Gewehr 43 semi-automatic rifle

Gewehr 43 semi-automatic rifle

The Gewehr 43 was an improved version of the Gewehr 41, the first semi-automatic rifle to be used by the Germans during the Second World War

History [ edit | edit source ]

Germany's quest for a semi-automatic infantry rifle resulted in two designs - the G41(M) and G41(W), from Mauser and Walther arms respectively. The Mauser design proved unreliable in combat when introduced in 1941 and at least 12,755 were made. The Walther design fared better in combat but still suffered from reliability problems. In 1943 Walther combined a new modified gas system with aspects of the G41(W) providing greatly improved performance. It was accepted and entered into service as the Gewehr 43, renamed Karabiner 43 in 1944, with production amounting to just over 400,000 between 1943-1945.

Karabiner 43: The Rifle Nazi Germany Hoped Would Win World War II

Though not the first German semi-automatic rifle, the Karabiner 43 offered a number of improvements over its predecessors. Overall the design was solid, but came too late to tip the balance of the war towards Nazi Germany.

German work on designing a semiautomatic rifle began in earnest after Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. During the Nazi sweep eastward, German soldiers encountered Russian troops armed with SVT-38s and SVT-40, early semi-automatic rifles fielded by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Though imperfect, both rifles offered a much better rate of fire, and held double the amount of ammunition, ten rounds, than the Karabiner 98k, at the time Nazi Germany’s standard issue bolt-action rifle.

The first German design was severely hindered by restrictions that were placed on the design. In order to improve the rifle’s robustness, it was not to have any externally moving parts. In addition, no ports or holes were to be drilled into the barrel: an alternative cycling mechanism would have to be used. And, in case the automatic action failed, a backup bolt action was to be incorporated into the design. The resulting Gewehr 41 was an unmitigated disaster.

A cone-shaped gas trap at the end of the barrel was used to catch gas and drive a piston that cycled the rifle’s action, adding weight to the rifle. In addition, designers mounted a front post sight to the moving gas trap, making the rifle inaccurate. After extended firing, the trap would become dirty and was prone to jamming, a problem that was further exacerbated by difficult field cleaning thanks to the rifle’s mechanical complexity.

New and Improved

In 1943 the design was revisited and improved, and the resulting Gewehr 43 was far superior. The design eliminated the heavy and unreliable gas trap system in favor of a more conventional gas mechanism for cycling cartridges. In addition, a ten-round detachable magazine was incorporated, allowing soldiers to reload much more quickly than was possible with the Gewehr 41, which relied on two five-round stripper clips for a full reload.

The rifle was valued for significantly simpler maintenance as well as a more robust, reliable design. Despite using the full-powered 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge, the standard German rifle cartridge during both World Wars, it did not suffer from an inordinate amount of kick or noise, perhaps due in part to the rifle’s somewhat shorter barrel length. A number of the rifle’s components like the magazine, trigger guard, sight hood, and other parts were made of stamped, rather than milled steel which increased production speed and reduced per unit cost—a boon to Germany’s increasingly strained war economy. Still, the design was too little, too late despite the improvements.

Though the design was functional and appears to have been produced until late in the war, it came too late to tip the balance of power in Germany’s favor. Post-war, Karabiner 43s were used to arm both the Police and armed forces of several Socialist Republics, though other designs like the superior AK-47 quickly supplanted the surplus rifles as standard issue.

No, the Gewehr 43 Was Not a German M1 Garand

When World War II began in September 1939, the armies of Europe were still largely carrying bolt action rifles that were little improved over what had been used a generation earlier during the First World War. New focus had been on machine guns such as Germany s general purpose MG34, the Soviets DP-28 and Great Britain’s Bren Gun and to a lesser degree submachine guns, notably Germany's MP38 and the Soviet’s PPD⁠—little consideration had been placed on a “self-loading rifle” or semi-automatic.

By contrast, the United States military sought to develop such a weapon, and while a number of rifles were considered and tested, in the end, it came down to the M1 Garand. It was best described by General George S. Patton as, “The greatest battle implement ever devised.”

As the war progressed Germany developed new and improved firearms, including its MG42 machine gun and the world’s first “assault rifle,” the StG44. The German military even developed a special select-fire rifle for its elite paratroopers, the FG42.

Then there was the Gewehr 43 or G43, a semi-automatic rifle that has erroneously been described as the German s M1 Garand. However, while both were fine weapons the only thing that the two had in common was that both were semi-automatic.

