17 May 2018

US Army Looking For First New Submachine Gun Since WWII

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75 years is a long time. Popular mechanics:

In a surprise move, the U.S. Army is asking industry for ideas for a new submachine gun. The last time the Army adopted a submachine gun was in 1943. It’s not clear why the Army wants a new subgun but it likely has to do with the service’s eventual adoption of a new rifle caliber and new assault rifle.

Submachine guns were developed during the World War I as an alternative to bulky, slow-firing bolt action rifles. Short and firing pistol caliber ammunition, they were ideal weapons for assault troops clearing narrow trenches of enemy troops. The U.S. Army went into World War II with the M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun, which fired the same .45 ACP round as the M1911A1 pistol. Towards the end of the war the Thompson was supplemented by the M3 “Grease Gun”, also in .45 ACP.
M3 “Grease Gun”
Getty Images

Submachine guns were eventually replaced in many armies by shortened assault rifles, which used heavier assault rifle rounds while still physically compact. In the U.S. Army, the M3 was used up through the 1991 the Gulf War by vehicle and by Delta Force.

According to The Firearm Blog, the U.S. Army has posted a Request for Information from the defense industry for a new submachine gun. The RFI is for a Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) that will fire 9×19-millimeter (9mm Luger) ammunition, have full automatic capability, a Picatinny rail for attaching lights, optics, and other accessories, and mentions the capability to mount a suppressor.


2 Feedbacks on "US Army Looking For First New Submachine Gun Since WWII"

Old Salt

I recall MP5s in some of the armories. SMGs / pistol caliber carbines are great fun to shoot.

But… with the possible exception of the P90, few of them with penetrate the body armor most armies now issue. And they don’t have the accuracy or range of even a shortened assault rifle so head and thigh shots are tough.

Unless this will be silenced and fed sub-sonic rounds, it will be useless except for the MPs.

bob sykes

It is possible the new Army/Marine rifle will be chambered in a round that is totally unsuited for an assault rifle, like the 6.5 Creedmore. The average soldier would then carry a semi-auto only rifle, and squads would need some sort of light weight automatic weapons to make up the fire power difference.

Herschel Smith over at The Captain’s Journal has several rants about this and the guy driving the changes, Gen Scales.


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