sold like hot cakes. ATI followed up the success of the GSG 522 with a .22LR copy of the MP-44 Sturmgewehr, and is now going to market a new Teutonic plinker, the MP-40 “Schmeisser.” The MP -40 will be available as a carbine (underfolding stock and faux suppressor) and a pistol version (underfolding buttstock permanently retracted). Both 10- and 25-round mags will be available. Like the STG-44 that preceded it, the GSG MP-40 will come from ATI with a wood crate for storage.    MSRP will be $539.95. So is the MP-40 really a Schmeisser? . . .

The term “Schmeisser” may be somewhat of a misnomer as related to the Mp-40, as the original 9mm submachine gun was designed and built by Erma.  Over the years, we have all heard that Mr. Schmeisser “had nothing to do with” the development of the Mp-40.  That may be akin to stating that Eugene Stoner had nothing to do with the development of the M-4. In any event, here is what one website, Die Maschinenpistole 40, has to say on the topic:

“Why the MP38 and MP40 were called the ‘Schmeisser’

Every book written after the early fifties states that Hugo Schmeisser did not have to do anything with the mp40. Most writers of these books base their information on previous books without having checked the patents and interviewing people who were involved in the design and production at the time. I’m not claiming that I have done this but further investigation and correspondence with experts in the field of small-arms, who have the following information first hand, leads me to belief that the statement that “Hugo and Hans Schmeisser did not have anything to do with the design” is a misunderstanding. The main reason why this has come into the world is probably the fact that Erma wanted to do business in the United States after WWII.

The American sportshooters were of course a very interesting and huge market. During this time they came in contact with the company “Interarmco Ltd” based in the the United States. Since the mp40 had built up such a notorious reputation during the war, Erma wanted to impress their future business partner with this fact. They simply “forgot” to tell that almost the entire design was based on patents of Hugo Schmeisser. This was easy since Hugo Schmeisser also died in this same period after coming back from a long period of Soviet captivity. Another event that helped disregarding the role of Hugo Schmeisser was that the important “Small Arms” series of books claimed that Hugo Schmeisser only role lay in the fact that Haenel also produced the mp38 an mp40. Hugo Schmeisser was the technical director of Haenel. Tricky fact is that the author of these “Small arms” series was a friend of the owner of Interarmco Ltd. The same company that had the deal with Erma!

Immediately after the war, even before the soviets occupied their part of Germany, the British Intelligence Service interviewed Hugo Schmeisser. In these intelligence reports Hugo Schmeisser stated that he was reponsible for all the military used sub-machine guns. All these statement were examined and confirmed by high ranking officers who played an important role in the armament industry. Apart from this, the patents proved to be the most convincing evidence on this. Below I will list the patents that can directly be linked to Hugo or Hans Schmeisser:

1) So starting with the first and most important patent which is Schmeisser’s patent on the delayed blowback. This invention was first used in the mp18 and has been used unchanged in almost any submachine gun afterwards. To rub it in clearly Haenel pressed it in the housing of the mp41 which is by the way exactly the same as the mp40 (see picture).

2) The seperate firing pin guided by a spring which is loose in the bolt.

3) The double stack/single feed magazine system. Initially Erma used a different system on their prototype, the EMP36. This was the same system as used in the Erma EMP. Their intention was to use this as well in the new mp38 but this was prevented by the military. They wanted Erma to use the doublestack/single feed system of Schmeisser. This is a good example of how big Hugo schmeisser influence was in the military. The patent for the magazine was of the 7th of september 1930.

4) OK, here it gets really tricky and confusing. It’s stated everywhere that the telescope spring was a patented invention of Vollmer. Which is the D.R.P. Nr. 580620 of july 13 1933. However a patent which was handed out on the 27th November 1930 to Hugo and Hans Schmeisser also clearly describes a telescoping main operating spring assembly in a housing exactly like the spring used in the Erma EMP and MP40 series. This leads me to believe that that there is a possibility that the patent that is always linked to Heinrich Vollmer is actually an earlier invention of Hugo Schmeisser. The Vollmer VMP 1930 was the first Sub-Machine hat used the new telescoop spring. The earlier models like the VPG, VPGa, VPF and the VMP 1925 did not use this invention yet. I don’t really understand why there would be 2 different patents on 1 invention. Maybe there are small technical differences. I don’t really know. What I do know is that I have seen the patents (on photo’s) of the Schmeisser patents and not of the Vollmer patents. If you have any further information or copies of the patents please let me know.

