Villar Perosa aircraft submachine gun

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Villar Perosa
Villar-Perosa M15.jpg
TypeAircraft machine gun
Place of originItaly
Service history
Used bySee users
WarsWorld War I
Production history
Mass6.5 kg (14 lb)
Length90 cm (35 in)

Cartridge9mm Glisenti
Barrels2 side by side
Rate of fire1.500 round/min
Feed systemBox Magazine
Armamento - Museo de Armas de la Nación 114.jpg

The Villar Perosa M15 was an Italian portable automatic firearm developed during World War I by the Officine di Villar Perosa.

Originally designed to be used by the second crew member/observer of military airplanes, it was later issued to ground troops. Between May and November 1916 a section was assigned to each infantry battalion of the Italian army and from May 1917 the number of sections was increased to 3 per battalion.

As it was designed to use 9mm pistol ammunition, it is said to be the first true submachine gun.[1]


The Villar Perosa was designed as a portable double barrel machine gun firing a 9mm round. It consisted of two independent coupled weapons, each with its own barrel firing mechanism and separate 25-round magazine.

As it was originally designed to be operated from airplanes it had a high rate of fire of over 1,500 rounds per minute. However, in practice the 9mm munition was not sufficiently powerful to shoot down aircraft, which had become ever more resistant over the course of the war, and in addition the range was inadequate.

It was also used during World War I by the Italian infantry, with a bipod and a gun shield. Despite its high rate of fire, its atypical design and its weight, it proved to be very effective at short range.[1]


In 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire created a copy of the VP, the Sturmpistole M.18, which featured a straight magazine rather than curved magazines.[2]

The mechanism of the VP was a sound design, and shortly after the end of the war was used as the basis of a more practical weapon, the OVP 1918.

See also[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nicolle, David (25 Mar 2003). The Italian Army of World War I. Men-at-Arms 387. Osprey Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 9781841763989.
  2. ^ Landships II,
  3. ^ "Villar Perosa". Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Anthony G. Williams (2012). Sub-Machine Gun: The Development of Sub-Machine Guns and their Ammunition from World War 1 to the Present Day. The Crowood Press UK. p. 260. ISBN 1847972934.


External links[edit]