WWII German G43 Run and Gun

A while back on TFBTV, we posted a field strip of a German WWII G43 self loading rifle. Requests poured in from folks wanting to see one of these German autoloaders in action, and we listened!

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Full transcript here…

– [Voiceover] Hey, guys, this is Alex C. with TFBTV.

Today’s run and gun video is gonna be with a World War II German G43 rifle.

I did a field strip on a G43 a while back where I talked about how it worked and showed the innards and did all that stuff, but most people requested that they wanted to see it in action, so I got some 8mm from our sponsor, Ventura Munitions, and packed everything up for the range.

Basically, it was 30 shots with 2 reloads at about 60 or 70 yards.

Rounds on the move were put on a steel silhouette, and rounds from standing or static position were put on IDPA silhouette, so at this short of a distance, we took the optic off and got to work.

All right, here we go with the close engagement drill.

(gun cocking) (rifle firing and bullets pinging) (rifle loading) (rifle cocking) (rifle firing and bullets pinging) (rifle loading) (rifle cocking) (rifle firing and bullets pinging) All right, let’s go down range and have a look.

All right, guys, from the close engagement drill, all the shots on the move that was standing up basically, were fired at the silhouette.

We got about 10 hits on the silhouette.

I’ll have to count the pings in the video.

I believe it was 10.

It’s kinda hard to see because we painted it with white instead of orange, so that’s our bad, but if we move over to the paper, I’m actually pretty impressed that most hits were dead center mass.

Let’s see, we got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, so 15 hits.

It looks like 25 out of 30. I’m not sure.

I’ll put the totals right here, but all in all, this was a pretty pleasant gun to shoot.

I wish it was rear aperture sighted.

This wasn’t probably far enough to use the optic, but all in all pretty good for a vintage autoloader.

So all in all, I was pretty pleased with the performance of the G43 considering that I had not shot this rifle before that day.

It was not too hard to run.

It was a little hard to reload, and it would’ve been easier if I had some extra magazines.

However, they are a little bit hard to find and a lot of bit expensive.

Loading it with stripper clips was a bit clumsy, but I understand that the soldiers who carried these carried extra magazines in addition to stripper clips.

That being said, I was reasonably impressed with my run, and 25 out of 30 isn’t bad.

This is Alex C. with TFBTV.

Thank you very much for watching.

Also, big thanks to Grizzly Targets and Ventura Munitions.

See you next time, guys.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Lance

    Try a SVT-40 Tokarev next pls pls pls.

    • Major Tom

      G43 vs SVT-40!

    • Secundius

      @ Lance.

      Ahhh, but the G43 has “One Advantage” the SVT-40 Doesn’t. While you can Chamber 7.62x54R in the G43, YOU CAN’T chamber the 7.92×57 in the SVT-40…

      • Dave C

        Um. No.


  • Darkpr0

    G43s are fun guns. Maybe it’s just me, but I love the character on each one of them. They’re all different mixes of wood quality and metal quality. Huge contrast between smooth, nicely stained wood, and ratty stuff that didn’t get finished. The metal appearance has a massive gradient between painstakingly machined (G41 bolt carriers) and hideously crude (Late-war G43). Yet despite the obvious foibles of a (seemingly) clunky manufacturing process, the important parts are exactly as well-made as you would expect anything German to be, and the guns run as slick as any Garand you can pick off a rack. I made the mistake of buying a really nice 43, so I always feel guilty shooting it. But it’s fun to be at the range and receive the “Where did you get THAT?!” looks.

  • Don Ward

    Given the earlier TFB article, can we have a Run, Hide and Fight test?

  • So are your pull-ons hobnailed? 😉

  • Alan Hodges

    Awesome camera…..what type?

  • Ted Unlis

    Watching the video I couldn’t help but notice the 30-06 like rattle the fillings out of your teeth recoil that young Alex did his best to ignore. A brief google search revealed why, ballistics of the 7.92×57mm Mauser are almost identical to 30-06 180gr and 200gr rounds. The G43 is about a pound heavier than the M1 Garand, but the recoil on the video seemed harsher than what I remember from the last time I shot a Garand a few years back.

    Thumbs up to the Run N Gun youngster for cowboy’n up and taking the 30 round pounding for the sake of our curiosity.

    How about a split screen G43/M1 Garand side by side video in real time and slow motion then let Alex share with us which rifle he ranks higher on the kick the living $#it out of you scale?

    • It really doesn’t recoil that hard and I didn’t notice while shooting it. Just keep in mind that I am 6’4″ and 175 pounds, so my center of gravity is somewhere around my nose.

      • The_Champ

        Overall, how would you rate the G43 vs M1?

        • The M1 is better by a VERY wide margin. The G43 rifles are very crudely finished (most of the time) and the actions are very delicate. In fact, they have a bad reputation for blowing up. I know a guy who almost lost his eyes when he had a carrier let go on one (thank god for eyepro).
          The G43 is so over gassed from the factory that the actuator rod impinges harshly enough on the carrier to shatter it. German self loading rifles of WWII really left a lot to be desired.

          • FarmerB

            Ok, so maybe I don’t need one that badly…

  • Southpaw89

    Cant really explain why but I’ve always thought that the G.43 with the scope mounted is one of the coolest looking guns I’ve ever seen. Something about the rather elegant looking wooden stock (compared to most modern military rifles) contrasting with the harsh utilitarian lines on the action. Needless to say I want one.

  • Zebra Dun

    That was illuminating!
    I’d always heard or read these rifles were not as top notch as this one clearly shows it is.
    Magazine loading would be faster and easier than stripper clips.
    The German’s somehow thought this was better suited as a sniper weapon, I guess the MG was the main weapon and the rifles there to protect the MG as was SoP in their Army.

    • Dont let the 30 shots on camera I took fool you: these guns are crumby by American standards.

      • Zebra Dun

        Good to go, and good to know.

  • Secundius

    For extra Magazine Capacity, Madsen LMG Magazines in 25, 30, and 40-round Capacities can be used…

  • Doom

    Gee Bill, 2 G.43’s?

  • Dave C

    A neat run n’ gun event. Makes me want to try with my SVT-40 self-loader, using chargers/stripper clips instead of the magazine change. Another exceedingly scarce and expensive spare magazine!

    Years ago some bystanders were impressed by my Chinese T56 stripper clip reload speed…