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:

    DSC_0904

    Here’s an interesting one, a High Standard Gas Operated Carbine, mislabeled as a Winchester carbine prototype:

    DSC_1033

    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:

    DSC_1090

    Krieghoff’s FG-42 prototype:

    DSC_1092

    A prototype G43, built in 7.92×33 and using 30-round StG magazines:

    DSC_1094

    A gaggle of Sturmgewehrs, MKb.42(W), MKb.42(H), MP.43, and StG.44:

    DSC_1095

    Moving on, an early series FAL, in .280 British, with an FAL cutaway below:

    DSC_1096

    Above, a cutaway G3, below a rare G.41, HK’s abortive attempt to follow its success with the HK91:

    DSC_1097

    One of the most promising German rifle designs of World War II, the StG.45:

    DSC_1099

    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:

    DSC_1102

    The SIG 510-3 in 7.62x39mm was submitted for trials in Finland, but was eventually abandoned:

    DSC_1104

    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:

    DSC_1110

    We’ll end with something American, the aborted XM8:

    DSC_1146

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]om.


    Advertisement