Bergmann MP18

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The Bergmann MP18 was designed by Hugo Schmeisser in 1915 at the Bergmann Waffenfabrik factory. It was designed to fulfill the requirements established by the German Rifle Testing Commission. Originally, the MP18 was fed from 20-round box magazines, however the Commission wanted the weapon to utilize the existing high-capacity 32-round "snail" drum magazine used in the P08 Artillery Luger. When the weapon was completed it was designated the Maschinenpistole 18/I or MP18/I. The weapons were finished and the parts all fitted by hand, at near commercial grade quality. The MP18/I went into production in early 1918 using the 32-round drum magazine. At least 5,000 MP18/I's were built and issued in the final months of World War I. The weapon was outlawed for German military use by the Treaty of Versailles but small quantities were issued to the Weimar Republic for police use. The Weimar-era weapons were converted with straight mag-wells to use 20-round box magazines, instead of the 32-round drum magazine, which had also been banned. As it happened, its users actually preferred the box magazines, which were more reliable and much easier to handle. The design was improved upon and manufactured in Belgium for export as the Schmeisser MP28/II.

N.B. The MP18's deployment as the first submachine gun used in combat lead to Allied forces during World War II nicknaming the Wehrmacht's MP40 submachine gun "the Schmeisser", an appellation that has endured in several novels, films and television series. In fact, Schmeisser had no involvement in the MP40's design or manufacture.

Bergmann MP18/I with 32-round TM 08 snail drum accepting mag-well, as issued in WWI - 9x19mm
Bergmann MP18/I with 20-round box magazine accepting straight mag-well, what the MP18 was originally designed with, and retrofitted with post-WWI - 9x19mm



(1918 - 1920s)

  • Type: Submachine Gun
  • Caliber: 9x19mm Parabellum
  • Weight: 9.2 lbs (4.2 kg)
  • Length: 32.8 in (83.3 cm)
  • Barrel length: 7.9 in (20.1 cm)
  • Capacity: 32 cartridges (TM 08 drum magazine), 20 or 32 cartridges (post-WWI box magazine)
  • Fire Modes: Fully Automatic (450 RPM)

The Bergmann MP18 appears in the following movies, TV shows, and video games:


Title Actor Character Note Date
The Land That Time Forgot Declan Mulholland Olson 1975
Richard III Richard's soldiers 1995
Michael Collins An IRA assassin 1996
The Water Diviner Greek soldier 2014


Film Title Character Note Date
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade A member of the "Sect" . 1998
Sakura Taisen: École de Paris Erica Double barrel, double magazine 2003
Sakura Taisen: Le Nouveau Paris Erica Double barrel, double magazine 2004-05
Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa German soldier 2005

Video Games

Game Title Mods Notations Release Date
NecroVisioN 2009
NecroVisioN: Lost Company 2010
The Great War 1918 2013
Battle of Empires : 1914-1918 "MP18" 2014
Verdun "Maschinenpistole 18/I" 2015
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades 2016
Battlefield 1 MP18 2016
Screaming Steel: 1914-1918 MP18/I 2018

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