Sturmgewehr 44 used by Syrian Rebels

A rebel with the Free Syrian Army reacts

An StG 44 would fetch a lot of money in the collectors market, yet are most often found in the hands of dirt poor militiamen (and women) in Africa and the Middle East. One was recently photographed in the hands of a Syrian rebel.

It is rumoured that Prvi Partizan continue to manufacture the 7.92×33mm Kurz round because of demand from these militia groups.

[ Many thanks to Miroslav for emailing us the photo. ]




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.


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  • Nooky

    You should watch this.

    http://youtu.be/6EsCle4ooM0

    Imagine what kind of money you could get by selling this to collectors.

    • Komrad

      Probably enough for several AKs per StG, if you could sell them.

    • Mouse

      I believe that there are 5,000 of them in that video. If that’s the case, then let’s say, we’ll sell/buy them at (USD) $8,000.00 a piece. That’s $40,000,000.00. Let’s say we want to sell them for $20,000 a piece as relics; antique collectors items. That would be 100,000,000.00 for the set. Hmm… What country is this again? I think I have enough money for a plane ticket…

      • 15yroldgunman

        Just imagine if they had the corner shot attachments for these

      • Andrew Racek

        What sick man would do that to a STG44?

      • nobody

        The same people who had the idea of killing all of the Jews.

        http://www.patriotfiles.com/forum/imgcache/1562.png

      • Komrad

        @Nobody, those worked ok for their intended use (hosing down infantry climbing up the side of tanks, it was the 90 degree ones that never worked.
        Still, pretty silly.

      • Jeff

        This is our curse: if we want a battlefield pickup, it can’t be imported whole. It has to be built by Century First =P

  • http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2012/04/crazy-gun-related-stuff.html S O

    Someone also needs to have produced post-WW2 magazines.

    • Esh325

      East Germany,Yugoslovia,Czechoslovakia, and some other European countries used the STG44 for a number of years after WW2. So I imagine they produced spare parts and magazines for them that could have circulated all around the world.

      • Komrad

        Germany still produces 2, 10, and 30 round magazines for collected originals and semi-auto replicas.

  • Esh325

    It seems the first assault rifle refuses to die out.

    • Komrad

      The first assault rifle was the Fedorov Avtomat. http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/automatic-fedorov-e.html
      Select fire + intermediate cartridge (6.5 Arisaka) = first assault rifle.
      Now before someone says it, 6.5 Arisaka is intermediate. It’s roughly ballistically equivalent to 6.5 Grendel which is considered intermediate.

      Even if you discount the Fedorov, there was still the MP43 and MKb42 that preceded the MP44 and StG44.

      Still, the StG44 was the first truly successful assault rifle as it’s prototypes and the Fedorov never saw real widespread production.

      • A.Lentz

        the fed was a automatic rifle, not a “assault rifle” which uses an intermediate cartridge.

      • Komrad

        I stand corrected.

      • Komrad

        If you can argue it instead of asserting.

      • Jeff

        Technically it does use an intermediate round. The 6.5 Arisaka generates around the same recoil and muzzle energy as the .280 British

      • http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2012/04/crazy-gun-related-stuff.html S O

        Vollmer developed the first true assault rifle, and it worked fine.

        http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/07/16/vollmer-maschinenkarabiner-m35/

      • Sardaukar

        Well, the Arisaka is certainly intermediate if compared with the other cartridge the russians had at that time, the mighty 7.62×54…

      • Paul

        The main argument against the Federov being considered an assault rifle is not technological, but one of doctrine & training. It was issued as a squad support weapon, and it’s users were trained to provide supporting fire, as opposed to the Germans, who issued the STG44 to riflemen, & trained them in ways that strongly resembled modern drills.

    • charles222

      Yeah, 6.5 Grendel is not an intermediate; not with 800-1000m lethality.

      • Komrad

        I suppose you could argue that it isn’t intermediate, but it certainly isn’t a battle rifle cartridge, nor pistol. I still hold that it and 6.5 Arisaka (and likely the experimental 6.5×50 Fedorov cartridge the Fedorov Avtomat was originally chambered for) are intermediate based on their muzzle energy, which is slightly less than .280 British which is widely considered intermediate. The only thing not intermediate about 6.5 Arisaka is the long length of the cartridge.

      • charles222

        @Komrad: ‘Intermediate’ as applied to assault rifles doesn’t refer specifically to muzzle velocity-it was originally intended to refer to range: ‘Intermediate’ between submachine guns and battle rifles. 6.5 Grendel is still effective at the ranges you typically associate with things like the M1 and M14. That’s not an ‘assault rifle’ round, although I’ll grant that the Arisaka qualifies.

      • JonathanF

        There’s more to it than that – the round is intermediate in size and weight and carries a bullet of relatively small bore. Not to mention that it was designed for an existing assault rifle platform.

        It’s on a par with .280 British, which was deliberately designed immediately post-WW2 in the mould of the 7.92×33, but to retain something of the capability beyond 300m of the .303 it was to replace. That’s been regarded as a top-end/borderline intermediate round, and so is the 6.5. You’re the first person I’ve seen describe it otherwise.

        Tony Williams, are you reading this? Thoughts?

      • charles222

        I’ll gladly stick by my description simply because Grendel retains killing ability well beyond the 3-400m of virtually all other assault rifle rounds. It might be able to be shot out of an existing assault rifle platform, but that doesn’t make it an assault rifle round in and of itself, IMO.

      • JonathanF

        Except that ‘killing ability’ wasn’t a concern of previous intermediate rounds, as the science of terminal ballistics was practically non-existent. Helmet, steel plate, and pine board penetration tests were about it. By historical standards, it’s an intermediate round. In terms of form factor, bullet diameter and weight, cartridge weight, and recoil controllability, it remains an intermediate round. These are all more quantifiable than ‘killing power’, which amongst other things, is highly dependent upon barrel length. Finally, and this is less important, it is widely known as an intermediate round, and popular usage (amongst people who know their subject) counts for a lot.

        As I said, you are the first I’ve seen deny that 6.5 is an intermediate. The closest I can find to an authority agreeing with you is Jane’s, who seem to place it in its own category, but place it at the low-end of the full-power range:

        http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Ammunition-Handbook/6-5-mm-Grendel-round-United-States.html

        However, Tony Williams, like just about everyone else, defines it as intermediate;

        http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/btb.pdf

        Now, it’s definitely borderline, and if adopted would likely supplant both 5.56 and 7.62×51, but I don’t think you can just ignore these attributes and the wider context here.

  • Jimbo

    I dearly hate that “It is rumoured” crap. Idle speculation is idle speculation. Its bad enough to see weasel words from official news outlets.

  • Giolli Joker

    Uhm… can they somehow be converted to 7.62x39mm that is much more common?

  • Martin M

    The Communists/Soviets kept everything they ever captured in WWII. Every weapon was run through an armory and then stored. Consequently, StG 44s showed up in Africa and the Middle East in the hands of Communist insurgents. Some were apparently shipped to North Vietnam. It is speculated that Czechoslovakia may have manufactured them post-WWII.

  • 15yroldgunman

    So when the 556 model comin I kid I kid I know thumbs down

  • FerrusManus

    The SM Chemnitzer Sportwaffen- und Munitionsfabrik GmbH is also making 7,92x33mm ammo, but i doubt that they use these ammo in Syria.

  • gunslinger

    some stuff just won’t leave the “marketplace” i’d love to shoot one though

  • genschow

    Can’t imagine those being shot frequently
    http://www.ssd-weapon.com/Waffen_historisch.html

  • El Duderino

    Even if these were parted out, imported, then made 922r compliant they would get buyers. I want to see the Century Arms ad in Shotgun News with StG 44s for $899! Don’t forget the version with a Tapco M4 stock, plastic handguard + vertical grip, and SAW grip for $999.

  • fred

    mmm no..
    It is more likely that our spooks are buying these..
    http://www.ssd-weapon.com/BD_43_1.html
    … and giving them to the “rebels”..

    • Ian

      Because it’s much more feasible to buy a high priced collectors replica that shoots rare and expensive ammo as opposed to, oh I don’t know, an AK.

      • Martin M

        Ian, I think that pretty much sums up how the US Government thinks.

