Kbsp wz. 1938M
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|karabin samopowtarzalny wz.38M|
Polish Pistolet maszynowy Mors wz. 39 SMG (left) and a prototype of Karabin samopowtarzalny wz. 38M (right)
|Place of origin||Poland|
|In service||1938 to 1939|
|Wars||World War II|
|Produced||1938 to 1939|
|No. built||~ 150|
|Weight||4.5 kg (9.9 lb)|
|Length||1,134 mm (44.6 in)|
|Barrel length||625 mm (24.6 in)|
|Action||Gas-Operated, Tilt locked|
|Muzzle velocity||2,650 ft/s (807.92 m/s)|
|Feed system||10-round detachable box|
The rifle was designed by a Polish engineer Józef Maroszek (1904-1985). He was known mainly as a designer of Polish anti-tank rifle wz.1935 "Ur". Maroszek was one of the three winners of Poland’s 1934 self-loading rifle trials. Several prototypes and pre-production samples of his rifle were manufactured from 1936 to 1938. After a Polish army order was received, small scale production began in 1938. It is believed only about 150 rifles of this pattern were completed before the German invasion of Poland. Production was not resumed under the German occupation. The wz.38M rifles were manufactured by the Zbrojownia Nr. 2 (Arsenal No.2) in Warsaw (Praga). Barrels were supplied by the Panstwowa Fabryka Karabinow (State Rifle Factory) in Warsaw.
The highest serial number observed is 1054 (it is assumed numbering started from "1001", not counting the prototypes and pre-production examples). The decision was made to begin serial production of the rifle at the Fabryka Broni (the Arms Factory) in Radom in 1938. However, it is unclear if any rifles of this pattern left the Radom factory before the German invasion (all the surviving examples display "Zbr.2" markings). Maroszek stated he had seen a group of German soldiers armed with wz.38M rifles in occupied Warsaw. This is perhaps the only indication Maroszek rifles were reissued to Nazi forces.
The rifle is gas operated with the gas tube located under the barrel. It features a tilting bolt. The ten-round non-detachable magazine is loaded from Mauser stripper clips. The safety lever is located on the right side of the receiver, just above the trigger. The rifle has a Mauser-style tangent leaf rear sight graduated from 300 to 2,000 m (330 to 2,190 yd). The bayonet lug accepts a standard Polish issue wz.29. The stock is in two pieces,[clarification needed] and the rifle has two sling swivels.
Today, this is probably the most difficult to find military rifle on the collector market. There are only nine known examples in collections around the world (1. Polish Army Museum, Warsaw, Poland, deactivated; 2. Central Armed Forces Museum, Moscow, Russia; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. private collections in the USA; 9. private collection in Germany). Some time ago, there were rumors of a wz.38M being on display at the Museum of War, Beijing, China (unconfirmed). The known serial numbers are: 1017, 1019, 1027, 1030, 1040, 1048, 1054. (The Russian museum and the Ohio collection rifles serial numbers are unknown.)
There is only one example of military usage of this rifle, which is known from its constructor’s memories. While evacuating personnel from Instytut Techniki Uzbrojenia (Weaponry Technology Institute) the train they were traveling in was attacked near the city of Zdołbunow by two German warplanes flying at low altitude. As he states in his memories, Józef Maroszek kept shooting through the window, eventually killing the gunner and wounding the pilot of one of the planes, forcing it to land. This event was also confirmed by other passengers.
- Gwozdz & Zarzycki 1993, p.173
- pl:Karabin samopowtarzalny wz. 38M
- Z. Gwozdz & P. Zarzycki, "Polskie Konstrukcje Broni Strzeleckiej", 1993.