Germany’s Last Ditch Effort —- The Volksgewehr,
In 1945, the last year of World War II, German ordinance began production of these pieces of crap. With the Russians approaching from the east and the Yanks and Brits closing in from the west, the Germans began mass production of the Volksgewehr (people’s rifle) in a desperate attempt to defend the fatherland. The Volksgewehr was a simple bolt action rifle manufactered to be extremely cheap and easy to produce. Unlike the venerable K98k Mauser, this rifle was stripped down to its most basic functional parts. It had cheap, crude sights that could not be adjusted, notice how the front sight is roughly soldered to the muzzle. The barrel was quickly and crudely machined, notice the visible tool marks. The stock was left unfinished and often lacked butt plates. It also lacked an internal magazine, being single shot only. Due to Allied bombing many of the rifles were produced by cottage industry—In small shops, garages, even people’s homes and back yards. The purpose of this gun was to arm the newly formed Volksturm (People’s Militia), recruited mostly from old men and children. It was hoped that by mass producing these cheap rifles the Nazi’s could arm and mobilize the entire populace of Germany, and drive back the Allies through sheer numbers.
Some models did have a box magazine, called the VG-1, but lacked a knob on the bolt. Very few were produced and they are extremely rare. (Bottom Picture)
Also rare, VK-98 Models chambered in 7.92 Kurz, the shortened cartridge used for the Sturmgewehr 44 assualt rifle.
Today there are few surviving examples of the Volksgewehr. Allied soldiers did not take them as war trophies and most were used for scrap metal.
Chambered in 7.92 Kurz: $4,000-$7,000.
VG-1 Value: $6,000-$12,000