In the world of military small arms, many would argue that the most significant one in the last century is the Sturmgewehr. Though it is not known as the first assault rifle (Federov Rifle) but, it is the first most practical assault rifle used by the Germans during WWII.
This baby shoots a 7.9mm and can shoot on semi and full automatic. The Sturmgewehr may be one of the best firearm to shoot on fully automatic (in burst), because it has better control of the muzzle compared to the Grease gun. The magazine holds 30 rounds, but advised to use only 25. Has a tendecy to malfunction due to the mag movement (sway front and back) with the round nose diving forward positioned while in the mag. However, for tactical usage it was the perfect weapon for the intermediate engagement ranges (50 – 200 yards).
This is one of Larry Vickers favorite classic weapon to test and fire. See the footage below.
Hey, Larry Vickers here and I’m gonna take you through one of my favorite weapons of all time: The Sturmgewehr. This particular one’s MP 43-marked, and it was made in 1944. It’s an all-matching transferrable Sturmgewehr. Now, technically speaking, the first assault rifle was the Federov, however for all intents and purposes, the assault rifle as we know it, the first practical one fielded, was this bad boy right here, by the germans, in the hundreds of thousands in World War Two.
The Sturmgewehr is chambered in 7.92 kurz. Otherwise known as 7.92×33, or 8mm short. It’s a true Intermediate assault rifle caliber, in-between a 9×19 and a 7.92×57 full-size rifle caliber. In addition, it’s select-fire, capable of safe, semi, and fully-automatic.
I’ve shot this gun quite a bit, I’ve taken it to different classes, matter of fact the most popular video on the Sturmgewehr on the Internet is one that we did way back in the day on Tactical Impact. So I’ve learned a few things about it, I’m gonna take you through it.
First off, in my opinion, you wanna use original magazines in a Sturmgewehr. This is a world-war-two era magazine, this particular one is an MP44-marked, I’ve tried one of the later reproduction magazines, and it hasn’t worked nearly as well. Also, thirty-round mag, but I only load mine to twenty five. The reason being, you get that little nose-dive situation with the follower in the spring combination, and combined with the fact the way the magazine is held in the gun; in an M16-style mag-release, means you get this forward-and-back rocking situation right here. That combined with that nosedive situation I alluded to, and that means above twenty-five rounds the gun can shut down on you. May be the byproduct of the fact that it’s an old magazine and needs fresh springs, but I tend to believe it’s kinda inherent in the design.
Also, you notice how long the magazine is, so when you go prone, you can see why toward the end of the war when the germans were looking at the STG45, they went with a much lower 15-round magazine.
Dust cover right here is the one that the M16 copied; of course the M16 copy flips down verses flips up on the Sturmgewehr. One plus that this gun would have is if the sight radius was much longer, they bring the sight to the rear, make it a peep sight, you do that, and that would change the game on this thing. Also if you had any kind of a rail interface on the top like the FG42 did in WW2, and you have the ability to mount an optic on the top, would make a big difference. They did have an optic rail on some Sturmgewehrs that mounted on the side like a G43, but those are relatively rare.
Now, I’m gonna take you through some features of the design. First off, make sure the gun’s clear. It has an HK-style pushpin right here to rear. Matter of fact, that’s where the HK got it, was the Sturmgewehr. You push it to the side -just kinda set it over here- and now you just wiggle the buttstock off and the spring is in the buttstock. That was one of the weaknesses of the design. The spring is in the buttstock, so if the buttstock got damaged, or whatever the case may be, it’d shut the gun down. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen pictures late in the war of GIs and Soviets who wanted to deactivate Sturmgewehrs by breaking the buttstock, and the gun is out of commission.
Take the spring out, take off the buttstock, notice the trigger-group pivots down. And it’s riveted in place, so a gunsmith would have to take it off, unlike later with HK where they took the exact same concept, but they put a pushpin on it. Now trigger mechanism-wise, it has a real unique feature that really was largely lost after the war. Not many guns incorporated it at all. The safety selector’s on this side, and pivots down to allow you to fire the gun, but you select semi-automatic vs. fully-automatic with a cross-bolt. Actually, from an end-user point of view, pretty slick design. However, it did make for a more complex trigger mechanism, and if you shoot ’em a lot, these things have a tendency to break on you, like our good friends out at Battlefield Vegas found out.
