Update: GunLab’s VG.1-5 Test Fire

Chuck of GunLab has begun test firings of his VG.1-5 reproduction. He is testing the gun for function and safety, to work out the proper configuration of the moving parts and springs. From GunLab:

It has been a while since we have chatted about the VG1-5 so I thought an update was in order. All the individual parts have been made and the first non-firing copy was made. This last weekend we finished a testing example to try and determine if any problems exist. We looked at everything from the barrel chamber and flutes to the firing pin length. We needed to check the recoil spring length and tension. Is the buffer spring to strong or weak. Will the fire control group work properly. All the drawings showed that everything should work but these are all questions that can only be answered during a test fire.

The test rifle that we made uses all the same parts that the rifles we are going to sell but uses parts that we can not sell. We actually ended up with 2 receivers that did not come out as nice as I would like. One will be sent to the ATFE for approval and the other will be shot to death with proof loads to determine strength and safety.

So a very basic testing rig was made to hook up to the firing tube and testing began.




The gun isn’t done yet, but things are looking good so far. An initial issue with the ejector was corrected, and an issue with the secondary sear will be corrected soon. Then the rifle will be fully function checked.

This is definitely one of the most interesting reproductions I’ve seen in a while; the Gustloff carbine/VG.1-5 is a unique piece of small arms history.

These reproduction Gustloffs are already up for pre-order; if this sounds like your kind of rifle, you can pre-order one from Allegheny Arsenal.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Vitsaus

    I applaud them for the effort on this. Such an obscure gun, and yet very interesting. Hope it works out and they are able to produce these things for wider distribution than just a few collectors. Seems like the final product would make for a pretty handy trunk/property gun.

  • Zebra Dun

    Those who would complain on being handed an M-16 or AK-47 would think twice if in the end of a world war they were handed this Volks weapon.
    I guess it beats having some NCO give you an artillery shell and hammer for your foxhole though.

    • iksnilol

      I doubt anyone would complain about getting an AR or AK. The AR is a bit sub-optimal for me but I can still get it to work (though I can’t recommend the A1).

      • Given the issues I’m having with my new AK-74M, I suspect that’s just a normal cross-training issue.

        • iksnilol

          Probably, I have no problems using them, I just find them to be a bit uncomfortable. Though I do like the last shot hold open. The mag release and charging handle I am not a big fan of though.

          Then again, you take the good with the bad and vice-versa. Wouldn’t feel undergunned with either.

  • roguetechie

    I love these guys and the work they do to not just preserve existing history, but actually build tangible and fully functioning pieces of history! Items like this and their makers do society a service that is priceless, yet completely ignored and even attacked by the people who should know the value and claim to want the very things items like these help to provide!

    Take for example a young prime soldier age male 16-24…. You can show them the pictures and videos of the camp, the horror of the eastern front, or most appropriately considering the article subject matter the achingly horrible pictures of row upon row of old men and boys that are an entire presidential term from a drivers license holding vg 1-5’s and panzer Faust if they were lucky…and hastily cobbled together world war 1 surplus or WORSE if they were not!

    Now hand this man child and show him those pictures and videos then hand him one of these newly built reproduction guns and watch the visions of glory evaporate and be replaced with understanding of why we can never allow this to happen again…