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April 13, 2021

German Guns in the New Call of Duty and How You Can Own Them for Real

By Joe Engesser

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The Call of Duty video game series is reportedly heading back to World War II in late 2021, and rare German guns will almost certainly be featured front and center. Many of us here at Rock Island Auction Company are huge video game fans, and we have a special love for historical German weaponry, so while Sledgehammer Games has kept a tight lid on the details behind the upcoming Call of Duty game, that shouldn't stop us from jumping on the hype-wagon as the series looks geared to return to the classic setting featured in their 2017 Call of Duty: WWII release, and the setting that launched the series into stardom nearly two decades ago.

A contender for one of the best video game guns? A rare WW2 three digit serial number Krieghoff FG42 Type I paratrooper rifle.

Can I Actually Own These Guns?

German military guns aren’t just fun to use in video games, they’re awesome to own in real life. Sadly, there are only so many collector’s guns most of us can hope to afford. So while you probably don’t have the cash to buy all the guns in Call of Duty: WWII Vanguard, the reportedly working title for the upcoming release, we can still list off some top Call of Duty German guns and estimate how much each WWII-era firearm would cost at an upcoming auction, and online bidding makes buying them a breeze.

Ian from Forgotten Weapons buys a Kar98a from Rock Island Auction Company, and you can get one too in May!

The P.08 Luger Pistol

First up is the classic P.08 Luger, the real-life predecessor to the Walther P.38, and the standard German sidearm in Call of Duty 2 campaign and multiplayer modes. Manufactured in countless variations, the World War II Mauser P.08 Pistol 9mm Luger is probably the most well-known model, especially when it comes to the Call of Duty series. This distinctive German gun is often called the most famous pistol in modern warfare, featured in almost every World War II movie, and remains a valuable collector’s gun today.

One of history's iconic pistols, the Luger belongs in every gun collection.

Based on the last title from Sledgehammer Games, the P.08 Luger will almost certainly be included as a prominent German sidearm in the upcoming 2021 Call of Duty release. We love it. You love it. Your gun collecting friends dream of owning it, and buying one at auction is a better investment than any loot box drop will ever be.

A Mauser P08 Pistol 9mm Luger in good condition could be yours starting somewhere around $1,800, and less pristine examples may be available at one of our upcoming Sporting and Collectors Auctions.

The Karabiner 98k Marksman Rifle

In WWII multiplayer, the Karabiner 98k is a lethal marksman rifle, and that’s exactly how they operated on the battlefield whether equipped with iron sights or a sniper scope. An accurate, reliable German bolt-action rifle, the K98 was the infantry standard for Germany throughout the war.

Steyr 98K bolt action rifle, a common German paratrooper weapon before the FG42.

In the Call of Duty community, the Karabiner 98 kurz is often compared against the British Lee-Enfield, (which you can also find at auction from time to time), and that same debate rages among gun enthusiasts as well. Whichever rifle you prefer, the K98 is a fantastic-looking firearm that belongs in any World War II gun collection, and you don’t need to prestige any divisions to unlock this reward in real life.

The accuracy and engineering of German sniper rifles made them feared in the field, and the K98 is perhaps the most infamous of them all. 

Based on low-end estimates, you could probably make a starting bid on a well-kept K98 for roughly $1,400.

The Walther G43 Semi-Automatic Rifle

Often shortened to G43 in the Call of Duty series, this early / mid-WWII German Army issue semi-automatic rifle is a popular gun here at Rock Island Auction Company. The Walther G43 will be familiar to fans of Call of Duty: Finest Hour in the "Into the Heartland" level, where a captured G43 scoped rifle is used to clear out a flurry of German machine guns before taking the tower and manning the flak 38 anti-aircraft cannon.

A semi-automatic rifle with a sniper scope? The G43 makes the list of top Call of Duty guns.

