Consider Your Verdict

As mayor of your small town, you are faced with a huge problem.  All civic order has broken down, your town is under attack by [insert villains of choice here, e.g. ANTIFA, Afghan “refugees”, whatever]  and your local police force is woefully undermanned.  The state cops are off fighting federal agents — who are trying to enforce White House mandates on compulsory vaccinations, arresting parents for daring to oppose school boards all over the state, and [insert further examples of gross government action here].

Fortunately, fifty of your townspeople are willing to be deputized for things like guard duty at supermarkets, drug stores, churches etc.   For the sake of argument, however, it turns out that all the volunteers own personal weapons in different calibers, and to make resupply simpler, you need to issue them with common weaponry in a single caliber.

To the rescue comes a crusty, bad-tempered old fart (let’s just call him Kim) who reveals that over the years he has accumulated just over four dozen full-auto sub-machine guns of a single brand, along with 10,000 rounds of 9mm Europellet ammo (200 rounds per gun, and also two spare mags per gun), all stashed away in his fortified barn.  And he’s prepared to let you “borrow” said guns and ammo for the duration of the crisis, as long as you never let on to the the ATF that there are no Class III licenses to be found anywhere.

Your job, as mayor, is to pick which sub-machine gun you would like to see in ol’ Kim’s barn when he swings the door open (video links in case you’re not familiar with any particular model).  Critical, of course, is that the selected gun can be operated without too much training.

Here’s the list (and absolutely no substitutions allowed):

German MP-40

French MAT 49

American S&W 76

Finnish Suomi M31

Israeli Uzi

Remember:  you get to pick one, and only one — and only from this list.

I’ll be posting my choice on Monday.


  1. I’ll go for the Suomi. Absolutely rugged and simple, decent enough accuracy, with a large (and reliable) magazine. They aren’t very sexy looking and may not be as intimidating as the MP38/40 which has been seen in every war movie since 1945. Ian at Forgotten Weapons calls it one of the best sub guns ever made. As a plus the Suomi has a proven record of killing Commies in large numbers.

  2. Easy choice, the Uzi because it looks ‘cooler’ and I know nothing about 9mm machine pistols although back in the 1950’s my older brother, now 87 years old, had a high school buddy who had a Kraut MP-40 that he said was fun to shoot at tin cans.

  3. Tough call; patriotism and all that. But the S&W loses (just barely) to the Uzi because (A) it will work, (B) its existence, like Israel’s, annoys the right people, and (C) it just looks right. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was designed with the “Golden Ratio” in mind.

  4. Suomi. Reliable, high rate of fire, proven commie-killer, to make short work of the insurgents. Excellent way for ancientte gunnnes and farttes to just workke together. Younguns can have a fling with older equipment.

  5. Aww, Ol’ crusty Kim – this is most unfair as there are two ways to choose – practical and emotional.

    Practical, for repairs and maintenance the S&W 76
    Emotional in my case is the is the MP 40

    I go with Emotional – MP 40 it is.

  6. Gun Jesus says the Suomi is the best , so that makes the choice easy for me.
    That the Suomi has a real stock is a big plus for the fifty volunteers most of which will have had no exposure to controlling a full auto weapon.
    Yeah it doesn’t look as “cool” as some of the other choices, but being able to put rounds on target is what matters and the Suomi excels in that category.

  7. The bad-tempered old fart isn’t holding out on us, is he? Such ample stocks of sub-machine guns and ammo, yet no crew-served weapons? What about a handful of flamethrowers? No?

    OK, I’ll play along but I’d feel better about my final decision if I could also have some flamethrowers out at the edge of town at the entry control points. A roasted busload of whatever they’re busing in will be a huge deterrent for those that are planning taking the same route in the future.

    I’ve never had to clean any of the weapons on the list. I’ve also never been asked or ordered to stand guard with any of the options here but I’d offer that the easiest to maintain in operational order is the best choice, and if all else is equal, choose the lightest among them.

  8. I’ve never fired any of these. The only one I’ve even watched being fired was an MP-40. These guns all have decent reputations. As Mayor I will assume my town is populated with people I know in real life. I know someone who carried the S&W 76 in actual combat and would be able to provide at least basic training with that weapon. I also know someone who completed weapons training with Special Forces on a wide variety of foreign weapons. He still has military training manuals from his youth covering all of these.

    Therefore my first choice would be the S&W 76, but none of them would be a disappointment.

