The early pattern (Type E, specifically) FG-42 is one of the most eye-catching military rifles ever made. Designed to be a universal paratrooper’s rifle capable of acting as sniper’s rifle, light machine gun, hand-to-hand weapon, and grenade launcher, only 2,000 of this early pattern were ever made. With its distinctive sherply swept-back grip, brass scope mount, and fishtail stamped buttstock, it is a svelte and elegant rifle. Originals are extremely rare and command the highest price of virtually any military small arms, and so it is not surprising that a reproduction has been made for those who would like to actually shoot them.
SMG began making the later pattern of semiauto-only FG-42 more than 8 years ago (not that this means they have spent more than twice as long perfecting their design than Rheinmetall and Krieghoff did on the originals). This second pattern is a significantly more accurate reproduction, as it uses a milled receiver like the early design originally did. The bayonet, bipod, stock, grip and markings are authentically reproduced to a magnificent degree, and the rifle is is nice to shoot as it is to look at. The reproduction scope that is paired with the rifle is based on a Russian PU – perfectly appropriate as the original ZFG42 optic made by Voigtländer was also heavily based on the PU.
The workmanship in this rifle and its scope are outstanding, and the attention to detail is as well. It is truly a treat to handle and shoot!