The story of the assault rifle MP-43

Modern machines (assault rifle) as a separate species in Small guns appeared during the second world war, when they were designed for so-called "intermediate" cartridges — more massive than a pistol but less massive than the rifle. These cartridges increased the effective firing range of up to 500 meters, which is two to three times greater than that of the submachine guns. Coupled with the fact cartridges lower power than the rifle, have allowed them to make a lightweight and reliable design of a new class of small guns — machines (assault rifles). One of the first structures of this kind proposed German professional gunsmith Hugo Schmeisser.

With the coming to power of the Nazis began upgrading the Wehrmacht. The Army, after analyzing the prospects for development of weapons and equipment in view of its tactical implementation, has come to the conclusion that one of the objectives of the creation of qualitatively new armed forces prepared for a large-scale offensive action, is equipping them with an instrument more perfect than that which is possible in enemies.

BASIC Reference (TTP) for the establishment of a new instrument developed by the Office Army Weapons Wehrmacht (HWaA — Heereswaffenamt), began with the development of requirements for reduced power cartridge firing range of up to 1,004 meters.

HWaA directed his attention to the cartridge firm "polta» (Polte) of Magdeburg, where in 1938 in an active manner made the project 7.92 mm "short" cartridge with a case length of 30 mm and a bullet weighing 3.7 g, has the highest initial rate . As a result of the signing of the contract with the Army of management were carried out in 1938-1941's detailed research and development experiments with 7.92 mm "short infantry" cartridge. Hard work with quite a huge number of samples of experienced rounds completed in 1941 that, for adopting recommended 7.92mm "intermediate" cartridge with a case length — 33 mm, weight of the bullet — 8.2 g and the reference speed — 694 m / sec.

Basic tactical and technical requirements, defines the main features of the design tools under the "intermediate" cartridge, conducted in 1935-1937, after years of numerous research works have been redesigned for 1938 and has developed the concept of small applets light automatic weapons, designed to change the sub-machine gun, magazine rifle and, in part, a light machine gun. It would be in the army, only two (instead of the previous 3-x) of small weapons — machine gun and a uniform for all tasks.

The accumulated experience, to take into account the latest achievements in scientific thought, and in the manufacture of complex products clear engineering, has led to the development of a fairly rigid and clear TTZ set HWaA for a new gun. Its creation involved the best design forces of Germany.

Research Bureau of the 2nd Division for testing and designing hardware HWaA April 18, 1938 entered into with the owner of the weapons Zulian offices CG Haenel, a famous gunsmith Hugo Schmeisser, the contract for the development of an automatic rifle. The new rifle received the official title Mkb (Maschinenkarabin, it. — Automatic shotgun), different from the name of MR (Maschinenpistole), which denotes the sub-machine guns.

Design team to design Mkb was headed by X. Schmeisser. First, in 1940 he transferred to the disposal HWaA first experienced the standard automatic rifle under the "short" office holder "polta." The relatively long study of the complex "ammo-arms" permitted to lay the basis for a fundamentally solve this prepyadstviya, with a professional designer chose the balanced version of the automation — removal of gases from the barrel. It is this principle which is then implemented in virtually all automatic firearm post-war years, and the construction of the German "intermediate" cartridge will form the basis for the creation of such ammunition in almost all countries of the world.

Mkb system Schmeisser, as planned TTP, was, in the main, of stamped parts. Automation tools work on the principle of powder combustion gases from the bore acting on the piston associated with the stem bolt. Locking bore misalignment produced in a vertical plane shutter. A feature of this system is the very long stroke in the gas chamber located above the barrel. To reduce the area of the rubbing surfaces of the piston on it were cut transverse grooves. Adjusting the powder combustion gases was carried out by the configuration of the gas chamber. This was achieved by cutting out the spiral movement on the gas control rod couplings with conical head, part of the camera, which is also significantly ennobled functioning guns in difficult criteria.

Trigger striker type housed in a box stamped and allowed for the possibility of doing both single and continuous fire, there was a translator for this button type. Stop moving parts to sear their place in the last posterior position as a sub-machine guns, in which such a device is allowed to avoid accidental discharge during stop shooting, with dashes and heating the barrel during firing. Handle reloading connected to a piston rod, is on the left side of the receiver. Coupled with the fact she served as a fuse, why it was necessary to drown the handle to the right, pushing the crown. With this movement of her back end went into the fixing hole in the receiver, consolidating the piston. The same pen delayed moving the bolt in the rear position: making a turn toward the slide frame, she was got into the notch on the winding slot receiver. Schmeisser used here a structure similar to a guard with a submachine gun MR-38/40.

