Military Review

The story of the first assault rifle Sturmgewehr Stg.44


Declare that it is weapon is a real German "Schmeisser", and not the Heinrich Vollmer submachine gun MP 38 / 40, which we are often shown in films about the Great Patriotic War. It was this rifle that became the prototype of the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle and the not less famous FN FAL, the Belgian assault rifle. It was already on it that there was a regular place for an optical sight, a grenade launcher and other mounted devices. Thanks to this weapon, the designations “intermediate cartridge” and “assault rifle” appeared in modern military terminology. All these statements are true!

History The creation of this weapon began even before World War II, since the development of the 30x7.92-mm “intermediate cartridge” (33mm Kurz) in the 7.92-s of the last century. This cartridge was medium in power between the pistol cartridge (9x19mm "parabellum") and the rifle cartridge (7,92x57mm).

This cartridge was developed on the initiative of the German arms firm Polte (Polte), and not by order of the German military. In 1942, the German arms management company HWaA, Walter and Hönel, was given an order to develop weapons for this cartridge.

As a result, samples of automatic weapons were created, which were called MaschinenKarabiner (from German - automatic carbine). The sample that was created by Hänel was MKb.42 (H), and the sample by Walter was Mkb.42 (W), respectively.

Following the test, it was decided to develop the design, which was developed by the company Henel. The development was conducted under the leadership of the legendary German gunsmith Hugo Schmeisser. Significant transformations were made in the design, for example, the design of the trigger was taken from the model of the company Walter.

Further work on the development of the automatic carbine was already under the designation MP 43 (MaschinenPistole, from German - submachine gun). The change in the name of the development was due to the fact that Hitler was against the mass production of automatic weapons, referring to the fact that then millions of cartridges for rifles in warehouses would remain unused. Did not change the bad attitude of Hitler to the new models of automatic weapons and the demonstration of the capabilities of the automatic carbine. The further development of this weapon was carried out under the personal control of the German Armed Forces Minister Albert Speer, secretly from the Führer.

And yet the latest weapons were urgently needed in Germany. The firepower of the Wehrmacht infantry by the middle of the war is already significantly less than the firepower of the infantry of the Soviet army, which is armed mainly with a Shpagin submachine gun. This fact required either the production of a large number of bulky and inconvenient light machine guns, or the launch of serial production of automatic carbines, in which the effective range of fire was up to 500 m against 150 m from PCA. This also led to a change in the attitude of Hitler and the whole top of the Third Reich to automatic weapons. Already at the beginning of the 44 year begins mass production of a new type of small arms, which received the name MP 44. These weapons were primarily armed with elite units of the Wehrmacht. At the same time, the MP 44 MP is being upgraded: “Pistolen-Part.43m. E ”- the cartridge of the 1943 model has already become very similar to the current automatic cartridge, in the pool of which there was a steel core.

In October, the sample 44 of the year received a designation chosen personally by Hitler, StG.44 (Sturmgewehr.44, from German - an assault rifle of the model 1944 of the year). The designation "assault rifle" is so rooted to this type of small arms that at present all samples of small arms that have similar indicators are called assault rifles.

StG.44 (Sturmgewehr.44, from German - assault rifle sample 1944 of the year)

The automatic carbine Sturmgewehr.44 was an individual small arms, which is built on the principle of automatic top-drainage of a part of the powder gases driving the gas piston. Locking the barrel was made by tilting the bolt down over the ledge in the receiver. The receiver was made of extruded steel sheet. The trigger mechanism with a pistol grip joined the receiver and folded forward and down with incomplete disassembly. The butt was made of wood, was attached to the receiver and was removed during disassembly. Inside the stock was located return spring.

The trigger mechanism of the rifle allowed automatic and single fire. StG.44 had a sector sight, an independent translator of fire modes and a fuse, the shutter handle was located on the left and when firing it moved together with the bolt frame. To attach a rifle grenade launcher, a thread was made on the muzzle of the barrel. In addition, Stg. 44 could be equipped with a special curvilinear device, which was intended for firing from trenches, tanks or other shelters.

Sturmgewehr.44 had the following TTX
Weapon caliber - 7,92 mm.
Rifle length - 940 mm.
Barrel length - 419 mm.
Mass Sturmgewehr.44 without 4,1 kg cartridges, or kg 5,22 with a full magazine on 30 cartridges.
Rate of shooting about 500 in / min.
The capacity of the stores was on 15, 20 and 30 cartridges.
The initial bullet velocity is about 650 m / s.

Advantages of Sturmgewehr.44. The rifle effectively shoots bursts at a distance of up to 300 m and single shots at a distance of up to 600 m. This is more than two times higher than that of PCA. For snipers was built rifle MP-43 / 1, which allowed to conduct aimed fire to 800 meters. A fourfold telescopic sight or a ZG.1229 Vampire infrared sight could be mounted on a milled mount. When firing recoil was almost 2 times lower than the carbine Mauser-98K. This increased the accuracy and comfort of shooting.

