Type Submachine gun/machine pistol
Place of origin Poland
In service 1943-1945
Designer Henryk Strąpoć
Number built ca. 11
Weight 4,25 kg (without magazine)
Length 450 mm
Cartridge 9 mm Parabellum
Muzzle velocity 1,100 ft/s (335.3 m/s)
Feed system 20-round box magazine
Bechowiec-1 was a Polish World War II machine pistol developed and produced by the underground Armia Krajowa resistance organisation. It was designed in 1943 by engineer Henryk Strąpoć and was being produced in several underground facilities, mostly in the area of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski and Opatów Kielecki. Its name was coined after the Bataliony Chłopskie organization members who were informally called bechowiec (plural: bechowcy).
Bechowiec as seen in the Museum of the Polish Army in Warsaw
The weapon was designed for use in underground operations and as such it had to be small, light yet accurate and easy to handle. It used standard German 9mm Parabellum magazine which could be easily obtained either by purchase from the German soldiers or through armed actions. The weapon used a closed breech, which added to its accuracy in single-shot mode. The trigger itself was also used as firing mode selector.
Between Summer of 1943 and July 1944, approximately 11 were built. All were used in combat during the Operation Tempest.
There is only one gun still in existence, currently on exhibition in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw.