2-Gun with SMG’s 1st Pattern Semiauto FG-42

Today I am taking the SMG first pattern semiauto FG-42 out to a 2-gun match to give it a try on the clock. This particular match has two rifle-only stage and one pistol-only stage, so I’ll only be including the rifle stages here.

The 1st model FG-42 is a rifle that really just feels like it is waiting to be let loose. It is compact and svelte, and fits me very well, between the grip, stock, and optic. The quasi-bullpup configuration with the magazine side-mounted directly over the grip definitely contributes to its compactness. And yet, this is a rifle chambered for full-power 8mm Mauser ammunition (I am shooting PPU 198gr FMJ in this video) that doesn’t kick sharply like so many full-power rifles do. It gives you enough recoil that you know you are launching serious energy downrange, but it is restrained by the muzzle brake, in-line design, and stock buffer spring.

In short, it is a rifle that demands your respect, and then delivers for you.


  1. We Ian had the dud round, I saw the bolt handle jump forward. Possibly the bolt wasn’t all the way in battery?

  2. Well, what can we say… rifle performs to expectation. There is very little visible muzzle climb. Btw. as Ian comments on controllability, this is to large degree by two factors – the inline action w/stock AND the pistol grip. I remember reading a study long time back which specifically stated the presence of pistol grip as an important addition to recoil attenuation. Now we may understand why M14 was not as good ‘shooting buddy’ as her competitors, namely the FAL rifle.

    On side note – Mr. Smith, the spiritual father of this product in order to fit into style should alter his name to Herr Schmidt 🙂

    • The M14 was a horrible excuse of a gun with regards to how changes were implemented by Springfield Armory. While the change of gas system (original Garand long-stroke to White’s short-stroke) was a potentially good idea, the decision to keep the linseed-oiled “deer-hunting” wooden stock was not. Real fights are not Camp Perry shooting matches, and your enemies are not going to sit still for you to line them up in your iron sights. Making the M14 select-fire was also a big mistake with regards to the stock design. Let’s don’t even get into why General Dynamics blindly copied the FG 42’s receiver in the M60… Just ask Kirk.

      • I look at M14 rifle as a “product improved” M1 Garand which in turn was developed thru several years of experimenting and continuous improvement. The designer was skilled and talented designer, but would not qualify as a genius per se. Not in my mind, because then Fedor Tokarev and many others would be entitled to same.

        And besides, M1 designer would not consciously plan for “Garand thumb” 🙂

        • Well, the Garand thumb is a non-issue for people who understand how the bolt latch works. The latch disengages just as hand pressure is taken off a loaded clip. So, as our old friends would put it, keep your right palm on the charging handle as you’re loading the clip, yank your thumb out of the receiver when the clip is properly seated, and then let go of the charging handle (or ride it forward). But if you want to avoid the Garand thumb altogether, I would recommend redesigning the way the bolt latch disengages (like having a manual bolt-release).

          As for the question of who designed the M14, it clearly wasn’t John Garand. But “improved product” certainly defines what the M14 was compared to the original M1. It just wasn’t the “universal weapon” that the Ordnance guys thought it was.

      • There are surplus GI fiberglass stocks out there–supposedly they went into production circa 1960. Had it stayed in production, at some point they would have probably become the standard.

        It was up to individual unit commanders as to if the M-14s their troops had would be equipped with fun switches or not.

        Oddly enough, the US Marines wanted to keep the M-14 stock over a pistol grip stock (as on the FAL) as they thought it would improve bayonet fighting. Not saying I agree with that, but that was the direction at the time. It would seem that bayonet fighting with a rifle with a 20 round magazine would not be a high priority.

  3. The pistol grip has no effect on recoil.
    It improves the control of the weapon when firing automatically.
    This was noted in comparative tests with the Polish BAR.

    It’s all about the linear layout and heavy weight.

    • The pistol grip has no effect on recoil.
      Maybe you are the better ‘scientist’ than those who made the report (lol).

      Frankly I believe them more, primarily based on my own experience. This is an uneasy area of human-to-machine interface to understand; part medical science, part engineering. I would not take it lightly – it involves involuntary nerve-muscles reactions, all controlled by very complex mechanism inside of human body.

      • “This is an uneasy area of human-to-machine interface to understand; part medical science, part engineering. I would not take it lightly – it involves involuntary nerve-muscles reactions, all controlled by very complex mechanism inside of human body.”(С)

        Many words nothing.
        Where are the facts?

          • Telescopic butt adds to the attenuation, but only to degree of delaying the impact/ spreading it in time. Its return spring load is lot less than force of cartridge impulse.
            At burst the situation gets lot more complex.

        • That study stated that up to 30% of recoil force is attenuated thru pistol grip. I did not make it up, I read it when I worked in the industry. Since I am not in possession of it I cannot supply any other data/ facts.

