The (Much Improved) HMG Sturmgewehr Prototype at NRA 2016

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At SHOT 2016, Hill & Mac Gunworks unveiled their prototype multi caliber re-imagining of the World War II-era German Sturmgewehr assault rifle. The new semi-automatic rifle, while not an exact replica, captures many of the design elements and the basic aesthetics of the original, making for one of the more interesting intermediate caliber carbine projects of this year.

However, the rifles HMG brought to the SHOT Show were very early prototypes of the design (the very first ones, in fact), and looked fairly rough as they were completed very quickly to make the late January deadline for the show.

Now, four months later, Hill & Mac have brought their newest prototypes of their Sturmgewehr to the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, and they are greatly improved. The stamping flaws, rough rolled edges, unsightly welds, and other imperfections have been substantially improved. In January, I also suggested to Mac that the parkerized finish looked too different from the historical parkerizing of the originals, and that a blued finish (which earlier MP.43 marked guns did have) would look more authentic. Whether at my request or for another reason, HMG did change from a parkerized finish to a fairly nice-looking blue:

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While all parts on the new prototypes are blued or left in the white, two major components, Hill told me, did not quite take the bluing the same way as the rest did:

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Although the endcap and gas block do not match the rest of the gun, I still think the new rifle does much, much better at the visual “10 yard” test than the first prototypes did.

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This weld line is still a little ugly, though.

The HMG StG project is an interesting one; it seeks to create and exploit a market niche for functional quasi-reproductions of a rifle that is, for most people, unattainable. The HMG is visually less convincing than an airsoft or .22 LR StG reproduction, but functionally far more so. Also, HMG is pushing a very new angle for a production firearm: What might have been…

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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 can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • bmartin79

    I’d like one in 10mm or let’s go with 30 Carbine .

    • Griz

      At shot they announced 5.56 and .300 blackout.

  • Ixlr8

    Shut up and take my money.

  • Paul Joly

    Wow, they look like well made Pakistani rifles.

    • hking

      Well the original MP43/44 were very rough, hastily assembled, stamped sheet guns. These actually look better than the 3 originals I have handled in person.

      • Martin M

        I’d prefer an authentic reproduction, blemishes and all.

        • /sperg on/ that weld line isn’t quite right. The originals seem to have had slightly cleaner welds, and then they also had a folded over section that the HMG lacks. /sperg off/

          I talked with Hill, and he and I agreed that their quasi-reproduction should be somewhat production optimized versus the originals, both to reduce cost for the consumer, and to represent a later speculative iteration that was less expensive. This means not being 100% authentic.

          What I would like to see them do is simply clean up that weld line a bit.

          • Ballan

            Tumble in sand or something to artificially wear it, may increase sales.

          • politicsbyothermeans

            Not only is it ugly, it’s already starting to crack. A couple of fumbly mag inserts and that mag well will crack right open.

          • I didn’t see a crack, but I’ll swing back by today and maybe snap some more photos.

          • politicsbyothermeans

            Definitely could be lighting or the way the weld pool developed but it looks like a crack starts by the arrow and goes at least a couple of mm before it gets really hard to tell whether it’s a crack or something else. No need to take pictures though. If you take another look and say it isn’t cracked, that’s cool. I’m sure you’ve got better things to do anyway!

          • That’s just the weld pool + lighting.

          • Swarf

            Puddle. Weld puddle.

            Besides which, once it’s cooled, it’s just a weld. No pools, puddles, streams or lakes necessary.

          • Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize that we aren’t allowed to use that particular synonym for “puddle” when describing molten metal.

          • Swarf

            Now you know.

            Yeah, actually I’m sorry. Just being professionally pedantic, which is silly.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            Ravine?

          • politicsbyothermeans

            Thanks for taking another look.

          • Swarf

            I’ve run better welds while juggling angry kittens.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            I would pay to see this. Also, why are the kittens so angry?

          • Swarf

            Ever been juggled?

          • BrandonAKsALot

            Touche

  • Don Ward

    Good for these guys. Will be interesting to see where it leads them.

  • Gregory

    The weld at the front of the mag well looks like a pigeon took a dump.