  9. All are good choices. I’d pick the Uzi. The S&W 76 runs a close second. Not on the list is the H & K MP-5.

  10. Kim, Kim, Kim,

    I’m a bit disappointed you didn’t have an M-3A “grease gun” on the list …

    I’d pick the Uzi because at heart, I’m a Jewish Deplorable.

  11. I’d pick whatever is easiest to operate and maintain considering the people using them.

    I think any would get the job done. Almost everyone knows what the MP 40 looks like so maybe that would encourage the weaker willed or brighter miscreants to rethink their plans.

    The Uzi is iconic as well so I think it would be a coin flip for me to pick between the MP40 and Uzi. Other than firearm enthusiasts, does anyone know anything about the other offerings?


  12. I’ve only had actual range experience with 2 of the choices, the MP-40 and the UZI (and the UZI only in semi-auto).

    Of those I’d take the MP-40. Full auto was very controllable, and I was able to make single shot and 3 round bursts with just trigger control with some practice, and good combat accuracy (i.e. Minute of Goblin) with the stock extended..

    With only 2 spare mags, I’d want to be able to do single shots as much as possible, saving full auto for “Charlie’s in the wire” moments.

  13. For citizen/soldiers guarding their home town’s, Main Street USA in the 21st century, I’m going to say that one of those sits well above the others, despite one ergonomic drawback.

    It’s the UZI, Kim.

    “Hand meets hand” for reloading puts it way over the top, despite the severe right angle on the grip.

    The S&W comes in at an honorable 2nd, and the rest are either French or WWII nostalgia, which is all well and good until you have to stand around all day with 20 lbs of wood & steel in a rifle form factor.

    The reality, however, for the stated scenario is that everyone and their brother has an AR in 5.56, so that’s what the citizens will be standing around with.

  14. MP-40
    I’ve bled too many times shooting the S&W 76 from all the sharp edges on the surfaces.

    Please forgive me Col. Gal. I got to shoot his Ruger subgun.

  15. anything that’ll give me a .45 out the working end without too much muzzle climb;
    other ‘n that, I like the Uzi

  16. Good contest, excellent idea.

    Haven’t fired any of these….but Suomi. Because Gun Jesus. Plus it’s so used to killing commies, it may just do it on its own, out of habit. No knock on the other candidates.

  17. You’re looking to provide “common” armament and ammunition for fifty well-meaning Stalwart Citizens in order to provide back-up for sworn LEOs.

    You propose giving them weapons most (if not all) are unfamiliar with, in a caliber that probably isn’t the best, but is all one would need against a raging mob. How much time do you have to teach the Citizen’s Vigilance League the basics on what to do if these unfamiliar guns malfunction in some way. If these weapons can be fired in full-auto, what happens when these over-excited but well-meaning Citizen Soldiers burn through their allotment of 200 free rounds but the mob keeps coming.

    I think, all things considered, let them use the weapons they’re familiar with, and fire their own ammunition, which they will use sparingly. Fifty people firing everything from .22 cal. LR to .38 Special, or assorted magnum calibers, or a wide assortment of hunting rifles or shotguns, will create an awesome defense against the local mobs who are inclined to throw fireworks, rocks, or frozen water bottles.

    Remember what the Korean store owners were able to accomplish in Los Angeles when their world was going to shit.

    1. These were my first thoughts, as well. Well said.

      That said, Uzi. It’s still in production (I think) and has a reputation for extreme reliability I believe. Not an expert on any of them of course, so I probably shouldn’t be opining.

  18. I would say Uzi, just from the simple order of operations. There’s no time for training, and frankly, anyone who has seen enough 80s action movies will know what to do for a simple malfunction.

    Also, the bad guys will instantly know what it is.

  19. I, too would have preferred the M-3A (especially because .45). But I would pick the Suomi over any other because of simplicity and reliability.

  20. Another vote for the Finnish Suomi M31.
    Working with people that have no prior class 3 experience, using a traditional format would help.
    Nearly everyone has shot a rifle at some point in their life.

  21. Citizens with no training? I’d go with the UZI every time. The Suomi would be a very close second.

  22. Uzi. Much more difficult for someone to take it in a scuffle, due to it’s short forend. Easier to carry when standing around or patrolling. Too much temptation for people to want to set the other ones down, or prop them against something, due to their length and bulkiness and weight.
    My choice is partly due to having trigger time on all three sizes of the real thing. Doesn’t hurt that the Secret Service saw fit to carry them concealed back in the 80’s.

