The Gewehr 33/40, also simply known as the G33/40, was a bolt-action rifle, sometimes considered a carbine, used exclusively by Germany's elite mountain troops, the Gebirgsjäger.[1]

Description

The Gewehr 33/40 was a rotating bolt-action rifle based heavily on the Czech vz.33 rifle, itself inspired by the famous Gewehr 98.[1] The rifle was rather short at only one meter long.

Like the Karabiner 98k, the Gewehr 33/40 was fed by five round stripper clips and was chambered in the standard German 7.92 x 57mm Mauser cartridge.[2]

A noteworthy feature of the rifle was the metal plate at the far end of the stock. This protective metal sheet was attached to render the weapon useful as a climbing tool and hiking stick for the mountain troops that fielded it. [3]

Gebirgsjägers receiving G33/40s

On the minus side, soldiers often complained of the rifle's heavy recoil, describing it as "unpleasant".[3]

The front sight was a standard open-rear, blade front with a hood, akin to the other German service rifles. The gradual sights were adjustable for up to 1,000 meters in range.[3]

History

A Gebirgsäger climbing with a Gewehr 33/40.

The Gewehr 33/40 was requisitioned in 1940 as a variant of the Czech vz.33 for Germany' specialized alpine troops. The rifles were even assembled in the same factory as their inspirations in Brno, Czechoslovakia. [3][2]

The rifles served with numerous units in harsh mountainous conditions throughout World War II.

The Gewehr 33/40 had a short production run, however. It was discontinued in 1942 when the Brno complex converted to the standard Karabiner 98k, which was now supplanting nearly all German service rifles in the Wehrmacht. By the end of the war, a meager ~120,000 Gewehr 33/40s were completed. [2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Československé armádní pušky vz. 24 a 33
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ball, Robert W.D, "Mauser Military Rifles Of The World", page 107
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 http://gunsmagazine.com/mountain-mausers/


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