          I gave M14 rifle as an example to support this possibility. If you saw Ian’s videos (or even better shot them) there is no need for blah-blah-blah.

          • “If you saw Ian’s videos”(С)

            What a wild mess…
            Thus, in my ABC book, there will soon be no completely empty pages … Everything will be occupied with such sacred revelations. LOL
            The pistol grip, on automatic rifles, improves weapon control. Since it allows you to better deal with the swinging and twisting that the weapon experiences when firing.
            It will not work to prevent the rollback of the weapon with the hand that “pulls” the weapon to the shoulder (in the direction of recoil).
            If You had experience of shooting from a machine gun, You would know it.

          • “That study stated that up to 30% of recoil force is attenuated thru pistol grip.”(С)

            I suppose You have seen something similar.
            There are many such “scientists”, professors of undercooked plum brandy now.
            They try to simulate processes that they don’t know a thing about. Therefore, they build their “research” based on initially erroneous schemes. And when faced with data they cannot determine…
            or which they don’t know how to interpret…
            or which simply do not fit into the existing model…
            in such cases (ATTENTION! Super-scientific approach!)
            They just ignore it.
            As a result, the data coincide, the thesis is defended.
            In the world, there is officially one more doctor of sciences.
            Another framed piece of paper on the wall and a raise to their salary.
            And they can safely continue to study the “glow of mosquito urine in the moonlight” and prepare to become a professor.

            And then, some naive non-professors read all this bullshit and try to apply such “knowledge” in practice.
            You don’t believe everything that is written on the Internet, do You?
            Then, why do You believe everything that is written on the Internet, if they just subscribe “doctor is someone there”?

  4. Dud primer?
    low sensitivity primer?

    There’s a lot of mass attached to that striker, and not a lot of striker travel with semi auto only, hence you are going to get a longer slower (but heavy) impact.

    What primers really like, is a very fast impact, the energy is delivered to the primer composition quickly.

    A prime example of this would be the 1970s and 80s Remington 788, with a very light firing pin, very strong main spring and a reduced diameter firing pin tip.

    Although the striker blow didn’t carry much momentum, it was very fast and concentrated in a smaller than usual area – hence it was very effective.

    Does your first model reproduction have the additional mainspring for semi auto operation?

    • You mean that “well what you said” but I mean the other comment about the bolt handle clearly jumping forward, in relation to your comment, yes… I.e. Does it have the wee firing pin spring. Think the other one did. For semi. Being a semi gun…

      Be interesting to make one as light as possible titanium/polymer etc, just to see if it really is that good, the first version shot really well. Good chance it will I think; that muzzle break, the whole thing. Albeit that is not directly linked to your comment.

      I think it will be because although its fair heavy, the round it fires is powerfull. Just thinking if its worth keeping the stock. Maybe it is.

    • “Striker” is bolt carrier actually, on which firing pin is fixedly mounted.
      That is the reason why law stipulated that sear is mounted on the receiver, and not removable as in original – without it you could pull on the cocking handle and by releasing it get full auto mag dump.

  5. Well, the M14 in full auto was a fail. Slr… Well we went semi auto. Only. Perhaps this is the magic weight, or is it the stock? Or is it both; thus we can shave a pound off… Pound is a pound in weight, worth it.

        • 198 grain loads in an 8×57, has a little bit more thump to it at both ends than most 7.62x51mm military loads.

          Then again, even 180 grain .308 sporting loads give a noticeable increase in recoil compared to the usual 150 grain military loads.

          • Well I bow to your knowledge “I do, as I know you know what is what” but, I put it to you… Making a 9 1/2 pound version of this… Will lead us to an 10 1/2 pound version.

            In 8x57mm even. So progress. We’ll justify the stock; probably… I mean we might not, it may explode he he, unlikely.

          • Now… If that was in the full auto version. Bingo. We’ve helped gun history. By proving, the fg42 stock works. Currently we don’t know, it might just shoot well as it is fat.

      • If not, well its simply the weight… But even so I bet doing this test will enable us to lose a pound somewhere. By soending one, he he.

          • PDB,
            How did that cold you were suffering with, turn out?

            Whisky definitely feels like it helps 🙂

            Although wee Jimmy Krankie* does seem to be getting in touch with her inner Stalin regarding colds, in one of the places that whisky comes from, so best use the stuff from other sources.

            * allegedly, she was nicknamed “seaweed” during her time at university

            Because (again allegedly) not even the tide would take her out

          • Ha ha, wee Jimmy Krankie lockdown till the English virus is passed.”Sky news er… Wasn’t it from China?” No it was from England. The English virus.

            Gone slightly deaf from my “cold” in early December 2019 to be sure; mind you I have also been squirting Alcohol gel in my ears throughout. Can’t think of a test to work out what is what… Certainly not using a naked flame.

