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STG-44 Anyone?

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With the STG-44 having been out for about a year now, I would have expected quite a little flurry of posting about it yet there is just one post since last year!

Well, as it happens I took the plunge and picked up mine today - complete with unfinished wood crate which I "hear" will only be supplied with the initial issue of rifles, and the crate IS a nifty touch - certainly niftier than a cardboard box and the rifle is literally anchored in place.

Okay, so let me tell you something about this thing...the stuff you have NOT read or heard by the usual online sites - okay a lot you probably have heard but some detail stuff I certainly haven't seen.  Anyone who has followed my posts on the GSG-5/522 knows I have a penchant for getting into the inner workings and "correcting" all the stuff the litigation specialists got wrong!

First, the gun is an amazing "copy" of the original...not a speck of plastic to be found anywhere!  Genuine wood stock and grip panels and the rest is metal.  It didn't pass the magnet test so the entire receiver may well be made from some type of Zinc alloy (OH MY!), but if it is it's hella overbuilt!  It also looks to be stamped rather than cast as is the GSG-5...I say this based on what appear to be folded over seams, but I must say, whatever "metal" it is, and however it is manufactured the receiver and trigger housing are thick.  I have absolutely no doubt that if the need arose this rifle could be used to beat someone to death and still be capable of shooting thousands of rounds!

The rifle is full-size and feels very good in the hands.  It comes up and mounts cleanly and the sights are crisp and easy to see.  The sheet metal forend is a nice touch...slim and zero play.  The butt stock is fitted into a metal mount that slides on snug and is retained by a push-pin.  When the stock is removed and the trigger housing allowed to swing downward the spring-loaded bolt/cocking tube parts spring out.  The solid steel, high-quality bolt rides inside a STEEL insert that fits inside the already massive receiver.  This means the bolt's movement is all steel on steel...no alloy housing, no screws, it is a very clean and crisp looking affair very much like those used for AR-15 sub-caliber conversions.  What sets the STG apart from the GSG-5 is the trigger group...on first blush it feels better, a stiff release with little travel.  One thing that is obvious is they incorporated a rebounding hammer very much like the one used on the GSG-5 and sure enough with the hammer down the bolt can be retracted a good 1/4" before any resistance is felt from the hammer and hammer spring.  Of course this absolutely WILL NOT DO so before I even take it out to shoot I'll be modifying the hammer strut to place greater closing force on the bolt.  They wisely left out the magazine disconnect safety and believe it or not a firing pin safety!  (Maybe they were reading this site!).  Other than the hammer strut I can't see anything that needs "changing", but we'll see once I crack open the trigger housing.

It does have an honest - real last shot bolt hold-open that certainly works as expected.  The barrel is classic GSG - .473" diameter threaded into a massive, zinc trunion and running into and inside the "faux" outer barrel for original replical appearance.  This rifle would look really sweet with an SBR'd 10-12" barrel which looks to be fairly easy to do, however most owners will want to keep the stock configuration.  Unlike the GSG-5 which can be readily adapted to the 9" or even 4.75" PK barrel the STG is meant to be enjoyed the way it is supplied.  It also has a genuine, metal, "real" spring-loaded ejection port cover that flips UP when the bolt opens...a very nice homage to the original, and serves to make the replica that much better.

The magazine appears to be equally overbuilt like the GSG-5 mags...it's larger of course but is of the same two-piece clam-shell construction.  The wood buttstock has an original-esque cleaning kit recess in the top with a spring-loaded gate - VERY nice touch, and the rifle will accept an original STG-44 sling.

Okay, so I haven't shot it yet, but if initial impressions mean anything, I fully expect the STG-44 to be accurate and reliable.  Anyone willing to pay the going rate for "tactical" .22's needs to realize the STG-44 is a top-tier "replica" that is fully capable and worth the added vig.  Hopefully I will soon get the time to do a full disassembly and take some photos of the internals...and do the hammer strut mod!

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UPDATE:  After full disassembly an update is in order.  The wood grip panels appear to be a very dense, pressed wood similar to MDF only with a much finer grain structure.  I don't see any reason they won't do the intended job.

Unlike the GSG no tools are required for field stripping, but if one wishes to separate the trigger housing its a simple job with a T10 Torx driver.  The sub components are very heavy and thick-walled.  The grip frame separates into halves and the internals appear very well fitted.  The FCG is the same pattern as the GSG albeit a bit crisper in execution.  Full disassembly is much easier than the GSG BTW.

I did find a negative...the barrel nose is slid inside the front sight housing and has noticeable axial movement which may or may not adversely affect accuracy.  The front sight unit is pinned to the cocking tube and also has a small amount of wiggle with probably limits accuracy, but these issues are easily correctable by applying some high temp RTV sealant around the muzzle and letting it cure while inserted in the front sight housing.  This would stabilize both barrel and sight.

The cocking rod is in fact polymer but seems fully up to its assigned task.

The main body of the receiver separates into halves and the "shells" are massively thick.  I would not bet on any of the receiver parts to ever break under normal, gun intended usage...to "break" this gun's main structure would require deliberate attack with a hammer!

BTW when the stock is mounted it feels secure and without wobble.  The gun will indeed function and fire without the stock attached as long as the attachment pin is inserted.

I have already modified the hammer and hammer strut to eliminate the rebound feature and will post photos of that soon.

Anyone thinking about suppression should be aware that unlike the GSG the apparent barrel muzzle is a casting and would require machinist modification to make threads, but even then it doesn't appear any standard OTC suppressor would fit...so that will be an all custom solution.

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