Experience with the 8000 examples of the Haenel Maschinenkarabiner 42(H) assault rifle used for operational trials on the Eastern Front was generally successful, but indicated the need for changes whose implementation created the Maschinenpistole 43 firing the same 7.92mm kurz (short) intermediate-power round.
The first MP 43s were delivered in 1943, and the type was retained in manufacture without noticeable change, except to facilitate production, right to the end of World War II. The MP 43/1 appeared late in 1943 and differed from the MP 43 only in its provision for the installation of a grenade-launcher cup at the muzzle. In 1944 the designation was changed to MP 44 for no apparent reason, although some MP 44 weapons had provision for a telescopic sight, and the definitive designation adopted late in 1944 was Sturmgewehr 44 or StG 44, an appellation selected for political rather than military reasons.
The weapons of the MP 43 family were very effective, and may in fact be regarded as the first truly successful assault rifles that in many ways paved the way for assault rifle development after World War II. Among the accessories for the series were the Zielgerät 1229 “Vampir” infra-red night sight that appeared in small numbers during 1945, and the Krummlauf (curved leaf) barrel fitting and sight allowing the weapon to be fired round an angle of 30°.
- assault rifle
- 7.92mm (0.312in)
- 0.94m (37in)
- Length of Barrel
- 0.419m (16.5in)
- 5.22kg (11.5lb)
- Muzzle Velocity
- 650m (2,133ft) per second
- 30-round detachable box magazine (500rpm)