You can find HMG here: https://www.hmgunworks.com/
The HMG StG44 is finally hitting the streets and this Q&A discusses delivery dates, but more interestingly, an overview of the effort involved and how historical data played a pivotal role in the reproduction effort.
0:00 Hard dates for delivery of guns.
2:25 Magazines. Also being delivered at the same time?
3:29 Weird issues with 8mm kurz AND 7.6x39 ammunition due to lack of manufacturing standards?
8:29 7.92x33 ammunition specific discussion of PPU vs East German vs WW2 ammunition.
13:49 Follow up on the original question of delivery dates and the public schedule of estimated arrival times. Discussion about the gun community’s understandable skepticism of projects like this that never actually get completed.
15:21 Discussion about what it takes personally to make a project like this actually succeed. How difficult it is to actually recreate a reproduction, or something similar to, a historical firearm. Why do most projects like this fail?
Discussion about the things HMG has done and is doing to mass produce these rifles with good quality control in mind. Building a few guns is very different than building a lot of guns.
Order of Operations. How’d the Germans do it?
25:26 How much did the CETME-L project assist in helping the HMG StG44 project succeed? The StG and CETME-L are very similar in terms of manufacturing techniques. The CETME-L was a pressure test for HMG as a company with a rifle of a more “known quantity”.
29:18 Demonstration of some of the special machining processes being used on the HMG StG44.
29:55 Video of the “side strike” machine used with a mandrel to refine the stamped sheet metal receiver to its proper in-spec dimensions. Discussion of the receiver design and the transition from the the rear to the trunion.
31:28 Video of the tab cutting machine.
33:53 The hidden issues that no one thinks about: FFL transfers, paperwork and outsourcing problems as a result of those legalities.
37:00 Running multiple production runs simultaneously. What does that mean?
38:07 If HMG were to start over, would it have been better to start with only one chambering instead of doing all 4 at once? (5.56, 7.62x39, 300blk & 8mm)
40:00 Why so many projects that promise multi-caliber fail, and how you need to start with all the potential chamberings in mind from the beginning of any project.
40:30 Conversion kits will be available at launch.
40:59 How the caliber conversion kits work. Gas ports per cartidge? What do you have to do to install a conversion kit?
42:10 Revisit discussion on receiver forming and final stamping endeavors to ensure proper dimensions. How the mandrel was made for this process.
42:39 How sheet metal can be formed via pressing and some of the idiosyncrasies of stamping sheet metal, such as “spring back”.
44:00 Discussion of ribs added to stamped sheet metal receivers and magazines as a way to add rigidity but also provide a place for dirt and debris to get out of the way of moving parts.
The importance of the manufacturing steps, even if they are done correctly.
For example: even if steps A, B and C are correct, should the order of operations actually be C,A,B?
This can be very challenging. What if you have steps A, B and C correct but you’re doing them in the wrong order? How do you determine it’s order versus something else?
47:20 HMG has become not only manufacturers of this rifle but now historians of the gun in and of itself based on the efforts required to make this reproduction, but the research involved to determine the original hacks and manufacturing workarounds.
Researching original materials and books to help with HMG’s efforts.
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49:30 Discussion about repurposing old knowledge and examples that were applicable to HMG’s efforts.
52:43 Was there anything that looked important in the original design that turned out to be a red herring?
Explanation of HMG having issues with “hard lock” and their research revealed that problem existed in early versions of the original guns, including the MkB42.
55:40 Should HMG should write a book about their experience bringing this rifle back to life?
56:20 We chat about the enormity of the German R&D budget and resources dedicated towards this sort of stuff during WW2.
…and why HMG took on this project? So we can enjoy and experience something we’d not get the opportunity to do otherwise.
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