Star Z-45 sub machine gun with stock in folded position. Note the right hand side charging handle, wooden furniture and 10 round magazine shown alongside.
Source: Sassik - © Copyright lies with original owner
The Z-45 is a World War 2 era sub machine gun of Spanish origin. The Z-45 takes many design elements of the German MP 40 and looks rather similar. However, there are many differences and not a single part is interchangeable. Internally the bolt design, charging handle with safety and select fire trigger are major differences from the MP 40.
Z-45 is a blowback operated submachine gun that fires from an open bolt. Nearly all Z-45 were produced with the MP 40 style underfolding metal stock. However, some feature a fixed wooden stock with rile style grip instead of a pistol grip. A barrel jacket is fitted and interestingly the barrel can be quickly changed without tools. A six slot compensator is fitted on the barrel to reduce recoil. The plates on the receiver and pistol grip are wooden.
The Z-45 is chambered for the 9x23mm Largo cartridge. It uses a 30 round magazine. For law enforcement 10 round magazines were available. Unlike the MP40 the trigger acts as a fire selector that allows for semi-automatic fire with a finger in the lower groove, in addition to automatic by pulling the trigger rearwards with two fingers. Cyclic rate of fire is rather low at 450 rpm due to the buffer system. Combined with the compensator and the weight the Z-45 is rather controllable for the power of its cartridge. Reportedly it was offered in export in 9x19mm Parabellum, .38 ACP and .45 ACP.
The Star Z-45 was adopted in Spain by the Guardia Civil in 1945, and in the following years by the police, air force and army. In the 1950's it was exported to various nations, most notably Cuba, Portugal, Chile and Saudi Arabia. Various other nations acquired smaller quantities.
The Star Z-45 is often portrayed as a direct copy of the German MP 40. There are many visible design similarities. However, most internal components are designed differently.
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