Shooting The Sturmgewehr

The German Sturmgewehr is a rifle that needs no introduction. It is a rifle with a historical mystique that results in them being highly coveted among collectors, but they are fine weapons in their own right. In this video we do some shooting with an old MP43.

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Transcript …

(gun cocking) (gun firing) (gun cocking) – [Voiceover] The German Sturmgewehr.

Few rifles seem to attract as much attention as this one.

Either due to its retro-industrial appearance or its association with Nazi Germany.

Where the forces of the Wehrmacht and the SS used it to devastating effect.

It ushered in the era of the assault rifle, and it inspired many post-war designs.

Originally designated as MPs or “machine pistols” due to firing a shortened version of eight millimeter mauser.

In 1944, a letter from the führer’s office declared that the name, Sturmgewehr, was more appropriate.

Thus you see these rifles stamped and STG44.

This example is an early MP43 stamped gun, made by Haenel, and is in decent, but not perfect condition.

After all these have been through a conflict.

And many have been seen across the world, including modern day Syria.

As stated, this is an MP43 stamped gun, and in my experience the earlier the production date, the higher quality these guns will be.

They feature a dust cover much like an M16/AR15 that you can close to protect the insides from dust and debris.

The magazine releases a lot like that found on the MP40.

And some say that the AR15/M16 found inspiration from this as well.

To set the rifle, on fire, press this lever down so that “F” is revealed.

However, to change the fire mode, “E” represents einzelfeuer or single shot.

And “D” represents dauerfeuer or multi-shot.

It is unusual that the safety mechanism and fire selector are two separate bits.

The charging handle is located on the left side of the gun, like a G3 or MP5 rifle.

These sights are a lot like a mauser 98, however they only adjust from 100 to 800 meters.

Interestingly the barrel is threaded for the attachment of a device called a krummlauf.

Which was designed to shoot around corners.

But enough chat, (gun cocked) let’s shoot this gun.

(gun firing in bursts) (gun cocked) (gun cocked) (automatic gun fire) (gun cocked) (gun firing) (gun cocked twice) (gun cocked) (gun fire) Making off-hand shots with the sturmgewehr at 100 meters is not too difficult as the trigger’s quite good and the sights are adequate.

On full auto it’s quite pleasant to shoot as well and the cyclic rate hovers around 450 to 480 rounds per minute, which is a very comfortable rate of fire.

(gun fire) (gun firing) (gun cocked) Taking the rifle back to 300 meters is where things get a little interesting.

I found three major ammunition manufacturers for this gun.

That’s going to be Hornady, PPU, and F&M out of Portugal. (gun cocked) And each one seems to produce vastly different points of impact.

So it makes it a little difficult and I actually had to mess with the sight elevation ladder quite a lot.

(gun firing) (gun click) (gun firing) Once I learned where to offset the sights this actually got a little bit easier.

It was frustrating at first but as soon as I realized that, I probably need to swap the front sight out with a different front sight post.

I kind of came to terms with it and the rifle suddenly was hitting where I wanted it to, but, we kind of all know why you guys came to see this video and we’re gonna give you guys hopefully what you want.

(gun firing) (gun cocked) Anyways, we hope you guys enjoyed that, big thanks Ventura Munitions providing the ammunition for this video.

Also if you like to see us take this gun apart, we do have a field strip up, so feel free to click the link in the end card or the description.

This is Alex with TFBTV, hope to see you next time.

Alex C.

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


  • Cal.Bar

    Alex – you could have titled it ” Michael Jackson shoots the MG43″ with hot single glove action. I guess REAL operators only need ONE tactical glove. (just teasing – a great and informative piece).

    • This gun’s biggest flaw is the tiny metal handguard. Second would be 30 round mags: they are too long for practical prone shooting and should have been 20-25 rounders instead.

      • Tritro29

        Because the gun was intended to be fired while clamping the magwell/magazine, not the hand guard…it’s even on the manual.

        • You see images of soldiers doing it both ways. Kind of the same deal with the MP40’s bakelite hand hold vs. mag well.

          • Tritro29

            I hate to be a stubborn contrarian, but the Germans (they even put it in the Heer Manual) have been seen overwhelmingly using it while grabbing the magwell. We can check for PK images in the two last years of the war and the conclusion would be the same. We found ourself (Soviets) that it was the most comfortable position, especially given the size of the magazine. Most handguard pictures are either US soldiers either British ones testing the rifle.

          • Oh I’m accusing you of spreading disinformation, just asserting that I believe the handguard was a rather obvios design flaw.

          • UnrepentantLib

            One wonders how many German soldiers in the heat of combat forgot the official method of holding the weapon and grabbed a smoking hot metal handguard. I imagine there were some choice expressions voiced about the designers. It’s a small thing (unless it’s your hand getting blistered) but a wood or bakelite handguard would have been a definite improvement.

          • You’ll only do it once. ?

          • Tritro29

            Probably not many as unlike the Assault Rifle rage, for the German soldier, the STG aka MP43/44 aka Mkb 42/43 was seen as the follow up in manual of arms to the MP38/40 SMG’s, therefore you simply don’t grab the weapon by the “barrel”. And then even if they did, they “did it once”. Also fun fact the Mkb 42 was alternatively designed RP (light machine gun) or KP (Carbine Machine gun) by our Red Army.

          • Trey

            should there be a NOT between I’m ____ accusing ?

          • Ha, my mistake.

          • Trey

            I make so many at a keyboard that I seldom comment on one, was just that your comment was most polite I did not think you would want to have it seem less so.

        • gunsandrockets


          That’s interesting.

      • Max Blancke

        There were, and are, shorter mags.

        • Indeed, but they were not introduced in any significant quantity (and mostly went to VG rifles). I have never even seen one before.

      • Wolfgar

        Great video Alex. I agree, the hand guard felt way too narrow, similar to the earlier HK G3 hand guards. I prefer the later hand guards on the G3. Hind sight is always 2020 and the STG 44 catches a lot of flack but for the time the STG44 was quite innovative, sorry Nathaniel.

        • The StG44 deserves props, not because it was so great (it does have some significant flaws compared to later designs), but because it got all the right features to define an entire new class of military small arms in one gun.

