Kokoda MCEM-1/2

Calibre: 9x19mm
Barrel: N/A
Length: N/A
Weight: N/A
Magazine: 33 rounds
Country: Australia
Years: 1943 - 1951

On the 6th of May 1943, the Australian Army conducted a survey of sorts to a large sample of soldiers with combat experience. The survey covered small arms design including submachine guns. Over 1500 soldiers took part in the survey and 1293 of those soldiers thought that the magazine should be below the body and 163 thought it should be on top, like the Owen gun. A design team was assembled led by Major S. E. M. Hall to create the ideal submachine gun based on the survey's results. The result was basically an Owen gun with some modified features. The pistol grip acted as the magazine housing and the barrel had a large foregrip attached to the muzzle. A retractable stock was added. The weapon was nicknamed the "Kokoda" in Australia and in 1947 it was sent to Britain for trials. In the British trials it became known as the Military Carbine, Experimental Model 1 (MCEM-1). From the 8th of the 16th of September 1947, the MCEM-1 was tested against the STEN Mk.V, the Patchett Mk.II, the British MCEM-3 and the BSA machine-carbine. The MCEM-1 overheated very quickly and the welds holding the trigger housing and the body together fractured. The MCEM-1 was rejected and sent back to Australia, although Major Hall remained in the UK and headed another design team working on one of the experimental 7mm EM rifles at Enfield. Back in Australia, the MCEM-1 was improved as the MCEM-2.

For the MCEM-2, the cocking system was revamped and bayonet fittings were added. The barrel was slightly expanded. The MCEM-2 was sent to the UK in 1951 and was trialed again, but once again it was rejected due to poor performance in sand and mud tests and a complete failure to eject at one point. Development of the weapon ceased at this point.

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