Cool Guns: Submachine Guns
This... (lifts a staff weapon) is a weapon of terror. It's made to... intimidate the enemy. (throws staff weapon away) This (lifts the P90) is a weapon of war. It is made to kill your enemy.Back to Cool Guns
—Colonel Jack O'Neill, Stargate SG-1
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Heckler & Koch MP5
Essentially a miniturised G3 (the mechanisms are identical), the MP5 was a popular weapon amongst police and counter-terrorism forces pretty much the world over from the '60s to the '90s and remains one of the most iconic weapons of its type; in particular, the MP5's media badassery was established when the British SAS used them to break the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980. Like the USP, a large number of variants have been produced; of these, the most distinctive are the K ("Kurz," short) model, a shortened version designed to be easily stowed or concealed that also provides the page image for this trope note , and the SD ("Schalldämpfer," meaning "sound dampened") with an integral silencer (and unlike most suppressed weapons, does not require special low-velocity ammo to get the full benefit; the SD's integral suppressor instead is designed to restrict the bullet's acceleration so it remains subsonic). Has (along with other submachine guns) faded in visibility due to the rise of compact rifle-caliber carbines, though they remain popular among SWAT and counter-terrorism units, as for those purposes the less-penetrating pistol rounds have some distinct advantages. Movie MP5s may instead be played by modified 5.56mm HK33 or HK53 carbines, or by the civilian semi-auto variant, the HK94.
- Cool Action: The "HK Slap," where the cocking handle is struck down and forward to chamber a round. Many movies add a huge ka-chack sound effect and turn it into a full-on Karate chop. The slap can actually be performed on most G3 derivatives, but is far more commonly associated with the MP5. Unlike most of the "Cool Actions" on this list of guns, the "HK Slap" is actually a legitimate and even recommended way to charge the weapon.
- In The Matrix, Neo performs maybe the most famous example of the "HK Slap" in cinema on an MP5K just as he and Trinity are loading up to rescue Morpheus.
- Often used by The Unit.
- Hans Gruber's men use them in Die Hard. John makes use of one at various points. More usefully, it shares ammunition for his Beretta, of which he only starts off with one magazine for.
- In Die Hard 2, Colonel Stuart's men make use of them, even loading them with blanks for the faked shootout with the army special forces team. John grabs one, not realising what's happened and wonders why his aim is off. When he checks his magazine afterwards, he figures out that the army team was actually working for Stuart.
- Towards the end of Die Hard With A Vengeance, John gives an MP5k to Zeus Carver and shows him how to use it. Unfortunately, he neglected to explain to Zeus how to disengage the safety.
- The default loadout for Team Rainbow in the early Rainbow Six games is one of the suppressed models. Being based on the SAS who made the firearm famous, they have cut-down versions, larger calibre versions, ones with custom sights, etc. The novel took the time to arm the team with the MP5/10 in 10mm Auto (simply referred to after the second chapter with the (incorrect) designation of "MP10", which was a proposed name for the model at the time of writing, that was ultimately not adopted), though later novels to feature Team Rainbow gave them the original 9mm versions.
- Appears in the first Half-Life game as, oddly enough, the standard weapon of the marines. It'll pretty much be Gordon's mainstay until the end of the game. The HD Pack replaces it with a Colt M727 instead, a more sensible weapon for the soldiers to be carrying.
- Several popular custom skins exist to replace the Half-Life 2 MP7 with an MP5 instead, as the MP7 model (and, to a lesser extent, arguably the weapon itself) is rather ugly. They're very well done.
- The main weapon of SG-1 before the P90 was introduced a few seasons in.
- Metal Gear Solid features the MP5SD2 with infinite ammunition, but only in the easiest difficulty mode of the Japanese Updated Re-release and the PC port; otherwise your only automatic weapon is the FAMAS.
- In reference to this, Metal Gear Solid 4 allows you to buy the same gun from Drebin, but overall it's a weak gun with extremely rare ammo and no options for customization - the sole upside is that it's one of the only automatic weapons with a non-degrading suppressor.
- The mercenaries on the freighter in season 4 of LOST.
- A well-armed soccer mum blazes away at the protagonists with one in Cthulhu.
- Usable with a scope fitted in Max Payne 2.
- Soldier of Fortune 2: Gold has an MP5 available.
- Usable with an optional silencer in Black.
- Afraid Of Monsters: DC has the MP5K as an alternate to the shotgun or Uzi. Being a survival horror game, there's little ammo for it. David uses the slap when reloading.
- Tends to be the most powerful submachine gun in the Grand Theft Auto games. Multiple variations are used in the games, and Grand Theft Auto IV uses the Special Weapons MP10 clone.
- The SMG in Red Faction is an MP5K with the front grip removed, redesigned as an over / under weapon with twin magazines; the cocking handle tube is a second barrel and the barrel has a second cocking handle.
- The mook weapons in Moonwalker are modded HK94 carbines with Aliens-style ammo counters.
- The OCA PDW from All Points Bulletin is a weird hybrid of a full-length MP5 and MP5K.
- The Rittergruppen SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after the MP5K.
- The Modern Warfare games have the MP5, though each exclusively have different versions of it: the first Modern Warfare has the MP5N (which becomes an SD3 when mounted with a suppressor), the second game has the MP5K, and the third has an A2 with a railed handguard. Black Ops has the ultra-rare prototype version of the MP5K, with the distinctive wooden foregrip that was deleted from the production model, while Black Ops II's flashback missions allow the player to use the A3 (which, once again, becomes the SD3 with the suppressor attachment).
- Tequila and various mooks in Stranglehold use MP5Ks Guns Akimbo style.
- Lethal Weapon 2's South African mooks carry these.
- In Counter-Strike, this is a popular choice due to its reliability.
- 7.62 High Calibre features several variants. The MP5K cannot be modified except for a particular scope or reflex sight, while the MP5K PDW features a folding stock and can accept a suppressor. The MP5A4 and A5 (solid stock and telescopic stock models, respectively) can also accept a suppressor and sight, while the MP5SD features an integral suppressor. While not the most powerful SMG in the game, it's quite good and being lucky during an attack on a city can net a player several of them (and tons of ammo) from dead police. The Blue Sun mod adds the rather ridiculous MP5 with an underbarrel grenade launcher like in End of Days and Half-Life.
