Slow Motion: Gerät 06 (German WWII Prototype)

Before the invention of the roller-delayed system which would become the H&K G3, Mauser engineers in late World War Two built a small number of prototype roller-locked, gas piston operated rifles in 8x33mm, designated the Gerät 06. This would be followed by the Gerät 06(H) for “half-locked”, which was the first of the delayed blowback designs. This first gas operated design is slightly heavier because if the inclusion of gas piston components, but otherwise nearly identical in handling to the 06(H).

Only a very few of these rifles were built experimentally by Mauser, and we are very lucky to have access to fire this top-quality reproduction. This video was actually filmed some time ago, and lost in my back catalog – oops!

For more information on these rifles and their development into the H&K series, please see my video “Last Ditch Innovation”:


  1. Nice shots, man! I just hope that politicians aren’t going to lobby for the destruction of this place, considering that more mass shootings are going on. I have just about had enough of those idiots trying to shove responsibility for the crimes onto manufacturers! Crimes are committed by people, not by machines. But back to the gun here, it’s really interesting in terms of development and progress in a time of desperation…

  2. “Only a very few of these rifles were built experimentally by Mauser”
    Russian Wikipedia query states that 30 examples were completed. It also states that price for StG 45(M) was 45 RM against StG 44 70 RM and that in terms of production time it require 7,4 hours against 14 hours of StG 44.
    Anyway, generally it was too late. Germany apparently fail to create really cheap sub-machine gun, like Soviet PPS or STEN, until very late in war (MP 3008 produced in 1945)

      • I am saying the Ppsh, the “Daddy” wouldn’t be the same in 9x19mm. 7.62x25mm is perfect. Beyond reproach, 100% totally apt for it.

        A combination of excellence… 100% proved: Whole Soviet divisions were armed with Ppsh’s “wee’ish round, short… But perfect” travelling fast.

        I like the 06/06h I think its fantastic. Does it beat the Ppsh? No.

        • “Whole Soviet divisions were armed with Ppsh’s”
          Do you mean дивизия under division? If yes, which source claim so?
          During Great Patriotic War, Red Army has units which might be called smg company (рота автоматчиков), but I don’t know about such division or even regiment (полк).
          Additionally fact it is called рота автоматчиков mean it is armed mainly with sub-machine guns, but not exclusively in sub-machine guns
          For example according to
          Рота автоматчиков (as part of Механизированная бригада – mechanized brigade, September 1942):
          – 102 men
          – 91 sub-machine guns
          – 9 carbines
          – 4 self-loading rifles
          Bigger unit was моторизованный батальон автоматчиков as part of отдельная танковая бригада, but it has bigger diversity of arms:
          Штат № 010/507 (November 1943)
          – 507 men
          – 50 rifles and carbines
          – 280 sub-machine guns
          – 18 light machine guns
          – 4 mounted machine guns
          – 18 AT rifles
          – 6 82-mm mortars
          – 4 45-mm AT guns
          I would say arming division exclusively in sub-machine guns, make no sense. Notice that rifleman division is unit consisting of at least 8900 men (size changed in time)

    • Since Red Army ‘liberated’ among others industrial plants (if we can speak of ‘plants’ at the end of ever devastating war) also key of German small arms production in Suhl and Erfurt area, I’d expect them to be first to know the final account how much of what was produced. I bet they were all over those places.

    • Ian says in the older video that parts for 30 were made by Mauser, shipped to German Alps and then abandoned in the last days of the war. The guns were later completed under US supervision by captured Mauser engineers and tested. One remains at Springfield Armory museum.

  3. Was this one of Chuck at Gunlab’s repros? The rotating dust cover is an interesting detail, slightly surprising in a last ditch design.

  4. While I greatly appreciate Ian’s preoccupation with these seminal German developments, my feel is that there is lot of repetition on the topic. This is in no way saying that my knowledge is accomplished to full satisfaction on this subject; it is merely to say that it sounds more as duplication of duplication.

    If I may advocate something in this spirit but with more modern interpretation, I’d like to recommend to look at Spanish LMG Ameli (if I am not mistaken, it was not introduced on FW as yet). Also, I believe this was the last “kick in the can” on subject of roller locking.

    Ooops, I was wrong. It was here already.

    • At least we can’t kick the can any further than we already can. Has anyone seen flap-locking mechanisms past the world wars?

      • They (flap locking) are typical for heavy machine guns as used in large numbers thru current Middle Eastern clashes. One thing to recognise is difference between objective and means how to achieve them. If you need to lock the chamber, you as designer can choose how to do it and to what effect.

      • Thanks for bringing this up. I never heard of it (obviously it was state secret) while living there. Czech-Slovak government thru its foreign trade agencies (yes, in nominally ‘communist’ state – no kidding) were doing what they could to bring some hard currency home. For that they purchased tropical fruits for Christmas season which population loved and expected. Everyone was happy. 🙂

    • Well yes, this video has undeniably a value. It shows what was said so many times before – action does bounce and I am not surprised because of its light weight, not very persuasive return spring and ubiquitous elasticity of steel. This by default causes risk of fire out of battery – bad news.

      These systems (of roller locking) had their discovery period, rise of fame period and eventually their decline (save for MP5 SMG). They are here as a living example that all attempts on extremities on human endeavour are typically short lived. But sure, they are of high importance since they help to establish boundary of what is reasonable and what is lunacy.

      • The last statement reminds me of the I-400 class submarines, which served as the spiritual predecessors to missile subs lurking around the ocean today. “Don’t tell them it can’t be done!” Do submersible aircraft carriers count as products of mad scientists?

        • “Do submersible aircraft carriers count as products of mad scientists?”
          Citing one of James Bond adversaries: The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

      • In the 1980s H&K was still actively marketing their roller-delayed assault rifles (HK 33E) and machine guns (HK 11E, 13E, 21E & 23E). They even sold relatively well, although not so much in Europe than in Asia and Latin America. It appears that the new British owners finally decided to phase out the roller-delayed products, save for the still very popular MP5. New HK long guns introduced after the 1980s have been gas operated like pretty much all other modern military small arms. Exception is the UMP, which reverted back to straight blowback for cost reasons.

        • That is good wrap-up description of what happed. I see that in light what was said over time, this was primarily effort due to high effort resulting from dire situation Germany was in. After the war, they wanted to be relevant and independent in their own way and I understand that.

          From hat I gathered in time, the 7.62 weapons worked quite well perhaps due to more ‘juicy’ impulse. The 5.56 versions in comparison were a flop. I believe that part of Norway it was only Turkey who issued G33. They were rather hastily discarded soon afterwards.

  5. Denny useless trivia
    I had the first micro brewery in france the Brasserie du Bobtail
    When I first went up to northern france to buy hops in 1985 the hops growers told me that the czech state company was exporting high grade hallertau hops to france and buying cheap french hops for the czech beer sold in country
    Apparently czech hops were used in the export beer

  6. I like this gas operated version better than gerat06-H roller delayed blowback version. This would make a great self loading rifle. I just wish the sights were not so high.

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