WWII Sub Gun Face Off: Soviet PPSH vs. German MP 40

Both were born of the Second World War and many went muzzle to muzzle on the battlefield—so which comes out on top?

In the above video from Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern, Vladimir Onokoy pits two iconic subguns from behind the Iron Curtain against each other: the Red Army’s PPSh-41 against the Wermacht’s Maschinenpistole 40 or MP 40.

The PPSh-41 was designed by Georgy Shpagin as a cheap, reliable, and simplified alternative to the Soviet PPD-40. Common nicknames are "pe-pe-sha" from its three-letter prefix and "papasha," meaning "daddy."

The gun is a magazine-fed, selective fire submachine gun using an open bolt, blowback action. Made largely of stamped steel, it can be loaded with either a box or drum magazine and fires the 7.62×25mm Tokarev pistol round.

The PPSh saw extensive combat use during World War II and the Korean War. It was one of the major infantry weapons of the Soviet Armed Forces during World War II. Around six million PPSh-41s were manufactured. As a licensed copy In the form of the Chinese Type 50, it was still being used by the Viet Cong as late as 1970.

Born of the same era, the MP 40 was a German submachine gun chambered for 9mm Parabellum. It was developed by the Nazis and was used extensively by the Axis powers during WWII.

Designed in 1938 by Heinrich Vollmer with inspiration from its predecessor, the MP 38, it was heavily used by infantrymen, and by paratroopers, on the Eastern and Western Fronts. It was favored in various parts of the world after the war as well. From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.1 million MP 40s were produced by Erma Werke.