For Mkb very successful sector-store was designed with dual in 30 rounds. His filling of cages was performed for 5 rounds with an adapter that fits on the neck of the store. Extraction window automatically locked up dust shield. The sighting device consisted of a front sight with namushnike and public sector sight for 800 meters. Schmeisser automatic carbine truly intrigued by the military, rated him as a promising tool. After a fairly long-term improvements, which lasted throughout the first 40 years, the company CG Haenel at the end of the same year received the order for the ready fifty prototype for military trials.

Together with the company to develop a new type of small guns started several weapons companies, "Carl Walther GmbH» (Carl Walther GmbH), «Erma» (Erma) and others. Since the end of the fortieth year to fight for a lucrative order has joined one of the more famous German arms companies — "Walter» (Walther) running Erich Walter, who managed to reach the receipt of the contract for his own company at HWaA to conduct research on the program there Mkb. He proposed to make the system tools on the same criteria as the CG Haenel, but with the introduction of the store is absolutely waste of Mkb system Schmeisser.
The company "Walter" has started to work in a tough conviction that she was under the force creating the best tools than rivals, because of the strong production base and more than the highest scientific and design potential, historically developed over many decades of its work.

Mkb Walther, almost all repeating past design firm made in the thirties, but had a lot of innovations. In the flue gas system, the powder gases is withdrawn from the bore in the housing through the two holes used to move an annular piston located around the barrel and bushing. But translational mo
vement shutter piston is not, as in the past swatches and sleeve. The barrel is locked also produced a rotating plug. Lugs shutter placed in front of him. My type of fire — two, a lever type. Sights, raised for the convenience of shooting consisted of flies with namushnike and sectoral scope at 800 meters, mounted on the highest ground. For best stability under continuous fire moving parts and automatic butt placed on the same axis with the barrel. In fact, the whole rifle was assembled from stamped parts.

In the short time was made first experienced the standard, and is first in 1941 company "Walter" presented his department officers ordnance supply HWaA. Although the rifle and showed satisfactory performance in shooting of at the landfill in Kummersdorf, works to bring this all still imperfect construction lasted throughout 1941.

At the end of January 1942 for extensive competitive testing HWaA required the company CG Haenel increment initial order at the ready Mkb in 1942 to 200 units, and from the company Walther to July 1942 were required to provide 200 automatic rifles of its construction. Both systems HWaA assigned name Mkb-42, CG Haenel product with index "H» — Mkb-42 (H), and office machine Walther, respectively, «W» — Mkb-42 (W).

After the demonstration of prototypes Mkb-42 (W) and Mkb-42 (H) on the official show in July of the same year, the German Ministry of the arms control and HWaA remained in a tight conviction that the two offices have recently finalized their products and by the end of the summer you can run in the making. In this case, it was assumed that office by November will be able to make 500 Mkb, and by March of next year, will bring the total creation of up to 15 thousand every month.

But these plans were not realized it was fate. In August 1942, after tests Mkb-42 (W) and Mkb-42 (H) HWaA has brought new challenges in the initial specification. Consolidation of experience fighting on the Eastern Front, and in Africa found that a promising model of the main gun infantryman should be functional, in other words, hitting not only the fire, and (melee) with a bayonet and butt. In view of the installation at the standard carbine "Mauser" 98k rifle grenade launchers, and it was decided to Mkb have similar devices. Firms were instructed to mount on the trunks of automatic rifles and bayonets rush to predict the possibility of mounting over-caliber rifle grenade standard in 1940. Adding configurations quickly, but slowed down the transfer Mkb-42 in the establishment. At the same time, the difficulties encountered in CG Haenel with subcontractors, while Walther with the establishment of the press-stamping equipment, led to the fact that by October of each firm ordered Hkb none were made.

This is interesting: index «Maschinenpistole» (SMG) for machine gave the German armaments minister A. Speer. Hitler was against a new kind of weapon under the "single holder". On the German military warehouses were kept millions of rifle ammunition, and the idea that they would become superfluous after the machine Schmeiser, aroused great indignation Fuhrer. The trick worked Speer, Hitler vyznat truth only two months later, after adopting the MP 43.

In November, the company Walther kazhdomesyachnoy normal production at 500 units delivered only 25 Mkb-42 (W), and in December — 91 apiece. Thanks to the support of the Ministry of the arms, the two offices to early 1943, were able to solve more severe production difficulties. Thus, of the 500 Mkb, scheduled for production in January of that year, there were only 200 pieces nedopostavaeno, and in February, Walther and CGHaenel almost exceeded the level of production, having made carbines instead of the planned 1217 thousand pieces. Minister of Armaments "Third Reich" Alfred Speer, in order to better study the service and maintenance features Mkb-42 (H) and Mkb-42 (W), has ordered that, that a certain number of rifles were sent to undergo military trials on the Eastern Front .

