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The MP38 was made with several parts of machined steel, while the MP40 used many sheet metal stampings. Other improvements occurred during development of the MP38 and MP40, but were not limited to the implementation of the new model. These include changing the rest bar from aluminum to plastic, a threaded barrel for a blank adapter, and the addition of a safety to lock the bolt in place, which prevented an accidental discharge if the gun was dropped.
In short, as the war continued, ways were found to cheapen and speed up the production of the MP. This occurs naturally with the development of any wartime gun, most notably the redesign of the US Thompson SMG (the change from the 1928 model to the M1), but also occurred with guns from all nations.
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The lock added to the MP40 handle was an improvement, but they were still rather dangerous to carry as is any of the old open bolt weapons.
That design has long faded away.
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38 muzzle nut was solid knurl and the 40 had a bare ring around it in the middle.
I think that about covers all the differences.
All parts are interchangeable.
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pzrwest wrote:He then reached down and grabed the mp40 by the barrel and proceeded to lift it up through the hatch. The bolt cocking handle caught on the edge of the hatch and pulled it to the rear but not far enough to catch on the sear. It then slammed forward fireing a round through his arm and up into his arm pit sending him to hospital.
Your friend is sailor, so no problem. Nobody would expect him to be master handling such weapon. He knew his own trade, and he never received proper training handling MP-40 safely.
But still. Not weapons fault. By your description - it was an case of REALLY bad handling doomed to end in accidental discharge.
You NEVER grab the barrel as an carrying handle (OK- unless it is rifle carried over to your shoulder, and i don't like that habit a bit either), and especially you DON'T point loaded or unloaded weapon to you or any other person...(i know, i have scar till end of my life from "unloaded" weapon - not handled by me).
He did BOTH, and completed the firing cycle of open bolt firing SMG by that snagging cocking handle.
In the end. It went very well. Like you said, it saved his life.
Regards, Mark V
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