A “Fun Gun” Version Of The Widely
Used Soviet Submachine Gun.
They call it Volgograd now, but back then in the August of 1942, it was Stalingrad. As war-history scholars will know, heroic Russian troops withstood the Nazi siege and won. Today, above the city on Mamayev Hill, there is an impressive statue titled “Monument to the Soldier.” Well-done in stone, it depicts a bare-chested young defender. In his left hand is an excellent rendition of a PPSh 41 submachine gun.
The “Sh” part of the designation honors the designer, Georgi Semyonovich Shpagin. The “PP” stands for “Pistolet Pulemet,” which translates to “Pistol-Machinegun.” It was chambered for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge, and was issued with a 35-round curved box magazine or a 71-round drum magazine. As with most Russian manufacture of that time, it was rather crudely made but worked perfectly.
For those who would like to remember Stalingrad, there is now a beautiful recreation of the PPSh 41. There’s no full-auto, of course, and the cartridge is .22 Long Rifle. For this, we can thank Don Mitchell and the Pietta factory in Italy. And, they have made it with far more precision than the workmen at Tula back in 1941.
The PPSh 41/22 comes with a 10-round magazine, in case you live in one of those states with an oppressive government. Optional, at extra cost, are a 30-round curved box and a 50-round drum. Both are also available “blocked” to 10 rounds, so you can have the “look” and still be legal. I live in a “free” state, and in my test-firing, I mostly used the 50-round drum. It worked flawlessly.
The 3 magazines available include from (left to right) a
30-round curved, 10-round and the 50-round drum.
The magazine catch is at the front of the triggerguard. The 10-round
magazine is shown for those in states requiring same.
The manual safety is at the back of the receiver and rocks forward,
showing a red dot for “fire” or back showing a white dot for “safe.”
The Mitchell PPSh 41/22 shot just fine. The test target (left) was fired
standing at 15 yards, and the target fired from a casual rest at 25 yards
(right) is 1.5 inches.
The walnut-stained hardwood stock and the matte-blue finish maintain the authentic appearance. The sights are square-post front and V-notch rear. The dovetail-mounted rear sight can be moved laterally. With the exception of the buttplate and the filler-piece around the magazine, the construction is all-steel and nicely done.
The magazine catch is inside the front of the triggerguard and is pushed forward to release. The safety lever is at the rear of the receiver on the right side. It goes forward to fire, rearward for on-safe, alternately showing a red or a white dot. The trigger pull on my gun has a minimal take-up, and breaks cleanly at 6 pounds. After some use, it will probably settle at around 5.
For trying out the PPSh 41/22, I used CCI Mini-Mags. Shooting was at 15 yards standing, and at 25 yards from a casual rest. Either way, the well-centered groups were around 3 inches. After doing the targets, I used up the rest of a drum on “targets of opportunity,” such as beech nuts and dirt clods. This was done holding it at belt level, no sights, like an SMG. It’s a “fun gun.”
With its inherent accuracy, though, you could use it on small game. And, for home- or ranch-defense, the bad guys just might think it’s a full-auto. Appearance-wise, it’s a PPSh 41. Considering the quality and performance, it’s reasonably priced at $495. If you want the 50-round drum, it goes for $149. The fantasy of defending at the siege of Stalingrad is free.
By J.B. Wood
Manufacturer: Fratelli Pietta, Italy
Importer: Mitchell’S MAUSERS
P.O. Box 9295, Fountain Valley, CA 92728
Action: Blowback, semi-auto
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Weight: 4.4 to 5.1 pounds (depending on magazine)
Overall Length: 33.5 inches, Barrel Length: 16.1 inches
Stock: Walnut finished hardwood
Finish: Matte blue
Capacity: 10, 30 or 50