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Wednesday, January 2nd 2019, 7:49pm

State of Heer Small Arms and Future Developments

It is the stated intention of the Army Ordnance Office (Heereswaffenamt) to reduce the variation within the Heer’s small arms inventory as soon as possible.

There are, at present, three different rifles (of three different calibres) in service, viz. The Karabiner 37 in 7mm, the Selbstlade Gewehr G5 in 7.92x57mm Mauser, and the Maschinenkarabiner G6 in the new 7.92x45mm Polte intermediate cartridge. It is planned to reduce the number of rifles in service to two, and to the maximum extent possible eliminate the 7mm cartridge from the Heer’s inventory.

Presently the Karabiner 37 is in service only with reserve units, as these are being displaced as rapidly as possible by the Selbstlade Gewehr G5. The G5 is being rechambered for the 7.92x45 cartridge and its production continued for issue to mountain troops and to reserve units. The Maschinenkarabiner G6 is slated to become the Heer’s standard first-line infantry weapon, being issued on a priority basis to Panzergrenadier units and to the infantry generally as production ramps up.

The Maschinenkarabiner G6 will also replace the Maschinenpistole 36 presently in service with first-and-second line units. Vehicle crews and other troops presently issued the MP36 will eventually receive a new personal defence weapon, trials of which are presently under way.

The G-11 Rifle, which is used by the Marinelandungsverband in both the rifle and light machinegun roles, will continue in service with the Kriegsmarine’s landing forces.

The Maschinengewehr 33, chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge, is presently only in service with reserve units in the light machinegun role, and is expected to be replaced in those units with the MG3. It also serves secondary armament on some of the Heer’s older armoured vehicles, and it will continue in that role until the displaced by the MG3.

The Maschinengewehr MG3, presently the Heer’s standard light machinegun, is being rechambered for the 7.92x45 intermediate cartridge, and will continue in service for some years to come.