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:
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:
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.
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…