A close look at rare WWII German last ditch rifles (VIDEO)

Ian at Forgotten Weapons managed to get up close and personal with a pair of Volkssturmgewehr VG1-5 “last ditch” rifles used in the final days of the Third Reich.

Called variously the VG1-5, the MP507, and finally just the Volkssturmgewehr Gustloff after the maker, the gun was part of the attempt to arm the Volkssturm militia made up of every lad and grampa left in Germany at the tail end of World War II. The idea was that these barely trained local forces would use whatever was left in the armory and augment that with a crop of cheap-to-make MP 3008 machine pistols, VMG-27 light machine guns and, of course, Gustloff rifles.

The Gustloff used the same 7.92x33mm Kurz round and magazine as the earlier StG 44 rifle, but was hands-down a terrible weapon by comparison.

Since only 10,000 were made and most of those guns perished in the apocalypse that was Germany in 1945, they are mad collectible today.

Which makes Ian’s detailed take down a rare and very interesting window into a chapter in desperate arms production.