HMG’s US-Made Sturmgewehr

In all the time I have been able to look at MP-43/MP-44/StG-44 rifles, one of the comments that comes up over and over is the desire for someone to make a semiauto reproduction of the gun using a caliber other than 8×33. For those of us deep into shooting these sorts of guns, 8×33 isn’t really all that difficult to get – but for the average enthusiast it really is an obstacle. Prvi makes the stuff new, but only sporadically, and it spends a lot more time out of stock than available.

Anyway, a small company down in Georgia has decided to take that desire and make it a reality. HMG (Hill & Mac Gunworks) is making a reproduction Sturmgewehr that will be available in several different configurations of varying originality and tacticality, and at a price point that should be more achievable for lots of people than the other options out there. I spent a few minutes prodding them with questions recently, and here’s what they had to say…

Forgotten Weapons: One of the really interesting aspects of your StG-44 rifles is that they will be in several different calibers. What are the options going to be?

Hill & Mac Gunworks: The primary version of the rifle will have a STANAG magazine well, meaning that it will use AR-15 type magazines. We will be offering the guns in 5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, .300 Blackout, and 8×33 Kurz.

FW: The 5.56mm and .300 Blackout are pretty clear, but how are you doing 7.62×39 and 8×33 out of a STANAG magwell?

HMG: The 7.62×39 will use the AR-style 7.62 magazines that have been made for a variety of other guns, like the Daewoo DR300 and the AR conversions to 7.62×39. Using AK magazines would have required a different receiver for that caliber, which would significantly increase the price. It would also prevent the 7.62×39 guns from being converted into other calibers.

The 8×33 is still something we are working on. The complex answer is that we plan to have a magazine that feeds 8×33 but fits in the STANAG magazine well. We would like to also offer a version using the original German magazines, but our priority is the multi-caliber version.

FW: Well, that would be the much more popular version – maybe not amongst the folks reading here, but definitely in the general market. Now, unless I misunderstood, you said these can be converted between calibers?

HMG: Yes. Our system is intended to be end user convert-able with minimal skills (ie, are you able to use a wrench?).

FW: Well, that would explain the importance of using the same magwell for all the different calibers. Now, when you initially posted renderings of the gun, you caught some flak for having replaced the rear sight with a short piece of Picatinny rail. What’s up with that? No love for the iron sights?

HMG: Heh…the Rear-Sight Debacle of 2015.  That was a blunder on my part, had the wrong assembly loaded when I made the renderings. In our design, the rear sight riser block has a threaded section instead of a riveted on rear sight. That block can accept any number of sight systems including traditional rear sight(s), rail section, etc. So folks can choose whether they would like to have original-style iron sights or a rail for mounting a modern optic.

FW: These were all renderings, I noticed, and not photographs of completed prototypes. Seems a bit of a premature announcement, or at least something that will strike many people that way. Why not wait until you had something more concrete in hand to show people?

HMG: We were working on our table reservations for SHOT Show 2016, and we needed to get higher in the priority queue for getting a booth. Right now we sell targets, and that sort of accessory has a lower priority for the show organizers than firearms. In order to get a booth, we needed to make the rifle project public to be listed as a gun manufacturer rather than just an accessory company. Otherwise we would not have made the rifles public for a few more months.

FW: Alright, how about the questions everyone is really wanting to hear. How much will it cost, and when will it be available? I suspect a lot of people are writing this off as another $5k+ rifle that they won’t be able to consider.

HMG: I will say that $5000 is a good bit higher than the intended MSRP of the rifles. Past that? we’re trying to nail down the price over the next 3 months. We’re to a +/-20% number at the moment and we aren’t comfortable setting the MSRP until we have a more concrete number. But…the goal was to make the rifle affordable (well, one of the goals).

FW: Better to make us wait for a definite number than over-promise early, I suppose. How about sales dates?

HMG: We will announce presales in the coming months, with some extra goodies for the early adopters that we all think will be attractive and unique. With rifles available early next year.

FW: Extra goodies, eh?

HMG: Can’t give away all the secrets at once…

[editor’s note: he wouldn’t tell me what the secret goodies are going to be, even off the record…grumble]

FW: Ok, just a couple more questions and I’ll let you go. Since you are using HK fire control parts, will they be able to use registered HK auto sears or trigger packs?

