German WWII VG 1-5 gas delayed blowback rifle
This rifle, as strange as it seems, fires a rifle cartridge from an unlocked breech! At the time, possibly about 10,000 of these semiautomatic carbines were manufactured for civilian resistance use. Today, the VG 1-5 is exceedingly rare and is principally found only in noted arms museums. Originally, the Volkssturm drew the greater part of its weapons from materiel captured by the Wehrmacht, but soon that supply was exhausted. In response, German industry exhibited remarkable resourcefulness by manufacturing serviceable weapons from basic materials and eminently uncomplicated production techniques. Machining and heat treating was kept to an bare minimum and steel tubing and pressed metal with welding, pins and rivets were used for component assembly. The alternate weapons program was inaugurated to field basic shoulder arms chambered for both the 7.92x57mm long cartridge and the 7.92x33mm Kurz (short) cartridges. The designs covered single-shot and magazine-fed bolt-action rifles and semiautomatic carbines. Early development efforts peaked during the autumn of 1944 and the weapons were demonstrated to Adolf Hitler during November 1944, according to Albert Speer’s prose. Among the models demonstrated to the Führer “leader” was a retarded blowback semi-automatic firing the Kurz cartridge, with a 30-round magazine, a model from the Gustloff Werke, Suhl.
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