godaddy web

FNAB 43 Sub-Machine Gun

FNAB 43 Sub-Machine Gun

This little known weapon was designed and developed in Italy during the war and manufactured during 1943-44. It is believed that no more than 7,000 were built and all were issued to the German and Italian units fighting in Northern Italy. One of the remarkable things about this weapon was that, at a time when the general tendency was to build quick and cheap weapons, the FNAB-43 called for expensive engineering and time-consuming methods of precision engineering in its construction. It was a well-made and efficient weapon.

The action is a delayed blow back of unique design, firing from the closed bolt position. The bolt is a two-piece unit with a pivoted lever interposed between bolt head and body. On firing the bolt head moves back and begins to rotate the lever, the toe of which is abutting against a lug in the body. This lever is pivoted so as to delay the opening movement by operating at a mechanical disadvantage, allowing the bullet to leave the barrel and breech pressure to drop before the lever has completed its rotation. The movement of the lever then presses the free end against the bolt body and accelerates the bolt to the rear. The toe of the lever pulls clear of the lug and the whole bolt unit can recoil as one component in the usual way. On returning, the lever engages once more with the body lug and pivots forward, and in doing so removes an interlock that allows movement of the firing pin only when the bolt is fully forward. This unusual and complicated system allows the rate of fire to be kept down to very practical limits without using a heavy bolt or strong spring.

Other features of this weapon included a muzzle brake and compensator built into the barrel casing in the manner of some of the Russian weapons, and a magazine housing that is hinged so that the magazine can lie beneath the barrel. The stock, a single metal bar, also folds, so that the weapon can be carried as a very compact unit.


Caliber 9 mm
Barrel 6 grooves with right hand twist
Length 31.15 inches
Barrel Length 7.8 inches
Weight 8 Pounds 12 Ounces
Feed System 20 or 40 round detachable box magazine
Rate of Fire 400 Rounds Per Minute
System of Operation Delayed Blowback, Selective Fire

Article by: JDG

The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapon of World War II