HMG: We are designing it to accept semi auto packs for compliance with all ATF regulations regarding NFA devices. But for those with registered trigger packs, give me a call – we might have something in the mix.

FW: Will the rifles have side rails to mount original ZF-4 optics?

HMG: We are talking about making a few options like that available through HMG directly. That specific example has come up.

FW: Thanks for taking the time! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one of these to try out in a 2-Gun match…

Rendering of an HMG Sturmgewehr

40 Comments

  1. Sounds pretty cool. At least he was honest about the reason for such a premature announcement. Hope I can afford one!

  2. I don’t think a Multi-caliber MP44 is a good idea!

    When you first get into guns, a MP44 in 223 or 7.62 seems like it would be cool to have. Surely the GSG MP44 in 22LR has been popular. However look at the price point! You don’t have to be very serious to buy in at that price point. I think those wishing to have this particular gun in 223 and 7.62 are also the ones not willing to spend the money it takes to buy this gun.

    A good part of what makes the MP44 such a revolutionary gun is caliber! Who is going to drop $3K+ on a replica that is not a replica? If I want a gun that shoots like an AR15, I will buy an AR15. If I want one that shoots like an AK, I will buy an AK. For me to be serious enough to spend over $3K on a repro, it better be as close as possible to the original. I don’t want the low recoil of the 223 or the M16 mag sticking out the bottom. Totally kills the look. If you talk to those wanting it in 223 or 7.62 they are also the ones what would be really seriously under $2K. This ofcourse is not going to happen. Those who love the gun for what it was and are willing to spend big money to get an example are most often the ones interested in getting it in 8mm Kurtz. How many 308 BARs did OOW make? Some but not many and thats not nearly as big of a change to the gun. At least 308 shoots about the same as 30-06. .223 is not going to have close to the feel of 8mm. Might as well save the few Thousand and buy a 22LR version! Those interested in 223 and 7.62 for saving money or less hassle are not going to be willing to spend the money needed to buy this type of low production gun! I don’t think this is going to be overly successful. However I do wish it the best of luck!

    Now the idea of a conversion for the MP44 for HK trigger packs sounds a lot more interesting. However you have the same issue as the Semi SAW M249s. You can not legally drop a transferable trigger pack on one! The trigger packs/sears are conversion parts for HKs, not MP44s. I don’t think this will work out legally.

    • “Those interested in 223 and 7.62 for saving money or less hassle are not going to be willing to spend the money needed to buy this type of low production gun!”
      I’m wondering about reliability of fire-arm which can be switched between different cartridge. 7.92×33 and 7.62×39 are in terms of ballistic close to each other, in fact 7.62×39 was developed after capturing German fire-arm firing it, however unlike the German Army, the Soviet Union developed whole system firing this cartridge consisting of machine gun (RPD), carbine (SKS) and avtomat (after many trials AK was chosen, but there were many other designs, see for example Sudayev Avtomat i.e. AS-44).

    • In a perfect world, a somewhat affordable STG-44 -in the Tavor or AUG price range – would be accompanied by a supply of $20 mags and a flood of cheap Wolf 7.92×33 ammo. In an imperfect world, I’d rather have a .223 Stg which incorporates as much of the original as possible to no Sturmgewehr at all.

  3. If one wants a StG they will have to go to the reproduction market, Like HMG and SMG, because the market to sell an actual-authentic 7.92×33 rifle (MP43/MP44/StG44/45) has disappeared-dried-up. There ain’t no originals out there now– just look at the last Rock Island auction, hardly any class IIIs. Even classical class III gun parts-kits are not much there.
    Mis dos pesos.
    Good luck HMG, there’s a demand out there for you to fill above the .22 caliber version.

  4. I hope that this is more than wishful thinking. The weapon would have to be a CNC machined receiver (i.e. SMG FG-42) as the equipment for a stamped metal version is, in my opinion, cost prohibitive when volume vs price is figured.

    Agree that the AR mag sticking out of the bottom is a nonstarter. Perhaps s metal (original shape) that an AR mag will snap/bolt into would work.

    But in reality, building something like this in today’s economy is VERY difficult. So far all we have are “renderings” of a mythical firearm.

