A rifle that is typically paired with an ice ax, crampons, and skis, the G33/40 is a rarely encountered Mauser-style carbine with an interesting history.
While German (J.P Sauer, Mauser Werke, Erma, BSW, Lubeck) and Belgian-made (FN) Mausers were the norm in the 1930s, hardworking engineers and craftsmen in Czechoslovakia were producing their own Mauser-pattern guns in Brno. While the Czech-made Brno Vz.24 rifle is legendary in its own right, the shorter Vz.33 carbine was something just a little different.
First ordered in May 1934, just 25,311 Vz.33s were produced by early 1939, according to the Czech Military History Institute in Prague, with most of those going to the country's police forces. Just an estimated 5,300 were delivered to the border guard.
Following the annexation of Czechoslovakia as a result of an ill-fated appeasement campaign by Britain and France, the rifle works at Brno came under new management. Dubbed Waffen Werke Brünn, or Weapons Works Brno, the factory was soon making gently modified Vz.24s and Vz.33s for the German war effort as the Vz.24(t) and G33/40, respectively, while preparing to make K98k series guns as well.
Postwar, these rifles were prized for those who wanted to recycle them into light mountain carbines, leading to many of the survivors being sporterized.
Intact and correct G33/40s are tough to find these days.
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