Jurek 9mm

Calibre: 9x19mm
Barrel: N/A
Length: N/A
Weight: 5lb 7.8oz
Magazine: 32 rounds
Country: United Kingdom
Years: 1945 - 1946

The first submachine gun to be designed by Polish designer Dr. Jurek was a simple blow-back operated weapon with an effective range of 150 yards. It fired 17,000 rounds at a rate of 1000 rounds per minute through a modified STEN barrel. Later he would design another submachine gun of the blow-back type which was inspected by Colonel Shepherd at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. It weighed about 5lb 7oz in total and had a rate of fire of about 350 rounds per minute (acceptable by the British Army's standards in the 1940s). The safety could be applied regardless of the hammer's position. It had particularly low recoil and could be fired from one hand. Despite showing great promise, the weapon amounted to nothing in the eyes of the Ordnance Board, who accepted that whilst it could meet General Staff specifications, there were other, more promising designs that were already undergoing trials at the time. Jurek later designed a device that could change the rate of fire on the weapon to 800rpm.

The designs were sold to a company in the USA when Jurek had no use for them anymore. They were modified slightly, but again, nothing became of either of them.

About the designer

Dr. Jurek was a graduate of Cracow University in Poland. He trained as a chemical engineer but he was interested in mechanical engineering and rifle shooting. During the rise of Nazism in Germany and the threat of war looming, Jurek became a Research Manager at the Wytworni Ammunition Factory in Warsaw. After the German invasion in 1939, Jurek fled Poland and went to Romania, then France, before finally settling in Britain. There, he became a workshop officer of the 16th Polish Armoured Brigade in Scotland. In 1942 he was approached to design a weapon with a better safety system than the STEN. He produced a self-loading carbine that, according to reports, performed well. Later, Jurek modified it to fire full-auto.

The Mk.I Jurek with Becket's modifications.

Jurek was posted to Germany in 1945. There, he designed his second weapon; a submachine gun that was tested by Colonel Shepherd in October 1946. He further developed this weapon in the hopes of meeting the General Staff specifications but the Ordnance Board was more interested in other weapons that had been in development for a longer period. In an interview in 1972, Dr. Jurek admitted that he did not expect the Ordnance Board to have passed any of his designs.

The Mk.II Jurek with Becket's modifications.

After the war ended, Jurek returned to Britain and worked for Webley & Scott for some time. He worked mainly on pistols and competed in several shooting competitions. He retired from competitive shooting in 1957. He was still in possession of his two submachine guns, which were not legal under UK law without a license, so he simply removed the trip levers from both weapons and turned them into semi-automatic carbines. Later he sold them both to a Mr. Becket in Birmingham. Becket modified them slightly. Jurek claims that he remembered Becket selling the pair of submachine guns to a US-based company called Services Armament Corporation. Jurek's blueprints of the weapons were given to a Mr. Stevenson in Birmingham, Alabama.

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