Both automatic rifle, because of hardness specifications HWaA, also because of the widespread introduction of stamping and welding in the development, had among themselves a huge structural similarity. The tests revealed that although Mkb-42 (W) and was lighter, more compact and better balanced, which is heavily affected by the impact of fire, still had not hesitation that it is not complicated automation adapted for use in harsh field criteria. Mkb-42 (H) was easier and more reliable to own opponent. According to the results of tests of new weapons, HWaA decided to give preference to design Schmeisser, but only after making it certain configurations.

The main processing undergone a trigger mechanism. Application of the rear sear in Mkb-42 (H) provides a single and continuous fire, but the creation of single shots, so even if udarnikovy the trigger, causing justifiable doubts as to accuracy shooting because of the impact the shutter when a shot on the stump of the trunk. To increase the accuracy of the initial design of the battle of the trigger has been replaced by a more reliable trigger system Walter, with stop moving parts of the gate in the front position.

Changed design whispered in return is introduced into the groove handles reloading safety lever has been set, Stroke redone with a small longish, shortened tube of the gas chamber.

Operation of guns in the operation of complex criteria has been improved by the substitution of the huge windows sectional area to evacuate residual gases from the tube to the gas chamber with a diameter of 7 mm aperture. Technological configurations made to the bolt and bolt carrier with gas piston. Withdrawn guide sleeve back and mainspring. Due to the revision of certain views on the tactical implementation of an automatic rifle, was shot tide for the bayonet, which, by the way, helped Adopting a rifle grenade Gw.Gr.Ger.42 with another method of attachment to the trunk. In connection with the introduction of beech wood in the manufacture of the stock, its design is also simplified.

Most of the parts was manufactured way cool stamping with extensive use of spot-welded connection of parts. The external surface of the receiver, forearm, shop and other parts of the machine processed zig-machines, which squeezed the grooves of different profiles, significantly increases the hardness of these parts that are made out of a narrow sheet metal. One of the biggest shortcomings of the new machine, and not eliminated designers, has remained a large mass (more than 5 kg), it is complicated by the introduction of infantry units as the main standard of personal small tools.

The company CG Haenel, once with the conduct of these operations, from February to June 1943 continued to release small amounts Mkb-42. Only until the middle of 1943, the estimated, was about eight thousand automatic rifles, of which — 2800 MkU-42 (W) and 5200 — Mkb-42 (H).

Thanks to the support of the Minister A. Speer, in June of the same year, an upgraded instrument under the symbol MR-43 (Maschinenpistole-43, it. — SMG standard in 1943) has gone into the creation. The term "submachine gun" was used in the designation of this gun to hide, so as not to irritate Hitler, who could not come to terms with the idea that the warehouses will be millions of old German rifle cartridges. And this happened at a time when even the staff officers in Berlin recognized the effectiveness of the new weapons and ammunition. Introduction of mass production of MR-43 engaged himself Speer.

In September, on the eastern front in the elite German parts — a motorized division of the SS "Viking" — held the first full-scale troop tests MP-43. In a report on the combat use of machines more th
an half of the shooters was noted that the MP-43 is an effective substitute for sub-machine guns and rifles. New tool significantly influenced the increase in the firepower of infantry units and reduced the need to use their machine guns to fire support. Fire to a depth of 400 meters was carried out by single shots, then in the process of fighting close combat gunners switched to shooting small bursts.

A similar arrangement in the MR-43 firepower and doing 2 kinds of fire made such a strong memory for SS generals that already own the first reports they asked Hitler to allow immediate mass production of the machine. According to estimates of veterans, MR-43 — a reliable tool. There was incomplete at his ease disassembly and assembly. Bribed and that the instrument delivers big hit fight by firing a single lamp at a distance of up to 600 meters (at a greater distance shooting were already trained snipers), and by firing small bursts of current fire was carried up to 300 meters. In the conduct of continuous fire at 100 meters from the HP-43 at a target diameter of 11.5 centimeters more than half of the hits were placed in a circle, equal to 5.4 centimeters. New cartridges, being lighter, less overall and owning the least energy impact, as proven with a good hand. In the conduct of fire from MP-43 recoil force was two times lower in comparison with the standard carbine "Mauser" 98k. With the "short" 7.92 mm cartridge, by reducing the weight of the cartridge, it was probable increase of ammunition each infantryman. Ammunition 150 rounds of carbine "Mauser" 98k weighed 3.9 kilograms, and 150 "short" cartridges for MR-43 weighed 2.6 kilograms, which allowed them to increment up to 180 rounds of ammunition in store, located at 6 stores that were worn in 2 uh-pouches. Overall, the total mass of the machine with a full ammunition does not exceed 10.3 kilograms, an increase of approximately one kilogram heavier rifle "Mauser" 98k with a bayonet and ammunition. The excessive weight of the machine, compared with the rifle or submachine gun, was one of the few shortcomings inherent in the MR-43 is largely to pay off its innumerable advantages. By the shortcomings of the machine, which caused prirekaniya soldiers, include the fact that, apart from an awkward sight placed on the highest rack NIGHT MODE when firing the gun barrel burst a strong flame, unmasked shooter.