During the 1930s the German military had rearmed and this led to the adoption of the aforementioned MG-34 general-purpose machine gun, and later the MP-38/40, the iconic and erroneously named “ Schmeisser ” submachine gun, but even in 1941 with the invasion of the Soviet Union the German military was still largely equipped with the Kar-98K bolt action rifle.

In 1941 the German military sought to develop a semi-automatic rifle, and two different firms ⁠—Mauser and Walther⁠—were charged with its development. Nearly thirteen thousand Mauser patterns were produced but neither it nor the Walther design provided reliable enough or met the demands of the military. Instead, the designers looked to captured stocks of the Soviet SVT-40 and noted the simple gas mechanism.

While the German semi-automatic been dubbed the “German M1Garand” by firearms enthusiasts, it would be fairer to suggest it was the German take on the SVT-40’s action while taking elements from the Mauser developed G41(W).

The G43 was accepted and entered service originally as the Gewehr 43 (G43) in October 1943. However, the naming was confusing due to the fact that the main bolt action rifle was officially a “Karabiner” (carbine) while Gewehr meant “long rifle.” For this reason, in 1944 the weapon was re-designated the Karabiner (K43). The two are identical in every way apart from the letters stamped on the side. Even today among collectors the rifle is generally known as the G43, while some published sources use the K43 nomenclature.

German military doctrine was to provide each infantry company with 19 G43s, including ten that would be fitted with scopes for marksmen. However, as the war effort turned against the Germans neither goal was ever achieved. Of the 402,713 G43s that were produced a total of 53,435 were outfitted as sniper rifles and those were fitted with Zielfernrohr 43 (ZF4) telescopic sights with 4x magnification.

Given the small numbers the G43 had little effect on the outcome of the war, and the rifle didn’t have much of a lasting legacy, but this could be due in no small part to the fact that Germany lost the war and arms development essentially ended for a decade. Likewise, the StG44 proved to be the more influential weapon, while elements from the FG42 were utilized in such small arms as the American M60 machine gun.

Yet, while it wasn’t really the German's version of the M1 Garand, the G43 was still a fine weapon that greatly improved on the bolt action Kar-98K.

This Is Why The M-1 Garand Rifle Was Truly Unstoppable On The Battlefield

Some might be surprised that the self-promoting Patton did not consider himself the greatest battle implement ever devised. But Patton knew a thing or two about killing – and he knew that in the hands of Allied troops the Garand did its share of killing.

In a world filled with bolt-action rifles on both sides of World War II, the gas-operated semi-automatic M-1 stood out from the crowd.

The Garand fires the hard-hitting caliber .30-06 round at even distant targets as fast as a soldier can pull the trigger. Additionally, it possesses qualities beloved by all troops. It is easy to clean, reliable even in the worst battlefield conditions and solidly built.

Although both the Germans and the Soviets experimented with semi-automatic rifles – the Gewehr 43 and the SVT-40, for example – neither was as widely distributed or used as the M-1.

Adopted before World War II, the Garand also saw action in Korea as well limited service in Vietnam. What’s more, tens of thousands of surplus M-1s ended up in the arsenals of America’s allies around the world.

But there were times during its genesis when there were serious doubts whether the M-1 would ever work. Design problems hampered its manufacture, and skeptics in the U.S. military still had a love affair with the tried-and-true M-1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle.

But the M-1 proved its worth, making it one of the most popular weapons … ever. “For the American forces the M-1 Garand was a war-winner whose strong construction earned the gratitude of many,” Chris Bishop and Ian Drury wrote in Combat Guns.

First, let’s get the pronunciation correct. John Cantius Garand, the Canadian-born weapons genius who designed the namesake M-1, pronounced his name in a way that rhymes with “errand,” according to Maj. Gen. Julian Hatcher, a close friend of the designer and a U.S. Army weapons expert.

Garand joined Springfield Armory as a consulting engineer in 1921, where he worked for the next 15 years designing and perfecting a semi-automatic rifle for use by the Army. Although at the time considered revolutionary, his design seems ludicrously simple today – possibly because it is the basis of many other semi-automatic rifles.

Built around a loading system called an en bloc clip, you pull back the Garand’s bolt until the follower in the rifle’s internal magazine holds open the action. Then you push the sheet metal en bloc clip loaded with eight .30-06 rounds into the magazine and allow the bolt to slide forward, which strips off the top round and chambers it.