  • Big Daddy

    Maybe the reason they are still being used is because they work very well. The round and weapon is perfect for close combat. As good or better than anything produced after it.

    • Phil White

      That’s where the roller lock came from and it’s still alive and well!

      • JonathanF

        The Stg44 didn’t utilise roller-locking/delay – it’s tilting bolt gas-operated. The Gerat 06 (a prototype) is the CETME/H&K roller-delay forerunner.

  • URop

    You know a war drags on, when the traders open up their older stashes.

    I certainly pray it doesn’t last any longer, but don’t be surprised when they start to carry Turkish Mausers or Japanese Arisaka’s.. And you know Moist Nugget’s be just around the corner.

    And I don’t believe the dealer made a bad sale by selling these to militiamen instead of a western collector. MP44’s go for around 2500 euros in the European stores, I’d wager the dealer fetched at least 3000 euros for this, without all the paperwork and the hassle to ship it.

    I hear you wonder “he didn’t ship it?” no, he didn’t. Of course I’m not certain, but I dare to bet a beer on it that it originated from an old Israeli arms stash (no, I don’t believe in the conspiracy-theories, arms traders’ revolve around this very simple notion: money, they rarely show interest in politics except those that’s waving with money)… After WWII, most European armies were armed with whatever was left over from the previous war. And by the time they started to look for new hardware, the state of Israel was founded and they did not only produce new hardware, they also accepted old weaponry as payment. It was a win-win situation, two old K98s or Enfields for one Uzi. Israel was in dire need for shooting irons, and the Europeans were happy to get rid of the old junk.
    It didn’t really took long until the Israeli defense industry was up to arms to outfit their own army (and still produce enough for export). Around then, most of the European relics were simply dunked in cosmoline and stored away until either forgotten or sold (or a combination of both).

  • El Duderino

    If you get a knock, and aren’t expecting guests or a package, don’t answer, it ain’t Mormons…

  • Brandon

    Dude, did you read the banner up above? One simple rule and you couldn’t follow it.

  • Zee

    God damn hipster rebels and their ‘vintage’ guns.

    • Jeff

      The 90 year old Hipster German WWII Veteran sez: “I was using assault rifles BEFORE they became cool”

      • Big Pappa

        yeah, overheating sucks

  • JMD

    You’re gonna get partyv& saying stuff like that on an open discussion forum. If you think that, whatever….just be smart enough not to shout it from the mountaintops.

  • Phil White

    Tim that’s insulting to a lot of readers myself included. The only thing more destructive to a conversation than politics is religion.

  • Nicks87

    Do you have proof of this no god theory?

    Dont say it unless you can prove it, otherwise you will just sound pedantic and snobbish.

  • Nicks87

    The guy in that photo has the worst neck-beard I have ever seen.

    Someone needs to send him a care package with a razor and some body armor in it. ;)

  • SJC

    You may not have been the one to bring up the word ‘God’ first, but you were the one to start talking shit about it. Mind you, I’m no believer myself, but there was no reason at all for your statement.

    Also, as some others have said, the only thing with more destructive potential when introduced into a conversation than politics is religion. So I have two things to say:
    -Tim V, please keep your mouth shut about such subjects when they have absolutely no relevance to the topic at hand, which is Sturmgewehr 44’s being used by rebels. Just ignore people like the one you responded to.
    -Steve, please add religion to the list of subjects that aren’t to be discussed, as internet users have shown themselves to be unable to handle it with care, time and again. Just look in the comments section of any Youtube video (I’d say “any Youtube video about religion”, but these days even stuff like Hannah Montana footage and KISS videos on Ytube aren’t safe from discussions on holy wars and god. Sad really).

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  • Toad Stool

    If the Militants sold those Sturm. 44s, they could buy a ship load of AKs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.trib.7 Thomas Trib

    DDR used the Stg 44 and gave them to Syria in the late 60’s.

  • sam

    They probably would belong in a museum if not for the fact that the German company Sport Systeme Dittrich still builds these rifles today. I doubt the ones used by the Syrians are from WWII but rather the modern equivalent. Much like the US with the M-16 and Russia with the AK-47, the Germans also continue producing this rifle with a great deal of upgrading over the original.