- Raw Deal (1986). Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on The Mafia with an HK 94 carbine (a civilian-market MP5 with extended barrel) modified for full auto and with a foregrip. The same modded carbine shows up in Red Heat as well, though not in Schwarzenegger's hands this time.
- In the first First Encounter Assault Recon, the Sumak RPL is modeled off the Special Weapons MP10 with a mounted dot sight.
- The MP5K is seen used by Initiative soldiers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In Dredd, rookie Judge Anderson adopts one of these after losing her Lawgiver to unauthorized use.
- An MP5A2 appears in Payday The Heist as the "Compact-5", where it can be fitted with a heat shield handguard and taped-together straight mags. An MP5A4 appears in PAYDAY 2 under the same name, and can be modded to turn it into an MP5SD4, SD5, SD6, or MP5KA4 minus the foregrip.
- Between all three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, this is the only SMG, called the Viper 5. It's good against unarmored targets because it has similar damage and accuracy to assault rifles while having lower weight, cheaper ammo, less recoil, but it gets drastically less effective as enemies start using heavier armor. Against mutants, almost all of which have no armor, just loads of health, it remains fairly useful throughout the game.
- Usable in Resident Evil 5, although no one bothers to use the pre-mounted reflex sight for some reason.
- There are quite a few MP5 variants available in Parasite Eve. An MP5K can be found in the precinct's weapon storage room, and an MP5SD is available in the 2nd floor of the American Museum of Natural History when it becomes infested with mitochondrial mutants. Finally, an MP5A5 and an MP5SD6 can be found in the Chrysler Building Bonus Dungeon.
- In the sequel, the MP5A5 returns. Aya can find one in the Akropolis Tower at the beginning from a dead SWAT officer, though the weapon is returned to the LAPD at the end of the mission. You can buy it instead, much later in the game, from Mr. Douglas in Dryfield. It also comes with a rail-mounted flashlight that is useful for stunning enemies and outright killing NMC moths.
- A common submachine gun in the Hitman series. The second game has the suppressed version in the hands of some ninjas and Blood Money allows the player to use a version which they can customise with different Gun Accessories.
A family of Israeli 9mm submachine guns, the first Uzi was designed in the late 1940s by Uziel Gal and named after him, and first adopted by Israeli special forces in 1954, and it saw wider use across the Israeli military in the years following. It is commonly depicted as a favorite among Western Terrorists and mercenaries. The original Uzi is quite large at 18.5 inches long with the stock collapsed, and progressively smaller versions were later produced, these being the Mini Uzi and the Micro Uzi; the latter is often regarded as a machine pistol rather than a true SMG, and has a semi-auto only variant, the Uzi Pistol. The original IMI (Israeli Military Industries) Uzi was considered one of the most accurate and controllable SMG's due to its good balance and low (relatively speaking) rate of fire. A carbine version of the original Uzi with a 16 inch barrel also exists. The smaller versions have higher rates of fire (600 rounds per minute for the basic Uzi, 950 for the Mini Uzi and 1250 for the Micro Uzi), which makes the Micro Uzi rather uncontrollable. This is because the smaller versions had shorter bolt travel. In 2010, the Uzi Pro (a substantially redesigned Micro Uzi) was introduced, which incorporates multiple accessory rails and reduces the rate of fire to a slightly more manageable 1050 rpm. In a particularly ironic twist, a .22 LR semi-auto carbine was also recently brought on the market... produced under license by Walther of Germany, a company perhaps best known for making pistols for the Nazis (and James Bond).
- Cool mechanism: The standard Uzi's 600 RPM cyclic rate is often mistaken for its smaller brethren's, the Mini and the Micro Uzis. As such, it's common for the Uzi to dispense 50% to 100% More Dakka in works that aren't live-action.
- An iconic villain who used this was the Terminator in the first film.
- It also shows up as the least powerful of the bullet weapons in Terminator: Future Shock.
- Mad Dog of Hard Boiled used a Mini Uzi during the warehouse firefight, as did several other villains, including Johnny Wong himself in his most despicable act.
- One is sold to a gang in City of God. The seller points out the Star of David on the stock to prove its authenticity, saying, "See? It's Jewish."
- Chuck Norris uses a pair of Micro-Uzis against terrorists and Dirty Communists in Invasion USA (1985).
- The final gun that Lara gets in the first Tomb Raider.
- Usable in the Half-Life mod Sven Co-Op, also available two at a time. Players who donate to the mod team are able to use golden ones that deal considerably higher damage.
- A full-size Uzi is usable in Far Cry 2 as the higher-tier secondary slot SMG. The Micro Uzi appears on magazine covers.
- A favored weapon of Snake-Eyes from the G.I. Joe comics.
- The laser gun props from Moonraker were based on a plastic toy Uzi.
- GoldenEye (1997) features an Uzi-sized Micro-Uzi as the "ZMG 9mm." The aforementioned toy Uzi-as-laser gun from Moonraker is also available.
- The full-size Uzi is the go-to submachine gun in Left 4 Dead, and the more accurate of the two in Left 4 Dead 2. As mentioned above, its cyclic rate is incorrect. A Mini-Uzi would be more fitting.
- The Samael SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after the Uzi.
- The N-FA9 SMG in All Points Bulletin is clearly modeled after the Micro Uzi.
- The Micro Uzi shows up in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; CJ can duel wield them when he maxes out his skill level with them.
- Beatrice uses the Micro Uzi in Gunslinger Girl.
- Made famous by the US Secret service. During the assassination attempt on President Reagan several USSS officers produced Uzis from concealment rigs under their suit jackets; one pulled an Uzi out of his briefcase.
- The Uzi, Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi are all available in 7.62 High Calibre fairly early, making them suitable as "stop-gap" weapons between handguns and rifles. The Micro-Uzi especially is sometimes available from gun dealers at the start, and with the stock folded it can fit into standard pistol holsters or quick-access pockets as a very compact automatic weapon.
