Thanks to the generosity of a collector in the Association of Maltese Arms Collectors and Shooters, we have a chance today to take a look at a pre-production FG-42, serial number 015. This is one of the guns manufactured by Rheinmetall (the series production would be handed over to Krieghoff) in between the Type A and B prototypes and the Type D troops trials guns. Its provenance is well documented, being previously owned by noted Dutch collector Henk Visser, who received it as a gift form the Rheinmetall factory museum, where it had been since the end of the war.
The gun shows a few minor variations from the standard “first pattern” (aka Type E) FG-42, including a split pin to attach the trigger group and more notably, a completely different type of rear sight. It also, exhibits a modified French MAS-36 bayonet, proving the lineage in that design element (not that there was really any doubt…). In our video, we will discuss the early development of the FG42, and where this rifle is situated in that story!