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Definitive Guide to Umarex MP40

A historically accurate replica of one of the most iconic machine guns of all time that fires on either semi or full-auto with a magazine that holds over 50 rounds? Those are some of the reasons why the Umarex Legends is one of our best-selling guns of all time! Each year Umarex releases a historically accurate replica of an iconic gun from the past. Thus the Umarex Legends MP40 is in the company of such airguns as the Legends M712 and the Legends P08. Built to match the original in looks, weight, feel, and action, the Umarex Legends line is the gold standard for historical firearm replicas, and the MP40 is one of their very best, which makes it very good indeed!
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Detailed Review
Here at Airgun Depot we spend a lot of time on these guides so you know everything you need to purchase the gun that is just right for you. So we love it when a gun comes along and all you need to know about it is: Buy it! Don't think about it, just buy it! You deserve this! You'll never regret it, and it will put a smile on your face everytime you pick it up! Seriously, this gun is just about as much fun as a person can legally have! If you are looking at this thinking you might like it, trust me, you will love it. This is not some cheap plastic replica, it is solidly built, mostly metal, and accurate both historically and on the range. When you pick it up, switch it to full auto, and blast away, you will understand what we are trying to tell you. If this hasn't convinced you to buy one then read on!

A bit of history

Often mistakenly called a Schmeisser, the MP40 (Maschinenpistole 40) is easily the most iconic German machine gun from WWII. With over a million manufactured it was one of the most commonly used German machine pistols and it has featured in far more Hollywood films than any other Axis machine gun. Raiders of the Lost Ark, for example, is overflowing with MP40s and in another favorite WWII film of ours, Where Eagles Dare, Clint Eastwood carries an MP40, and at one point he fires two at a time!
The MP40 was coveted by Allied forces and many English soldiers scavenged MP40s to replace their inferior Sten guns. The MP40 was popular because it was reliable, relatively light, and shot very smoothly. Made out of steel and Bakelite, an early plastic, the gun could be manufactured quickly and it lasted. In fact, our local shooting range has an MP40 from WWII that still functions flawlessly and we have been able to shoot it and compare it to the Umarex Legends MP40. So, how does the Legends MP40 stack up?

A faithful reproduction?

