1. You cannot study WWII and not come away in awe of German engineering. Sure they could have just bent the barrel and called it a day like the Soviets tried, but in true German fashion they needed a much more complex and technical solution to aim the device. That said, who thought of useing the StG44s for this? I would think the MP40 would have been the better choice as the 9mm bullet is most likely much easier to re-direct than the Kurz. But no, the Germans needed something more complex and technical to solve the simple issue…..

    • German engineering in a nutshell: Never send one mechanism to do the job when you can have three or four separate ones, all interacting and wonderfully Byzantine in their workings.

      Given that the German path to engineer certification often started with an apprenticeship in a mechanical trades shop like auto repair, you have to wonder if some of their focus isn’t on keeping themselves employed. I swear, some of the German-designed cars I’ve worked on… And, it’s the same with their weapons. Simplicity simply isn’t in their nature. Fussy perfectionism? Yes. Simplicity? Hell, no…

      • Remember that each gun designer design firearms less or more for himself.
        Eugene Reising designed M50 which was accurate but not dirt-proof, note that Reising was target shooting when accuracy is more important that dirtproofness.
        John Garand designed M1 rifle which was easy to manufacture, note that Garand was machinist.

        • The problem with the Reising was the parts of individual guns were not made to be interchangeable with others. They were fitted to each individual gun. However, no one told the Marines that were issued them this. As a result, when it came time to clean them, parts were mixed up and guns did not function because of this.

          • This is hard to believe in organised military environment. We were told not to interchange parts between guns (vz.58) but I am pretty sure they were interchangeable. To make it easy to verify both the frame and action were serialized identically.

            As parts break-in they work at their best in given assembly at their unique setup. To mix up parts among guns is not good idea in any case.

        • John Garand did design the tooling for the M1, in addition to designing the M1. But it would be a stretch to refer to it as being easy to make. The gas tube and the op rods would be hard to make, in particular. At any rate, if anyone could manufacture GI spec op rods and gas tubes today they’d make a good deal of money.

          The apparent difficulty in making M1’s resulted in congresional hearings and the Johnson rifle coming close to being adopted as a secondary standard on the strength of its ease of manufacture. It is notable too that Springfirld armory made the bulk of the WWII M1’s, with Winchester making the balance. It was not spread out over a large number of makers as were other US firearms, the reason likely being the complexity of the manufacturing processes.

          Germans could be too clever by half in their engineering at times, but were extremely innovative in some ways, especially in going to stamped guns.

          • “But it would be a stretch to refer to it as being easy to make. The gas tube and the op rods would be hard to make, in particular.”
            Remember to compare M1 rifle to other 1930s military firearms. How many machine operations was needed to produce BAR M1918 rilfe (excluding fire-mode selector) and how many machine operations was needed to produce M1903 Springfield?

    • I haven’t sen the video (too much “buffering” today), so if I cover ground Ian already has, please forgive me.

      As I understand it, the problem with 9x19mm was that due to velocity loss going “around the corner”, the 9mm slug might not come out with enough KE to kill the guy climbing up on the tank with a hollow-charge magnetic mine of just a “bundle charge” Stielhandgrenate.

      The 7.9x33mm Kurz slug still had enough oomph, even after losing almost half its MV as it went through the curved tube, to deliver about 400FPE to the target, which was more than enough to get the job done.

      Incidentally, according to Aberdeen PG tests after the war, the 7.9 Kurz bullet often broke up in the tube, resulting in the target getting hit with fragments not unlike flechettes or small buckshot. Even with a non-lethal hit, this would be discouraging to say the least.

      As a close-defense weapon for Panzers, the 90 degree version falls into the “better than nothing” category. As a weapon for house to house combat, I doubt that the 30 degree version could accomplish much that a veteran infantryman with an unmodified MP43/44 couldn’t. A better “option” for the Sturmgewehr would have been a combination flash hider/grenade launcher mount.

      Interestingly enough, a postwar Polish version of the AK, the PMK-DGN aka KbKg 1960, had just such a setup;




      • Thanks for your added information. I concur with your conclusion; than bent barrel was essentially stray attempt. It would have been far better to adopt grenade launcher. Nowadays of course we do not have such a problem due to fibre-optics.

  2. i never noticed that it was a detachable device, very cool. might e akward to hold, but it sure makes shooting around a building in inner city fighting, much safer.

  3. I know I have seen an MP40 with a curved barrel somewhere. I had a quick google and only stumbled over people with the same memory (delusion?) and not a single photo.

    • The motion seconded. I also think I have sen an MP-40 with the Krummlaud at the museum (at the time I did not even know about the existence of MP-43/StuG-43-44.Regards, Andrzej

  4. The US had a similar device for the M3 “Grease gun.” A buddy of my father, who used the M3A1 in Vietnam, said the curved barrel was probably added to “make the damned thing shoot straight.”

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. I grew up thinking this gadget originated in comic books. | The Ultimate Answer to Kings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.