It fired the 9 x 19 mm Luger/Parabellum cartridge, and had a magazine capacity of 25 or 30 rounds. A unique feature of the EMP-35, was that it incorporated a front grip, which was uncommon for early submachine guns. The weight of the EMP was 4.4 kilograms, and the length was 90.1 centimeters. The rate of fire of the EMP-35 was around 450 rounds per minute, and it had an effective range of 200 meters.
The iron sights of the EMP-35 varied from variant to variant, but two types were most common, either a flip up sight or a tangeant rear sight. Reliability of the EMP-35 was fairly good in the field though it did have the major flaw of having a disassembly switch located behind the trigger guard. This feature though, had possibility of making the weapon accidentally disassemble should it be hit here making for a very dangerous situation in the field.
During the war, numerous variants were produced of the EMP-35. Though they did not have respective designations, version with the foregrip removed, an extended barrel, and without a handguard were produced. Production values varied with some variants becoming more common in service than others.
The EMP-35 was developed in 1930 by Heinrich Vollmer (chief designer at Erma), and was in production from 1930 to 1938. Originally, the weapon was too similar to the MP 18, until Vollmer had brought onto the design team his own designs which were then accepted as the first model of the EMP-35. It was adopted in 1935 by the Wehrmacht, and designated the EMP. It was in widespread use with the Wehrmacht until 1942, when it was replaced by the MP 40 machine pistol. Though even past it's time, the EMP-35 was still commonly accepted as a reliable submachine gun among the SS.