I’ve gotten to take apart an original second model FG-42, and play with an SMG reproduction second model (and shoot against one in a 2-gun match), but I’ve never gotten my hands on an original first model. And I’ve gotten a lot of requests for that. Well, Larry Vickers just got the chance to do this, and has a great video of it:
A couple things I want to mention about what he says…
He describes the gun as being definitely not lefty-friendly – that is the case with the one he was shooting, and one of the elements added to the second model by the Germans was a case deflector. That allows left-handed use of the gun without any problem – and SMG’s reproductions actually have a better ejection path than the originals and don’t even need the deflector.
He also complains about the balance being weighted off to the left by a loaded magazine, which is not an issue I found to be noticeable on the second model. That may be because the second model has a more vertical grip (which affords more leverage to hold the gun square) and it weighs more overall, which means the offset loaded magazine is a smaller proportion of the overall weight.
I noticed the really high rate of fire, and I’m really impressed by how controllable he made the gun appear. I’m definitely jealous – I can’t wait to find an opportunity to shoot one of these myself!