Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Late WWII German VG1.5 or Volkssturmgewehr or "Peoples Assault Rifle"




These were manufactured by Gustloff-Werke in Suhl. They were produced strictly on order from the Gau of Thuringen (an administrative division of Nazi Germany in the state of Thuringia ) which is the district of the Suhl factory which manufactured them. The rifle was never officially sanctioned by the German Army and consequently will not have any acceptance proofs or markings.


The rifles were a late war development and designed along the same lines as the MP43 and MP44 series of rifles, they were intended to be an even cheaper and more simple method of supplying rifles to the home guards, especially in the Eastern part of Germany that was soon to be overrun by the Russians.

The rifles were made primarily with all stamped sheet metal parts and components that were welded together or pinned to prevent disassembly, all which minimized the use of the already depleted German manufacturing resources.


It functions on a blow-back operated basis, where the entire outside of the barrel jacket/receiver recoils. The 16 inch barrel has a fluted chamber to aid in extraction and it fires the short 7.92 mm Kurz cartridge, which is the same as the MP44 assault rifles. They rifle were finished with the late German phosphate type finish with the plain unfinished stock and forend.


There is no way of knowing the number of these manufactured, collectors estimates vary from a several hundred to several thousand. The fact that these rifles get auction hammer prices of $25,000 and up would lead one to believe that regardless of the number made the existing rifles are few.

A Forgotten Weapons video on this can be seen HERE.



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