Carbine Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner (Germany)

In October, Nazi Germany began to form Volkssturm militia units in October 1944. The new structure needed a huge amount of small arms, and it had to be delivered as soon as possible. To solve such problems, which were particularly complex, it was decided to develop special simplified samples. weapons. One of these rifles stayed in stories Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner.

All the leading German enterprises were involved in the creation of the most simple in production and cheap small arms for Volkssturm. In addition, on their own initiative, several other organizations proposed their own versions of such systems. In particular, without a corresponding order, Röchling'sche Eisen und Stahlwerke GmbH launched its project in the design bureau of which, at that time, was the engineer Augustus Koders. The designer and his colleagues already had a lot of experience in creating small arms, and now it should be used in the interests of the newly created militia.

General view of the carbine Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner. Photo

The initiative project received a fairly simple name indicating the designer, developer company and weapon class. A promising product called Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner - "The Coenders of the Volkssturm Coders-Rehling system." Looking ahead, it should be noted that this name has remained working. The original carbine was not put into service, and therefore did not receive an official army designation.

The main task of the new project was to maximize the simplification of the design of the weapon, allowing it to reduce the cost of its production, as well as simplify operation. In general, A. Koenders and his colleagues managed to get similar results. In the Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner project, both already well-known and popular ideas were used, as well as original solutions aimed at simplifying the design. According to some information, in the course of the further development of the project, it was possible to create a fairly simple self-loading carbine.

Left view. Photo

The requirement to simplify the design eliminated the possibility of using any automation. As a result, the basic version of the Volkshturmcarabinera was supposed to have only manual recharging. The weapon should have been equipped with a regular magazine for several rounds and accessories, which ensure the proper convenience of the shooter. The carabiner was supposed to use the standard German rifle cartridge 7,62x57 mm, which made it possible to eliminate problems with the supply of the militia.

A characteristic feature of the carbine A. Koenders, also characteristic of other weapons for the Volkssturm, was the use of very simple technologies. Most of the parts had to be made by sheet metal punching. Screw, riveted and welded joints were used. At the same time, however, cast parts that were comparatively difficult to manufacture were also present.

"Historical" snapshot. Perhaps the photo was taken during the test. Photo

One of the main elements of the carbine was the receiver of a simplified design. Its upper part was formed by a semi-cylindrical one, which was abruptly transformed from behind into a rectangular block. The bottom box element inside the box had a rectangular cross section. In front of the receiver, on its right side, there was an L-shaped groove, necessary for controlling the recharge. In the center of the box, with a slight shift backwards, there was a hollow of a complex shape, in which the cartridge ejection window was located.

The front end of the box was designed to install the trunk housing. The latter was performed in the form of a long, open cylinder of small diameter. In the right upper part of such a cylinder there was a longitudinal groove necessary for assembling a weapon. About two-thirds of the casing, located in front of a wooden box, had a perforation. The front end of the casing was proposed to close the removable lid. It was made in the form of a small glass with a hole for the trunk in the bottom. In its place the lid was held by a screw.

The muzzle of the barrel, the casing and front sight. Photo

Manual reloading rifles are traditionally equipped with a sliding bolt. A. Koenders decided to abandon this principle and use a moving barrel. His carbine was supposed to have a rifled barrel with a length of 609 mm (77 gauges) that did not attach to other units. The muzzle of the trunk was proposed to be carried out through the opening of the front cover of the casing. At some distance from the last on the trunk protrusions were located to interact with the return spring. The spring, respectively, was placed between the protrusions of the barrel and the front cover of the casing.

Near the breech breech on the right, at some distance from the chamber, the designer placed a straight control handle. With it, the shooter could move the barrel, reloading. To prepare the carbine for a new shot, it was necessary to turn the knob up and then move it forward. After this, it was proposed to return the barrel back and lock it by turning around its axis. At the same time, the base of the handle turned out to be an additional combat support. How other means of locking were arranged is unknown.

