Every once in a while something very rare and very special makes its way into our hands. Zero One Airsoft would like to present the CAW MP18 Bergmann. Whilst not a skirmish weapon, this beautiful take on possibly the first sub-machinegun ever issued is a wonderful collectors item. The cap firing Craft Apple Works Bergmann is a fully automatic firing replica that emulates the sound and action of the real weapon. The caps are loaded into the dummy shells, which are then loaded into the magazine. Operation is essentially identical to the real weapon, as is cleaning and maintenance after use. The shells can be loaded with MGC specification 9mm CP-HW Luger cartridges, Mulberry Fields 9mm and KSC 9mm cartridges with a 7mm cap. Spare cartridges are available from specialist suppliers in the UK. There is also a variety of caps that can give different visual and sound effects.
First used by the German Army in 1918 during World War 1, and by the police until 1920. It provided the design template for many sub-machineguns for the next half century. Designed by Theodor Bergmann, Hugo and Louise Schmeisser, this particular model weighs in at over 3.5kg, the same as the actual weapon. The ergonomics for such an early design are amazing. It feels wondrous in hand, the sense of solidity generated from the wood and steel construction really is something to behold. The machining on the barrel shroud is simply breath taking. The stock is wooden and completely solid and gives an excellent balance to the gun. The receiver sits on top of the stock, and is attached by a hinge and a latch. There is a simple flip up sight on the top of the receiver that is set for 2 distances. A large metal collar forms the magazine well and has ‘M.P.1.8,I’ stamped onto it, and the ‘System Shmeisser’ patent markings. The MP40 magazine well, although pointing downwards, is of the same patented design by Shmeisser. The magazine well has a push button release that is very easy to use. The supplied magazine replicates the stick type that holds 40 rounds and proved to be much more reliable than the Luger drum magazine.
Instructions for this amazing replica are a little, well, thin on the ground. There is very little included in the box, but we found user and cleaning instructions from other owners with a simple Google search that were very helpful. Other information such as replacement parts and cap compatibility are readily available, and it almost feels as if you’ll belong to a very exclusive club. It’s also worth reading owners thoughts and reviews on this gun, if you were to have any doubts about its unique quality they will be instantly dispelled. It is rumoured that there are only 200 of these in the world, with this model stamped with 26. A true collectors item or re-enactors centre piece, purportedly one of the finest ever created. We doubt if we’ll ever see one of these again.