Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3494: Gustloff Werke- Suhl VG1.5 Rifle 7.92 x 33mm Kurz

Auction Date: December 6, 2015

Rare Late World War II Nazi VG1.5 Volkssturmgewehr Semi-Automatic Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Rare Late World War II Nazi VG1.5 Volkssturmgewehr Semi-Automatic Rifle

Manufacturer: Gustloff Werke- Suhl
Model: VG1.5
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 7.92 x 33mm Kurz
Barrel: 14 3/4 inch round
Finish: phosphate
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 5992
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 185
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is a representative example of a rare late WWII Nazi VG 1.5 or Volkssturmgewehr or "Peoples Assault Rifle", as manufactured by Gustloff-Werkes in Suhl. These rifles were a late war design intending to be mass produced using the same process as the MP43/44 series of rifles, only in much higher quantities using newer and faster manufacturing methods. They were all destined for use by the German People's Army, especially in the Eastern part of Germany, which was subject to being overrun by the Russians. These weapons were made up using various stamped sheet metal parts and components, along with minimally machined parts such as the tubular receiver, barrel, bolt head, and various springs. The various parts were then either welded or pinned together to prevent disassembly and speed up any assembly process. The combined use of stampings and machined parts, maximized the already depleted German manufacturing resources, however allowed Germany to fabricate somewhat crude but completely functional weapon with low cost weapons using commonly available materials. These weapons were kept in secret from Hitler who despised their crude and unrefined manufactured appearance and as such were never officially approved by the German Army and do not carry any proof or acceptance markings. They were produced by Gustloff-Werks in Suhl Germany, based on the direct orders from the Gauliter of Thüringen, 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 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 2909" which was intended as the manufacturing serial number of the rifle. It is estimated that only a few thousand were ever manufactured and issued late in the war, undoubtedly with most of them being destroyed after the collapse of Germany. The rifle is complete with one 30 round magazine marked "MP-44" on the left side and "fxo/eagle 37" on the right side. The consignor noted that this rare late war rifle was brought home by his grandfather after WWII as a war souvenir and that he actually replaced the two large brass stock bolts after the war, while he was still stationed in Germany.

Rating Definition:

Fair as refurbished with a gray phosphate finish on the metal parts with no visible phosphate finish. The exposed metal surfaces also all have a light, very minor pitting or erosion, visible underneath the finish. The reoiled buttstock is in fair condition with crude replacement brass bolts in wrist, numerous small worm holes on the sides and does show much scuffing in the lower toe area with the lower sling swivel missing. The stock stamping on the left side is clear and visible.

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