If you’ve never heard of the SOLA Super submachine gun (SMG), you’re not alone. Not many of these SMGs were produced during the mid-1950s. Following the liberation of Luxembourg from its Nazi stranglehold in 1944, the country faced a time of economic rebuilding. Luxembourg wanted to create an export economy, so it turned to firearms. It was then, in 1953, that designers went to work to come up with a new submachine gun. After a failed attempt at improving the British Sten submachine gun, Société Luxembourgeoise d'Armes S.A. came up with the SOLA Super, a copy of the Belgian Vigneron SMG.
The SOLA Super SMG, chambered in 9 mm, is built from sheet metal stampings and plastic that produces a compact and lightweight platform. The SOLA Super features a blowback-operated design that fires from the open-bolt position and is capable of select fire, meaning the gun’s safety selector provides three options: Safe, semi- and full-automatic modes. Staggered-column, 32-round MP40 magazines feed the SOLA Super SMG, and the barrel features a built-in compensator for recoil mitigation.
A second iteration was introduced, the SOLA Leger, and marketed to airborne troops for its increased compactness and ease of use as compared to the previous design. It featured a telescoping wire stock and was built of steel stampings and plastic. Like the SOLA Super, a shortened barrel was included, but without a compensator. The flip-up, aperture-rear sight found on the SOLA Super was replaced for a fixed unit on the SOLA Leger. The simplified SOLA Leger came in at nearly a half pound lighter than the Super model.
To this day, the SOLA Super and SOLA Leger are the only firearms to have been produced in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The Luxembourgeois military employed the SMGs, which were in use until the 1960s, but couldn’t compete with post-war surplus of British Sten submachine guns available on the market. As for Luxembourg’s small-arms export business, the venture lead to contract with several African countries, but was short-lived.