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German Assault Rifles

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Here we will talk about the MP/StG. 44

mp44.jpg
The MP44 Assault Rifle

MP/StG. 44
Caliber: 7.92x33 mm (7.92mm Kurz)
Action: Gas operated, tilting bolt
Overall length: 940 mm
Barrel length: 419 mm
Weigth: 5.22 kg
Rate of fire: 500 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

This weapon, known as a worlds first assault rifle, was developed in s' Germany during the World War Two. Initial development took place under the designation of MKb.42 - MachinenKarabine, 1942. The experimental MKb's were developed by two german companies, Karl Walther (MKb.42(W)) and C.G.Haenel (MKb.42(H)). Both guns were intended as a replacement for submachine guns, bolt action rifles and, partly, light machineguns for front troops. Both guns were designed to fire intermediate (between rifle and pistol) cartridge, and have effective range of 600 meters or so. The 7.92mm Kurz cartridge, developed by Polte company, propelled 8.1 g (125 grains) bullet to rougly 680 meters per second. The StG.44 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. The receiver and trigger housing with pistol grip are made from steel stampings. Trigger housing with pistol grip is hinged to the receiver and folds town for disassembly. Gas drive utilises long piston stroke, and bolt is tipped down to lock into the receiver. Gun is fired from the closed bolt (unlike the early Mkb.42(H) which fired from the open bolt). Also, MP-43 and further versions all were hammer-fired, while MKb.42(H) was striker-fired. Charging handle is attached to the gas piston rod, ejection port has a dust cover. Recoil spring is located inside the wooden butt. Handguard were made of stamping. By the modern standards, the StG.44 was too heavy, it was not too comfortable to fire from prone positions, the butt attachment was not too strong and could be easily damaged in hands-to-hands combat, but it was the FIRST gun of its class, and it was more effective than SMG.

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