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The PPSh-41 was a lightweight sub-machine-gun used by the Red Army during World War II. The weapon had a fire rate of 900 rounds per minute, which is equal to that of a modern day P90. The weapon was commonly used with a box or drum magazine, and these are the magazines the gun is most commonly associated with when it is shown in different media. In actuality, while common, they were not as common as the 'regular' stick magazine.
 
The weapon name itself is something akin to "Hand-Held Shpagin Pistol/SMG, 1941", though could be more easily expanded to "Shpagin sub-machine gun" since it refers exactly to the same weapon purpose. The Russian version of the name is as follows: пистолет-пулемет Шпагина 41.

History

 Soviet soldier wielding a PPSh-41 with the iconic drum magazine
The PPSh-41 was designed by Georgi Shpagin as an alternative to the PPD-40, which was expensive and time consuming to produce. Development was increased during the winter war with Finland, as the Russians found sub machine guns useful for fighting in close range environments, such as forests and urban areas. The weapon started production in 1941, through a network of factories around Moscow.
 
Over the course of six months, there were over 150,000 PPSh-41 weapons produced. The PPSh-41 was a relatively simple weapon to make - almost all of the PPSh-41 could be made in a tin shop or auto repair garage. The only part that needed skilled workers was the barrel. In this sense, it is only marginally more difficult to make than the British Sten SMG, which was intended to be made entirely in a garage or other facility, since they would be provided in great numbers to the French resistance.
 

Facts, Features and Flaws

The PPSh-41 was a favored weapon of the German soldiers. If the Germans could find PPSh-41s, they captured them and used them. The similarity between the Russian used ammunition (7.62x25mm Tokarev, like that of the TT-33 pistol) and the German ammunition meant that the German forces could use their 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridges in the PPSh-41.
 
PPSh-41 SMGs proved difficult to reload, and could frequently jam when using the drum magazine (this was solved with the box magazine). There was also a high chance of the PPSh-41 firing accidentally when it was dropped. Soviet soldiers loved the PPSh-41, due to the high rate of fire and low recoil. Unsurprisingly, they were able to access them more readily than the Germans, though the Wehrmacht made use of the weapon if they could.

Variants

  • Type 50
  • K-50M
  • SKL-41
The SKL-41 is an unusual version of PPSh-41. For a start, it was released in 2008 - over 60 years after the PPSh-41. However, it is more of a collector's model. This version is semi-automatic, and fires 9mm Parabellum rounds. It is made in Germany.

Countries of Usage

Due to the common and basic nature of the PPSh-41, it is impossible to say all of the nations that have made use of its brand of firepower since its introduction. This is, of course, made harder by national terrorist and paramilitary groups, who don't really announce the kind of firepower they have at their command. Below is a list of some of the nations that are known to have actually used the weapon at one point or another:  
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Benin
  • Cambodia
  • Cuba
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nazi Germany
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • North Vietnam
  • People's Republic of China
  • Poland
  • Soviet Union

PPSh-41 in gaming

This section covers the PPSh-41 in different videogames. This will include different points about the weapon in the game:

Call of Duty 2

PPSh-41 in CoD2
The PPSh-41 appears in Call of Duty as the standard SMG during the Soviet missions, where you play as Vasili Koslov. The PPSh-41 fires more slowly than it does in World at War, and at a more realistic speed. Even so, it has the highest rate of fire of a gun you can carry. The recoil is more severe than that of World at War, but it is easily controlled recoil. Finding ammo for the PPSh-41 is difficult, so swapping to a German MP40 can occasionally be a good tactic. Often, the only way to find ammo for the gun is to wait for a friendly soldier who is carrying a PPSh-41 to be killed. Recoil is very predictable and easily controlled, due to the fact it simply pushes upwards. The PPSh-41 is known as the 'King of Spam' due to the largest magazine size of the game.

Call of Duty: World at War

Unlock Level: Rank 53
Magazine Size: 35 (standard magazine), 70 (Drum Magazine)
Penetration: Poor
 
The PPSh-41 in World at War has the highest rate of fire of any weapon in the game - it fires at a historically incorrect rate of 1250RPM, which basically confuses its rate of fire with that of the MG42 - likely for balance reasons. However, this is made up for with its incredibly poor damage. It takes around 10 rounds to kill someone in Core mode, and 3 in Hardcore.  However, the PPSh-41 has the lowest recoil of any SMG in the game as well, so getting the shots on target is barely a challenge.
 
The PPSh-41 in World at War has often been compared by players to the P90 from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, due to the high rate of fire and low recoil. In an odd coincedence, the iron sights are somewhat similar as well. The weapon is occasionally used online with an Aperture Sight or with no attachment, but is normally found with a Drum Magazine attached.
 
Unlike previous Call of Duty titles, such as Call of Duty 2, where the PPSh-41 was present, your character no longer holds it by the drum - they hold the weapon under the barrel. 

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