StG44 file photo [6373]

Sturmgewehr 44 Rifle

Country of OriginGermany
TypeRifle
Caliber7.920 mm
Capacity30 rounds
Length940.000 mm
Barrel Length419.000 mm
Weight5.100 kg
Rate of Fire500 rounds/min
Range300 m
Muzzle Velocity685 m/s

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles were the resolution of the German need to provide infantrymen heavier firepower from their rifles, which before StG44 were not effective in close range combat. Prior to this design, heavy fire power from infantry units were typically in the form of machine gun crews; StG44 assault rifles were designed to resolve this issue as well, providing individual soldiers with greater fire power without needing to wait for machine gun crews to arrive and set up.

The first assault rifles made to satisfy this need were the 11,833 prototype Mkb 42(H) machine carbines made by the company Haenel (headed by the famed Hugo Schmeisser). They were field tested in Nov 1942 with general satisfaction. However, Adolf Hitler decided that resources must not be dedicated to development of new types of rifles in order to prevent complication of ammunition logistics. Since this decision also prevented the further development of Mkb 42(H) machine carbines, the work was disguised under the new name MP43 machine pistol, which gave the false sense that it was merely a project to upgrade an existing submachine gun. Hitler eventually learned of this fact and stopped the project, but in Mar 1943 allowed the project to continue due to the favorable reviews thus far. In Apr 1944, the MP43 project was renamed MP44 by per Hitler's order. In Jul 1944, the project was renamed to its final Sturmgewehr 44 name. These weapons were mostly referred to as StG44 assault rifles, though at times the prior names of Mkb 42(H), MP43, or MP44 might be used, though because the differences were relatively minor, they could all be regarded as the same weapon design.

The final design produced assault rifles that had a shorter range than contemporary rifles due to German research that most of the combat that took place in the European War took place at distances less than 300 meters. With the sacrifice of range, however, close range firepower that an infantryman could wield was greatly improved. Post-war American and British evaluation criticized them as being too heavy and too unwieldy, but one could also argue that this viewpoint was incorrect, for that the StG44 assault rifles began as a replacement for light machine guns that could also serve as a rifle, as opposed to the western path of development that aimed to enhance the infantry rifle with greater firepower.

The first Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles were deployed to the Eastern Front, where they were well-liked as weapons that were able to match the greater rate of fire coming from Russian submachine guns, and with greater accuracy. Despite the success, however, the 425,977 assault rifles built through 1945 came too late to make a significant difference in the European War.

After WW2, Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles remained in use with nations and rebel forces friendly with the Soviet Union, such as East Germany, Yugoslavia, and various forces in the Middle East and Africa.

The StG44 assault rifle design was considered revolutionary. Even though the design did not particularly evolve to any significant advances, the concept of assault rifles certainly lived on and became the standard weapons of modern infantrymen. The AK-47 and the M16 assault rifles, for example, hailed no heritage from StG44 design directly, but the StG44 assault rifles undoubtedly changed the thinking of the standard issue infantry rifles.

Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase

Photographs

German Luftwaffe Field Marshal Albert Kesselring testing a MP43 assault rifle, date unknownGerman MG42 machine gun crew in Russia, Jan 1944; Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifleGerman soldier surveying the field, Russia, summer 1944; note Model 24 grenades and Sturmgewehr 44 rifleFallen German Panzerschreck rocket launcher crew, 1944-1945
See all 10 photographs of Sturmgewehr 44 Rifle



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Nov 2009 09:39:47 PM

What came first the rifle or the round? In the 1930's Germany started research to develop a new medium-power cartridge that was lighter,then the full power 7.92mm and easier to fire and control on full-automatic. This led to the development and design of the (Pistolenpatrone 7.92mm)short cartridge. And in turn led to the design of the StG 44/ MP-43 Assult Rifles.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Nov 2009 08:04:00 AM

The MP 44 and MP 43 were developed to fire the Kurz (short) 7.92mm round. These rifles, were the first of what are today termed as assault rifles able to fire semi or full automatic. Initial supplies went to the Eastern Front,Over 400,000 rifles were produced before the end of the war. In 1944 Hitler changed his opposition to the new weapon, and bestowed the more accurate name of Sturmgewehr 44 (StG 44). Their were few if any changes to the design. Different accessories were produced, one was the Vampir night-scope and the strangest was the Krummlauf curved barrel, that could fire around corners, issued to armoured vehicle crews, to clear enemy tank-killing squads from climbing on the vehicle. After World War II large numbers of captured weapons, were used by several nations, among them were Czechoslovakia,East Germany,Poland, Yugoslav Army and the U.S.S.R. over the years,many have been used during the African wars,probably from Soviet stocks of captured weapons.
3. Anonymous says:
14 Jan 2010 01:46:48 PM

i have an mp44 all orig saw cut in a wooden box?, anyone interested
4. Anonymous says:
16 Mar 2010 07:47:33 AM

Yeah, I'm interested, send me some photos and any other info you may have on it.
5. a guy says:
2 Jan 2011 07:15:32 PM

the stg44 (or mp 44, earler name) wan not the first assault rifle was the russian federov and was invented in 1911 it wasnt used often due to the arisakia 6.5x50sr they used only 7.56 ammo and forgot about it that is why everyone thinks the stg44 is the first assault rifle
6. Anonymous says:
12 Jul 2011 10:03:14 AM

The first assault rifle was not russian by design, as it was Finnish.
7. Anonymous says:
16 Jul 2011 09:55:23 AM

I have dismantled one of this rifle myself. If you are a person with gifted mechanical comprehension, this weapon is several times more advance than it's copy or predecessor - the AK47. The only reason why the Soviets did not copy it's means of construction is to save work and money. When samples of these rifles arrived in the hands of the OSS intel people during WW2, Americans were astound for it never came to their gifted minds that a gas port recoiling system for an assault rifle can be placed above the barrel. Their Garands and BAR were performing well, but for a big consequence and that is weight. Even after the war, the STG44 was not closely reproduced. Instead, only the placement of the gas system was adopted more specifically by the M16, FAL, and the AK47. This futuristic weapon by the Germans were substantially politicized by conspiring powers in order to make sure that the technology can be fully benefited not just by a generation but by more to come. The mold stamping system and polymers which was unknown then in AMerica and England was finally adopted before the end of this century by independent arms maker like Heckler and Koch. STG44 would have long been seen in many armies of the world had it not been controlled in order to prolong the existing arms conspiring businesses that controls the world we live in today.
8. Anonymous says:
14 Dec 2011 03:02:09 AM

I love these advanced German technology!what the U.S. and Russia claim to be theirs is not true since an operation paperclip and Operation Osoaviakhim did exist since late 1945.
9. Anonymous says:
22 Nov 2012 12:33:31 PM

Name of general in charge of project to develop the stg 44?
10. FelixG91 says:
30 Jun 2015 02:35:35 PM

Federov Avtomat- IS NOT the first assault rifle, it is not an assault rifle at all, it does not fire an intermediate cartridge.

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Sturmgewehr 44 Rifle Photo Gallery
German Luftwaffe Field Marshal Albert Kesselring testing a MP43 assault rifle, date unknown
See all 10 photographs of Sturmgewehr 44 Rifle




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