Front Sight Post



A History and Collector's Guide to German Self-Loading Rifles of WWII


By Colonel W. Darrin Weaver, USA (Ret.)

Rough Forged is the expansive revision of the author's 2000 text and covers the history and development of German self-loading rifles starting from the late 1800s, to World War One, the inter-war years, through to the Gewehr 41, Gewehr 43 and Karabiner 43 rifles, optics and accessories of World War II. When the Wehrmacht plunged into Poland in 1939, the individual German soldier found himself issued with weapons and equipment little different than his father had been given in the First World War. And, just as their fathers had done a generation before, German soldiers went off to war armed with a version of the venerable Mauser 98 rifle. Sure, it had been improved, shortened, lightened, the bolt handle bent down- but it remained a slow, outdated, bolt-action design, better suited to an age past. The United States and the Soviet Union were fielding large numbers of self-loading rifles on the eve of WWII, leading many collectors and historians to ask the same fundamental question. Why had Germany, a nation that designed and built some of the greatest airplanes, armored vehicles, artillery, and machine guns the world had ever seen, been so slow to the game when it came to self-loading rifles? And, why did it take the better part of four more years of bloody conflict before German troops began to receive sizeable numbers of semi-automatic rifles. The answers are complex, and explored in depth within this copiously illustrated two-volume set, that also includes markings, codes, production differences, telescope development history, rifle and optical accessories, with detailed appendices covering all of the major manufacturers' production codes and manufacturing variants. Rough Forged is the definitive study for all who collect and are interested in German World War Two self-loading rifles!



A collection of a few of Darrin's projects, articles, and book reviews


Colonel W. Darrin Weaver, USA (Ret.)

Colonel W. Darrin Weaver (Ret.) MPA PA-C, raises cattle with his family in Central Texas, and serves as the CEO of Front Sight Post Publishing LLC. Darrin served an enlisted tour in the Berlin Brigade's 5/502nd Infantry. He was selected for Officer Candidate School and commissioned upon graduating from the University of Oklahoma as a Physician Assistant in 1994. He later earned a Masters from the University of Nebraska. He served with several armored, infantry and cavalry units to include Joint Task Force-6, left active duty in 1999, and continued service in the Veteran's Administration, and the Texas Army National Guard. Darrin served a tour in Iraq as a battalion medical officer, and flew MEDEVAC and CASEVAC missions in support of Multi-National Corps-Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component operations.

Darrin has a keen interest in and has done extensive research on the German wartime economy, industrial practices, and production methodologies. His other published works include Hitler’s Garands: German Self-Loading Rifles of WWII (2000), Desperate Measures: Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm (2005), Mauser Pistolen (2008), Kunststoffe: A Collector’s Guide to German World War II Plastics and their Markings (2008), and An Encyclopedia of German Tradenames and Trademarks 1900-1945 (2010), as well as numerous articles in medical and firearms-related periodicals. Darrin is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Rifle Association.


Subscribe to Our E-Mail List

Thanks for submitting!

Front Sight Post

Publishing LLC.

PO Box 69

Eddy, TX 76524

Copyright © 2020 Front Sight Post Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.