Alright, now, the Trunnion, where the bolt locks into, is in this portion of the receiver right here, and it’s actually pinned in place, and the sheet metal is stamped and rolled around it. It’s entirely different than what the soviets did later with the AK series where the rotating bolt locked into a trunnion up front. In this case this is critical because the tilting bolt locks into the trunnion right here.
Now you’ll notice right here, you have some gas vents on the gas tube; that’s one of the reasons in combination with the fact that the hand guard is made out of metal, one of the reasons why when you shoot a Sturmgewehr, you really need gloves, because in the course of just one magazine, the gun gets very hot. And that’s why you’ll see guys shooting them, or even videos of World War Two soldiers grabbing them by the magazine. Nowhere near as controllable than grabbing the gun around the forend, but this puppy gets really hot on you, fast.
…Pushpin back in… Alright, getting ready to go hot here. Now, the gun’s kind of a mix of left-handed and right-handed friendly. The charging handle and the mag release are right-hander friendly, not really left-hander friendly at all; however, I would argue the trigger mechanism is left-hander friendly. It’s easy for a left-hander to manipulate the fire control, and then the mode selector, the push selector, on this, very easy for a left-hander to manipulate. So, right-hander friendly charging handle, mag release; left-hander friendly safety selector, fire mode selector. Alright, put on my eyes and ears, it’s time to go hot.
Alright, remember you wanna do your push-pull, make sure that magazine’s all the way in, we’re ready to go hot here.
Full auto, baby.
No bullet-hold-open device, of course, time to reload this thing and do a little bit more full-auto for you. Great gun to shoot, real soft shootin’ regardless, especially in this caliber and this weight of a gun, but on full-auto it is a pussycat to shoot. One of the most controllable assault rifles I’ve shot, bar none.
You would have to say, that in the world of military small arms, I would argue the most significant one in the last century is the Sturmgewehr. After WWII, all major nations adopted an assault rifle. Now the US was fairly late to it, many kinda beat us to the punch, but eventually we picked up the M16, which is a classic assault rifle, we’ve been running with it ever since. The Soviets learned a lesson real quick, ‘cuz they faced these on the eastern front, and they adopted the AK47, and they adopted the Kalashnikov ever since. In terms of significant military small arms, it’s hard to think of one that tops the Sturmgewehr. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.
[Vickers Tactical Outro]
Source: Wikipedia, Vickers Tactical
There are some great companies that make guns, but this particular one hailing out of Russia, makes miniature guns that actually shoots.
Arsenal Firearms Group creates some really cool scale model miniatures of classic firearms. Everything from a FG43, Suppressed AKM, 1911, Thompson and everything in between. Whats more impressive is that Arsenal Firearms also makes ammo for it as well.
When Larry Vicker visited Russia, he had a chance to check out these awesome miniature guns and test fire these things.
V: I was very impressed with the Arsenal Miniatures before we fired ’em. Really cool guns. One thing I noticed from the catalogue to the current models, they’ve actually refined ’em even more, better attention to detail, better markings, they were really really neat. Now i can see why they’re so popular, I can also see why they’re very expensive, because the fact of the matter is, it’s extremely difficult to make something like this, this is not an easy proposition at all. The suppressed versions are extremely interesting to me to see if actually the suppressor works. On top of that, I’m a big AK guy, and so I’m really looking forward to firing the AK, and particularly on full-auto; And of course, well known to be a 1911 guy, with my gunsmithing and whatnot, TacTV fans know this, so it’ll be interesting to shoot the 1911 and see if it actually works.
Alright, Dmitri and I both agree that since it’s fitting that we have Americans here in Russia, that it would be classic for us to use a 1911 as the first miniature we fire, and here it is. Half scale.
Dmitri: Let’s… let’s get to this.
V: 45ACP, Half-scale. Here we go. And a half-scale target! Ok, here we go.
Dmitri: This is crazy.
V: Yeah, this is pretty cool.
V [narration]: To be honest with you, I was stunned when the 1911 worked. And it never missed a beat!
V: I’m ready for a reload, Dmitri.
Dmitri: Look at the– Look at the group!
V: I would’ve bet money against that, that the 1911 would work that well. Was very impressive. That was very very cool!
V: Next up, Desert Eagle, 44 Magnum. Half-size.
[Popping shots, interspersed with Dmitri laughing]
V: Reload time. Ok, next one up is Dmitri’s original, the Thompson. Alright, here we go.
