The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make learning about obscure modern small arms my hobby, I am continually surprised by the new and unique weapons I uncover both on the Internet and in real-life excursions to some of the aforementioned collections.
TFB reader Bronezhilet recently visited the Bundeswehr’s (German Army) Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Germany, and shared with TFB the photos he took of the small arms in the collection there. Over the course of a few installments, we’ll be taking a look at groups of these photos. For the moment, we won’t be taking an in-depth look, but I encourage our readers to check out these weapons for themselves!
We previously looked at some of the great selfloading rifles and SMGs at the Koblenz museum, but today we’re going to shift gears and take a gander at some of the rare assault rifles on display in their collection, starting with the rare MKb.42(W), Walther’s unsuccessful competitor to the MKb.42(H), the latter of which went on to become the StG.44:
Here’s an interesting one, a High Standard Gas Operated Carbine, mislabeled as a Winchester carbine prototype:
Here’s a Breda Model 1935 PG, an early automatic rifle in 6.5×52 Carcano:
The Vollmet M35/III Machine Carbine in 7.75×40.1 Geco:
Krieghoff’s FG-42 prototype:
A prototype G43, built in 7.92×33 and using 30-round StG magazines:
A gaggle of Sturmgewehrs, MKb.42(W), MKb.42(H), MP.43, and StG.44:
Moving on, an early series FAL, in .280 British, with an FAL cutaway below:
Above, a cutaway G3, below a rare G.41, HK’s abortive attempt to follow its success with the HK91:
One of the most promising German rifle designs of World War II, the StG.45:
These StG.45 innards should look pretty familiar to any PTR-91, G3, or MP5 owners in the audience:
A rare rifle, the FFV-890, a Swedish trials version of the Galil. It competed against the FN FNC, and lost:
The SIG 510-3 in 7.62x39mm was submitted for trials in Finland, but was eventually abandoned:
The extremely obscure Rheinmetall RH-70 5.56mm bullpup, designed to replace the G3 in the 1970s. It never did:
The transparent instructional MP7A1 that we saw in a previous post sits below an opaque G36 instructional cutaway:
We’ll end with something American, the aborted XM8:
That’s all for now! Next time, we’ll take a look at the pistols held in the Koblenz collection!