5) Then the folding stock. Again a revolutionary patented invention of Hugo Schmeisser. Hugo Schmeisser already applied for a patent on this invention in 1935. This folding stock is however different than the one used on the mp38 and mp40. The principle is however the same. Hugo Schmeisser’s folding stock was in fact not a “folding stock” it looked a bit like the extending stock later used on the American “Grease gun”. The difference lay in the fact that the part which is pressed against the shoulder became part of the handgrip when folded in. Apparently there is no patent of Erma for the folding stock used on the MP38 and mp40. Possibly because the patent office thought that the functional principle remained the same as the one from Hugo Schmeiser. Another interesting thing is that the patent office did not grant Hugo Schmeisser the patent until 1939. 4 years is quite a long grant period. Since Germany was heading for war it didn’t want it’s future enemies to know about this invention. In 1939 the MP38 was already spotted by the enemies and therefore there was no reason anymore to not grant the patent.

The attachement of the barrel to the receiver housing is not an patented invention of Hugo Schmeisser. He used a diferent attachement as used on the MP41. Also the attachment of the reciever housing to the grip section is not Hugo Schmeisser’s invention. It might be that this is an invention of Heinrich Vollmer since the Erma EMP has the same ingenious disassembly system. The mass cooling barrel was also more or less copied from the VMP models from Vollmer.

Off course it was the design team of Berthold Geipel of Erma who combined the patented inventions of Hugo Schmeisser but to say that Hugo schmeisser did not have anything to do with the design is untruth.”

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  1. Why in the heck does it have to be a .22?

    Want to get me not to buy something? Make a ‘replica’ in .22 caliber.

    Would you buy a Camaro with a 4-cylinder? Get real.

    • It’s the only way such a thing can reasonably be imported, as GSG is based in Germany. It’s also the only caliber that can be made available for civilian sales in many parts of Europe (though many of those customers would likely be using a real suppressor, rather than the fake barrel extension seen above). So, you know… laws. Reasons. That sort of thing.

    • Ummm…next years Camaro will have a 4 cylinder turbo. Around 300hp. As for why anyone would want this gun? It looks like fun. If .22 ever becomes available again. In a “real” caliber, what is the point? There are far better options for social purposes.

    • I would pay $600 for a cheap knockoff of a military arm because?

      “Well because the government either won’t let you own or demands an exhorbitant price for a real one, hur, hur, hur.”

      When you buy one of these cheap POS’ you’re paying for more regulation. If my business was manufacturing cheap knock offs, I would totally support more gun control. It’s good for my market share.

      This has nothing to do with making history accessible.

      • I was answering your “why does it have to be a .22” question.

        I no more a fan of these sorts of regulations than anyone else who frequents this site, but that’s the reality of situation. Of course, that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface, as I have no idea who currently owns the rights to the MP-40’s original design. In this case, GSG is likely licensing the rights to produce a firearm in the likeness of the original MP-40, and that deal probably specifies caliber and method of operation. That the company in question is based in Germany naturally leads me to believe that they are legally precluded from making such a firearm in any caliber other than .22, due to the rather draconian gun laws that are prevalent throughout Europe. Further, restrictions enacted in the U.S. regarding the import of “non-sporting” arms mean that, even *if* GSG was able to produce their MP-40 replica in its proper 9mm configuration, it would have to enter this country in such a profoundly bastardized state that it’s market appeal would be drastically limited.

        You are, of course, welcome to write them a letter expressing your displeasure with the status quo. You can even cc it to the relevant domestic and foreign legislators. Alternatively, you can continue tangentially ranting about cheap knock-offs and the accessibility of historical arms.

        It is what it is.

        • Or, I can just not buy their cr@p. And if enough people don’t, there won’t be a market for the “Mosin Nagant in .22 Replica” that will be coming down the pipe in 2050.

          The amazing thing about for-profit companies is that they don’t make what people don’t buy. If people would stop buying this stuff – they would either do a better job making it or give up. Either one is a win in my book,

          You can either beat the crocodile, or continue feeding it virgins, hoping it eats you last.

        • Wow. Here I thought that my desire for a StG44 look-alike that fired cheap .22 ammo was a rational appreciation of something cool and economical. But actually I’m a sucker and in a round-about way a tool of the anti-gunners. I’m glad there are smart people around to point that out to me and tell me what I should and shouldn’t buy gun-wise.

        • “I have no idea who currently owns the rights to the MP-40′s original design”

          IANAL, not even on the internet, but I don’t think that matters unless there are “trade dress” implications about how it looks. The patents are long gone. The estates of Stoner and Kalashnikov are not raking in the big bucks licensing the likeness of their inventions.

    • I get that it has to be a .22 in order for GSG to be involved, but there’s got to be somebody out there…like in Radom, Poland for example, who could crank these out in 9mm, even if in bastardized “pistol” fashion.

  2. This is cool. But really… I’d much MUCH rather have one of those FG42 .308 rifles that are being made.

    Or… how about some pistols? Some new Luger .22s or even a c96 in .22 would be okay.

