The Evolution of a Gunfighter Part II
Are You Afraid of Change or just too Comfortable to be Cutting Edge?

The PPS-43: Study Gun, Kid's Gun, Historical Artifact

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The PPS-43 SBR

The real PPS-43 (Pistolet-Pulemyot Sudaeva, model of 1943 = Sudaev SMG) was an answer to the need for more compact and handier weapon than its predecessor, the PPSh-41, then in use by Soviet Army.

The original PPS is a full-automatic only weapon, simple blowback, and is fired from the open bolt. The safety is located at the front of the trigger guard. The receiver and barrel shroud are made from stamped steel. Rear sight is L-shaped flip type and is marked for 100 and 200 meters distance, front sight is fixed blade type. The barrel is equipped with very simple muzzle brake. The folding stock is made from steel and folds up and over the top of the receiver.

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OK..so much for historical and technical discussions.  It is a common thing for writers to take a WW2 era weapon and then compare it to an HK MP5 or an FN P90. Other than to sell the guns that may advertise in that particular magazine, doing this is foolish and akin to comparing a Stuka Dive Bomber to an A-10 Warthog.  So dispensing with such silliness I will say that the PPS-43 is a nice weapon.  By modern standards it is longer and heavier than needed, but compared to an MP-44 or a Thompson, it is sleek and fast to the shoulder.  Manipulations of the weapons – loading, unloading, reloading, etc., are very easy and almost intuitive to one that has spent a great deal of time with an AK. I suspect Mikhail Kalashnikov got to handle one or two of these when he was envisioning his creation.

There are several semi auto versions of this available today for those so inclined. Early this year I bought one of the Polish Radom copies brought into the USA as a pistol.  I also bought a rear receiver section with the stock still attached and a sack full of magazines.  Ninety days later, I had my tax stamp and set forth to turn it back into a semi auto SMG.  Removal of the existing stock, and adding the components to enable folding and opening  was quite easy and required about an hour of work. 

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A couple of days ago, the junior staff and I went for a drive in the Arizona woods.  They were looking forward to shooting the PPS as they had seen in the Call of Duty game that I consulted on. They drove the Jeep and I sat shotgun with my Suchka.  Arriving at our training ground, we worked with the AKs, and the big Moisin rifle. But the real fun began with the SBR'd PPS43. We went through nearly 800 rounds of ammo.  Gotta love it when you see a 13 year old bust a take off and zipper a target at a dead run with a combloc SMG, and then do a after action with a harder war face than yours!

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The PPS43 is not going to be the first line of defense at home, nor will I rely on it for anything serious any more than I will the big Moisin Nagant.  We have other “tools” that fulfill those missions.  But as a historical study gun, and a "play gun" for the junior staff, it is a very nice addition to the collection. 

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