The Buying and Selling of Stg44 / MP44 / MP43 Rifles In Rebel-held Syria [Lots of Photos]

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A reader of TFB who resides in rebel held Syria recently emailed us saying …

You must know that I do not reside in the U.S.; I am in Syria, amidst the sweeping turmoil. And, surprisingly enough, a couple of years past, a multitude of StG’s surfaced up in Syria. I do believe that you have been aware of such news. Now, due to my extensive knowledge of firearms and weapons in general, I was quite shocked to find them being sold for low prices! Obviously, I am aware of their rarity and actual pricing, so I have been forced ever since on getting my hands on a number of them to, I thought, find a way and sell them in market price.

He went on to say …

I am in a rebel-controlled region, and unfortunately, the regime rarely ceases its bombardments upon us, not to mention the grueling conflicts on nearby fronts. Other than that, it is marginally safe. The 7.92×33mm Kurz is very rare here, rendering them useless right now.

That is why the guns are cheap and readily available. They have run out of ammunition for them.

I explained to him the impossibility of importing such rifles from Syria. Even as parts kits they would be worth a lot of money, but I cannot even imagine the difficulties in trying to legally import these into the USA from the middle of an active warzone. It is such a shame these guns are stuck in a region where they cannot be used, despite collectors around the world willing to pay top-dollar for the parts, and an even greater shame that the only way these guns could ever wind up in the West is as parts not complete guns.

The reader sent us the following photos …

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • xebat

    Give it to me ! GIVE IT TO ME ! JETZT SOFORT ! HER DAMIT !

  • Martin M

    Just amazing to have that sort of history around.

    Tell you what. Bury a bunch of them and we’ll figure something out when this all blows over.

    • Herr Wolf

      Still the best after all of these years!

    • Ryan Meyer

      Ditto.

  • Tritro29

    Low prices? The gun commands over 5000 in the black market for rather rough samples. Also most of them have been fired to death either by the Czechs or the Yugoslavs that sold them to Syria. For the best preserved samples you have to track down former DDR stocks that are scattered all around the world.

    Outstanding story nonetheless. See tweeter account Green Lemon for such things sold on the black market in Syria, Libya and Iraq.

    • iksnilol

      Yeah, but not too long ago they foudn a brand new unused stash. AKA not used by neither Yugos or Czechs,

      • micmac80

        They are Yugoslav stash , but off course they were sold to Syria in preserved arsenal stock not beaten up up parts kit.

      • Tritro29

        There are no “brand new unused” STG’s, since the ones the Syrian Arab Republic got were mostly used Czech or Yugo samples. The fact they were found only recently doesn’t mean the guns were in pristine condition.

  • alex waits

    Bury them.

  • Joe Moore

    Parts kits. My God, please let him buy all of these, and import them as parts kits. And I hope that he stays safe out there.

    • Andrew Miller

      Part sets would still have to have the barrel chopped up, and even then…
      “Approved”.

    • Scott P

      Syria is on the proscribed country list. That means no firearms, parts, etc. allowed from there.

      So it is a moot point.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    I fired 5 rounds of this in northern Norway. Semi auto, of course, as full auto is not allowed. Beauty, little recoil.

    • valorius

      A 10+ lb rifle will do that for ya.

      • iksnilol

        Oh no, I’m sure it cost more than 10 pounds.

  • felix

    I’m more surprised that people can read tfb in Syria honestly

    • Joseph Goins

      ^Win.

    • imbecile

      Well, he writes English well enough that he probably lived in the west, he is in the Rebel area that Assad bombs, i.e. most likely ISIS controlled. And he buys and sells guns in the ISIS area. So I’d say it is a pretty good guess that he is one of the western mercenaries there and in middle management for ISIS, and if he manages to sell those, you know who the money will be funding.

      • Tassiebush

        That’s an oversimplification. There are far more factions than ISIS and Assad. A lot of rebel groups are in conflict with both ISIS and Assad. Depending on who you listen to the Assad regime is more heavily focused on Free Syrian army and other groups within and around Allepo. It’s also worth mentioning that Syrians were pretty well educated on average and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to find plenty of English speaking Syrian’s.

        • valorius

          this is why a revolution in the US should be avoided at all costs. There would be so many groups going at each other’s throats, only God knows how it would all sort itself out in the end.

          • Tassiebush

            When I think of violent revolutions and their outcomes I really struggle to think of any in living memory that resulted in a country I’d want to live in.

          • n0truscotsman

            There are none IMO. What replaces the old is often worse.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah totally! It generally requires a functional, politically engaged ordered society to start with that is then rebuilt. I think that’s the reason the American revolution was successful. You basically had a revolution espousing contemporary British enlightenment democratic thinking. It was pretty much fundamental to the culture of the American people before and after.

          • Dan

            There would be groups upon groups fighting. Fighting with in states then regions then more of a country wide. We should just agree now. All gun owners on the same side.

          • valorius

            What if those gun owners are black panthers? Or sharia supporting muslims? Or red headed drunken Irishmen? 😉

          • Tassiebush

            Well as a man with a ginger beard who likes a drink and had an ethnically irish grandmother (who liked a drink way too much) I reckon I could get along fine with black panthers and sharia islamist’s as long as they don’t mind a drink too and can handle all of my jokes about them… Unfortunately I’m on the wrong continent though!

        • Herr Wolf

          Another country torn apart to satisfy Israel’s desire for lebensraum

        • noamsaying

          I read a while back where there is not much of a real Syrian army left. Even Assads side consists of a lot of factions.

          • Tassiebush

            Yes it seems to be a lot of factions allied or operating separately. Then there’s the Iranian and Hezbollah supporters of Assad. I also saw some doco a while ago that showed interviewed a militia commander who’d switched too the regime. Seems a lot of moderate groups suffered a hostile takeover from ISIS too.
            It’s a terrible shame that a political solution wasn’t reached when the crisis was in early stages.

      • valorius

        He’s probably CIA.

        • Herr Wolf

          Or mossad- they have their stinking hands all over the Syrian mess

      • yodamiles

        Dude, there’re so many rebel groups with different goals in Syria. Kurd want their own fair share of land, Turkmen rebel aid by Turkey, ISIS, free Syrian army, and ten thousand other subgroups. To say there’re only Assad and ISIS is kinda stupid.

    • Black Dots

      They are probably trying to find out what they’re being shot at with.

    • Halz

      Syria had one of the best education and health programs in the Middle East prior to the turmoil. It also had a military that placed a bit more emphasis on small infantry tactics as opposed to its neighboring Arab countries. So combine these two factors together and you’ll realize there are quite a few Syrians out there who have an interest in firearms and some who may have stumbled on this site.

  • Ark

    Take a trip up to Pakistan and there is 8mm Kurz all over the place, or so I’ve heard. It’s mostly produced by guys in garages with bullet molds, hammers, punches, and homemade dies. Let’s just say it’s not match-grade, but it’s oddly common.

    Just on a personal note, I’m not shedding a tear over the inability to import these guns. They’re Nazi guns, and were they to come to the US, they’d be bid up and bought by the kind of people who collect Nazi stuff. As far as I’m concerned they should be melted down with the rest of the Nazi swag. There are plenty in museums to satisfy the “historical value” of preserving a genocidal regime’s weaponry.

    • iksnilol

      So people who collect nazi stuff are nazis now ?

      Wow.

      • Ark

        I like milsurp, I get milsurp, I get that the history is interesting. But it’s not a history I’d want anywhere in my house. There are plenty of other guns in the world.

        • iksnilol

          Do you allow Russian or Yugo guns into your house as well?

          • n0truscotsman

            some pretty poor things were done by forces who carried lee-enfields too.

          • iksnilol

            And I’m pretty sure ISIS has used American firearms as well.

        • Scott P

          That is fine you have the right to not purchase these items but you DON’T have the right to tell people how to spend their money or support bans making you a tyrant.

          Also you are a hypocrite because I bet if it was a gun you liked that the government banned you would be howling at how unfair it is that you can’t get it.

    • valorius

      Well that was quite the rant. o.O

  • disqus_XKZUmMH5iK

    If some FG42’s show up, Im on the first plane over there.

    • RSG

      I don’t know why, but your comment made me let out an unexpected laugh. Sure, the rifles can’t get exported out of the country, or imported into any other. But at least you’ll be in the lap of luxury, and completely safe while you try. Right? RIGHT?!?!?

      • disqus_XKZUmMH5iK

        The last FG42 I saw at auction went for $350,000. It would be very tempting.

        • noob

          you could have fun shooting it, but if it is not registered after 1986 there is no way to register it now

          • disqus_XKZUmMH5iK

            Shoot the magazines alone are as scarce as moon rocks. Id just bury it, wait and pray for an amnesty.

          • Jake

            hell yeah.. wed smuggle that a crate of em in somehow

      • valorius

        I SERIOUSLY doubt Syria is any more dangerous than Chicago or Camden.

        • SP mclaughlin

          Yea but Camden doesn’t have artillery or Russian air support.

          • valorius

            Neither place is anywhere you want to be. Even in my own city, Killadelphia, a black man has a higher chance of being killed violently than a US troop in Iraq did during the height of the Insurgency there.