          Sort of how the ME262 should be viewed as not being a crappy design compared to the later F-86 and MiG15, but as a trailblazer to jet fighters.

      • gunsandrockets

        Use the mag as a monopod rest for the rifle in prone?

        • You could in theory, but then it it awkwardly tall.

          • John Pate

            I’ve fired one. The magazine is simply too long, it’s a major handicap. I don’t see how you could use this rifle on a battlefield effectively given its magazine is so long. The AK mag length really is the limit of practicality for a rifle or carbine.

      • Tritro29

        Actually many shorter 10 rounds magazines have been found. Some of them being DiY, some seemingly coming from other projects (Gërat 6). Ironically, the 10 round magazines cancel the most valuable aspect of the rifle, which is the volume of fire in case of close contact.

  • Schnee

    Geez I hate the damned Nazis but it seems like the Germans in WW2 invented pretty much everything. We’ve just been refining their stuff since. This thing pretty much established the dominant design for a battle rifle. All the AKs, ARs, G3s (wow it’s similar), FALs, SIGs, Berettas, SCARs, etc really haven’t done much other than tweak the bolt opening mechanism. Yeah you got your FAMAS and your SA80 and Tavor, but maybe that was just people who saw Jerry up close and personal and hated him so much that they couldn’t bear to copy the rifle (maybe the AUG is just the Austrians pretending not to be Nazis, hmmm). Lots of other stuff like jet engines, rockets, tanks, fuel injection, subs. Sort of like the rest of us have just been refining the stuff they were just ramping up to conquer the world with when we shut it down by kicking their tails. Just in time I guess.

    • Jwedel1231

      Well, Bullpups were around at least 20 years before the Stg44. Also, America invented the most popular weapon developed in WWII: the nuclear bomb.

      • Tassiebush

        Haha “most popular”

    • Don Ward

      Nope. Pretty much none of this is correct.

      Other than hating Nazi scum.

    • Bob

      It is true the Germans did a lot of things, but they weren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Take a look at the Tiger tanks and their engines, the MP40 magazine design, the whole development of a semi auto rifle, etc, etc. They blew it on multiple occasions.

      • Jay

        They did make a lot of stupid mistakes.
        I’m reading Dieter Herman’s book on the Long Nose FW-190s and can’t believe how stupid they were, to cancel the production of the 440mph FW-190C (powered by Daimler-Benz DB603 engine), in January 1943, after everything was ready for production, just so they can waste the awesome engines on Meserschmitt’s Me-410 sitting duck. Even in mid 1944, when they finally introduced the F-190D9 in service, they didn’t allow them to use the Daimler-Benz engines. 2500engines were wasted on the 410 fiasco.
        By the time they finally decided to switch to DB engines, with the Ta-152, they had no more fuel, or pilots,…or a country.
        Yes they did make a lot of mistakes, but in the same time, they also had to make a lot of hardware with inferior materials, because they simply didn’t have enough quality metals for advanced alloys.

        • D. J. S.

          This immediately came to mind, they were pretty bad at squandering resources on too many unimportant or outright stupid/fantastic projects.

          • Schnee

            You guys all make good points. My central point that the Germans established a dominant design for the assault rifle stands. There may have been other early designs, and this rifle may not have been perfect, but it established a phenotype that most others since have followed. Pistol grip, thumb safety, 30-rd box mag, metal structure, high sight plane, gas tube/charging tube above the barrel, mid-power cartridge. Again, not the first or the best, but first to nail all these things in combination and mass produce. Put that thing in the hands of any soldier anywhere today and they could walk into combat 30 seconds later. Can’t say the same of a Garand.

            As for british turbines, breakdown-prone German tanks, and poor quality German metals: thank your lucky stars that the Germans had idiots at the helm. Their engineering set the standard for the next half century at least.

          • Trey

            In the armored roll with the exception of turning a heavy tank in the medium tank being the Panzer Mark 6 all referred to as Panther I don’t really know of any German tank designs truly world-beating.

          • n0truscotsman

            They weren’t really. The Pzkpfw IV was pretty vanilla, but versatile, though the guns were excellent across the board. Probably the best part of German armor, truth be told.

          • DW

            Pz.IV was quite expensive to manufacture, to the point that the successor Pz.V (Panther) is just marginally more expensive.
            Of course we all know how heavy armor + overworked engine combination turns out- even murrica learned the hard way when the M26 Pershing was introduced.

          • Trey

            It was the most common TANK of the German army. Tigers and Panthers get the headlines but the PZ-IV was the back bone of the Panzer Korps.

          • D. J. S.

            But I think that is just mere coincidence. The points still stand, independently, other countries were coming up with similar concepts about higher magazine capacity, mid-powered cartridge etc. Did the STG-44 combine all those things, yes- but I just don’t think that the STG-44 had any real influence. It wasn’t around in real big numbers. Other dominant post-war guns have a firm design history rooted in their own countries. No one directly lifted the STG-44, I mean, the FN-FAL has it’s own distinct lineage tracing back to previous designs, as does any American design. They just weren’t produced in large enough numbers or become prevelent enough during the war to actually influence design. The germans did do amazing things, but they had flaws and they just did not have the influence because they did things out of shear desperation or even by accident. Look, does the STG-44 look like a modern gun, even being usable, yes. But I just don’t think that it ‘set the standard’ in any way. You can’t look at any gun, and besides a vague external similarity go ‘yeah, that’s an STG-44 by another name’. It’s mere coincidence that it looks so similar. What we are all saying is that no one copied it directly, there just isn’t the proof in any way.

            As for aircraft, yes, they did do swept wings, but that took a while to catch on after the war too.

            My point is this: I firmly believe that unless something can be proven to be too suspiciously similar, ideas just kinda converge in evolution everywhere. Things become dominant and catch on through trial and error. And I believe the STG-44 to be an overhyped gun when people say everyone just copied it. They didn’t, it’s a great design on it’s own but that does not make every gun afterwards ‘just a copy’

      • D. J. S.

        Didn’t they require their semi-auto rifles have the capability to be used as a conventional bolt action rifle and also restricted the gas system to being a bang-type because they didn’t want a port in the barrel?

