Arriving on the Eastern Front, the StG44 was used to counter Soviet troops equipped with the PPS and PPSh-41 submachine guns. While the StG44 had a shorter range than the Karabiner 98k rifle, it was more effective at close quarters and could out-range both Soviet weapons. Though the default setting on the StG44 was semi-automatic, it was surprisingly accurate in full-automatic as it possessed a relatively slow rate of fire. In use on both fronts by war's end, the StG44 also proved effective at providing covering fire in place of light machine guns.
The world's first true assault rifle, the StG44 arrived too late to significantly effect the outcome of the war, but it gave birth to an entire class of infantry weapons.
In April 1944, he ordered it redesignated MP44. Three months later, when Hitler consulted his commanders regarding the Eastern Front he was told that the men needed more of the new rifle. Shortly thereafter, Hitler was given the opportunity to test fire the MP44. Highly impressed, he dubbed it the "Sturmgewehr," meaning "storm rifle."
Seeking to enhance the propaganda value of the new weapon, Hitler ordered it re-designated StG44 (Assault Rifle, Model 1944), giving the rifle its own class. Production soon began with the first batches of the new rifle being shipped to troops on the Eastern Front. A total of 425,977 StG44s were produced by the end of the war and work had commenced on a follow-on rifle, the StG45.