Fact sheet: small arms production numbers and unit costs PART I

Production numbers and costs of WW2 small arms, with their respective sources.

Color coding legend for unit costs:
Green=$0~49
Yellow=$50~199
Orange=$200~999
Red=$1000~10k

**Third Reich (Nazi Germany)** **standard rifle cartridge: 7.92x57Mauser; standard pistol cartridge: 9x19Parabellum.

1 USD = 2.5 German mark."]
1 USD = 2.5 German Reichsmark.

rifles and accessories

Karibiner98kurz: ~14M (1934-1945), 2,769,533 (pre-war); 55RM=$22.5 (Mauser1935); 67RM=$26 (MO1941) 70RM=$27 (JP Sauer1941); Mauser K98k : Germany (DEU) (armedconflicts.com) sniper variant: ~132k. Karabiner 98k - Wikipedia Production cost 98k vs M1 | K98k Forum WWII small arms production cost question - CMP Forums (thecmp.org)
SG84/98III bayonet: ~15M (1934-1945) Part view into estimates of production numbers (warrelics.eu)

Gewehr-41M: >12,755; G41W: 40~145k, most not making it to the front until 1943; G43 (K43 after 1944.4): 402,713 (1943.10-1945); ~100k were sniper variant. Gewehr 43 - Wikipedia G43 information and statistics (gewehr43.com) g43 automatic rifle (panzergrenadier.net)

MGs and accessories

MG34: 577,120 (1935-1045); Maschinengewehr Modell 34 (MG34) (militaryfactory.com) 327RM=$143 (1942); Guns and Money, a WW2 Price List; Rifles and Machine-guns (warhistoryonline.com) 312RM=[color=yellow]$125/color. MG 34 - Wikipedia The cost of WW2 infantry weapons - Knowledge Glue
MG34 bipod: 15RM=$6 (1942); Lafette 34 tripod for MG34: 727RM=$291 (1942). Maschinengewehr 34 (MG 34) - Waffenlager.net

MG42: ~423.6k (1942-1945); 250RM=$100 (1944); MG 42 - Wikipedia

MG13: used by second line German troops. The use of captured German machine guns in the USSR (topwar.ru)

MG15 (ground variant): >17,648 (1940-1944.1.1) MG 15 - Wikipedia

FG42 (Fallschirmjäger Gewehr, German for ‘paratrooper rifle’). FG42/I: 2,050 (1942); FG42/II: 5k (1942-1945), ~300RM (1944). Krieghoff FG: only prototype (1940-1942). FG 42 - Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games (imfdb.org)

SMGs and assault rifles

VMP26: 350~400 (1927-1931). Gun wasn’t used by Germany in WW2. Vollmer VMP | Gun Wiki | Fandom

MP28: 60~80k. Used by SS but not Wehrmacht. MP28 in german army - Axis History Forum

MP34: ~8k, MP35; <40k. Both used by SS but not Wehrmacht. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+MP34+Bergmann's+burp+gun%3A+the+MP40+gets+all+the+attention%2C+but…-a0414004599

MP35/I: >45k (1936-1944). Almost all were supplied to Waffen SS. MP35 - Wikipedia

MP38 (MaschinenPistole38): 40,576 (1938-1941) MP38 - Die Maschinenpistole 40 (mp40.nl)

MP40: 869,792 (1940.3-1945) with yearly production numbers: The German WWII Submachine Gun MP 40 - Manufacturers (medalnet.net). 57RM=$23 (1940), MP 40 - Wikipedia 60RM=$24 (1942). A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

MP40/I: yet unknown # produced (were produced in late 1942). Maschinenpistole 40/I | FirearmCentral Wiki | Fandom

MP41: 25,602 (1941-1944) MP41 - Die Maschinenpistole 40 (mp40.nl)

7.92x33Kurz MKb42(W): 200 (1942) Maschinenkarabiner 42(W) - Wikipedia

7.92x33Kurz MKb42(H): ~8k (1943.3-9). Maschinenkarabiner 42(H) - Wikipedia, 10.7k (1942-1943.9) “claus.espeholt.dk”

