Encyclopedia > Submachine gun

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Submachine gun

A Submachine gun is a type of machine gun. In particular, a submachine gun is a machine gun which fires ammunition normally used in pistols. Other characteristics distinguishing them from other machine guns include: light weight, a short barrel, and an inability to fire for sustained lengths of time (due to small magazine and a tendency to overheat quickly). The have typically been issued to special commando forces in the military. The basic function is for fighting at close range like house fighting where a weapon's range is less important than the ability to easily hit and neutralize a target.

Prominent examples include the Thompson Submachine gun, Israeli Military Industries[?] Uzi submachine gun, and the Heckler und Koch MP5 series.

In the United States, submachine guns have been categorized as Class III weapons[?], not available to the general public without special permits, since the 1934 National Firearms Act[?].

Compare machine pistol, carbine.

See also: Blowback, Firearm action

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