Receiver and trunk housing close-up. Photo

The use of a rolling barrel has greatly simplified the design of the internal units of the receiver. It is for this reason that the Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner product was not equipped with a traditional shutter. Instead of a moving part, characteristic of other weapons, inside the receiver there was a rigidly fixed unit with holes for the drummer and extractor, as well as a set of guides. In preparation for the shot, the barrel pressed against this part and was fixed in place by the military stops.

The weapon received a maximally simple double-action firing mechanism that ensured consistent production of several shots. Cocking and descending sequentially carried out directly when you press the trigger. This design USM allowed to do without a separate fuse.

The barrel in the rearmost position and locked. Photo

For Volkssturm, it was proposed to equip a carabiner with an integral box magazine on 5 with cartridges 7,92x57 mm. The store was located directly under the chamber, and a significant part of it stood outside the box. For this reason, before the trigger hook there was a relatively large metal casing. Equipping the store was offered using standard clips when the barrel was displaced. The holder itself was placed in the corresponding grooves of the plate-gate, after which the cartridges could be pushed into the magazine. Ammunition was fed to the dismounting line with a spring. The empty sleeve was removed and thrown through the upper window of the receiver.

A. Koenders proposed the original design of sights. At the rear of the receiver, on its rectangular unit, there should have been two small supports, between which was placed a drum with side discs. On the last plates were fixed-pillars with holes, designed for shooting at different distances. Turning the drum around the axis, the shooter could fire at distances up to 800 m. Immediately behind the front cover of the barrel casing, the annular base of the front sight was welded. The very fly in the form of a small pin was placed on the turntable. The latter was located inside the base, and it could be rotated around the vertical axis, changing the position of the front sight.

The barrel is forward, you can see the store feeder. Photo

All accessories "Volkshsturmkarabinera" had to be made exclusively of wood. It was proposed to use a rifle box with a shortened front part protruding beyond the bounds of the receiver and supporting the rear element of the barrel casing. The neck of such a lodge had a hole for one of the mounting screws. Behind her was the butt of a traditional triangular shape with a metal back plate. For greater convenience of firing, the carbine received a wooden pistol grip mounted under the neck of the butt.

The Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner product had a simple design and a simple working principle. However, an unusual method of recharging was used. For re-shot should turn the barrel around the longitudinal axis and feed it forward, compressing the return spring. When this was carried out removing the liner with its subsequent release. Returning to the place with the help of the muscular strength of the arrow and the energy of the spring, the barrel was put on the next cartridge and pressed against the bolt, after which it was locked by turning. After the shot, the shooter had to repeat this operation.

The cartridge is placed on the line of filing, the barrel is approaching it. Photo

According to reports, at the end of 1944 of the year or at the beginning of 1945, Röchling'sche Eisen und Stahlwerke manufactured at least one or two experienced carbines with manual reloading. In addition, some sources mention the existence of a self-loading modification of this weapon. The only picture of a simplified carbine, which had serious external and, probably, internal differences from the base product, is known. It could be captured second version of the weapon, which had the possibility of self-preparation for the shot.

Such a carbine as a whole repeated the design of the base Volkssturmkarabiner, but had some noticeable differences. The largest difference was the shorter barrel length, which also led to a reduction in the dimensions of the perforated casing. In addition, sights were reworked. The front sight was pushed back behind the perforation, and the mechanical sight changed its design. Finally, the casing of the barrel lost a longitudinal slot, and the trunk was equipped with a new handle. Now it was placed in the immediate vicinity of the chamber. General layout, means of ammunition, accessories, etc. did not change.

Mechanical sight. Photo

There is reason to believe that the barrel and the associated aggregates were altered in connection with the use of automation. Given the design features of the base carbine, it can be assumed that the self-loading modification should have used the principle of the bore roll. During the shot, the barrel interacting with the bullet had to unlock and move forward, compressing the return spring. Then the spring could brake the barrel and send it back, at the same time doing the ramming of a new cartridge. A new trigger pull would have led to the next shot.