  • Marko Tesla

    Chances are good that these are from Croatian stockpiles, and this is the second war these weapons have been smuggled into

  • Alex Ripard

    If he wants to, a number of EU countries can probably import them. I believe my country, Malta can import those guns fully and unmodified

    • Oronzi

      I guess, czech republic, slovakia or slovenia could do it. Those are rather gun friendly states within the Eu. Non EU, switzerland.

      • Scott P

        Luxembourg as well.

    • Scott P

      Yea America has the worst import laws when it comes to other countries with similar gun laws to ours. They say it is for “gun control” but it is really for protectionism for our domestic arms industry cause they can’t compete like cowards so they hide behind government bans. Never heard a domestic manufacturer come out against these bans and why would they? Less competition in their favor!! Every president since Reagan adds more import restrictions so very soon we will only be stuck with domestic-only firearms.

      What is even worse is most American gun owners are unaware of these import bans cause it doesn’t affect “muh AR-15”, “muh Glock”, “muh 1911”, etc. so they don’t care. Just another death by 1000 cuts to our 2nd Amendment routinely ignored.

      • Bob

        When the 1989 Import Ban was enacted by President Bush’s executive order. Remington jumped up and down supporting it like a kid on crack. They loved it since kept FN out of the market.

  • Lance

    Just like he said lack of ammo. Much rather have a AKM-47.

  • Sig 751

    Tell him to contact infos@lagardere.ch in Switzerland. He buys anything semi and fully automatic. His shop is like Ali Babas cave. The Swiss have the right to buy anything and they have the cash.

    • valorius

      this.

    • Tritro29

      Problem is that There’s an arms embargo against Syria. The best thing for now is that these weapons are hidden until the thing dies out. You can’t export weapons out of Syria or Turkey and in Jordan you risk 20 years of jail for possession. Just be nice, wait for it to die out and don’t try and smuggle these weapons out of Syria. There’s a big effing chance the Syrians have complete all numbers of these and it will bite the back of any unlucky chap that gets caught with one in the future.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I find it funny that an arms embargo works with items traveling both ways when the goal is to reduce the number of weapons in a country.

        • Tritro29

          Yes, that’s the best part of this clusterf***.

          But on more serious matter, the goal of embargoes isn’t usually to reduce the number of weapons in the country, but to stop the flow of armament from reaching the regime or side “we” don’t like in the fight. Look at Yemen and Syria. Then look at Iraq.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Have you postal tubed your senator and congressman yet demanding NFA repeal?

    Better yet, they’re out campaigning right now. Find where they’ll be and get them to anwser to your face.

    • valorius

      you have a better chance of becoming the first black pope than having NFA repealed.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Why did we go to the moon?

        • valorius

          Because it’s made of cheese and really yummy?

          • Audie Bakerson

            Because it was hard.

          • valorius

            So we should send my penis to the moon?

        • TJbrena

          So Special Forces could blow up a Soviet moonbase?

      • Edeco

        Yeah, but it’s a philosophical thing. We demand it and things will go better.

        • valorius

          I’m not saying i’m opposed to the idea. I’m just a realist is all.

          • Edeco

            I’m a romantic idealist, I’d say the mundane follows the sublime. Strictly speaking the dichotomy is an illusion, but if it seems there’s a difference, one should keep one’s eye on the apparent sublime. Free your mind and your butt will follow.*

            *yeah, I’m so full of hot air atm I can barely stand myself :S

  • CS

    NRA:
    Are you listening? Please help us restore our laws and allow the importation of firearms in the way our great grandparents once knew. No NFA. No GCA. No limitations Please!

    • valorius

      step one is voting trump on nov. 8

      • CS

        Step one should have been Ted Cruz.

        • 40mmCattleDog

          HAHAHA ted cruz, thats rich.

        • DataMatters

          TC was never going to take on the machine.

        • Spencerhut

          Ted is the past, catch up to present and just vote for Trump or you will get Hillary and we can all kiss our guns goodbye.

  • wetcorps

    Man, with or without STGs I hope you make it.

  • Scott P

    We could not get those guns even in parts anyway. Syria is on the proscribed country list for firearms, ammo, etc.

    Like others stated already he can sell them to European countries since they don’t have our stupid import laws.

  • Al

    They’re from the so called Syrian stash of 5000 Stg44’s discovered in 2012. All are former East German used, probably sold to Syria by the DDR in the 60’s. The mag stamped 1001 is East German manufacture, the electro pencil numbering and restamping serial numbers is typical DDR.

  • Bob

    On one hand, I think of the fact that these pieces of history are basically going to be treated as junk and I get depressed at the thought, but on the other I consider the country they’re in and how the people are living there such that they were using these things for war and suddenly the perspective changes…

  • Joshua Knott

    Poor dude , that’s like 90 something thousand dollars right there.

  • LazyReader

    God dammit, it took a war of terrible human attrition for collectors to notice a prized beauty.