V: Another thing that impressed me was the fact the full-auto guns worked. And the suppressors worked as advertised. Make no mistake, it is extremely cool when you’re holding a half-scale AK, with a suppressor, on full-auto, and the thing goes bang. That is cool, I gotta admit. One of the most impressive things I’ve ever fired. If I had to pick one favorite of them all, I’m sure you guys probably think it’d be the 1911, it would have to be the AKM. The AKM with the suppressor, under-barrel grenade launcher, the fact it fires select fire, it honestly, it don’t get much cooler ‘n that. In the world of miniatures, that to me is the king.
[Vickers Tactical Outro]
Sources: Dimitri Shrazenski, Arsenal Firearms Group, Vickers Tactical
Many gun enthusiasts are familiar with the Browning Hi-Power, but some haven’t heard too much of the Inglis Hi-Power made by the John Inglis company in Toronto, Canada. Unlike its cousin the Browning, the Inglis magazine capacity is 14 versus 13. The overall weapon performs similar to the Browning Hi-power, have a look below.
Some minor things that are different than other Hi-Power pistols:
Source: Wikipedia, Vickers Tactical
There are numerous stories of GI’s returning from World War II complaining about the inaccuracy of the 1911A1, and since the 1911 can be one of the most accurate combat handguns why not put this myth to the test.
Luckily, great minds think a like Dave Royer and Larry Vicker put together a test to debunk this myth. So they pitted an actual WWII US .45 cal with WWII 45 ACP ammunition against Larry’s custom Colt 1911. Doesn’t sound fair but let’s wait to see the footage of the test.
Though there were some differences with the equipment on the custom Colt 1911 that Larry used, the accuracy of the weapon were similar for both 1911s. We can speculate that the “skill set just wasn’t there for the soldiers that were using it”. So if these soldiers were better trained on the 1911, the negative sentiments would have been different.
Larry: Ok, the next myth that my buddy Dave Royer and I are gonna explore is the myth of 1911 A1 inaccuracy. This is something Dave asked me and Ken Hackathorn many years ago, so Dave, give us your spin on this.
Dave: Well, any history buff knows, reading about World War Two, WWII GIs coming back talked about the inaccuracy of the 45, and that was hard for me to believe, so when I got together with you and Ken, I asked about it, we took out a World War 2 45 and tested that myth.
Larry: We’re gonna recreate that here at Gunsight. Dave and I are gonna get a couple of targets up, we’re gonna back up to twenty yards. Dave’s gnna take the WWII Remington Rand, with a US GI WWII magazine, and WWII 45 ACP ammunition. I’m gonna take my custom Colt that I recently built in the TAC TV 1911 pistolsmith class, beginning of season 2, and we’re both gonna shoot a group here at twenty, and see how they compare between the two of ’em. Goin’ hot.
Alright, Dave, when you’re ready: one magazine’s worth, at your target, center mass.
Larry: Alright Dave, good to go.
Alright, Dave, now I’m gonna try my magazine’s worth, on target 11, center mass.
Dave: Got a real nice group there.
Larry: Alright, dude, let me holster, and we’ll be down, check it out.
Alright, Dave, talk me through your group here, bro, doesn’t look too bad.
Dave: Not too bad. A big difference on this is the stock sights, the rear sight doesn’t have much of a notch in it at all. The front sight’s real thin, trigger’s not bad, stock-grade, but it’s heavy.
Larry: Yeah, it’s a little on the heavy side.
Dave: But more than accurate enough.
Larry: Well as we’ve said in the past, you can take a WW2 1911, put better sights, and lighten up the trigger a little bit better and actually you got a pretty damn good combat handgun.
Dave: Oh absolutely. It was a real treat for me today to come out here and do that. World War Two gun, WWII mag, you surprised me wit hthe ammo, I didn’t know I was gonna have World War Two ammo, but we had the whole setup, so it was a treat for me to shoot this today.
Larry: We talked about the main limitation today, in WWII they were training millions of guys, and they had enough ammunition, enough time essentially, to give guys familiarization training with a handgun. Handgun is most difficult of all small arms to master, so therefore guys came away from it thinking the gun was inaccurate. In reality, the gun was definitely more accurate than it needed to be for the given task, the skillset just wasn’t there for the soldiers that were using it.
Now, over here, we shot my gun. Better sights, better barrel, better fitting, better trigger, and you can see the group is at least half, which is no surprise at all. Twenty yards, he shot eight shots, I shot seven shots because I was using a Wilson-Rogers magazine, but regardless, WWII myth of the 1911 being inaccurate for combat is exactly that– a myth. With proper training, that gun will more than accurately get the job done.
