Also, my dad got a .22 replica recently. Damn thing is balanced compared to some of the rifles I've held before. Either they're too front heavy or too rear heavy, but this focuses right stab in the middle, if only slightly.
Officially, our pal Kalashnikov states that the STG-44 had no part in the AK's design. However, its unavoidable to take 'tips' and 'good ideas' from German weapons. For example the Springfield Rifle that the US loves so much is essentially a Mauser made for a larger bullet and made IN AMERICA (FUCKYEAH!)!
The STG-44 was generally a damn fine piece of gun design. Like the MG-42 it uses stamp parts, but unlike the MG-42 the STG-44 was initially made out of essentially junk. The original prototype was essentially this mashup gun that Hitler thought was horrendously ugly (which... compared to the simple elegance of the Mauser... it was) and denied it. However the guys at the front loved it so much that they WENT BEHIND HITLER'S BACK TO GET MORE.
When he was asking what the men at the front want the guys said "MORE MP-44S!" and showed the ugly gun that he tried to kill back in the day wanted by his soldiers. When he actually talked to them they practically gave praise after praise of the weapon, thus he called Gobels and made it a propaganda thing around it and they called it Sturm-gewher or 'Storm Rifle' or 'Assault Rifle' depending on if you talking high or low German translation.
Hitler was more concerned that too many semi automatic/automatic rifles would lead the troops to waste ammunition in an already strained supply situation. Albert Spear had a lot to do with getting it into production because the front line troops really needed it. In order to do this end around Hitler it was renamed MP-44 for Machine Pistol and that fooled Hitler long enough that it was already in production by the time he realized it.