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Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name Sanna 77
Image
Type Submachine gun
Place of origin Flag of South Africa South Africa
Service history
In service
Used by
Wars
Production history
Designer {{{designer}}}
Designed 1970s
Manufacturer {{{manufacturer}}}
Produced 1977 to 1980
Number
Variants
Specifications
Weight 2.8 kg
Length 450 mm (650 mm with open stock)
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length 290 mm
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew {{{crew}}}
Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
Caliber
Action
Muzzle velocity
Effective range
Maximum range {{{max_range}}}
Other identifying characteristics
Wood parts (Y/N) {{{wood}}}
Common color {{{color}}}
Imprint {{{imprint}}}

The Sanna-77 (from South Africa) is the end of a line of submachine guns which can trace their existence and lineage to the days of Rhodesia and their UDI, or Unilateral Declaration of Independence in the early 1960s. The small landlocked Rhodesian state faced international sanctions and an arms-embargo from 1965 as well as guerrilla warfare from 1966 and so began producing their own arms.

Having been supplied a quantity of the now ubiquitous Uzi submachine gun, Rhodesia set up facilities to produce a similar sub-gun based on the CZ-25 which incidentally was also the inspiration for the Uzi.

The first attempt was the LDP, which was taken from the initials of the manufacturing firm and the engineer/designer, although many Rhodesians felt that it stood for "Land's Defense Pistol". The LDP was strikingly based upon the CZ or Vz-25 series of sub-guns, which was the first to have a telescoping bolt and a magazine situated inside the pistol grip of the weapon. The Rhodesian LDP was largely constructed out of steel.

It is not exactly clear when the production moved south of Rhodesia to South Africa but it appears that some production began in the early 1970s. The name changed to the Kommando-LDP, the Kommando making extensive use of plastics in the frame. The Kommando was tested as a potential submachine gun for use with "Counter-Terror Forces" as well as having a semi-auto version for civilian use with a three round burst facility.

However the Kommando, which used an Uzi magazine, proved somewhat unreliable. Not simply in a firing/reliability/jamming sense but also in the fact that one was never certain if it would fire in semi-, burst- or full-auto mode. It essentially failed as both a civilian product as well as a military one, the SADF using either the Israeli Uzi or the locally South African produced BXP sub-gun.

The Sanna-77 is (was) actually not really a submachine gun, being made for civilian use only and therefore, due to legal restrictions, only available in the semi-auto mode of fire. It is therefore better termed a machine carbine or pistol rather than a submachine gun.

Many claim that the Sanna-77 was not a new firearm but actually simply a refurbished version of the Czechoslovakian CZ-25 submachine gun which was designed, manufactured and used by the Czech army in the early 1950s.

The Sanna-77 was of all metal construction, unlike the plastic framed Kommando, and has the magazine in the grip and a folding metal stock. The front sight was hooded and the cocking handle located high on the left side of the receiver.

Dogged by unreliability, legislative restrictions on licences and of course really being a big clumsy and heavy semi-auto "pistol" the Sanna-77 turned out to be a commercial failure; the Sanna-77 has long since ceased to be produced and is no longer commercially available.

ReferencesEdit

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