Sanna 77

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Sanna 77
Samopal Vz 25.JPG
Sanna 77

Image is a CZ Model 25 to represent the identical weapon
Type Submachine gun / Land Defence Pistol
Place of origin Flag of Rhodesia.svg  Rhodesia
Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg  South Africa
Service history
Wars Rhodesian Bush War
Soweto Uprising
Production history
Designed 1970s
Produced 1977 - 1980
Weight 2.8 kg
Length 450 mm (650 mm with open stock)
Barrel length 290 mm

Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
Caliber 9x19mm Parabellum
Rate of fire Single Shots
Feed system 40 round box magazine.

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 Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965.


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 (Lacoste Engineering) and the engineer/designer (Alex DuPlessis), although many Rhodesians felt that it stood for "Land Defence 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. 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 as the selector would sometimes trip between 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 submachine gun.

Dogged by unreliability, legislative restrictions on licenses and being no more than a heavy semi-auto pistol, the Sanna-77 was a commercial failure. The Sanna-77 has long since ceased to be produced and is no longer commercially available.


The Sanna-77 was of all metal construction, unlike the plastic framed Kommando LDP, 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. The Sanna-77 is 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 pistol-caliber carbine rather than a submachine gun. Some 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.

See also


  • Ian Hogg, Jane's Guns Recognition Guide(2002), ISBN 0-00-712760-X (Infobox Info)
  • Ian V. Hogg and John S. Weeks, Military Small Arms of the 20th Century, 7th Edition (2000).
  • Sanna 77

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