    BTW, the correct pronunciation of Uzi is: UUTSEE, according to my trainer, who was friends with the designer.

    1. Well, in American English there are these strict rules for how to pronounce words that follow our American heritage. So when it comes to correctly pronouncing Uzi, those rules specify that you may pronounce it as UUTSEE, or OOZEE, or FORD or any damned way you want to, unless you are French.
      Well so much for my humor. To answer the question, there isn’t a 12 gauge shot gun, so I will select the Uzi pronounce Oy Vey!

  23. I’ve never fired any of these. The Air Force never even let me switch the M-16 to Auto. I guess my pick would be either the Uzi or the Suomi – both produced by countries that _had_ to have weapons they could shove into the hands of citizen soldiers and win battles against the odds. The Suomi looks familiar to a man who has used a rifle, while the Uzi is somewhat like a pistol.

    From what I can quickly find out about the others in Wikipedia:

    MP40: I have a slight emotional attachment to this as the weapon (mis-called a “Schmeisser”) Fred Forsythe had the mercenaries use in _Dogs of War_ – but I think Forsythe picked this only because his story needed a weapon that was believably available on the black market from a single source in a quantity large enough to equip a small army. In the story, a shipment of MP40’s had been “lost” at the end of WWII and buried by a Belgian collaborator, and that _could_ have happened in the confusion of the last days of the Nazi empire. Back to the real world: Battles were won with this, but it’s nothing special compared to postwar SMG’s, and it’s only a pound lighter than the M1 Garand! Pass.

    French… Pass. I’m not even going to look this one up.

    S&W 76: Navy Seals used this in the Vietnam War era, so I know it will work well after intensive training for men used to handling all kinds of weapons. That doesn’t tell me if it’s possible to train a civilian on it in a few minutes. Without more info: Pass.

    1. I was going to ref the Frederick Forsythe novel myself, because Forsythe’s protagonist, the mercenary Cat Shannon, had opinions about three of the guns in Kim’s post: the MP40, which is what he equipped his mercenaries with; the Uzi, which he considered better than the MP40 but “too heavy,” and the S&W, albeit in its original “Swedish K” form, the Carl Gustav M/45, which he also liked better than the MP40 but was impossible to acquire.

  24. It’s funny none of us picked the Frenchie. But seeing Gun Jesus’ episode on it, it’s got a lot of features that look like someone sat down and thought things out. However the criteria was not how many you could pack into a VW Beetle.

    I’m still sticking with the Finn.

  25. Based on what I know from years of spending time on this blog and its predecessors, I choose the Uzi (With the German, Eastern European Z = ts), and second, based on nothing more than it’s from an army that beat the Red Army to a draw, twice, the Suomi. The others seem designed by someone with an irresistible urge to over engineer, or under engineer.

  26. 1. UZI.

    2. MP-40.

    3. Suomi.

    Honorable mention but not on the list: US M3A1. Simple, bombproof, controllable (low cyclic rate), and shoots a real pistol caliber cartridge.

    Another honorable mention but not on the list: The British L2A3 Sterling. A Sten built without the haste of bombs dropping on you. Everyone I’ve known who has shot one (and in one case, owned one) said it is the best SMG they have ever used.

  27. I’m going with the Uzi. I watched the videos yesterday, so I can’t remember each reason I dismissed each other one, but I like the Uzi because:
    1. Dependable
    2. Hand to hand reload – makes sense.
    3. Lack of muzzle rise.
    4. Low rate of fire – less ammo wasted in less-experienced hands

    Any of them will look scary, so that’s a wash with all of them.

  28. Dad had an Uzi. It had a very fast rate of fire so mag dumps happened way too quick and was hard to keep on target after the first shot. The only other one I have shot is the MP40 which I prefer over the Uzi. What is not on the list is the Russian AEK-919. I would take that over the MP40. I had an AEK-919 in Afghanistan for a while.

  29. Suomi

    Proven commie killer, and you can butt stroke with it. Large capacity mags are a winner also, especially as you can shoot it prone while keeping your head mostly down.

  30. I’ve shot examples of all of them except the Mat 49, and the Suomi M31 would be my choice. The UZI is a close second but the model shown (which I assume is the one I would have to accept) has the god awful folding stock that is great for carrying it around and tragic for getting a comfortable cheek weld while shooting. The comfortable (and familiar) Suomi stock and moderate rate of fire would make bringing new shooters up to speed getting solid hits much quicker, and it’s a very robust and dependable platform.

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