Test: Ares PPSh-41 – The airsoft replica of the Russian submachine gun 

Many guns are historical, but only a few are true legends. The latter may not just arise from  their historical significance, but because of a strong presence in entertainment media. Without claiming that the PPSh-41 submachine gun does not also have outstanding historical significance, it shows up ubiquitously in movies, TV as well as video games. There is a correspondingly great demand for a non-firearm replica. For games, fun and the passion for collecting. This is where Ares comes in with its airsoft gun. But first to the PPSh-41, the original.

The original PPSh-41

The first example of the PPSh-41, built for test purposes, dates back to 1940. Its developer was the Russian firerms designer Georgy Semyonovich Shpagin. It was designed as an alternative to the PPD-40 within the Red Army, together with several competing models. As is well known, the PPSh-41 prevailed in the end. The reasons for this were primarily the relatively simple design, the associated cost reduction and, of course, advantages in terms of reliability. Like its predecessor, the PPSh-41 fires the 7.62x25 Tokarev cartridge. It travels at about 400 meters per second at the muzzle, which puts its energy in the 500 joules range.

The Ares replica

the thick barrel shroud on the Ares PPSh-41
Like the original: the thick barrel shroud on the Ares PPSh-41.

We received our test gun from German Sport Guns. The Ares replica shares what is probably the most noticeable feature of the real PPSh-41: the relatively thick barrel shroud. This also houses the barrel designed for 6mm BBs.  As with the original, the receiver can be hinged open. To do this, you must push on the rear of the top receiver. The open sights consist of a non-adjustable rear sight and a hooded front sight. The L type rear sight can be adjusted for different ranges. The shooter can adjust the hop-up system on the top of the gun. The sights present itself well for a replica of a historical MP.

The receiver sits in a wood stock like the real weapon. This can't be taken for granted in an airsoft replica. The buttplate at the rear end hides a cavity. Accordingly, Ares has not fixed it, but it can be turned away to the side. Since this is a so-called automatic electric gun (AEG) – in other words, an electrically powered replica – it's obvious what the whole thing is for: the compartment located here is to accommodate the connection and battery pack that powers the gun.

Ares PPSh-41 technical specs

Model:Ares PPSh-41
Caliber:6 mm BB
Magazine Capacity:2000 (drum magazine) or 560 (box magazine) + 1 rounds
Length:33.4"/850 mm
Energy:approx 1.1 Joule
Type:AEG airsoft gun
Materials:Metal and wood
Weight:8 lb/3650 g
Notes:Full metal replica with wood stock, drum magazine is included.
Controls in view
Controls in view: bottom left, the gear wheel for winding the drum magazine. In front of the magazine is the corresponding lever for releasing it. Inside the trigger guard, the fire selection lever.
magazine of the Ares PPSH-41
Easy filling: the shooter fills the BBs into the upper part after removing the magazine cover. The winding gear can also be reached from below.

Testing the Ares PPSh-41

The butt plate Ares PPSh-41
The butt plate can be moved to the side by operating a push button.
Behind it is the connection for the battery and the corresponding

In order to shoot the PPSh-41, the shooter first needs one or more charged battery packs. These are connected to the cable protruding from the inside of the stock and the pack is then inserted into the stock. BBs then need to be loaded into the magazine. The gun comes with a drum magazine that holds up to 2000 rounds. Alternatively, a 560 round box magazine is also available. To load, the shooter must disassembles the BB magazine. However, this sounds harder than it is: a latch on the front of the magazine holds the cover plate. After swiveling, simply pull it off. The user then pours the BBs into the magazine. The cover is then repositioned and the magazine is wound up by manipulating the protruding gear wheel – done. Now the shooter must insert the magazine, which will be released again by pushing down a steel lever. Subsequently "cock” the gun by pulling the charging lever and the PPSh-41 is ready to fire. The charging lever also serves as a safety, you just have to lock it in the rear position. In this condition, the upper receiver can also be folded down. In front of the trigger there is the fire selection lever.

Ares PPSh-41: wrapping up

The PPSh-41 from Ares is a good, accurate replica of the original gun. However, one thing that stands out when looking at older photos of the reference gun is that the barrel shroud of the Ares replica shows relatively acute angles on the sides, making it much more "edgy" than the original. In addition, the mode of operation: the original is an open-bolt firing gun, the airsoft replica fires from a closed bolt. 

The Ares airsoft replica is well made and makes a heavy, realistic impression. If you're looking for a quality replica of the Schpagin-MP, you've found it with the Ares PPSh-41.

This article is also available in this language:

You can buy the presented weapon and accessories from GSG:

Ares PPSH-41 including drum magazine449,- Euro

Magazin Trommel PPSH-4179,95 Euro

Magazin Stab f. Ares PPSH44,95 Euro