By David Gonzales
AmmoLand Youtube Firearms Reporter
It’s amazing to think that the MP44 is the forefather of the modern assault rifle.
The long historical shadow that this gun casts over our current-day rifles probably makes the small hairs on most gun collector’s necks stand-up, along with causing that tingly warm feeling all inside them when they ponder what this one gun has given us.
The MP 44/MP 43 and StG 44 appear to be different designations for what is basically the same rifle, although with slight cosmetic differences. However, the “MP” was first used to name this rifle a Maschinenpistole, giving it a sub-machine gun designation. This renaming appears to have made it possible for the Nazi Armament Office to continue working on the development of this rifle in defiance of Hitler who wanted to suspend all “new” rifle programs. Hitler found out about this ruse and once again ordered that production be halted. But, he then allowed production to commence on a test basis in 1943.
In 1944 Hitler met with various generals about what they needed for the Eastern Front campaign. One of them very enthusiastically said that they needed “more of these new rifles!” It’s noted that Hitler at first did not know what the general was referring to. However, when he found out that it was the MP 44 Hitler decided to change the name of the rifle to Sturmgewehr, which was then updated to StG 44 and translated to Storm Assault Rifle 44.
Fascinating to think that the term, “assault rifle” was first coined in World War Two!
The MP 44/StG 44 is chambered for the 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge, which makes it about half the length of 7.92×57, which was used in the Nazi infantry’s K98 rifles. The cartridges size made it an intermediate round and is obviously more powerful and has greater range than pistol rounds. It’s receiver was made of stamped and welded parts and weighs approximately ten pounds. The magazine capacity is thirty rounds. It was also designed for select-fire.
The MP 44/StG 44 is said to be the father of the AK-47. However, I have seen some people dispute that claim and say it’s actually the father to the SKS.
Whichever it may be, it’s still one of those guns that forever changed modern warfare.
About David Gonzales:
David Gonzales grew up with firearms and has many fond memories of hunting with his grandfather. He enjoys participating in the occasional shooting match, going to the gun range with his family and friends and still has much to learn about firearms. However, he became a certifiable “Gun Nut” in 2008 when he realized that the constitutional right he took for granted could so easily be taken away. Did you see something on YouTube that David Should review. Leave a link in the comments below.