Wieger STG 940 assault rifle (East Germany)

WIEGER STG 941 assault rifle
WIEGER STG 941 Assault Rifle

 

WIEGER STG 942 assault rifle
WIEGER STG 942 assault rifle

 

I.O.Inc STG-214 semi-automatic carbine
I.O. Inc STG-214 semi-automatic carbine, patterned after the WIEGER STG 941 Assault Rifle

 

 

The Wieger STG 940 assault rifle family was devised in East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) in 1985, specifically for export purposes. Based on the famous Kalashnikov AK-74 rifle, it was designed in East Germany under Soviet license starting in 1981.

The new rifle family was intended to adapt to 5.56×45 NATO ammunition, a smaller caliber than the usual Russian 7.62×39 M43 intermediate round. First prototypes were tested in 1985, and rifles were ready for manufacture in 1988. It was assembled at the VEB Gerate-und Sonderwerkzeugbau Wiesa factory from parts, produced in Suhl, hence its family name WIEGER (WIESA GERMANY).

There were four variants of the STG 940, including the fixed-stock STG 941 rifle, folding-stock versions STG 942 with standard barrel and STG-943 with short barrel; and the heavier barreled STG 944 squad automatic weapon. Of these four, only the first two versions were ever made in any significant numbers.

It appears that the DDR had at least two initial contracts on hand for WEIGER rifles, from Peru and from India, but then in 1989 with the fall of the  Berlin wall, East Germany merged with West Germany under Western governance. The latter quickly stifled most arms manufacture programs conducted by the East, including the STG 940 rifle. It appears that the manufacture of the Wieger STG 940 rifles ceased in 1990, and most of the rifles made were scrapped by 1992.

During the early 2000’s, some American companies such as Inter Ordnance (I.O. Inc) began to manufacture semi-automatic copies of the STG 940 in .223 Remington and 7.62×39 using imported parts, and it seems that I.O. Inc still makes several semi-automatic AK-type rifles that have STG-940 style stocks and front sights.

The Wieger STG 941 assault rifle is a gas operated, rotary bolt locked weapon based on the Kalashnikov AK-74. It shares the same basic stamped steel receiver, control set up and overall layout. There are several distinctive features however, such as indigenous shoulder stocks made from polymer, with rubber inserts for length of pull adjustments, a polymer forend, M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressors and front sight bases moved to the gas block. The STG 942 featured side-folding East German styled shoulder stock made from a thick steel wire frame. The STG 940-942 series rifles use specially made 30-round steel magazines.