When we brought the Umarex Legends MP40 to the range to compare to the original, everybody was blown away by the similarity of the two. In fact, one of the range employees decided to buy a Legends MP40 on the spot! The size and weight are very close, with the 7.7lbs Legends MP40 coming in just a little lighter than the 8.75 lbs original. The length of the two is virtually identical at 24.5 inches. The original held 30 9x19 Parabellum rounds in a double stack magazine that narrowed to a single insert, and the 52 round mag of the Legends MP40 is also a double-stack single-insert magazine. The accuracy of these little details is astonishing!
The Legends MP40 is a full-metal gun except for a few plastic parts like the grips, which were also plastic (Bakelite) on the original. The Legends' receiver, barrel, barrel housing, trigger and folding butt stock are aluminum or another non-magnetic metal and the magazine is steel and aluminum. The metal has an attractive powder coating. The fit and finish of the airgun is top notch just like the other Umarex Legends. The full blowback action of the Legends MP40 gives you the feeling that you have just scavenged the gun off a German officer and are now fighting behind enemy lines! The original MP40 is a remarkably smooth-shooting gun, and the Legends MP40 matches that very well. Like the original, the Legends MP40 fires from an open bolt and the "shell ejection port" opens in tandem with the bolt.The bolt and ejection port cover blow back with each shot for an extremely realistic feel and historically faithful action. The throw of the bolt is nice and long, although not as long as the original, and it really hammers each shot giving a realistic feel to the gun. On full auto, the bolt moves so fast it is just a blur to the naked eye. One of the really astonishing things about the MP40 is that despite the strong and realistic blowback you still get an incredibly high shot count coupled with relatively high muzzle velocities. The dual-leaf open sights are historically accurate and function just like those on the original. The "110 yard" leaf is fixed but if you want to shoot farther or just raise the point of impact flip up the "220 yard" leaf. These range estimates were perhaps optimistic on the original and are, of course, about twenty times too optimistic on the Legends MP40 where ten yards is about the maximum range for accuracy. The notched leaf sights work very well with the front post globe sight.
The folding stock is extended by depressing the release and it locks firmly into place. One quibble is that on the original, the folding stock did not rotate 180 but stopped at around 145 which made it easier to bring the open sights to eye level. This is a minor quibble, though, as the stock is perfectly functional as is, and most shooters of the Legends Mp40 will probably want to get to the point that they can shoot it from the hip anyway. (Note the difference in the comparison picture above.)
One of the few historical inaccuracies is that the sling mount is on the left instead of the right, but it isn't difficult to switch. Remove the screw and the pin that are just in front of it and pull the barrel housing off. You may need to tap it gently with a mallet to loosen it. Rotate it 180 and replace housing, screw and pin. (Note that this will void the warranty.) Another minor inaccuracy is that it can't be field stripped, but you get so much with this gun that really isn't an issue for us. The muzzle has a knurled section which screws off counter-clockwise to expose 14mm negative CCW standard airsoft threads which can be used for attaching aftermarket accessories.
The original MP40 only fired full auto and didn't have a proper safety, while the Legends MP40 can toggle between safe, semi-auto, and full auto. We know which setting you'll have it on the most!
The magazine of the MP40 holds 52 BBs, compared to the 30rd magazine of the original MP40. The magazine contains all the valving and powers the gun with two 12 gram CO2 cartridges. To get started, first press the magazine release to drop the mag. It won't drop free, which is a good thing. To load the CO2, use the included allen wrench (6mm) and unscrew the piercing screw from the bottom. Put a drop of RWS Chamber Lube or Pellgunoil on the tip of the first cartridge (the second doesn't need it) and insert it tip first. We don't think that you can pierce the cartridge by just dropping it in, but we always let it slide in at an angle just in case. Now, reverse the second cartridge so it goes in bottom first. Replace piercing screw, and tighten with allen wrench until you hear both cartridges pierce, one after the other. There is no need to over tighten.The cartridges actually pressurize the entire CO2 chamber, which is a pretty great system that gives extra consistency and efficiency. As with most CO2 guns, you should remove the CO2 cartridges when you are done shooting for the day, whether you have exhausted the CO2 or not, otherwise the seals may deform and get damaged. Turn the allen wrench slowly counter-clockwise to release the remaining CO2. The CO2 will escape from a hole on the back of the magazine so don't cover that with your hand. Also remember that CO2 is temperature sensitive, so if you open this up on Christmas morning and take it outside it may not shoot! CO2 works best when it is 70 or warmer. There are a few ways to load the BBs, but they all begin with pulling back the slide and holding it with a thumbnail or something else because, unfortunately, it does not lock back. This is one of the few things about the MP40 that we can find to complain about. However, with the right technique it isn't bad at all. With the slide held back you can now begin to load the BBs. The simplest and the worst way is to just pick up BBs and drop them in the opening. Don't do this! It will take too long and you won't enjoy the gun like you should. A better way is to get a stiff sheet of paper (paper targets are handy) fold it lengthwise to hold the BBs and then give it a vertical fold in the back so they don't roll out. Pour some BBs into this makeshift loader. With the magazine angled slightly downward you can feed the BBs into the port and fill up the channel. Another good way to load the BBs is with the Umarex Speed Loader. This speed loader doesn't have an attachment for the MP40 but it can be used to directly feed the BBs. You may need to shake it between pumps to keep the loader's chamber full. Like the original, the Umarex Legends MP40 uses a double-stack magazine that narrows to a single insert. The BBs will feed best when double stacked, and tapping the magazine on the side with the slide held back will help them settle into place. Generally the double stacking doesn't need to be complete, but if you want max capacity or you are OCD you can use a toothpick or something similar to arrange them perfectly.
Now insert magazine firmly into the flared magazine well, pull back the charging handle and you are ready to go! One of the things that was drilled into soldiers carrying the MP40 was not to hold it by the magazine or it would jam, but we are happy to report that isn't a problem with the Legends MP40. The mag locks into the mag well very firmly and we haven't had any feeding problems when holding onto the magazine while firing. We have never had a BB get jammed in the barrel, but if such should happen, remove the magazine and insert a thin hardwood dowel or a .177 cleaning rod into the barrel and tap the BB out.

What's the best ammo for the Umarex MP40?

When the Umarex Legends MP40 was first released the magazine held 60 BBs but because of feeding problems (also a problem with the magazine of the original MP40!) the capacity of the magazines is now reduced to 52. We did find that Daisy BBs still tend to misfeed, due, we suppose, to their slightly larger size compared to other BBs. But your mileage may vary, and if you want to shoot Daisy BBs you may find that a little bit of graphite dust on them will improve feeding. This magazine will not feed lead BBs, and may have problems with the new Dust Devil frangible BBs. However, all the other steel BBs we tried worked fine, but our favorite, just because of their serious bad-a looks, are the Hornady Black Diamond BBs. These are also very accurate in this gun. The trigger pull on the Legends MP40 is quite stiff and is actually heavier than our gauge can measure! It is probably 10 to 11lbs. We only really noticed how stiff it is when we did the accuracy testing - we had been having so much fun just shooting the gun that we never noticed the stiffness of the trigger! The trigger is metal so it is nice and sturdy, and in spite of its weight, the trigger pull is short and fairly crisp and with practice you'll still be able to get great accuracy. The Legends MP40 is not suppressed so it has a little bit of a bark, which adds to the realism of shooting it, but we would still consider it backyard friendly for most situations. We tested it in our enclosed range and on semi-auto it measured 89.4db and 97.4db on full auto.

