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Old June 8, 2013, 11:56 AM   #1
barnbwt
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LGS Had a Gewehr 43 Today

No, I didn't buy a rifle I know little about for 3500$

Still, a very neat piece of machinery. It caught my eye because I didn't recognize it amongst a flock of SMLEs and other milsurps. The internals were quite interesting; I'd expected it to be similar in operation to an SVT since they were contemporaries, but it has two flaps in the bolt the pop out the sides, kind of like how the rollers lock the breech in an MG42 (only a bolt carrier, not the barrel's movement unlocks them). Apparently a gas-trap at the muzzle actuates the carrier, so no taps are drilled in the barrel.

I was taken aback somewhat by the crude finish on the exterior of the receiver casting; very crudely formed contours and a finish that looks like cast iron. I don't know if this was typical for these rifles, but most other German designs I've seen from the era seemed to have better quality. Perhaps this rifle was a late-war model? The inside, of course, was a much finer production, though I did notice the bolt tended to bind on the return if it was rode forward (the bolt carrier pressing the locking flaps out the sides against the receiver walls). The detachable 10rnd magazine was pretty neat; a short square box that rocked into place smoothly and snugly.

Very cool piece of history, and I'm glad I dropped by to window shop today. This shop is good about having interesting items come through with regularity

TCB
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Old June 8, 2013, 12:17 PM   #2
viciouskitty
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My buddy bought one off a guy for 800 a year ago. A very interesting firearm and pretty rare overall. If it has a gas trap at the end of the barrel couldn't it be a gehwehr 41 instead? I thought the 43 had a standard gas piston system I could be wrong. My buddies gun turned out to need some work and he lacks the patience to deal with it. He has not really done nothing to it but when we shot it the mag would fall out repeatedly. I just think it needs a new mag catch, but its not my gun so the poor thing has seen no use for as long as he has had it.
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Old June 8, 2013, 03:25 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
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If it had a gas trap at the muzzle it was likely a Gew 41 and was probably underpriced at 3500.
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Old June 8, 2013, 07:25 PM   #4
James K
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Mike is correct; the G.43 has no muzzle attachment, not even a bayonet lug. It operates with a medium stroke piston, like the FAL or SVT.

The receiver and carrier of the G.43 are forgings not castings; the outside was not finish machined where it wasn't necessary in order to save time.

A study of the G.41(W), the predecessor of the G.43, and of the G.43 itself makes one appreciate even more the work of John Garand. Of course, Garand had a lot more time to work out the M1 design and did not have to work in the middle of a war.

Jim
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:29 PM   #5
kilimanjaro
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What is impressive is the ability of the Germans to design an assault rifle, bring it into production, and replace with a new design 2 years later, and again with the Stg44, during wartime, while undergoing massive air assault and suffering from logistical and transport problems. Lucky they didn't get the plans to the FN49 when they almost nabbed them in 1940.
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Old June 19, 2013, 06:52 AM   #6
Winchester_73
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Quote:
What is impressive is the ability of the Germans to design an assault rifle, bring it into production, and replace with a new design 2 years later, and again with the Stg44
IMO, the G41 and G43 were semi automatic rifles, so they are very different from the STG44. The G41 and G43 fired full power rifle catridges, and the magazines were 10ds. The G41 actually had a fixed magazine. The MP43 (machine pistol 1943) aka Sturmgewehr 44 (which translates literally into "assault rifle" or "storm rifle" of 1944) was actually a brand new concept. Believe it or not, it was Hitler who coined the term "assault rifle" that many of us debate with others today. IMO, anything that does not have select fire capability cannot be an "assault rifle."

Although one could say that the STG 44 was intended to replace the G43, its design was a marked departure from the G43. The STG fired 8mm Mauser short cartridges, which fired a 125gr bullet at 2200 fps. This is close to a common 7.62x39 load of 123gr bullet at 2400 fps. In addition, the STG 44 had select fire capability. The design also featured 30 rd magazines as standard.

As far as the value of a G41 or G43, aside from condition, value would depend on the maker, and if all the pieces match each other. I never handled a G41, but I know the G43 had many serialed parts. I would imagine the G41 would have SN'd parts too since it was a new design for the Germans when it came out. Because of that, there would be impetus for them to know which parts are original on a given example.
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Old June 19, 2013, 12:19 PM   #7
James K
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Serial numbering parts was simply standard practice in German military small arms manufacturing. It was originally needed because parts were hand fitted before hardening and finishing and the final assemblers had to get the original fitted parts back in the right gun. By WWII, German (and American) tooling was precise enough that hand fitting was not necessary, but military regulations called for it and regulations had to be followed. So German factory workers spent untold man hours gauging, trying, and stamping serial numbers and inspection markings on every tiny part, in order to comply with outdated rules. I don't say such silliness lost them the war, but it sure didn't help them any.

Jim
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Old June 19, 2013, 01:43 PM   #8
Winchester_73
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Serial numbering parts was simply standard practice in German military small arms manufacturing. It was originally needed because parts were hand fitted before hardening and finishing and the final assemblers had to get the original fitted parts back in the right gun. By WWII, German (and American) tooling was precise enough that hand fitting was not necessary, but military regulations called for it and regulations had to be followed. So German factory workers spent untold man hours gauging, trying, and stamping serial numbers and inspection markings on every tiny part, in order to comply with outdated rules. I don't say such silliness lost them the war, but it sure didn't help them any.
Good points. When I mentioned about them wanting those parts numbered, I was coming from the angle of since it was a new rifle, numbering the parts on a finished G41 rifle would have to help with trouble shooting, or do you think that it wouldn't matter at all? Just curious.
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