The MP 18/I (curiously enough, there was no model 18, just the 18/I) was the first submachine gun to see wide use, with the German army in 1918. The first models, designed by Hugo Schmeisser and produced by Waffenfabrik Theodor Bergmann, used the 32-round «snail-drum» magazine developed for the Pistol 08 («Parabellum» or «Luger»). After the war, a more conventional box magazine was adopted, with the same capacity which was inserted into the left side of the gun. Like most SMGs, the capacity of the magazine is the capacity of the gun; they fire from an open bolt. The only way to chamber a round is to fire it. The Bergmann continued in production and was used extensively in China, South America and Europe between the World Wars. In 1939, the British needed SMGs in a hurry; they copied the Bergmann, naming it the Lanchester for the engineer who made a few changes in the design and set up production. For reasons of production economy, the magazine housing was made of brass, and it had a brass butt-plate like the Lee-Enfield rifle. The bluing on the steel was deep and lustrous, and the heavy rifle-type stocks were dark walnut. It also had a 50-round magazine and sights graduated to 600 yards. Lanchesters have Acc 8 in semi-auto fire. The Lanchesters all went to the Royal Navy; most of them were chained in racks aboard ship and only removed to be lovingly cleaned and polished - especially the brass.




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