View Full Version : The new GSG StG44 Rifle

November 1, 2012, 10:15 AM
During SHOT Show 2012 I ran across the then prototype GSG StG44 .22LR rifle. Here's the video from SHOT.


I placed my order as soon as distributors started taking orders. The rifle arrived last week and so far it looks and feels very similar to the prototype I handled at SHOT, however I did notice a few minor changes to the rifle. The charging handle how has a return spring and the wood buttstock isn't glossed like the prototype but instead is simply stained. There are a few other minor changes but I won't go into all of them.

The rifle is made of cast metal and stampings. It has the heft and feel of a real StG44, it does not feel like a .22LR rifle at all. The new StG44 a step above the quality of their MP5 clones, IMHO. This rifle is so hefty it tips the scales at 9.7lbs!


The first rifles to come into the country will ship in a wooden crate. What I was told at SHOT what that the crates would not come with the rifle after the first shipment. I don't know if this has changed.

The wooden crate is nicely made and goes great with the rifle.


Inside the crate you will find the rifle stored with the buttstock removed and all of the components wrapped in plastic. The rifle and stock are held securely in place with wooden slots that are screwed down and have spray foam padding them.


Once you get the rifle out of the crate it's a simple matter of sliding the stock onto the receiver and inserting the supplied take down pin into its proper hole. At that point the rifle is ready for action.


The detail is stunning on the rifle. All of the reinforcement ribs and rivets that exist on the original WWII sheet metal rifle are replicated in exacting detail on the GSG rifle. I've had the pleasure of inspecting a real WWII era StG44 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeZpr9v_cHw) and I can say, this is a VERY close facsimile.


Field stripping the GSG rifle is accomplished the same way as you would field strip an original rifle. You push the take down pin out, remove the buttstock, swing the pistol grip/trigger group down and pull the bolt and carrier along with the associated springs and small parts out of the rear.


November 1, 2012, 10:16 AM
The bolt and carrier are very similar to a .22 conversion kit for an AR-15. It's a self contained unit that looks fairly well built. All of the components of the bolt and carrier are made of metal.


The rifle includes a single 24 round polymer magazine that also seems fairly well built. It inserts and locks into place just like the original WWII era rifle.


The rifle features cast metal sights which again are very close in design to the original WWII era sights. The rear sight is slightly different in that it features a RPK style windage adjustment system. You can dial in windage by turning the small wheel on the left side of the sights which then moves the rear blade either right or left. I suspect this was done because the front sight is cast solid and is not windage adjustable.


The rifles have hit their target price retail of $599 which as of right now includes the wooden crate at no extra charge. If you shop around it should be possible to find these at $550 or less.

Stay tuned for a full shooting review to be posted on my YouTube channel: http://www.military-arms.com

November 1, 2012, 10:25 AM
Sweet. I just (yesterday) picked up a GSG 5, used. It seems like it will be a fun shooter. The StG44 looks great. Waiting for the range report!

November 1, 2012, 10:33 AM
Thank you for the report. I knew some day someone would see this as a great project.

Would you post a full profile picture?



November 11, 2012, 11:41 AM
I got mine a week ago, and shot it for the first time, yesterday. It really is a beautiful rifle. Beauty is, as beauty does, right?
The elevation markings on the rear sight appear to be based on historical fidelity, rather than useability. To get the rifle on paper at 20 yards, I had to set the rear sight for 700 yards. It's not really an issue, other than the sight stands very high on the gun already, and appears sort of exposed when set for high elevation. The sight also had to be cranked way to the left to get rounds centered on target.

Sight-in consumed 30 rounds of Federal and CCI ammo, and the gun ran fine.
The baptism by fire was a steel-plate match, shot at distances of 20-60 feet. Not really accuracy intensive, as the smallest targets were 8" plates.
I started having functional issues, almost from the first match stage. Each of the six courses of fire required a minimum of 30 rounds, and in the first four CoFs, I don't know that I was able to fire even twenty rounds in a row without a malfunction. I'll provide one example: After completing a CoF, on the unload command I removed the mag and a live round fell out of the magwell. I retracted the bolt, and found a spent case in the port, and a live round in the chamber! It went like this for about 100 rounds.

