Yugoslavia’s PPSh Lookalike: The M49/57

Shortly after the end of World War Two, Yugoslavia adopted a submachine gun that looked very much like the Soviet PPSh-41, and was obviously inspired by it. However, the manufacturing methods were completely different, with the Yugoslav gun being of all milled construction and with internal parts far more similar to the Beretta 38 family of SMGs than to the PPSh. In fact, the original Yugoslav M49 used a captive recoil spring like the Beretta 38, which was simplified in the M49/57 variation just as is was simplified by Beretta during WW2.

The controls are similar to the PPSh, particularly the fire selector lever and the magazine release, which are basically identical in both guns. The Yugo uses a push-button safety in place of the PPSh’s bolt-mounted safety, and the disassembly procedure is entirely different because of the different construction technique.

The M49 and M49/57 were offered for export sale in both 7.62mm Tokarev and 9mm Parabellum, but I was not able to find evidence of any substantial sales. The gun was ultimately replaced in Yugoslav service by the M56 submachine gun – a gun with an interesting similarity to the German MP40.

Thanks to Marstar for letting me examine their M49/57!