This weapon has an odd history; it is reputed to have been a French design, stolen by a glamorous female spy, which then passed to a Swiss company, who had the weapons made in Spain in the 1950s.

The Swiss went bankrupt in 1957, the Spanish factory took over the guns, and where they went after that is anybody's guess. A number were either made, modified or refurbished in Turkey in the late 1960s and used by the Turkish army for some years. I

t has a somewhat complicated mechanism, which was one reason for the lack of military interest in the original design, but seems to be found with a wooden butt or with a folding butt.

Just as some of Mauser’s technicians went to Spain after World War 2, some went to Switzerland.

Some of those technicians went to work for SiG, and they took the plans they had for the StG-45 and made radical changes to it. These rifles became the Stgw-57, one of the first weapons adopted by postwar Switzerland.

One of the unique features of the Stgw-57 is the bipod; it is permanently attached, but the pivot point may be moved anywhere along the barrel jacket the firer wishes. The butt is equipped with a rubber recoil pad, the Stgw-57 may fire rifle grenades that use a ballistite cartridge to fire. (The flash suppressor is not the right dimensions to use modern BTU rifle grenades.) The Stgw-57 has a short handguard that sometimes causes burns when the barrel jacket is accidentally grabbed in the heat of battle.

The Stgw-57 is a rather heavy rifle by modern standards, but is accurate and reliable in even extreme situations. By 2002, it is long out of date or issue, but can still be found in the homes of many a retired Swiss soldier.