is dedicated especially to German semi-automatic WWII military rifles.
The purpose is not to give a general description of these rifles but to support owners of German small arms. Now almost 70 years after World War II there is a rather big interest
in Nazi stuff - sadly to say, and I know that people who lived in the Nazi time cannot understand this or accept this. Interesting and comprehensive
books about the G41 / G43 and the MP44 / StG44 have been published. Darrin Weaver: Hitlers Garands, Dieter Handrich: Sturmgewehr! and Peter Senich: The German Assult rifle 1935 - 45. (this book is published in
1987 and is somewhat outdated).
Restoring weapons - what to do and not to do
I have restored a few vintage cars. Each with the idea that I could make the cars better than when they left the factory! The intention was
the same when I got my first G43. The bakelite handguard was replaced by a wooden handguard, and the stock was cleaned with hot water and fat-soluble means. The result was several cracks in the stock. We see
from time to time polished and blued G43 for sale on auctions - eventually with a nice hunting stock. I presume such "improvements" have been done when these weapons were
considered as trash. I can give you this good advice: Keep the gun as original as possible, don't make any improvements. They will deduct from the value
when you stand in a selling situation.
This leads to the next issue: Numbermatching. I don't know why the Germans had (or have) a mania with numbering all the small steel parts: I think they have heard of
the benefits of mass production, so why all this numbering? (An US carbine has in fact very few numbers): 1) They are perfectionists, everything must be 110%. 2) Better sit and stamp parts than being at the front (occupational therapy). 3) They fear that the soldiers may
steal from each other. Normally there is no risk by changing parts
from one gun to another, but seeing it from a collectors value it's important to keep as many parts as possible matching to the serial number of the gun.
The same considerations can be made about
the WaA markings (Nazi chicken). These stamps were used when the accepting officer
had approved the parts. It seems logical that a gun, after being testfired, got an approval stamp, but there is no meaning in stamping a safety lever or a magazine
catch. So not alone should all the parts be numbermatching, they should also have the correct WaA-number. Note here that a) some parts have a serial number and a WaA, b) other parts have
only a serial number, c) and again other parts have only a WaA-number.
I have collected information with relevance to German weapons. That is: 1) List of WaA numbers (I believe it's the most complete and updated on the net), 2) G41 serial numbers
(about 290 entries), 3) G/K43 serial numbers (1400 entries), 4) German 4-power scope numbers (1700 observations, 1560 of them are ZF4), 5) MP44/StG44 serial numbers (430 entries), 6) MP44/StG44
magazines and 7) MP38/40 magazines.
I hope you will drop me a line with your information. I will not publish owners names. I must emphasize that only 100% reliable information
is usable. This concerns especially the WaA numbers where we now see much fiddling - it boosts apparently the selling price,
if a nice WaA number has been added.