Type: Assault rifle
Origin: Nazi Germany
Length: 940 mm (37 in)
Barrel length: 420 mm (16.5 in)
Weight: 4.6 kg (10 lb) unloaded
Capacity: 30 rds
Developed by Nazi Germany in the final years of World War II, the StG 44 (Sturmgewehr) was the first true assault rifle and utilized an intermediate rifle cartridge in a compact rifle boasting a fully automatic fire capability. While the design saw a very short service life, serving with the early production under the designation MP 43 in 1943 and seeing only limited service in East Germany and among other nations using captured examples post-war, the concept developed was quickly adopted by nearly every military in the following decades.
The StG 44 shown features the Zielgerät 1229 Vampir infrared optic developed for use with the Sturmgewehr. Powered by a battery on the carried on the operators back, an infrared lamp on the Vampir sight illuminated the soldier’s target in the sight. While the sight offered a distinct advantage in night fighting, it didn’t reaching the frontlines until February 1945, far too late to have any real impact upon the outcome of the war.