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      I could tig that better, and I’ve only used a tig once.

      • CountryBoy

        That likely wasn’t TIG, as it has way too much weld rod in it.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Have you seen up close pics of late war German stuff? It all looks about like that

    • politicsbyothermeans

      I was about to say that this thing wouldn’t have gotten through Khyber Pass QA/QC.

    • kbroughton77

      As a CWI (certified weld inspector) that photo seriously pains me to look at.

  • dc

    It would be cool to have one in 7.62x39mm.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      If only they make a magazine that looks like the original even if they have to reduce the capacity to due to the taper. I don’t care if it holds only 5 rounds as long as I have one that looks like the original.

      • All the Raindrops

        Yep, they look awful with different magazines.

  • I was hoping to see a Cetme-L on display since they were supposed to be delivered 5 months ago.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I think Larry Vickers posted his which he received. Not sure if it was Hill and Mac or another builder but I think I remember seeing there were problems getting the receiver or barrel.

    • Stan Darsh

      Although they won’t say it outright, it sounds like Hill and Mac were relying on Prexis for the receivers that never materialized. Either way, the ball was dropped. Very disappointing.

  • John

    Excellent. I can cosplay the Wolfenstein remake now.

  • iksnilol

    Finally, the original. I am sick and tired of the crappy Russian knockoffs.

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      I have the Chinese knock-off of the Russian knockoff.

      • abecido

        I didn’t know Russia and China made FALs.

      • iksnilol

        A Type 81?

        Are you in Canada?

      • Paul Joly

        The ak family isn’t based on the stg44, so type 56 (sks).

        • iksnilol

          Yes it is, the curved mag is a dead giveaway-

          • Paul Joly

            Yeah those iluminati want us to think that the stg44 isn’t an ak47, but look at the facts. 1, the sight position : no one else before put the sights on that configuration (it’s not like that on my m16 so…)
            2, it’s piston operated : basically it’s the same exact rifle with a different name.

          • iksnilol

            FINALLY!

            Somebody who is awoken, somebody who isn’t one of the sheeple.

    • Ooooh, them’s fightin’ words son.

      • iksnilol

        But it is true.

        The world is flooded in the Russian knockoffs. So even if this one isn’t German made it is at least based on the original design.

        Besides, it is obvious that the AK is a knockoff of the STG. I mean, the tilting bolt and the way the STG “shotguns” open for maintenance are both dead giveaways.

        • MPWS

          With your attitude you should live in Murica, Suchumski. You can see how they like you and the non-sense you talk.

          • iksnilol

            I am afraid I am being outsnarked for once.

            Congratulations.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Also, just look at the stock. I mean, look at it. AK is such rip off comrade. Also, it has a front sight and AK has made front sight which look just like. Russians even took selector, moved it to other side and just made bigger to seem more important.

        • LOL. ISWYDT.

    • n0truscotsman

      oh no you didnt!

      haha, very nice.

    • DW

      Comrade iks, in Russia guns knock off yuo, yuo simply don’t knock off guns. Or yuo go places like camps and such.

  • abecido

    Still waiting to see a live fire video.

  • UCSPanther

    I’d go for the .223 version.

  • Darhar M.

    Look nice in rough form.
    The welds can be cleaned up easily enough during production
    as well as getting the bluing to be uniform.

    Now what will one of these monster cost me???

    • $1300 to 1500, guessing.

      USA Made, historical research, modifying, and scratch built basically…. As long as they’re under 1800, I would say expensive but fair for the volume/qty I expect.

    • $1799

      • Darhar M.

        Thanks

  • Rabies

    I got to handle these today! Which was super cool, My one and only complaint, is the magazine release is all but useless.

  • Ben Pottinger

    Id have to get this in the original kurz caliber and reload them. The 223/300/x39 version magazines look awful.

    What would be best would be a new caliber that used 30 caliber projectiles but had the same taper as the original magazines. Reloading the brass is easy, finding appropriate projectiles will be a little more of a challenge.

    • All calibers will each come with a magazine that looks like the originals.

