Gewehr 43 (5/11)

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The Gewehr 43 was an attempt by Germany to build a semi-automatic rifle similar to the M1 Garand of the United States or the SVT-40 of the Soviet Union. In 1941, Germany and its Axis allies launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union. The Soviets were in the process of trying to rearm their soldiers with the SVT-38 and SVT-40 rifles to replace the aging Mosin Nagant bolt actions from the 1890s. The Mosin Nagant was never fully replaced, but the Germans were nonetheless shook by the fact that the Soviets indeed had a semi-automatic rifle to field when they did not.

Inspired by captured SVT-38 and SVT-40s, the Germans began development of their own semi-automatic rifle. The result was the Gewehr 43. This rifle has a ten round magazine, which can either be reloaded by detaching the magazine and inserting a fresh one, or by loading two five round stripper clips into the magazine. Germany attempted to phase out the K98 in favor of the Gewehr 43 by issuing dozens of Gewehr 43s to each company, but because only 400,000 were built in contrast to the millions of K98 rifles this was never fully achieved. Many Gewehr rifles were outfitted with scopes, and these were then used as DMR’s, or Designated Marksman Rifles.

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Written by Nicholas