I know you have one. A list of pistols and rifles that, if by some strange twist of fate, all of the planets aligned correctly, and a lucky number came up, you’d leap the Grand Canyon to own one. For me, the Sturmgewehr 44 is at the top of the list.
However, on the Eastern Front, the Red Army had been in the process of replacing its bolt action rifles with ever increasing numbers of semi-automatic rifles, such as the Tokarev SVT-38 and SVT-40s. These quick firing rifles were issued to elite units and non-commissioned officers. Distributions on a massive scale of submachine guns were issued to entire companies. Today we could only imagine the impact of massed PPSh-41s all firing in your direction.
The experience of facing high volumes of hand-held automatic fire led the Germans to rethink their small arms requirements. So the weapon that Hitler distained, and his Generals loved, came to be known as the Sturmgewehr 44. A term that translates to ‘storm’ or ‘assault’ rifle, model of 1944. Modern historians consider the Sturmgewehr 44 to be the first modern assault rifle to see major deployment. This father of the modern assault rifles continued service until 1962 with East German Volkspolezei.
But just try to get your hands on one now.
American Tactical Imports has come up with an affordable means of checking one more rifle off of my ‘Love to Own’ list. Staying close to the original German Sturmgewehr 44 specifications, the GSG 22.LR sends 25 rounds of inexpensive ammunition accurately and quickly downrange. Weighing in at just under ten pounds, it has a 17” barrel and an overall length of 37”.
However, with the historically nearly accurate 25 round plastic magazine, don’t expect to rest this on your firing bench. The Sturmgewehr 44 deserves to be fired from the shoulder or the hip. And it is fun! My next purchases just might have to be a German helmet, a snow smock and a copy of ‘Enemy at the Gates’. (Of course I recommend watching the movie with the Sturmgewehr 44 in the ‘unloaded’ configuration!)
Awesome for target shooting, easy to clean and fun for the WWII historian in the family, make your next trip to the range a memorable one. YankeeTactical.com