A descendent of the MP36 and MP38, the MP40 was a well tested, streamlined submachine-gun that arrived just in time for World War II. Developed in Nazi Germany, the MP (MP stands for Maschinenpistole, literally meaning Machine Pistol) line of weapons was a staple in the Wehrmacht’s arsenal. In combat, the MP40 was compact and light, well known both for its slow rate of fire and low recoil.
In the Nazi invasion of Poland, the MP38 was used by several thousand troops in battle. After the battle, these soldiers returned with their experience and feedback surrounding the gun, allowing further improvements to be made. The MP38 was given further simplifications and its production started using more pressed parts as opposed to machined parts. This updated MP38 became known as the MP40.
The MP40 utilizes an open-bolt, blowback-operated system to achieve fully automatic fire. Though it only supports fire in a single automatic setting, soldiers were able to shoot single shots with precise trigger pulls. The MP40 also featured a foldout resting bar and a hand guard between the magazine and the pistol grip. These features improved the weapon’s recoil, but if a soldier were to ever get too close to the barrel, they would have suffered burns due to the weapon’s non-existent insulation. While the weapon was generally reliable, its 32-round magazine left much to be desired. The MP40 used a double-column, single-feed designed which sometimes resulted in the weapon jamming under intense conditions.
Contrary to popular beliefs, MP40s were generally issued to paratroopers and platoon and squad leaders only. However, as the war progressed and Nazi forces began to face Soviets in increasing numbers, their tactics had to change. The Soviets had entire forces of submachine gunners that were able to decimate Nazi troops. To combat this threat, the Nazis began to deal out MP40s to entire platoons on a limited basis.
Tips for the MP40
Whether you are just picking it up for the first time or sharpening your already honed skills, head over to the Missions tab and enlist for the MP40 challenge.