Pull the trigger and fire the first round – gases from the cartridge’s burning propellant flow through a gas port and ram back an operating rod that opens the bolt while re-cocking the rifle’s hammer. The rifle ejects the spent cartridge, a new cartridge enters the chamber, and the bolt slams home, chambering the new round – and the rifle is ready to fire again in a split second.

That’s all a lot faster than a bolt-action rifle, which meant that during World War II soldiers who carried the M-1 quickly learned they could deliver considerable amounts of firepower very, very quickly. What’s more, the rifle’s action wasn’t easily fouled by the mud, dirt, snow or volcanic ash found on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.

“Reliability is still number one from the men I’ve spoken with,” Erik W. Flint, director of the Lewis Army Museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, told War Is Boring. “You don’t hear stories of an M-1 Garand failing in combat.”

Flint, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve who served in the infantry and has a Ph.D. in history, said it took time for the M-1 to gain acceptance.

“Resistance to the Garand was stiff in many quarters, especially in the United States Marine Corps where the M-1903 Springfield had reigned supreme for decades,” Flint said.

“Much of this resistance resulted from the belief in the primacy of marksmanship over volume-of-fire. A bolt-action rifle required precise, well-aimed shots, while it was believed a semi-automatic rifle lent itself to poor marksmanship due to the ability to rapidly fire round after round without the pause required to deliberately chamber each successive round.”

However, even the Marines changed their minds once they used M-1s during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942-43. The Springfield might have been the more precise weapon, but unless you were a sniper, the M-1’s rate of fire and the ability of the powerful .30-06 round to penetrate thick jungle foliage mattered more than match marksmanship.

Soon, any leatherneck who could get his hands on an M-1 gladly carried it.

Of course, even a great battle rifle like the M-1 has its weaknesses. It is heavy, weighing in at more than 11 pounds. Perhaps its most famous weakness is the “M-1 ping.” The rifle ejects the empty en bloc clip with a loud “ping!” which pretty much announces to the enemy that your weapon is empty.

No matter: Many GIs and Marines soon carried empty clips in their pockets that they would throw on the ground. The sound was often enough to flush out enemy soldiers who then faced a fully loaded M-1.

In a way, the M-1 is still with soldiers today, Flint said, despite the fact it was slowly withdrawn from service during the late 1950s.

“The M-14, which is essentially an M-1 with a 20-round box magazine, was adopted as the Garand’s replacement,” he said. “Essentially, it was the same rifle with a greater magazine capacity. The M-14 maintained the same reliability of the M-1 while shifting to the new 7.62 NATO round.”

Gewehr 43 Night Vision [ edit | edit source ]

Gewehr 43
General Historical Information
Place of origin Germany
Designer Carl Walther
Manufacturer - Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Zella Mehlis
- Gustloffwerke, Buchenwald
- Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik, Lübeck
Produced In 1943 - 1945
Type Semi-Automatic Rifle
Effective range 500 m
Rate of Fire 30 rpm
Magazine 10-round detachable box magazine
Ammunition 8×57mm IS
General Ingame Information
Debut in FHSW Debut in Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of World War Two
Used by Germany
Scope Zielgerät 1229

And what you think at night? You can not see? Well, use the Gewehr 43 with night vision. This huge scope on your rifle will not zoom bether then your eye, but the scope will make darkness into light. The latest German equipment, the Zielgerät 1229, is one of the first night visions in history.

During World War 2, the German military engaged the Allied Forces who were armed with semi-automatic rifles. This caused for the German people to produce a semi-automatic rifle of their own, resulting in 2 prototypes: the G41 (M) from Mauser and the G41 (W) from Walther. Proving it's unreliability when produced in 1941, the Walther version of the weapon proved far superior to it's Mauser counterpart.

The Gewehr 43 is a semi-automatic rifle designed and developed by Walther Arms. It is composed of a refined wooden frame with the use of machined metals blued in order to protect it from rust. It utilized a new improved gas system and exceeded the expectations of the German people rather than it's Mauser counterpart. It fired from a 10 round detachable magazine that chambered he standard 7.92x57mm Mauser ammunition of the time.

The weapon also could be utilized by the standard iron sights or the use of a ZF42 Telescopic sight, which made it into a specialized sniper rifle for long distances.

When Pack-a-Punched, its name becomes the G115 Compressor and gains a damage boost and more rounds per magazine.

