Soley Mk.2 machine carbine
This unusual submachine gun was developed
in 1938 by the Soley Arms Company. Soley Armaments was established after
World War I by Cpt. John Ball, a former RFC officer who saw the lack of
British arms exporters as a gap in the market. Most the British arms
factories at that time served only to supply Britain's army and navy, so
Ball called his company the "Soley" company to play on the fact that it
was the "Sole" exporter of arms in the country. His business practice came
under much scrutiny, especially in the US, where he was investigated by
the Nye Committee for arms trafficking.
By the late 1930s, perhaps sensing that war was brewing, the Soley company
began to produce its own designs. This SMG was one of their home-grown
projects. It is derived from the Beretta 18/30 self-loading carbine, and
retained the Beretta's folding spike bayonet and rear cocking ring.
Interestingly, the magazine feeds though the pistol grip; it was one of
the first submachine guns to do so. The buttstock is a skeleton with two
hinged arms that are designed to clasp around the user's shoulder.
Ergonomically, the gun was not very comfortable to hold. The Soley Model 2
was built as a prototype only and was never put into production.