View Full Version : PDW History - NATO Specs and Weird Designs

03-28-2017, 10:13 AM
From War Is Boring:

In 1989, NATO issued a specification for two personal-defense weapons — one a pistol and the other a shoulder-fired compact submachine gun. The pistol was to weigh less than one kilogram while the shoulder-fired weapon would weigh less than three kilograms.

Both weapons would fire a cartridge with improved range, accuracy and terminal ballistic performance compared to guns firing the nine-by-19-millimeter round.

NATO planned to equip rear-echelon troops — personnel who couldn’t carry or didn’t need a standard-issue rifle — with these new weapons. NATO believed that, in the event of war, Soviet special forces would attempt to disrupt Western lines of communication and logistics, so it was important to arm support troops with a weapon firing a round that could penetrate Soviet body armor at close range.


Read the WHOLE THING (https://warisboring.com/some-pretty-weird-prototypes-preceded-the-p90-submachine-gun-e57181055cea). Fascinating stuff.

03-28-2017, 10:35 AM
Yep the original concept / design / intent of the PDW was a rear area weapon for cooks, truck drivers, mechanics, office type troops who killed the enemy by getting the goods to the troop that did the fighting. It needed to be more than a pistol (because pistols were considered harder to fire accurately and 100+ meters) and less than a rifle, which would ultimately end up in a rack or leaning against a tree while the "real" work was being done. Back then there was a concern about Soviet body armor (turns out the concern was more over rated than the actual threat; but a concern nevertheless).

There were lots of drawing table designs a few made it into production. The HK MP5K got a folding stock added to it and it became HKs PDW until the MP7 was released. The FN P90 is certainly a better iteration of the PDW concept than the MP5 version; but the MP7 is interesting. Knights played with the concept but never released anything. The PDW term has been stolen and morphed into what ever the newest release hits the gun mag cover (except paper magazines don't really have as pull as they used toooooo). Today we have a choice between pistol(and SMG) size cartridges and rifle (read that M16) size cartridges. Its all about what size magazine we want, then fitting the cartridge into that and that into the gun...

03-28-2017, 12:35 PM
3 kg is a generous weight allowance for such a weapon. An empty M4 makes that at 2.88 kg.

06-05-2017, 09:55 AM
Is this not what the M1 Carbine was supposed to do?
Prior to World War II, U.S. Army Ordnance received reports that the full-size M1 rifle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Garand) was too heavy and cumbersome for most support troops (staff, mortarmen, radiomen, etc.) to carry. During prewar and early war field exercises, it was found that the M1 Garand impeded these soldier's mobility, as a slung rifle would frequently catch on brush, bang the helmet, or tilt over the eyes. Many soldiers found the rifle slid off the shoulder unless slung diagonally across the back, where it prevented the wearing of standard field packs and haversacks.
Additionally, Germany's use of glider-borne and paratroop forces to launch surprise attacks behind the front lines, generated a request for a new compact infantry weapon to equip support troops.[6] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine#cite_note-George.2C_John_1981_p._394-6)[7] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine#cite_note-7) This request called for a compact, lightweight defensive weapon with greater range, accuracy and firepower than handguns
The practical ergonomics of the M1 carbine are near perfect as a light handy shoulder arm. AP loads were not common if they ever existed for it. It would have not been too hard modernize the round to were it could penetrate typical military body armor.
Why reinvent the wheel.

Israel. Likely a teacher escorting her students.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRLtlYE3WJLMqd0WFMmG2Wh9ZGxO3C4x nnJpkVt3ujk_0y00lkU5g

Greg Nichols
06-05-2017, 10:38 AM
3 kg is a generous weight allowance for such a weapon. An empty M4 makes that at 2.88 kg.

The original design for the M16 was designed and marketed to the military as an emergency PDW for air crews.

08-26-2017, 04:58 AM
actually it was designed and marketed as a replacement for the M1 carbine for Airforce security, and then in usual political wisdom, the bright boys in DC tried to shoe horn it into being a general purpose combat rifle, while Springfield and the procurement guys kept trying to sabotage it...
they DID have an under seat survival kit that got prototyped called the Colt Model 608 which consisted of a 10" barreled upper and a minimized fixed stock lower that were approximately the same length so they fit together somewhat when packed. Fixed stock, iron sights, and a stack of 20 round magazines. Too bad they didn't consider suppressors.