Knob Creek ’13: Nazi StG44 assault rifle

The owner was talking to me about this StG 44 (also known as the MP44) that took a hit with a British .303 round, which is what you see below.


It’s too bad that the bullet was removed because the rifle would be even more interesting with it still embedded. The owner doesn’t know why the previous owner removed the bullet.



Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.


  • dp

    Seventy years after the war and still Nazi? C’mon, why not just jerry’s assault rifle? After all they were found in Syria in resurgent hands and in good number. Would you call them “Sunni guerilla” gun?

    • BillyBadfish

      It was Nazi when it was manufactured, Nazi when it was issued, and Nazi when it was captured. I’d bet money that this particular rifle still has the German eagle and swastika markings – indicating that it was manufactured in Nazi Germany. Not to sound harsh but according to your analogy, my Yugo SKS is also known as a Syrian sniper rifle.

      • Freedoooom

        Do you call AKs that were manufactured under the Soviet Union “commie guns?”

        • Nelson


          • claymore

            sorry you beat me to it.

        • claymore


        • Karina

          Yup. I also call 7.62×39 “7.62 Commie”. Mostly affectionately, though.

        • Yes because they were made/requested by a communist government.

        • gunslinger


          saw lots of stuff labeled com block (com bloc..etc)

        • Ching Willy Hung

          Yes, and I call the Type 56 – ChiCom AK

      • dp

        How do you know that designer was Nazi (National socialist party) member? Did you speak with him? Do you think that every German was Nazi member and every Russian was commie? The word “Nazi” takes derogatory connotation for everything German. I ask why is this is going on; who is feeding it? Nazis were in power just 12 years…. why whole nation should be punished for it forever? Germany is best ally of America outside of N/A. You may want to think it out little bit.
        In my opinion Editor should have cut this out at first place. I apologize for bringing up controversial subject, but it looks disturbing.

        • Karina

          Will you shut the hell up, you pedantic idiot? The StG44 was produced in Nazi Germany and is a Nazi German design approved by a Nazi German government. It stops there. It literally deserves no contest or questioning that this is a Nazi-made weapon, your pointillism is silly and redundant pedantism.

          More importantly, nobody cares. I do not look at a StG44 and think “Nazi”, I think “Assault rifle” and “Piece I want to own”. I’m sick of you guys who bring polemics and senseless debating where it’s completely unneeded.

          • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

            It’s true. I don’t think “Bad Guy Owned This Gun”… cause really, when we get down to it, aren’t guns just tools? I don’t think Nazis when I see a Luger, I think “I wish I had that as a target pistol”

        • Well for one thing the weapon was made during the Nazi period. If you wanted to be in the arms business or hold any prominent position you had to be a party member whether you believed in it or not.
          Nobody is condemning Germany of today or anytime after WWII. Former Nazi aces were welcomed and held very high up positions in NATO after WWII.

        • joe vet

          we fought a bloody war with Germany that changed the face of our country, Nazi is part of our history now too.

      • Joe

        You must know nothing about the Stg 44 then, because none of them were stamped with the eagle or swastika.

        • Alex C.

          Mine is.

          • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

            I wonder if that makes it more valuable…

        • Many were but you have to remember these were being turned out when things were going downhill in a hurry. Markings varied during this part of the war.Yes they did have Nazi markings period.

          • toadboy

            Even my 1945 made STG44 has a clear eagle over swastika.

        • Tinkerer
        • toadboy

          I have two of them, both have a clear eagle over swastika on the receiver.

    • dp

      For those who are fair-minded I’d suggest to look at this page (plenty of detail) and try to find a sign of political affiliation for this gun: There is NONE. Yes, it was a weapon of German origin and that’s about all. And may I add, this is the thing I like about guns, they do not wear political stripes.

      • Karina

        Comically missing the point. It is called a Nazi German weapon because THAT IS WHAT THE COUNTRY CALLED ITSELF: NAZI GERMANY.

        It is EXACTLY like calling the AK a Soviet weapon; because it originally came from a country that once was known as the Soviet Union. What is SO hard to understand? Why must you insist that it’s about political affiliations? These countries just happened to have a name that matched theirs at one point in history.

        Now, please. Shut the hell up. You are making yourself sound particularly ridiculous by now.

    • I titled this article as such since I saw a Nazi proof mark clearly noted on the rifle, which you can see in the final two pictures.

      If I made a mistake in calling this a Nazi rifle, someone please let me know, and why.