- Shank gets one in his debut game, and his friend Corina has one in the sequel.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 feature the Mini-Uzi. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 feature the full-size Uzinote , while Modern Warfare 3 instead has a Japanese clone used by the JSDF, the PM-9. Notably, for all of these weapons, reloading from empty causes the player's hand to clip through any optical attachments.
- In Sin City, the Micro variant is a popular weapon amongst police officers and other Mooks. The plot of Family Values is set into motion when a mobster shoots up a diner with a pair of them. Gail favours a full-sized Uzi. In Nancy's Last Dance, Marv takes one from a mook, but it jams on him, leading him to be wounded.
- In the first Rush Hour film, a full-sized Uzi is brandished by The Dragon during the climatic shootout towards the end.
- A "Full UZ" is available in Parasite Eve in the early floors of the Chrysler Building.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2. In a departure from the series' norm, it goes by its real name.
- Syndicate has them as an early automatic weapon for agents. Syndicate Wars has them as the most basic weapon with Bottomless Magazines, but it's noted that they're essentially obsolete.
Heckler & Koch UMP
The UMP was intended to be a cheaper alternative to the MP5 submachine gun, but lack of demand for SMGs from traditional customers, along with the fact that MP5 users tend to love their MP5's (and be very invested, not to mention the MP5 continuing production after the UMP's introduction anyway), meant it is not nearly as widely distributed as its predecessor. It comes in 9x19, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP variants. Civilian version known as the USC, features extended barrel and semi-auto only operation. In typical H&K fashion, the civilian version also features unnecessary cosmetic alterations that seem to serve no purpose other than making it look less cool than the military model.
- Team Rainbow starts packing this weapon from Rogue Spear onwards.
- Available in Counter-Strike beta 7 onwards.
- Seen several times in the latest James Bond movies. Daniel Craig is carrying the 9mm version in the advertisement poster for Quantum of Solace, the same one he was carrying at the end of Casino Royale while delivering Bond, James Bond. The two mooks which chased him shortly before that are carrying the .45 ones.
- Arnold is seen with one in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
- A .45 version is used by one of the twins during the freeway chase in The Matrix Reloaded.
- Another .45 version is not-so-carefully-concealed in Mike's non-police-issue car in Bad Boys 2.
- Dead Set. A police officer is armed with one, which is later picked up by one of the characters.
- Battlestar Galactica. Samuel Anders wields one on Caprica.
- Some mooks in xXx.
- In Modern Warfare 2, the UMP replaces the MP5 as the game's basic submachine gun; as per the game's many failures at game balance, it's infamous in the multiplayer for having no recoil when fired while aiming and dealing better damage at range than even most assault rifles.
- The last unlock for the engineer class in Battlefield: Bad Company 2; comes with a handy silencer.
- You can find one in 7.62 High Calibre, along with the associated suppressor, from clearing out a gang-occupied military base. It tends to be better in damage than other sub-machine guns, but slightly less accurate (though it can accept a red-dot sight, which most other submachine guns cannot).
- In F.3.A.R., the Briggs SMG is clearly modeled after the UMP, with a mounted red dot sight.
Heckler & Koch MP 7
A compact submachine gun marketed as a competitor to the P90, the MP7 is another weapon based on a scaled-down G36 action, this time firing a proprietary 4.6mm round designed to penetrate body armor at close range. Its small size makes it relatively easy to carry, and it can even be holstered (a rarity for submachine guns). Originally designed as the kinetic energy component of the XM29 OICW. The MP7 is in use with the German military and police, and several other countries have begun to replace police stocks of MP5 SMGs with the MP7. There are complaints about the low terminal effectiveness and stopping power of the 4.6x30mm round. These are to be expected, particularly given that it has a barrel a full 3 inches shorter than the competing FN P90, and its projectiles are smaller and lighter and less energetic. Problems with stopping power are a recurring criticism of the PDW concept.
- Used by the Combine soldiers of Half-Life 2, fitted with a tiny under-barrel grenade launcher. Interestingly, it is actually possible to attach a grenade launcher to the MP7; it would, however, protrude beyond the end of the weapon's barrel.
- Rainbow Six started stocking prototypes of this weapon in the third game's Iron Wrath expansion pack. In the Vegas subseries, both Jung and Walter use suppressed MP7A1's when the player tells them to go silent.
- Snake can acquire an MP7 in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots; it seems to be the standard SMG of the regular PMCs he goes up against, but it's overall inferior to the FROGs' P90 due to the much smaller magazine capacity (only loads 20-round mags), hard to acquire ammunition (the PMCs only really use it in one section of Act 2, while you fight FROGs at least once per Act and only a handful of them across the game are not using the P90) and a lack of customization (its only options are a unique read: red dot sight or the ACOG, where the P90 can use pretty much everything the M4 Custom can, except the grenade launcher or shotgun).
- Used by the eponymous team in one episode of Stargate SG-1, during an undercover operation on Earth; it's smaller and much more concealable than their standard P90s.
- Zombieland. Tallahassee is overjoyed to find one of these in the back seat of a redneck's Hummer, and later uses it to good effect against zombies while on a merry-go-round.
- The Dragon in Die Hard 4 carries one.
- The Hamilton SMGs in Alpha Protocol are modeled after the MP7.
- Appears as an all-kit unlock in Battlefield 3. Surprisingly, the player has a choice whether they want to load the short 20-round or the longer 40-round magazines into the weapon.
- Also available as a late-game unlockable in Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer; for Survival mode it's an early unlock, but is not very useful past the first few waves.
- Returns for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In a reversal of the above, it's the first SMG unlocked in multiplayer, but not available until very late in singleplayer; Section is seen holding it in a very brief scene where you see him from third-person mid-mission. Again surprisingly, the player is actually allowed to have the foregrip folded.
- In Knight and Day, Tom Cruise went Guns Akimbo with two of these in one scene.
- Fukuyama's Bodyguard Babes in Girls Bravo, they aren't very good shots however.
- Available in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, serving as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to the MP5—it's not any better at penetrating armor and the in-game code even states it uses 9mm.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber, though it's nowhere near as common as the below P90 and its ammunition. Its main advantage is the telescopic stock allowing for an extremely compact size.
