Gewehr 41 (Walther)

Gewehr 41 (Walther)

The German military establishment during WWII has a reputation for innovation and excellence, which is pretty well deserved. But even they produced some real goose eggs, and the Gewehr 41 is one of them. That the G41 was even remotely successful is a tribute to the creativity of the Walther and Mauser engineering staffs, as the gun was fatally flawed from the start by the conditions put on the design. Primarily at fault was the military insistence that the barrel not have a gas port drilled in it. I’m sure there was some theoretical rationale for this requirement, but it was not a reasonable one. Some of the other restrictions were similarly silly, like the requirement that the gun must be able to operate like a bolt action using the same manual of arms as the K98k, and that there be no moving parts on the top surface of the gun (it is revealing that both Walther and Mauser flat out ignored one or more of these written requirements, despite being German companies). The root of the G41 procurement conditions can only really be a suspicious distrust of self-loading rifles that cropped up in many pre-WWII ordnance departments worldwide. It’s the same stubborn lack of foresight that produced repeating rifles with magazine cutoffs.

Anyway, Walther and Mauser both provided sample designs for the G41, and after trialling both, the Walther design was accepted for mass production (the Mauser design was rather more complex and intricate). The designs flaws were quickly realized, and production moved to the G43, which used essentially the same receiver but with a standard gas port system.

Our focus today is the Walther G41, though, and we have put together a video explaining its inner workings:

Gewehr 41 (Walther) Video

Forgotten Weapons
6281 N Oracle #36270
Tucson, AZ 85704


  1. Bryan Schmidt on November 16, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Your screen presence and camera work have improved IMMENSELY, Gun Jesus. Wow! Great video as always, which is apparently proven by the wayback machine taking me back 5.5 years!

  2. Undr Grnd on November 16, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Just like keanu Reeves, gun jesus doesn’t seem to be capable of aging

  3. Spud Gunn on November 16, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    "Designed by a man called Bang."
    Hmmm…. Definitely a case of nominative determinalism there, methinks!

  4. Austin Bennett on November 16, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Forgotten potatoes

  5. sturmeceet on November 16, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    I watch your videos to help me make an essay on WW2 in my 6th grade class.

  6. limen on November 16, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    My thoughts on how to pronounce gewehr: ge we herr. The real way: Ga Vair

  7. Clyde Balcom on November 16, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    That’s a bear to field strip. It would be lost quickly and replaced with a 98k.

  8. Susanne Zeller Hirzel on November 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Nice vids, very interesting and a good way to explain the fuctions of these guns.
    Keep on going with this and best wishes to you!

  9. Trum4n1208 on November 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    My fiancé’s grandfather has one of these. He got it for free from a coworker who had been assigned occupation duty in 1945-46 Germany and confiscated it. When I told him what little I knew about these rifles (before I found this great video), he was surprised at how much it was worth. He had been using it as a deer rifle for years.

  10. SerotoninBiscuit on November 16, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Did a bolt close on your thumb?

  11. Daniel Walker on November 16, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    ahh back in the days when ian was still filming on a potato

  12. Ulysses1994XF04 on November 16, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve read that another requirement was for the weapon to be able to operate as a straight pull bolt action in the event that the gas system failed, is this rifle able to do that?

  13. megadeth22885 on November 16, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    wouldnt the piston over the barrel become less reliable as the barrel heats up and expands.. seems like such a close fitting part of two pieces that will absorb so much heat would fail when enough heat causes them to expand

  14. Agent Hunk on November 16, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    I am going to get a copy of this and its over engineered brother.

  15. el senor on November 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    I just saw a Harley-Davidson ad before your video! I love America

  16. Spaghetti Cat on November 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    How do you tell the difference between the mauser and walther models?

  17. vanscoyoc on November 16, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Yeah they were poo pooed, heavy, but they were very strongly built so you didn’t get broken metal parts.  The G.43, it’s very easy to break parts on it, especially end of war parts.  I own both rifles, in numbers and I’ve got to say, I’m afraid of breaking parts in an all matching G.43 at the range and not in a G.41.  I use a gas reduction system designed by Rob Applegate when firing a G.43 at the range to avoid breakages.  I highly recommend his designs and purchasing directly from him a replacement gas system to keep the pressures down.

  18. SaulOfTheMoleMen on November 16, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve actually seen some interesting photographs of G41s being used by Italian RSI troops- I’m guessing that once Germany phased it out, they distributed some of their excess stocks to their allies.

