9mm Lahti cartridges for the AL-43

More research…Aimo Lahti, the Finnish gun designer, produced some prototype guns in WW2 which were half-way between SMGs and assault rifles, under the general designation AL-43. They were chambered for three different cartridges, all in 9mm calibre: a straight-cased 9x40 and bottle-necked 9x35 and 9x41.The photo below (from my web article on the history of the assault rifle) shows the first two of these, on the far right.

I understand that at least the 9x40 and 9x41 used standard pistol bullets of around 7.5 grams / 116 grains, and that the 9x41 is credited with an MV of 700 m/s / 2,296 fps. Can anyone confirm that the 9x35 also used a 7.5 gram bullet, and what the muzzle velocities for the 9x35 and 9x40 were?

Hmm - my info came from Peter Labbett’s booklet on assault rifle ammunition, but it is contradicted by an authoritative-seeming internet source here: jaegerplatoon.net/ALMOST1.htm#AL43

This indicates that only the bottlenecked 9x35 and 9x41 were for the AL-43, the straight-cased 9x40 being for a different gun, the Lilja. Any confirmation of this would be welcomed.

I somehow missed this one…
No info on bullet weights. But the bullets loaded in 9mm bottlenecked Lahti cartridges had a cannerule.

Tony, the 9 X 40 I have I list it as for the Lilja. I believe I got it from Werner Richter. Bill

Both the 9 x 35 (short neck) and 9 x 41 for the L-43 were loaded with an ungrooved bullet. The grooved bullet was used with the early long necked version of the 9 x 35 for the L-41/42.

Can you post photos?

Not to change the subject, but is this Finnish engineer the same “Lahti” as the guy who invented a 20MM Lahti gun on skids used to shoot tanks with its own type of 20mm round?

PS: I saw this gun on the TV show “SONS OF GUNS”. It was a great episode because one of the gunsmiths on the show was in charge of finding live “Lahti” 20MM ammunition to shoot in the gun and they showed him looking at Tony Williams website on their computer with, Tony’s 20MM page up on the screen :-)

yes, there was only one son of Suomi of any fame in gun world, the Aimo Johannes Lahti
he designed a wide array of weapons, starting with Lahti-Saloranta L/S-26 light machine gun, Suomi M/31 submachine gun, Lahti M/35 pistol, 20mm Lahti L39 anti-tank rifle and automatic cannon plus a number of experimental weapons, including 13,2mm HMG and aforementioned AL-43 ‘heavy SMG’ (assault rifle)

Also, it fired a standard 20x138B Rheinmetall/Solothurn round, not one unique to that weapon.

…and here’s one I fired earlier (about 25 years earlier!)


[quote=“TonyE”]…and here’s one I fired earlier (about 25 years earlier!)

Does that pic really show the skids off the ground from the recoil? If so, where did they find your collarbone - somewhere near your pelvis?

No, the gun is actually sitting on a bipod with the skis just off the ground. The picture caught it at maximum recoil so it just looks like it has lifted off the ground. Note the empty case just leaving the ejection port.


I am relieved to hear it!

Incredible! That picture of you is AWESOME! I hope you blew it up and have it hanging on your wall. Too cool! Thanks guys! Do you need a special permit to own a 20MM semi-auto?