- Appears in Killing Floor as the first of the Field Medic's weapons, with an insane fire-rate and a side-mounted medication dart launcher for healing teammates at long range.
- Available in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier; the normal folding foregrip has been replaced with a rail for the player to attach a different foregrip to if they want.note
- Family-Friendly Firearms is in full force in Beware the Batman, giving all guns the appearance of futuristic blasters (yet sound effects, visual effects and dialogue all make it clear they fire bullets). The one type whose real-world basis is obvious, though, are the submachine guns. Their size and shape (like an oversized pistol), full-length accessory rail and foregrip make them clearly meant to be MP7s before the last-minute requirement of censored guns.
- An MP7A2 appears (like many other guns on this list) in PAYDAY 2, as the SpecOps.
The Fabrique Nationale P90 is a submachine gunnote chambered for the 5.7x28mm round. The round was designed by FN and is currently used only by the P90 and the Five-seveN pistol, also made by FN. The P90 (and the MP7) exist as a result of the PDW concept — giving non-combat troops who nevertheless may find themselves in danger, such as mechanics, truck drivers, artillery units, REMF's at FOB's... guys who may need to defend themselves with something more useful than a handgun but less cumbersome than an assault rifle. The Personal Defense Weapon concept was also meant to allow such troops to defend themselves against adversaries wearing soft body armor. In practice, the concept has flopped, with the SMG-type PDW's like the MP7 and the P90 being vastly outsold by subcompact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45 ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, have more power both against flesh and armor, not needing any retraining, and being a lot more affordable. 4.6 and 5.7 are good against body armor, but they leave tiny wound channels, lacking severely in lethality. They do not compare favorably to more traditional 9x19mm SMG's like the UMP. 5.7 and 4.6 not only are much smaller bullets compared to the 9mm, but their muzzle energy peaks below the baseline for 9x19, so they are less lethal, no matter which school of terminal ballistics you ascribe to. Oh, and there are production loads of 9x19 which will defeat even the toughest soft armor. One of the P90's most innovative features is the 50-round magazine that lies flat along the top of the receiver, the rounds double-stacked sideways. The feed end of the magazine has a mechanism that rotates each round and drops it into the chamber pointing in the right direction, ejecting spent casings downwards through a chute behind the grip. This makes it 100% ambidextrous, a rarity among bullpup designs. Was once fairly rare in real life, yet many works, especially those set Twenty Minutes into the Future, featured it, partly due to its futuristic appearance◊ — a case of Truth in Television as it were, since the gun was later adopted by many police and armed forces all over the world. In practice though, it's turned out to be more used by special forces, police SWAT units and VIP bodyguards than by real-echelon support troops. Some have come to the mistaken belief that the P90 is a fictional weapon, due to its futuristic look (and perhaps because it just looks too cool to be true).
- Video games love it because its shape makes it easy to model, but particularly in older games the designers may have some rather odd ideas about how the P90 actually works; game P90s often eject in the wrong direction, and a fairly common mistake is showing the carrying handle as hinged at the front, popping up so the magazine can be inserted into it and then swung back down.
- Practically every second gun that features in the futuristic settings of Doctor Who is a P90 (regardless of time period), usually with extra bits attached to make it look more interesting. In "The Time of the Angels" / "Flesh and Stone", they're beige, have longer stocks, and the front rail is replaced with a flashlight, making them one of the more authentic-looking of the recent sci-fi guns. The H&K G36 being a close second.
- There's quite a few in the James Bond game GoldenEye (1997), known as the RC-P90. It's one of the fastest-firing submachine guns in the game and has the highest magazine capacity, at eighty rounds. And it can shoot through doors. And on the Train level, you can dual wield them for insane amounts of dakka.
- It's semi-standard issue for Mooks under the usual A.K.A.-47 moniker in the James Bond game Nightfire.
- Valentin Zukovsky and his goons carry these in The World Is Not Enough.
- It shows up in the video game adaptation as well, as the "MB PDW 90". Interestingly, this interpretation of the gun has the part of the receiver behind the magazine shown as hinged, for some reason.
- Along with the original Goldeneye version unlockable, an upgraded RC-P90 appears in Perfect Dark, here called the RC-120, which can also generate a cloaking field. Zero also features the weapon, once again under the RCP-90 name, though with slightly reduced mag capacity and different secondary modes.
- A few enemy troops use this weapon in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and it's available in multiplayer (some call it the "easy button"). It appears again in the Modern Warfare 2 and 3.
- Black Ops 2, on the other hand, features a rather Ghost in the Shell-ish "futurised" version called the PDW-57. It basically looks like a smaller, sleeker P90, though its fire rate is more restrained compared to previous games, perhaps due to the aforementioned "easy button" complaints. A specific differentiation of the weapon is the magazine swings out from the top rather than being pushed onto the receiver.
- In Call of Duty: Ghosts, you run across an odd drone rig in the single player campaign that mounts a pair of P90s that automatically fire against proximity targets. Very strange and the weapon itself is not among the available arsenal.
- After it was introduced a couple seasons in, the P90 became the standard-issue weapon and Weapon of Choice for SG Teams in Stargate SG-1 for much of the remainder of the series (everyone in Stargate Atlantis used it too). In-universe, the USAF commissioned Fabrique Nationale to design and manufacture the gun specifically for alien fighting, since Jaffa almost always wear armor.
- The P90 is the standard issue weapon amongst the Arsenal Tengu troopers in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, though it also sees some use by Solidus. The P90 is also the weapon of choice for the FROGS/Haven Troopers in MGS4, and probably the best submachine gun in the game that doesn't require unlocking.
- Gunslinger Girl. The P90 is Henrietta's signature weapon.
- Counter-Strike. Often derided as a noob gun, due to its high accuracy and capacity. Its infamous fire rate for its cost combined with said accuracy and magazine side has earned it the "bullet hose" nickname.
- An unlockable weapon for the Anti-Tank class in Battlefield 2.
- Also appears in Battlefield 3 as an all-kit weapon for multiplayer.
- Available as a sidearm in Army of Two and a primary weapon in The 40th Day.
- Used by Rainbow and mooks in the Rainbow Six series.