How does the MP40 perform?

This gun is a shooter! We tested a few BBs and found the Hornady Black Diamond BBs and the Umarex Precision BBs to be the most accurate. BBs are generally accurate only at close ranges which is why official BB competitions are shot at 5 yards. At five yards the Legends MP40 put seven out of ten Umarex Precision BBs in 0.36 inches! The other three opened the group up to 0.75 inches. Ten Black Diamond BBs also landed in 0.75 inches. This is remarkable accuracy for a gun with a 12 lb trigger! At ten yards, which is really stretching it with a BB gun, the best group was 10 Black Diamond BBs in 1.65 inches. Again, this is great accuracy for a BB gun at this range, and a replica at that!
Part of the reason that this gun is accurate at relatively long ranges is that the BBs are really flying when they leave the muzzle. The Umarex Legends MP40 is advertised with a max velocity of 465 fps, and when we shot it at our range with an ambient temperature of about 68 we got up to 459 fps. On a warm summer day it would easily achieve and probably surpass the advertised velocity.
Note that BBs ricochet like crazy off just about anything, so make sure the shooter and those around him or her are wearing safety glasses. A real surprise of the Umarex Legends MP40 is the amount of shots per CO2 cartridge. Of course it holds two cartridges, but you will get anywhere from 140 to 190 shots out of them depending on whether you are firing semi or full-auto. When you consider the amount of metal that is being blown back against a heavy spring with each shot this is nothing short of amazing!

What accessories should I get for my MP40?

There aren't a lot of accessories available for the Legends MP40 but we have included almost everything you will need in our exclusive Ultimate MP40 Combo. It includes Umarex Precision BBs, the Umarex Speed Loader, Pellgunoil, and two extra magazines! You will really appreciate those! Spare magazines aren't cheap, but, considering they contain all the valving for the gun and are extremely well made, they are a very good value. And picking up an extra one or two will keep you shooting more and reloading less! Don't forget to buy CO2 and don't skimp on it either because you're going to be shooting this gun a lot! The Legends MP40 comes with a 90 day warranty, but the nice thing about the gun is that the valve, the magazine, and the CO2 housing is all one unit which can be easily replaced should something go wrong down the road. But our experience, and we believe that of our customers' has been that this is a very durable and reliable airgun. In short, this gun is an incredible value, especially when you consider that non-functional MP40 replicas that weigh only 2 lbs cost just as much! If you are looking for something that everyone in the family will enjoy shooting, or you just want to treat yourself to something that will blow your friends away and be a lot of fun, then this is the gun for you. Just get it, we promise you won't regret it!
Semi or Full-Auto If you don't know already, this gun is a ton of fun and while you can toggle between semi and full-auto, we know which setting you'll choose! When set to semi-auto, you'll notice that it shoots a little quieter when compared to full-auto, but you'll be able to shoot up to 459 fps (and maybe even more).
High Capcity Magazine The magazine of the Umarex MP40 holds up to 52 BBs, which can be loaded manually or, our preferred method, with the Umarex Speed Loader. Contained within are all the valving and a slot for two 12 gram CO2 cartridges. Be sure grab some extra magazines, BBs & CO2 for continuous fun!
Realistic Blowback Action The full blowback action of the Umarex MP40 airgun matches the firearm it replicates remarkably well! You'll feel like you just grabbed the gun off a German soldier on the battlefield. One of the things that surprised us is that despite the blowback action you still get an incredibly high shot count along with relatively high muzzle velocities.
Historical Accuracy When we brought the Umarex Legends MP40 to the range to compare to the original, everybody was blown away by the similarity of the two. The size and weight are very close and the length of the two is virtually identical. The original featured a double stack magazine that narrowed to a single insert, and the Legends MP40 is also a double-stack single-insert magazine. We think you'll be surprised by the accuracy as much as we have been!
Exclusive Combo While you can pick up just the Umarex MP40 gun by itself, you can't go wrong with our exclusive Ultimate Combo. It includes Umarex Precision BBs, the Umarex Speed Loader, Pellgun oil, and two extra magazines! With all the fun you'll have with the full-auto, blowback action, you will really appreciate those!