Forgotten Weapons

Forgotten Weapons er en spændende amerikansk side som indeholder en masse spændende oplysninger om gamle og sjældne våben. En gennemgang viste er der også er meget spændende her for de som er interesseret i dansk våbenhistorie. Vi har gået gennem siderne og lavet en oversigt.

Vi har medtaget Forgotten Weapons egen tekst uden at redigere. Vær opmærksom på at de ikke altid har holt kontrol på historiske facts, så ikke brug oplysningerne herfra uden en lille kontrol.

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Omdrejningspistol M.1865

The Danish artillery was an early adopter of metallic-case handguns, taking on this pinfire 6-shot solid-frame revolver in 1865 – when most of the world was still using percussion firearms. The thousand guns made served well for many decades, until in 1897 they finally were recognized as obsolete and converted to use more modern centerfire ammunition. After that update, they continued to remain as issued sidearms until the end of World War 2! The guns have a manual safety, an unusual (but not unheard of) element on a revolver. The centerfire ammunition they were converted to use is also an interesting subject, as it was a metal-jacketed but wood-cored projectile. Presumably, this was in an effort to get a high velocity and large diameter bullet simultaneously. The same type of bullet would be used in the .45 caliber Schouboe automatic pistols (…).

Forsøgsrekylgevær M.1888

Development of the weapon that would eventually become the very successful 1902 Madsen light machine gun began many years earlier, in 1883. Two Danes, Madsen and Rasmussen, began working on a recoil-operated self loading rifle design that year, with Madsen developing the idea and Rasmussen fabricating the actual pieces. The project was made difficult by the black powder cartridges available at that time (black powder fouled intricate mechanics quickly, and also created a relatively poor recoil impulse compared to later smokeless powders), but by 1887 they had a workable gun completed. This rifle, designated the M1888 Forsøgsrekylgevær, was entered into Danish military testing, and went so far as to have 50 rifles field-tested by a battalion of troops. The conclusion was that the design wasn’t good enough for infantry use (although it was considered for fortress use, which would presumably be a cleaner environment that being in the hands of field infantry units), and the Krag-Jørgensen was selected instead for general issue. Note the very small bayonet, typical of recoil-operated rifles in which too heavy a bayonet will cause the rifle to malfunction by increasing the weight of the reciprocating barrel assembly (the M1941 Johnson rifle was also recoil operated and used a similar style bayonet). As testing progressed, stacking swivels were added to the guns. Many thanks to the Tøjhusmuseet (Royal Danish Armory Museum) for letting me have access to these very rare rifles! Check them out at:…

Gevær M.1891

The Danes were the first military to adopt the Krag-Jorgensen rifle, with this infantry variant in 1889. It is chambered for the Danish 8x58R cartridge, which was also used in Remington Rolling Block rifles (although the Krag loading is more powerful than that of the Rolling Block). Unlike the Norwegian ad American Krags, the Danish rifles used a large barrel jacket akin to the German Gewehr 88, in order to float the barrel and theoretically improve accuracy.

Flådens Rekylgevær M.1896

After losing out in the 1888 trials, Madsen and Rasmussen continued to refine their rifle. They reduced the overall length and weight, and replaced the feeding clip with a more modern enclosed magazine (although it was still gravity fed, without a spring or follower). The mechanism was refined for more reliable functioning, including changing it to more positively control the position of cartridges as they were fed. The Martini-like rear charging lever was replaced with a more modern rotary handle on the right side of the receiver. Still, the basic mechanism remained the same.

This 1896 Madsen-Rasmussen rifle was again considered by the Danish Military, and deemed reliable enough to limited use. A total of 60 rifles were purchased and issued by the Danish Navy for use in defending coastal fortifications. They were never used in anger, but remained in the Danish inventory until 1932.

With the success of the 1896 model’s sale to the Danish Navy, it was time to expand sales internationally. A company was formed in 1898, which would soon become known as the Danish Recoil Rifle Syndicate, and Madsen and Rasmussen sold their patent rights to it in exchange for royalties on future production. By 1899 the company manager was Lieutenant Jens Schouboe, and it is his name found on the subsequent Madsen LMG patents. For this reason, the Madsen is sometimes referred to as the Schouboe rifle.

