A Submachine Gun (SMG) is a weapon belonging to a category of small arms that include small, lightweight, fully automatic weapons firing pistol sized rounds (larger in diameter than rifle ammunition, but with a shorter cartridge). SMGs were noted for their high rate of fire, but their low effective range.
The SMG (also referred to as "machine carbines" by the Canadian Army) reached the apex of its usefulness in the Second World War. During that war, the Germans introduced a new type of weapon into the military lexicon - the Sturmgewehr, or "assault rifle". These assault rifles - of which the C7 rifle was an example - had become commonplace in the arsenals of the world's major armies by the end of the 20th Century. Assault rifles were characterized by a smaller round than a standard "rifle" round of the 1940s era, but with a longer cartridge than a pistol round, enabling the bullet to fire accurately to much greater distances than an SMG.
The SMG in the Second World War was the principal weapon of infantry section commanders, but were also used by dismounted tank crews, infantry officers, scouts, and other troops whose duties demanded personal protection but would be interfered with by the cumbersome service rifle.
Dates of issue are approximate; as with most items of uniform or equipment, weapons issue often took a long time to complete across the entire Canadian Army, both regular and reserves.
Dates of Service