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Vigneron M2: Belgium’s Little-Known Post-War SMG

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After World War Two, the Belgian military wanted to replace its many Sten guns with a better standard SMG. The solution was designed by Colonel Georges Vigneron in 1953, and adopted by all branches of the Belgian military (as well as the Force Publique in the Belgian Congo) in 1954. This is a very simple blowback SMG, and cheap to manufacture. It has a 3-position combined safety/selector switch to allow semiauto fire, and a grip safety which locks the bolt in position when both cocked and uncocked. The M2 was a relatively minor improvement to the original M1, focused primarily on the sights, replacing a rear aperture with an open notch and adding a protective guard to the front. In total, more than 100,000 Vignerons were manufactured, and they remained in Belgian service into the 1990s. The gun was considered effective and reliable, and generally quite well regarded despite its inexpensive nature.

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