The Walther G43 was designed to provide German infantry with more firepower than their standard bolt-action rifles like the K98, but it was introduced relatively late in the war and in too few numbers to compete with Allied rifles like the widely used M1 Garand. A true collector’s gun, the G43 is one of the more affordable WWII-era rifles you can find at auction.

The G41 semi-automatic rifle, a predecessor to the G43.

For a well-preserved rifle with an original WWII ZF4 sniper scope and Walther-proofed G43 scope mount, you’re looking at a low range of roughly $3,000.

The MP-40 Submachine Gun

Perhaps the most recognizable submachine gun of the era, the German MP-40 is one of my favorite video game guns in the Call of Duty series. While it’s a solid flanking gun in Call of Duty multiplayer and can dominate at close range, this famous firearm’s real-life counterpart was even deadlier. An evolution of the MP-38, the Maschinenpistole 40 saw service throughout the war in every German theater, so it’s not surprising to find it featured as an Airborne Division Prestige Weapon in Call of Duty: WWII.

A German Erma MP40 submachine gun.

The MP-40 was a reliable, efficient submachine gun, lightweight and easy to shoot. They were highly prized war trophies for Allied soldiers and even more desirable for collectors today. One of the best machine guns hands-down, and a must for every serious World War II gun collection.

American hero Captain Willis Cole Jr. used a commandeered MP40 as he led the 776th Tank Destroy Battalion in World War II.

An MP-40 in prime condition can easily go upwards of $18,000.

The MG-34 Machine Gun

A Call of Duty classic, the Maschinengewehr 34’s first appearance was back in 2004’s United Offense, an expansion pack for the original Call of Duty game. Since then, it’s popped up in more recent titles like Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and that’s a great choice on the developer’s part. Considered the world’s first effective general purpose machine gun and a tactical game-changer on the battlefield, it’s no understatement to call this WWII-era German weapon ahead of its time.

The MG-34's combination of tactical mobility and high rate of fire made it one of the deadliest machine guns of WWII.

Developed in 1934 and issued two years later, the Maschinengewehr 34 was a versatile German machine gun suitable for vehicle use or support fire when mounted on its sturdy folding tripod. However, the complex design and numerous hand-fitted machined parts made this German gun a nightmare to maintain and mass-produce. Though never fully retired, Germany eventually phased out production in favor of the MG-42.

Light machine guns like the MG34 had to be dropped down in separate containers and retrieved by the Fallschirmjäger during the Battle of Crete.

To own an MG-34 with the original sights and mounts, you’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $45,000.

The STG-44 Assault Rifle

While there’s no such thing as the perfect gun, the StG-44 select-fire German assault rifle has to come close. One of the most played guns in Call of Duty: WWII, especially when the game was first released, the Sturmgewehr 44 is fun, easy to master, and a top video game weapon all around. Is it a contender for the best gun in World War 2? That’s a tough question, but it’s definitely in the top 5.

A battle rifle ahead of its time, the StG-44’s combination of firepower and reliability makes it a must for any serious gun collector.

Developed late in World War II, the Sturmgewehr 44 was a milestone in military weaponry, becoming the namesake of an entire class of guns, the intermediate caliber select-fire infantry assault rifle. The adoption of an intermediate power cartridge allowed each trooper to haul more rounds and kept the recoil manageable in a relatively lightweight arm. While the full power battle rifle would be the western standard for the start of the Cold War, the StG-44’s successors gained more traction in the 60s and 70s and still hold a place as the de-facto standard for infantry weapons, making the StG-44 one of the most valued Call of Duty German guns you can find at auction.

Birthed during World War 2 by Huge Schmeisser, the select-fire Sturmgewehr utilized an intermediate 7.92x33 Kurz cartridge which allowed for a smaller overall profile, was more appropriate for the common distances of engagement, and provided more controllable recoil.

A true piece of military history could be yours starting with a low-end bid of around $35,000.