        • Yes to the bolt action requirement, no to the bang requirement. The solicitation said that they couldnt have a hole drilled in the barrel to tap gas. Thus they technically could have done something else but they arrived at the bang system in both G41 rifles.

          • D. J. S.

            Thanks for the clarification

    • D. J. S.

      You are pretty ignorant. The British also had an independently designed Jet Engine and plane, both of which existed within a year of german engines and planes. And even during the war, German jet engines were not real practical weapons of war, they had poor endurance compared to their British counterparts and were hard to produce; especially near the end of the war. And as mentioned, their machinery tended to be overcomplicated and not what it was cracked up to be. Their stuff broke, a lot. Towards the end, quality suffered.

      And another thing I think you will find is that no one country really originates anything in practical terms. There have been articles on this site pointing out how other countries had similar weapons comparable to an assault rifle before WWII and pointing out the major differences between and MP44 and weapons like the AK 47. Weapons and technology follow the general trends and needs of any army and collective knowledge as a whole.

      It’s not that the Germans don’t deserve credit for making pretty amazing things during the war, The Ta-152, FW-190-D9, ME-262 come to mind; the V-2 comes to mind. but not everyone is just ‘copying them’ it is a simple and reductionist thing to say. The scottish didn’t invent circuitry or electrical engineering although Maxwell was scottish and contributed to physics immensly. America didn’t invent the atom bomb just because we built the first one-our knowledge of physics as a species advanced so that we could. Every other country independently invented the atom bomb after

    • Trey

      Well we did get a few things on our side for instance VT fuses kind of important. Hesh rounds the Brits have like those for a long time. Last I looked the high power was still in use by many militaries and paramilitaries. The m2hb is still the standard by which heavy machine guns are measured. It may be a tad old-fashioned but the Smith & Wesson model 10 is still the world’s most successful revolver. There’s a phrase in the tank study community wheraboo. To describe those that believe anything German was inherently better that wasn’t true in tanks and it wasn’t really true and Small Arms either.

      • I would say the Germans had a pretty damn good small arms suite.

        • Trey

          Agreed, but the only “small arms” that were issued the bulk to the German army that was significantly better though the entire war is the GPMG being the MG34 / MG42 combo.

          Other than it I doubt the US Army would really want to trade very often with the German army

          K98K vs M1 – M1

          G43 vs M1 – M1 based on several factors. stripper clips are not as good as enblock (had the Germans managed to get 3 mags per man it is close to a wash) r better sights on the M1 (to my eyes at least ) Safety M1 is even if not common now easier to use than the 180 deg switch of the G43.

          MP43/Stg.. vs M1 MP43 due to magazine and rate of fire. though the sights for the M1 and power of cartridge give it some advantages in certain situations.

          MP43/Stg.. vs M1 Carbine MP43 due to terminals ballistics. Though at under 100 yards both become fairly useful rounds. Again the American weapon has better sights.

          P08/P38 vs 1911 – its a wash more or less. terminal ballistics vs mag capacity.

          MP38/MP40 vs Thompson – MP 38/40 by a hair due to weight and cost.

          MP38/MP40 vs M3 a wash with a minor nod to the M3 esp the M3A1 but for the most part a wash. Of course the entire class of Pistol Caliber SMG are very very similar to one another.

          Net result Most Common Rifle issued – US.
          Net result Most Common Hand gun issued – Wash
          Net result Most Common GPMG – Germany
          Net Result Most Common PC-SMG = Wash

          Smaller Issue weapons
          G43 roughly equal to M1 IF extra magazines available. if not US
          Light Rifle / Storm Rifle German (though the M1 Carbine is being used for a job it was not really meant to do but still does a fairly good job)

          FG-42 vs BAR – FG42 but so few made not to have any real import. Had the US used some of the advances made by others between the wars the BAR would have been better, but they did not.

          A long winded way of saying that both US Army and German Army were roughly equal in small arms.

          • I would pretty much agree with your assessment there. I do believe the Americans had the best array of small arms at their disposal in WWII. However whenever I say this the Europeans jump on me for being too patriotic or biased because of my nationality.
            The fact of the matter was that we had some terrific firearms, our industrial capacity was never compromised, and we did a good job of weeding out the bad or impractical designs (a la the M1941 and M50).

          • Trey

            To and insult to industry 😉 The USA’s overcapacity made a better revolver than the Brits. I know you are a Mauser fan and having a fling with a the French MAS 36 a rifle as good or better than both was made as a Second or Third rifle in the US during the war 1903A3 of which Smith-Corona produced 230,000 in less than 4 years which most of was overcapacity.

            Refinished and rebuild 730,000+ M-1917 which are also as good as any service rifle on the continent. *mine has a new JA barrel and shoots quite well.

            Net result, second tier and rebuilt rifles of the USA are as good or better than. K98, MAS36,Mosin Nagant.

            But what about the Enfield ? well if one does not think the 1903a3 is a good there is the fact that Savage Made 1.2 million No4’s were not even used by the USA.

          • Cmex

            I’d wager that the Soviets had the best semiauto rifle of the war, the SVT-40. If you’re going to count the G43, then you have to count the SVT-40, because more 4 times as 40’s were made than 43’s. The G43 was even vaguely a ripoff of the SVT-40.
            Things in the SVT’s favor over other semiautomatic rifles of the war:
            1. The SVT beat the M1 and G43 by a full pound in weight.
            2. The SVT-40 had the longest barrel and could get more ballistic performance than the G43.
            3. The SVT-40 was highly reliable.
            4. The SVT did not run the risk of slamming shut on the operator’s hand during reloads.
            5. The SVT did not have an exposed action.
            6. The SVT was very well balanced and had excellent handling characteristics.
            7. The SVT had an adjustable gas regulator for adverse field conditions
            8. The SVT-40 had an effective muzzle brake which made recoil more manageable.

          • Trey

            I have both rifles M1 Garand and SVT 40 of the two the Garand is far more organized it much faster to reload use a cartridge that does not Rim lock has far better iron sights, I like them both could have Push came to shove my M1 Garand would be used before my SVT 40.