- Rei Fukai uses one in episode three of Sentou Yousei Yukikaze.
- Doom 3's machinegun is an obvious P90 homage, albeit with the magazine entirely enclosed by a hinged cover with a Halo-style ammo readout replacing the carrying handle.
- Sort of appears in Ghost in the Shell, where the "Seburo CZN-M22", a fictional weapon inspired by both the P90 and the FN F2000, is the Weapon of Choice for Major Kusanagi. Shirow Masamune seems to really like the aesthetic of the P90, as he's designed multiple rifles, SMGs/PDWs and even a pistol that in part inspired by it.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society, Kusanagi carries a P90 in a futuristic shell.
- Also appears in Black, with a 100 round magazine, the only weapon in that game with that many rounds (other than the M249 BFG with 150).
- Makes a brief appearance in Hellsing when two heavily customized P90s were used by Jan Valentine in the attack on the Hellsing mansion. Interestingly, it also subverts the Hollywood Silencer trope.
- In The Dresden Files, Karrin Murphy uses one of these from White Night and onward, mostly because the compact size of the weapon makes it ideal for her small size, and it makes for a damned fine weapon during the short story Aftermath.
- In the second F.E.A.R. game, Project Origin, the Andra FD-99 is essentially a slightly modified P90 with sharper, harder angles than the more rounded frame of the P90, and the aforementioned hinge on the receiver. Its intel file also claims it has a folding stock that is not actually present on the in-game model.
- Available late in 7.62 High Caliber in both the original version and a TR variant with triple rail mounts. The 5.7mm ammunition is uncommon, but it penetrates armor well and has good accuracy for such a small weapon.
- A P90 exists in Fallout 2, but by Heckler & Koch, not Fabrique Nationale. While outclassed soon after it becomes available by high-caliber pistols or rifles, it is one of the best ranged weapons available to several companions and uses the most common type of ammunition, the 10mm. With the right build, however, it can become the primary weapon for any Small Guns user later in the game, because of its very low AP cost, which makes it invaluable to critical-based characters. The only gun in its class that shares its low AP cost is the Gauss Pistol, which has a much higher damage, but lacks a burst-fire mode and has the rarest type of ammunition available. Curiously, it only holds 30 rounds and is held and fired with only one hand.
- In Code Geass, the standard Brittanian assault rifle resembles a cross between the P90 (the unique magazine) and the FAMAS (the giant carrying handle). It's most infamously used by Euphemia late into the first season.
- You can get this in Parasite Eve by giving Wayne 300 Junk and asking him for a machine gun.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2 as the Kobus 90.
- Available in Kane and Lynch, where it's overshadowed by the MP5 in most cases. Kane starts with it in the levels dealing with the bank heist at the beginning, before trading up to an SG 552 for the rest of the game.
The gun that made the Twenties roar. Although the Thompson was famously used in World War II as the M1/M1A1 submachine gun, it is mainly remembered as the Thompson M1921, which could be used with the famous 50 to 100 round drum magazines and vertical foregrip. The use of the former is a Hollywoodism based mostly on Rule of Cool; gangsters avoided the drum magazines because they made the weapon difficult to conceal, while militaries never used the drum magazines because the ammunition inside tended to rattle, it jammed easier, and made the weapon more cumbersome to carry and even heavier - in fact, the military M1 and M1A1 cannot use the 1921 or 1928's drum mags at all. The "Tommy Gun" has a rather exaggerated reputation as a gangster weapon, mostly due to a few high-profile users rather than actual common use; Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly and John Dillinger were the most famous. Movies would have you believe every prohibition gangster had one, but the Thompson was quite a pricy weapon for its day and one could afford several cheap handguns for the same amount. In fact, before WWII intervened, the gun was a commercial failure as the military, police and public unanimously found it too expensive. Nevertheless, it is de rigeur for any Al Capone-esque, old school gangster Badassery. Goes great with fedoras and pinstripes, too. The Thompson was retired more or less immediately after World War 2; SMG design had become far more focused on low-cost mass-production weapons like the M3 and Sten, and the Thompson was hugely expensive by comparison. Not to mention heavy. A Thompson is about 2.5 pounds heavier than an M3 "Grease Gun", which is itself just over eight pounds when unloaded. The gun has a reputation of being hard to handle, but according to many users, it's controllable if you fire in short bursts (yes, even the gangsters did this), not really too heavy, has a relatively normal recoil and the drum magazine, despite being heavy and cumbersome, actually stabilises the gun a bit (even though it's recommended that you use the stick magazine.)
- Cool Action: Pulling it out of hiding, holding it at the waist and saturating the room, then leaving as if nothing had happened.
- Just about all World War II movies, video games and TV shows. In games, it's usually more powerful than the MP40 but harder to get ammo for. Some make the mistake of having the milspec version firing from a drum magazine.
- The Thompson's reputation as a Cool Gun is discussed in the original novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, where the hijackers use them to take over the subway train. Their leader is an ex-mercenary who knows his weapons and chooses the Thompson specifically for its fearsome reputation, noting that even firearms experts who should know better flinch a bit when they see it.
- Used to get past the censors in Batman: The Animated Series by gangsters, also giving the series a nice Film Noir flavor.
- Likely inspired by the above, this is the signature weapon of The Family in City of Heroes. Beating enough of their bosses unlocks this as a skin for the Assault Rifle power set.
- Two-Face's Mooks in Batman Forever used them.
- New Reno is rife with these in Fallout 2. And they all suck, possibly due to being almost three hundred years old.
- The Laser RCW in Fallout: New Vegas is basically a laser-firing Tommy Gun. The Honest Hearts DLC also adds the original M1A1, with optional weapon mods to add the famous Cutts compensator and drum magazines.
- Some US soldiers in Goldfinger (the others have M1 carbines and M14s).
- One of the most powerful weapons in Resident Evil 4, where it's called the Chicago Typewriter (a reference to how it was used in the Roaring Twenties: its close association with the Chicago Mob and its distinct rapid-fire sound). Playing the game with the gangster outfit (unavailable in the GameCube version) changes it into the more iconic "Chicago-style" with a front foregrip and a drum magazine (as well as replacing the unnecessary reload animation with Leon adjusting his hat).
