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GSG-STG44: The .22 Long Rifle Sturmgewher

By Christopher R. Bartocci

Anyone who is a student of modern military small arms has heard of the father of the modern day assault rifle, the Nazi StG44 or Sturmgewher which translates into Storm Rifle or proper English translation assault rifle. It was the first intermediate selective fire rifle which had a high capacity 30 round magazine and had mild, controllable and accurate recoil.

This rifle was chambered in the 7.92x33 Kurz cartridge. Some were brought back to the US from the war. After the fall of the Third Reich, the rifle and caliber were discontinued. No further production of rifles was ever made.

Some companies actually produced limited number of rounds including former East Germany, FNM out of Portugal, Privi Partizan out of Serbia and even Hornady made a run.

For the average gun enthusiast, he would be lucky to see let alone fire one of these pieces of modern military history. Oddly enough, no manufacturer ever went into small scale production to fill this void. The scarcity of the ammunition could be a major factor.

In 2011 the prayers were answered with compromise. How about an StG44 that would fire a common cartridge? Say the ever popular 22 Long Rifle? That is just what ATI and German Sport Guns GmbH did with the introduction of their GSG-StG44. The service and distribution of this new rifle belonged to American Tactical Imports Inc out of Rochester, New York. The unveiling was at the 2012 SHOT Show.

SAR obtained a test and evaluation rifle. It was received packaged in a very well made wooden crate. The rifle was broken down into the receiver, pistol grip assembly and stock all wrapped in plastic and held in place by wood planks screwed into support beams. After unscrewing the planks and retrieving the parts it was noticed immediately the incredible detail of this rifle and even the way it was assembled. This author has had significant trigger time on the World War II German StG44 and am quite familiar down to the last detail. The rifle assembled in the exact same way with the main...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N3 (April 2017)
and was posted online on February 17, 2017

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