MANUFACTURER(S): Mauser; Rheinmetall; Spreewerk; Steyr; Walther - Nazi Germany
ACTION: Manually-Operated Bolt-Action
CALIBER(S)*: 7.92x57mm Kurz
LENGTH (OVERALL): 1,092 millimeters (42.99 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 589 millimeters (23.19 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 8.29 pounds (3.76 kilograms)
SIGHTS: Iron front and rear
RATE-OF-FIRE: 10 rounds-per-minute
Detailing the development and operational history of the Volkssturmgewehr VG (Series) Bolt-Action Rifle.
Entry last updated on 2/15/2016.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
In the waning months of World War 2 (1939-1945) the desperation on the part of the Germans was such that many hastily arranged programs were put into effect to help stave off elimination. This included the emergency fight aircraft, heavy tank initiatives and easy-to-manufacture small arms of various sorts. One such program from the later became the "Volkssturmgewehr" which encompassed a series of potential rifle candidates intended to arm the basic population of Berlin - its name meaning just that, the "People's Assault Rifle".
The weapon was intended to arm the people's militia known as the Volkssturm ("people's attack") arranged by the Nazi Party, possibly around late 1944 (its official recognition came in October 18th, 1944). Its construction would employ the least strategic available to the German war machine at that time and design would be such that production could come from the most basic of workshops. In the end, several notable concerns lent their design prowess to see the program along - this included Gustloff, Mauser, Rheinmetall, Steyr, Spreewerk Berlin and Walther.
Some of the offerings were designated in sequential order from VG1 to VG5. Walther evolved the VG1 and Spreewerk the VG2. Then came the VG3 from Rheinmetall and Mauser delivered its VG4. Finally Steyr introduced their VG5 (VK98) into the lineup. VG1 and VG2 both relied on a manually bolt-action system while the VG5 was based on the Mauser Gewehr 98 bolt-action service rifle. Beyond this all used some form of wooden solid stock with metal only serving critical internal components as well as the receiver and barrel.
All were chambered to fire the 7.92x33mm Kurz ("short") round fed by way of a 10-round detachable box magazine.
In the end, few made a notable impact (save perhaps the well-known Gustloff semi-automatic form). Certainly no organized serial production was had of any of the VG series rifles and any captured specimens by the conquering Soviets were either discarded or tested before being ultimately scrapped.