At the turn of 1944 and 1945, Röchling'sche Eisen und Stahlwerke introduced experienced rifles to army specialists. Those conducted the necessary tests in the conditions of the landfill, and returned the product to the manufacturer. The carbine was considered unfit for use in the militia units. The exact reasons for this decision, however, have not been preserved. Apparently, the desire to simplify and reduce the price of weapons led to the emergence of certain design flaws or difficulties in its operation.

Self-loading variant of Coenders-Rehling carbine. Photo

According to various sources, several prototypes of the new weapon were produced in two versions. The refusal of a potential customer led to a halt in production, and new carbines were no longer produced. Subsequently, several units of Volkssturmkarabiner, which were kept at the manufacturing company, fell into the hands of the experts of the winning countries. Most likely, they were studied, but, for obvious reasons, for all their originality, such weapons were of no interest to foreign gunsmiths.

Two samples of the Coenders-Rehling carbine have survived to our time. One of them is in the Springfield Armory Collection Museum. Unfortunately, this carbine over the past decades has managed to lose its trigger mechanism. The second prototype in the complete set, corresponding to the first version of the project, appeared several years ago at one of the American auctions. To get a unique sample, a foreign collector had to pay 28750 US dollars.

By the end of 1944, German enterprises had time to develop several projects of the most simple and cheap weapons for Volkssturm units. Some samples of this type were put into service and put into series, while others — such as the Augustus Coenders carbines — did not even cope with the tests. This result of the Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner project once again confirmed the well-known truth: not all simple, interesting and unusual ideas can be put to practice.

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  1. +7
    19 October 2017 10: 21
    I continue to wonder at the diversity and versatility of hand-held small arms. How many unknown, experimental samples are still being revealed to VO readers. Thank.
    1. +1
      19 October 2017 11: 12
      Yes, the designs of small arms are very interesting, especially their evolution and the struggle of various engineering solutions and schools.
  2. +4
    19 October 2017 11: 54
    Such a result of the Coenders-Röchling Volkssturmkarabiner project once again confirmed the well-known truth: not all simple, interesting and unusual ideas can reach practical application.
    Well, why? Here’s the “pull-barrel” idea put into practice
  3. +3
    19 October 2017 11: 59
    Thank you, Cyril!
    You continue to please the little-known weapon-technical exotic.
    The mood after your articles just rises ...
    Sorry for everything else (I'm not talking about topwar), this very mood does not improve at all.
    Sincerely, colleagues ..
  4. +3
    19 October 2017 12: 41
    I apologize, but the phrase in the article puzzled me: "standard German rifle cartridge 7,62x57 mm). Isn't it 7,92 mm. The caliber of German rifles?
    1. AUL
      19 October 2017 13: 53
      Cyril, not Coenders, but Conders! “E” after “o” is not a sounding letter, but a sign of the longitude of the previous vowel (I studied German at school, I still remember that).
      1. +1
        19 October 2017 23: 16
        Quote from AUL
        Cyril, not Coenders, but Conders!
        Although I’m not Cyril, I’ll answer sorry. Correctly all the same, Coenders. Totally - August Coenders. Pronounced approximately - August Coendagres (where, gr - burry German p). Here is his photo by the way, but somehow offended the old man, and the gunsmith was not one of the last.
    2. +1
      19 October 2017 14: 03

      Of course 7.92, because they had no other cartridge.
      1. 0
        23 July 2018 08: 57
        In addition to the rifle 7,92 * 57, the Germans still had an assault rifle cartridge 7,92 * 33. Under this cartridge it was possible to make a carbine for militias.
    3. +1
      19 October 2017 21: 36
      For Germans, the caliber was determined by the distance not between the fields, but between the rifling, so instead of 7,62 appears 7,92 mm
      1. +3
        19 October 2017 23: 08
        Quote: Aviator_
        For Germans, the caliber was determined by the distance not between the fields, but between the rifling, so instead of 7,62 appears 7,92 mm

        why then the bullets have a different diameter, the German 8,2mm versus the Soviet 7,7mm?
    4. +1
      20 October 2017 14: 04
      Quote: revnagan
      Isn't it 7,92 mm. Caliber of German rifles?

