"It was accurate, it was controllable on full auto, it was easy to train troops how to use, and on top of that, it was easy to manufacture."
Those are the words of American Rifleman's Shooting Editor Glenn Gilbert when describing the German Sturmgewehr or STG 44 for their I have this old gun ... series.
Designed in 1942 for the German troops, the need for such a firearm came about after their encounters with the Soviet Army and their automatic rifles. Ditching their reliance heavy machine guns, the ultimately turned to the more compact STG 44.
Weighing in a just over ten pounds, the STG fired 600 rounds per minute with an effective range of about 325 yards. Very effective when considering that most engagements probably took place well within that range.
"The Sturmgewehr was single most underrated infantry small arms development in World War II," said Firearms Historian Mike Parker. "Partically by the Americans. It was very simple, easy to take care of, and in the field you can do a lot of damage with a Sturmgewehr."
To learn more about the German STG 44, check out the video from American Rifleman's "I Have This Old Gun."