Object Title

Centrefire automatic military rifle - MP44

Centrefire automatic military rifle - MP44

Date

dated 1944

Object Number

PR.5364

Provenance

NOT KNOWN

Physical Description

Muzzle with thread protector and tall foresight block with an enclosed hood protector. Leather sling is situated on a loop situated on the right-hand side of the of the end of the gas block. This sling stretches to the hole carved into the wooden buttstock and is fastened on the left-hand side. The handguard is made of stamped steel with the lower portion being ribbed and perforated. Adjustable “V” notch backsight using a button on the left-hand side of the sight. Magazine well is situated underneath the receiver, with a round release button on the left-hand side. A select fire button is positioned above the trigger group. When the button is exposed on the left-hand side a letter “E” appears which stands for einzelfeuer or semi-automatic fire, when exposed on the right it reveals a “D” which stands for dauerfeuer meaning fully automatic fire. The ejection port is on the right-hand side of the receiver with a hinged dust cover. The charging handle is positioned on the left-hand side. The pistol grips are made from wood with carved grooves. The trigger group has a manual safety and fire selector positioned on the left-hand side with a push-through button fire selector lever. Buttstock is made of wood with a steel socket. The buttstock also features a trapdoor on the top edge. The butt is made of carved wood with horizontal grooves and with steel strips along the top and bottom edges, retained by screws.

Materials

Dimensions

BarrelLength17.72 in
BarrelLength450 mm
OverallLength36.61 in
OverallLength930 mm
OverallWeight5.03 kg

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 5485/u44

Calibre

7.92 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Mark
5485/u44
Left-hand side, above magazine well
Stamped
Mark
COS
Underside of handguard
Stamped
Acceptance mark
Eagle of the Waffenamt
Underside of handguard
Stamped
Acceptance mark
Eagle with 37 below
Left-hand side of barrel
Stamped
Proof mark
Eagle with Swastika
Underside of handguard
Stamped
Acceptance mark
Eagle with WaA254, symbol of Waffenamt
left-hand side of receiver
Stamped
Mark
Jbe
Underside of handguard
Stamped
Model
MP44
Left-hand side of receiver
Stamped
Mark
byf
Underside of buttstock socket
Stamped

Notes

After the First World War the German military began developing firearms that would use an intermediate cartridge. A round that had the accuracy of a 7.92 x 57mm Mauser, used in bolt-action rifles, but also as controllable as a 9mm pistol cartridge. The new round was trailed and came into service as the 7.92x33mm Kurz (short). A new rifle was needed that could use this intermediate cartridge. Development started in 1935 and was developed as the MKB42, Maschinen Karabiner 42 or Machine Carbine 42. By 1942 Adolf Hitler had caught wind of the development of this new rifle and ordered the end of its development. So, the German military, known as the Heerswaffenamt, continued its development in secret and used the “MP” prefix to suggest they were developing improvements to the current sub-machine guns such as the MP40. The new weapon became known as the MP43. Some MP43s were sent to the Eastern Front and were well received by German troops which helped to persuaded Hitler to continue their development. In April 1944 the designation was changed to the MP44, but it was the same weapon as the MP34. In December 1944 Hitler gave the MP44 a new name, the Sturmgewehr or assault rifle StG44, which created a whole new class of firearm. They saw effective service during the last few months of the war, on both the western and eastern fronts. In total of the various versions designed only around 425,977 were manufactured. The design and success of the MP44/ StG44 helped to influence the designs of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK47 as well as many other modern day assault rifles.