      • Ben Pottinger

        Oh wow that’s awesome! That makes for a little bit more difficult decision actually. 300blk would look and “feel” the most authentic but 223/556 would certainly be the easiest and cheapest. It looks like it has a threaded barrel so putting a suppressor on it could be fun!

        Which reminds me, I need to offend some purists and thread one of my K31 Swiss rifles!

        • Downside: The replica mags will be polymer.

          • Matt Wilder

            REALLY?! That’s a damned shame, but it is understandable from a manufacturing point of view. However, nothing ruined the .22lr GSG STG-44 more than the crappy flat black polymer mag, with the goofy loading button on the right side. From 20ft, you could possibly believe it to be a real MP-43 variant, however the magazine is the one obvious and glaring giveaway. I’d much preferred having to use a magazine loader than have that full length slot and button in the middle of the magazine, and glossy polymer would have simulated the bluing of the real mags just a little better. Otherwise, I do love mine, even with the ugly magazine. It’s just a fun plinker, pretty darn accurate, and reliable.

            Now, one of these bad boys might be just as much fun if it’s reliable and shoots fairly well. I really hope that they turn out to be a good rifle, and the company’s successful.

  • These guys walked the perfect line of stupidity and bravery in retromod developing these. The capital it would have taken….

    Hope they’re good and the risk pays off.

  • DwnRange

    that is one ugly looking boat anchor ya got there, where does one attach the rope???

    • oldman

      Thought was what the trigger guard was for.

  • Frank Lee

    Left side mag release, please?

    • Aesthetically, I feel that way, too, however Hill explained that was a consequence of changed geometry in the upper coupled with the endcap being designed to accept original StG stocks.

      Still, it bugs me.

      • Frank Lee

        That’s unfortunate. Did they say anything about a left side mag release being added? That being on the wrong side is more than just aesthetically wrong.

  • Giolli Joker

    That weld hurts my eyes…

  • Cal.Bar

    I have STILL yet to see anything from HMG actually FIRE! I suspect they are over a year from actually getting anything to market. And if they are listening, the ONLY reason to have an obsolete design like that IS to clone the original STG. The farther they get from that…. the less I’m interested.

    • fmike15

      Exactly!, Prototypes that don’t fire. I think Robski said could “hear” them firing one. Weird they didn’t let him fire one while he was there. These guys want money down for these and no one knows if they even real. I’ll pass

  • David

    No way that thing is ready for the consumer by July.

  • MindMelder

    I held a real stg today and it was awesome simply to hold it. Wish the owner had more ammo today

  • Richard

    I wonder if the guns will be ready by the June/July deadline.

  • Bert

    I have been following these guys for a while now. I like virtually all of the changes/modernizations/fantasy upgrades they have made. I am however reticent to give them money until these actually hit the market. The delays to their only other rifle give me pause. If and when this comes out, I will be looking hard at their .300blk stg-n, and that underfolder stock.

  • Organgrinder

    Eeexxxcellent. The world is one step closer to a product-improved AK-46.

  • El Duderino

    Dat weld doe. Century CETMEs will look down their noses/trunnions at such craftsmanship.

  • bluegreydude4

    my two questions are; what caliber are they chambered for?(and as a follow up question) how is the availability of said ammo…..and the big question, what’s this little gem going to set back my bank account?

    • Last I checked, they were talking four caliber choices (with conversions between calibers possible) of 5.56mm, .300Blk, 7.62x39mm, and (IIRC) 8mm Kurz.

      • bluegreydude4

        Thanks for the information! I am a WWII reenactor and so when I saw this I was VERY interested….looks like I’m going to have to start saving my pennies! 🙂

  • CountryBoy

    The “ugly” weld line will, I’m sure, be rectified when they get their robotic welders configured for this. Prototypes are usually hand-welded, and given the deadline they look like they were in a hurry at that.

    Expect better quality, especially at this price range, and I’m sure it will be there.

  • Robert

    As for the comment that the AK47 isn’t a knock off, I much more believe the story that a Russian sergeant hospitalized with no education imazingly sketched the design on a napkin while layed up in hospital doped up on morphine.