      • Leonard

        Chris, don’t worry. I am German and not offended by you calling this a “Nazi assault rifle” since it was definately manufactured and issued in Nazi Germany.

        Some fellow readers just want to point out that a gun by itself doesn’t have a political affiliation and hence cannot be called “Nazi” (or “commie” or even “democratic” for that matter…), and while I think that is correct, I also don’t think this is such a big issue at all.

        • Ching Willy Hung

          You cannot be serious. There are many guns or objects are iconic to a country and has a implied political affiliation. Don’t tell me T-34 is just a tank, it has nothing to do with Soviet Union. Or Thompson is just a submachine gun has nothing to do with gangsters.

    • Only if the Sunni’s designed and built them.

  • dick

    Seriously, a NAZI STG? Get the fuc over yourself

  • Miško

    firearms are apolitical

    Nazis, Commies, Democrats… StG44 would kill them all the same

    P.S. *firearms not politics*

    • dp

      I strongly agree and for that reason I found political sticker on Stg. 44 as in-appropriate. As a matter of fact, if we wished to go this route we might end up with (largely absurd) assertion that current U.S. service pistol, being M9 had ‘nazi’ heritage.
      As a matter of broad knowledge to gun enthusiast, it is known that the M9 is directly derived from Beretta 92 who’s operating mechanism is taken directly from Walther P-38. You can suggest that M9 has been of U.S. manufacture and you will be probably correct.
      At the end I definitely support the notion that this blog is meant apolitical and this is reason for my argument to begin with. Putting stickers on past on current product of whatever origin with political affiliations just does no make any sense.

  • Karsten F. Klingbeil

    I am a gun dealer that worked in a historical auction house for Weapons. I am astonished that there was someone actually following this mistake with a stamp on the rifle, in Germany we have and always had the specified terms of MG for Machine gun and MP for Machine Pistol, these specifications depend on the lengths of the rifle and the Caliber/as well as cartridge length. StGw stands for Sturm Gewehr which stands for assault rifle, not assault Pistol, so I am confused with your information, how long is this rifle? It was also not only used by the NAZI’s but as well by the Wehrmacht before it was offered to Mr. Schmeisser to start working for Mr. Kalashnikov.

    • dp

      As an ethnic German, would you be able to research political affiliations of Mr. Hugo Schmeisser? I know it is getting little bit out of boundary of reasonable, but I personally feel that this “Nazi” trademark has been stolen in this case. I doubt the man as talented as Mr. Schmeisser was, did not need as necessity to seek political advantage. Also, in connection to this (if proven) I’d strongly doubt that Mr. Kalashnikov would have included him into his team.
      When comes to marking on Stg 43/44, I never saw a ‘svastika’ proof mark on it, which for example exists on some of P-38 pistols. There is also a page I cited in previous which depicts weapons made during Third Reich and none of them seem to bear such a marking. I’d like to invite Mr. Chen to show detail picture to make his case. Notions should be supported by facts.
      Now, having said this I know as a matter of historical fact that another protagonist of German armament industry, Mr. Willy Messeschmidt, Dipl. Eng. was indeed NSDAP member. Not that it would reduce quality od his output though; Bf-109 was menace in the skies for British and other Allied pilots. This is about factual correctness, not a failed ideology.

      • I’m not going to request Chris hunt down photos or historical data. It’s your question. You’ll have to find find the information and post it to make your point.

      • Tinkerer

        dp, look at the last pic of the article. Clearly you can see the Waffenamt proof mark, which is… the eagle.

    • it doesn’t mean assault rifle in the first place. It means Sturm is storm not assault.

    • John

      MP44 is the designation approved by Hitler himself, and originally stamped on the rifles until he found out. He never liked the idea of an intermediate cartridge rifle so the developers had to mask it under a machine pistol designation. When he found out it’s effectiveness, he had it redesignated Stg44.

