SOLA "Light" submachine gun
Pistolet-Mitrailleur SOLA "Léger"
submachine gun was one of the few products of the Luxembourg-based SOLA
S.A., a company that briefly produced submachine guns for commercial
export. Along with their "Super" model, SOLA produced a "Light" submachine
gun which was intended to be compact, cheap, and lightweight. In terms
of design it was essentially a Sten-pattern submachine gun with an
extremely basic construction comprising very few parts. It operated on a
straight-blowback action housed in a stamped steel tubular receiver,
fitted with a pistol grip and a retracting wire stock. The magazine feed
took 32-round MP 40 mags.
The SOLA "Light" model reportedly cost less than $20 (in 1957 money) and
could be produced in large quantities at short notice. However the only
sales achieved were illicit deals with an arms trafficker, who supplied
a large quantity of SOLA "Super" and "Light" submachine guns to FLN
rebels in Algeria (detailed in the SOLA Super page). In connection with
this illegal activity, the SOLA plant was raided by police in 1957 and
1,500 unsold SOLA "Light" submachine guns were confiscated, most being
destroyed. SOLA briefly moved to plastics manufacturing before closing
down in the early 1960s.
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