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My recent video (https://youtu.be/5Hrfxu_K9HY) proposing a particular set of definitions for three generations of submachine gun design generated a lot of comments about the H&K MP-7 and FN P90. I focused largely on the first and second generation guns in that video – as they were the bulk of what I had available to use as examples – and I neglected what should have been those two obvious modern examples. To quickly recap:
Gen 1 – The first SMGs, made with primarily milled components to a high standard of craftsmanship and expense.
Gen 2 – The economization of SMGs. Designs using stamped materials at first, and polymer more recently.
Gen 3 – Designs emulating rifle handling. Generally closed bolt, but featuring the controls, layout and handling copied from modern rifle platforms.
I believe that both the MP-7 and P90 are solid examples of what I define as a 3rd generations SMG. The MP-7 takes most of its cues form the G36 rifle, and the P90 takes its from the F2000 rifle. I don’t think that the smaller-than-typical calibers used by these guns qualifies them as a new generation, nor does the clever and unusual magazine system of the P90. Neither is quite as perfect of an example as the MP5 in taking virtually every characteristic form a parent rifle design, but I think both are close enough to qualify as Gen 3 submachine guns.
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!