StG44

The StG44 assault rifle (Sturmgewehr 44, named MP44 when it was finalized and put into production) is one of the epoch-making achievements in the history of modern infantry.

It is the first automatic rifle with a short cartridge with intermediate power.

Magazine capacity (30 rounds)

Country of Origin (Germany)

Caliber: 7.92mm

Ammunition: 7.92×33mm short round (Kurz round)

At the beginning of the design, this Gun was intended to replace the light machine gun, but Hitler believed that the range of this Gun was too short to meet the standard of light machine guns.

It had a problem with ammunition also. 

The StG-44 Assault Rifle can fire in single shots or bursts; 

It’s short, lightweight, and easy to carry.

Range 

The STG44 assault rifle has a range of 300-500 meters. While its general performance is satisfactory, it suffers from a slow firing rate at close range and visible bouncing of the continuous shooting gun body.

Rate of fire

685m/(sec) 

The STG44 assault rifle has a total length of 940 mm, a muzzle velocity of 685 m/s, and an effective range of 300-500 meters.

Advantages and disadvantages

1. Advantage

The StG44 is inferior to rifles and light machine guns in terms of muzzle velocity and range due to the use of intermediate power bullets. 

However, at a range of 400 meters, the StG44 is easier to control when firing in a row, and the firing accuracy is better. It can fire continuously, and the firepower can be brutal. 

The StG44 is a combination of the performance characteristics of a rifle and a submachine gun.

The capacity of 30-round magazines ranges from 32-round magazines for submachine guns and 71-round drums to 20-round magazines for light machine guns and 75 rounds of drums.

German designers based it on the need for actual combat for firepower and the upper limit of physical strength for infantry to carry ammunition. 

Or the need for continuous combat, and finally chose 30 rounds of curved magazines. The 30-round magazine is moderate in weight and can be carried in large quantities by a single soldier. At the same time, 30 rounds of ammunition can ensure the continuity of firepower. 

In actual combat, three or four German soldiers holding StG44 can often suppress a squad of American soldiers holding M1 and a more significant number of Soviet soldiers using Poposa submachine guns. Later, the M16 of the United States and the AK of the Soviet Union still used 30-round magazines, which shows their success.

2. Disadvantages

People who have used StG44 are often dissatisfied with this Gun. StG44 has a slower rate of fire at close range because it uses short rifle bullets, and the gun body jumps obviously during continuous shooting, which is not as easy to control as submachine guns. 

If it is within 50 meters, compared with the MP40 submachine gun, the StG44 is inferior. At the same time, the range of the StG44 is limited, and the maximum effective range is not more than 500 meters.

 Beyond this distance, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you encounter an enemy with a Mauser rifle at a long distance, it is difficult to kill the opponent. 

These seem to make sense, but the StG44 has its own scope of use and is not an all-around weapon. It is mainly used in the hands of individual soldiers to deal with the enemy within 400 meters, suppressing the firepower of the enemy’s soldiers.

The above two situations are challenging to occur in actual combat in modern warfare. The ultra-long distance is generally suppressed by heavy weapons or sniper weapons operated by many people.

For example, in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, due to the short range of the AKM, it was unable to deal with the hidden guerrillas on the cliffs holding British rifles.

 It was forced to equip many snipers at the grassroots level. Later, it was mainly suppressed by double-barreled anti-aircraft guns on trucks and small-caliber artillery on armored vehicles, and the effect was excellent. 

Raid battles within 50 meters of modern warfare are sporadic. So StG44 is fully capable in most cases.

powerful assault rifle
Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Standard infantry equipment

The StG44 has become the world’s first large-scale use of combat rifles. Especially in the later war period.

The rate of fire of the StG44 completely subverts the original form of the rifle in short-range fire suppression. 

The German army adopted the world’s first rifle (test type) with night vision sights based on the StG44.

German infantry squad equipment

Although the German army successfully developed the StG44 assault rifle, its birth time was close to the end of World War II, and it did not have any substantial impact on the outcome of World War II. 

The design ideas of the StG44 rifle and the 7.62×39mm caliber intermediate power ammunition equipped by the German army have become the research and development direction of various countries after the war. The StG44 assault rifle has laid a technical foundation for small arms.

After the Gun was equipped with the German army, it played an outstanding role in the battle against the Allied forces on the Western Front in 1944 and the battle against the Soviet army in the Battle of Berlin in 1945.