The Gewehr 41 (G41) was the first attempt by the German Wehrmacht
to produce a semi-automatic rifle
. Previous rifles used were the Karabiner 98
and the Gewehr 98
- Both bolt action
rifles, and it was the general concensus
that a self-loading rifle was needed to increase the rate of fire and efficiency of the German rifleman.
Two main competitors tried to obtain the contract offered by the Wehrmacht
. Both rifles utilized the Bang system, named after it's inventor the Norwegian designer Soren H. Bang. In this system, gases from a fired bullet was trapped near the muzzle and used to pull a piston that opened the breech to automatically reload the gun. Springs then would return the muzzle cone and piston to their original positions so the cycle would continue.
A first weapon made by Mauser, the Gewehr 41(M) M-suffix denominating the producer Mauser. Failed miserably and subsequently the Walther design was adopted. It was put into production in 1941 as the Gewehr 41(W).
But the G41(W) did not outperform its competitior by much, it had a bad battlefield reputation for being front-heavy and very sensitive to dirt because of the gas-nozzle located at the muzzle. Reloading the gun also proved difficult and time-consuming.
later invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, soldiers would capture numbers of the Tokarev 7.62mm SVT38s
self-loading rifles. The design of these, combined with the experiences of the G41(M/W) would form the basis for the Gewehr 43.
Caliber: 7.92x57mm GPtr.
Clip: 10 rounds.
Action: Semi-Automatic, Gas operated.
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