The MP 38, or Maschinenpistole 38, was a World War II German 9mm-caliber submachine gun. It was a light and accurate submachine gun with a low recoil. The MP 38 was known as the Schmeisser, for it was developed from the MP 36, which had been designed by the German gunsmith Hugo Schmeisser. Heinrich Vollmer revised the basic construction of Schmeisser’s MP 36, developing from it the well-known German submachine guns: the MP 38 and the MP 40. It was manufactured by the firm Ema Werke. Although it was produced for Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) and tank crews, this effective weapon was also delivered to infantry troops. The MP 40 survived the war and continued to be used until late 1970s or early 1980s in some European armies such as Austrian or Norwegian.
The MP 38, as well as the MP 40, was a straight blowback-action submachine gun which shot the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge from an open bolt. It had a 551mm-long barrel. Its rate of fire was 500 rounds/minute and its muzzle velocity 380 m/second. Its effective range was 100 m and its maximum range 300 m. The Maschinenpistole 38 was fed by a 32-round detachable box magazine. Its sights were hooded front blade, and fixed and flip-up U-notch rear.