      Moreover, further in the text the store is under 5 rounds of 7,92x57. Apparently, an eyelid.
  5. +4
    19 October 2017 17: 45
    The strange decision to try to make an ersatz rifle must have been in mountains of trophy or its previous systems, it’s understandable when they tried to stamp machine guns, but an ersatz rifle in the style of a kulak sawn-off shotgun is stupid
    1. +2
      20 October 2017 10: 09
      Right. For 46 years of production of the Mauser model of 1898, everything had to be adjusted. They could remove the store maximum, make it single-shot, shorten the barrel, simplify the sight, make the butt of the English type without a steel butt plate and that’s all. Further simplification is no longer possible.
      1. +1
        20 October 2017 10: 25
        Quote: Lgankhi
        True, then of course it is true, but with a rifle the most expensive is a barrel-bolt pair. Everything else is mere trifles. Simplification, cheapening of stocks, fittings, sights, etc. it’s saving on matches. And here is such a prospect - to throw out one of the most expensive nodes (shutter).
        1. +2
          20 October 2017 10: 39
          Well, judging by the fact that this model was not adopted, and did not copy later, this is a stillborn project. No wonder now almost all hunting carbines are made on the basis of the Mauser bolt, this is a classic for longitudinally sliding rifles of manual loading. That is, the Mauser shutter has stood the test of time and is recognized as the best in the world.
          1. +1
            20 October 2017 14: 11
            Quote: Lgankhi
            Well, judging by the fact that this model was not adopted, and did not copy later, this is a stillborn project.
            Without any doubt! But only with the caveat that this particular project. And the system, albeit very limited, still finds application in the arms business.
            Quote: Lgankhi
            No wonder now almost all hunting carbines are made on the basis of the Mauser bolt
            I would not be so categorical. It’s just that many people know about him, he is constantly heard, but he’s not in almost all, and not even half. For example, the shutter groups of the system: Vetterli, Lee-Metford, Mannlicher, Mosin, Schmidt-Rubin, Ruger, Weatherby. And these are those that are not uncommon, and so there are a dozen or three systems that can be counted.
            Quote: Lgankhi
            That is, the Mauser shutter has stood the test of time and is recognized as the best in the world.
            Of course he passed the tests and of course is very worthy, but here is the best one ... Again, debatable. The same Weatherby is a very worthy design, Mannlicher in terms of ergonomics will give odds to anyone, and in the north, Mosin is beyond competition. Therefore, to say that this is the best. Although personally I still have Mauser winked
            1. +2
              21 October 2017 00: 43
              Manliher’s shutter is more complicated and more expensive, it’s a direct action. No wonder Austria-Hungary in 1916 abandoned the production of its Manlicher and began to produce Mausers, as they were cheaper and easier. Although of course, the direct-action shutter for that time was a leap forward, convenient and made it possible to significantly simplify reloading and increase the rate of fire. In fact, only a gas pipe with a piston had to be added to Manlihera, and the self-loading rifle was ready. As for Mosin, he has a useless fuse, we can say that he does not exist at all. The best fuse in the British Lee-Anfield, although Mauser is also not bad, but in the cocked position he sticks up and can be accidentally rotated.
              1. +2
                22 October 2017 00: 02
                Quote: Lgankhi
                Manliher’s shutter is more complicated and more expensive, it’s a direct action. No wonder Austria-Hungary in 1916 abandoned the production of its Manlicher and began to produce Mausers, as they were cheaper and easier.
                I absolutely agree, for a military rifle, yes, it fits poorly, but for a hunting rifle very, you see, is not a gift. And we talked about hunting weapons.
                Quote: Lgankhi
                As for Mosin, he has a useless fuse, we can say that he does not exist at all.
                Well, why not, of course there is. Another thing is that it is extremely clumsy and it’s especially not convenient for them to operate, but if the shutter is in good condition and has not been “peeled” in order to reduce effort, then it’s completely reliable. Look at the northern hunters (both ours and not ours, especially Finns) all the time and walk near Mosin. Ours as freedom appeared, complained with “foreign cars” and returned to Mosin, because they haven’t come up with anything more reliable for much minus temperatures, and by accuracy, by 98, it will not yield.
                Quote: Lgankhi
                although Mauser is also not bad, but in the cocked position he sticks up and can be accidentally rotated
                And this is so specially done to block the sighting line. Attached, and the flag signals you - not ready for fire!
                And it’s not about particulars, but that there are many systems besides Mauser. Good and different.
                PS: if there are a lot of mistakes - call me, I write on the tablet - it’s wildly not convenient! And he himself, according to his will, changes his words, a sort of rascal!
        2. 0
          20 October 2017 23: 52
          Quote: otto meer
          a rifle’s most expensive is a barrel-bolt pair ... And then there’s such a prospect - to throw one of the most expensive units (bolt).

