MIND BLOWN: Remote Control Sturmgewehr 44 In Syria

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Of all the things I never thought I would write in the same sentence, “Remote Control” and “Sturmgewehr 44″ must be at the top of the list. The above photo shows a Syrian rebel controlling a Sturmgewehr 44 with a wired joystick. A cheap CMOS video camera with a Component video output is mounted behind the scope (at the correct distance to account for eye relief) and is wired into a LCD screen.

Excluding the batteries and motors, the electronics could be purchased for less than $200 on ebay. They are the same type of components used by amateur drone hobbyists to remotely fly aircraft at extreme distances, although they use wireless transmitters and receivers rather than wired connections. In this application wired communications probably give the operator longer range through thick concrete walls than a cheap 2.4ghz/5.8ghz video system would (and it cannot be jammed, or worse, hacked into).

Last year Syrian rebels claimed to have captured a weapons cache containing 5,000 Sturmgewehr 44 rifles.

Thanks to Patrick for the tip.




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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  • BOB

    Everytime a STG-44 is molested, baby Himmler cries

    • Kav

      …perfect?

  • CaptainSlaughterboard

    So this is proof of there is obviously mechanized Nazi army with uber-technology.
    They brought it.
    PREPARE FOR THE FIGHT…

  • Neal R

    In the US….5,000 StG-44s @ $8,000 a piece = $40,000,000. Syrian rebels just think how many tanks you could buy with 40 mil! :D

    • Max

      Easy: 1

      • Giolli Joker

        Maybe 1 M1, but quite a few T62… ;-)

      • Joe Schmoe

        A second hand T-72 goes for around $500,00-$750,000 depending on the version.

      • Ryan

        Those were captured from an arms depot. I think that they probably were obtained by Syria after WWII, probably during the Arab-Israeli War. They mostly arrived to late to see action, and then Syria Picked up the AK by the six day war. They have been sitting in a ware house for 63 years. These guys are desperate for arms and will take whatever they can get

    • Ian McCollum

      None, because they can’t be legally imported into the US. :( These guns have been known to importers for a while, but nobody was able to work out a deal to get them before the revolution, and now you can just forget about it. Here’s some video from the rebels who stumbled on them:

      • Neal R

        Damn that was painful to watch….that was quite the collection.

    • Gidge

      Sounds like that cache was some Syrian General’s retirement fund :)

    • CaptainSlaughterboard

      Though what kind of Spec-UPS or tactical Amazon will fetch those StG-44s from syrian exhibitors to USA?

      • mikee

        Your comment just terrified me.

        I have enough trouble getting Fedex to leave my packages on my porch, rather than my neighbors.

        Ninja operator tacticool delivery men driving armored delivery trucks might be a bit much for me to handle.

        • mikee

          There seem to be two “mikee” on this comments site??

        • mikewest007

          I just spit my tea all over the monitor. :D

  • Lance

    They may claim to have a robo rifle but knowing there weapons they put together they be more dangerous for the user than the target.

    • jamezb

      Um.. you seem to be confusing Syria with Pakistan. While Pakistan may be home to home-workshop weapons of various degrees of quality, Syria is an entirely different country in an entirely different part of the world. Besides…. the StG-44 is not a Syrian built gun, it was built by Nazi Germany during WWII and is a highly reliable weapon.

      • Ripley

        I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the DIY rebel guns http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/02/diy-weapons-of-the-syrian-rebels/100461/

        • jamezb

          I thought this post/comments was about the remote controlled StG44 in the picture and article? Oh well. Improvised guns are indeed scary sometimes, although some are actually kinda impressive like the steel frame Glocks seen here recently.

      • Cymond

        IDK how long you’ve been hanging around TFB, but Lance is an old timer around here, and most of us just ignore him. His comments have always been unpopular, but back in the old days his posts devolved into trolling, and then nonsensical jibberish, and then he disappeared for a while.
        He’s definitely improved since then.

  • Paskal Xen

    What about reloading? Seems no auto-reload mechanism there, means one have to manually go & reload the gun. Useless, no?

    • Aurek Besh

      The main purpose of a remote mount is that the weapon operator does not need to be exposed. If this is placed behind a wall, sandbags, parapet, or other hard cover, someone can be lying safely down beside it, ready to reload it.

      • Cymond

        It could also be a job for someone who could not otherwise participate in the fight, so as someone with a disability (or combat wound).

    • schizuki

      Well, it’s useless after being useful 30 times…

    • Anonymoose

      The US puts belt-fed guns on their UGVs and ROWS so they don’t have to reload them often. What these guys need is a remote-controlled PKM! :D

  • James

    What? Nobody has mentioned the parallels to the series finale of “Breaking Bad” and the remotedly controlled M60?

    • Risky

      Well, on Breaking Bad it was more or less on autopilot while this one can be aimed. I would called the one on BrBa ‘remotely actuated’ rather than controlled.