The MG-42 Machine Gun

One of the most sought-after German collector guns that will be up for bid in our May 14-16 Premier Firearms Auction, the Maschinengewehr 42 light machine gun appears in every Call of Duty game set in World War II and is also featured in Black Ops III, Finest Hour, and Black Ops Cold War. It’s no surprise to find the MG-42 ranked so highly as a top Call of Duty gun in campaign, war mode, multiplayer, and zombie mode. If there ever was a zombie apocalypse, 9 out of 10 Rock Island Auction Company employees agree that the MG-42 would be a great weapon to take on the undead.

Another contender for best video game gun, and one of the most lethal weapons of WWII. The MG-42 German machinegun lived up to its deadly reputation.

Called the most feared German gun on the battlefield, and another top prestige weapon in Call of Duty: WWII, the Maschinengewehr 42 was a wartime upgrade from the already devastating MG-34. Dubbed “Hitler's buzz saw,” the MG-42's high cyclic rate (about 1,200 rounds per minute) gave it a distinct and intimidating sound, very alien to allied troopers trained around slower-firing weapons. At that speed, individual gunshots are replaced with a steady, disturbing roar, earning the MG-42 a terrifying reputation.

For a determined collector, an MG42 with an original tripod can be owned for somewhere in the ballpark of $30,000 to 50,000.

The FG-42 Paratrooper Rifle

A bit obscure in the Call of Duty series, the Fallschirmajagergewehr FG-42 paratrooper rifle is an absolute treasure for gun collectors. In Call of Duty: WWII, the FG-42 is portrayed as a high damage, slow rate rifle best used in cover as a distance weapon. That’s a historical simplification to say the least, and the series misses the advanced wartime engineering behind this ultra-rare German rifle.

Extremely rare documented World War II "War Trophy", early production Krieghoff FG-42 Type I Paratrooper Machine Gun, Class III/NFA C&R fully transferable, with scope

The real FG-42 was designed as a “do everything” gun, pairing the lightweight handling and accuracy of a rifle with options for closed bolt semi-automatic fire and open bolt full-automatic. In service, the first model of the Fallschirmajagergewehr proved to be flawed in the field, and the improved version was canceled in favor of the less expensive StG-44, making the FG-42 one of the rarest and most valuable German guns likely to be featured in the new Call of Duty game. The accessories for the FG-42 German paratrooper rifle are even scarcer, like its grenade launcher, spike bayonet, folding bipod, and original magazines, making it one of the Holy Grails of gun collecting.

The FG-42 isn’t just a highly rare and valuable gun, it’s one of the most unique rifle designs of WWII and a marvel of German engineering.

A complete Type 1 FG-42 Paratrooper Rifle in the right condition can sell for a bare minimum of $250,000.


While it’s hard to top the FG-42 for the sheer coolness factor, there are tons of other German guns, like the Walther PPK and Walther P.38, that are almost certain to appear in the new Call of Duty game, and examples of many of them will be up for bid at Rock Island Auction Company’s May 14-16 Premier Firearms Auction. And if you’re more interested in American, Italian, or Japanese guns from the Call of Duty series, we’ll have plenty of those up for grabs as well, and much, much more.

The rare Type 1 FG42, the earliest of the full production models readily identified by their sharply-angled pistol grip.

So while you probably won’t be able to own all the guns in the upcoming Call of Duty game, this list of top German firearms is a great place to start. Dive into Rock Island Auction Company’s online catalog and start dreaming with us today. With thousands of ultra-rare and ultra-cool historical weapons and accessories up for sale, from swords to flintlocks to Wild West guns, and even a pair of pistols owned and used by the legendary Alexander Hamilton, you’re bound to find a treasure trove of collector’s items to fill out your wish list. Place your bids and mark your calendar, and we’ll see you this May!

Military Arms from around the world can be found in our May Premier catalog.

As always, if there are any questions regarding consignment, registration, or future auctions, please contact Rock Island Auction Company. Our 2021 auction schedule is now posted on our website, so be sure to go through the listing and start making your plans to come visit. All our events adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. We can’t wait to see you here.

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