Gevelot Gevarm

     Notes: This is a submachineguns designed to be low-maintenance, even in difficult climates.  It has the fewest parts that the designer could make a weapon out of, and it is very reliable even under bad conditions.  Why it didn’t really sell well is unknown, but it’s probably related to the glut of 9mm Parabellum submachineguns that have been on the market since the 1970s. 

     Two versions of the Gevarm were built: the D.3, which has a fixed wooden stock similar to that of the Arisaka series of rifles with the addition of a rubber recoil pad and more of a drop in the stock; and the D.4, which had a sliding stock which, when fully retracted, fit flush with the pistol grip.  Both had a grip safety (in the front of the pistol grip in the middle), and finger grooves in the pistol grip.  The bolt group is based on that of the Sten, but is chrome-plated. Construction of the Gevarm is largely of cast iron and steel. The fire selector allows for semiautomatic and automatic fire. The 8.66-inch barrel is tipped with a reinforced section that carries the front sight; the barrel is attached to the rest of the weapon by a short perforated barrel jacked/attachment lug.

     The Gevarm initially had a severe defect – the safety that stopped the weapon from firing if dropped or bumped.  The Gevarm prototypes that were tested by the French Army would require loosening of the trigger pack screws, since if the Gevarm was dropped, the weapon would jam tight until the safety in the trigger unit was dislodged by loosening those screws.  This problem was quickly fixed, but didn’t help with French Army testing.  Nonetheless, the French Police and other government organizations bought some, and some were also sold to unknown Middle Eastern countries.  Some 3000-4000 were built, but it is believed that they remained in service only until the early 1980s.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Gevarm D.3

9mm Parabellum

3.65 kg

32

$355

Gevarm D.4

9mm Parabellum

3.2 kg

32

$310

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Gevarm D.3

5

2

Nil

5

1

2

23

Gevarm D.4

5

2

Nil

3/5

1

3

23

 

Hotchkiss M-010 “Universal”

     Notes:  The Model 010 was originally produced as a police weapon in post-World War 2 France.  It was very quickly modified into a selective fire submachinegun and offered to the French Army (and given the name “Universal,” meant that it was to serve both police and military uses), who rejected it after disappointing results in Indochina.  Small numbers were also sold to Venezuela in the early 1950s, but as far as is known they are no longer even in storage by the Venezuelans.

     One of the problems with the weapon were the many unique features that led to over-complication.  One of the most unusual features was its ability to fold for storage or parachute jumps: the pistol grip folded, the stock folded, the magazine well folded (with a magazine in it), and even the barrel could be telescoped back into the receiver; this led to a small package of only 43.69 centimeters in length and less than 10 centimeters in height.  (Needless to say, it cannot be fired in this state).  Unfolded, you have a relatively compact submachinegun with a collapsible stock and a barrel length of 10.8 inches – with a long length of exposed, unreinforced barrel, and yet with a bayonet lug..  The many folding parts led from anything from pinched fingers to spontaneous folding at the wrong moment. A second problem is that the Hotchkiss Universal submachinegun is not very resistant to dirt or abuse, nor is it very “soldier-proof;” being designed at its inception for police use, it was simply not designed for use as a military weapon. The weapons were also generally of poor quality and even today will not bring a high real-world price. 

     Therefore, the Model 011 was designed. While it was simplified, it was still as crude in manufacture as the Sten; unfortunately, it was not nearly as good as the Sten in utility or solid construction, nor was it as easy or cheap to produce.  The barrel was shortened to 8.27 inches, though it was of heavier construction that that of the Model 010.  The magazine well still folded forward, even with a magazine inserted. The stock was of non-folding wood, and had decent strength.  However, the French Army also rejected the Model 011, and it was primarily used by the police and military forces in French Indochina.

     The Model 017 was a contemporary of the Model 010, but had a fixed wooden stock; for the most part, it was just as complicated as the Model 010 in operation, cost, and construction.  It also was more of a carbine, with a 15.95-inch stock.  Tested by the French Police and Army, it was rejected in favor of the MAT-49; it was also tested by Morocco and rejected.

     The Model 304 is an evolution of the earlier models that, ironically, fixed most of the problems of the earlier models.  It was simple to build, maintain, and operate.  It used a fixed wooden stock, and has a long perforated cooling jacket for the barrel.  The Model 304 has a bayonet lug, and is actually strong enough to use one.  Short and long-barreled versions were built, with 10.63-inch and 11.81-inch barrels.  The magazine well retained the ability to fold with a magazine inserted.  Unfortunately, the damage to Hotchkiss’s reputation was already done, and the design found no takers.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Hotchkiss M-010

9mm Parabellum

3.43 kg

32

$330

Hotchkiss M-011

9mm Parabellum

3.3 kg

32

$281

Hotchkiss M-017

9mm Parabellum

3.8 kg

32

$359

Hotchkiss M-304 (Short Barrel)

9mm Parabellum

3.2 kg

32

$305

Hotchkiss M-304 (Long Barrel)

9mm Parabellum

3.7 kg

32

$318

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Hotchkiss M-010

5

2

Nil

2/4

1

2

28

Hotchkiss M-011

5

2

Nil

3

1

2

22

Hotchkiss M-017

5

2

Nil

5

1

2

40

Hotchkiss M-304 (Short)