  19. Thomas Borgsmidt on November 16, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    The right thumb bears the distinct mark of a M1 – bolt closing, done wrong.

  20. RubyRhod on November 16, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    The gas trap system is ALWAYS flawed, Ian? always? *wondering about the MG42*

  21. Baba buyie Kaban on November 16, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Amazing design even though it wasn’t too practical.

  22. Edgar Michel on November 16, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Poor Ian, he’s got a Garand thumb on this one :/

  23. MrChattertooth97 on November 16, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Didn’t these feed from a fixed 10 round mag, made to be fed with 2 stripper clips from the standard bolt actions?

  24. Yang Yang on November 16, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    The very similar locking mechanism with the Russian DP, DShK & RPD huh

  25. Slaughter Hound on November 16, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    You know you’ve got problems when reassembling your rifle’s bolt is close to being a two man job.

  26. Maurice Michiels on November 16, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    These are incredibly rare rifles and here are my two…

  27. lars kuno Andersen on November 16, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    so does Ian

  28. Mark Saxby on November 16, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Are you planning to redo this video? I see it’s a pretty early one, but parts of it are out of focus and so it’s ripe for reshooting. Keep up the good work!

  29. lars kuno Andersen on November 16, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Carl Walther rules.

  30. vamisk on November 16, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    My thumb nail is hurting while looking at yours.

  31. Thrall Dumehammer on November 16, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    Engagement hahaha!!!

  32. Lucas Hagg on November 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    "These are incredibly rare"
    "Let me grab this second one"

  33. lars kuno Andersen on November 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    SVT 40 people

  34. docwilkey on November 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Another great video thanks!

  35. HotaruHino on November 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    What if you had say, a screw-on type deal with a tube a bit larger than the caliber with a gas port drilled in and have the rest of the mechanism work like a normal gas operated system?

    (I guess at that point you should just make a regular gas operated gun)

  36. Mikyle Meyer on November 16, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Meanwhile 7 years later Ian has gotten way better at presenting

  37. Fuzzy Dunlop on November 16, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Ian has come a long way, but has aged remarkably well.

  38. Panzerhead on November 16, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    “Assembly interludes” LOL. Thanks for the video.

  39. VonZander1 on November 16, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Nice video. I checked out another one too, on the G43. I got one a few years ago so I did a handful of research on it as they are getting expensive. A bit of advice though, if you plan on shooting it often you may want to invest in a shooters kit. Also check out G43 K43 maintenance bolt disassembly and installation by AxisGuns that is on youtube. Helped me learn how to handle the bolt with more control and has some great in depth information.

  40. gorftpael on November 16, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    hey! that was a really interesting video.  It was really detailed and informative.  Thanks!!!

  41. Count Spartula on November 16, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Really one of the big faults besides the gas system on this gun is actually the rear track the bolt carrier rides on. If you got mud on that, any of that, this thing would probably just seize up immediately.

  42. BigSmartArmed on November 16, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for the video. 

    Good God that thing is a mess.  It’s so horrendously over engineered that it’s comically awful.   I can imagine Russians using these things as a never ending source of hilarious entertainment. 

    Well, SVT-40 was phased out of production due to high maintenance and low reliability by Russian standards, but after looking at this pile of bureaucratic pornography, SVT-40 was the AK of its time.    


  43. LouisianaCoullion1990 on November 16, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Did you smash your thumb or something? That looks painful, lol..

  44. Maximum Joy on November 16, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    garand thumbs make me so squeamish

  45. justin dunlap on November 16, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Is it just me, or does it seem like Ian hasn’t aged over the last eight years?
    Is gun Jesus immortal?

  46. dntlss on November 16, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    excellent video and a gorgeous rifle,thank you for posting.

  47. Ned Flanders on November 16, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    What a POS. The locking mechanism is inherently unreliable, the gas system is prone to fauling, and to top it all off, field stripping is nearly impossible.

  48. viking93ify on November 16, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    pretty similar bolt system as the Kjellman Lmg i would say

  49. Ric D'Intino on November 16, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Three hours later…

  50. Wacky Tabacy on November 16, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Great stuff Ian, really enjoy your videos. As a matter of fact the most enjoyable and educational of all on YouTube.
    Funny to see that on almost all you videos you have seemed to have caught one of your fingers in something…ouch!