Its flaws. First, it is a big mass. The rifle was almost a kilo heavier than the Mauser-98K carbine. Wooden butt often broke during unarmed combat. The flame, which escaped from the barrel when firing, very much unmasked the shooter. A long magazine and high sights when shooting a prone forced the shooter to raise his head high, this significantly increased his profile. In order to reduce the height of the weapon, stores were made with a capacity of 15 or 20 cartridges.

In total, during World War II, more than 400 thousands of automatic rifles Stg.44, MP43, MP 44 were manufactured.

The machine gun was an expensive trophy not only from the Soviet troops, but also from the allies. There is documentary evidence of the use of these weapons by soldiers of the Soviet Army during the assault on Berlin.

At the end of the war, Sturmgewehr.44 assault rifles were used by the GDR police and the Czechoslovak army. In Yugoslavia, the rifles held out on Airborne Troops until the 70s of the last century.

In addition, the assault rifle, which Hugo Schmeiser created, had a great effect on the post-war development of small arms. Thus, the design of the Belgian FN FAL and Kalashnikov assault rifle were, if not copied, then made according to a scheme that is very similar to Stg.44. It is also very similar to the Sturmgewehr.44 modern state automatic M4 carbine.

The American television channel Military, which made the 10 rating of the best rifles of the last century, put the Sturmgewehr.44 assault rifle in the honorable 9 rank.

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  1. mitrich
    mitrich 29 May 2011 17: 23
    There are differences from the AK-47, but not too fundamental, as stated in the video. Kalashnikov seems to have fought at the front, where, it seems, he got acquainted with "Sturmgever". Both products are painfully similar.
    1. Joker
      Joker 30 May 2011 11: 07
      According to the automation scheme, the "twin" of the "Sturmgever" is the M-16.

      There is a similar topic, read the comments and summarize the facts before writing.

      For info, if the cartridge is a 43-year-old model, this means that in the 43rd it was already adopted. Based on this, the idea of ​​weapons under this cartridge appeared earlier, that is, a concept. For example, in addition to Kalashnikov, several other systems were tested.

      The earliest weapon under an intermediate cartridge is Fedorov's assault rifle.

      Both products are painfully similar.

      - then take it higher, Hammer is a development of the GAZ-69 idea.
      And what, four wheels, four-wheel drive, steering wheel ..

      Kalashnikov seems to have fought at the front, where, it seems, he got acquainted with "Sturmgever".