          • I’d have to disagree entirely with the pistol.

            7+1 .45 vs. 8+1 9x19mm isn’t even close, when you’re talking about ball ammo. Plus, the 1911 is simply a better handgun,even if we pretended it was also in 9mm with an identical capacity.

            Now, GP35 vs. 1911? I’d give that to you as a wash. But, the Gp35 was, at best, about the third or fourth most common sidearm in line units.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You are overestimating the difference in lethality between a .45 ball and the 9mm by quite a bit. Neither one is particularly effective without a direct strike on the central nervous system or heart, and they’re mostly a wash on lung and arterial wounds. That’s not to say that, round-for-round, the larger bullet isn’t better, but that one extra bullet is frankly more valuable than what an extra .096″ will do for you on a ball round. And the M1911A1 is hardly a better shooting pistol than the P.38, which is an excellent war pistol that doesn’t have the annoying muzzle-flip of the Luger, and with its DA/SA trigger being a considerable improvement over other pistol designs; the edge goes to the P.38 over the M1911A1 as a combat arm. But, even with its gritty SA trigger, the Mk 1/P-35 Hi Power trumps the lot; nothing the 1911 or P.38 brings to the table compares to that 13+1 capacity. It was not produced in nearly the numbers of the others, but having one in your hands effectively put you ahead of anyone carrying another type pistol.

          • The trigger system on the P38 is horrible compared to the 1911. I’ve shot both in “rack grade” condition (the only “fair” way to compare military arms, dont you think?), and the 1911 is significantly better, especially on tht all-important first shot. The DA/SA and decocker system are nice to have, but not at the expense of a decent trigger (and other pistols show it is possible to get a decent trigger with DA/SA; in fact, while I carried a 1911 for almost twenty years, I’ve been carrying either DAOs or DA/SA triggers – generally on 9mm – for the last several… but they aren’t P38s, and they aren’t loaded with ball…).

            And the difference isn’t merely “.096” between the two. It is roughly an order of magnitude greater than that. (You dropped a decimal place). Which translates to almost ⅓ larger diameter, which is a roughly ⅓ increase in frontal area (and thus wound volume), as we are looking at roughly 0.395in² vs. 0.639in². Which means a roughly ⅓ increased chance that wound volume includes something important.

            Let’s see…a roughly ⅓ (slightly greater than ⅓, actually) increase in the odds you’ll hit something important, versus a 1/7th (assuming you follow US and German standard procedures and don’t top off after chambering a round) increase in ammo? No contest.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The P.38 doesn’t have as nice a trigger as a 1911 (even a rack grade one), but it is no less accurate a pistol, and that is what ultimately counts. The M1911A1 and its tilting barrel are pretty reliable, but it is not as inherently an accurate system as compared to the P.38 locking block. It ends up being a wash between them there.

            My math is impeccable here, yours on the other hand… not so much. The formula for the area of a circle is πr^2; not πd^2, as you’ve done. Increases in projectile diameter are a very, very minor factor in increasing hit probability, shot grouping is far more important. In a 4″ group at 25 yds., that extra .061in^2 that you get with the 45 caliber amounts to about 0.48% of the relevant shooting area. So, no it really does not outweigh having an extra bullet.

            The one and only benefit to the .45 ACP is the slightly larger wound channel. If you only have one shot, and you have to make it count, then the larger caliber is the way to go.

          • Trey

            To counter I would point out that the P-38 was double action /single action and the ball ammunition is not a particularly effective man stopper in either caliber Kama shot placement would matter quite a bit. Additionally nine millimeter is easier to shoot for persons not having a great deal of practice with a firearm as it has significantly less recoil. Of course handguns are not particularly a weapon that used a great deal on a Battlefield. But more a last-ditch defensive arm with the possible exception first world war trench raids and such.

          • As I said in my other comment today, the P38 trigger sucks dead goat farts (I have found that, even though 9mm is normally more controllable, novice shooters – i.e
            , “shooters about as good as just about every private out there” – shoot the 1911 *far* better than the P38, even though the 1911 kicks harder, when starting with a decocked P38 versus an empty chamber 1911), and the difference is greater (with ball ammo) than people realize. The only wound channel you can rely on with a handgun is what the bullet actually punches through (which is a function of *frontal surface area*, not bore diameter) – and that seemingly minor difference in bore diameter (slightly less than ⅓) means a .45 ball round is directly mangling a bit more than ⅓ more tissue, due to πr².

            Yes, all handgun ball rounds suck, but .45 sucks *less*. Note that handgun ball sucks so bad, I’d take a modern .380ACP JHP over a .45ACP FMJ any day. ?

            I’d say a high capacity 9mm like the GP35 (even with ball ammo) beats a 1911, because the significantly greater ammo capacity *more* than offsets the minor (but still significant) wound volume difference. (And the worst GP35 trigger I’ve shot was still way better than the best wartime – even early war – P38 I’ve handled, even he DA pull of the P38, and with the mag disconnect of the GP35 intact. FWIW, all but two of the GP35s I’ve shot (including my warfare Inglis) were milsurp. So I’m not comparing C&S tuned Gen 3 GP35s to clapped out 1944 and ’45 P38s.

    • I really disagree. In my estimate, people like to think the Germans invented everything, because they ignore what everyone else was doing at the time and before. That’s not to say there weren’t some important inventions created by the Nazis during WWII, but far, far from “everything”.

      Regarding assault rifles specifically, the second article I wrote for this site covers assault rifles that predate the Sturmgewehr series. For a weapon that uses the same layout common to rifles today, look no further than the Thompson submachine gun beginning in 1918.

      Jet engines: Look up Frank Whittle, an Englishman

      Rockets: Robert Goddard, an American

      Tanks: Interesting that folks always give this to the Germans, because if we’re being honest, their tank design was atrocious. I’d much rather hold up the American M4 and Soviet T-34 as examples of good tank design (cue masses of triggered History Channel watchers). I think the idea of German tanks being superior mostly comes from the Brits, who had problems creating successful armored fighting vehicles of their own.