7.92x33Kurz MP43/1: 24.6k (1943.7-1944). “claus.espeholt.dk”

7.92x33Kurz MP44 (STG44 in 1944 were designated as such): 281,860, “claus.espeholt.dk” 70RM (1944), StG 44 - Wikipedia 65RM=$26 (1944). A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

7.92x33Kurz STG44 “assault rifle”: 124,616 (1945-1945.4). “claus.espeholt.dk”

Evolution of the Sturmgewehr: MP43/1, MP43, MP44, and StG44 - YouTube

MP 3008: ~10k (1945.1-5) MP 3008 - Wikipedia

pistols

P08 “Luger”: 799,140 (1936-1942); Luger Production Numbers by years? | Jan C. Still Lugerforums 40.48RM=$16.19 (Mauser1940), What Did a Luger Cost? (Updated) | WeaponsMan (billstclair.com) 35RM=$14 (1943). Luger pistol - Wikipedia

Walther P38: 1190,580 (1934-1946),WW2 Manufacturers (pistole38.nl) ~30RM=$12 (1943). Walther P38 - Wikipedia

Walther PP: ~200k. Walther PPK/S Review - Firearms News

Walther PPK: ~150k. Walther PPK | Weapons and Warfare

Mauser C96: ~7800 (during WW2 German service). Mauser C/96 – WW2 Weapons (ww2-weapons.com)

others

M30 Luftwaffe Drilling: 2456 (1941-1942). M30 Luftwaffe Drilling - Wikipedia

Schiessbecher grenade launcher: 1,450,114 (1942-1944.5). Schiessbecher - Wikipedia

7.92x94Patronen PzB-38 AT rifle: 1408 (1938-1940). PzB-39: 39232 (1940-1941). Most converted into GrB-39. Panzerbüchse 39 - Wikipedia

RPzB-54 “Panzerschreck” AT rocket launcher: 289,151(1943~1945) 70RM=$28 Panzerschreck - Wikipedia

Panzerfaust: ~8,254.3k (1942-1945) 15-25RM=$6~10. Panzerfaust - Wikipedia

Flammenwerfer 35 (1935-1941); Flammenwerfer 35 - Wikipedia Flammenwerfer 41 (1941-1945). Flammenwerfer 41 - Wikipedia

Weapons manufactured Germany’s allies and states occupied by Germany:

Gew.98/40: 138.4k (1941-1944) Hungarian rifle built for German use. German Mannlicher M98/40 Infantry Rifle (hungariae.com)

Gewehr-24(t) (captured Vz.24): 255k (1941-1942) ‘t’ being the national origin designator tschechoslowakisch, the German word for ‘Czechoslovak’. Issued to at least 11 complete divisions. Used extensively by German armies on the Eastern Front. vz. 24 - Wikipedia vz. 24 | Military Wiki | Fandom

Gewehr33/40 (based on Vz.16/33): ~120k (1940.10.16-1942, least 40k in Wehrmacht use by BoMoscow), used exclusively by Gebirgstruppen (mountain troops). The Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) variant never went into serial production, and there’s no evidence of it being used by them. vz. 33 - Wikipedia

MG26(t) (ZB vz.26): 14,634 (1926-1941); large numbers used by Waffen-SS. ZB26/ZB30 (MG30(t)) used by the german army… - Axis History Forum

9x17ACP Vz.24 pistol: 189k+ (1923-1938); was used by Germans. Pistole vz. 24 - Wikipedia

Pistole 640(b) (Browning Hi-Power): ~65k. Used by Waffen-SS The Story of John Browning’s Hi-Power - The Armory Life

Mannlicher M1895 rifle: ~3.5M (1896-1920); most were converted to M95/30, a carbine. Following the German annexation of Austria in 1938, M95 and M95/30 were reissued to second-line troops, reservists, and police units, and many saw combat in the Eastern Front. The German designation for the weapon was Gewehr95(oe).

