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Original Cold War French Hotchkiss Type Universal Display Submachine Gun with Magazine - Serial 2081

Regular price $2,895.00

Sale price

Compare at $3,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Well this is certainly something that we have not had before, and expect most likely to not have again! This is a fantastic French Hotchkiss "Type Universal" Display Submachine gun, complete with the original magazine, which still retains much of it's ability to collapse into a very small form factor! It is built on a BATF approved steel display receiver, which has had the bolt welded in place inside, and has 2 inches entirely replaced by solid steel bar stock.

The Hotchkiss "type Universal" is a submachine gun manufactured in France after World War II. It was originally designed as a semi-automatic police carbine but a full automatic version was made. It fires from a closed bolt. Its most unique feature however is that it folds up into a very compact package and unfolds easily and relatively quickly. The semi-automatic version was exported in very limited numbers to many countries. Many were also exported to Venezuela and Morocco.

In the post war years, France was looking to develop a compact submachine gun along the lines of the British Sten, U.S. M3 "Grease Gun", and German MP 40, with the eventual result being the MAT-49. This features a somewhat unique magazine well that folds towards the front, as well as a rear wire stock that could be slid forward, with the result being a very compact form factor when stowed. This was highly advantageous for both paratrooper / commando type operations.

During this period, there were of course trials involving examples and ideas from several sources, and it is believed that famous Hotchkiss et Cie submitted the "Type Universal" submachine gun during this trial. Originally designed as a semi-automatic police carbine firing from a closed bolt, a selective fire example was developed for the trials.

In terms of the ability to be collapse down to a smaller size, it definitely out performed the MAT-49 by how much it reduces in size. In addition to the magazine folding forward like in the MAT-49, the barrel assembly pushes back the bolt and retracts into the receiver, reducing length by about 4 inches. The butt stock and pistol grip also fold forward and surround the magazine, which itself slides backwards under the receiver after it is folded forward. As a gun designed to be easily transportable in a back pack, it certainly excelled.

Unfortunately, accomplishing this took a lot of precision machined and stamped parts, which made the "Type Universal" too expensive to really be commercially viable when compared to the much less expensive alternatives. They were only made in small numbers, and appear to mostly have been send to areas such as French Indochina, Venezuela, and Morocco.

This is a very nice example, made from an original parts set assembled onto a BATF-approved steel dummy receiver. It still retains much of the original collapsible functionality, with the magazine well and butt stock folding forward under the trigger group. Due to changes required by making the display gun, the barrel has been deactivated, and can no longer be retracted into the receiver assembly. The butt stock folds forward and around the magazine, but it does not clip on to the bottom of the magazine well fitting as it originally did. The magazine also cannot lock into place with the magazine well in the vertical position due to clearance issues.

However, the selector still moves, the trigger still pulls, and it really does look great! The right side of the receiver is marked with C M H No. 2081, and the selector switch still moves correctly as well!

A very nice example of a very rare folding Submachine gun, ready to add to your collection and display!

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