- Used in BioShock by the hero and mooks alike. It returns in the Burial at Sea DLC, in a beautiful art-deco finish.◊
- The Mask: "A TOMMY GUN!"
- Features heavily in the anime of Baccano!, which is to be expected as it's mostly set in New York during the 30s.
- Also features in the film version of Dick Tracy.
- In "One Lonely Night", Mike Hammer recovers a Tommy gun from a crashed FBI vehicle and later uses it to blow away a bunch of Dirty Communists who are torturing Velda.
- Famously used as the basis for the rifle portion of the M41A Pulse Rifle in Aliens. This did not do their weight any favors.
- Used by Pinstripe and his mooks in Freedom Force.
- Michael Jackson rather memorably (not to say randomly) pulls one out during the legendary "Smooth Criminal" music video featured in Moonwalker.
- In The Wrath of God, both the Jack Higgins book and The Film of the Book starring Robert Mitchum, "Father" Oliver van Horne tells some Banana Republic cops he's got the proper identity papers. He reaches into his luggage ... and blows them away with his Thompson. "That was one hell of a Mass, Father!"
- The Thompson is available in 7.62 High Calibre, in both the M1A1 version and the M1928 version. Both are extremely heavy, and the M1A1 can't accept the drum magazines.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, The Pain somehow manages to create a fully functional M1921 Thompson out of live hornets. Not quite sure how that's supposed to work, but that's Metal Gear Solid for you.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker allows the MSF to produce the M1928 for the player's use once they procure design specs for it.
- One of the standard weapons in Blood.
- A common sight in L.A. Noire. Like 7.62 High Calibre, it's availabe in both box-magazine and drum-magazine flavors, although the latter must be purchased via DLC.
- Seen being used ineffectually by police officers against giant robots in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
- Bones: At the end of the episode "The Bikini in the Soup", Brennan gives Booth (alone on Valentines Day after his relationship with Hannah went belly-up) a Valentines Day treat by meeting him at the shooting range with a pair of Tommy guns she "borrowed" from the Jeffersonian vaults. The two of them enjoyed firing the guns at targets while doing cheesy James Cagney impressions.
- Capt. Miller in Saving Private Ryan is the only member of The Squad carrying an SMG, so it's naturally one of these in military trim.
- Star Trek had Tommy guns galore in "A Piece of the Action", which took place on an alien world that modeled their society after a book on Chicago Mobs in the '20s. At one point, Spock listened to a radio commercial for "Bang Bang, maker of the sweetest little Tommy gun..." which he found "Fascinating".
- Star Trek: First Contact has a scene where Picard deals with some pursuing Borg drones by fleeing into the Holodeck and activating a 1920s gangster scenario with the safety protocols disabled, allowing him to pick up a simulated Tommy gun and gun down the drones. Immune to phasers doesn't mean immune to bullets, after all.
- Killing Floor added an M1A1 Tommy gun to its arsenal for the 2012 Halloween event, meant to be used by Commandos. Later DLC added "Dr. John T. Thompson's Lead Delivery System" and a Rising Storm-style M1928, both with drum mags.
- The Tomislav in Team Fortress 2 is Chainsaw-Grip BFG version of a Thompson SMG.
- In League of Legends The Mafia Skins for Graves,Twitch & Miss Fortune give them Thompsons
- Thompsons with drum magazines are one of the weapons used by Panther Claw Mooks in the various versions of Cutey Honey. Depending on the series, they may be gold plated.
- Ardeth Bay expresses a preference for the Thompson in The Mummy Returns and uses one as his primary weapon throughout the film.
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has a weapon called the "ASM1" which is basically a futuristic, tactical Thompson with a telescopic stock. You can even get a drum magazine variant just to complete the imagery.
- Nearly all of the gangsters in Capcom's unreleased Kingpin wield tommy guns.
- Spider-Man's foe Hammerhead is fond of Thompsons, as part of his "20's gangster" schtick.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2 as the Chicago Typewriter.
The MP40, descended from the MP38 (the difference being basically that the MP40 uses more stamped metal parts and thus is quicker and cheaper to manufacture), is the classic Nazi gun; a straight-blowback 9mm submachine gun used throughout WW2. Much like the Luger, simply having one is often proof the character is a bad guy, no matter what the era, and it's often shown as the standard issue German weapon in video games; often on at least a one-to-one basis with the Kar 98, which was actually much more common. Specifically, the standard Wehrmacht infantry squad's equipment included eight Kar 98s and only one MP40 (plus a machine gun and some pistols).
- Cool Action: The classic "cool" grip is to hold it by the magazine rather than the well above it; in practice this was actually an extremely bad idea (much as it was for the British Sten, which used the same magazines) as it was likely to cause misfeeds. But it sure looks badass. Though various World War II photographs show that it was often held in that manner by the actual German soldiers.
- You will see this in more or less anything with Nazis; as noted, in video games it's likely to be vastly more common than in real life.
- It's also popular as a mook weapon in James Bond movies; bad guys use them in Moonraker, Goldfinger and From Russia with Love.
- German soldiers in Defiance, Tuvia and Zus almost always seen carrying these, they obviously took them from dead Nazis.
- Frequent in the Indiana Jones movies. note
- Common in the Call of Duty games. It's at its most infamous in World at War, where a lack of playtesting ended with it severely overpowered compared to the other SMGs in multiplayer.
- In Archer, you can bet that a few episodes are going to include this weapon. Sometimes with laser sights.
- In Dirty Harry, Scorpio uses an MP40 alongside his Arisaka sniper rifle.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber as an early game gun, sometimes available from the mod's very first new mission in the Santa Maria bar with the wino's brothers.
- Appears in Rise of the Triad and its 2013 reboot with infinite ammo, making it an Infinity–1 Sword.
