The Volksgewehr program was a frantic and disorganized effort, poorly organized and with many bureaucratic contradictions. A good example is the VG-2 production. The DIW (Spreewerke being a subsidiary of that firm) prototype VG rifle failed in the October 1944 trials – one sample broke and extractor and on broke a bolt handle. The Walther rifle performed much better, and was adopted as the VG-1 as a result.
However, in a convenient example of Nazi corruption, one of the officers involved in testing and approval of the rifles was actually employed by Spreewerke. He lobbied successfully to allow production of the Spreewerke rifle despite its trials failure, and it was adopted with the designation VG-2.
Most of the last-ditch German bolt action rifles were basically simplified Mausers to one extent or another, but the VG-2 differs substantially, as it uses a stamped sheet metal receiver. This gives it a very distinctive look, and made it simpler to manufacture in some ways – very little milling was required. Functionally, the gun was a standard bolt action design, with two locking lugs at the front of the bolt. It is believed that between 16,000 and 18,000 VG-2 rifles were produced in total. For a more detailed description of the rifle’s features, as well as the complete gallery of detailed photos, please see the Spreewerke VG-2 page in the Vault.
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