Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record
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|Title:||RIFLE, MILITARY - GERMAN RIFLE FG42 AUTOMATIC 7.92MM SN# 1089|
|Date of Manufacture:||C 1943|
|Catalog Number:||SPAR 901|
|Measurements:||OL: 93.9CM 37" BL: 50.1CM 19 3/4"|
GERMAN RIFLE FG42 AUTOMATIC 7.92MM SN# 1089
Manufactured by Krieghoff, Suhl, Germany - German WWII selective-fire rifle with 20-round feed mechanism. First pattern. Issued to German paratroop divisions on a quota basis. Fold-down sights, bipod, muzzle brake. Cyclic rate of fire: 750 rpm. Right pistol grip dented otherwise complete and in good condition. Cartridge: 7.92x57mm Mauser. Approximately 7,000 manufactured.
Bolt & bolt carrier: 1807.
Notes: Item No. 2, File NO. XXX-14, Copy No. 23. "REPORT ON VISIT TO ARMS FIRMS ZELLA-MEHLIS AND SUHL THURINGIA. C.I.O.S. Trip NO. 547 - 1. INTRODUCTION. 1.1. Nature of the Target - The target consisted of the various arms manufacturing firms, some of medium size and some very small in the towns of Zella-Mehlis and Suhl in Thuringia. These towns were centres for the manufacture of sporting rifles, shot-guns and hand weapons of all sorts in Germany and it was known that their capacity had been turned over to the production of military weapons for the German armed forces.
1.2 Object of the Visit - The party was to examine the various firms to see what development in new weapons may have been in progress and to watch for any improved manufacturing processes. Two members of the party, Col. H. Peploe and Mr. S.L. Moon were also looking for ammunition development and to this end visited Erfurt and Schleusinger. Their report will be rendered separately on these places. 1.3 Condition of the Target - There had been no fighting in either of these towns and the firms were largely untouched by war. The foreign labour had, however, celebrated their liberation in the usual fashion with the result that much wanton damage and looting obscured the activities of the firms. It was discovered that a thorough technical investigation of the firms had been carried out by U.S. Army Ordnance Corps personnel, hence the visit was largely abortive so far as producing new knowledge was concerned. Such information as was gained in set out below....
3. FIRMS IN SUHL. 3.1 - SEMPERT & KRIEGHOFF. The Company of Sempert & Krieghoff had two active Directors, one Mr. Ludwig Krieghoff who had been evacuated by the Americans prior to our arrival in Suhl, and the other Mr. Heinrich Krieghoff who was interviewed with his Works Manager, Mr. Schoen and the Technical Assistant Mr. Pinkewirth.
The peacetimes activities of this firm were directed practically entirely to the production of high class sporting weapons. The advent of hostilities resulted in component manufacture and gun assembly of military arms, mainly for the Luftwaffe. The models involved were M.G.15, M.G.81, M.G.131 and Wehrmacht F.G.42.
No information could be gleaned of experimental or tentative projects of a new or secret nature.
As a result of information received prior to our visit to Thuringia, Schoen, Finkewirth and Heinrich Krieghoff were questioned regarding the development of the Hermann Goering* Self Loading Rifle, which was associated only with the firm of Sempert & Kreighoff. The nomenclature as such, was unknown to the makers who claimed that it was known solely as Model 1934 Sporting Rifle. Hermann Goering's sole association with this weapon was that he saw one of the original prototypes and as a result a sample order from Berlin was placed for 30 Rifles, which were intended to undergo trials for suitability in one of the Services. The number involved was so small that it did not warrant production tooling and gauging, and, in fact, no drawings were ever made for this weapon. The result was that interchangeability was never achieved and the cost of these arms, being hand fitted, was high in comparison with those manufactured by the Firm's European competitors. Delivery of this order therefore was never effected and such weapons as were produced were sold privately.
The calibres for which this weapon were adapted were 6.5mm, 7mm. x 57 Mauser, 8mm. x 60 Mauser and 9.3 mm. Mauser. The standard of accuracy claimed for the weapon manufactured was As the detailer and principle of the weapon were completely unknown those interviewed were requested to produce a Rifle with which they were unable to comply straight away. They did however produce a barrel and action body with enough components, with which they were able to illustrate the outstanding feature of this weapon.
Pressure was then applied for the production of the missing components which were unearthed by three old employees which they to bring in for this purpose. The completed weapon in the white stage without sights and only very crudely stocked, was fired in our presence 24 hours later, but failed to function correctly. The outstanding points of interest in this weapon are: 1) Short overall length. 2) Very short action, compared with the 8mm.x60 cartridge for which it is chambered.
Examination of the weapon since the time it was acquired has shown, however, that it would be an extremely difficult manufacturing proposition, and would not lend itself to mass-production. It is not likely that it would ever be made into a military weapon and while interesting as an action it is not considered a practicable proposition."
*"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Hermann Goering.
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