After Germany’s defeat in World War 2, some of Mauser Firearms’ technicians moved to Spain. One of the things they took with them was the plans for a rifle they had designed for the Nazis, the StG-45, a weapon that never got past the prototype stage in Germany.

They went to work for CETME, developed the weapon further, until they had the CETME-58. The original CETME-58 fired the 8mm Mauser round, but they later redesigned it to use a reduced-charge version of the 7.62mm NATO round.

The CETME-58 was designed to be easy and quick to manufacture, and is equipped with a permanently-attached light bipod. In 1974, the Spanish decided to switch to the full-power 7.62mm NATO round, and the CETME-58 was redesigned into the CETME-C. At the same time, the wooden handguard was replaced with a lighter metal handguard.

By 2002, most CETME-Cs had been replaced by lighter weapons, but they are still used by some Latin American and a few African countries. The CETME-58s are primarily relics found in museums and the hands of collectors