Frommer M.17 machine-pistol


Beginning in 1916, the Austro-Hungarians made several attempts to replicate the Italian Villar Perosa submachine gun. The first idea seems to have been to tether two Steyr M.12/P16 machine-pistols to a central mount to create a so-called "Doppelpistole", although this was unsuccessful. In 1917, the Budapest firm of Fegyver- és Gépgyár (FÉG) tried a similar idea, by converting two .380 Frommer Stop pistols into automatic machine-pistols and fitting them side-by-side to a central mount. The machine-pistols were mounted upside-down, so that the two extended-capacity magazines would load in top-down like the Villar Perosa, and the magazine catches were enlarged for easier unloading. The triggers of the machine-pistols were completely absent, and instead the guns were operated by a set of rods connecting to the spade grips of the mount, which directly engaged the sears. The barrels were of an increased length and the cocking mechanisms were redesigned as protruding arms, which were engaged by a set of hinged retracting levers - again copied from the Villar Perosa.

Testing of the Frommer machine-pistol. The Steyr machine-pistol is also present.

The central mount of this Frommer submachine gun was designed to fit onto a tripod and it was to be used as a light support machine-gun like the Italian weapon. Although it was tested by the Austro-Hungarian Army, it was not successful and was only made in small numbers. It was likely far too fragile for proper combat use. The Frommer machine-pistol was succeeded later in 1917 by the more successful Sturmpistole, which was a direct copy of the Villar Perosa.

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