I have a question about bolt action rifles, maybe one of you "firearm enthusiasts" can help me with. Why did the German military still use bolt action rifles in WWII. I understand the main reason was financial. But I started thnking about other weapons- like the Winchester lever action- and started wondering if there was a different configuration that would have made firing faster and easier-like a pump action shotgun. This lead to more interesting questions. My current hypothesis is that the bolt configuration is the simplest (and therefor most reliable),as well as suitably durable for the force created by the army's cartridge of choice. Of course all of this had to be MASS produced under wartime conditions- and don't forget- Germany was under some pretty strict restrictions on what they could build for years. The bolt action rifle is still in service which leads me to believe it has a good record of reliability that brought German engineers to this design decision. The M3 is a case in point about the mass production aspect of weapons design. I was fascinated when I saw (history channel) the thing about those one shot pistols the US dropped into occupied France for resistance fighters. They were all stamped metal except for the barrel, and probably a breach loading mechanism (can't remember). They probably used a German caliber that could be more easily obtained, and I think they could be broken down and disguised as something else- which would explain why they didn't make much simpler shotgun shell zip-guns. I guess they didn't work for shheeoot- an effective range of MAYBE 2 meters- but the psychological effect was that, yes, YOU HAVE A GUN. The other question I have is about wooden stocks. Plastics were still being invented (I think "BakeLite" was the only mass produced variant at the time) and that leaves wood for a light, abundant, easily formable material. But jeez it seems like a lot of work. Of course, it helps conserve steel for barrels and receivers. Just wondering if anyone has ever been to a rifle factory and witnessed the process. Those are my questions- feel free to get technical. I have a passing interest in firing guns (can't get a tight group with a 92f or Glock, but gimme a 1911 and look out), but this design stuff gets my panties in a bundle.
P.S.-Yes, I know the 44 was an early AK, and Germany had some nice stuff- I'm asking about the decision process that lead to that situation. And if you think it's because Germans are better engineers: go to bed.