      Again, the Germans did innovate in these areas (in the case of rockets and automatic individual weapons, specifically more in application than engineering – not to say that building big rockets is easy, mind you), but the Allies innovated tremendously, as well. Here’s a list of some American innovations during this same period, just as examples:

      Armor castings
      Hydramatic transmission
      Pressurized cockpit
      Atomic weapons
      Nuclear reactors
      Selfloading rifles

      And, of course, American production engineering, which was by far the best in the world.

      • Jay

        The buthurt is strong with this one.

    • Fegelein

      Nope noop nooooooope.

      To use a comment posted on defense review:

      “Good grief, the AK is very different from the STG. Let us count the ways I can think of off the top of my head.

      1. The STG uses a tilting action, while the AK uses a rotating bolt.

      2 .The AK has all its controls o on the right side, while the STG has it all on the left.

      3. The STG’s chamber and barrel are very high up on the gun’s body compared to the AK.

      4. The AK is built from a trunnion encased in one big stamping vs the more ornate STG construction.

      5. The STG has a drop free mag well, vs the AK rock ‘n’ lock action.

      6. The AK-47 has a 45 degree gas block, vs the STG-44’s 90 degree gas block.

      7. The STG has a much less forceful action, not ejecting nearly as far and forwards as the AK.

      8. The AK has a very different bolt design from the STG.

      Now let me name the similarites.

      1. They both fire intermediate cartridges.

      2. They feed from detachable magazines.

      3. They are select fire.

      The above is the definition of an assault rifle.

      The FAL is closer in design to the STG than the AK; they have very similar operating systems. Or the M14 is a ripofff off the AK-47, because they both are select fire, feed 30 caliber ammunition from detachable box magazines, use rotating bolts, and have fixed charging handles on their right hand sides. I could use your logic to claim that the the M4 is a copy of the MP44; it uses an intermediate cartridge, feeds from detachable magazines, uses gas to cycle the action, has its selector switch on the right side, has drop free magazines with a mag well, and can be fitted with accessories.

      Claiming that the AK is a copy of the STG is like claiming that Harry Potter is a copy of Arthurian Legends, because they’re both primarily about British people and involve a lot of magic.”

      Additionally, the G3 and its roller system were designed in SPAIN. The FAL used a different system from the STG still. About the only small arms trend the Germans gave the rest of the world in terms of design was the DA/SA pistol and the air-cooled lightweight GPMG. I know “muh Sturmgewehr”, but the Russians invented the military assault rifle with the Avtomat Fyodorova. A lot of what we use today and a lot of our methods are actually evolved from the Soviets. They invented the SAW, DM, MOUT, APC, and the accessory mount, as well as did lots of work that made military camouflage by scientific rigor and made personal body armor widespread.

      The Germans didn’t invent everything and we haven’t just been playing with their toys ever since.

      • Now, now, the G3 roller delayed blowback system was developed in Nazi Germany (as a cheaper way to make an assault rifle that could replace the StG44), and only *perfected* in Spain

        Other than that, spot on.

    • Ben Pottinger

      Nukes? The Germans didn’t even get close. It irritates me when a channel like “History” puts out shows talking about how close Hitler got to a nuclear bomb. They never even got close. Of course it probably didn’t help that they exported all their physicists to the UK and US. Thanks Hitler! Lol

  • Don Ward

    Did you feel the sudden urge to surrender to better trained Soviet, American or British soldiers while shooting it?

    • There were trained Soviets?

      • abecido

        Training, shmaining. There are millions more where those came from.

        • Vhyrus

          Quantity has a quality of its own.

        • BabyWookie

          Somehow, people think that the Soviet Union had the population of China. Human wave attacks were not at all common on the Eastern Front of WW2. The overall battlefield KIA figure is like 1.75:1 – NOT 10:1 or more. In FACT, the ratio in Nazis’ favor was higher on the Western Front! I wish Westerners would stop getting their “facts” from memoirs of butt-hurt German generals raving about being overwhelmed by enormous Asiatic mongrel hoards. Sigh…

      • Sean

        Sure there were. “Comrades, when you pick up rifle from dead comrade in front of you, point rifle this direction at facists in grey. Your training is now complete.”

      • ostiariusalpha

        On the job training?

      • BabyWookie

        Of course not! All Soviet soldiers were obviously kidnapped off the street, brought to the front in locked kettle cars and used in human wave attacks on with one rifle per two persons and no bullets! Seriously, dumb, erroneous stereotypes propagated by russophobic propaganda, are dumb.

        • Trey

          The soviet defense of staingrad was DESPERATE

          • Tritro29

            Soviet defence of what? Tsarytsin was a far more comprehensive plan than Moscow or Leningrad. And despite what people claim, it was a far smaller gamble than let’s say Kursk Salient. The fact you claim that defense was DESPERATE!!!, doesn’t add to your credibility. Given we had at some point in 1942 MORE RIFLES than men available for frontline should make you understand couple of things or two.

            1. Even Shtrafbats were not under-armed, quite the contrary. Blocking units, weren’t two guys with machine guns on the back. Nope they were usually at least similar sized units, which didn’t shoot people on their retreat, they either arrested you or took you back to fight.

            You seem confused. The T34 was a very innovative design that basically soldiered on until the T62. It was cheaper than a lot of tanks built by the “Capitalists” both in labour hours and raw material. The issue stood with serialization and some logistical flaws, there were only 1 radio per company at some point and people would get out and flag-manoeuver in the middle of the damn fight.

            The M4 hasn’t at all the same armour as the T34, quite the contrary. The front slope on the initial M4’s and even the Canadian Rams was butter cheeky. Even the Pak38 would deal with the initial M4’s, it basically couldn’t with the T34.

            The M4 was “derided” as a “death trap” because of Gasoline engines and generally very poor ballistic approach both defensive and offensive. It was however far better equipped, had a serialized engine had no similar issues of quality, and people were making money out of it…

            M4 runs as advertised? When? When even a Pz4 F can out gun you at 1000m? Nevermind the F3 76.2 would pretty much beat the hell out of the M4 at 500m. Please just stick to things you understand. The T34 was an Universal Tank, it was supposed to fill all roles. Fire support, Limited anti Tank, Motorized vessel for infantry.