Okay, now the next myth that we’re gonna talk about is that you can’t stop the slide on auto-loading weapons. This is a myth that my buddy Ken Hackathorn taught me many years ago, that if you firmly grasp it you can turn it into a single-shot weapon. From a self-defense point of view, Dave, where is the relevancy to that?
Dave: Well if you’re the person with the weapon, you have one shot to get off. If you’re gonna use the weapon after that, you have to get the weapon away, rack the slide to put another round in.
Larry: Ok, now, if you’re struggling with an assailant, and somebody grabs your slide, you need to be aware of that, because now you have a single-shot weapon.
Dave: Correct. And if you don’t let it go, he can’t fire another round off.
Larry: Exactly. Let me show you what I’m talking about, here. Got my 1911 up, loaded and ready to go. You firmly grasp the slide [shot] and now it turns into a single-shot weapon. See I can’t pull the trigger, I can’t fire again. At this point, I have to cycle the slide and kick out the empty case before I fire the weapon again. So you’ve effectively turned it into a single-shot weapon. Remember: You’re struggling with somebody with a gun, that may come to your advantage, or that may work against you, and you need to be aware of that.
Source: TAC-TV, Vickers Tactical
This is for all AR lovers who can appreciate the functionality of this weapon.
There have been other articles and animations that highlights the function of an M4 Carbine while its being discharged. But this video demonstrated by Larry Vicker and with the help of BCM and Joe Barnsfather for making the cutaway version wizardry a unique, one of a kind, slow motion inside look at the M4 Carbine. Enjoy!
Source: Vickers Tactical Youtube
How often do you get a chance to shoot at a killer robot wielding an AK? Maybe the robot wasn’t a killer, and maybe the AK wasn’t real, but it could have been, and that’s why it’s a good drill.
Larry Vicker of Vicker’s Tactical was at Gunsite to get some lead downrange. Sporting a Bravo Company AR with an 8 point microbe and a red dot sight attach at 100 yard out. His partner Frank used an AI AT308 bolt rifle, at the same distance with his optics at 6x. At longer distances would be set to 8x or 10x. Less than 100 yards you want to see more of target and its surroundings, enabling you to anticipate its movement.
Shooting a moving target is no cake in the park from long distance, but Frank Galli and Walt Wilkinson has some great tips:
On a more serious note ANY chance you have to practice shooting at a moving target you should do it. Remember NO ONE stands still in a gunfight!
My buddy and frequent guest on my shows Walt Wilkinson from GunSite put Frank Galli and I through a moving target drill using one of GunSite’s four robots, with the TAT3D target that’s sold my good friends at Mile High Shooting Accessories mounted on top. Having to shoot at a 3D target moving sideways is always difficult, because of the limited target profile. Great drill.
Larry: Hey Vickers Tactical fans, thanks for coming back. Larry Vickers, Walt Wilkinson, Frank Galley, we’re out here at Gunsight, and Walt’s gonna run me and Frank through a little moving target drill. Walt, take it away, bro.
Walt: Okay, here at Gunsight we shoot moving targets in our pistol classes and our carbine classes, and of course in our long-range rifle classes. We have three ranges equipped with fixed moving targets, and then we have four remote-control robots that we use, which is what we’re going to use today.
Larry: We also got the Mile-High TAT3D target on it. Frank’s gonna go first with the AI AT 308 bolt gun with Schmidt & Bender five by twenty-five. Now Frank, you’ve done this before, why don’t you give some tips or quick pointers for the folks at home?
Frank: Ok, uh, with a moving target –we talked about this off-camera– the time starts from the time you think about pulling the trigger to the time the bullet gets down there. However, I usually go with a rule of thumb of a half-mil per mile an hour. That’ll get me in the ballpark, but it can vary. You might be slightly different, Walt might have a completely different hold. The way you can shoot the moving target is trapping it, you can track it, and you can do a combination where you lead it, track in front of it, ambush ’em that way; the trapping some people call an ambush method. Gunsight uses a pattern method where you work on the pattern.
Walt: Right, our other two– we teach those two– and then in the precision rifle class, we have a track and hold, where we are tracking behind the moving target, and when it stops or slows down, once the crosshairs or the dot get on the target, you touch it off then. The other one would be a pattern timing where an adversary is popping out of a window or behind the edge of a wall, and you pick up that pattern, and you’re waiting, and just as soon as you see the edge come out, you touch the shot off. So those are our four techniques that we use.