  • JoelC

    He could probably import the magazines without much problem and recoup his costs.

  • Pistolero

    Gonna have to bury them brotha, and wait till the storm blows over. Then uncover your fortune.

  • Franivelius

    OMG… this is crazy

  • Ryan Meyer

    Wow. Very cool article. Think of all the things those guns have been through. From the War to Syria.

  • skusmc

    I know no politics. But.

    You know what angers me the most about this? U.S. anti gun politicians are barring the importation of these firearms FROM areas that they are likely to be used to massacre other people, TO the U.S. where they would likely spend forever under glass, never to hurt another soul.

    Not that said politicians actually care about people being hurt from their anti gun policies.

    • Iggy

      That argument doesn’t work for this instance though, because then you could then sell 1 Stg 44, with no available ammunition to the US for cost of X (quite possibly x-dozen)- AK’s for which there is plenty of ammunition to keep the massacres going and thus prolong the conflict. Heck, even if you just bought AK’s directly it would still generate more than enough profit to keep the conflict going.

      • skusmc

        Maybe. The thing is, you have to factor in what kind of positive economic opportunities that would bring to the region, which always seems to help mitigate regional conflict. Companies being set up in Syria to export arms would be employing people who would otherwise be pretty desperate.

        And IF we did allow import of assembled full auto AKs in general, I would bet most American buyers would pay more than an average Syrian could, so you’d probably see a net export of AKs from Syria too, and the same economic effects.

        It’s all speculative, but I do know it’s hypocrisy for the “if we could just save one life!” folks to keep actual weapons of war in an actual war zone.

        • Iggy

          It wouldn’t work, just switch guns, for minerals and you’d get Congo, plenty of positive economic opportunity there, but it’s easier just to pay some workers a pittance (or just flat out enslave them) and sell your product to middle men and you get the cash to fund your war. Anything that funnels more money into the hands of groups doing the fighting will prolong the fighting. And they’d just offload their AK’s that had been shot to crap and keep the good ones.
          Also if they knew there were profits to be made there’s nothing stopping say China selling AKs to the US via Syrian middlemen. And if you solve that problem by simply allowing importation of Chinese AKs, well you’d just get your AK from China because there isn’t the added expense of getting it out of a warzone.
          I will give you this it is an interesting idea and it would be kinda hilarious if it did work: ‘What if we held a war, but everyone bought our s**t’ , but if gun buybacks don’t work, I doubt war-zone buy ups would either.

  • Buddy_Bizarre

    It’s difficult to see the pics clearly… thru the tears in my eyes.

    In a just world, these would be imported into the US to be pampered & treasured by collectors.

  • Anthony

    I bet his in idlib its the biggest free syrian army rebel held city ive seen tokarevs dshks to tanks being sold on facebook over there like its iPhones and mustangs

  • Tritro29

    One thing though, i see a lot of Waffen Amt tags and a lot of penciling but only one part has actual contractor code Fxo- Haenel. (and i think another has one CE- Sauer& Sohn)

  • Spencerhut

    Syria is burning because the lady running for POTUS let the rebels loose when the current POTUS with her help toppled Libya. Among other moronic middle east decisions they made.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Not sure on the laws but the magazines are fairly expensive here. Nowhere near what the guns cost but it may be easier to export the magazines and make money off of those. This is if you have a bunch of spare magazines or access to them.

  • Phillip Cooper

    This is a damn crying shame.

  • DIR911911 .

    ok , whose got some vacation days saved up?

  • Seth Hill

    Hmmm…. Guess it is time to take a trip. First I need to locate another country that I can send them too to be stockpiled.

  • bruce Cambell

    I’m surprised that none of the international arms dealers working in that zone have not scooped them up in trade for a few crates of AK’s. perhaps not enough $ involved.

    • Scott P

      Cause who would their customers be?

      The only people interested in StG-44’s are gun collectors and enthusiasts in First World countries where importing these guns would be banned anyway. No current fighting force wants an obsolescent gun firing a practically dead caliber with no support for it.

  • UCSPanther

    These STGs are in the same position as the Steyr M1895s in Eastern Europe after WWII, when 8x56R ammunition became very rare for them.

  • Lee Enfield

    If Clinton and the Democrats don’t have to follow laws, then neither does this guy.

    I encourage him to ignore all laws and get it here by any manner, and I truly mean it.
    Get them to the Mexican border and tape it to one of the thousands violating the border every day.

    When you get it into the US,give me a jingle.

  • Scott P

    People kill people. It is a fact of life. World peace is a pipe dream. We have been fighting in wars for thousands of years before we were here and they will continue for thousands after we are gone.

    Violence is a trait of humanity so you might as well get used to it.