            The M4 was a similarly thought out tank but with an American flair. Ergo done by people who hadn’t been fighting for years. It would take a LOT of modifications until the M4E/A3 to have decent sloping and new ammunition. And then the Firefly versions would pretty much level the playing field.

      • Naw, as everyone knows the USSR didn’t believe in training, that’s why they lost the wa…

        Oh wait.

  • abecido

    I was hoping this would be the HMG Sturmgewehr.

    • Richard

      It could be if they they make a rifle that doesn’t have the flaws of the one at the NRA convention

      • I placed an order for a cetme L from them that was supposed to be delivered in January. Not sure about that outfit at the moment.

        • Richard

          The last time I went on their website it said that the receiver parts were of sub-par quality for their standards and that they will have to make them themselves. They then said something about incompetence and some sort of an apology.

          • Accepting pre orders and stating delivery to be a month away while not having your receiver situation worked out seems… odd.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          I believe Prexis or “Precision American Rifle” was slated to produce the receivers and if you know anything about him/the company you know why this happened.

          • M

            Prexis is vaporware. I remember way back when they were advertising SA-80s

      • abecido

        Which supposedly didn’t have the flaws of the one at the Shot Show? Oh well, maybe by Gen Con.

  • abecido

    I would rather not set my rifle on fire.

  • Lance

    Well the term MP-43/44 came as a way the STGs developers and German brass could get the gun into solders hands, well get it past Hitler who disliked the new design. So they where sent to Russia as machine pistols (SMG)s. By late 1944 combat usage and success against the Russians made Hitler change his tiny mind and so redesignated STG-44. Made big impact on the USSR but since most US and UK troops already had automatic weapons didn’t make a large impression on the west. Its saw action in the West much later is battle of the Bulge. Wish you show some ammo off many don’t see what a 8×33 looks like.

    • gunsandrockets

      original designation still the most accurate — Maschinen karabiner

  • Lance

    Next do a trapdoor run and gun Alex!!!!

  • Jose

    Hey, Alex C., when the HMG Sturmgewehr became available, will you do a video in which you compare the original German design, and its U.S. counterpart? Shoot them both; disassemble them and test out the barrel conversion of the HMG design. Deal?

    • If they send me one I will, sure.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    That has a lot of kick for a 22lr- just kidding.

  • Peter Nissen

    Such a testament to engineering skill, that a pressed tin rifle still functions after 70-odd years!

    • Trey

      My M1 carbine still works fine too as does my M1 Garand. True they were not made out of pressings but they’re older the most mp43. The grease gun was still operational in u.s. armor in the mid-eighties you can color me unimpressed that the mp43 is still functional. Most military weapons are not designed to be disposable the laws rocket launcher and Liberator pistol notwithstanding

  • John

    I am curious, if this is an original, aren’t you afraid of wearing out the gun shooting full auto? I know they can handle it but once it breaks, it breaks and no replacement part will be original. I thought these things would now be relegated to museums.

    My friend has one on the Arsenal Inc. AKs made in the U.S. and only shoots it on special occasions so as to keep it pristine, and THAT was made in 2007!

    • Twilight sparkle

      Replacement parts aren’t impossible to find, they’re available through a few sources online and pop up on gunbroker everyonece in awhile.

      Why would your friend care that much about a regular Ak? Arsenal ak’s aren’t anything special, they’re made to be used

      You do realise a class 3 sturmgewehr and a semiauto Ak are two completely different things right?

      • John

        Well Twilight let’s see, finding ORIGINAL parts for a 1943 WWII firearm is not something I would count on forever especially since there were not 1,000,000 of them made.

        If new AKs are banned AGAIN, his rifle will be worth about $4000 in poor condition so he is hedging a bet. (it’s about $2500 now and it IS something special)

        As far as AK vs Sturmgewehr….isn’t Sturmgewehr a type of really strong cheese?

        • Twilight sparkle

          You’re right there weren’t 1,000,000 made, there were over 400,000 made… not exactly low production is it?

          $2500 now??? That’s laughable, this is an Arsenal not a polytech legend… I’d like to see the time machine you have to predict a theoretical future price, I’d really like to use it for lotto numbers

          • John

            Wow, Twilight, you may want to look up the definition of obnoxious so you can make sure it’s a good photo of you.

            Try buying a U.S. made Arsenal SAM 7R1 (with ONLY U.S. parts) today and tell me what the price is?

          • Twilight sparkle

            Your friend may have a regular Sam 7 but not a Sam7r1

            A used sam7 is going to go at most $1400 anything more is wayyy over priced.

            I think you’ve gotten a bit off topic here, we were discussing mp43s

          • John

            You’re wrong. The SAM 7 A1R was sold out of the Arsenal Inc. plant in the U.S. about 12 years ago. You were right that It goes for about $2000 not $2500 but you get the point, it’s not a cheap AK.

    • It is original, but it’s not a fragile rifle. I dont shoot it often but I am not afraid of it breaking under regular firing conditions. I wouldn’t throw it around like Rob Ski though.

      • John

        I know it’s not fragile but barrels have a life span. I was not sure how often this type of shooting is done. If I am not mistaken, full auto fire will wear a barrel out faster due the increased heat.

        You may treat your rifle any way you wish, I just see it as a museum piece that I can never afford and therefore I would really baby it. JMHO

  • Alex A.

    Two points, one minor, the other kind of major. First,
    Dauerfeuer means Duration Fire. Second, the barrel threading wasn’t for
    attachment of the Krummlauf, as the Krummlauf was secured with a clamp
    system. The threading on the muzzle was for the attachment of a blank firing adapter, very much like that of the MP40.

  • gunsandrockets


    Even though they obviously are radically different firearms, I would like to know your impressions of the FA accuracy and control of that MP-43 vs the M16a1.

    • The sturm is easier to control by a long shot due to the low recoil and cyclic rate.

      • gunsandrockets

        Interesting. Doubly so because it wasn’t what I expected to hear.

      • ostiariusalpha

        And it’s heavy.

  • Richard

    That’s a great video, thanks for posting it.

  • gunsandrockets


    Does anyone else think that video segment of Terminator style walking-fire is meme-worthy?

