Below is a list of some of the top German weapons of WWII. This list contains only rifles. Additional information about the pistols and machine guns used by the Germans in World War II can be viewed using the link below:
The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a Firearms and Ordnance Gallery displaying a wide collection of WWII weapons and ordnance from both the Allies and the Axis.
Karabiner 98K – This bolt action rifle was not only known for its accuracy, but was powerful and reliable as well. The Karabiner 98K was the main rifle issued to the German soldiers of WWII. Initially developed in 1898, the 98K rifle was military issue from 1935 to 1945. The accuracy of the rifle extended up to a distance close to 550 yards – or almost 1/3 of a mile. However, when snipers added scopes, they were able to extend the effectiveness of the Karabiner 98K to almost 875 yards, or just shy of ½ a mile. The 98K served in every theater throughout WWII.
MP-44 – First developed in 1944, this MP-44 was a variant of the earlier MP-43, with only a few modifications. The MP-44 had a smaller cartridge, which gave it the same power as a rifle cartridge, but also gave it automatic rifle capabilities. The MP-44 could also be fitted with the “Krummlauf Attachment” – that allowed the MP-44 to shoot around corners. Because of its late development, the weapon was unable to make any major impact on the war.
Gewehr 43 – This semi-automatic rifle was an improved variant of the Gewehr 41. The main purpose of this rifle was for sniping, however, a small number used it as an infantry weapon. When the Germans realized the semi-automatic rifles were far better suited for close combat, they began taking the Tokarev SVT40 Rifles and copying the design, a design from which the G43 eventually emerged.
MP-40 – This particular rifle used stamp metal as opposed to welding. Over one million were produced – many of them being used in combat during WWII. The MP-40 had the reputation of being a fairly reliable rifle, though grabbing the magazine while shooting, had the potential to cause feeding problems.
FG-42 – Paratroop Rifle – The FG-42, also known as the Falschirmjagergewehr 42, was first introduced in 1942. This odd weapon proved to be very effective. It had a bipod that folded, which was extremely beneficial when the FG-42 was equipped with a telescopic sight. The rifle also had a folding bayonet up under the barrel. Though the weapon was intended to be used by the Luftwaffe’s paratroopers, the number used remained minimal.
Many variants of the above rifles were used during World War II. The rifles listed above, however, are considered some of the top weapons used by the German Army during WWII.