Larry: Now you use an S&B Five-twenty-five, what magnification do you anticipate using for this drill?
Frank: Right now because we’re at a hundred yards, I have it set on six power. Generally speaking I’d be back a little bit further, so eight to twelve is my preferred, but I’m opening up my field of view, just because the robot can move a little bit faster and a little bit more erratic.
Larry: Got it. Now, we’re at a hundred yards for this drill, I’m gonna be using my bravo company training carbine with an eight-point micro, and I’m a big fan -especially at specialty distances like this- of a red-dot sight for movers. They are awesome. Get farther out, might not work so well, that’s where magnification may come into play, but you’re a hundred in, you can wear a mover out with a red-dot sight.
Walt: Alright, here we go. Shooter ready!
Frank: Shooter’s up!
Walt: And Ceasefire.
Larry: Alright, Walt.
Walt: Shooter Ready! Standby!
Larry: Alright. Walt, if you don’t mind, why don’t you run this puppy up here, we’ll check it out.
Walt: Alrighty. Alright. That’s the side we were shooting at, right there.
Larry: Pretty sure these bigger hits, that’s Frank and the 308. The smaller little ones are me and the 556. And then Frank did a number, he had a goal to cut the target in half, and ‘worked like a champ. This is a hit, one of mine, and this is one of Frank’s. They sealed back up, but we’re going off of bullet diameter. This is one of mine. I think that’s one of Frank’s.
Walt: And the nice thing about this, it’s realistic, in that when you’re shooting a target from the side, you’ve only got a small amount of true target, because any edge hits are just gonna deflect off and not really do any damage. So it’s a small target when you’re working it from the side.
Larry: It’s like everything in life, everything kinda balances itself out. If you’re shooting somebody that’s a little wider, he’s gonna be moving slower, he’s gonna be easier to hit. Thin dude like this, he’s gonna be truckin’.
Frank: That’s it.
Larry: Now you held leading edge the whole way, you just tracked it?
Frank: Leading edge, and I tracked ’em, and took it out that way, I just was in the front trying to get that, I did do a head, I came down into the body, and like I said I wanted to get that cardboard to get that effect, and it worked out pretty well.
Larry: I held body the whole time, leading edge, I didn’t even try for the head, that’s one thing about a RedDot, you don’t have any magnification, you know, the way I’ve got it set up, so you need to be looking more center mass.
Walt: Yeah. And as far as technique goes, Frank you adjusted your natural point of aim every single shot.
Frank: Yes sir.
Walt: To set yourself up for success. And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be done, just like that.
Frank: I move my hips when I do it, I don’t shoulder it. I shift.
Walt: “Shift”, that was great.
Larry: Alright, Frank, Walt, I think you guys would agree: Train on movers any chance you get.
Larry: You know, Actually, I tell my students ‘try to go out of your way to find opportunities to train on moving targets’. Because in the real world, when the bullets start flying, nobody’s gonna be standing still.
Larry: Well we’re gonna wrap it up here, I wanna thank Adam for bringing the target, Frank for his assistance with the bolt gun, Walt for your expertise with the robot, and Hamburger Head for sucking up the bullets. Larry Vickers, wrappin’ it up from Gunsight.
Larry: Hey thanks for watchin’ the vickers Tactical Youtube channel. To subscribe click here, and to watch some of my favorite videos, click here. Have a good one, LAV out.
Source: Vicker’s Tactical Youtube, Gunsite
In the world of competitive shooting, the Russian Saiga 12 shotgun has made a name for itself. Engineered and designed with the AK-47 function in mind, this 12-gauge semi automatic shotgun gets the job done.
Watch Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical gets a chance to shoot this sweet highly modified Saiga-12 shotgun. This particular one is the shotgun of Andrey Kirisenko, considered one of the fastest shotgun shooters in the world. This shotgun is the master blaster in the 12-gauge shotgun world.
Hey next up here is Andre’s personal three-gun shotgun. He’s a championship extremely fast three-gun shot shooter.
This is one of their production models, it’s a version of the SIAGA 12.
It has a collapsible buttstock as you can see, pistol grip with a palm rest, push-button side-safety, mag release is really set-up for right-handers, for right here to use his thumb and drop the mag right here -a left-hander can do it by coming across-, dual-charging handles left and right side, picatinny rail on top, Freeflow tube, and a very highly effective compensator up front.
Not necessarily the gun you would use for combat use, but it is a highly-effective competition gun. Here we go, goin’ hot.