Mannlicher M1895 - Wikipedia

The M95 Steyr Mannlicher Rifle: A bargain bolt action from WWI (VIDEO) :: Guns.com

Gewehr M.95 | Battlefield Wiki | Fandom

7.5x54French Gewehr-242(f) (MAS-36): <250k; Used by German garrison units in occupied France and the Volkssturm. MAS-36 rifle - Wikipedia Gewehr 242 f | Gunboards Forums

ZH-29: Czechoslovakian semi-automatic rifle that never entered mass production. Small amounts were used by the Germans. ZH-29 | Battlefield Wiki | Fandom

**US:** standard rifle cartridge: 7.62x63Springfield; standard pistol cartridge: 11.43x23ACP
rifles and carbines

M1 Garand: >4M (1932-1945); M1 Garand History | Garand Collectors Association (thegca.org) $83 (1942.7 Winchester.co); I ask that cost of weapon. - Page 3 - Axis History Forum $42 (SpringfieldArmory1942), $31 (1945) Guns and Money, a WW2 Price List; Rifles and Machine-guns (warhistoryonline.com) M1C sniper variant: 7,971 (1944.6-1945). M1 Garand - Wikipedia Production cost 98k vs M1 | K98k Forum A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

M1E5 Garand: only one prototype made 1944.5. ‘Tanker Garands:’ The Real Story | An Official Journal Of The NRA (americanrifleman.org)

Johnson M1941: 21,988 used by USMC; $125 M1941 Johnson rifle - Wikipedia

Pederson Rifle T1E3: <150 (1926.2-1931); prototype never used in battle Pedersen rifle - Wikipedia

7.62x33 M1 Carbine: 6,121,309 (1942.7-1945.8); $45 (1942). M2 Carbine: 600k. M3 Carbine: 3k M1 carbine - Wikipedia A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

SpringfieldM1903: 3,004,079 (1903-1949). Used by engineers and other support troops; $41.35 (1938). M1903 Springfield - Wikipedia

SpringfieldM1903A3A4: ~29k (perhaps including some M1903A1s); Springfield M1903A1 with 8x Unertl was used only by US Marines.
The M1903A4 Sniper Rifle: An Old Soldier Still Hits the Mark - Gun Digest
M1903A4 AND M1903A1 UNERTL - Sniper Central
Springfield M1903A3 | Saving Private Ryan Wiki | Fandom

US-M1917 Enfield rifle: 2193,429; used by mortarmen and artillerymen in North Africa; $37.46 (WWI average cost). untitled (vgca.net)

Smith & Wesson M1940 Light Rifle: 217 (US). Smith & Wesson Model 1940 Light Rifle - Wikipedia

MGs

M1918A2 BAR: 249,380 (1938.6.30-1945), $319 (1945); M1918: 102,174 (1917-1919); Monitor Machine Rifle: 125 (1931) M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle - Wikipedia A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

Winchester Automatic Rifle (W.A.R): 10 (1945). Test weapons which never saw combat. W.A.R. – the Winchester Automatic Rifle (forgottenweapons.com)

M1914 Johnson MG: 9,500 (1940-1945), $265 (1941). M1941 Johnson machine gun - Wikipedia

Browning M1919: 438,971(1919-1945); M1919 Browning machine gun - Wikipedia M1919A4, the most common variant, cost $579 (1945) A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

Browning M2HB: ~350k (WW2); Browning M2 Machine Gun — Gun That Won the War - Browning $1560 (1945) Guns and Money, a WW2 Price List; Rifles and Machine-guns (warhistoryonline.com)

SMGs and accessories

Thompson M1928A1: 562,511 (1938.9-1942.4.25), $209 (1939); M1: 285,480 (1942.4.24-1942.10), $70 (Spring1942); M1A1: 539,143 (1942.10.29-1944), $45 (1944.2).
Thompson submachine gun - Wikipedia
The G.I. Thompson In World War II | An Official Journal Of The NRA (americanrifleman.org)
The Unofficial Tommy Gun Page (nfatoys.com)
Type C 100-round drum: 5k (1921-1922), those procured by US Army did not see combat.­
THE NEW ONE-HUNDRED ROUND THOMPSON “C” DRUM FROM KAHR ARMS - Small Arms Review

