Compiled by Robert Simpson, 9 X 12, 704 pages, 6.6 pounds, hardbound. Our 30 year project, A Third Reich Training Rifle book, has arrived! Robert will be at the OCGA show in Wilmington on Sept 9 & 10 with copies of the book to sell. Also look for him at National Gun Day in Louisville on Sept 16 & 17.
The following is a book review:
As the Nazis rose to power in 1933, one of their first priorities was the institution of a program designed to train every citizen to become a proficient marksman, capable of defending the homeland. This program would also force the Gleichschaltung or standardization of all shooting organizations in Germany, reintroduce consortium production of firearms for the anticipated war effort, and provide the funding for machinery, materials, and manpower for that clandestine build-up for war. The training rifle program was very much an initial step towards World War II, which was arguably the single most important event in the history of our existence. Long an intriguing mystery with no answers available, the veil is now lifted with a thorough explanation of the training rifles which enabled this world-changing event.
Finally, a comprehensive reference work for collectors and scholars of the wide variety of training rifles used in Germany before and during World War II is becoming available. Hundreds of photos, drawings, original blueprints, advertisements, and charts are included along with historic documents recently discovered which give a detailed view of these historic firearms. Descriptive text from the leading experts in the field from around the globe cover the development, design, production and use of .22 caliber, 4mm, and air rifles, as well as insert devices, accessories, and ammunition. Interviews with participants at all levels of this program—living and dead—who made, designed, and used these firearms have provided insights into the previously unknown world of these German trainers. Many period photos and advertising materials which have never been seen in print are displayed for the first time, offering details of the guns and their use in a nationwide program designed to create a land of marksmen prepared to defend their homeland and take on the world.
Thoroughly described and shown in detail are firearms from famous and little-known manufacturers alike, including Mauser, Walther, Erma, Simson, BSW/Gustloff, Haenel, Weihrauch, Sauer, Langenhan, Anschütz, Paatz, and many others as well as the collaboratively produced rifles of consortia or cartels formed for producing the weapons of war. Telescopic and experimental sight systems and their use are explained and shown with photographs of those which were used, and some that were not adopted. Charts and production information depict known quantities made and the latest serial number and dating information available. Archives not available until recent years have been researched, revealing information long thought lost to history, and now expose the facts behind the origin, development, and deployment of these arms—up to their final use in the hands of the Hitler Youth to defend the falling Third Reich. Hundreds of photos show examples of the wide variety of markings seen on the guns, both manufacturers’ trademarks and data and a wide selection of various unit markings (military, political, police, and private organizations), dealers’ stamps and brands, presentation plaques, and personal marks left by the many people who used these.
Chapters include full coverage of the Deutsches Sportmodell (DSM), the Klein Kaliber Wehrsportgewehr (KKW), the W625 series of rifles made by the firm which was to be taken over by the Nazis, air rifles, training schools, competitive models and much more, cross-referenced with appendices and index for ease of use.,