US troops using PPSh?


James at Hell in a Handbasket notes claims that some US troops in Iraq are using ancient Russian PPSh submachineguns. There is some photographic evidence, as well. Go check it out.

I know that our guys sometimes grab enemy weapons in a jam, but this seems to be more than that. Anyone know for sure?

Also, I’ve heard from a couple of sources that some of the non-frontline troops training for Iraq have been told that there aren’t enough M16s and M4s to go around, and they’re trained with sidearms instead. This isn’t bad, I guess, but wouldn’t it be better to train them on the AK-47? I’d have to think that we’d be able to get quite a number of reliable weapons and plenty of ammunition. Just a thought.


  1. Well, the only reasons I could think of to explain this is that there are large stockpiles of the 7.62x25mm TT ammo sitting around and that the troops have found the lower-recoil (at least compared to the AK-47, I didn’t bother to run any numbers to compare to M4/16) and higher ammo-capacity PPsh more useful in CQB than the M16/4 or AK-series.

  2. Please note that in at least one, I think both of these pictures that the individuals are also carrying M-16s. I think I see the foregrip of an M-16 in the gap between the soldiers legs as he’s going up the stairs. I keep saying we need to diversify our weaponry, and give an SMG and maybe a shotgun to each squad, but nobody will listen. These soldiers are probably just scooping up what they find, using it until it runs dry, and then tossing it to return to their issue weapons. Anybody ever fire a PPSH before? What a riot, and perfect for room-to-room fighting. It’s got a high rate of fire, it’s compact, and it probably won’t penetrate the internal walls to hit the squad in the next room. Just perfect for this, but, the ammo could be hard to find. I’ll do some checking and see if any of the people I know ‘over there’ have heard anything.

  3. I just hope for the sake of these troops, and in response to the idea of equipping troops with ak-47’s, is that the CIA, etc. has not been feeding ‘special’ ammo into the supply lines of the enemy. As far as I know, they did it in Vietnam, to try to affect the VC morale they put exploding rounds into the VC supply lines, so that they would hesitate upon firing their weapon. Although the accuracy of these old weapons is probably less than that of a side-arm in the US inventory, so it is probably a bad idea. A stoner sr-47 could be a good idea though, I think, providing the US with a cheap source of ammo. (They could even probably buy cheaper ammo from old russian stockpiles, than produce it and ship it from the states :P silly idea probably.)

  4. Hate to say it, but needs must when the devil drives. These guys are probably just picking up what they find handy. The PPSH is actually a pretty good weapon for this setting.

  5. A guy over at says his buddy in Iraq started using a PPsh. Even got the unit armorer to put an EOTech on the thing.

  6. I just got an E-mail from a buddy of mine from basic training (10 years ago) who’s over there. He’s carrying one, and even has 2.5 full mags he’s picked up and consolidated. Says it’s great for MOUT type stuff, and that it seems to do better for ‘killing’ power at short ranges. He also is carrying his issue M-16A2, but prefers ‘his’ PPSH when clearing buildings. Says the rate of fire is ‘Un-Fng-Godly’ and it’s much more compact than his A2. Says of all the shots he’s fired, he actually sees the results of this more (due to the environment it’s used in, where they gonna run away to indoors?) but likes the accuracy of the M-16 on longer range shots better. Wants me to send him a ‘laser-sight’ to mount under the barrel. Says that’ll just make it ‘t!t$’. He really likes his toy.

  7. Heck, I’d love to use a PPSH in modern wartime just for the ‘romance’ of it. We humans tend to develop affinity for guns that have been around a long time simply because they’ve had the time to make that certain impression on us. I mean, how cool would it be to do some room-by-room with a nice condition MP40? I have a question or two, though. Does the use of these weapons in modern combat have to be approved? Are the soldiers allowed to use what they might find as long as they don’t dispose of their issued weapons? ..Or present a threat to other soldiers? Thanks. E.

  8. Pretty strange to see PPsH’s out in friendly hands… or is it? I don’t think I can think of a better city weapon then a PPsH. What does the PPsH offer? High rate of fire, high capacity (71 round drums!), extreme reliability due to simple construction, much more power then any common pistol round (special PPsH only loadings of the 7.62×25: 2000fps+), plenty of ammo (corrosive lasts forever!), easy to take down, compact, better range then a normal smg, and mean looks. The only drawback to the PPsH is probably its weight; the thing only has a 10′ barrel but weighs over 10lbs according The only thing we have close to this would be a M1 carbine, which is much more complex. I Guess a Thompson’s or a carbined version of a MAC-10 is pretty close too since they operate the same, but those don’t have the power or the flat trajectory of the Tokarev cartridge. That 7.62×25 round is like a little rifle bullet.

  9. PPSh41 sounds like a chainsaw. Rate of fire is close to 1,000 rpm. ,depending on ammo, state of your recoil spring/recoil buffer, kind of lubrication (Moly-lubes may increase rates of fire a bit in full auto weapons..) Bolt travel is very short, so it cycles FAST. 35 rd. double column/single-feed stick mags, and the 71 rd. drum. The bottle-necked rd. feeds VERY reliably and headspaces on the shoulder rather than on the front edge of a straight case like 9x19mm or .45acp. (Broomhandle Mauste pistols converted to 9x19mm from the very similar .30 Mauser caliber, do not feed as relaibly as in the original caliber.) Soviet sniper Vasily Saitsev made good use of the PPSh41 in raids in the rubble of the cities where they were fighting invading Nazis.(Read his book that the rather silly movie Enemy At The Gates was very loosely based on. WHat a movie it COULD have been!:-( If you read translated books like TANK RIDER, about Russ. troops in WW2, you will see PPSh41’s in a LOT of photos. Any rd. that will clock 1,600 fps out of a PISTOL is going to be same class as .30 Carbine, or Hi-Vel .32-20. .30 Carbine M-1 or M-2 are not nearly as reliable a weapons as the PPSh41 or the lighter, slower rate of fire, folding stock PPS43. Russians probably had the best SMG’s in WW2….Even now they would be mighty hard to beat. SMG’s are what is needed for house-to-house, room-to-room. The old Russian SMG’s are simple, cheap, reliable, have good penetration. I would rather have either of the ones I mentioned than a new H&K MP5 AND/OR and of the M-16/M-4 variants if I were ‘over there’, up close & personal. Dave3220