Then, I got through the last two CoFs - 50 rounds - without a single functional issue, so maybe it was the much cussed/discussed "break-in" in action?

One problem that existed throughout the day, was the gun's inability to extract live rounds. I suspect the gun would run OK without an extractor, as some blowback rimfires do, but when it came time to unload the gun, I was picking-out the live round with my fingernail.

The gun is very fun to shoot. It's heavy - well over nine pounds - but the weight is between the hands, so it doesn't feel heavy or clunky. The thumb safety works "backwards", rotated by the thumb (right-handers) through a fairly long arc, up and to to the rear for "fire". Applying the safety is an easy, down/forward rotation.

The trigger is OK. It has fairly long travel, but it's not heavy, rough, or with any stacking or staging.

I am so accustomed to shooting with ghost ring/peep style rear sights, that the Stg sights took some real getting used to; a vee notch and pyramid front, but they were very usable for quick shooting at close range.
Claw-style scope mounts for HK rifles will apparently mount on the Stg without issues, but those that I've seen mount the scope much too high to get any sort of cheek weld while shooting. A mount that I saw in Shotgun News appears to locate the scope rail close to the top of the receiver, but I haven't seen any pics of that rail mounted on anything.

I'll strip/clean/inspect the gun today, and see if there's anything obviously wrong with the extractor. I certainly don't fancy sending the gun back to Germany for repair; does ATI have a U.S. repair facility?

4V50 Gary
November 11, 2012, 02:16 PM
MJ1 - how'd you get the paddle release on your HK?

November 13, 2012, 05:42 AM
how'd you get the paddle release on your HK?

There are a few companies that will do it. I think Arizona Gun works is one, it came to mind right away. Otherwise if you're careful you can do it yourself, but if you do it wrong you've made a machine gun by ATF thought process.

As for the STG .22 I've been itching to get one bad. I saw one at an ace hardware a month or so ago and quickly informed people to check it out. I was really impressed with it and the wooden locker it comes in is just plain cool... I'm jealous.

November 15, 2012, 02:00 PM
I like that they ditched their clumsy block bolt assembly in favor of what looks to be a modified Ciener bolt.

But I want to say that 9lbs 7oz is not 9.7lbs :)

A pound is 16 ounces. So 7 ounces would be approximately .4 pounds.

November 16, 2012, 10:43 AM
I just acquired one of these and will be shooting it for the first time this coming Wednesday. I have never been all that impressed with most of the 22 "clones" even finding one of GSG's other offerings, the MP5, to be rather Airsoft feeling. I found my SIG 522 to feel more like the real thing, but the STG 44 nails the feel of the original. I've been around the real McCoy and GSG got this one right. Now that the STG44 has been introduced next comes the MP40.

The only thing is that it is "only" a 22, but it will see a lot more rounds that way than it would if if it was 7.92 Kurz.

Come and take it.
November 16, 2012, 05:57 PM
having a hard time with my dealers down in Kentucky.

The distributers they are using don't have them in stock yet.

November 16, 2012, 07:12 PM
I emailed ATI about the sight settings, and they said the intent was that the "700m" setting should correspond to 70 feet. I suppose that makes sense, but who'd sight-in a rifle for 20 (200m) or 30 (300m) feet? I'd like it to be "on" at 50 yards without having to use-up all of the available adjustment. A guy on another forum put a washer between the rear sight and its base, and that made the elevation adjustment range more useable.

November 16, 2012, 07:12 PM
Would you buy it if they made it in 7.62x39 and it took AK magazines?

November 16, 2012, 07:34 PM
I would in a heartbeat.

November 17, 2012, 12:45 PM
Would you buy it if they made it in 7.62x39 and it took AK magazines?

The Stg44 and it's mags won't accommodate 7.62x39. I can't imagine there would be any market for a rare, historical gun redesigned for the sake of cheap ammo.

November 17, 2012, 04:26 PM
I can't imagine there would be any market for a rare, historical gun redesigned for the sake of cheap ammo.

In a thread about a .22 caliber German assault rifle clone

November 17, 2012, 06:52 PM
That's the whole point, right? A rimfire clone. A Stg44 in 7.62x39 wouldn't be a clone of anything. 7.62x39 won't fit.

November 18, 2012, 04:16 AM
The Stg44 and it's mags won't accommodate 7.62x39. I can't imagine there would be any market for a rare, historical gun redesigned for the sake of cheap ammo.

It's not at all uncommon for designs to be rescaled to all sorts of cartridges. Think about how many calibers 1911-style pistols come in.

Or the G3-style roller-delayed blowback action, which has been scaled to 9x19, 5.56/.223, 7.62x39, 7.61x51/.308, and I am sure others.

The .22lr version certainly seems to be selling well, and that's a gun that only looks like the real deal.

A version that looks like, feels like, sounds like, and actually uses the same action (simply using a far more affordable and widely available cartridge) could prove very popular if the price were right.

That's the whole point, right? A rimfire clone. A Stg44 in 7.62x39 wouldn't be a clone of anything...

A 7.62x39 version actually would be more of a clone than the .22lr gun. It is in fact the .22lr version that isn't a clone of anything, it is a straight blowback .22 designed only to look like the StG-44. A Sturmgewehr built around the Russian cartridge would work, feel, sound, etc more like the original than the GSG .22 version, which has itself already proven to be a decent seller.

November 18, 2012, 09:46 AM
If they got the urge to make it in centerfire... my vote would be to just go all original. Original cartridge, original mags. There is modern production 7.9 Kurz for sale. If a few thousand new rifles were produced in the chambering, I'm sure they could make more. And it doesn't seem like it would be especially difficult to reload if you could buy a few thousand new pieces of brass and an appropriately sized bullet.


November 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
IMHO a .22lr model will fill the niche for most people. ATI makes (distributes) some really nice .22 rifles. I have an original GSG that is super fun to shoot.

November 18, 2012, 11:11 AM
My favorite LGS had one on the racks the other day and I was surprised by how heavy it was when they let me hold it, they said it is as heavy as the original. I was trying to think of a reason why I would want one and the answer I found scared me.

The only good reason for me to own one is because I would go out and buy a real one and want to use the .22LR for training/practice.

The gun shop even has the 8mm kurz rounds for the original STG, pretty fascinating cartridge to hold.

So, I'm avoiding the .22LR version for fear it will lead to thousands of dollars later getting a "real one."


Come and take it.
November 29, 2012, 06:18 PM
Purchased one at Knob Creek. Very fun to shoot. good for ripping up soup cans.

November 29, 2012, 06:59 PM
Mine came in Monday and I took it to the range Tuesday. It shoots great. The first 50 rounds were Winchester and fed without fail. The next 50 were M22 and there were several feed issues. Then I went to CCI mini-mags and had no problems. Glad I got one and Bob's was a pleasure to work with.

4V50 Gary
November 29, 2012, 07:17 PM
First time in years that I wanted a 22 rifle.:D

February 12, 2013, 01:46 PM
Anyone doing much shooting with theirs? I've been corresponding with a guy I "met" on youtube, about our mutual issue of our guns not extracting/ejecting live rounds.
I've put 200 rounds through my gun, with no functional issues at all over the last 100, but it has never extracted live rounds.
A buddy says failure to extract/eject live rounds is a chronic issue with some AR rimfire conversions, and the GSG bolt is apparently very similar to that in some AR conversions; I'm wondering if it's just par for the course?

February 12, 2013, 02:05 PM
Never liked it in Call of Duty... ;) Bring on the Thompson clone!

February 18, 2013, 11:16 AM
I have put about 500 rounds though mine. The only thing it did not like was Remington bulk, but federal bulk, Cci, Winchester bulk, blazer, and Aquila 60 grain ran just fine. It shoots like a champ zeroed at 25 yards and hit just a bit off at 50 but I expected it. I really like this gun, even over my m4 ops umarex 22 that I have never had any issues with. The reaction at the range and gun shows is fun also, many request to buy it but I won't sell it.