Veseley V42

Calibre: 9x19mm
Barrel: N/A
Length: N/A
Weight: N/A
Magazine: 60 rounds
Country: United Kingdom
Years: 1940 - 1945

In August 1940, the Chief Inspector of Small Arms was sent two blueprints of a new submachine gun design created by a Czech man named Joseph Veseley. Veseley had previously worked at Brno and worked on the BESA machine gun. The submachine gun was called the V40 and the Chief Inspector passed on the blueprints to the Ordnance Board, who rejected the weapon without second thought because the Lanchester had just been taken into service and the introduction of another submachine gun would cause delays.

Mr. Veseley was not deterred by this and he created a prototype. It was submitted to the Chief Inspector in October 1942. Trials were arranged on Thursday 12th of November and they took place at RSAF Enfield. The prototype became known as the V42. It was blow-back operated and had a perforated barrel casing. The most unique feature was the magazine, which was split into two sections, one in front of the other. Both sections contained 30 rounds. It worked like this: the front section's magazine follower held down the rear section and the bolt passed over the rear section and fed rounds from the front section. When the front section was depleted of ammunition, the magazine follower would release the rear section and the bolt would start to extract rounds from the rear section.

During the trials the V42 functioned well but failed a mud test. The Chief Inspector described it as a "quality weapon" on the 18th of November 1942 and doubted that it would be prone to malfunction under normal circumstances. He did, however, consider the rate of fire to be too high. The Royal Navy was interested in the weapon and arranged trials onboard the HMS Excellent. The Navy thought that the action was too violent and rejected the weapon.

British Graphitised Metals Co. Ltd., who sponsored Veseley's weapon, sent more design drawings to the Design Department at Enfield. In June 1944, VAP Holdings Ltd. produced six models of the Veseley (three for infantry and three for parachutists). These models were modified to meet the General Staff specifications of January 7th 1944. These specifications called for a weapon weighing no more than 6lb, a rate of fire of 500rpm at most, and a magazine size of 30 - 60 rounds of 9x19mm ammunition. The Ordnance Board bought 4 models at 12 each and bought 12 60-round magazines too. The new parachutist's model with a folding stock was known as the V43. Trails of the V42 and V43 were carried out at Pendine and Valcartier. Both performed well but after October 1945 it was decided that the V42/V43 should no longer be investigated, as other designs looked more promising.

Back to homepage