The G115 Compressor is one of the most underrated guns in the history of Call of Duty Zombies, the weapon features massive headshot damage and with the aid of Double Tap has great rate of fire. This weapon is useful in all situations whether its camping, training, building trains, providing cover fire, close-quarter combat, or almost any other situation. It has relatively low damage, however, its ammo count and rate of fire makes up for the damage, making this weapon useful on the high rounds. The only downside is that it is weak against Hellhounds.


  • Type: Battle Rifle
  • Caliber: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser
  • Weight: 9.7 lbs (4.4 kg)
  • Length: 44.5 in (113 cm)
  • Barrel length: 21.7 in (55 cm)
  • Capacity: 10-round detachable box magazine (may be loaded with 5-round stripper clips) rare 20-round magazines are known to have existed.
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto

The Gewehr 43 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

German K43 G43 Karabiner 43 8mm Mauser WWII Semi Automatic Rifle Late War Nazi Walther AC 44, MFD 1944 C&R

Make: Walther of Germany. In 1944 “ac” was the Nazi code for Walther.

Model: Karabiner 43. Initially named the Gewehr 43 (abbreviated G43, K43, Gew 43, Kar 43).

Year of Manufacture: 1944. Based on the lack of cosmetic milling to the receiver and the lack of a bolt hold-open latch, this rifle was produced in the last 3 months of 1944. See page 112 of Darrin Weaver’s book, Hitler’s Garands – German Self loading Rifles of World War II.

Caliber: 8mm Mauser (7.92x57mm)

Action Type: Semi Auto, Detachable Magazine

Markings: There is no visible import mark. The left side of the barrel shank (under the handguard) is marked with a small Nazi “eagle / swastika” and with a small “eagle” inspection stamp. The left side of the receiver is marked with an “eagle / swastika”, an “eagle / 359” inspection stamp, “K 43”, “ac / 44”, with the serial number “3761”, and with a partial stamp at the wood line. The right side of the receiver is marked with an “eagle / 359” inspection stamp. The left side of the top cover is marked with an “eagle / 359” inspection stamp and with the serial number. The rear of the receiver is marked “M”. The top cover is stamped with what resembles a backward “46” next to the charging handle. The left side of the butt is marked with an “eagle / swastika / 359” stamping. The bottom of the post WWII magazine is marked “MADE IN DENMARK”.

Barrel Length: Approximately 21 ¾ Inches

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a bladed post atop a ramped base. The rear sight is a “V” notched sliding escalator marked from “1-12”. The right side of the receiver has integral rail for an optic.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece laminate stock has a pistol grip, metal nosecap with sling bar, hole for the missing cleaning rod, through bolt, sling well with pass through, and a metal buttplate with hinged door for storage. The butt has small spare bolt parts stored inside see photos. The buttplate shows scrapes, oxidation & excess wood finish. The handguard is ventilated. It shows a long glued & repaired crack down the center. The rear of the crack flexes slightly when pressure is applied. The front of the forearm is pieced together. It is missing a piece of wood under its nosecap retaining spring. The nosecap is secure but does not slide back far enough to lock onto the retaining spring. The stock shows various scrapes & compression marks. Areas of the finish have been dulled by scuffs. The sides of the stock show spots of mildew. The LOP measures 13 ½ inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition as refurbished.

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The grooves are grey and the rifling is deep. There is erosion in the grooves.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal finish, as refinished. Some of the new blue finish on the receiver and top cover has been lost. The original blue finish below it shows some discoloration from oxidation. The receiver, top cover, and barrel show scrapes & small scratches. The front sight shows oxidation and is scratched on both sides. The bottom metal shows small scratches and discoloration from oxidation. The screw heads show use. The markings are mostly deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition, as refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle comes with one ten round magazine. From our research we believe it is a post war magazine made on Nazi factory equipment ( It shows scrapes, small scratches, and areas of thinning. It is in about Very Good Plus condition. The butt has small spare bolt parts stored inside see photos. They are in about Fine condition.

Our Assessment: This Nazi marked K43 was made in 1944 by Walther. It was built without a hold open latch on the top cover. This was done to simplify production while the Nazis were getting their butts kicked near the end of WWII. It has Nazi markings and a good bore. It even comes with some spare bolt parts. It will add nicely to a WWII collection.

The K43 has a much improved gas system (borrowed from the Russians) and is much more reliable than its predecessor the G41. For some video history on the K43 (and G41 if you search) see the Forgotten Weapons You Tube channel at:

German K43 G43 Karabiner 43 8mm Mauser WWII Semi Automatic Rifle Late War Nazi Walther AC 44, MFD 1944 C&R