Walther G41 and G43 in the 2-Gun Action Challenge Match

I decided to bring back my Walther G41 for the April 2-Gun match, this time with a reproduction ZF-41 scope mounted on it. My G41 is a bit unusual in that it was originally made with the pair of rails for a saddle-type mount and also the side rail for a K98k type mount. The saddle mounts appear to have never made it into field use, and some German armorer welded one of the K98k rails to the side of this G41’s rear sight block. This sets it a bit farther back than the saddle mount would have, and as a result it does impede stripper clip loading (you have to angle the clips to the side to clear the scope). This particular rifle also had its stripper clip guides widened at some point for some reason – it will not reliably hold most 8mm stripper clips, but it would wonderfully with Swedish 6.5×55 clips. Those clips are super cheap right now, so I bought a couple boxes of them and I’m just going with it.

Anyway, to make the match interesting, Karl decided to bring his ZF-4 equipped Walther G43 to shoot alongside my G41. This made for an interesting comparison; as both rifles have advantages and disadvantages.

  • The fixed magazine and stripper clip loading of the G41, even though the Swedish clip I am using run super smooth, is definitely inferior to the detachable mags of the G43. It is slower in general, and requires two hands to lock the bolt open if you want to load more ammunition before the magazine is empty. The G43 is much easier to reload on the move by just swapping magazines.
  • The ZF4 is a more capable scope, but its greater magnification (4x) and smaller field of view are not a benefit when engaging close targets. The ZF-41 (1.5x) was easier to locate targets with, and offered a significant advantage over iron sights. It was still sufficient for the 200 yard targets in this match (although my atrocious trigger control on that stage killed my performance there). A significant part of the challenge of those longer targets in this match is that they are not painted, and blend into the backstop to a significant degree. The ZF-41, even with its low magnification, allowed me to see the targets better, and also to not lose track of them when moving my focus to the front sight.
  • The G41 once again had no malfunctions during the match. Its gas system will eventually carbon up and stop working so well, but in my experience so far, it will run flawlessly for at least 250 rounds before that becomes a factor (I am using surplus steel-cased Romanian ammunition, FWIW).

As we mention at the end of the video, Karl and I are planning to take these two rifles to compete in the two-day Tiger Valley practical match in Texas this fall (it’s the same weekend as the Pecos Run-n-Gun, which I unfortunately attempted to enter last year). I am going to be practicing as much as I can with the G41 over the next few months in preparation, and I am really excited to see how these two rifles perform in the closest thing we can realistically get to a combat environment!

 

9 Comments

  1. Hmm, ever thought about starting a side-series called “forgotten optics”?
    Actually, are there any books you can suggest about the history of small arms optics? My knowledge pretty much starts and ends at “And then there was ACOG”

  2. In order to provide a fair assessment of the rifles you need to switch shooters and run the same simulation.
    Either that, or have one shooter run the simulation with each of the rifles.

  3. Karl used multiple magazines, but was the G43 actually issued with multiple magazines? If so, do you know how many? Being able to remove the magazine of a rifle of that era doesn’t necessarily mean that more than one magazine was actually issued with it. The magazine may have been removable simply as part of the field stripping and cleaning procedure.

    • Like the SVT-40, the G43 was intended to be issued with 3 magazines. 2 of which were carried in a special pouch.

    • The G43 was issued with 3 magazines and the typical load out on the belt was 2 magazines left of the buckle and a standard 30 round stripper clip pouch set on the right side of the buckle, with 1 magazine in the rifle.

      The Germans were better at actually issuing the 3 magazines with the rifle, unlike the Russians with the SVT-40 and additionally the G43 magazines are actually interchangeable between rifles unlike the SVT-40 mags which are iffy.

  4. I just read the update posted from Pecos last year and the crudely-written note they sent you.

    It’s tough to decipher why someone (aka the land owner) would go out of his way to write a nasty letter calling you a ‘sheep’ instead of a ‘leader’ rather then just give a refund with an apology. What does that have to do with participating in an event? Wouldn’t the more ‘leader’ action be to schedule an alternate date or postpone pending weather?

    If I ever make it down to Texas I know which event not to attend now.

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