Urgent appeals of soldiers, backed HWaA minister of armaments and A. Speer, the results of the tests, in the end, break the stubbornness of Hitler. After he had personally requested the troops on a brand new outlook machine and received positive feedback at the end of September 1943 was ordered to adopt MR-43 on arms and infantry deployment of its mass production.

This decision is further accelerated the work of leading designers offices CG Haenel. In autumn 1943 there MR-43/1, is produced in small quantities by Merz-Werke. From the basic standard it was different having a new LP-mm rifle grenade Mkb. Gewehrgranatengerat-43 (later known as MP.Gw.Gr.Ger.43), which is screwed onto the muzzle threaded, and not fastened clamping device because the grenade Gw.Gr.Ger.42 on MR 43. In this connection, change the configuration of the barrel — its outer section has a width, in contrast to tsilindrostupenchatogo in the MR-43. To protect the thread from damage to the barrel is screwed elongated shaft coupling. Changed and the configuration of the stock, thus, to reduce the impact increased dimensions of the back plate.

For snipers was made standard MR-43/1, which was set to quadruple milled mounting optical sights ZF-4, also infrared night vision scopes ZG.1229 «Vampire." For field testing was done in a batch of 300 MR-43/1 with these sights. Landing mount "Vampire" was mounted on the right side of the receiver.

1 — aiming block, 2 — Handle reloading 3 — locking pin, 4 — translator type of fire, 5 — safety lever, 6 — trigger, 7 — Button magazine catch, 8 — magazine well.

Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Germany April 6, 1944 issued an order dedicated system Wehrmacht infantry weapons, where the title with a submachine gun MP-43 was replaced by the MP-44. Apart from the configuration, the production index — from 1943 to 1944, the second — this substitution can not explain more than anything, because any innovation in the gun itself have been made. Burdening the military situation has impacted on the fact that in October 1944, Hitler had to issue another order, according to which the MP-44 received a new (the fourth in two years, and now last) title — Stg-44 (Sturmgewehr-44, it. — Assault Rifle reference 1944). This is explained, most likely, political and propaganda reasons, if something else. Changing the designation — "submachine gun" to "assault rifle" — has become more accurately reflect the role and the main purpose of this weapon in combat. The design of the machine is not made any configuration other than the stigma Stg.44, placed directly on the old stigma of MP-44, located on the receiver. In all likelihood, this is typically only for guns, released in late 1944. MP-43 submachine guns / LL-44 were armed, first, elite troops — motorized units and formations of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS field.

The history of German machine MR-43 / Stg-44 did not end with the surrender of Germany. After the war, they were from 1948 to 1956 year operated by the police barracks and the German Democratic Republic in the years 1945-1950 — to airborne troops of the Yugoslav People's Army.

German arms designer, by right, belongs to the value in the development of industrial mass production of a new class of personal automatic firearms under the "intermediate" cartridge. Diligent preparatory study questions the use of small arms ammunition guns, a study of tactical abilities of automatic weapons such class contributed to the birth of the concept of "assault rifles" (machines). Germans before the other could open enormous power inherent in the type of newcomer tools — specifically the German MP-43/Stg-44 have had a tremendous impact on all the post-war development of a new class of small weapons: assault rifles (machine), calculated under the "intermediate" cartridge, and not only Western, and Russian samples. Thus, all of the initial development of similar instruments in the Soviet Union was based on the design principles laid down in the German swatches, with that, first, the Kalashnikov assault rifle is the standard in 1946. But the creation of Russian small arms weapons under an "intermediate" cartridge — this is a completely different story that asks for a separate discussion.

This is interesting: in late 1944, the German designer Ludwig Forgrimler constructed an experimental machine Stg. 45M. But the defeat of Germany in the second world war are not allowed to finish the construction of an assault rifle. Forgrimler after the war he moved to Spain, where he got a job in the weapons design bureau office "CETMO." In the middle of the 1950s on the basis of their own design Stg. 45 Ludwig makes assault rifle "CETMO model A". After several upgrades appeared "model B», and in 1957 received the German management license to produce the rifle at the factory Heckler und Koch. In Germany, the rifle was given index G-3, and it became the ancestor of the famous series "He
ckler and Koch", including the famous MP5. G-3 was or is in service in the armies of more than fifty countries of the world.

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