PTR-44: A Semiauto Sturmgewehr

We had the opportunity to take a look at a PTR-44 semiauto reproduction of a German Sturmgewehr today, and it’s a gorgeous rifle. There were some issues reported by early owners (including miscut chambers due, actually, to incorrect dimensions on the original German blueprints) so we’re eager to take this one out to the range and see how it performs.


  1. Mr kalashnikov says he never saw an MP44 before the AK47 was designed, but i don’t believe him one bit, the Ruskies stole every other design going, god bless them.

    • The STG44 and AK-47 are similar superficially, but operate on vastly different mechanical principles. About the only thing they have in common is the vague concept of a select fire rifle firing an intermediate cartridge, and a long stroke piston. The most you could say is that this gun inspired the AK-47.

      • sorry that is incorrect. The ak46 which preceded the ak47 is directly inspired by the MP44. When you state that the ak47 is not connected you are ignoring that the ak47 was a refinement of the ak46. Common common misunderstanding that really needs to die.

        • ak-46 still has nothing in common with STG apart from general dimensions, long stroke and being an assault rifle. It uses a rotating garand-like bolt instead of tilting one. The only one more think that makes it’s closer to stg than ak-47 line is more similar takedown. In the same time Ar-15 and whole HK roller delayed line even looks much more like an STG, and HK i even made in a similar manner with stamp sheet metal and exactly identical takedown. AR shares much of a takedown too, along with a spring in the stock exactly like STG. And somehow i do not hear you mumbling about HK and Eugene Stoner copying STG, weird, isn’t it? Real answer is simillar, all of those guns were influenced by STG, neither of them are copies.

          P.S. Youd better listen to Ian here, he is a professional.

  2. I might believe him. His first attempt was a pretty little Garand rip off! The only thing he could have copied from the MP44 was the layout… and there are only so many ways to lay out an assault rifle. It is worth noting that many experimental Soviet rifles of the time shared the same basic layout, including the Sudayev 44 which was field tested in 1945.

    Anyway, this new gun is cool. I hear the production run is of 2000 or so?

  3. Absolutely beautiful looking rifle, and the designs really are fairly different. IIRC, the Soviets entirely copied the StG-44 when they made the AS-44, a then prototype rifle using the 7.62×39 round. I think the only difference was a simplified receiver. They then used that rifle as a benchmark in all future tests, and Kalashnikov took some “inspiration” from that rifle and his competitors, the AD-46 and AB-46, the most prevalent of which was his large part clearances from the AS-44. So it could be said that if the AS-44 was designed with large clearances in mind, then the StG-44 had such a design knowing that the AS-44 was simply a clone, meaning Kalashnikov did copy a fairly large feature by extension. Also, I’d be more upset to be the designer of the AB-46 rifle considering the spring and piston design was lifted from his rifle.

    I’ve read a company in Germany actually still makes reproductions, but they can’t be imported. It’s a shame, but those rifles really are cool! Great video!

  4. There is another version concerning AK and Stg.44 (I’ve read in some Russian blogs and articles). When WW2 ended Red Army captured some German firearm designers and moved them to Izhevsk city of USSR where the AK would be developed and where Kalashnikov was working by that time. And among those prisoned designers was …guess who – Hugo Schmeisser – the designer of Stg.44 !!! So there is a rumor that Hugo Schmeisser continued developing his gun and improving it and the result was the AK…but of course USSR couldn’t announce that the new revolutionary rifle is made by a Nazi engineer…and they promoted Kalashnikov. So some people insist that Schmeisser made the AK !
    I personally can’t fully agree because there are still a lot of dark spots in that history. But the fact that Schmeisser was working in Izhevsk at same time when AK was made, makes me think that Kalashnikov at least was strongly impressed by Stg.44 and Mr.Schmeisser !

    • Right you are… And in fact, Russia has a butchered monument dedicated to Kalashnikov and the AK 47… It’s butchered because the now missing part had the schematic to the MP44 engraved into it!

  5. Concerning the video…thanks a lot !!!
    I just love the appearance of this rifle !
    That metal forearm must become pretty hot after firing a couple of mags in full auto.
    Thanks to God that Wehrmacht didn’t adopted this gun earlier ! 🙂

  6. Honestly, I think a lot of the Kalishnikov was probably indigenous Soviet design. However, if the Russians want me to believe that they had Schmeisser and a lot of the team from the Gustsloffwerke who’d engineered the MG42 in the same city where they were trying to mass-produce a stamped-sheet metal assault rifle, and they didn’t have anything to do with the production engineering of the early AK, they’re out of their minds. Not even the Russians are that ego-centric–I’m sure Schmeisser and the other guys (who were probably more important for this) had quite a bit to do with the production engineering and machinery design than the Russians want to admit.

    Take a look at the very early stamped AKs. Note how they didn’t stay in production long, and how they transitioned to machined receivers. My thoughts? They tried, with German help, to make the AK a stamped-metal design. Didn’t work, so they went to machined receivers until they had enough spare die manufacturing capacity, and knew more about doing it. It was probably more a case that they didn’t have the industrial capacity to spare, for making the stamped machinery, and had plenty of machining capacity available.

  7. Thank you for the PTR-44 presentation. I’d like to buy one. Got some questions. Will the PT$-44 magazines function in the original MP43/44/StGs? Since the PTR-44 sells for a premium price then that is profitable for the manufacturer-importer ergo why not make more and import more and make more money? Why stop at a couple of hundred? What problems have owners of the PTR-44 encountered (legal and mechanical)? Are there new (stronger) replacement springs for the PTR-44 magazines?
    Thank you.

  8. Does anyone else think the PTR-44 would make a bit more sense if it were offered in 7.62x39mm, using AK mags?

    Given the price of 7.92x33mm Kurz ammo if you can find it at all, and given the magazine issues some have reported, and given that steel AK mags are just about bombproof–well, it just seems to make sense. I know the purist collectors will object, but perhaps they don’t plan to shoot theirs.

    • The problem is that in 7.62×39 the gun loses its historical authenticity, and with it the potential to sell for several thousand dollars. You couldn’t recoup the tooling costs selling the guns for the market value of a significantly modified StG.

      As for ammo, you can buy it brand new, boxer primed and noncorrosive from Prvi Partisan, for about $0.50/round. Not really any different from shooting .308 these days…

  9. Well described Ian,
    Yes the MP44 is something thats cant be compared with…
    This weapon still among of my favorites,as my thinking I would reather buy original one than repro,original guns got more value…

    You was wonder what would happened if Germans would win the war??
    Well evolution and concepts of this rifle would be changed significaly,if not German defeat in WW2 they would adopt roller locking bolt mechanism which it was primary goal for their design still even todays days this idea came through and Heckler Koch designed G3,G33,G41 systems as in Spain Cetme…

    In history of developmant of assoult rifles MP44 was first truely designed model than STG45 and than AK46 first model of Kalashnikov design which was disassembled just like MP44 than AK47 and other AK systems during 50ies Stoner was interviewed Kalashnikov and took idea of Rotating bolt head design and made his own M16 system and than evolution of assoult rifles spread across world with differant concepts…

    I had been well introduced with MP44 so i know about it to last pin and it could be designed further more modifying certain parts to increase firepower,reduce recoil conjunction and simplify this long magazine design which in end would acomplish this weapon in true piece of art…
    The trigger mechanism of MP44 could be simplified and push button wont be needed anymore,it all could be done by one selector just like G33…

  10. PTR ordered 400 of the PTR44 rifles. The first shipment 0f 200 arrived and had to be converted with 922r parts before they could be sold. There were so many problems with the rifles (SSD mags did not fit correctly, problems with extraction and more) and with getting 922 parts made and functional in the rifles (Recon Ordnance did a lot of the work) that PTR canceled the second shipment of 200 rifles. Of the 200 rifles, two were cannibalized for parts and 198 were sold. PTR and Recon Ordnance were to split the sales with each company selling 100 of the first 200 rifles.

    My rifle works well with original mags, even with 30 rounds (can’t use the SSD mags cause I’m in CA). There have been problems however and there is no support/spare parts available from SSD. Stock came loose (922r part) and had to be reworked, ears on the op rod broke off, so I had to replace the op rod with an original piece. Even with the problems and price its still a very cool rifle.

    Order of choice for mags would be: original MP44 mags, repro mags from Ron*, other repro mags ( lastly the PTR mags.

    *Long thread on mags (including mags from Ron) here:

    Original thread on PTR44 importation (very long):

    All of the GK43 Forum threads. This is where most of the PTR44 discussion has taken place:

  11. Nice review, specially since I’ll have a DB44 in Jan 2014, one showed up at my local gun store, it was calling for me to take it home. I’ll post a note once I get to shoot it.

    Now, about getting more mags… Anyone?

    Richard in Canada

  12. Have one of the early PTR44 imports. Used it a lot in reenacting. Made my own blanks out of .308 brass and dies from CH4 tool and die. Also reload live ammo again using trimmed .308 brass. So far have a few thousand rounds of blanks through it and hundreds of live ammo with no problems. One of the other members in my unit has an original MP44, and side by side they are very difficult to tell apart except for some very small minor details. Even most parts except select fire are interchangeable. Can’t quite afford an original, but this is the next best thing. I’m very happy with mine.

  13. I have one of the “early” ones. Used it in reenactments firing blanks, and live fire using reloads made out of trimmed to size .308 casings. After several hundred rounds of blanks and many more live rounds, it is still working fine and accuracy is quite good. During my reenactments my PTR was next to an original STG44 and aside from some minor marking differences they were hard to tell apart. Hope you fare as well in your trials.

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