For an all-new season of American Rifleman Television we have been busily filming guns—here in Fairfax, Va., and in Louisiana, as well as the actual battlefields in Belgium and Luxembourg—used during the Battle of the Bulge. We have new cameras, including one that shoots really, really high-speed footage. And that means we need new footage for many guns that appeared on the show before.
The battle that raged from December 1944 though January 1945 was the largest land battle ever fought by the United States Army. And it was the first time that American troops encountered large numbers of Sturmgewehrs. The StG 44, chambered in 7.92 mm Kurtz, was the world's first true assault rifle, and it was capable of either semi-automatic or fully automatic fire. It's fed from a 30-round detachable box magazine. While the shorter 7.92 Kurtz didn't have as much range as, say, the U.S. .30-'06 or 8x57 mm Mauser, what it did have was tremendous firepower. In the video below, American Rifleman Television contributor Kenneth L. Smith-Christmas fires the StG 44 on full automatic. Look for more on the StG 44 and other World War II infantry arms when American Rifleman Television makes its debut the last week of December 2014.
The StG 44 shown above is on display at the December 44 museum in La Gleize, Belgium, and is but one of the guns used 70 years ago during the Battle of the Bulge. In January 2015, ARTV will devote four episodes to the battle and the guns used during it.