G43 Information and Statistics
As early as the mid 1930's the Germans experimented with a semi-automatic
replacement for the bolt action K98k standard infantry rifle.
This rifle was to use the
rifle cartridge. For detailed information on the different types of 8mm ammunition, and data, click on the cartridge:
At this time it was decided not to replace the K98K already in service, as the immense costs of retooling an entire industry was vastly outweighed by the growing urgency within the Third Reich to prepare for an inevitable war. German semi-automatic rifle designs were also surprisingly sub-par at the time, and those who had the final say thought that a repeating rifle would lead to waste of ammunition, and a drop in accuracy by the infantryman. The Germans entered the war with a standard military rifle design which was 40 years old (although the Mauser action is arguably the best bolt design ever made) and were years behind the Soviets and Americans who were already in production of autoloaders.
With Operation Barbarossa the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. by this time, the Russians had fielded large quantities of semi-automatic battle rifles, namely the Tokarev SVT38, and revised SVT40 rifles. Some of these rifles were equipped with the 3.5 power P.U. sniper scope. Both rifles were gas operated and had the advantage of a 10 round detatchable magazine, far superior in firepower to their bolt action contemporaries, the Moisin-Nagant M91/30, and German K98k, which offered a five round internal box magazine. German troops took well to stockpiles of Captured Soviet SVT series rifles, and it was a common sight to see German troops fielding the captured rifles on the Russian front lines.
For more information on the Tokarev series of rifles, click here: Vic's Svt page