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The Rare and Spectacular FG42, Type 1

Due to high paratrooper casualties during the Battle of Crete, in 1941 the Luftwaffe submitted a request for a new weapon. It would be shoulder fired, under 1 meter long, weigh as much as a K98k, select-fire, accept detachable box mags, accept a bayonet, and fire the full-power 8mm Mauser cartridges.

In a wondrous feat of engineering, all the requirements were met (or nearly so) and the result was the FG42, for “Fallschirmjägergewehr 42” translated as “Paratrooper rifle 42.” Through its various prototype stages and even after deployment, the already advanced rifle continued to be fine tuned, resulting in several variants known to collectors today.

This video features the rare Type 1, the earliest of the full production models readily identified by their sharply-angled pistol grip. Also known as “Type E,” these were the only production models that utilized milled receivers. Krieghoff manufactured an estimated 2,000 Type 1 models, before switching to stamped receivers for the Type 2 and 3 versions.

An FG42 is a pinnacle of machine gun collecting, but the early and rare Type 1 offers serious bragging rights to the collector lucky enough to add this example to their collection this Spring.

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