Oddest SMG ammunition?

Oh-kay, weird question of the month time…

What’s the oddest/weirdest/most unusual type of y’all have seen a Submachine gun chambered for?

It seems in most, if not all, of the SMGs that I’ve heard of were chambered either for 9mm, or .45 pistol ammunition.

But…are there any relitively “exotic” SMGs that fire something like .357s? Or .40-.44s? Or 10mm? Or any other ammunition thats “off the beaten path,” usage wise?
Well, thanks for your patience,

I must watch too much TV because I thought this was going to be about Sarah Michelle Gellar. I kept thinking “Is there some story that has come out and they are using it against her as ammunition?” Then I thought, “Hmmm…why is this in IMHO and not Cafe Society?”

Otherwise, I have absolutely no knowledge about SMG ammunition.

Sorry…but maybe this little bump will get an answer to your question.

IANAGN, but a couple come to mind: H&K makes one in .40 S&W and in 10mm Auto.

Also, here’s a Finnish 7.65mm: http://www.winterwar.com/Weapons/FinSmallArms/FinAutomatics.htm#BERGMANN

Most, however, are some variation of a 9mm or 45 ACP.

10mm is pretty popular in submachine guns. The .40 S&W is a downloaded 10mm for pistols, because most people (that is, FBI desk jockeys) can’t handle the recoil of the full-power load in a pistol.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any strange ones.

As primarily military, rather than sporting, weapons, SMG designers have a greater imperative for standardization than, say, target pistol designers.

There are a fair number of weapons that walk the line between SMG and assault rifle, such as the HK-53, the CAR-15, or these M-16 based oddities. Such weapons tend to fire the increasingly standard NATO 5.56mm assault rifle round. No doubt there are eastern bloc weapons in a similar niche firing 5.45mm. The FN P90 is an entirely original design in the same class, firing a 5.7mm round apparently designed specifically for it.

The old Czechoslovakian Skorpion machine pistol, and some auto-fire versions of the classic “broomhandle” Mauser pistol fire 7.65mm pistol ammo (of different types). I believe most auto-Mausers, though, were chambered for the ubiquitous 9mm parabellum.

Particularly noteworthy is the American 180 which was apparently commercially designed for the law enforcement market, some of whom apparently retired it immediately after buying it, in horror at what they now possessed. I recall seeing a demonstration of the weapon (actually Austrian-made, in spite of the name) on the old That’s Incredible TV show back in the day. I think the weapon was on the show because it was designed for use with a laser aiming device, which was quite novel back in the '70s. The scary thing about the American 180 is that its .22 caliber round generates practically no recoil when fired out of such a relatively bulky weapon. Coupled with a very high cyclic rate, this means that it fires extremely tight bursts. The 180 round “dinner plate” magazine means that those bursts need not be short. On That’s Incredible, they demonstrated it against a mannequin torso and a car door.

You may have heard accounts of how the German MG-42 machine gun had such a high rate of fire that it sounded like tearing canvas. Similarly, the American 180 seemed to “buzz” when it fired, rather than going “bangbangbang”. The long, tight burst appeared to eat an expanding hole in the target, ultimately several inches across – a positively creepy-looking visual that lodged in my impressionable young mind forever after. .22 LR may not get much respect as a cartridge, but in the American 180 it looked flat out scary.

psst … Aries28, I did too.

      • HK has a few of the now-classic SMG’s in several calibers. They continue to further their “because we can” school of arms design with the MP7:
        Tec-22 makes a plastic gun, it gets called “cheap” and gets sold at Wal-Mart. HK makes a plastic gun, it gets called “advanced” and the price soars into four digits. Go figure.

Homebrew and Aries, so did I :smiley: