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12-15-2011, 05:26 PM #1
PPSh (ППШ) build giga thread (you bet your a**, pictures!)
I’m going to document my PPSh (41) carbine build, in 9mm, stricker-fired, based on Polish kit. Total cost out of the pocket: $170 for the kit and $30 for the barrel blank. I will modify follow up posts into specific parts of the build as I sort out my build photos:
- Bolt modification
- Front trunion
- Rebuilding receiver
- Loose ends
- Range report, tweaks and finish
- Other things
Tools used. I have mill/lathe combo from Central Machinery (HF), not a gunsmith package, but Red Jacket got one … ; ) I also used plasma cutter which is not all that necessary, plus a few odds and ends.
The good news is that PPSh is an easy build of a very simple gun. It’s cheap, the kit and barrel were $200, which is the grand total I spent on it. 90% of the headache is trying not to infringe on ATF infringing on you.
The bad news is that it’s a “build” so you will have to actually build things with your hands with real tools. Get a Budha statue and keep rubbing his belly for luck until he looks like Ghandi. The upside is that all this hard work will cover you in masculine musk of cosmoline and make you irresistible to most women and some men. Most men will envy you, your chest hair will grow exponentially. In other words, you will go from this
Bitch please, I make MY OWN trunnions!
Ok, I grew up across the street from this monument to soldier-liberator.
If you look from one side, you’ll see that he is clenching a PPSh, the most iconic submachine gun of the WWII, the most produced submachine gun of WWII. It was succeeded a year later after it’s production start with PPS, but in it’s 6 glorious years of service it made a huge impact. You bet, that I wanted one for a long time!
Why should you build a PPSh?
- Zombie apocalypse is coming. Your hyper-precise rifle will not save your ass when hordes of zombies are knocking at the gate.
- You can get a 9mm barrel and shoot surplus Tok or 9mm ammo from the same mags, swapping barrels.
- The gun was designed to sustain firing rate of 1000 (thousand) rnds/min. It’s heavy, big muzzle break will give no recoil so your feminine hands can keep it on target.
- 70 rnds drums are plentiful and cheap. 9mm ammo is the cheapest centerfire you can get.
- My build came up to 9 lbs without a mag. That’s enough to club any seal when your ammo runs out.
- PPSh does not need fancy alloys or heat-treated steel, pick up some scrap steel and grind your own trigger groups.
Do you really need any more reasons than this:
Yeah, that's some good shit, comrade!
PPSh (left) and PPD, it’s predecessor (right)
IN DEFENSE OF MOST GLORIOUS MOTHERLAND !!!
PPSh (on the ground) and its successor PPS (in soldier’s hands)
Here is my kit as it arrived (actually it's a Hungarian that came with drum mag)
I will re-use every single part, only adding to these parts:
Ok, let’s see how it’s done bitches!
Last edited by Boris; 12-15-2011 at 06:56 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:28 PM #2
Research and history
Ok, let’s get some shit straight. Correct pronunciation:
ППШ - Peh-Peh-Shah, which are the three letters of the abbreviation in Russian. You may have heard it called “papa-Shaw” No! The correct slang term is “pah-PAH-shah” (note that stress is on the middle syllable) which means something close to “daddy” but definitely not papa-Shaw or papa-Karlo. You may call your gun Susan if you like, I’m just saying that you will sound like inspector Clouseau reading Prada spring fashion catalog, only much, much gheyer:
WEAPON “EXPERTS” and Wikipedia
My first search on PPSh came up with these pearls of Wikipedia “wisdom”:
“Its parts (excluding the barrel) could be produced by a relatively unskilled workforce with simple equipment available in an auto repair garage or tin shop, freeing up more skilled workers for other tasks.”
That was an awesome news, ‘cause I remember the tin shop in Sturbdrige village and I can totally see making PPShs there.
I started doing more research on how PPSh was made, so perhaps I could duplicate this process in my basement where I repair my cars and work with tin. History International had a special on history of PPSh (
) which sounded very promising:
Ian Hogg, Author, “weapons expert”:
“The priority was, what is the quickest and cheapest thing we can make, and the answer to that was submachine gun. Rifles demanded specialist rifle factory. Ivan’s Garage and Joe’s Engineering Workshop, they were on to put up to make submachine guns, as hard as they could go.”
Even better news, may be those crazy Russkies should make some stone axes, that would be even cheaper than guns!
Still, that sounded really promising in finding a way to make my own PPSh. Searching for “Joe’s Engineering Workshop” was a dead end in Moscow’s Yellow Pages, but I was able to find “Ivan’s Garage” right here in NYC, in Brooklyn!
… ring, ring …
Me: Hello, is this Ivan’s Garage?
Ivan’s Garage (IV): Dis eez Sir-ghey, who eez diss?
Me: Hi, I’m wandering if you still have the plans on how to make a PPSh?
Me: Do you know how to make submachine gun: ???????? ??????? ????????
IV: You shit on me? You think I Russian, I know how to make AK? Yes?
Me: No, I already know how to make an AK. They are fine rifles, sir. What about PPSh? Can you make one?
IV: Leesen, I come to your house, I piss in your head, I **** your mother … nooo, I **** your sister! You go … and **** your-self!
No PPShs were ever made in garages or shops (definitely not at Wiki-****ing-pedia “tin shops”)
Shpagin’s design was approved in 21 of December, 1940, long before Nazi aggression against USSR. Production only started in October 1941 on State Ball-bearing Factory, Moscow’s Intruments Factory, Machine Factory of Ordzhonikidze and 11 smaller factories. Final assembly was made on Moscow’s Automotive Factory.
In 1941, 98k PPShs were made, but in 1942, 1.5 million were made.
In 1942, Shpagin himself organized production on Machine Works Factory #367 in Vyatskiye Polyani, then on Stalin’s Automotive Factory (ZIS) and later on over 10 other machine building factories, none of which originally made gun parts. Don’t look for Ivan’s Garage marks on a PPSh.
This diarrhea of misconception has been regurgitated by “weapons specialists” for quite a long time. It originates from PPS 43 history, where selected few parts of which in fact were made in “semi-artisan” workshops, but final assembly was done at a factory. However, PPS and PPSh are two different things and no, there is no way you can make all parts for a PPSh in a tin shop.
An interesting factoid is that quite a few PPShs were made in Iran, in 1942. Good luck finding any of those kits.
You know that Russians have invented everything, but in 1930’s there were many of various and well established SMG designs. Fins were very effective with Suomis
So Russians took that design and some land and came out with PPD. I have never seen Suomi mags, but I’ve heard they are exactly the same as PPSh mags, so if you have misfeed issues send your hate mail to Helsinki.
Here is a comrade with PPD enjoying a glass of vodka while contemplating the meaning of life.
Shpagin’s genius wasn’t in making another SMG, it was in making an SMG that could be mass produced using latest technologies of the time like stamping and spot welding. Because none of the parts used alloy steel, raw materials were cheap too. Consider these production numbers:
M3 built - ~700k
Sten ~ 4 mil
Thompson – 1.7 mil
PPSh41 – 6 mil
Most PPShs that you see today are in fact PPShs with all the 1942 mods: flip l-shaped rear sight, mag reinforcer plates used to be welded on. There was in fact a proper PPSh-42 model that suppose to replace 41:
It was turned down in favor of PPS which was designed by Sudaev and could be made in half the time of PPSh. While PPS was lighter, easier to control, faster to make, had folding stock, PPSh was already being made in huge numbers.
WTF or crazy PPSh trivia
Here is a picture of the Fire Hedgehog. It contained 88: 11 rows, 8 PPShs each and it suppose to be used for strafing infantry. It never caught on, although it would really suck to load all those mags.
An interesting point here is that this creative use of PPSh with a drum mag wasn’t unusual. I found a bunch of other references where comrades were too lazy to haul around chairs with them. The correct way to sit though is actually to straddle the barrel between your legs.
When PPSh were originally produced, mags were matched to each rifle and were serialized. On old WWII documentary footage, you may see comrades packing PPSh with one drum in the gun and another attached by a string to it. I don’t know if manufacturing got better for mags to be interchanged and fit most guns later. From the bunch of mags I got so far, at least one is not quite fitting right. In Stalingrad, at 6:45 that may have been pretty unlikely feat to just pick up random mag and hope that it would work.
Thousands of PPShs were captured and converted to use MP40 mags for 9mm Luger round. Conversion involved replacing the barrel and using an adaptor to accept MP40 mags.
Non-converted, captured PPShs were used with 30 Mouser cartridge, which was produced in decent quantities, specifically in Czech, but I had never seen any references of setups that used 9mm Luger from regular PPSh mags (what I am doing)
Stick mags for PPSh did not become very common until 1944, but they were produced much earlier. Although all “experts” say that sticks are easier to load, I just don’t agree with that. Drums were considerably costlier plus comissars did not want soldiers to expand ammo like nuts.
Harsh winters caused internal lubricants to freeze which was death to complicated SMG parts. Both sides advised to wash parts in Kerosene to remove lubricants and run them “dry”. Standard Soviet testing which was used for both PPSh and AK, is to remove all lubricants with Kero, then fire 5’000 rounds dry.
Official firing rate of PPSh is 1000 rounds/min. Combat rate is only 100 rounds/min. Red Army instruction manual for PPSh recommends to let the gun cool down after three drum mag dumps. It was not typical to carry 3 mags.
72 round mag dump on full auto takes 5 sec.
Most PPSh parts were stamped and connected with spot and arc welding. The only part that required turning was the barrel.
PPSh was one of the first arms that was manufactured with chrome lined bore in mass production. Official “life-span” is 100’000 to 150’000 rounds.
Rear sight on original PPShs was a slider marked up to 500m. In 1942, they figured out that it was just too optimistic, plus it costs more than a flip up sight.
Some training diagrams still used sliding sight, but I have never seen a PPSh with a sliding sight in existence.
Life after end
PPSh was officially replaced by AK-47 in … 47. Thus PPSh has served for 6 years, yet its contribution of annual body count never stopped. It was manufactured in many countries of the Com block, but also in China, Korea and I guess Iran still has those tooling from WWII.
Here are some Vietnamese comrades attempting to redistribute wealth:
Even whatever-stan got a whole bunch.
And of course middle east got some weird short barrel version, like you really need a shorter barrel?
There are a great deal of monuments that incorporate PPSh, most of them are Soviet, but Koreans have ‘em too.
PPSh and PPS
PPSh(41) and PPS(43) are constantly confused, mostly on GB, but what’s disturbing is that some commercial builders keep calling it PPSh-43. There were never PPSh43s. There were Fin KP44, based on PPS and with Suomi drum look a lot like bastard child of PPSh and PPS. There are many ways to tell. In PPS the vent holes on barrel guard are round. PPS has the recognizable muzzle brake loop and overfolding stock and a pistol grip. See if you can spot PPS on this photo of friendly gun swap.
Victory salut over Reichstag, both PPSh and PPS are present.
Very good and short (10 min) youtube video on history of PPSh … in Russian
Last edited by Boris; 12-18-2011 at 08:33 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:28 PM #3
For this build, I want to use 9mm barrel for many reasons. Tok rounds are not as cheap as they used to and most are not reloadable. Reloadable ammo cost a small fortune, so I really didn’t see why I shouldn’t be able to make this thing work with 9mm Luger.
After searching for barrels, it became painfully clear is that I will need to make one. Either that or the fact that rifled barrel blanks are only $30. I ordered a couple in case of an imminent ****-up. When I got the package, I was amazed how frigging heavy they are. The package weighted at about 10 pounds.
Next WTF moment was when I realized that the barrel was too frigging long for my “lathe” and too thick to be inserted into the headstock. Typically, being too long and too thick is a good problem to have, but in this case it was time to get creative.
First thing I did is to lob off an end of the blank. This one came 17.5" or so long, so that mark indicates “jail” and “no jail” sides. Also, keep in mind that front of the barrel is dipped in red paint and stamped with “F” so keep the front end a front end.
In order to machine this fallic blank, I made a support rest (that originally was made for wood turning)
That turned out to be a bad solution. The barrel is made from 4140, Chromium-Molybdenium steel, it’s considerably tougher than mild crap that I usually machine. Support rest rollers kept moving and barrel wobbled. I added a couple of nuts and bolts to keep them fixed.
That helped a lot, but it still took forever to get damned thing thin enough to be inserted into the tail stock. Even with solid support at both ends and changing sharp carbide bits, the work-piece heats up so I had to take periodic brakes and have a fan blow air over the barrel to keep it cool.
Here is one of the barrel blanks, my machined barrel and an original Tok barrel from a Hungarian PPSh kit. The weight of each:
Blank: 2.390 kg, machined: .874 kg, Tok barrel: .318 kg. In other words, I had to remove almost three pounds of steel from the barrel blank and it could easily be much thinner. I don’t know if I was too lazy to take off more material or I simply wanted a bull barrel.
Anoter WTF moment came after I welded the receiver in place and realized that my long barrel could not be pulled out of the receiver. I had to cut off that tooth. In the future, I may reverse it’s position, cutting the notch on the receiver instead of the lower.
I strongly urge you to buy some snapcaps in 9mm or whatever caliber you want your PPSh in. When you have bolt under tension and live rounds to play with, ugly things may happen. Be safe!
An important aspect of my build is to be able to feed 9mm Luger from regular Tok magazines, both drum and stick. As you can see, these are very similar cartridges in thickness of their bottom, but not in length.
When chambering, barrel has to be closer to the mag for 9mm. Otherwise the spring of the magazine will pop it before it has a chance to enter barrel’s chamber. Here are two cartridges on the verge of poping from the same kind of mag.
In order to experiment with correct location of the barrel, I made a short piece of aluminum stock that would fit into trunnion and had an equivalent of the 9mm chamber. If the barrel is too close, the round would get jammed between the chamber and the mag at an angle. If the barrel is too far, the round would get poped before the nose of the cartridge would enter into the barrel’s chamber. I scratched a bunch of lines on the aluminum piece to find that “sweet spot” while playing with the lower and bolt. If you go back and look at the Tok and my barrel, the lip of the barrel that retains it is much thicker on mine, which means it would be much closer to the mag when everything is assembled.
Cutting a chamber in the barrel is probably the most important moment. Dimensions have to be thousands of an inch close enough. If you **** it up, you have to throw away the barrel and start again. Talk about buzz kill!
The most annoying part is the taper, which is almost non-existent, yet it’s there. There are chamber cutters available, a 9mm one goes for about $100. I don’t know why I did not buy it. I did try making quite a few, starting from a modified drill bit to this HF reamer that got ****ed up a while ago.
First, it’s annealed, and machined to the proper width.
Then I’d try to cut proper taper which is a challenge in itself, since once you **** it up, you can just throw away the bit and start again. Once done, you heat it up again:
and drop into oil
This is when having that stainless wire comes handy. You drop it into oil, you can pull it out instead of fishing it out with your fingers.
Finally, you temper it. Then it’s stoned. … not with weed but with diamond file.
… rinse and repeat, many times. Once you get one bit done, see how it cuts on scrap. Try again.
I ended up cutting my chamber with a D reamer. It’s basically a round stock, tapered if needed, that’s ground in half. There are many articles written on how make one. Still, it’s not easy and cutting your barrel chamber with it may leave grooves and kick up burr. It did on mine, this is something I’m going to deal with later in the “tweaking” section.
Here is one reamed barrel and my D-reamer.
If you want your own barrel and need to ream like Barney Frank in his dreams, just buy the reamer from a catalog. Otherwise, this is what’s going to happen:
1. You are lazy and you botch some crappy contraption to cut your chamber
2. You chamber will be all FUBAR, but you will be too lazy/ cheap to get another barrel. You will say something like: “it’s only SMG, this is close enough”
3. You bring your rifle with FUBARed chamber to the range, load it and pull the trigger.
Last edited by Boris; 12-22-2011 at 08:27 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:29 PM #4
You may thank ATF for any bolt modifications requirements. PPSh are select fire, so you’d hope that welding the fire selector on “semi” would be enough? No, PPSh fires from open bolt and ATF does not allow peasants or workers to own such weapons. Any firearm that fires from open bolt is a “machinegun” …. go figure.
PPSh has a fixed firing pin. Essentially it works on slamfire, with bolt chambering the round as the driving the pin strikes the cup. To remove the pin first remove side pin:
Raise the spring slightly and pull it out
At this point you can push the pin out by sticking something sharp from the top.
We will come back to firing pin later.
There are several ways to fire a round. All of them need closed bolt and a moving firing pin. How the pin is struck pretty much up to you, there are many ways people do that. One challenge is the bolt spring location. Main design types are:
1. Striker fired (what I am doing), bolt is cut in half, additional spring drives striker which hits firing pin. No mods to FCG is needed (except for ATF crap)
a. Main spring is relocated to one side, use SKS or AK trigger group/hammer, firing pin is in the middle of the bolt (Shotgun News article)
b. Main spring remains where it is, firing pin is to the right/left of the srping, modified AK trigger group/hammer strikes the pin.
c. Main spring remains where it is, firing pin is in the middle. Hammer is a double snake-tongue, striking a plate above the main spring that striker the firing pin.
Which design is better? I don’t know, each design has good and bad points.
In my case, I have to cut bolt in half. The end will become the “striker”, thus when bolt cycles, striker will stay behind and bolt will chamber the round. In the original design, entire bolt would get caught and wait for the trigger to release it.
Where should you cut the bolt? You should keep the striker square so it will slide freely without wedging itself in the receiver.
Ok, I don’t know the proper name for it, it’s the thingie that grabs the rim of the cartridge and can pull it out of the chamber. The problem is that original spring is way too tough. When loading a Tok round, it would slide right under the nail. With 9mm Luger, bolt need to crab the cartridge just be slamming into it, so the spring has to be considerably softer. To accomplish this I’m making a new spring altogether.
I took a regular hardware spring, straighten it out a bit, then bent this:
It may be inserted instead of the old spring
Now the cartridge may be easily grabbed with little pressure:
… has to be machined to be able to fit into receiver. If you look into receiver making, I had to make a rail that would not allow a full auto bolt to be inserted. I have to mill off some material of the left side so that bolt and striker will fit in.
New firing pin
First thing to do is to drill a hole right through the entire bolt. The cavity from the fixed firing pin is almost exactly 5/32. The bad news is that most 5/32 drill bits in the hardware store will not reach all the way through. I used a long 1/8 bit to drill through, then widen with 5/32 from both ends.
To make a new firing pin I annealed a punch
Then, I welded old firing pin on it. The old timer will serve his gun again.
Excess material is sanded down
And finally firing pin is trimmed to size
Just because, I made another firing pin from 1/8 drill bit and a ¼ round stock
It’s basically the same design as many other firing pins with a retaining notch
I even used a spring from my pen
Firing pin is then secured with spring pin
It’s hard to explain why you need to do it unless you have all parts in your hands. Basically, the disconnector will sometime catch the bolt and would not allow it to go back. This is the reason there is this ramp.
Last edited by Boris; 12-23-2011 at 10:31 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:29 PM #5
PPSh trunnion is just a block of square steel with three holes in it. One for barrel, another for pivot and third for the massive rivet that secures it to the guard. For some unknown reason ATF classifies PPSh trunnions as “machine gun.” It makes no sense, but then again they also classify shoe string as a “machine gun”. Rumor has it that some DEA comrades were out for dog shooting excursion when they were met by a couple of PPShs that had no receivers, only a trunnion that held the barrel to the gun’s lower assembly, i.e. these were working straight from the kit, fireable guns that could shoot without “receiver”. Thus, trunnion had to be classified as a machine gun. It’s missing in most kits. Whenever it’s present, it was cut in half by an oxy.
Like I said, it’s just a block of steel with three holes. I made a 1:1 paper cutout and went rummaging through my scrap heap to find a suitable piece by eye-balling the size. This is the closest I could find.
I was going to say that I cut it with a handsaw, but you may clearly see a bandsaw blade package on the background, plus the cut marks are too clean. Ok, so I cut it with my portable band saw and it took a frigging long time. Hacksaw? Possible, you will need all the strength later to shoulder this thing later at a range.
My next step was to get it to roughly final dimensions and make sure that all sides were square. This was done on a mill. At this point I marked and started to drill the side hole just as a reference. The pivot hole was not complete (I waited to drill it with barrel inside) I used Sharpie marker to blacken the breech end, then with bolt in place, mark where firing pin struck the trunnion. This is my center for the barrel hole.
The barrel hole suppose to be about 21 mm. ¾” is too small and 1” imperial drill bit is too big. Since I was machining my own barrel, I really don’t care about exact dimensions, but simply using the drill bit was out of the question. I did start with just ¾ bit.
Resulting hole was pretty rough and definitely too small. The hole may be bored or turned. After playing with few setups, I realized that turning it would be my easiest bet. The problem is that I don’t have a 4 jaw chuck on my lathe. I guess the right thing to do would be to order it, but I’m building a PPSh! I think that it was for the best, since when turning the trunnion, you need your cutter bit to go just beyond the trunnion which would not be (easily) possible on 4 jaw chuck, but very easy on my 3 jaw.
Here I’m making a jig to clamp trunnion into 3 jaw chuck. It took me half a day to make this jig, most of it making the first jig that turned out to be crap, and then 15 minutes to machine the trunnion.
You have to make sure that all sides are absolutely square and parallel, hence I’m using trunnion to square all pieces by clamping the crap out of them.
This is what finished jig looks like:
Actual machining took very little time and produced much nicer finish than a drill bit.
With barrel in the trunnion, I completed drilling the side hole for the pivot. This turned out to be undersized drill bit and if you look carefully, the trunnion was backwards when I drilled the hole.
I re-drilled in the correct spot, and here it is installed on the lower. I can see how it could be fired at this point, technically it may be, but you have to be high out of your mind to try it.
Last edited by Boris; 12-15-2011 at 08:19 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:30 PM #6
I decided that I would bend my own “receiver” Technically, it’s a dust-cover/ barrel guard. It does play some role in keeping bolt straight and from flying into your forehead.
The big issue here is that PPSh receiver is 3mm thick, that’s about 10ga or 1/8th, practically plate steel. Comrade Shpagin, in his wisdom, decided to use 3mm mild steel as oppose to heat treatable, thinner stock. The reason is to use cheaper materials and reduce time to stamp this beast out. It was made out of one whole piece and most likely bent cold. You can find tool marks on your kit parts.
One thing I noticed, some builds used pre-folded square stock and cut away openings on barrel guard after. This makes your PPSh do not look real. When steel is folded, it will buckle on weak points, making that PPSh barrel guard twist. It’s more complicated than what most companies are willing to do and this is exactly what I will do. PPSh barrel guard is not square, it’s an octagon with 4 thinner sides that were never bent perfectly round.
I am making the receiver from 6 parts. 4 of them came from the kit. 2 of them I bent myself. One will cover receiver the other will extend the barrel guard to house longer, 16 inch barrel. The reasons why I bent it in two parts: 1. One part is too long and tough to bend, 2. I wanted to fine tune feeding shorter 9mm rounds from longer Tok mags, thus I needed to see the process with barrel in place and end part of the receiver out.
The plan for bending is to use similar technology developed in my AK receiver bending adventures. Basically I will melt some aluminum and cast it in two bars. I’m firing my Siberian coffeemaker and stock it with fresh pistons. Injected diesel smells good!
No action shots of casting, I’m using the same open mold sized by bolts and pouring aluminum to get aluminum bars of various thickness.
The top bar is 6 mm thinner than the lower bar to accommodate folding metal. You can see how thick the steel plate is. It’s 3 times thicker than AK receiver, yet considerably thinner than most ATF agents.
Top view of the rear part ready to be bent.
I’m using the same 20 tonne jig I used for AK receivers. Lubrication is over rated.
There is a lot of pressure generated, you can see how the midsection is buckling. Later, I used a clamp to mitigate this and for the next jig, I’ll try to use thicker L steel.
Little piece is finally done. There is a hole in the middle to help it secure in the bending jig. That hole is located over the future ejection port which will be cut out.
Some comrades completely demil their kits and put sights on the new receiver. I will not throw away perfectly good metal, besides it’s much easier to re-weld old parts together. I’m using magnets to line them up well before starting MIG. You want a bead slightly thicker than parts. Good luck keeping everything aligned, you may need to re-weld it a few times.
The other thing about Polish kits, parts do not match, i.e. when they cut them up, they just threw parts into bins. In fact I got two same rear part thingies, obviously by mistake. So the cut lines won’t match and you will need to dremel and fill missing metal. Hungrarian kit was kept together, so your luck may depend on where you get the kit from and which SOB cut it up.
Welded piece is then ground down to remove all traces of the joint.
I then join the piece that I have bent the same way. The notch on the rear part of the receiver is needed to match the lower per ATF shit, you should not be able to install your receiver on unmodified, full auto lower. I hope that you are reading all this shit comrade and not just skimming through pics.
Finally, I mate receiver rear to trunnion. That’s how I know where to drill the hole for the pivot.
This part is a bit more complicated, because I intend to re-use existing barrel guard … crap, if you replace all parts of the gun, you might as well just build the whole f-ing thing from scratch and call it Susan because it won’t be a PPSh. The correct way to make barrel guard is to cut vent holes before bending. It actually makes bending considerably easier too and it looks like genuine PPSh. I don’t have a huge press to punch holes in 3mm metal, so I made a template and cut away holes using plasma cutter by hand.
The bending portion is pretty straight forward.
It actually looks tougher than it looks.
You may need a few taps of a 5 lbs hammer to liberate the part.
At this point, my finger got caught between hammer and the receiver and it drew first blood. I was too pissed off to write something useful like “glory to the mother land” in blood, so I just smeared it here and there on the aluminum block
Bending sides is a little more tricky, because you need to clamp trunnion so that rear piece folds around it.
Then you just repeat the same process again.
Two parts are ready to be joined together.
Weld joint is removed by a sandbelter … beltmaster?
I deliberately made vent holes on the guard slightly undersized, because bending is not a precise process. I used white-out, then sharpie to mark vent opening and dremel them out to proper size and aligned to the hole of the original part.
Now I’m ready to mate to the trunnion from the other side. This is one lucky trunnion, getting mated from both sides!
Pivot notch is cut out.
Now comes the magical moment of joining the front and rear parts of the receiver. At this point I have played enough with the barrel to make sure that everything feeds nice and I can joint two parts forever again. Make sure that you clamp everything straight. Check again after you tag them and if necessary cut and re-weld again. I had to do it twice. You don’t want to spend all this time to build a gun that shoots sideways.
Now you need to cut out ejection port. Make sure that you have plenty of dremel bits.
I think that I read some crap about front trunnion need to be welded to the receiver ... per ATF of course. OK, I welded that, plus the nose piece aka the muzzle brake.
Final and the most important part. If you are building a 9mm version keep in mind that Tok rounds are smaller than 9mm., i.e. you don’t want to shoot your gun with your gun. Make sure that opening is bigger than the bullet and on center. You can check that by sticking a pen into the barrel and seeing that there is space around.
Last edited by Boris; 12-15-2011 at 11:09 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:31 PM #7
Putting it all together
Final assembly is pretty straightforward, at this point you should have assembled and disassembled all parts many of time.
One last mod that needs to be done is on the trigger group itself. Fire selector needs to be welded on “semi”, i.e. all the way back and the FCG box needs to be notched. The lower of the receiver needs a restricter bar welded on so that notch from FCG will fit into it. This assures ATF that you may only use converted FCG.
PPSh without a mag
PPSh with a stick mag
PPSh with a drum mag
Last edited by Boris; 12-24-2011 at 08:44 AM.
12-15-2011, 05:31 PM #8
Range report, tweaks and finish
I’ve finally put the beast together and brought it to the range. The first round was as nerve racking as shooting my first reloaded round. Well, it fired and fired. To this day, knock on timber, no feeding issues ever, which was my biggest fear. I am, in fact, shooting 9mm Luger from Tok mags without any problems ... well small issue with lead bullets and rough directional plate on the inside of the drum. Polishing it solves the issue or just feed fmj.
PPSh was designed as anti-homie gun, i.e. you don’t want to shoot it from a hip without aiming. Ejection port is on top and occasionally crappy firing pin can cause a blown primer ejected together with the round. I like to keep my eyes behind the rear sight.
Accuracy wise, it’s not bad. I suspect that I need to pin the barrel permanently to the trunnion to avoid any movements whatsoever. It’s pretty tight as it is and I love the fact that I can pop the barrel out to clean it.
I like the feel of the gun, it’s barrel heavy, but it’s short. Recoil is not dramatic, just enough to feel that you are not shooting 22s.
Here are some groups shooting 18 rounds at each. Why 18? Keep reading.
Round drums or as Soviet comrades affectionately called them “tambourine”, is my preference because they are the easiest to load. Open the drum, two clicks of spring fits 18 rounds, close, release tension and you are ready to go, no sore thumbs. The only problem is that they fit 1.5 box of ammo so after you are done pulling the trigger you realize that you just blew away $20 worth of ammo … and you are just getting started.
I’ve blued the receiver. I misplaced the pics, but here are a couple of movies:
some people reported that Soviet Tok tambourine mags had problems feeding last 4-6 rounds as did Suomi mag. No problems.
here, the firing pin was oversized so that's the reason for "funny" ejection. Otherwise, it bounces the cartridge off the rear ejection port so they are thrown up and forward. It's less clean up on the range, but sucks if you reload.
There are a lot of tweaks to the gun. I had to do quite a bit of work on the firing pin, mostly from being lazy, some ejection issues and I’m still working on improving striker/spring setup. Hardware store bought spring usually are not the right fit and they get pounded into twisted wire. I’ll post those tweaks later. For now …
Last edited by Boris; 01-02-2012 at 06:31 PM.
12-15-2011, 05:32 PM #9
12-15-2011, 05:56 PM #10
I am insanely jealous!!!! Would you like to help a fellow PPSH lover build one? Maybe for a little extra spending money!!‘‘War clouds were gathering rapidly. The sending of more than 3,000 British army regulars under Maj. Gen. Thomas Gage to Boston further exacerbated the imperial rift. When a column of these troops under Lt. Col. Francis Smith moved into the countryside to collect arms and munitions gathered by the patriot militia, hostilities erupted at Lexington and Concord on Apr. 19, 1775.’’