7.92 mm Gewehr 41 (W) (G.41 W.): Semi-Automatic Rifle

7.92 mm Gewehr 41 (W) (G.41 W.): Semi-Automatic Rifle

This is the German semi-automatic rifle performing approximately the same tactical mission as the United States, Cal. 30, M1 rifle. It is gas-operated, clip-fed, and air-cooled. It is a shoulder weapon, slightly heavier than the American semi-automatic. Three versions exist, the G 41 (M) which is probably an interim model, the G-41 and the G 41 (W) which are more than likely the final or production types.

The rifle is well made, but quite difficult to manufacture. Stampings are used wherever possible.

In lieu of the customary gas port, a form of gas trap is used, so designed that when attached to the muzzle it makes it necessary for the bullet, after leaving the barrel, to jump a gap and momentarily block the muzzle opening of the cone. The resulting gas pressure then drives a gas piston, in the form of a collar around the barrel, to the rear. The action is imparted to an operating rod the end of which is in contact with the forward end of the retractor slide which is also driven to the rear. A projection on the underside of the retractor slide engages the bolt locking lugs, withdrawing them from the locking recesses in the receiver. The bolt assembly and retractor slide then recoil together for the remainder of the recoil distance. Extraction and ejection are accomplished in the usual manner.

A thorough test at Aberdeen proved the G 41 (W) is much inferior to the U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30, M1, in reliability under severe conditions. It fell down especially in the mud and rain tests, and breakages were very numerous.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight of rifle w/o bayonet and sling 10 1/4 lb.
Length w/o bayonet 45 ins.
Length of barrel 21.6 ins.
Principle of operation Gas—semi-automatic
Cooling system Air
Magazine system and capacity
     Fixed vertical box 10 rds. staggered
     Method of feed two 5-round Mauser rifle clips
Sight radius 21.2 ins.
Sights Blade front sight with “T” base and tangent leaf rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,200 meters. No windage adjustment.
Rifling 4 grooves, uniform right-hand twist
Muzzle velocity 2,408 f/s (in a worn barrel)
Trigger pull 7-8 lb.
Ammunition used All 7.92 mm Mauser rifle types
Total number of parts 102
Number of coil springs 13
Number of flat springs 4
Time to fieldstrip 3 1/4 seconds
Time to assemble from fieldstrip 4 3/4 seconds
Time to diassemble 3 min., 57 sec.
Time to assemble         8 min., 32 sec.

German: p. 208

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