The Volkssturmgewehr (German: Rifle for the Volkssturm) is a series of rifles designed in Nazi Germany late in World War II. Intended as last-ditch weapons for national militia Volkssturm, the rifles were highly simplified and often crudely assembled.
The Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr model, also known as the VG 1-5, was made by Gustloff Werke. It used the same 7.92x33mm Kurz cartridge as the StG 44. The rifles were semi-automatic only, though there were rumors that some selective-fire prototypes exist. From the start of production in January 1945 to the end of the war, around 10,000 of the Gustloff type were manufactured.
Two variants of the Volkssturmgewehr are featured in Battlefield V - a select-fire assault rifle and a semi-automatic only version, known as the Sturmgewehr 1-5 and the Gewehr 1-5 respectively.
— In-game description
The Sturmgewehr 1-5 is the select-fire assault rifle version. The UI icon first appeared briefly in the This is Battlefield V trailer, while the rifle itself appeared in the Battlefield V Dev Talks: Open Beta interview.
It is the starter weapon of the Assault class, being unlocked by default. To help it in this role, it has the second fastest fire rate out of all of the Assault Rifles, only behind the M1907 SF, granting the weapon a low time-to-kill in close quarters. Aiding in this role, reload speed and magazine capacity of 30+1 rounds is also generous for its category.
The tradeoff for this firepower is that the Sturmgewehr 1-5 has the second lowest controllability in its category with high vertical and horizontal recoil that can make accuracy in full-auto unpredictable. This also limits its effectiveness at medium and long range, as does its damage model which, identically to the more controllable StG 44, sees rapid drop-off past 10m. The weapon is therefore better suited to a more aggressive playstyle than later, slower-firing unlockables.
In terms of Specializations, the weapon comes with Quick Aim, Ported Barrel, Custom Stock and Recoil Buffer at the start. The alternative options are Quick Reload, Enhanced Grips, Polished Action and Lightened Stock provide general handling benefits when fighting on the move or in close quarters. The combination of Ported Barrel, which reduces recoil to 0.24 left and 0.20 right, and Recoil Buffer which reduces vertical recoil to 0.6, offer direct mitigation of the Sturmgewehr 1-5's controllability issues.
— In-game description
The Gewehr 1-5 is the semi-auto rifle version. It was revealed in a blog post listing all weapons available in the game at launch. It is the final weapon unlocked for the Assault kit at class rank 20.
As the reclassification would suggest, the Gewehr 1-5 loses access to selectable fully-automatic fire in exchange for a boost to its per-shot damage potential. Capable of killing in three body shots out to 30m, four shots up to 50m, five at 100m and six at all other ranges, its performance at long distance is somewhat poor for its new category. Although possessing a three-hit kill area absent from the comparable M1A1 Carbine, its similarly low muzzle velocity further reduces ranged effectiveness. This is compensated for by the second highest rate of fire (tied with the Turner SMLE) and largest default magazine capacity of 30+1 rounds. These characteristics mostly benefit when the rifle is used in close to medium range engagements, especially since per-shot recoil is amongst the highest in its class and can become unmanageable if its high rate of fire is utilized continuously.
With Specializations, the Gewehr 1-5 can be optimized for mobile, short range playstyles using the either left path of Enhanced Grips and Polished Action or the right path of Lightened Stock and Custom Stock. Generic improvements at ranks 1 and 4 consist of Slings and Swivels, Quick Aim, Quick Reload and Recoil Buffer, the rank 4 upgrade reducing vertical recoil from 1.420 to 1.136.