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Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 1498: Gustloff Werke- Suhl - VG1.5

Sold for Gustloff Werke- Suhl - VG1.5
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Exceptionally Rare Late World War II Nazi VG1.5 Semi-Automatic Volkssturmgewehr "Peoples Assault Rifle" with GI Shipping Box, Magazine and Ammunition
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000
Item Views 570 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Gustloff Werke- Suhl - VG1.5 ManufacturerGustloff Werke- Suhl ModelVG1.5
TypeRifle Gauge7.92 X 33mm Kurz Catalog Page221
Barrel16 Inch Round FinishPhosphate Grip
Stockwalnut ClassCurio & Relic Long Gun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a phenomenal example of a very rare late WWII Nazi VG1.5 or Volkssturmgewehr or "Peoples Assault Rifle" that was manufactured by Gustloff-Werke in Suhl. This specific rifle is a real time capsule, in that it has literally sat in the original veterans attic for the last 67 years, only recently being discovered by his son, after the death of the veteran's wife a few months ago. Included with this rifle is a short history on the veteran, along with a copy of his service record and honorable discharge papers. Accompanying this rifle is the original WWII wooden shipping box, with the partial release papers, dated Oct 1945, still glued to the lid. In looking at this rifle it appears to have never been fired as it retains 99% of it's original late war phosphate finish, original sling, one original magazine and eight rounds of original 7.92 X 33mm Kurz ammunition. In looking at the wooden shipping box you can clearly tell it was hand made with the hand painted mailing and return address on the lid, more than likely put together by the veteran himself. These rifles were a late war development and designed along the same lines as the MP43 and MP44 series of rifles, which were intended to be an even cheaper and simpler method of producing a semi-automatic rifle for the last ditch efforts in defending the Third Reich. These rifles were made up primarily with all stamped sheet metal parts and components that were welded or pinned together to prevent disassembly, all which minimized the use of depleted German manufacturing resources. The only real machined parts on the entire rifle were the barrel, bolt head and various springs. These rifles were never officially sanctioned or adopted by the German Army and consequently will not have any acceptance proofs or markings. In fact they were kept in secret from Hitler who despised their crude and unrefined manufactured appearance. They were produced strictly on order from the Gauliter of Thuringen which is the district in which the Suhl factory is located and which is why they bear the "Th" stamp on the stock. These rifles function on a direct blow back operated basis, where the entire outside of the barrel jacket/receiver recoils. The barrel has a fluted chamber to aid in extraction and it fires the short 7.92 mm Kurz cartridge, which is the same as the MP44 assault rifles. They have a crude fixed blade rear sight with a simple post front sight and the forend and buttstock were roughed out of plain beech wood. As mentioned above the stock is stamped with "Th 7614" which was intended as the manufacturing serial number of the rifle. It is estimated that only a few thousands were ever manufactured and issued late in the war. The rifle is complete with one 30 round MP44 magazine that is marked "MP44" on the lower left side. This rifle is complete with a simple cloth or web type sling. Originally these rifles were finished with the late German phosphate type finish with the plain unfinished stock and forend.

ConditionExcellent with 99% of the original wartime phosphate finish overall with some minor thinning on the rear of the receiver. The stock and forend are both excellent showing the rough, late war crude manufacturing techniques with a clear "Th 7614" stamp on the buttstock. The sling and magazine are also both excellent. The GI wooden shipping box is also very good overall with the clear hand painted mailing and return addresses, the noted capture document and customs label on the lid. The box does show the typical scuffs and scrapes overall, obviously from being shipped from overseas to the veterans home. A phenomenal all original, VG 1.5 Volkssturmgewehr; the finest example writer can recall ever offereing at auction!
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