5

2

Nil

4

1

3

28

Hotchkiss M-304 (Long)

5

2

Nil

4

1

2

30

 

MAS-38

     Notes: More properly known as the Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS Mle 1938, the MAS-38 is an elderly French submachinegun which can still be found sometimes in Southeast Asia and Africa.  Despite its odd and somewhat fragile looks, including a receiver which looks “crooked” in relation to the butt, a wooden stock and pistol grip, an angled stick-type magazine, and a long length of exposed barrel, the MAS-38 was quite reliable and even rather tough.  Despite being designed and production beginning shortly before World War 2, few if any were built at that time, and most of them were in fact built after World War 2 when France got back on its feet.  Because of this, this weapon is sometimes referred to as the MAS-38/49.

     The MAS-38 was popular with troops due to that reliability and toughness, but it was greatly hampered by its underpowered 7.65mm Longue cartridge.  Despite this, it was issued in fairly large numbers, especially to the Foreign Legion.  Operation is pure blowback, and the barrel is 8.75 inches -- virtually all of it unsupported.  The front sight was a simple blade, with the rear being a flip-type aperture, but they are considered poorly-designed and getting a good aim with the sights can be difficult even for experienced MAS-38 gunners.  Some MAS-38s had a bayonet lug, but because of the unsupported barrel, bayonet fighting with a MAS-38 is quite likely to cause a bent barrel.  The safety mechanism is unusual; to engage it, one folds the trigger forward to the top of the trigger guard.  The standard MAS-38 has only an automatic fire setting, but cyclic rate is low enough to allow single shots to be squeezed off with practice.

     The French police department of Paris used two unusual versions of the MAS-38 for a short time.  Both were modified to produce only semiautomatic fire.  One had a wire bipod attached; the other has a folding wire stock instead of a wooden stock.  Both were not used outside of the Paris Police department, and were used only until they got better weapons.  Both are hard to find today outside of museums.

     The MAS-45 is another rare iteration, with a light alloy stock instead of a wooden stock.  It differs primarily in weight (and appearance, of course).  It was not produced much as better submachineguns were available by that time.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

MAS-38

7.65mm Longue

2.83 kg

20, 32

$249

MAS-38 (w/Bipod)

7.65mm Longue

3.53 kg

20, 32

$486

MAS-38 (Folding Stock)

7.65mm Longue

2.48 kg

20, 32

$275

MAS-45

7.65mm Longue

2.4 kg

20, 32

$244

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MAS-38/MAS-45

5

2

Nil

4

1

3

20

MAS-38 (w/Bipod)

SA

2

Nil

4

1

Nil

20

Bipod

SA

2

Nil

4

1

Nil

26

MAS-38 (Folding Stock)

SA

2

Nil

3/4

1

Nil

20

 

MAT-49

     Notes: The MAT-49 was developed at the Tulle Arsenal.  It weapon was originally designed for paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion, but was later adopted by the entire French Army.  The MAT-49 proved to be extremely reliable and was used by the French until the 1970s, when it was replaced by the FAMAS assault rifle.  It is still widely used, by police forces in several countries and by some by African countries (especially Algeria).  The Vietnamese captured a number of them during the French involvement in Indochina; they were converted to fire 7.62mm Tokarev ammunition and are still used by militia forces in that country (see Vietnamese Submachineguns).

     The MAT-49 was s simple blowback-operated submachinegun constructed almost entirely of stamped steel parts, and in that way is roughly the French equivalent of the M-3 Grease Gun or Sten.  The pistol grip had plastic grip plates, and the folding wire stock could be folded underneath to act as a forward grip if necessary.  An unusual feature of the MAT-49 was the magazine well; to make a smaller package during airdrops, the magazine well folds forward, along with the magazine; this also provides a positive block against firing, even if a round is chambered.  Another advantage of the MAT-49 was its cartridge – the more powerful 9mm Parabellum.

     Two lesser-known variants of the MAT-49 were built.  The MAT-49/54 was built specifically at the request of the Paris Police, and has a wooden stock and fires only in semiautomatic mode.  It was also one of the first variants of an automatic weapon which had a trigger mechanism that was specifically designed to make conversion to automatic fire very difficult.  The barrel length of the MAT-49/54 was 14.37 inches versus the 9.05-inch barrel of the MAT-49, making it more a carbine than a submachinegun.  The MAT-54SB is again a semiautomatic variant of the MAT-49 with a wooden stock; it retains the 9.05-inch barrel.  The MAT-54SB was designed for use by armed guards used by armored car companies, and includes modifications to allow it to be fired from the firing ports of French civilian armored cars of that period. These two variants have long been out of service anywhere; though some are in the hands of private collectors or museums, most were destroyed after they were replaced by more modern weapons.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

MAT-49

9mm Parabellum

3.63 kg

32

$314

MAT-49/54

9mm Parabellum

3.95 kg

32

$343

MAT-54SB

9mm Parabellum

3.4 kg

32

$289

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MAT-49

5

2

Nil

3/4

1

2

24

MAT-49/54

SA

2

2-Nil

4

1

Nil

36

MAT-54SB

SA

2

Nil

4

1

Nil

24