  • Tassiebush

    Interesting point about the safety and auto/semi fire select being separate systems. Clearly uncommon on subsequent designs. was it more common on earlier designs or is it just something that more or less sprung up with particular models in isolation from any overall trend?

    • Very rarely used, and generally a bad idea.

      • Tassiebush

        It seems like it would simplify the challenge of designing it but not necessarily the manufacturing.

        • It’s not too terribly difficult to design a combined selector/safety switch, and saves you one entire machined part in manufacturing.

          Meanwhile, the separate safety and selector setup is prone to operator error, and far less ergonomic. As we found with (for example) the M2 Carbine and M14 rifle. (Both of which were nothing more than selective fire systems retrofitted into semiauto designs that used safeties located in or around the trigger guard, where incorporating a selector into the safety wasn’t feasible.)

  • Sianmink

    Hore Naddy.

  • Talos

    You were checking your shots at 300 yds with naked eye? I hate you.

  • Steve_7

    Actually I came to this video to see some accuracy testing, not someone wrecking a 70-year old rifle by firing it on full-auto, but hey, America.

  • RickOAA .

    It really chugs along in auto. I got to handle one recently. While the cool factor is off the charts, it was certainly something I could live without.

  • “Germans had the Best Guns over all but many types were used far to long. being on the defsive for the last 3 years of war made the StuG viable”

    Really? They start the war with a short 3.7cm gun as standard; meanwhile the Americans and Brits are already using higher velocity 37 and 40mm guns that are more powerful. After encountering (superior) Soviet 76mm guns, the Germans upgrade to medium 5.0cm, long 5.0cm, and medium 7.5cm guns, the last is comparable to Soviet 76mm guns and the American M3 75mm gun, although it’s slightly more powerful. Anomalously, the Germans adapt a short 8.8cm FlaK gun as a tank gun in the form of the 8.8cm KwK 36, as part of a project designed to counter heavily armed tanks like the Char B1. At this point, they have the largest tank cannon in the world, but mounted to the huge, heavy, and expensive Tiger tank.

    The Germans end the war primarily armed with the 7.5cm medium-length cannon as their primary vehicle cannon, supplemented by more modest numbers of 7.5cm L/70 long cannons on the Panther and Jadgpanzer IV, as well as a very small number of 8.8cm L/71 long cannons mounted to Jadgpanthers and Tiger IIs. Tigers and earlier vehicles continue to serve as well.

    Meanwhile, the Americans field 76mm long-barreled cannons intermediate in power between the medium and long German 7.5cm guns, then the superb 90mm M3. The Soviets field 85mm, 100mm, 122mm, and 152mm guns mounted on tanks and assault guns.

    So in terms of sheer armament, the Germans have this very brief period of “biggest tank gun in the world” in 1942/43, and then – ignoring the odd project (e.g., Jadgtiger, only 88 built) – pretty much use medium and long 7.5cms to the end of the war. The Americans use comparable armament during this period, but the Soviets build absolutely incredible guns, including fielding large numbers of heavy tanks armed with 85mm and then 122mm guns, plus something like 3,000 152mm armed assault guns during the war!

    Now, that’s just a rough picture of size and power. There are other things to consider – accuracy for example, something people often give to the Germans for some reason. German guns were accurate, but so were American and Russian guns.

    Or, we could consider the design of the cannons; here the Americans and Soviets are actually ahead, as they had far more efficient mountings and recoil systems, allowing them to pound-for-pound pack more gun into smaller packages. Nowhere is this more evident than the late 1940s T-54 Soviet tank, which packed a 100mm gun more powerful than the Tiger II’s 8.8cm L/71 cannon with more effective armor than that vehicle, at a weight of a mere 36 tonnes (Tiger II: 70 tonnes) of just a couple years earlier.

    Is the point of all this to bash the Germans? No, although I admit to not thinking terribly highly of their tank design practices (the StuG III was a fine design, though). It seems, however, that folks are content to repeat these ideas surrounding the equipment of Nazi Germany, especially tanks and small arms, without actually considering the context of the equipment, or consulting primary sources to discover how it actually performed.

    • Trey

      My sentence was poorly constructed, my meaning was that the German “types” should have read types of tanks. (Pz-III Pz-38t Pz-II etc)

      The American 37mm was nearly a copy of he PaK35/36 and was seen as the standard before 1941 (if you ever wonder why 37 mm was a popular size it has to do with a treaty that made 37mm the smallest round that was allowed to have HE shell)

      Your position is well thought out, I personally think the Kwk 40 43/48 – PaK 40 were the best over all guns of the war, it had better penetration than the 88 and was more efficient. That it was copied for service after the war by France says something.

      The Shorter KwK 37 was a good gun for its job of Infantry Support, far better than the 40mm (2pounder) that the UK put on its support tanks for some odd reason.

      After the American M1 76mm and 90mm (M36 Tank Destroyer) and Soviet 85mm and Kwk 40 /48 and 17pounder are in production NO medium tank is really safe, some can take the hit on the front, like the Pz-VI (a VERY heavy Medium) and the American Jumbo and to a lesser extent the upgraded T34.

      The decision to UP Armor and UP GUN the German next gen tanks (Pz V and Pz VI) has a lot of reasons, the good was that they were NOT going to win the war of production so maybe Better would beat More. The other main reason was political in nature (see Giant-ism in other Reich weapons)

      As to the soviet’s the 76mm gun was roughly equivalent to the M2 American 75mm and the 85mm was as anti-tank weapon not much better if at all to the American 76mm and not as good as the 90mm. as far as the 152mm and the substituted standard 122mm remember these are assault gun with VERY low rate of fire and Low magazine capacity. For most of what they did the US used the M4 (105) which while not a brutal was far more flexible.

      The slow rise of the American AT guns was in great part due to the lack of a perceived NEED most German Tanks were PZ-IV and it was believed that the Pz-VI (Panther) was going to be like the Tiger a very limited resource. In this the US was both right and wrong, The Allies did face a fair number of Pz-VI but not all that many and later in the war when they fought M4’s dealt with them fairly well even M4 (75) (Arden’s offensive)

      In sumation, I agree that German tank designs are not as good as many think.

