Image taken from: Desperate Measures The Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm by W Darrin Weaver
Volkssturm Gewehr 1 (VG1)
The 7.92mm VG1 was a last ditch weapon made in the last days of World War II. It has a crudely made bolt and stock and uses the magazine of the semiautomatic Model 43 rifle.
Firing the VG1 can be a risky affair, since they were made at the low point of German manufacture in World War II.
Volkssturm Karabiner 98 (VK98)
The 7.92mm VK98 uses the model 98 action combined with miscellaneous barrels from old German and foreign Mausers. The stock is very crude and is of unfinished, unseasoned wood. Most of these weapons were single shot, but some were fitted with the semiautomatic Model 43 rifle magazine.
Maschinenpistole 3008 (MP3008)
The MP3008 is another example of a weapon deliberately copied from the Sten, but in this case the motives were different. In the last few months of 1944, the German High Command was desperate for cheap and simple weapons with which to replace the staggering losses in Russia, and to arm the raw battalions of young men who were to make the last stand against the Allies. At the same time, the Volksstrum and various guerrilla bands were forming, all demanding arms.
The British Sten had been one of the outstanding successful designs of the war, despite it’s drawbacks, and it was noted for its economy of material and uncomplicated design. Accordingly, it was copied in an even cruder and simpler form, and several firms manufactured as many as the circumstances allowed. The resulting guns differed widely in finish and some were among the worst finished weapons ever made, but they worked, which was that was required of them.
The most obvious difference from the Sten was in the vertical magazine which fed upwards into the receiver. There were other changes, particularly in the design of the butt and in the joining and pinning of the components.
Approximately 10,000 of these weapons were made and, although few saw action, it was remarkable enough that these guns had been manufactured in the chaotic conditions then prevailing in a Germany where raw materials and machining facilities were in equally short supply.
Caliber: 9mm Length: 31.5 inches Weight: 6 lb 8oz Barrel: 7.75 in 6 or 8 grooves, right hand twist Magazine: 32-round detachable box Cyclic rate: 500 rds/min. Muzzle velocity: 1250 ft/sec
Versuchs-Gerat 1-5 or Volksstrum-Gewehr 1-5
The VG 1-5 was a self-loading assault rifle hurriedly developed by the Suhl based Gustloft-Werke as part of the Primitiv Waffen Programm of 1944: the weapons were intended for issued to the Volksstrum and sundry last-ditch organizations which ultimately came to nothing.
The rifle was designed by Barnitzke, Gustlof-Werke’s chief designer, who had developed the operating principles in 1943, taking the MP-43 as his base. The VG 1-5 is remarkable as the mechanism incorporates a textbook case of delayed blowback operation.
The VG 1-5 was designed to fire the 7.92x39mm Kurz cartridge, and in order to simplify production, used the 30 round magazine developed for the MP-43. Small scale production is said to have begun in January 1945, but none of the few weapons which were found after the war bear formal Wehrmacht acceptance stamps and it is presumed that whatever production did take place was entirely on the initiative of the factory staff, who, by that time, doubtless had one ear cocked for the approaching Red Army.
Caliber: 7.92x39mm Kurz Length: 35.85 inches Weight: 10 lbs Barrel: 14.90 inches 4 grooves, right hand twist Magazine: 30 round detachable box Muzzle velocity: 2150 ft/sec