In 1903, the US military tested one of the 1896 model rifles (which they identified as a Schouboe) chambered for the new US .30-03 cartridge. This appears to have proved too powerful for the rifle as it was built at the time, although further tests were conducted on the gun in 1905, 1906, 1909, and 1911. The final 1911 report on the rifle listed a number of faults. The arm lacked strenght and durability the report concluded: “It is inferior to our service rifle in accuracy, serviceability, and in rapidity, the competition had become very much keener and each invention showed the results of accumulated experience.”

I am looking for the full text of any of the testing reports, but have not yet found them. It appears that the US testing board saw better things being developed (they were quite fond of the Bang design, which was in its first tests in 1911) and lost interest in trying to perfect the Madsen rifle. Many thanks to the Tøjhusmuseet (Royal Danish Armory Museum) for letting me have access to these very rare rifles!

Schouboe pistolerne

In 1903, Danish engineer Jens Schouboe began developing an automatic pistol for the Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat in Copenhagen (later to become the Madsen company). He made the guns in both .32ACP and also in a proprietary Danish .45 caliber based (I believe) on the centerfire conversion of Denmark’s 1867 pinfire revolver. The .45 cartridge used a wood-cored bullet of only about 55 grains weight, traveling at some 1600 fps. Schouboe’s pistol was a simple blowback design with a shrouded hammer and 6-round magazine (10 round in the .32 caliber models). About 400 or 500 Schouboe pistols were made between 1903 and 1917, but never in a true mass production series. Every known example differs in small details, in addition to the existence of three major patterns (1903, 1907, and 1910, plus potentially a 1916 model). Today we’re going to look at an assortment of Schouboes across this developmental timeline, including two presentation models and one with a holster stock. For more information, check out Ed Buffaloe’s article on the Schouboe pistols:…

Pistol M.1910 og M.1910/21

By the time Bergmann found a production subcontractor in AEP for the Spanish order of 1903 Bergmann pistol, the Spanish had added a few new changes to their order, which became known as the Model 1908. In addition to filling the Spanish production, AEP also sold the guns on the commercial market fairly successfully, under their Bayard trademark. In 1910 an order was placed by the Danish government, with a few additional changes to the design (improved mainspring, magazine well cutouts to better grip the magazines, larger grips, etc) which became the Model 1910. AEP would institute these changes into their commercial guns as well as producing 4800 for Denmark. Production continued for civilian sales during German occupation in World War One, but ended after the war due to a lack of demand. When Denmark began to run low of spare parts and wanted more pistols in 1921, they made yet more changes (primarily a much better set of grips and a non-reversible locking block to simplify reassembly) and put the new Model 1910/21 into production domestically. These would be the highest production evolution of the design, and are very nice sidearms, despite being bulky, heavy, poorly balanced, and low capacity in comparison to the other handguns then available on the market.
We have a Danish Bergmann-Bayard M1910/21 out at the range today (and I apologize for the wind noise).

Sjøgrens halvartomatiske haglgevær

Dette er egentligt et svensk gevær, men vi har taget det med fordi han fik det fremstillet på Geværfabriken i København.

When I filmed this, I had limited time and figured I would do the shooting first and then film the history and disassembly of the gun afterwards. Alas, I ran out of time and never did get that part completed. I will follow up with a video on the history of the Sjogren the next time I have access to one, but I think the shooting footage worth posting by itself. Also, please note that I did not have my proper high speed camera on this trip (I had not anticipated being able to shoot anything!) and so we used an iPhone slow motion function instead. Happily, the Sjogren operates slowly enough for that substitution to still work decently. Anyway, the Sjogren is a very unusual system, an internally-locked semiauto shotgun developed by a Swedish inventor and produced in Copenhagen. A rifle variation of the system was tested by a few militaries but never put into production. A few thousand of the shotguns were made and sold commercially prior to World War One. You can find more information on them here:… As I say in the video, I found the Sjogren to be a quite pleasant shotgun to shoot, especially for being chambered for 12ga shells. I had a Walther toggle-locked shotgun out at the range the same day, and the contrast between the two was quite significant!

Rigspolitiets karabin model 1942

When the Danish Coastal Police was formed under German occupation to patrol the Danish shores, they needed rifles. Rather than use valuable military arms, the government turned to the noted sporting and target rifle manufacturer Schultz & Larsen to make a military version of the Model 36 target rifle. The new weapon was a bolt action chambered in the Danish 8x58R cartridge, with a 4-round magazine capacity. Only about a thousand of these RPLT (State Police) rifles were made, making them a pretty scarce find today, especially in the original military configuration like this one.


Denne blev nedkastet til den danske modstandsbevægelse

The Liberator is one of those interesting artifacts of WWII; an extremely simple single-shot .45 caliber pistol made by the boxcar-load (a million, specifically) with the intention of being dropped en masse across Europe to promote civilian sabotage against German occupation forces. They were manufactured by the Guide Lamp division of GM in record time – just 10-11 weeks for a literal million-gun production run. However, as they were being manufactured, shipped, and put into storage the motivation behind the project largely evaporated. British SOE ultimately decided not to distribute any in France, and only distributed a small number to partisans in Greece. In the US, the Army stockpile of Liberators was transferred to the OSS, and a fair number were actually distributed in India, China, and the Philippine Islands – although they did not ultimately have any measurable impact on the war effort.

Madsen model 1947 Light Military Rifle

The M47 Madsen “Lightweight Military Rifle” was the last military bolt action rifle designed to be a primary infantry rifle, and it is a bit hard to see just who Madsen thought they could sell it to. The rifle was designed in the late 1940s and was available for sale in 1951, evidently marketed to countries in South America and Asia without the financial resources to afford any of the semiauto rifles that were clearly the new standard for effective military forces. The Madsen was obsolete when it first hit the drawing board, and there were loads of surplussed bolt action rifles available from the post-WWII drawdown to compete with it on price. Not surprisingly, the gun was a commercial flop. The only country that decided to purchase them was Colombia, which bought a few thousand (in .30-06 caliber, with 5-round magazines) and ended up never even issuing them. They went into storage until being sold to the US civilian surplus market, although some may have been used for ceremonial purposes. As a result, they tend to be in very good condition when you can find them, and are quite good shooters.

Madsen Light Automatic Rifle

The Madsen LAR (light automatic rifle) was an attempt by the main Danish arms manufacturer to get into the military rifle market after World War Two (they also released a bolt action rifle around the same time, the Model 47). The first version of the LAR was chambered for 7.62x39mm and submitted to Finnish testing, where it lost out to the Valmet-made Rk-62. Madsen then scaled up the working parts of the rifle and offered it in 7.62mm NATO for testing by the rest of the international military community. Unfortunately for the company, there were no takers, and the rifle was never put into serial production. At its mechanical heart, the Madsen LAR is a Kalashnikov system, sharing the long stroke gas piston and the exact same style of rotating bolt and bolt carrier as the AK. It uses an aluminum alloy lower receiver with steel front trunnion, and a more complex (and much more closely fitted) receiver cover. It probably would have been a quite serviceable rifle in the field, but it was both a bit too late to market and failed to offer any substantial advantage over rifles like the G3 and FAL. Many thanks to the Tøjhusmuseet (Royal Danish Armory Museum) for letting me have access to these very rare rifles! Check them out at:…

Maskinpistol M.1949

During the 1930s, Sweden acquired an assortment of different submachine guns, including Bergmanns, Thompsons, and Suomis. As World War Two progressed, they decided that they really needed to standardize on a single caliber and model of gun, and requested designs from both the Carl Gustav factory and Husqvarna. The Carl Gustav design won out, and was adopted as the m/45. It was a very simple open-bolt, tube-receiver, fixed-firing-pin design chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition. The original guns were built around Finnish Suomi magazines, both 71-round drums and 50-round “coffin” mags. After the war these were replace by a new 36-round traditional box magazine, and magazine well adapters were fitted to the guns which precluded the use of the larger mags. The new magazines were much more convenient to carry, less expensive, and more reliable. The name “Swedish K” comes form the full designation: Kulsprutepistol m/45. The guns were used by American special operations forces in Vietnam until the Swedish government stopped export sales to the US, at which point the Navy commissioned Smith & Wesson to produce the Model 76 submachine gun (essentially a copy of the m/45). The design was also licensed by Egypt, which also licensed the AG-42 Ljungman rifle at the same time. The Egyptian copy was called the Port Said, and shows the features fo the original Swedish m/45 pattern, where the guns in Swedish service were mostly updated to the m/45B pattern.

Pistol M.1949

When Denmark decided to replace its M1910/21 Bergmann service pistols, it did not have to look far for a very high-quality option. The Swiss military was just concluding several years of handgun trials that had culminated in the SIG P210. This was an extremely well-made weapon, arguably the highest quality service pistol ever widely adopted. Based on the French 1935A pistol designed by Charles Petter, the 210 is a single-stack 9x19mm pistol with an 8-round magazine, a single action trigger and exposed hammer. The slide rails run the full length of the frame to improve accuracy, and the fire control group is a self-contained removable unit like the 1935A and Soviet TT33. Denmark adopted the gun as the m/49 in 1949, and would purchase a total of just under 27,000 of them. In 1995 many were surplussed, and purchased by Hammerli for retain resale.

Gevær M.1950

Dozens of countries around the world received M1 Garand rifles from the United States in the decades after World War Two, and Denmark was one of those that not only got some rifle but went so far as to formally adopt the M1 as its post-war standard. The US and Denmark signed a mutual defense agreement in 1950 which coincided with Danish adoption of the M1 as the 7.62mm Gevaer M/50. They receiver 20,000 rifles on load, and by 1964 would purchase another 49,000 from the US (including 1,000 M1D snipers). They also purchased 20,000 rifles from Italy, who had been chosen to be the official NATO supplier of new M1s. These were made by Beretta and Breda, and have an interesting set of Danish markings on the receivers, unlike the surplus American rifles. Unlike some other countries, Denmark opted not to convert its M1s to 7.62mm NATO, and eventually replaced them in 1975 with the G3 (although is would take more than 20 years before the M1s would be sold as surplus).

Madsen maskinpistol model 1950

The M50 was one of a series of submachine guns developed and marketed by the Danish Madsen company after World War II. The first was the M46 (1946), followed by M50 and the M53. Each version was progressively a bit better than the last, but they never sold particularly well because of the easy and cheap availability of war surplus arms.

Madsen maskingevær M.1950

Det viste våben er portogisisk, men helt identisk med den danske

The Madsen LMG is of particular interest to me because it is both a very mechanically unusual design and also a very early successful design. Madsen light machine guns were first used in combat in the Russo-Japanese War, saw use in both World Wars, and continued to be used by various forces (the Brazilian police being a notable example) until quite recently. Mechanically, the Madsen is a falling block type of action, which allows it to use a very short receiver (since there is no need for space for a bolt to travel forward and backward). Today I figured we would spend time pulling apart a live registered Madsen (a dealer sample, unfortunately) to examine its working parts.
We have looked at a couple different Madsen light machine guns previously, but until today I have not had the chance to do any shooting with a fully automatic example of one. So I am taking this 1924 Bulgarian contract example out to the range wth some ammo! The Madsen is a really interesting gun for several reasons, both historically and mechanically. It was the first light machine gun actually put into real combat use, seeing service in the Russo-Japanese War. It would go on to be used in World War One, World War Two, and too many smaller conflicts to count, right through to staying in service with Brazilian police units into the 1990s if not 2000s. A service life that long would be impressive for any machine gun, but particularly so for such an early an unusual design. Mechanically, the Madsen is best described as a short recoil falling block action. It uses a top-mounted magazine which is offset to the left, and which has no feed lips (they are machined into the receiver instead). Cartridges are pushed laterally into the action by a rotary block below the magazine, and then rammed into the chamber by a long swinging arm (definitely take a look at my previous video on the Madsen disassembly to see how this works in detail). The breechblock pivots at the rear and drops down to lock behind the cartridge when firing. It does fire from an open bolt, although the semiautomatic conversions available in th eUS are converted to closed-bolt operation. Firing the Madsen, it is clear that one is working with an early design. The grip is not nearly as comfortable and intuitive as later guns, and the trigger pull is rather heavy. It remains a durable and effective weapon, however, with its unique eccentricities standing in for the polish that would come with later guns like the ZB-26.