Villar-Perosa aircraft submachine gun
origin=flagicon|Italy|1861 Kingdom of Italy
platform= Tripod, vehicle
target= Personnel, light-armored vehicles, aircraft
World War I
Fully-automatictwin-barreled (Meroka) Submachine gun
caliber= 9 mm
9 mm Glisenti
feed= Box Magazine
velocity= 1,050 ft/s (320 m/s) Fact|date=February 2007
weight= 6.5 kg (loaded short barreled version)
range=1,800 m (2,200 yd) Fact|date=February 2007
The Villar-Perosa aircraft submachine gun was an Italian double barreled
machine gundesigned by Bethel Abiel Revelli, a Major in the Italian Armyin 1914. The weapon fired pistol calibre 9 mm Glisentiammunition, a reduced-power version of the famous 9 mm Para, at the extremely high rate of fire of 3,000 rounds per minutes, or 1,500 rounds per minute per barrel. It was arguably the first submachine gun.
Revelli applied for patents for the design on
8 April 1914, and subsequently assigned the patents to the Villar-Perosa company. The weapon was used by the Italian airforce and army during the First World War. Reportedly it was more successful in the ground role, as the pistol calibre bullets did not have sufficient striking power for bringing down aircraft.
A large number of the ground version of the weapon fell into the hands of German and
Austrian forces following the Italian defeat at the Battle of Caporetto.
The weapon consisted of two identical barrels and breech blocks linked by a connecting cross bar. It was a simple air-cooled blow-back design with the bolt and striker weighing only ten ounces (280 grams). The total recoil travel was only 1.75 inches (4.5 cm), which combined with the light breech block resulted in an extremely high rate of fire. The weapon was fed from two curved magazines that could hold either 25 or 50 rounds each.
The weapon was relatively light with a loaded short barreled gun weighing just 14 pounds and 4 ounces (6.5 kg).
* [http://www.cimeetrincee.it/mit11.gifDefence Configuration]
* [http://guns.connect.fi/gow/villarpe.jpgReplica Aircraft Configuration]
* [http://www.landships.freeservers.com/new_pages/villar-perosa_smg_info.htm Villar Perosa 9mm MOD.15 SMG]
* [http://www.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=462,DATABASE=objects, Springfield Armory's Villar Perosa]
* George M. Chinn, The Machine Gun. History, Evolution, and Development of Manual, Automatic, and Airborne Repeating Weapons, Volume I.
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