Designed during 1957-1962, Dansk Industri Syndikat (Madsen) developed an all-new, all-modern "Battle Rifle" to satisfy the growing global need for a reliable automatic weapon firing the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. World War 2 (1939-1945) saw a concerted shift from the manually-operated bolt-action rifles of old and towards Self-Loading Rifles (SLRs) and similar types - giving the individual infantryman greater firepower when on-the-move. The Danish rifle was of largely conventional design nature, relying on a gas-operated system, feeding from a 20-round detachable box magazine, and sighted through iron sights seated over the receiver and barrel.
The gun's layout was traditional with a wooden buttstock (later a steel tube form was used), wooden forend, and underslung pistol grip. The trigger unit was integrated to the grip handle and the magazine feed lay just ahead, positioned under the receiver within easy reach. The charging handle lay over the left side of the receiver and the gas cylinder sat over the barrel assembly (as in the AK-47). The assembly was capped by a flash suppressor.
The rifle was influenced some by the proven - and hugely popular - Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle of the immediate post-World War 2 years and competed with excellent contemporaries like the Belgian FN FAL and West German Heckler & Koch G3 lines. The Soviet incarnation was known for its reliability and simplicity, making it commonplace in many parts of the world and featured in many global, regional, and local conflicts. However, the Danish approach took a lighter approach, utilizing lighter weight alloys in its construction to make for a handier weapon when compared to the Soviet AK-47.
Despite the work, this Battle Rifle was not adopted. A version intended for the Finnish Army materialized in 7.62x39mm M43 chambering feeding from a 30-round AK-style curved magazine but the service eventually turned in the direction of a local design, the Valmet M62. In the end, the Battle Rifle - with its full-power rifle cartridge - eventually fell out of favor as the standard-issue long gun in the West as more and more countries committed to the "Assault Rifle" - centered on an intermediate cartridge. A classic example of the period is the American M-16.
Battle Rifles did, however, continue to serve in second-line roles and became a preferred weapon for snipers and marksmen for their man-stopping capabilities at range.