    I’m afraid this will just turn out to be another vaporware startup but I hope I’m wrong.

  5. I’m going to echo some of the comments above, speaking as a potential buyer. I do buy semi auto military style rifles. Currently I’ve got ten of them. I might well cash in the gun budget for a year (or two) to obtain a semi auto MP44. And I’m not OCD enough to worry about things like; is the rear sight welded or pinned, and so on. On the other hand if I’m buying an MP44 I want a firearm that is arguably an MP44 not a carbine that sort of, kinda, in a way, looks like one, from the right angle, in dim light, when its raining. I am not, in any way, saying I’m right and somebody else is wrong, but, frankly, I’m not going to be buying an MP44 that takes M16 magazines. In a way I’m sorry about that because, like the comments above, I truly wish HMG good luck and smooth seas.

    • Ak mags, whats not to like, it’ll work make it an feck around, cheaper than paying for computers, how much are files.

    • Another advantage is, as far as I know there aren’t any, so you can make it how you like and it would be historically accurate “with the locking system obviously, being more or less as shown by the available documents” it would be historically accurate because it would be cheap by definition end of the war, so you manufacture it accordingly, instead of a mag well, use two parallel metal bars etc ze Russians are coming you have creative license.

  6. I’ve studied the MP44 machinist drawings. The MP44 is way more complicated then either the M16 or AK47. Thus it would be much more expensive and labor intensive to fabricate and also the reason why I gave up on building a copy.

  7. Ill say leave STG44 in exact caliber 7,92x33mm Kurtz as it actualy is….
    The misadvantage of STG44 is sheet metal stamped foreend that get hot very quickly so this is first part that’s recquires to be modified by wood or plastic replacement..

    Second most important thing is gas regulator instead plug so the port wont get malfunction during fire and gas flow get steady at select..

    Third factor is gas piston modification which means V shape cut recquires expanding at end of piston..

    Fourth part is construction of buffer mechanism and attachment of recoil tube to the end cap so buffer get insert in proper position,(by doing this upgrade STG44 will get less recoil suppression during fire)…

    The fifth modification is consider trigger mechanism housing and it’s simplification and reduction of certain parts..

    Tactical Attachmants:

    It is possible to attach bayonet bracket that for example will utilize HK33 bayonet,possible attachment of grenade launcher bracket like G36 have,Tactical rail for attaching scopes/laser pointers and flash lights…

    Finaly last part is flash hider or muzzle suppressor is also A must have…….

    Everyone might complain or agree with me,this is how I see personaly to modify for what already exist or at least make a new main housing or receiver of already existed parts….

  8. I’m concerned that HMG might be missing the point. It is true that for many years there have been people calling for a new-made semiauto Sturmgewehr. It is very possible that this is a large enough market to sustain manufacture of a replica at the prices HMG will be asking.
    What they seem to have missed out on is the question of why. People have wanted this rifle because it is an influential piece of history that has been denied them by NFA laws. There isn’t anything special about an Stg-44 that makes it important to be able to easily shoot large volumes of ammo through it. The conversion to take AR-15 magazines is enormously destructive to the aesthetic of the gun. This might not be a problem, but the aesthetic of the gun really is the entire selling point.
    Being able to easily find ammo for it would be great, but this destroys any interest I might have had in a gun that I might otherwise have been interested in.
    If HMG wanted to offer a more common caliber as an option, 7.62×39 could likely have been made to work in new-production magazines that retain much of the original profile.
    I don’t wish HMG any ill will, but I am worried that if they don’t make a gun in 7.92x33mm that takes original-style magazines, they won’t be able to generate the demand that they are hoping for.

  9. “…I am worried that if they don’t make a gun in 7.92x33mm that takes original-style magazines, …”

    Let’s say that HMG does make the gun and it takes the original magazine. What does that do to demand for original magazines? Demand goes up even more than the present demand, which is around $300-$600 for an original magazine! Those new StG magazines imported about 5-6 years ago (from Germany?) looked great and had the proper WWII marking– but did not function well and were slightly too large for the original StG’s magazine well. Much filing had to be done to make them fit (poorly). Conclusion– the StG magazines are problematic as to fit, function, availability, and price.
    Mis dos pesos.