      - just a brilliant saying, I won’t even comment.
  2. mitrich
    mitrich 30 May 2011 17: 32
    Buddy Joker,
    Justify where I am wrong. Otherwise, I am only familiar with the AK of almost all modifications, and I did not have to hold "Sturmgever" in my hands because of my youth. You're not the grandson of a respected designer to be interested, are you?
  3. Maksar
    Maksar 30 May 2011 19: 54
    The only thing in common between AK, STG and M-16 is the principle of operation of the gas venting mechanism, while the USM is completely different in all cases. The number of parts is different, and the production technology, and, accordingly, the price and reliability. As the Joker correctly noted, the external similarity of all-terrain vehicles does not mean the identity of the design and characteristics. AK has no equal in the world in terms of simplicity, reliability and price until now. Therefore, it is stupid to raise the topic of whom Kalashnikov had spied on the design of the machine again. On the contrary, Kalashnikov "inspired" a huge number of designers and modernizers.
  4. Escander
    Escander 30 May 2011 20: 39
    Sturmgever fought, current is of little use. Purely in German - too complicated and expensive.
    And Kalashnikov did not invent the lisaped. His genius is that he successfully “put together” all the most successful developments available at that time.
    1. borkovn
      borkovn 20 June 2011 21: 17
      Escander, a big plus. I think as you.
  5. sancho
    sancho 27 June 2011 12: 19
    Really right - comrade - Escander! The question is that the STG44 was simply not yet fully developed. As, at the time, the MP38 was finalized to the MP40, for this all tests are needed, including combat ones. The idea itself was new, breakthrough. The Germans need to do justice! In terms of weapons, they walked several steps ahead. And, if it were not for their radical fascism and had not made a bunch of tactical and political mistakes, perhaps now would have been a completely different time. Maybe already used to fly on skeet? :)))
    1. kesa1111
      kesa1111 23 October 2011 03: 28
      Hugo Schmeiser realized the need for an intermediate cartridge of 7,92 x 33 (between rifle and pistol) and an automatic weapon based on it. In war, it is always a time pressure, but it was made soundly in German.
  6. Fireman
    Fireman 11 November 2011 00: 32
    Since this car will be copied Kalashnikov AK-47! It’s true, you don’t believe ... the USSR and the USA copied all modern weapons from Germany! Like a Chinese copy now ... but there is nothing wrong with it ... progressing and improving solutions sometimes.
  7. Alex
    Alex 17 November 2011 17: 02
    The similarity between AK and Stg. 44 is only external. In automation, only the use of a long-stroke gas engine is common. Locking the shutter in AK by turning, in Stg. 44 skewed. Take a look at the receiver - nothing to do.
    In M-16 (M-4), powder gases act directly on the shutter. Hence its advantage in the form of a low weight of moving parts, which positively affects the accuracy, and hence the main disadvantage is the sensitivity to pollution.
    The Germans began working on an intermediate cartridge a little earlier. Before the war, the 5,45 mm caliber cartridge was developed in the USSR, but with the beginning of the war everything stopped. Immediately after the Germans appeared an intermediate cartridge and weapons for it, the USSR urgently developed its 7,62x39 cartridge of the 1943 model. In 1944, the first Sudaev rifle appeared, but failed. Then others developed their models, including senior sergeant Kalashnikov. By the way, he fought as a tank commander until the fall of 1941, when he was seriously wounded. In 1942, while on vacation, he developed a submachine gun, after which he was sent to serve at a test site and he had forever connected his fate with the construction of weapons. In 1946, a competition was held, as a result of which in 1949 the armament of the 1947 AK was adopted.
    And for the first time an intermediate cartridge of 6,5 mm caliber was developed in 1915 by V. Fedorov. But, realizing that it was impossible to introduce a new cartridge during the war, he remade his machine gun under a Japanese rifle cartridge of the same caliber. Fedorov assault rifles and machine guns were in service with the Red Army until 1925, when it was decided to unify the caliber of 7,62 for all small arms. Fedorov for the first time in the world created a unified system of automatic weapons: automatic, manual tank and aircraft machine guns.
    Regarding copy-borrowing. Gunsmiths all over the world use successful solutions of colleagues in their samples. For example, the Israelis used AK automatic equipment in their assault rifle, while the Uzi submachine gun made a very good decision by the Czech (he forgot his name, it seems Holek) in the form of a shutter partially covering the barrel.
    Low accuracy of firing AK caused by the large weight of the moving parts and their long travel. But this is one of the reasons for its highest reliability - it simply grinds the sand that has got into the receiver into dust. When AK was adopted, they chose simplicity and reliability rather than accuracy.
  8. bistrov.
    bistrov. 24 January 2012 14: 19
    I really do not like it when some representatives of the corrupt corps of journalists try to belittle the qualities of the Russian people! Moreover, in 1916, the gunsmith V.G. Fedorov (now a true Russian surname, you can't confuse it with a Jew, no offense will be said!) Created a machine gun! not only for an intermediate, but also a small-caliber cartridge, 6,5 mm from the "Arisaka" rifle, almost 50 years ahead of the appearance of the first samples of automatic small-caliber weapons! But the Japanese were forced to reduce the caliber and charge of the cartridge due to their thin physique, they simply could not withstand the recoil of a powerful rifle cartridge, and Fedorov deliberately went for it. His machine gun was in service with the Russian army, but after the revolution, due to the inertia of the military leadership, it was removed from service. And I will say that the automatic carbine "Sturmgever" is similar to the Soviet ABC-36 rifle in the principle of operation of a gas engine. Almost simultaneously with the Sgv-44, Simonov created his famous SKS-45, which also managed to fight, which he also copied, especially since the principle of locking the shutter is the same - with a downward slope. I would like to tell you about some curiosity, some of the "Sturmgevers" were equipped with a special attachment for shooting from around the corner! and a special prismatic sight! As soon as the design idea was not refined!
  9. vylvyn
    vylvyn 6 March 2012 12: 07
    The beginning of the article - "They declare that this particular weapon is a real German" Schmeiser ", and not the MP 38/40 submachine gun developed by Heinrich Vollmer, which is often shown to us in films about the Great Patriotic War. It was this rifle that became the prototype of the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle and no less the famous FN FAL, the Belgian assault rifle. It was on it that already had a regular place for a telescopic sight, grenade launcher and other attachments. Thanks to this weapon, the designations "intermediate cartridge" and "assault rifle" appeared in modern military terminology. All these statements are pure true! "

    The author of the article is so competent in this field that I just don’t understand why his name was not indicated in order to know TOGO who will eclipse Kalashnikov with his talents and we will finally breathe peacefully throughout the country.
    PSThe author of the article in the description of the Schmeiser body kit forgot to add a laser target designator and a tactical flashlight, because the Germans came up with all this in 1943. And the grenade launcher, yes, this is true, the Germans too. They also ate cook in Australia.
  10. Alexdrug
    Alexdrug 26 March 2012 18: 07
    Sturmgever is the progenitor of ALL assault rifles. And our AK and American M were created under the influence of this masterpiece of the German arms industry ..... So this is number 1 !!!
  11. Vadim_loop
    Vadim_loop 22 October 2021 14: 29
    Asked whether or not he copied Kalashnikov Sturmgewehr Stg. 44
    easily responds to a photo on which two machines are disassembled.
    1. Vadim_loop
      Vadim_loop 22 October 2021 14: 29