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WW1 Villar Perosa SMG at the Range


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum, and I am out here at the range today courtesy of the Morphy Auction Company up in Pennsylvania, and we have a magnificently rare and very cool First World War machine gun. This is a Villar Perosa. This is the double-barreled 9mm Italian aircraft gun turned ground gun. So there are very few of these around, and it’s really cool that we get a chance to do some shooting with this one. So let’s jump right into it. First, you can’t cock the bolts if the
safety is on, so we’ll disengage the safety, rack both bolts, engage the safety,
pop in both magazines. They are a back in rock forward design,
which is a little bit unusual there. And now we’re hot. Let’s see what it looks like with both barrels
at the same time. This thing has a pretty high rate of fire. There we go, and… Whoo, that is a fast submachine gun. Alright, so one of the problems
with this thing is the sights. This is really an aircraft gun that was
repurposed to become a ground gun, and when they did that they were moving it
into a role for which it really wasn’t designed. As an aircraft gun this fantastically
high rate of fire is a really good thing, because in an aircraft you’re only going
to have these brief fleeting moments where the enemy craft is
close enough and in your sights, and you want to dump as much lead at
it as possible during that brief moment. So you take a very high rate of fire, like 1,500 rounds
a minute here, you double it up with a second gun. It doesn’t really matter that your magazines are small, only
25 rounds each, because you’re gonna hit both triggers (these fire independently), going to hit both triggers and
do your best to get some rounds on that enemy airplane. And this being World War One, that enemy
airplane is made of basically wood and canvas and you don’t need much more than a
9mm bullet to go all the way through it and destroy anything that you manage to hit. So it really does make sense in that role. And
it was set up in the Italian Capelli [?] bombers. But then they went and put it also into the ground role. And in
the ground role, well, it’s not designed for the ground role. So instead of a big spider sight that allows
you to actually see and track a moving target, we’ve got this little tiny aperture sight right in
between the triggers. And there’s no buttstock, so as soon as you start firing the gun recoils
backwards, because the bipod does pretty much nothing to … support the gun. It holds it up, but doesn’t hold it
forward or back. You can’t push into this bipod, there’s no stop. And so as soon as you start shooting the gun starts moving,
your little tiny aperture sight just disappears, it’s gone. And you’re left trying to figure out what you hit or not. Now the normal sort of solution to this would
be to aim basically looking at your bullet impacts. Well, kind of like a Minigun, the problem with that is it fires so fast that by the time you register
where you’re hitting and start to make adjustments, you’re out of ammunition. And
you have to start over again. Now, I suspect in what as close as
this came to practical ground use, I think the doctrine probably would
have been to fire one barrel at a time, and you’d have an assistant gunner who could be
reloading the empty magazines as you fired one at a time. And that would more or less let you keep up a continuous (as close as you can get to continuous
with 25 rounds and 1,500 rounds a minute), but that would let you keep
up a continuous-ish rate of fire. Safety. Wow, man that just goes really fast. I can’t hit anything. Alright. Well, I hope you guys
enjoyed the video, it is certainly… – Hey.
– What?
– Wrong war, this is ours. – No, this videos over, we’re using this.
– What? Alright, well. I hope you guys enjoyed the video
of the gun I no longer have because Othais stole it. Othais will be coming out with a super-cool
video on the entire history of the Villar Perosa. So what you’ll have to do is go watch it, then you can go
… back and watch my history video on the Villar Perosa, and you can see which one of us did it better. If you want to find out for yourself and just
own the gun and shoot it whenever you want, it is of course coming up for sale in the Morphy
… October Extraordinary Firearms Auction. So go to their catalogue, check it
out, you can see all their pictures. It also comes with a replica Capelli bomber
aircraft mount which is super cool, but wasn’t practical for us to bring out to the range today.
So hope you enjoyed the video. Thanks for watching. – Can I have my … gun back now?
– No.
– Yes. Alright, and here goes both.

100 thoughts on “WW1 Villar Perosa SMG at the Range

  1. WoW !!! How many loaders does it take to keep this firing? Please tell me they issued spare mags. Bad Othias! give Gun Jesus back his MG.

