A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 6: Assault Rifles [GUEST POST]

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:

DSC_1089 - Breda 1935 PG

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:

DSC_1100 DSC_1101

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:

DSC_1106 DSC_1107 DSC_1108

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!

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    What’s going on with the grip and the magazine on that bullpup?

    • Anonymoose

      They’re not at the same angle, so the mag goes in next to the grip.

    • Tritro29

      Single stack magazine, German ergonomics and overall self-induced pain at RHM to avoid going head to head with H&K over procurement. RheinMetall managed to get paid for this though. 2 million DM for the program.

      • iksnilol

        Umm, no? That isn’t a single stack magazine.

        • Tritro29

          That is a single stack magazine, you could compare it with the Sig 540 just above it. With the USGI style 30 round magazine. It was one of the biggest issues with the rifle. Even the 35 rounder from IWI isn’t as long.

  • Klaus

    I would love to find a pistol grip like the one on that G3 cut-a-way.

    • hkryan

      Karl Nill makes a nice wood pistol grip for the G3.

  • Oh wow, I’d never even heard of the RH-70.

  • Don Ward

    Bronze did a good job with this series.

  • VanDiemensLand

    That Galil though!!! <3

  • 11b

    Can we crowdfund a trip for Ian McCollum? I would absolutely love to see him go over 5 or 6 of the really obscure assault rifles in detail.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      throw money at his patreon account

  • some other joe

    The AR15-ized HK33, I mean G41, was intended to be a second line rifle supporting the Panzergrenadieren armed with the G11. I guess a two rifle army made some kind of sense.

  • Wally Moyer

    whats wrong with the HK-91?