GunLab is Back: The VG1-5 Project

Gun Lab is now back into full swing. The objects are still the same. That is discussing the design, prototyping and the building of small arms, their parts and accessories.

The first project is the Gustoff Volkssturmgewehr, model MP-507, and commonly called the VG1-5 in the states. This rifle was designed at the end of World War 2 by the German arms manufacturers and was to be issued to the home guard. For a detailed overview you should read Desperate Measures – The Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm published by Collector Grade Publications.

I have always wanted one of these rifles, however with a price tag of $35k to $53k it is way past my budget. So it is time to build one or at least a facsimile of one.

The first hurdle was to design a new fire control system – the original design is nightmarish to make, and still not change the overall appearance of theĀ  rifle.

This is the solid model concept drawing of the fire control mechanism. This model allows me to look at part size and relationship.

New VG1-5 Cutaway

Cutaway view including new FCG (click to enlarge)

New VG1-5 left side

New VG1-5 right side

VG1-5 exploded view

VG1-5 exploded view (original Gustloff FCG design)


19 comments to GunLab is Back: The VG1-5 Project

  • John D.

    From a legal standpoint, I would try to use stock, semiauto AR-15 fire control parts. Already BATFE approved and inexpensive. Stamping the lower receiver looks like a nightmare for a ‘one off’. I would CNC mill the entire assembly from one piece of 6061-T651 aluminum or a prehardened, resulphurized steel like AISI/SAE 1141.

  • Ian H

    Very interesting project. I really wish we had a company in the US like to recreate some of these fascinating weapons for consumers.

  • juver

    fascinating project , i am surprised that people don’t do this sort of thing more often

    after you have made the rifle is there a chance that you are going to make the cad drawings available ?

    what are you going to do with the rifle , are we going to see a 2-Gun Action Match with the VG ?

  • Dan

    What issues make the fire control system so difficult to replicate? I would assume that most of the problems are the result of trying to make a small batch of guns that were designed to use tool setups in large scale production. I have not read much about this design, which is something I will have to rectify. I need to read that book.

    • Ian

      I’ll let Chuck chime in if he wants, but one of the big issues was that the original FCG was riveted together and not disassamble-able. That makes it hard to reverse engineer without finding someone willing to let us do permanent damage to a $40k-$50k rifle.

  • mad_russian

    Great project. Nice to see someone taking on a historic reproduction like this. I’d love to have one of these in my collection. Will they be for sale at any time?

  • Allen

    Of commercially available fire control parts, I believe the Sig556 would most closely match the VG1-5 fcg. The use of the AR parts would just be, well, too common…

  • Vince

    Ian, any idea what the price on one of these babies will be once you start selling them?

  • […] 1 introduces the project and sets up the series. There are images of computer 3D models and a cutaway of the original […]

  • John Petrie


    When will you be done with the VG1-5 project?

    John Petrie

  • Jarrod

    May I come watch and learn? Will work for knowledge hehe…

  • Gabe

    I really want this gun but could you make it in a caliber that can easily be found.

  • Loving the work so far. If you need inspiration for a simple easy to replicate FCG go to weaponsguild and check out Freejak’s modified “PBG FCG”. It’s a very graceful design where the hammer cams away the disconnecter and is very simple to produce even with a drill press, hacksaw, and files (which I’ve done lol)

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