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Prototype Gustloff 206 Rifle

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In this video, Ian from Forgotten Weapons discusses the long gun Gustloff 206. The Gustloff 206 is a largely sheet metal rifle with a gas piston operating system and an unusual vertically traveling locking block, similar to the Type 94 Nambu and Bergmann 1910. It is also akin to the much more recent Arsenal Strike One. The rifle is semiautomatic only and uses MG-13 box magazines – cut down from 25 rounds to 10 rounds capacity for this example. However, it seems like some select-fire models were also made.

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He begins by giving us a background of the gun. During World War II, German arms development was quite chaotic in many ways. While it is not uncommon for different service branches to have independent procurement systems, combining this with the close collaboration between industry and the Party structure in fascist-era Germany led to competing and conflicting policies between military and political offices.

Semiautomatic rifle development was no exception. While the Walther and Mauser companies won the competitions to develop the Gewehr 41, Gustloff had also produced a number of designs, which were continued after the trials by political decree. The best of these designs was the model 206.

The rifle may or may not be related to the Gustloff submission for the Luftwaffe’s FG-42 project. From the information that Ian had gathered, Gustloff did submit one and it did not progress into any trials, most likely because it failed to meet the design criteria set out by the Luftwaffe. The model 206 fits the description.

After giving a comprehensive background, he goes on to give us a closer look at the features of the rifle. What’s really cool about the Gustloff 206 is that it is not locked away in some museum, but is actually coming up for sale. You can take a look at Rock Island Auction’s catalog page for the description and photos.


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