The Gewehr 43, also known as the G43, was a semi-automatic, gas-operated rifle that was used by Germany during World War II.


The Gewehr 43 used the 7.92x57mm Mauser Cartridge and had a 10 round magazine. The overall length of the G43 was 111.5 centimeters and the weight was about 4.2 kilograms. The G43 had a rate of fire of about 30 rounds per minute and it could have a scope mounted on top of the trigger. The scope was mounted on a mounting rail, similar to many post war weapons, which was unusual for weapons of this time period.[1] It also had leaf-notch iron sights, like most German weapons, that could be adjusted.[2]

Another designation is the K43 and it was designated this because it was produced by a different company. Although the rifle was virtually the same, the G43 began production first. The G43 was designed in Germany, but it was in the Soviet Union where captured SVT-40 rifles were converted and turned into what is the G43.[3] It succeeded the earlier G41 which was designed totally in Germany, but due to an over complicated operating system, it was replaced by the G43. Most Gewehr 43 rifles were produced by forced labor, primarily in Czechoslovakia and Poland, as such there were constant issues of sabotage among these types of rifles as well as poor workmanship due to lack of quality machining facilities as the war went against Germany.

The Gewehr could be equipped with a number of accessories, including a four times zoom optical scope and a rifle sling.


The only variant of the G43 which appeared in late 1944 was the Karabiner 43. This variant was shortened slightly and simplified for mass production.[4] It was produced and used until the end of the war.



A German soldier with a Gewehr 43.

The G43 was used throughout World War II by Germany in a variety of roles, such as a semi-auto sniper rifle and a close quarters weapon. The Karabiner 43 was used more often as a sniper rifle, as it was found to suffer reliability issues in the hands of standard troops, similar to the Gewehr 41. In combat, the Gewehr 43 surpassed the effectiveness of its original inspiration, the SVT-40, and was liked by most of the troops who wielded it for its semi automatic capabilities, but frowned upon for its fairly crude quality. After the war, Czech forces still used the G43 and the Karabiner 43 as sniper rifles. In total, around 400,000 G43s were produced.

The G43 also went on to inspire other post-war rifle designs, namely the US M14 rifle.[citation needed]


  1. Suermondt, Jan P. Infantry Weapons of World War II. Krause Publishing (2004)