  • RocketScientist

    My Lord people, do you seriously have nothing more to worry about today? I don’t see anything wrong with labeling this gun as a “Nazi” gun. By doing so, I do not believe Chris was suggesting that the gun was designed by a member of the Nazi Party, or that the individual soldier that used it was a member, or that the gun itself was a member, or anything else idiotic like that. I think he was in this case using the ‘Nazi’ appellation in the same way most people will casually use this term: to refer to various items used by, or affiliated with, or originating in Germany within the time-frame of the Second World War and it buildup. The same way I (and I think most people) would refer to most any aircraft used by the Luftwaffe as a “Nazi” plane, or a tank as a “Nazi” tank, or an army uniform as a “Nazi” uniform, or a building that housed a gov’t office as a “Nazi” building. By doing so, we are not suggesting the inanimate objects themselves were Nazis, or that they were designed by one, or even that their primary user(s) were actually party members. If they were used by the forces of Nazi-run Germany to fight WWII, they will get the “Nazi” label. I don’t meany anything negative by this (nor do I think Chris did). I use it only as an identifier of its historical relevance. In the same way I refer to all my soviet-made guns as commie guns or soviet guns or similar. If you are so sensitive to offense that you can’t stand someone using the term “Nazi” to refer to German war equipment from WWII, maybe the internet is not the place for you. People tend to throw that term around pretty loosely to refer to just about anyone/anything.

    • True enough. Many of the arms makers and designers had to be members of the Nazi party in order to get work in designing aircraft for instance. That in no way means they were true believers.

    • Patrick

      *slow clap*

  • Martin Grønsdal

    Is the Tavor a Jewish gun, or Israeli? It is certainly designed by Jews, and most of the production is probably done by Jews aswell (and maybe a few Arabs).

    • The Tavor is often referred to as the Israeli Tavor in order to identify the country of origin.

      • in which case the Stg44 should be referred to as a German gun, surely?

        • Martin Grønsdal

          Dukeleto77: I agree. Now, however “wrong” it is to mention Israeli products with Nazi-Germany rifles, we don’t call te Tavor a Zionist rifle, neither is it a Jewish rifle. The Stg44 is a German weapon, not Nazi

          • Martin Grønsdal

            neither is the HK G3 a Democratic-German rifle. It is German…

  • I’m honestly amazed at the stir over the use of the term Nazi in describing a weapon made and used in Nazi Germany.
    As far as the comment about the editor removing the Nazi reference. There’s no reason to remove it since it’s correct for the time period. Not going to happen.
    Some commenters are being very overly sensitive over this one “accurate” word. Nobody on this staff is being derogatory toward Germany or it’s people. It’s a real stretch going from one word to thinking badly of Germany.
    Having German relatives and knowing the history of the time period I would never have given the word nazi a second thought when talking about this gun.
    Fight over things that mean something. This has really gotten silly.

    • Nicks87

      Yes, it is absolutely ridiculous but this is what happens when people are raised in a society dominated by excessive political correctness. The blame lies directly on the feet of politicians and the media for creating this false paranoia that you need to be careful what you say because you MIGHT offend someone. It’s childish and it causes divisiveness in our culture.

    • John

      Yeah, I don’t see people getting all riled up when they make all the Soviet jokes about the Mosin Nagant/AK/SKS

  • disqus_PIBlw47Tej

    What happened to firearms, not politics?

  • Dannyboy

    whats with the nazi lovers?

    • Karina

      And they call us the bigots. I retort and say: “Read it again!”

  • I thought the subtitle of this blog was “firearms not politics”??

    The National Socialists were a political movement & a governing party. The weapon was designed and manufactured by a private company for the Wehrmacht, not by a government design bureau for the Waffen SS (hence the comparison with “commie” guns is not entirely fair)

    It makes as much sense to call the L85 a “Tory gun” or to refer to US designs as GOP or Dem guns depending on which party was in power when they were commissioned/designed/adopted (as if it would likely be the same administration throughout the process!)

    This practice of naming weapons “Nazi” is factually wrong, and offensive to many German readers. I haven’t seen previous TFB articles that found it necessary to do this, & it’d be better if the author hadn’t here.

    • Joe Grine

      Whether or Germans get “offended” is really of no consequence. Its their history – they need to own it.

      • Have you ever met a German? They take responsibility for the dark aspects of their history more than any other nation does. Describing German weapons as “Nazi” is directly akin to subtitling articles about the Winchester repeater “Sioux-slaughterer” or the M60 “My Lai Murderer” inappropriate in any context, but especially so on a blog that SPECIFICALLY forbids political discussions.
        You may have heard the phrase “guns don’t kill people…” ? If they don’t, then you can hardly describe them as possessing a developed political philosophy!

  • Martin Grønsdal

    is the Heckler & Koch G3 a Democratic-German rifle? is the MP5 a “Federal Republic of Germany machine pistol”?

  • Jeff Smith
  • orly?

    It seems that a trooper equipped with a bolt action beat a trooper equipped with a weapon that’s basically an assault rifle.

    Many people seem to say this is impossible nowadays.