          But all the same, the shutter functions need to be provided, for example, combat protrusions need to be done to lock the barrel channel. And all this must be fixed inside the receiver and on the barrel. Is it easy? It’s easier to plan a separate part - the shutter.
          1. +1
            22 October 2017 00: 13
            Quote: Svateev
            It’s easier to plan a separate part - the shutter.
            No, never easier. Shutter is the most difficult thing in a bolt. A lot of details (well, comparatively of course), complex shape, made of good steel, a lot of milling work, a lot of waste. In short - it’s difficult. And to cut a breech board, even with emphasis, is much easier and cheaper. Again, steel, any little Chernyashka will do. And the milling machine is no qualification. And even stamping altogether, but consider it for nothing, although the quality of the weapon will certainly be awful. But for Volkssturm then!
            1. 0
              27 October 2017 14: 05
              Quote: otto meer
              No, never easier. Shutter is the most difficult thing in a bolt. A lot of details (well, comparatively of course), complex shape, made of good steel, a lot of milling work, a lot of waste. In short - it’s difficult.

              But have you heard about shutters with vertical and not horizontal movement (in artillery they are called wedge)? it’s no more complicated than this design, and they have been using them for more than 150 years in shooting.
              Well, this project is an attempt to remake the Berdanka on a new technical level, it did not work, because it is more difficult ...
    2. +1
      20 October 2017 14: 12
      Quote: polpot
      probably in the mountains lay mountains of trophy or their previous systems

      The production of its 98K system continued at full speed, while simplifying - so, by the end of the war, the box became plywood. Apparently, the French wonders of technology for Volksturmoviks were not available for development. Or were afraid to get lost in cartridges of different calibers. It turns out that mountains of systems already lay in Soviet warehouses.
      1. +2
        20 October 2017 23: 31
        The Wehrmacht used trophy weapons of all kinds since the beginning of the war and the idea of ​​simplifying and reducing the cost of production was more acceptable here but the PPP and the Walls had to be riveted in principle and tried to do it, and this is an attempt to use a huge number of Mauser cartridges chasing in warehouses an interesting version Volkssturm soldiers didn’t have a single-shot rifle against the Soviet and Allied infantry. They still had no chance of a second shot.
        1. 0
          22 October 2017 20: 26
          Quote: polpot
          not tangled in calibers

          In your opinion, the Wehrmacht did not pay attention to all sorts of little things, such as punctuation?
  6. +2
    20 October 2017 23: 38
    August Coenders carbines - did not even cope with the tests

    Not surprising. The gloomy Teutonic genius: to get rid of the movable shutter made the barrel movable! And what was the accuracy of the shooting? Was he an anti-fascist, perhaps, this Coenders?
    1. 0
      27 October 2017 14: 07
      Quote: Svateev
      Was he an anti-fascist, perhaps, this Coenders?

      good we won’t know this ...

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