Skip to main content

Small Arms of the Volkssturm

Small Arms of the Volkssturm

Last-Ditch Treasures

Small Arms of the Volkssturm

The Germans had the very best until near the end of World War II, when anything that would fire a bullet was pressed into combat service. See the July 1 SGN for Kokalis' investigation of a rifle once-cheap that's now expensive.

VG1

The "Thousand Year Reich" lasted only 13 years, during which its arms industry went from among the finest in the world to making crude arms like this VG1.

K98k Rifles

The dramatic decline in Germany's industrial potential can be seen in these four K98k rifles — top to bottom: an exquisite Mauser "byf41" made in 1941; a still-excellent Sauer "ce 42" produced in 1942; a Mauser "byf44" with a substantial number of sheet metal components; and a last-ditch Czech "swp45" with numerous features deleted.

VG1

The best estimate on the total number of VG1 rifles produced appears to be no more than 50,000. The exact number of Volksgewehre produced will never be known.

Blued G43/K43 Magazines

Blued G43/K43 magazines most often fit better in the VG1 than the slightly thicker black enamel versions. The blued magazine on this VG1 is marked "K43."

Rifle's Receiver Markings

The rifle's receiver markings, "VG1 tbq 383 A" indicate probable manufacture by Rheinmetall-Borsig. The bottom of the VG1 receiver was machined flat.

VG1 Bolt body

The VG1 bolt body is a very crudely machined forging with two forward locking lugs. A slot was machined in it to accept a stamped sheet metal extractor.

MG81 Aircraft Machine Gun Barrel

An MG81 aircraft machine gun barrel was used to fabricate this "tbq" code VG1 and the distinctive forward bearing bulge at the muzzle was not removed

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

SilencerCo MSR Hunting

SilencerCo MSR Hunting

Hunters, save your ears! Patrick Sweeney reviews suppressors from SilencerCo.

Citadel Boss 25 Shotgun

Citadel Boss 25 Shotgun

Dr. Will Dabbs tells you why the Citadel Boss 25 is the way to hunt birds or deer with a shotgun in the 21st century!

Rival Arms

Rival Arms' Precision-Upgraded Glock 48

New from Rival Arms for 2019; introduced at NRA Show in Indianapolis.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now