Thompson Light Rifle (.30 cal SMG): prototypes only (1941). Thompson Light Rifle - Wikipedia

M3 ‘Grease Gun”: 606,694 (1943-1944), $22 (1942); The cost of WW2 infantry weapons - Knowledge Glue M3A1: 15,469 (1944.12.21-1945 GL), $15 (1943). M3 suppressed: 1000 (available 1944.:sunglasses: M3 submachine gun - Wikipedia

pistols

Colt-Browning M1911A1: 1,609,780 (1937-1945); 1911/1911A1 Production Numbers (coolgunsite.com) 26.38$ (1938), M1911 pistol - Wikipedia $15 (1940) What Did a Luger Cost? (Updated) | WeaponsMan (billstclair.com)

Colt New Service: 356k+ (1898-1946) Colt New Service - Wikipedia

FP45: ~1M (June-August 1942); $2.1 The 7 Most Iconic WW2 Pistols | Argunners Magazine

others

Winchester M1912 shotgun: >80k (WW2). Winchester Model 1912 - Wikipedia

“Bazooka” AT rocket launcher: M1: 112,790 (Jun.1942-), $19 (1942); The cost of WW2 infantry weapons - Knowledge Glue M1A1: 59,932 (Jul.1943-); M9: 6,087(Oct.1943-); M9A1: 277,819 (Jun.1944-May1945) Bazooka - Wikipedia

M1 flamethrower: 1k (1942.3-?); M1A1 flamethrower: 12,886 (1943-?). M1 flamethrower - Wikipedia

M2 flamethrower: 14k. M2 flamethrower - Wikipedia

**UK & Commonwealth:** standard rifle cartridge: 7.7x56R, 48$/1k rounds. 1 USD = .21 British pound.
rifles

Lee-Enfield Rifle No.4: 4024,340(1941-1945); Britain £7.75=$36.9 (1943); Canada $62.3 (1941), $32 (1943); US $57 (1941.3.4), $49 (1944.6.30). First issued in Spring 1942, it rearmed most British troops by 1944. However, it never fully replaced the SMLE during WW2. Hobby (team-yankee.com) Engineering:Lee–Enfield - HandWiki
Small Arms Limited - The Long Branch Story 1939-1945 (Part 1) - Calibremag.ca
The WWII Savage Enfield (smallarmsreview.com)
No.4, Mk1, T (sniper rifle): ~25k. First use was in North Africa. Lee–Enfield - Wikipedia

SMLE (Rifle No.1) Mk3: 1350k (WW2) A Brief History of Enfield Rifles (uidaho.edu) £3.75=$17.9 (WW1). Manufactured in India, Australia and Britain during WW2. It started being replaced by the No.4 in the British 8th Army in 1944.
Lee Enfield No.1 Mk.III Rifles used during WW2 (milsurps.com)
The Lee-Enfield Rifles in the 20th Century | Colour Sergeant Tombstone’s History Pages (wordpress.com)
Britain’s Battle Rifle: Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I (tactical-life.com)

Ross Mk3 rifle: ~75k (1940). Given to UK home guard; ~100k used as Canadian training rifles. Not used in Normandy. Ross rifle - Wikipedia

Smith & Wesson M1940 Light Rifle: 1010 (Britian). Smith & Wesson Model 1940 Light Rifle - Wikipedia

MGs

Bren LMG: ~340,000; £40=$190 (1941) Bren light machine gun - Wikipedia A rough guide of the costs of guns during WWII (warhistoryonline.com)

Vickers-Berthier LMG: numbers produced not found, phased out in British Indian Army in 1942. Vickers–Berthier - Wikipedia

7.92x57Mauser Besa MG (ZB-53): 39,332; mounted on armored vehicles. Besa machine gun - Wikipedia

Vickers MG: 7071+ (WW2); £165=$786 (1914), £80=$381 (1918), ~£50=$238 (1926) Vickers machine gun - Wikipedia Equipped in British Canadian MG battalions; most Vickers models for tanks were only used in British light tanks or infantry tanks, because of the Besa model as a replacement.

