[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]
CHAPTER VII. WEAPONS
Section II. SMALL ARMS
5. Rifles and Automatic Rifles
a. MODEL 98 RIFLE AND CARBINE (Gewehr 98
and Karabiner 98). (1) General description. The standard
German rifles and carbines are all of the same basic bolt-operated Mauser
design (Figs. 9 and 10), but may be divided into three
distinct types. These are the rifle Model 98 (Gewehr 98) which
(3) Ammunition. These weapons fire the standard
b. MODEL 33/40 RIFLE (Gewehr 33/40). The Germans have designed the Gewehr 33/40 as a special short rifle for parachutists or for personnel carrying concealed arms. The weapon is fitted with a folding stock, hinged on the left and retained in position by a press catch on the right side. When the rifle is not in use, the stock can be folded along the left of the piece. Apart from the folding stock the rifle is normal in design and similar to the 98 models.
c. MODEL 41 RIFLE (Gewehr 41). (1) General description. This is a semiautomatic rifle (Fig. 10) which is made in two models, the Gewehr 41 m and Gewehr 41 w, similar in operation and differing only slightly in construction. Both models are gas-operated; the gases are compressed in a gas choke at the muzzle, forcing to the rear a floating piston mounted concentrically around the barrel. The movement of the piston is communicated to the bolt head, and the rifle is recocked automatically after each round has been fired. The weapon is fed through a magazine fixed in the receiver which holds two standard rifle clips. Both models have a blade front sight and leaf rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,200 meters (109 to 1,310 yards). When fitted with a telescopic sight this rifle can be used as a sniper's weapon.
(3) Ammunition. This weapon fires the
d. MODEL 42 AUTOMATIC RIFLE (Fallschirmjägergewehr 42). (1) General description. Although the German nomenclature indicates that this rifle (Fig. 11) is intended to be an automatic weapon for use by parachute troops, it also can be used as a light machine gun or a machine carbine. The weapon is designed more like a light machine gun than a rifle. It is gas-operated, fitted with a permanently attached folding bipod, and can be fired automatically or single shot. A compensator is attached to the muzzle, and provision is made for the attachment of a telescopic sight. A bayonet also is attached. The magazine is held in a horizontal position on the left of the receiver. The aperture rear sight is graduated from 100 to 1,200 meters (109 to 1,310 yards). The safety is located on the left side above the pistol grip, and the lever for selecting automatic or single-shot fire is placed above and to the rear of the trigger. A later model of this weapon, slightly heavier and more solidly constructed, has the biped closer to the muzzle.
(3) Ammunition. Standard 7.92-mm ammunition is used in this weapon.
e. MODEL 43 SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLE (Karabiner 43). (1) General description. This weapon, originally known as the Gewehr 43, is a semi-automatic rifle and was developed from the Gewehr 41. The trigger and bolt mechanisms are the same as those used on the Gewehr 41, but the piston and gas cylinder are of different design. The piston group is located ou top of the barrel instead of concentrically. The rifle may be loaded by inserting either a fully loaded magazine or two cartridge clips into an empty magazine from the top. The leaf rear sight is graduated from 100 to 1,250 meters (109 to 1,365 yards).
(3) Ammunition. Standard
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