            Anyway everything will be fine! We’ve knocked a vaccine! The NHS will be fine pubs can re-open! Apart from… There is a techinical problem. One section (affected worse) won’t take the vaccine, because they think the yanks are linking them to Osama. Who is dead.

            So the lockdown will never end as the hospitals will never be free of cunts going I have the rona help.

          • She wants taking out seaweed; Blair that devolution, always would have resulted in blame the English per se. As oppose joining in with the rest of the Island saying blame Westminster per se.

            Mind you “Mary doll” as a leader… Prefer her to Boris personally.

          • Tell you what did really help Keith in my opinion as I went bright red; ciggies. Yes. Nicotine, helps cortisol which inhibits the immune system; helpfull if it over’reacts.

            Like dexameth… etc and those inhalers; my 77 yr old Canadian auntie got it; no hospital, she drinks rye like water and smokes.

          • Was on radio 4 other day: Stress and cortisol… And stressed folk being more prone to viruses… Yes… Because cortisol fucks with your immune system, but thats were I went deaths from rona are via your immune system overeacting.

            Meh. Roll on spring.

      • “…it may explode…”(С)

        Will not explode, if suitable material is used.
        The iron-aluminum intermetallic compound has a density similar to that of titanium.
        How much does the body of FG-42 weigh?
        You can save a third of this.
        And another third for the rest of the massive steel parts.

      • Incase anyone is wondering why I put alcohol gel in my ears; it wasn’t a rona protection measure I thought invented.

        It was because when I went bright red; from the “cold” my ears went eeeeeee! High pitch whining noise. So I thought its in my ears.

        Now! Correlation does not imply causation; prior I had an ear infection* ear plugs “noisy neighbours; some of us have to get up early for a job.”

        However… In april my ears went again, I had a mad virus dream “honestly it was far out” the sweat started. And the noise; Eeeeee!

        Then it stopped, no sweat; perfectly normal, which is why I thought I had rona and this time my body clocked it.

        The ear thing… May have been linked “don’t remember when it started”. May. Water clogs in my right ear, alcohol gel frees it “molecules some shit” however probably not great for ones hearing.

        *= Ear plugs, google it.

    • Three things are missing in M14:
      – internal attenuation/ buffer
      – telescopic buttstock (or spring loaded butt-plate)
      – pistol grip

      By this I am ending my argument of pistol grip utility. I believe proof is right here.

  6. There are pictures of prototype M14 type rifles with in-line wooden stocks.

    They’re fugly.

    Even with an online stock, the Garand style actions lack the amount of free travel distance for the bolt assembly and lack the buffering that the FG 42 and AR10 and AR15 designs allow.

    Theres also something to be said about all of the bends that Garand designed into the mechanism as well.

    They were sort of useful when the Mannlicher en-bloc loading was used and the operator needed to get their thumb into the lion’s mouth,

    But, with detachable magazines, there’s no reason for the gas system to be under the barrel. I’m curious why it’s there on a BAR as well.

    Fair enough on a gun like a ZB26 and Bren with the mag going in the top

    Or in a belt fed machine gun where you have a top cover and want to get a reasonably straight feed path for the cartridges.

    I know that one of the false ideas around the M14 was commonality of parts and of tooling with M1, but in practice, that was never achieved.

    Kalashnikov’s later counter weighted designs show what could be done with the basic Garand bolt system when the bends were taken out

    Just like stoner did with the basics of the Johnston LMG system, and the FG42 did with the Lewis.

    • … the Garand style actions lack the amount of free travel distance for the bolt assembly and lack the buffering that the FG 42 and AR10 and AR15 designs allow.
      My words thru your mouth.

  7. Thinking about it, the M14 style stock does allow a low sight line, and allows the firer to keep their head that tiny bit lower when they are using cover.

    But, they also need to manoeuvre as well as use cover.

    • The head height above the weapon is true.
      The main reason, the linear arrangement, with a powerful cartridge, worsens the accuracy.

  8. In 1969 I fired Sharpshooter in US Army Basic Training using a plastic stocked M-14. These were semi only and had been through round after round of trainee abuse showing no parkarizing remaining on steel parts and worn rifling, miracle I scored that good. The trick was to miss low if you missed so rocks and dirt clods helped to knock down the target. Probably would have worked in combat a bit too. I fired Expert with the little M-16, carried one in Vietnam (field artiller) but never had to use it.

  9. And now imagine an FG42 in 7 × 57 mm Mauser. That would be one sweet shooting rifle.

    And now we all want to see Ian finally slaying the dreaded spinner target dragon! 🙂

  10. Anyway what a fantastic reproduction!!! Alcohol gel? “Not driving are you.” Here squirt!! In your ears. Cheers! Happy 2021!

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