  2. Poor sights aren't a big deal when you're clad in a suit of black steel from head to toe and stomp into an enemy bunker hipfiring a Villar.

    RIP BF1 elites. You are gone but never forgotten.

  3. This is off topic of the video, but could you do a video (or a series) on gun laws? I remember looking into the laws here in my state once and was greeted to a very long wall of text…

  4. Makes perfect sense in an aircraft role. Seems like a fantastic idea.

    On the ground, I'd probably rather just have a bolt-action rifle…Or one half of this thing, with a stock on it.

  5. That's one machine gun that would be fun to play with because the ammo is so cheap compared to so many other machine guns. I wish I had the money for it.

  6. That's not really true that 9mm was suited for shooting WW1 aircraft. Because of aircraft shooting at 200-400 meters onto a fast moving farther and bigger target, you need the straightest, fastest and longest range accuracy that 7.5mm rifle caliber provides, while 9mm drops and loses accuracy after only 50 meters. And you don't want to be so close to the rear gunner. And even with 7.5mm "sniper rifle" calibre, Lothar von richthofen recounts how he shot his 500 rounds without touching any single time in a duel. In the air, 9mm pistol bullet is like airsoft. Even 7.5mm was later drop in favor of bigger calibre, 12.7mm (50cal) and 20mm canon

  7. I saw a movie where they were using one of these. A remarkable film.
    Partially because when they fired it, there was no magazine.
    But that oversight was more than made up for because the Bren had its magazine in backwards.

  8. It probably would have been more practical for ground use if they designed a stock and hand guard for it. Either way, it’s still an impressive piece of equipment.

  9. Thats not the gun they timed to props though, right?

    Man, i wouldnt want that thing spitting at me. Lol

    As a pot smoking Canadian, i appreciate these videos of things ill never get to experience.

    FPSr and Paul are a couple others i enjoy.

  10. I remember when Bubba duct-taped two MAC 10s together and tried to fire them offhand. His last words were "Hold my beer" before he blew his nose off.

  11. this thing looks a bit like a comical tiny version of a machinegun.

    basically this is a great machinegun, ruined to the point of unusability by a terrbile bipod.

  12. Ian- I want to shoot this SMG for my video
    Consigner- SWEET! Free advertisement. The price is going to skyrocket.
    Ian- Man, I can't hit anything.
    Consigner- Crap…

  13. So you're basically lobbing 000 buckshot down range and hoping to hit something.

    Also, this is similar to the turrent mounted gun Sean Connery fired in the biplane in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  14. Probably a lot more accurate when firing one barrel at a time as you can feel and compensate for the rhythm of the cycle.
    With competing cycles the second round pushes with any compensation and it will oscillate.
    Also you are used to resisting the recoil of single barrel m/guns, so with practice (and no machine gun muscle memory) they got better accuracy back then. A great suppression gun is not one where the enemy can say "He's not aiming at me". It's "His are bullets going everywhere".

  15. Obvious question, why weren't they able to just use one barrel, with a slowed for rate, as an Italian trench broom? This question had no doubt been answered somewhere, but i haven't found it yet. Great videos, can't wait for the next.

  16. Imagine being the poor bastard that gets deployed on the ground with this and they put a buttstock on it or something and you fire it and next thing you know you can't use your right arm.

  17. Some sort of rate of fire reducer would have been a good idea…an a drum type feed…I think these were seen in North Africa and Italy in the early years of the World War two …

  18. A-10 Warthog BRRRT sound
    – I prefer the real BRRRRT sound.

    MG-42's BRRRT sound
    – I said, the REAL BRRRRT sound.

    Villar Perosa's BRRRRT sound
    – Perfection.

  19. My guess is if you had ten guys pointing those in your general direction, you'd keep your head down. I'd keep my head down.

  20. "So you load it, unusually the magazines are rear-in and rock forward…." BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP. <stunned silence>

    Yeah, me too. That thing's so terrifying I'd flee for my life even if it was being shot at the enemy by a soldier on my side. For once, Dice wasn't exaggerating when it animated firing the demon in Battlefield 1.

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