CE: G43 – MP44 Collectors Service  

This website 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 75 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: Hitler's Garands, Dieter Handrich: Sturmgewehr! and Peter Senich: The German Assault rifle 1935 - 45. (this book is published in 1987 and is somewhat outdated). A recently published book (in German) about the kurz ammo is: Sturmgewehr-patrone 7,92x33 by Dr. Dieter Kapell.

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 hand-guard, 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 and if you are ready to sell.

This leads to the next issue: matching numbers. 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? (A US carbine has in fact very few numbers):
1) They are perfectionists, everything must be 100%.
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 test fired received an approval stamp. However there is no meaning in stamping a safety lever or a magazine catch. So not only should all the parts have matching numbers, 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.

At last a few words about using reproduction parts or original parts. It could be tempting to use repro parts because they are cheaper than original parts and also unnumbered. The Wehrmacht made parts are often made under the most miserable conditions. Pretty much no outside finish, but the function is almost always right. The same cannot be said about reproduction parts. The tolerances and quality control are not there.
While one piece may be good, the next not so much. If you want a rifle to shoot I would advise you to use original parts for any and all essential pieces. This holds true for for magazines. Using a repro magazine is to invite to trouble. Before you shoot, you should check the head-space and renew the springs + possibly buy a "shooters kit".

Collected information
I have collected information relevent to German weapons. Below is my list:
1) List of WaA numbers (I believe it's the most complete and updated on the net)
2) G41 serial numbers (680 entries)
3) G/K43 serial numbers (3280 entries)
4) German 4-power scope numbers (3050 observations, 2550 of them are ZF4)
5) ZF4 mount numbers (180 pieces)
6) MP44/StG44 serial numbers (920 entries)
7) MP44/StG44 magazines
8) MP38u.40 magazines.
I hope you will drop me a line with your information - at claus@espeholt.dk. I will not publish owners names. I must emphasize that only 100% reliable information is usable. This concerns especially with the WaA numbers where we now see so much tampering. Apparently it boosts the selling price if a nice WaA number has been added.

I do not claim to be an expert, but all information on this page is correct to the best of my knowledge. Mistakes are possible and therefore please contact me if you find a mistake so I am able to correct it.

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