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Born in the Heart of Besieged Leningrad: the PPS-42

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One would think that the Shpagin PPSh-41 was as simple as a submachine gun could get, but that wasn’t the case in World War Two USSR. Barely had the PPSh gotten into real production than the Army was looking for something even simpler. An answer came from young designer Aleksey Sudaev with a completely-stamped gun that used about half the raw material and a third the machine time to produce as the PPSh. After winning the competitive trials, Factory 828 in Moscow was chosen as the lead production facility. They produced a series of drawings and preproduction guns in the summer of 1942.

Sudaev took those drawings into besieged Leningrad with orders to et up production in three factories within the city. The main one was Factory 209, and after fixing a few minor design flaws, the gun went into production in the spring of 1943. Sudaev PPS-42 SMGs pretty much went out the doors of the factory and right into combat trying to break the siege of the city. In total, about 46,000 would be produced before that siege was finally broken.

Meanwhile, Factory 828 in Moscow put a higher priority on policing the design than on immediate production. They implemented a substantial number of improvements, although the lack of communication into Leningrad prevented them from being used in the production going on there. Instead, the improvements culminated in the PPS-43 design, of which more than a million were made by the end of the war.

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