Hitler’s Garands: German Self-Loading Rifles of World War II
Gilbert, Glenn M
Hitler’s Garands: German Self-Loading Rifles Of World War II
Author: W. Darrin Weaver. Available from: Collector Grade Publications, Inc. (Dept. AR), PO. Box 1046 Cobourg, Ontario K9A 4W5 Canada, (905) 342-3434 wwvv colectorgrade com Hardcover 8 1/2″,”xl 11 1/4″ 392 pp. Price: $69.95
As with most armies of the time, the Wehrmacht during World War II was still principally armed with the boltaction Kar 98k rifle. There was interest in developing a semi-automatic rifle, but designers were hindered by the German Army’s requirement that the bore not be tapped to cycle the action. Rifles from Mauser and Walther relied on a system pioneered by Dr. Bang (a Swedish engineer) that trapped gas at the muzzle. Though well made, the G41M and G41W were overly heavy guns prone to jamming due to fouling.
Combat experience against the Soviet SVT 40 and U.S. M1 Garand forced the German Army’s ordnance board to relent and allow Walther to create the G43 by combining the SVT 40 gas system with the flap-locking bolt of its G41W
Author W. Darrin Weaver has uncovered a great deal of previously unpublished information concerning the production history of these fascinating rifles. As popular as they were after the war, very little was known about them, and a lot of what we thought we knew turned out to be wrong.
The author’s chapter regarding fake components and accoutrements helps collectors avoid the expensive mistake of buying one of the home-made sniper variants that continually pop up at gun shows. Also, production changes and variations among original components are cataloged and illustrated.
-GLENN M. GILBERT
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Sep 2002
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved