Manufacturer: Gustloff Werke- Suhl
Barrel: 18 Inch Round
Gauge: 7.92 X 33mm Kurz
Tags: wwii, nazi
Rare Late World War II Nazi VG1.5 Semi-Automatic Rifle This is a very fine example of a late WWII Nazi VG1.5 or Volkssturmgewehr or "Peoples Assault Rifle", as manufactured by Gustloff-Werke in Suhl. These rifles were a late war development, designed along the same lines as the MP43 and MP44 series of rifles, intended to be produced in a higher volume, using cheaper and faster manufacturing methods. They were made up using various stamped sheet metal parts and components, along with limited machined parts such as the tubular receiver, barrel and bolt head. The assemblies/parts were either welded or pinned together to speed up manufacture. This process allowed the German industrial base to manufacture a crude but fully functional weapon with minimal use of vital war materials. Initially these VG series of weapons were kept secret from Hitler due to their crude and unrefined manufactured appearance and were never officially approved or accepted by the German Army, instead they were produced on direct orders from the Gauliter of Thüringen, which is the district in which the Suhl factory is located. Consequently, they lack standard German Army acceptance proofs and are only stamped with a large "Th" (for Thüringen) on the stock. They are a "retarded blow-back" operated rifle in that the barrel has four small holes towards the muzzle, which allows gas to escape inside the barrel jacket to help it move reward during recoil. The barrel has a fluted chamber to aid in extraction. They have crude fixed notch rear sight with a simple post front sight and the forend and buttstock were roughed out of plain beech wood. As mentioned above the stock is stamped with "Th9805" which was intended as the manufacturing serial number of the rifle. It is estimated that only a few thousand were ever manufactured and issued late in the war, with most of them being destroyed/captured by the Russians after the end of the war. This rifle is complete with an original simple cloth/webbing type sling. This example is unusual in that it has a barrel that is 5 inches longer than the standard rifles and this entire 5 inch length is freebored/unrifled. This 5 inch section also has four undrilled gas escape holes around the circumference of the barrel along with a semi-finished parting line, just in front of the standard barrel. Not sure of the origin; Most likely added after the war for legal concerns.