GSG Schmeisser StG-44 22 Long Rifle Semi-Automatic Carbine from American Tactical Imports

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 27th, 2012


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StG-44 22 comes packed in a wooden crate.

















The German StG-44 changed the armament and tactics of the world’s armies. In the Second World War, combat had changed from the infantry fighting at distances of several hundred yards to that of more close to moderate range engagements, with the submachine gun finding favor among the troops for a high rate of firepower at short distances, using the heavier bolt action and semi-automatic rifles for longer engagements. The Germans set out to develop a short rifle that used a reduced-power cartridge, compared to the 7.92x57mm (8mm Mauser) used in the German infantry rifle. The StG-44 was the culmination of the development of the MKB42. The StG-44 used a 7.92mm cartridge that was made by shortening the 8mm Mauser cartridge, creating the 7.92x33mm Kurz. This new cartridge has a much greater effective range than the submachine gun cartridges of the time, yet in the StG-44 was controllable in automatic fire. The StG-44 fired in either semi-automatic or automatic mode, and its magazine held thirty rounds, giving the German soldier a much greater firepower advantage than the bolt action K98 rifle provided, and a greater effective range than the various pistol-caliber submachine guns in use by the German army at the time. The new weapon was dubbed “Sturmgewehr”, meaning “storm rifle” or “assault rifle“.

While on that topic, contrary to what the news media and anti-gunners would have you to believe, a semi-automatic rifle is not an “assault rifle”. The AR-15, AR-10, AR-180, M1 Carbine, Mini-14, nor any other rifle that is incapable of automatic fire is not an assault rifle. That is propaganda spewed from the mouths of those who wish to disarm the citizenry. It is very similar tactically to their use of the term “Saturday Night Special” in reference to a small handgun.

While the StG-44 was a heavy weapon, weighing in at around ten pounds, it proved to be very effective in combat, and was the predecessor of today’s modern “Assault Rifles” in use around the world. Being capable of automatic fire, and with 7.92 Kurz ammo exceedingly difficult to find, the StG-44 is very rare in the US, but now American Tactical Imports is importing a semi-automatic version of this carbine, chambered for the exceedingly popular 22 Long Rifle cartridge; the GSG Schmeisser StG-44.

While I have only briefly handled an original StG-44, the GSG version comes very close in replicating the heft and feel of the original assault rifle. The test gun shown here weighs in at nine pounds, fifteen and one-half ounces on my scale with an empty twenty-five round magazine in place. The GSG StG-44 uses a blowback action, and proved to be very reliable with high-velocity 22 LR ammunition. The charging handle is on the upper left side, and serves to manually lock open the bolt. Also, the magazine has a pin which protrudes from the top when empty, locking the bolt open after the last shot. The ejection port has a stamped steel dust cover, much like the original. The pistol grip and trigger are also of authentic design, as are the sights and the overall look and feel of the entire weapon. The rear sight is easily adjustable for a great latitude of elevation, and also has ample windage adjustment. The carbine has a sixteen and one-half inch barrel, with an overall length of thirty-seven and one-quarter inches.

The GSG StG-44 comes packed in a wooden shipping crate that has a hinged lid and rope handles on each end, which adds to the classic flavor of this military style weapon. The carbine is supplied with one polymer magazine of either ten or twenty-five round capacity. The one shown here is the standard-capacity twenty-five round version, not the low-capacity ten-round magazine.

I tested the GSG StG-44 carbine with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 88 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the sixty-three percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the carbine. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 1237
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1101
PMC Match Solid 40 1035
Wolf Match Solid 40 1044
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1222
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1212
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1365
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1381
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1214
American Eagle HP 36 1134
PMC Zapper HP 38 1204
Olin Solid 40 1009
Winchester XPert HP 36 1166
Hansen Solid 40 1078
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1209
CCI Stinger HP 32 1486

Functioning was best when using 40 grain high velocity ammunition. Some of the lighter bullet loads did not feed well, and the Wolf and other standard velocity ammunition failed to fully cycle the action. However, even the bulk CCI Blazer ammunition functioned perfectly, as did all other high velocity 40 grain ammunition, as well as the hyper velocity Yellow Jacket and Stinger ammunition. I really like that bulk-pack Blazer, and recently ordered 21,000 rounds in from Luckygunner.

The accuracy of this carbine really surprised me, not because of anything unusual about the weapon, but because of my ability to see mechanical sights clearly. Still, most ammo grouped well under two inches at twenty-five yards, using a rest under the hand guard. I know that with a good scope attached, or with a better shooter pulling the trigger, the rifle would be capable of really fine accuracy. The trigger pull measured a very smooth five and one-half pounds.

I first saw the GSG StG-44 on display at the NRA Show back in April, and have been anxious to try one out ever since. The StG-44 is a fun gun to shoot; a plinker of the highest order. For hunting and paper-punching, there are other 22 rifles which fill those roles better, but for an afternoon of blasting away at cans, small rocks, or other targets, the GSG StG-44 is about as fun as it gets. It is the best way for most of us to get to fire something that is very similar to the original, and costs a lot less to shoot.

Check out the new GSG StG-44 online at

For the location of an ATI dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the StG-44 online, go to

To order quality 22 Long Rifle ammunition, go to

Jeff Quinn

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