      • wetcorps

        No spoilers please! I just began to watch the show :)

        • Azril @ Alex Vostox

          SPOILER:- HE KILLED JACK BLACK!

          • wetcorps

            Noooooooooooooooooooo!

            ^^

      • Ripley

        More like Bruce Willis’ The Jackal then http://youtu.be/pyXdB_AYiDs

      • tim.m

        gotta admit the m60 set up was impressive…

    • CaptainSlaughterboard

      I don’t know much about Breaking Bad,
      but it more reminds me Mission:Impossible 3’s remote-control M82A1s.
      Nothing could be more badass than automated .50cal…

      • mikewest007

        Check the Jackal scene above: an automated .50 cal machine gun. Way before MI3.

    • Max

      Fuck you, spoilers, asshole.

      • James

        Was my comment so much of a spoiler that you had to curse in such an ungentlemanly fashion?

        • matt

          Yes you fucking DICK

  • Thomas

    Holy crap, this article made my day :-D Can I haz one of those 5000 StG pretty please?? :-)

  • Curio and Relic

    Rebels: “We need money! Oh look a stockpile of antique guns using antique, hard to find calibers, and there worth a lot of money! front-line service”
    Americans/ everyone: “We’ll pay good money”
    Rebels: “Nope, were good”
    and that kids, is how the world works…

    • swede1986

      These weapons are not transferable, and thus fairly cheap. It’s also a great deal of work involved with turning them into parts kits, or trying to export them to Europe.
      It makes sense for them to use them as long as they have ammo (which they obviously have).

      • Komrad

        Plus, they’d almost certainly run into trouble trying to get even parts kits out of the country. Disruption of transportation/shipping infrastructure from the war coupled with international restrictions means that there’s no way for any of the guns to leave the country on the legitimate market.

  • Rokurota

    The rebel doesn’t look happy, though. Must be because no one stocks 7.92 ammo anymore.

    • toadboy

      Wrong. Even in the recent problems, I have had no problem finding reasonably cheap 7.92 x 33

      • Will B.

        Doesn’t Prvi still make 7.92×33 just because of rebals like these?

        • toadboy

          I guess Prvi knows better than I where the majority of their product goes. But there are plenty of MP-44 shooters here. And there are some other firearms that use the cartridge, but not many.

    • tim.m

      i was reading about this recently; apparently its still semi popular in some areas of the world that view current military calibers as a no-no. aka Pakistan, the 7.62 is illegal so they make ak’s with opened up bores to 7.92. maybe thats why the Taliban can hit what they aim at…………..

      • James O Donnell

        For the most part the Taliban are lousy shots.

        • itsmefool

          So the big question is will this rig improve their aim?

        • José Pulido

          The big question is, are we really stupid enough to call a Syrian Taliban?

  • guest

    Emm… “rebels”… yeah. More like wahhabist mercenaries and al-quaida.

    • pedjab

      yugo stg-44 paratroops from cz kragujevac

  • SirPanfried

    BUILDING A SENTRY

  • anton

    Goes to show who trained the syrian army and what happened to loads of German reserves after WW2.

    • arghhh

      Or they were supplied by the Soviets from stores of captured weapons.

      • mikee

        Came from captured former Soviet stocks.

    • James O Donnell

      Some remained in East German use, some in Czechoslovak use. Both supplied small arms to “fraternal anti-imperialist nations” in the ’60s and ’70s.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Like them or not, and all political opinions notwithstanding, one has to acknowledge — however willingly or grudgingly — that at least this particular rebel faction has demonstrated great ingenuity and an ability to adapt and improvise using what little is available. And these characteristics are key factors in being able to endure, survive and succeed in the face of overwhelming odds.

  • Sanjuancb

    Based on the gold ring it looks like a Leupold optic?

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Who needs the $100,000 gun chipper when Syrian terrorists will shred your collectibles for free?

  • jamezb

    Hmm. The scope seems to be on an AK style side mount. Did the STG44 have an optics mounting provision? I don’t remember, …and am too lazy to look it up… :)

    • mikee

      Yes, top of receiver. Original scope and mount very rare nowadays. Small number of Czech reproduction scopes and mounts made during 1960s 1970s??

  • jamezb

    Another question… what were the StG44’s production numbers? I thought they were pretty rare, ….but a cache of 5000 makes me question that assumption.

    • mikee

      about 560,000.

    • Thiago Kurovski

      Rare by WWII standards.

  • Man pippy

    Jihadist nerd?

    • José Pulido

      Revolutionary nerd.

  • Yashmak

    Man I’d love to get my hands on one of those StG44’s. . .a real piece of history.

  • Nick

    Just to clearify that is not a component video cable. That is a composite cable.

  • 2stroke_detroit

    Even more amazing, where the hell do they get the 7.92x33mm ammo?