Rifle: Charlton Automatic Rifle

 Charlton Rifle right side

Rifle Charlton Automatic Rifle Manufacturer Charlton’s Motor Workshop
Cartridge .303 British Overall Length 45.5″
Action Long Stroke Gas Piston Barrel Length 26″
Magazine 10 or 30 detachable box Weight 16lbs


Necessity is the mother of invention and New Zealand, far removed from the U.S. and British equipment sailing for Europe, had to get creative.  Lacking BREN or even Lewis guns for home defense, they turned on their bolt actions to create one of the strangest LMGs we’ve seen.

Rifle: German StG.44

 German Rifle STG-44 Tilt

Rifle Sturmgewehr 44 Manufacturer Various
Cartridge 7.92x33mm Overall Length 37″
Action Long-Stroke Piston Barrel Length 16.5″
Magazine 30-rnds dtch box Weight 10.2 lb


The StG.44 was a revolutionary rifle nearly killed in the development stages. Its overwhelming value was proven repeatedly in trials and so, despite opposition, it found its way to the front lines of WWII.

SMG: Russian PPSh-41

Russian PPSh41 Tilt

SMG PPSh-41 Manufacturer Various
Cartridge 7.62x25mm Overall Length 33.2″
Action Open Bolt, Blowback Barrel Length 10.6″
Magazine 35rnd stick, 71rnd drum Weight 8 lb


Perhaps the only Russian firearm more iconic than the Mosin-Nagant, the PPSh-41 appears in numerous prints, posters, and statues dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.  Let’s cover a few more details.

SMG: U.S. M3A1 “Grease Gun”

US SMG M3A1 Grease Gun Tilt

SMG M3A1 Manufacturer Guide Lamp, Ithaca
Cartridge 11.43×23mm Overall Length 29.8″
Action Blowback Barrel Length 8″
Magazine 30rnds dtch box Weight 7.9 lbs


The M3A1 actually arrived a little late for broad issue in WWII, but it improved and polished on a legendary SMG.  Let’s briefly cover some history and just what was updated to make this American classic.

SMG: U.S. Reising Model 50


SMG Reising M50 Manufacturer H&R
Cartridge 11.43×23mm Overall Length 37.8″
Action Delayed Blowback Barrel Length 11″
Magazine 12 or 20rnds dtch box Weight 6.8 lb


On paper the Reising M50 submachine gun seemed like a great idea for a nation headed to war.  In practice it was a finicky device that failed miserably in the field.