I recently picked up a Walther G41 rifle (1943 production) and have been excited to have a chance to put it through a 2-Gun match. This particular rifle has clearly led an interesting life – it came all matching, but missing the magazine and bayonet lug, and with a stock that had been strangely modified (the sling cutout had been filled in with wood putty or something similar, and the wrist was cracked on both sides). In addition, while it had a G41 type mounting rail for a ZF41 optic on the rear sight, some field armorer welded on a mounting rail from a K98k. My understanding is that the G41 scope mounts never actually made it into the field, and so rigging up a K98k mount would have been the only way to actually mount a ZF41 on one of these rifles. At any rate, I find that welded-on rail to be a very interesting feature (I have a reproduction scope on order for it, but it hasn’t arrived yet).
One other issue we discovered at the match was that the stripper clip guides on this rifle have been milled out just slightly wider than they were originally made. This meant that using Romanian stripper clips was very difficult – the whole clip would slip into the magazine instead of being held in place and having the cartridges stripped off. Fortunately, Karl brought his G43 as a backup rifle, and it has a G41 bolt housing mounted in it. So we swapped housings, and that allowed us to use regular 8mm clips for the remainder of the match. When I got home I tried out some Swedish clips in my clip guides (Swedish clips are significantly wider than almost all others), and lo and behold, they work fantastically. Did someone decide to modify the rifle because the Swedish clips run more smoothly? Or because that was all they had access to? Or were they trying to disable the rifle? I have no idea.
Overall, I found the G41 to be the softest-shooting and most pleasant 8mm semiauto I’ve yet had the chance to shoot. The gas system is clearly a hindrance in the longer run, as it will eventually get dirty enough to stop working reliably. For a few hundred rounds, though, is seems to be just fine. I can absolutely see why the Wehrmacht opted to keep the basic design for the G43, with the improvements to the gas system and detachable magazines. Anyway, here’s our match footage:
For a detailed breakdown of the G41, see my previous G41 disassembly video.