    • That is a fair point, but consider that HMG was already discussing creating new AR-style magazines that feed 7.92×33. If they are considering making magazines anyway, I don’t believe there is anything exceptionally complex about the original magazines that would prevent HMG from making them. It is true that Stg magazines have reliability issues, I seem to recall downloading to about 25 rounds being necessary. It would be great for shooters to not need to deal with this, but on the other hand, it was a characteristic of the original gun…

      It’s clearly a difficult issue to resolve and, I suspect, part of the reason we haven’t seen a semiauto Sturmgewehr yet. Hopefully HMG will bring something cool to the table.

  10. Hey why not make a Chauchat or Fedorov in .223 while youre at it? (sarcasm) The MP44 is important historically but it’s also an obsolete design. Only history buffs are interested in owning one and changing the caliber destroys any historical significance. Very bad idea HMG!

  11. When I first heard about this a few months ago, I mentioned it to local gun store owner. He was very interested in the idea and said he’d both want to sell them and have one for himself.

    The price would be more of factor to him and who’d he sell them to than how close it is to being historically correct.

  12. As great as it would be to have a historically accurate reproduction (aside from the lack of full auto ability), I feel like HMG is making the right call in terms of long term viability. Supporting popular & widely available rounds that can fit in easily obtainable magazines will do wonders in making these guns more appealing/less of a risky investment for gun owners. The more people buy them, the more likely production will last longer than most repros that go out of sale in a handful of years.

    • There’s probably a demand, but I think they’d need to be cheaper if they aren’t going to be exact, and I mean exact copies.

  13. As great as it would be to have a historically accurate reproduction (aside from the lack of full auto ability), I feel like HMG is making the right call in terms of long term viability. Supporting popular & widely available rounds that can fit in easily obtainable magazines will do wonders in making these guns more appealing/less of a risky investment for gun owners. The more people buy them, the more likely production will last longer than most repros that go out of sale in a handful of years.

    AND THE FURTHER YOU GET AWAY FROM THE STG’S MYSTIC, ESPRIT DE CORPS, ETHOS, AND EMBLEMATIC WEAPON SYSTEM OF OF WWII.
    ONLY CONCESSION I’D MAKE WOULD BE TO BUILD IT ONLY FOR 7.62X39 WITH NEWLY BUILT MAGAZINES IN THE SAME SHAPE AND MARKED AS THE ORIGINAL 7.92x33s MAGAZINES.
    Miss dos pesos.

    • I agree that 7.62x39mm should be the main round and that magazines be made to look as original as possible. Perhaps just a sleeve that will fit over a standard steel 7.26×39 AK mag. So design the receiver for AK mags and offer a WWI type sleeve for the AK mag(much cheaper than making an entire magazine), and you have what everyone wants. A firearm that actually looks like an STG but shoots an intermediate round of similar size(AK), and range mags available for dirt cheap everywhere. I own one of the SMG FG-42 rifles and it looks dang close to original and that’s why I bought it.

  14. Some considerations for me:
    I too was excited to here of an American company planning on manufacturing an STG-44 repro, and I have been following there site for updates.
    1st- their site still isnt updated and claims that the firearm will be available fall 2015.
    2nd- they recently released a teaser on youtube delaying the release to fall 2016 now.
    3rd- still no examples of a finished firearm or testing.

    I am glad to have found your interview Ian, as I am a Full30 subscriber and followed your youtube channel previously, thank you. Unfortunately, I have become weary of this project now and wonder if it will just keep being delayed and we all lose interest form being hung on hype for too long. For me to consider purchasing the HMG™ Sturmgewehr it must be as reliable as an AR-15 or AK-47 and be priced competitively because as we all know that there are examples already for sale of the STG-44 for the niche market that can afford the exact repro in 8mm Kurz. And, the only market available (which HMG has chosen through their decision of ammunition size options) seems to be as an alternative to the AR-15 or AK-47 platform, which would be my reason for purchasing this product or any semi-auto assault rifle. Really, unless I have $2k to blow on a toy, I want another option in a .556 or 7.62 and the STG-44 would be it or I would just buy a market proven sure thing.

