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MKb-42(W) – The Sturmgewehr That Never Was

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When the German military first requested rifles in the new 8x33mm Kurz cartridge, there were two companies that provided designs. One was Haenel, who would eventually win the competition. The other was Walther, who submitted this rifle – the MKb-42(W). Where the Haenel gun fired from an open bolt and used a tilting bolt locking system, the Walther rifle fired from a closed bolt and used a rotating bolt to lock. It also used an unusual annular gas piston. In competition, the Walther’s closed bolt operation made it more accurate in semiauto fire and less susceptible to ingress of dirt. However, it was substantially more complex and more expensive that the Haenel gun.

In total, just 200 of the MKb-42(W) were made before being cancelled in late 1942. Needless to say, very few survive today, and it was a great privilege to be able to disassemble and present this one to you. Thanks to the Association of Maltese Arms Collectors and Shooters for the invitation to do so!

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