I usually dump links about noteworthy small arms-related things at Steve of the Firearm Blog instead of blogging about the stuff myself, but this time he blogged about something I cannot resist but repeat:
A Syrian rebel (probably more than one) has a remote controlled Sturmgewehr 44, and they probably have thousands of these assault rifles (which already made an appearance in Lebanon three decades ago).
It's a reminder how old, even first generation, equipment can sometimes keep its utility for many decades. The Sturmgewehr 44 would still be quite useful as a standard infantry rifle even as of today, albeit it isn't very accurate and the bullet is rather heavy. After all, it's not much inferior to an AKM if produced under peacetime conditions. The effective range was 200 metres, and modern infantry would prefer 300 metres, though.
By the way; the "Sturm" in Sturmgewehr is one of two Nazi mid- to late-WW2 propaganda things, where they attempted to make something more respectable by renaming it.
Infantry was renamed into Grenadiere (grenadiers) which were a bit better paid, slightly special infantrymen in the 18th century. This still survives in the German Panzergrenadiere (mechanised infantry).
The word "Sturm" (storm, assault) was similarly slapped onto many things, from casemate gun infantry tanks (assault guns) to automatic carbines and an early grenade pistol. The original word used for the early versions in the Sturmgewehr 44 development history were named either Maschinenpistole (submachine gun, for irrational political purposes) or Maschinenkarabiner. What we know today as Sturmgewehr category was back in the late 30's a Maschinenkarabiner - a much better designation for the category.
I'd really like to hear "Maschinenkarabiner" more often.
P.S.: The Sturmgewehr 44 and the earlier designs in its lineage weren't the first of their kind at all. That was a a Vollmer design of the late 30's instead: The first assault rifle.