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Umarex Legends MP40

The original SMG and history

The MP 40 (Maschinenpistole 40) is a submachine gun chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. It was developed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Axis powers during World War II.

The MP 40 submachine guns are open-bolt, blowback-operated automatic firearms. The only mode of fire is automatic, but the relatively low rate of fire permits single shots with controlled trigger pulls. The bolt features a telescoping return spring guide which serves as a pneumatic recoil buffer.

The cocking handle was permanently attached to the bolt on early MP 38s, but on late-production MP 38s and MP 40s, the bolt handle was made as a separate part. It also serves as a safety by pushing the head of the handle into one of two separate notches above the main opening; this action locks the bolt in either the cocked (rear) or uncocked (forward) position. The absence of this feature on early MP 38s resulted in field expedients such as leather harnesses with a small loop that were used to hold the bolt in the forward position.

The MP40 sub machine gun

Although the MP 40 was generally reliable, a major weakness was its 32-round magazine. Unlike the double-column, staggered-feed magazine found on the Thompson M1921/1928 variants, the MP 40 uses a double-column, single-feed version. The single-feed insert resulted in increased friction against the remaining cartridges moving upwards towards the feed lips, occasionally resulting in feed failures; this problem was exacerbated by the presence of dirt or other debris. 

Another problem was that the magazine was also sometimes misused as a handhold. This could cause the weapon to malfunction when hand pressure on the magazine body caused the magazine lips to move out of the line of feed, since the magazine well did not keep the magazine firmly locked. German soldiers were trained to grasp either the hand-guard on the underside of the weapon or the magazine housing with the supporting hand to avoid feed malfunctions.

TV and Film

The MP40 is a major player in the world of film and television, it is easily recognisable and pops up everywhere! Some of my favourites are Dunkirk, The Guns of Navarone, 633 Squadron, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Where Eagles Dare.


  • Calibre: 9x19mm Parabellum
  • Capacity: 32 rounds
  • Weight: 4kg
  • Length: 630mm folded, 833mm stock extended

The CO2 replica

The Umarex Legends MP40 CO2 sub machine gun is an absolute dream of a replica. It is an devastatingly close copy of the real firearm and the field-worn Legends appearance really gives it that feeling of being old.

This is a large, heavy SMG, just like the original and feels great. The only plastic parts are where there would have been bakelite in reality, the rest is all metal. The folding stock is firm and positively locked open or closed. The safety is a departure from original, but being hidden underneath the body in front of the trigger, it does not matter, its function is positive and clearly marked.

The Legends MP40 left side

The sling and bag are not provided, I got these from an on-line repro military kit shop and they lift the MP40 to a whole new level of realism. I think the bag is a paratrooper style item, the strap even has the German Eagle stamp, I need to dirty the leather up a bit.

The Legends MP40 right side

Magazine retention is positive and quick re-loads are easy. The trigger is light and the MP40 will let off rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger (single fire only in the UK).

CO2 is loaded in the magazine

The MP40 takes two 12g CO2 cartridges, back to back in the long magazine. It will also run on a single cartridge if you only have a small invading tin-can army. One tip here is lubricate the threads on that chamber plug with something like Crosman “Pellgun Oil”, not silicone grease or oil. These threads strip easily as the metal is soft and silicone will kill it rapidly.

The BB loading slot

BB’s are easily loaded on the MP40, the plunger is large and a speed loader works well.

The MP40 is way up on my favourite replica list, it is powerful, accurate and the blowback bolt action is amazing. Shooting from the hip with the stock folded is good – the MP40 just seems naturally able to find the target.


  • Calibre: 4.5mm BB
  • Capacity: 50 rounds
  • Weight: 3.7kg
  • Length: 630mm folded, 830mm unfolded
  • CO2 Usage: around 200 shots with two CO2’s loaded.