Vollmer Maschinenkarabiner M35

The Vollmer Maschinenkarabiner M35 was developed in Germany sometime pre-WWII. Fortunately they never adopted it!

There is practically no information on the internet about this gun, so please share your knowledge in the comments below.

[ Hat Tip: (Defense and Freedom) ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Args. You and your hurry.

    Vollmer had developed a beltless ammunition feed for the MG 08/15 in WWI and a submachinegun in the 20’s (later produced by ERMA) as well as a 7.9mm self-loading rifle.

    On February 13th 1935 Vollmer received a hint about the need for a open bolt operation submachinegun for a special cartridge, developed by Geco.

    That cartridge ws named M 35:
    7.74×39.5mm, 9mm Spitzer bullet, 695 m/s = 2173,5 J

    Heinrich Vollmer developed a machine carbine (assault rifle) for this cartridge in only four months: 96 cm, 4.2 kg, curved 20 rds magazine and open bolt operation. A switch allowed both single and full auto fire.

    Barrels with drilled holes for venting gas to feed the automatic were despised by officials in Germany at that time. Vollmer did therefore take the gas pressure from the muzzle and transferred the power with a piston.

    Rate of fire was initially 700-1,000 rpm – the only negative finding during testing by army experts. Vollmer modified the weapon with a pneumatic brake element to the model M 35/III and met all expectations of the army procurement institution in summer 1938. A testing campaign with the troops was planned, but the agency suddenly cancelled it on August 20th 1938, most likely because of political intervention.

    source: ISBN 3-87943-350-X (German)

  • snmp

    The SVT40 & Garand M1 were far better than the German Semi auto Rifle

    At the same time Polish, French, Czech have better protype than german

  • Cobetco

    it looks like a clip loaded K98, or at least an extrended magazine, it doesnt appear to be a semi like the g41/43 because i clearly has a bolt

  • JonMac

    I’ve come across it in the literature before (as the Mkb-35 I think), but don’t have any books handy. I do know that there was a proprietary 7.75x40mm round developed for it that was canned when the carbine was.

  • JonMac

    About the only info online (unsourced) is here;

    “GeCo 7.62 x 39 cartridges were designed exclusively for the abortive VOLLMER M 35 Maschinenkarabiner; the very first German assault rifle. There were actually three models of Vollmer machine carbines made since 1934 until 1938, but they were all too fine (read: expensive) arms for military issue, even for the special troops, with their all-machined and hand-fitted parts. Carbines had action with annular gas piston around the barrel, behind the muzzle, and too many delicate parts. Heeres Waffenamt (Weaponry Office of German armed forces) turned down the last, and most complicated, “A 35/III” carbine in 30th August 1938.”

    I’m now not so sure on the original calibre (though the GeCo round was definitely altered to 7.62 from something more wacky).

  • tgm

    Chambered in 7.75×40 Geco?

  • mr_lorenco (REPUBLIC OF KOSOVA PRISHTINA 10000)

    this wass a failed atempt of the german army to modernise theyre standard rifle
    it wouldt be semi ore full auto
    it shouldt worck as an repeating bolt action rifle when there osouredd a problem with the gass system
    and it shouldt not have any moving parts outsside the weapon
    this weapon however …lost
    and the WALTHER GEWHER 41 (G.41(W)) in semiauto won the army trials for a new standardt rifle however it did not replace the MAUSER 98K in all parts of the german army that had to do more with politic and military doctrine then with “blocking mechanisms” as said in some reportts.here whas some of the german military history :).
    back to MKHB-35(V) (Vollmer Maschinenkarabiner M35
    it wass made only in experimental prohotypes
    chambered in 7.92 mauser
    and 1 model was chambered in the experimental 6.5 volmer amunition derived from the experimental fedrov 6.5 mm that never went in to servis in the russian army (teodor fedrov wass an russian arms designer in the russian empire his best known weapon wass the FEDROV AVTOMAT chambered in 6.5 arissacka (japanese standardt military round in WW1 and WW2 ) becausse the russian empire had not enough founds to manufacture a new round ).the 6.5 volmer wass an true intermediate round (comparable with the 6.5 grendel) the military doctrine of NAZI GERMANY whas that the mashine gun (MG34/MG42 IN 7.92 AT THAT TIME)
    had to serve the army for full auto firepower and the bolt action rifles issued to german soldiers (KAR.98K) had to had to protect the MG with long range acuratte single shots .but the germans did not adopt the M35
    and did not search for an “true ” assault riffle until the MKHb-42(mp43&stg44 peddescesor) went into limmited service.
    becausse of that facts the M35 did not started the modification proces like all german arms went wen they reach adoption potentiall .the MP35 had to be used with metal stock like the mp40 was used .it tock use of gass operated action of M1-GARAND type it used 10 ore 25 rounds magazines in 7.92 it used 30 round magaziness in 6.5 volmer ,the magazines wass dual stack in all calibrs experimented with.its bolt wass of modyfyed mausser dual lock system and an special bolt cach the first of its type (bolt cach :used in AR 15 type weapons) and decocker(unusual in military rifles ).its special combinated repeating bolt&semi auto action wass latter issued to the MAUSSER GEVHER 41. witch alsso lost the military trials against the G41(W).

  • Juergen

    Uh… BEFORE pre-WWII? You mean during WWI? 😉

    • Juergen, typo 😉

  • Martin

    Just looking at the picture of this rifle really got me thinking. It appears to be a testbed for a select fire control group. It’s obviously an automatic rifle, as indicated by the name (machine-carbine), but it also has a separate traditional bolt. The large cut-out by the trigger is likely the selector for the front or rear bolt. As applied, I’d imagine that the rear bolt was fully locking for accurate single fire, while the front bolt probably had a lighter locking system (I’d guess early roller). Both would be connected by some complex internals. I imagine that the level of complexity is what prevented it from being adopted.

    Another feature worth noting is that it appears to be chambered in 7.92×33 Kurtz, which appeared in 1933.

  • Mark

    Martin, I think you might be right – think of the irony; in an attempt to make sure the weapon was useful even when not operating correctly by adding a manual bolt function, the German army managed to make the system too complicated and thus forcing themselves to forfeit adopting something that might have otherwise worked reasonably well. One man’s folly is another man’s luck, I guess.

  • mr_lorenco (REPUBLICK OF KOSOVO PRISHTINA 10000)

    beffore and during ww2
    thinck a bit its a 1935 model

  • mr_lorenco (REPUBLICK OF KOSOVO PRISHTINA 10000)

    got it ? “jurgen ” 😉

  • mr_lorenco (REPUBLICK OF KOSOVO PRISHTINA 10000)

    thanck you all for the lincks 😀

  • watthefuk

    Wow lurenco, G41 (W) was THE manual repeating rifle(bolt action) , and semi auto that u say was “Lost”
    The winner was G41 (M) , but its replaced by G43 I think

  • A few pages are devoted to Vollmer’s M35 in Pulitzer Prize Winner C. J. Chiver’s great 2010 book, “The Gun” dispelling the myths about the AK-47. Although not the first assault rifle (Fedorov’s was), it was rejected by the Army as too complex to manufacture; and the shorter round would have required extensive retooling, too.