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.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
1,092 mm 42.99 in
589 mm 23.19 in
8.29 lb 3.76 kg
Iron front and rear.
Manually-actuated process of managing the bolt lever to eject spent cartridge case, clearing the breech, to introduce fresh catridge into the chamber.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)
Rounds / Feed
10-round detachable box magazine
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Volkssturmgewehr - Base Series Designation
VG1 - Walther submission; bolt-action design
VG2 - Spreewerk submission; bolt-action design
VG3 - Rheinmetall submission
VG4 - Mauser submission
VG5 - Steyr submission; based on the Mauser G98 bolt-action service rifle.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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