      • Well companies by the name of Stoger and Erma made some .22 Luger pistols once. Think the later also made some .380 versions as well. But those have been out of production for some time.

        • I don’t know when they stopped production but I haven’t seen a .22 Luger since about 1970. I don’t recall them being too popular. The .380 version was smaller, with I think a 6 round mag. They were billed as baby Lugers. I never saw one in the wild.

        • I’ve fired a .22 luger along side an actual luger before. The .22 was just plain fun. The toggle action is an interesting design to me, I just haven’t been able to find either iteration at a price I could afford that wasn’t totally beat to hell and back.

      • I bought a .22 Stoeger Luger in the late ’70’s…absolute POS…went back to the factory several times before I got rid of it. I feel sorry for the poor sucker(s) who had it after me.

      • I have owned one of the Stoeger .22 “lugers” and it agree it was a POS. Neither magazine fed without lots of jams. The pot metal receiver was poorly made and stressed. My trigger guard cracked and fell off when I was shooting it (no, not from dropping it, just from bad design). I also own a Chiappa .22 replica of a Colt .45, also a POS. 10 pound trigger pull after polishing it. Two fingers required before. Bad purchase. I own a Norinco copy of a German prewar .22 K98 trainer. Very nice gun, very accurate. I own a Norico copy of the pre war Olympia Jaeger pistol. Nice pistol, great trigger, very accurate. I owned a Romanian made AK47 in .22. POS, extractors did not work on most of those. I also own a GSG .22 copy of the MP 5. Very accurate and one of the most reliable of the 30 or 40 semi auto .22s I own. I own a GSG copy of the stg44. Accurate, reliable, and once sanded for wear a very close full of fun representation. I have an order in for the GSG MP 40 Why would I want to own these replicas? The thing is, I do own many of the originals that these were copies of: I own original lugers, original GI .45s, an old Colt Ace .22 conversion, 3 original Walther Olympia target pistols including the Jaeger models, half a dozen original Nazi unmodfied youth K98 trainers including Walther and Mauser made ones, and owned various AK variants in the past. And I do shoot all of my originals. But if it is raining or snowing or whatever I can have the same casual fun with the replicas and not give any thought to their value. I probably could get an original STG44 or MP 40. But I really don’t want to spend that kind of money, or have the hassles of NFA firearms.A semi version of the STG44 in orig caliber was around a few years ago and nobody bought it because of the high price tag. It was a complete marketing flop. The .22 replicas (at least the ones that work well) meet price, availability, image, and price to shoot criteria that make people happy. I really don’t get the “purist” crap that there is anything wrong with that.

    • I’d much rather buy a new production Luger in 9mm. I guess they would be cost prohibitive, otherwise someone would be producing them

  3. why not 9mm? why not the stg44 replica in 7.62×39? why not mp5 knockoffs in 9mm? i’d buy any of those in a heartbeat. especially the STG44

  4. I’m glad we have all of these manufacturing experts here who know that you can produce a centerfire version of an MP40 or StG44 for less than a grand and make money doing so.

  5. I intend to get one of these for the simple fact that I don’t think I’ll be able to afford a real one. I also wish that they could import in real calibers (9mm, 7.62×39) but sadly that is not gonna happen unless GSG builds a production factory in the US. But I want one, because, as stated above, they’re awesome! duh!

  6. SSD have full rights to make exact replicas, They used factory blue prints and molds made from real firearms used in WW2 ,They even have some of the original steel presses for the shrouds .

  7. I almost like it, but that faux suppressor is dopey. It could have been great without the stupid regulations. I’ll wait for the pistol/pinned stock version. GSG should also make an M3 Greaser.

  8. I currently own a gsg stg44 -22lr , it’s a blast to shoot as a real mp44 is completely untouchable for any average shooter to afford to own. And the ammo it fired has to be custom made (Norma brass only recently even available again for that purpose btw). And the guns themselves are a rare treasure, to be cared for not fired often. The only real one I’ve even been in the same room as was at a local war museum, it and the ww2 ammo with it are behind glass of course. So as a fan of these weapons from a gun guy, or historical standpoint a replica is the only way I can hold or fire one whenever I want. As for the mp40 in 22lr it has several changes to the length that make it legal but not as true to the original as the 44. However keep in mind yor talking about 3 to 4 hundred dollar guns, what kind of pos pistol could u get for that? Would it be more fun, start more conversations at the range? Doubtful… Also a 9mm version of the mp40 was announced at gsg booth at shots how in 2015 , to release in 2016 I’m told . So just wait and get one in the og caliber. Also u don’t need a full auto firearms license to own these replicas. A long two cents I know but gun politics aside I’ve enjoyed owning mine more than most my real assault weapons, at the range.


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