SMGs

Sten SMG: ~3.8M (1941-1953), £2.3=$11 (1942); Sten Mk II(S): 5776 (production started 1944.2) Sten - Wikipedia

Lanchester SMG: ~94,569; 14£=$67 Lanchester submachine gun - Wikipedia WWII Lanchester - The other Brit Subgun | RECOIL (recoilweb.com)

Lanchester M1: prototype only (1941). Lanchester Model 1 / Model 2 - Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games (imfdb.org)

BSA M1929 Thompson: >10~15 (1929~1930). Weapons never saw combat. Historical Firearms - The BSA Thompsons This is a licensed version of…

pistols

9x20R Enfield No.2 Mark 1 revolver: ~55k (1931); Mk I* (1938) & Mk I** (1942): ~270k. Enfield No. 2 - Wikipedia

11.55x19.3R Webley Mk6 revolver: ~125k. Webley Revolver - Wikipedia

9x19Parrabellum Browning Hi-Power pistol: ~153k (British & Canadian). Browning Hi-Power - Wikipedia

Welrod suppressed pistol: ~2.8k (1943-1945). Welrod - Wikipedia

others

13.9x99 Boys Anti-Tank (AT) Rifle “elephant gun”: ~114,081 (1937-1940). Boys anti-tank rifle - Wikipedia

PIAT AT rocket launcher: ~115,000 (Feb.1943, Tunisia-1945). PIAT - Wikipedia

2-inch mortar: 39,288(infantry variant made in UK). British Mortars of the Second World War (wwiiequipment.com)

This post was too long and exceeded the character limit, so I’m making a second post with follow-up content: Fact sheet: small arms production numbers and unit costs PART II - Mess Room - Enlisted

10 Likes

Wow, that’s very cool.

1 Like

Interesting fact about how most interwar guns are great quality, nicely milled and well machined but more complex, expensive and takes much longer to produce like the PPD only to be replaced by much more simplified, cheap and even crudely made guns such as PPSh and PPS in wartime.

Even the Kar98k on how it went from pre-war to Kriegsmodell like the latter didn’t even have a bayonet lug unlike previous models tell an interesting story in weapons development.

3 Likes

Nice work man

I didn’t know US stuff was so expensive.
(A bit breaks up the stereotype of german stuff being expensive and shows the economic might of US.)

Also lafette being 2x more expensive than the gun made me laugh.

Ps. It’s a shame it’s basically impossible to include USSR in such list. It would be interesting.

1 Like

Amazing post, well done op

Not all German stuff are expensive its just there are examples of such weapons known for complexity such as FG42, Tiger and King Tiger. Even the difference of numbers produced between STG and FG42 are huge as FG42 is a much more complex and expensive gun.

3 Likes

Wow, this is impressive ! I still find surprising that most standard issue rifles are much more expensive than automatic SMG.

please note that the prices shown are based on their historical value not the current.
USD for example had inflated massively since then, for example a Thompson M1928A1 in 1939 would only cost 209 USD while in todays money it would be 4,628 USD. Which means that USD had a cumulative inflation rate of 2114.3%.
here is a link to an inflation calculator to anyone who wishes to dive deeper into the matter:
Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar’s Value From 1913-2023 (usinflationcalculator.com)

1 Like

To expand on the cheapness of the Kriegsmodell, it wasn´t even issued with a cleaning rod.
They didn´t expect the gun or the user to last long enough for that to be an issue.

Ian made a video on it.

5 Likes

Simple blowback SMG’s only have 2 machined parts - the barrel and the bolt

A rifle has a much longer barrel, a more complicated bolt (often with several parts), and a machined receiver.

That is the simple economics of weaponry.

2 Likes