  15. Like most of those responding here, I have been a careful (if not compulsive) observer of the US domestic firearms market since childhood. And like many, I’ve wanted to own an Stg-44 since I first saw a picture of one. Actually, if it were not for the NFA I probably already would own one, as one of my grandfathers had one among the trophies he couldn’t get back stateside. My opinion is this: what we really should be asking the market for is a bare bones faithful copy of the STG barreled receiver and carrier assembly, modified only as necessary for full auto denial, and finished with whatever functional but cheap parts can be whipped up to complete the guns. This approach might get enough functional but affordable STG-44s onto the market to create a base for aftermarket parts supply. Once that happens, those of us who care to replace the plastic and ZAMaC or whatever parts with high quality ones in order to truly complete the rifles will be able to, and those who just want to blast away with them as-is may do so. The critical element is just to get enough assembled critical core parts in circulation to breath life into the design commercially. And if you want to do an affordable caliber conversion, step it down to 5.7 NATO in a blow-back option. Many years ago, I gave Olympic Arms the same basic advise (to get a bare bones AR onto the market for about 500 bucks). Not that they took my advise, but I stand by that advise all the same and feel that the market has pretty much proven me right about the AR. If we can just get the skeleton of the gun out there, US shooters will flesh it out … but its bones must be true.

  16. Guess having one of historic & important firearms in any other caliber than 7.9×33 would be like having an AK47 in 5.45×39 instead of 7.62×39 , or M16/AR15 in say .300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendal, .458 Socom, .22LR. Hey wait, these were & are a great success.

  17. Yeah, well, all that aside, It’s a HMG something or the other but certainly not a Sturmgewehr, MP44, or STG44.
    REAL Sturmgewehrs don’t have rails, changeable calibers and for god sake don’t use plastic mags or have STANAG magwells.
    AK’s shoot 7.62X39 and AR’s shoot 5.56, etc, etc.
    Maybe I just don’t get the drooling.
    Pete

  18. 2 markets for this gun:

    1. STG44 FANS: Those that cannot afford an NFA STG44 and like the look. Not Historical collectors, but a guy that will have this see some range time. Max acceptible MSRP $1500

    2. HK NFA guys. If you are an HK guy and have a sear, dropping $3500+ on a new sear host is a no brainer. This is a short term sales model, tou will have a waiting list that once it is met, noone else will be purchasing. Sure you may get 1000 preorders on day 1, but that will tell the whole story.

    In summary, at a proce point under $1500, you might get nostalgia sales. As a batfe approved sear host this gun will have a major waiting list that could easily command a price tag a little above a standard clone ($3500+).

    Not saying its not a cool retake, it just jas to fit properly into the market, and Im afraid they wont be able to hit either of the two they would fit into.

      • FWIW, they may have taken a crap ton of orders at shot, but they haven’t sold anything STG yet.
        The interest is no doubt there, the smart money is waiting and watching to see what if anything actually gets produced.

  19. I put my money down for a deposit on one of these after waiting a year. I requested and actually got my money back (the check did not bounce). The gun writers have praised the HMG StG. I am pretty skeptical if there ever will be a commercial production of this by HMG. Given that it has been 3 years since this original article, it would be great if Ian or anyone else could get HMG on the record and provide straight answers.

  20. I’m okay with the fact of it running .223 but I’d suggest to them to have a model that runs hk93 mags. This was the lines are a little more true to the original even if the caliber is not.

  21. This is probably not possible without significantly altering the appearance of the rifle. Look at the shape of the HK93 mag well — note how the bottom edge angles upward along both sides, and the front wall of the mag well is therefore shorter than the back one. This is because the HK93 mag, just like that of the AK47, hooks on at the front and rocks back into the well to lock in place. The Sturmgewehr mag well, on the other hand, operates exactly like the one from the AR — the mag inserts straight upward from the bottom. The HK93 magazine also has lips stamped into the reinforcing piece around the top part, which butt up against the lower edge of the mag well when inserted into the rifle. This would again require the Sturmgewehr mag well to be cut away along the sides and front in order to accomodate these mags.

    So what would you rather have, a RIFLE that looks like the original, taking different looking magazines (apart from HMG’s proprietary ones, which are supposed to be close, but which we haven’t seen yet), or a rifle that is significantly altered in appearance in order to have MAGAZINES that look a little more correct, but not exactly like the originals? If I’ve got to give up original appearance somewhere, I’d far rather it be in the magazines than in the rifle itself.

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