Guns that should have been

There are some guns that weren’t ever built, but really should have been. Like a paratrooper’s MP44. The shorty version of the AK is extremely cool, and it only stands to reason that a shorty Sturmgewehr would have been too. Well, we’re not the only people who had this thought. The idea was eating at a gentleman we know who builds guns for the same reason George Mallory climbed mountains (although not with the same consequences), and he decided to do something about it:

“MP44K” (click to enlarge)

And really, who knows? The Mauser company along had 500 personnel working in R&D during WWII, and we never know what weird and fascinating thing will surface from some cavernous Russian warehouse of captured material.

Also, as a side note, when I grow up and become a gunsmith, I want to be doing this sort of thing and not mounting scopes on hunting rifles or threading muzzles. 🙂


    • Actually relocating the recoil spring into the receiver was an suggested improvment for the StG44 anyway. The recoil spring could get stuck in the buttstock when the wood was swollen because of wetness.

      I really recommend reading “Sturmgewehr! From Firepower to Striking Power (Hans-Dieter Handrich)”.

  1. Sort of OT
    Gustloff Werke patent for Williams style floating chamber:

    Hi Ian,
    It’s late WWii German, so not completely OT 😉 I was skimming my way through some Gustloff Werke patents, and I’ve stumbled on a 1944 patent for what appears to be a David (carbine) Williams style floating chamber – for a bottleneck rifle or cannon round.

    I can’t read any of the languages the patents are written in (the link is to a Finnish patent)

    Does anyone know whether this ever made it into a prototype?


  2. By the time the MP44 was in production, paratroops were pretty much ground-bound, anyway. After Crete they never really tried again on a large scale. (There were small scale operations — battalion sized — in the East and against the Yugo partisans).

    An H&K style slider stock would make the MP5 kinship even more evident (although the real ancestor of CETME/HK roller-locks is the MP45).

    Late in the war, it was hard for the R&D organizations to hang on to their skilled manpower without having them drafted into replacement units, flak batteries, or in the end, the volkssturm. I recall Von Braun having said that all the stuff we bombed at Peenemünde didn’t set them back as much as the personnel loss did, and the personnel lose from the bombing was a fraction of that lost to SS press gangs.

    If you want to lose a war, set up your security apparatus like the Nazis did — lots of competing bureaucracies. Like we did in reaction to 9/11.

    As far as Keith’s parent is concerned, Finnish is one of the Euro languages I don’t read. (or Baltic languages, or Greek or Hungarian). Have a link more Mitteleuropäisch than that?

    • I cannot help much with Finnish or Magyar, but if you ever come across anything written in Greek, i am willing to assist you. Παντα στην διαθεση σας!

    • Ironically, the rearrangement of our security apparatus post-9/11 was SUPPOSED to PREVENT competing bureaucracies. But of course, in true DC fashion, it did the opposite.

  3. Also, as a side note, when I grow up and become a gunsmith, I want to be doing this sort of thing and not mounting scopes on hunting rifles or threading muzzles

    My local gunsmith in Colorado, who does a brisk business, says he rarely ever fixes a broken gun. Or does real hardcore gunsmithing. It’s all about mounting scopes, adding do–dads to AR-15s, bedding hunting rifles…..

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