      Pz-III Good before the war and a good chasis for later mods including StuG-III

      Pz-IV Good tank the back bone of the German Tank Korps. much like the American M4 and Soviet T34 it was good at a lot but had a upward limit on improvement. The KwK 40 gives it a punchers chance against nearly anything in the war. Late War the Stug-IV is the low cost version that may be just as good on the defensive.

      Pz-V (Tiger) An over reaction to the Char-Bis and Matilda (armor at least) but for what it cost vs what one got out of it probably a waste of resources. 2 Pz-IV that can upgrade to Kwk-40 would be a better investment in all likely hood.

      Pz-VI (Panther) Very good design, save for the final drive and transmission. Too costly and to hard to manufacture to really become the back bone of the Army which is why Stug’s and Pz-IV were made in such large numbers. In operation it is probably the best Tank Destroyer built but never really gets to act in the over all role of a Tank.

      Tiger -B (Bengal Tiger / Royal Tiger) All the problems of Tiger and Panther but more so. With little advantage over either.

      Hope that was not too long nor too boring.

      • Whether the actual 37mm gun was a copy or not, its ammunition was much, much more powerful than the PaK 36. Compare:

        37mm M3 – 870 g projectile at 884 m/s

        37mm PaK 36 – 680 g at 762 m/s

        That’s a very significant difference, and in fact made the M3 a viable light antitank weapon until the end of the war.

        “Your position is well thought out, I personally think the Kwk 40 43/48 – PaK 40 were the best over all guns of the war, it had better penetration than the 88 and was more efficient. That it was copied for service after the war by France says something.”

        These are different guns. The KwK 40 and KwK 42 are two different weapons. Also, while I’ve heard the idea repeated often, I have seen no direct evidence that the French FL-11 75mm gun was in any way based on the 7.5cm KwK 42; although seeing evidence wouldn’t surprise me given the French propensity postwar to adapt German wartime designs.

        The PaK 40 was, however, one of the best towed AT guns of the war.

        “After the American M1 76mm and 90mm (M36 Tank Destroyer) and Soviet 85mm and Kwk 40 /48 and 17pounder are in production NO medium tank is really safe, some can take the hit on the front, like the Pz-VI (a VERY heavy Medium) and the American Jumbo and to a lesser extent the upgraded T34.”

        The Panzer IV was not a heavy medium. It weighed less and had less armor and firepower than either the M4 76mm or T-34/85. It was one of the oldest and worst tanks still in use towards the end of the war.

        “The decision to UP Armor and UP GUN the German next gen tanks (Pz V and Pz VI) has a lot of reasons, the good was that they were NOT going to win the war of production so maybe Better would beat More. The other main reason was political in nature (see Giant-ism in other Reich weapons)”

        You’re right about the giantism problem (see: Maus).

        “As to the soviet’s the 76mm gun was roughly equivalent to the M2 American 75mm and the 85mm was as anti-tank weapon not much better if at all to the American 76mm and not as good as the 90mm. as far as the 152mm and the substituted standard 122mm remember these are assault gun with VERY low rate of fire and Low magazine capacity. For most of what they did the US used the M4 (105) which while not a brutal was far more flexible.”

        The Soviet 76mm gun was still far superior to anything the Germans were fielding on AFVs during Barbarossa. The 85mm Soviet and 76mm M1 series guns were both very comparable, and both superior to the medium length 7.5cms in German service.

        The 122mm IS series were not assault guns, and their rate of fire was excellent for guns of that size, at between 4-6 rounds/minute. This was in fact comparable to how fast the Tiger II could fire its ponderous 8.8cm L/71 cannon.

        Now, the 152mm SU/ISU series were indeed assault guns, but they’d do a number on tanks, too. Note that the Germans had nothing similar fielded in comparable numbers.

        “The slow rise of the American AT guns was in great part due to the lack of a perceived NEED most German Tanks were PZ-IV and it was believed that the Pz-VI (Panther) was going to be like the Tiger a very limited resource. In this the US was both right and wrong, The Allies did face a fair number of Pz-VI but not all that many and later in the war when they fought M4’s dealt with them fairly well even M4 (75) (Arden’s offensive)”

        You mean the Panzer V Panther? You’re absolutely right about the 75mm and 76mm guns actually in practice faring pretty well against the Panthers; although that’s an extremely complicated subject involving not only engagement times, metallurgy, etc, but also tactics and organization.

        “In sumation, I agree that German tank designs are not as good as many think.”

        Particularly in an automotive respect.

        “Pz-VI (Panther) Very good design, save for the final drive and transmission. Too costly and to hard to manufacture to really become the back bone of the Army which is why Stug’s and Pz-IV were made in such large numbers. In operation it is probably the best Tank Destroyer built but never really gets to act in the over all role of a Tank.”

        Your assessments of the other tanks are on point, but I have to argue this one. There’s little about the design that’s admirable. The turret design is inefficient, the suspension is maddening, the automotive components are, as you say, awful, the traverse mechanism is atrocious, the roadwheel layout is pure insanity, the optics arrangement is poor (good gunner’s sight, decent commander’s cupola, everyone else is blind), the armor layout is inefficient and leaves the tank incredibly vulnerable (without skirts, the Panther can be taken out by 14.5mm AT rifles from the side), and the gun is not very appropriate for the task (it’s a good armor zapper, but not great for much else).

        So that leaves you with a tank that’s as heavy as a heavy tank (it was of a weight class with the much more heavily armored and armed Soviet IS), has good theoretical tactical mobility (in practice, less good), abysmal strategic mobility, armor that’s only good from one aspect and atrocious from other aspects, and it’s armed with a gun that’s equivalent to what British Shermans ten tonnes lighter were packing.

        Not a great tank!

        • Trey

          First you are quite correct I miss labeled Panther and tiger I must have been thinking about the order of their appearance not the correct names my error in my apologies. This also led to the confusion on what I said was a very heavy medium tank my meaning of was Panther. I am doing this on my phone and via voice so I will stop here and Monday or so pick up this very interesting conversation I will be in Dallas have a convention this weekend so have little chance too right an intelligible response hopefully without misconstruing in the Roman numerals next time.