The Eastern Tommy gun; the PPSh-41 is a blowback-operated weapon firing the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round, and was the most common submachine gun in the Red Army during WW2. The weapon owes much to a 1934 design called the PPD by Vasiliy Degtyarev, which was shelved owing to high-up Party members such as Molotov, Zhdanov and Malenkov sharing the common-at-the-time belief that submachine guns were not military weapons. With the outbreak of the Winter War, the Finns quickly showed the Red Army the worth of the SMG, and the decision was quickly reversed, a refined version of the PPD going back into production with a new 71-round drum magazine (directly inspired by the Finnish Suomi M31's drum magazine of the same capacity). Shpagin's gun was essentially a refined version of Degtyarev's still-too-complicated design, using the same magazines but redesigned for mass production. By using stamping and welding rather than time-consuming machining, the PPD's 13.7 man-hours per gun were cut down to just 7.3, and the result also proved extremely reliable, requiring minimal maintenance. The very crude design was also so easy to manufacture that production could be handed to companies with no experience in gun manufacturing whatsoever, and because the Soviets standardized all rifle and pistol ammo at 7.62mm caliber, Mosin-Nagant rifle barrels could be salvaged from bad or damaged weapons and cut in half to make two PPSh-41 barrels. Modern shooters and collectors squint a bit at the crude appearance of the gun, but the Soviets soon learned that new recruits could be turned into cheap killing machines by giving them More Dakka (and at 900 rounds per minute, the PPSh provided the most dakka of any WW2-era submachine gun), so unlike the MP40, it was issued extensively, sometimes whole divisions being issued with only this weapon. Submachine guns firing pistol ammo do not need to be accurate, the fact they can provide suppressive fire by the thousands of rounds per squad was enough. It proved such an icon of the Soviet army that statues were built of soldiers holding them throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. Can use a curved 35-round box magazine, but, like the Thompson, is more likely to be seen with its 71-round drum magazine fitted. This is actually a case of Coconut Effect as in Real Life 71-round drums were considered Awesome but Impractical as they were rather time-consuming to load by hand and prone to jam if not individually fitted (not to mention more complex and expensive than box magazines).note Interestingly, the mass-capitulations of Red Army units early in the warnote led to the German army capturing large amounts of PPSh-41s. Finding it a useful weapon, they added it to their inventory as the MP717(r)note and issued user manuals for it. They also used a 9mm rechambered version called MP41(r).
- Commonly seen in Eastern Front WW2 and Korean war movies.
- Enemy at the Gates
- Der Untergang
- Appears a few times in Stargate SG-1.
- Somewhat infamous as a supergun in the WW2 Call of Duty games thanks to high accuracy, very friendly recoil and a vast magazine; each iteration after the first game attempted to Nerf it somehow. Note: there was no gameplay balance in the real WW2; the PPSh was really that good.
- This gun is probably the inspiration of the model for the Combat Shotgun in Fallout 3, with the drum placed slightly forward.
- Appears as one of several weapons available to the Engineer class in Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam, presumably meant for the NVA faction, but usable by everyone. It has the expected high fire rate, but its magazine capacity is reduced to 25 for balance.
- One of the weapons available in 7.62 High Calibre, with both the box and drum magazines available (the drum increases the dirt rating of a weapon faster, which will result in a jam when it gets high enough). The rebels often use them with box magazines, and the high rate of fire makes them excellent at close quarters.
- Archer: Katya Kasanova can be seen wielding one when she rescues Archer from a KGB firing squad.
- As noted in the P90 folder, you can get this gun in Parasite Eve by giving Wayne 300 Junk. Unlike the P90 though, you have to let Wayne decide what to give you and hope you get a PPSh-41.
- The "pe-pe-sha" is planned to be a weapon in Survarium.
A British submachine gun which was developed from the Sten during and after World War II - some early models actually saw service during Operation Market Garden as the "Patchett submachine gun", but did not officially replace the Sten until 1953. It is easily recognizable by its side mounted magazine similar to the Sten and its perforated hand guards (in some models). It saw very few changes in design while in service, eventually being replaced by the L85 assault rifle. It is still manufactured today in some countries, including India. After the 70s, its role in fiction is largely replaced by the MP5 and Uzi.
- Many James Bond movies featured this weapon prominently during Storming the Castle scenes.
- Featured in both No One Lives Forever games, it's especially prominent in the sequel.
- The Stormtroopers' E-11 Blasters in Star Wars are actually visually modified Sterlings with tiny magazines. As are the DH-17 blaster pistols carried by the Rebel troopers, with a different (and more extensive) set of visual modifications.
- Aika Zero has shown Aika with a Sterling Mk 7.
- Doctor Who. Used by UNIT in the 1970s (or was it the 80s?), particularly Sergeant Benton.
- Used for The Caper in The League of Gentlemen (1960), as they'd been stolen from a British army barracks.
- The Goodies. In "Scoutrageous" Bill and Graham (as the notorious Lone Scout + 1) are captured by female members of the Salvation Army armed with these.
- Wielded by Badass Adorable girl child Susan in the 2009 BBC remake of The Day of the Triffids.
- Used with bayonets by the Dust Men in inFAMOUS.
- Used by Goggles in Racer and the Geek.
- Both the standard Sterling and the silenced version are available in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber.
- Appears in ''PAYDAY 2, as the Patchett L2A1 (a reference to its designer, George William Patchett). Becomes the Sterling L34A1 when fitted with the Suppressed Barrel mod, or the Sterling Mark 7 "Para-Pistol" when fitted with the Short Barrel.
A submachine gun developed in the 1960s, firing .22 calibre ammunition at 1200 rpm from a top-mounted pan magazine of up to 275 round capacity. Much was made of its ability to chew through concrete blocks and body armour, though the latter was only possible if the person wearing it was standing still for an unlikely length of time. The primary purpose of the A-180 was as a riot control weapon for prison guards. Apparently, this was what passed for "less lethal" weaponry in the 60s.
- The Professionals. A stolen A-180 is the McGuffin in "Hunter/Hunted", though in actuality it was a 7.62x51mm AR-10 rifle with prop bits bolted on. Presumably getting hold of a blank-firing A-180 in 1970's Britain would have been too difficult.
- The killer in Hooligans, a novel by William Diehl, uses one (that he first acquired in a black ops unit in Vietnam) for his Vigilante Man activities.
- The terrorists in the novel Terminal 3 use these when seizing Heathrow Airport's control tower.
