|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.
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.