7.92 mm Karabiner 43 (Kar. 43): Semiautomatic Rifle

7.92 mm Karabiner 43 (Kar. 43): Semiautomatic Rifle

The Karabiner 43, a gas-operated, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, air-cooled shoulder weapon, is basically the same in design as the Gewehr 41 (W) described on page 208. Two notable changes found in the later weapon are a modified gas operation and a change in manufacturing policy.

This weapon utilizes a gas vent and gas piston, a method used for the first time in German small arms weapons in the Fallschirmjäger Gewehr 42. The improved gas operation insures more positive operation, and malfunctions due to carbonization are less likely to occur.

A great deal of effort was put into an attempt to reduce the time and expense in the manufacture of this weapon. In order to accomplish this, forgings and stampings were used in as many parts as was practical. Machined or ground surfaces are found only where necessary to insure proper operation. The bolt, bolt channel, and contacting surfaces of the trigger group are included in these. Such surfaces as the outside of the receiver, the top of the retractor slide, and the non-contacting surfaces of the trigger group are left untouched.

Several other slight changes were made, the most notable being the use of a ten-round, detachable box-type magazine; the addition of a threaded section on the muzzle making it possible to attach a flash hider or an adapter which is used with blank ammunition; the omission of the bayonet stud; and the addition of a telescopic sight base indicating that the Kar. 43 is intended for use as a special weapon. The weapon is lighter and better balanced than the Gewehr 41 (W) due to the elimination of the gas trap assembly at the muzzle and the long piston rod.


Caliber       7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight 8 lb., 9 oz.
Length 44 1/4 ins.
Principle of operationGas
Feeding deviceDetachable box-type magazine
Capacity of feeding device10 rounds
Cooling systemAir
Ammunition usedAll 7.92 mm Mauser types
Type of sightParallel sided, flat top blade type front sight. Tangent leaf rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,200 meters. Telescopic sight base at rear of right side of receiver.
Length of barrel22 ins.
   Twist Uniform R.H.
   No. of grooves4
   Depth of grooves
   Width of grooves
Chamber pressure
Muzzle velocity
Muzzle energy
Maximum range
Effective range

German: p. 208.2

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