Often described as Berlin’s answer to semi-auto combat rifles fielded in World War II by the U.S. and Soviet Union, the K43/G43 saw a lot of service even though it is almost forgotten today. To take a look at the 1940s classic, sometimes referred to as “Hitler’s Garand,” is Tim Harmsen with the Military Arms Channel in the above video.
Chambered in the same 7.92x57mm round that the German Army’s bolt-action 98K Mausers used, the Walther-designed Gewehr 43, or Karabiner 43, was a semi-auto that used a 10-round magazine. Capable of being topped off by five-round Mauser stripper clips through the top of the action, some 400,000 G43s were produced in the latter half of WWII, in a couple of different grades. While its short-stroke piston system was somewhat effective (although over-gassed), it just wasn’t produced in great enough numbers to make a difference so late in the war.
By comparison, the U.S. produced 4 million M1s made by Springfield Armory and Winchester, while Stalin’s factories cranked out somewhere around 1.6 million Tokarev SVT-38/40s.
For a second opinion on the same subject is Hickok45, below, with a 1944-vintage G43.