It's great to be able to exhibit items which many people have seen only in books or old newsreel film. Above is one such item. This is a real relic example of the Fallschirmjäger Gewehr 42 or FG42. This semi automatic/automatic weapon utilised the "gases" that are produced when a cartridge is fired to help re-cock the weapon. Such weapons have the advantage of being lighter to operate, however if the gas chamber was allowed to block with debris then the weapon could fail. On the FG42 the chamber is below the main barrel. You can see where the 10 round box magazine fitted to the left hand side of this rare weapon.
The second German FG42 shown below came back from Italy as a war souvenir. It travelled back in the hull of a Sherman tank. The men who liberated it from a member of Hitler's First Fallschimjäger Division belonged to the Pretoria Regiment. The FG42 was stashed into one of their M4's and kept safe until they reached Home. This weapon is in mint condition, although it is missing its characteristic bayonet. The Pretoria Regiment began it's time in Italy as part of the 6th South African Armoured Division. It stayed there till the end of the Italian Campaign.
Below: details of the makers marks on this particular weapon. The four digits being the guns serial number (once written in a soldiers Solbuch), the three small letters in the middle "FZS" being Heinrich Krieghoff of Suhl, a well known maker of this groundbreaking weapon
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