- Appears in Fallout: New Vegas as the "Silenced .22 SMG", to pair with the silenced .22 pistol.
A new submachine gun developed by American company Transformational Defence Industries (now as KRISS), the Vector uses an off-axis recoil mechanism claimed to be revolutionary, though in actuality the design is a hundred years old. Starting to show up in video games due to its futuristic appearance and rather exaggerated marketing. Often labelled incorrectly as the "Kriss Super V," a name used in early marketing, due to that name sounding cooler.
- Used as the basis of one of the weapons in The Conduit.
- Seen in Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
- Showed up in one of the season finales of CSI: New York where the mechanism was cited as the reason two bullets hit the exact same spot on somebody, and was incorrectly called the Kriss Super V.
- Shows up in Army of Two: The 40th Day.
- Shows up in MAG.
- Shows up in Episode 11 of Angel Beats!
- Used by Deadpool in the leaked script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, writers of Zombieland. Incorrectly called a "Kriss .45 Caliber TDI".
- Usable in Homefront, called the Super V submachine gun.
- Used by multiple characters in the Total Recall (2012) remake.
- Makes an appearance in Far Cry 3 as the "Vector .45 ACP". The standard form is only unlockable after reaching the second island, but the signature version "Shredder" can be unlocked very early on by finding ten memory cards.
- Added with the 2012 Christmas update to Killing Floor, as the most expensive of the Medic's guns. It's also the only one of said guns to use ironsights rather than a red dot sight.
- A weapon in the Mass Effect series - the M12 Locust SMG - resembles this gun in shape, and has its defining feature (the recoil dampening system).
- Available in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, where it's GhostLead's Weapon of Choice for most of the campaign.
- Available as a very expensive, high end weapon in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber.
- Reviewed and tested here by Skallagrim.
The classic WW2 British submachine gun, chambered in 9mm. Like the PPSh-41, it was a very crude design but could be easily field stripped and mass produced. It often had a skeletal butt or a folding stock (and in some versions, a grip that's so uncomfortable you have to wonder if the designer was a sadist) but its most distinct feature is the iconic side-mounted magazine. It was used by the SAS, officers, paratroopers, Commandos, resistance fighters (who liked it because it could be taken into 3 pieces and concealed), spies and vehicle crews. The design was cheap and rather ugly-looking (It could take as little as 5 hours work to make in a simple metalworking shop) and it often jammed due to poor feed from the MP40 magazine - but the British Army and resistance fighters loved it anyway (or, rather, didn't have a choice). It was improved a bit over the course of the war, but never developed very far from it's nasty looks and finicky nature. It was eventually phased out by the very similar Sterling SMG, which improves on it mostly by being more comfortable and having reliable magazines.
- Cool Action: It is often held by the magazine in fiction. In reality, this would make the gun more prone to jamming, hence soldiers holding it by the barrel. However, it was held by some soldiers that way, 'cause it looks cool, plus if you held it by the barrel, there was a bigger risk of burning your hand.
- Frequently appears in Commando stories in the hands of officers or the protagonists.
- Common in the Call of Duty series, though hard to use effectively given the lack of Universal Ammunition (the real Sten took the same magazines as the German MP40).
- The nailgun in Team Fortress Classic is based off the Sten.
- Appears alongside the later Sterling many, many times in the Classic Era of Doctor Who.
- The Canadian model◊ is used The Bridge on the River Kwai.
- Sawn off prop replicas are used in The Guns of Navarone.
- The crew of the Nautilus use ornate mockups in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- In The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the Sten is wielded by Rick 'O' Connell.
- Seen in the hands of Falsworth in Captain America: The First Avenger.
M3/M3A1 "Grease Gun"
The M3 submachine gun, or better known as the "Grease Gun" was designed by General Motors in 1942. This submachine gun was designed to be a cheaper alternative to the M1 Thompson during the Second World War. Like the Thompson, the weapon was chambered in the same .45 ACP cartridged, but has a significant lower rate of firenote . One feature it had was the ability to easily change out its essential chambering tube to one that could accept standard German 9mm ammo, a valuable function when you are behind enemy lines and low on your own ammo. It had a unique feature where the dust cover had also served as the gun's safety as there is a latch under the cover. Initially it saw seldom use as there was a delay in production that would put off its service until late 1944 to early 1945. The M3A1 variant made some significant changes, such as the removal of a troublesome cocking lever (replaced with a cocking slot in the bolt). It was still used by armoured crews and drivers as a personal defense weapon until the 1990's. It is worth to note that as of 2004, this firearm saw a resurgence in usage by the Philippine Naval Special Operations Group.
- This gun was widely shown in The Dirty Dozen by many of the crew. Major Reisman even have his magazines taped together jungle style.
- Roy Cobb in Band of Brothers uses the M3A1 variant, rather anachronistically as that version was not available until December 1944.
- Appears twice in the Fallout series. Fallout 2 features it alongside the M1928 as the only two weapons firing .45 ammo. The "9mm submachine gun" of Fallout: New Vegas is a scaled-down Grease Gun firing 9mm bullets, which can be given a drum magazine and a lighter bolt to increase its rate of fire; a unique variant with a drum mag owned by the pre-war wannabe-Outlaw Couple "Vikki & Vance" can be received from another wannabe-outlaw couple, in perfect condition because Vikki & Vance tended towards petty crimes that never required them to fire their weapon.
- Available in the Falklands, Vietnam, and Normandy variations of the Battlefield 2 Game Mod Project Reality.
- The "Submachine Gun" of the first Condemned is a Grease Gun given the barrel shroud and larger sights of a Carl Gustav M/45.
- Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix features it as the standard automatic weapon of enemies in the Prague levels. It fires slower than later automatics and is more accurate and controllable than them as a result, but is also a poor choice for sustained combat because it shares the smaller pool of ammo your handguns draw from.
- Jim Morita of the Howling Commandoes uses the Grease Gun as his weapon of choice in Captain America: The First Avenger.
- Despite the M3 Machine Gun being sparse in the Call of Duty games, Sgt. Sam Rivers from Finest Hour has a chance to use this gun in his mission "Come Out Fighting".