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Carl-Gustav m/42 (Automatgevar m/42 / AG m/42 / Ljungman)

Self-Loading, Semi-Automatic Service Rifle (1942)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Image released to the Public Domain by the Swedish Army Museum.

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Remaining neutral throughout World War 2, the Swedes still worked to stock their armed forces with viable weaponry including the Automatgevar m/42 self-loading rifle.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/09/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
While remaining neutral during World War 2, Sweden did not rest on its laurels when fearing invasion from the Germans in the West (having conquered Norway) and the Soviets in the East (having subdued Finland). As such, there proved several notable military programs which netted the Scandinavian nation useable combat tanks and small arms. One of the latter proved to be the Automatgevar m/42 (AG m/42), a self-loading combat rifle of good quality. The m/42 is noted for its unique direct gas system which went on to see use in the successful line of Armalite AR-10 and AR-15 automatic rifle series by American Eugene Stoner.

Design work on the type began by Erik Eklund in 1941 and led to its rather quick adoption in 1942. Production of the 30,000 recorded units was handled by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfaktori. The rifle weighed in at 4.71 kilograms unloaded and featured a running length of 1,214mm with a barrel 622mm long. The rifle was chambered for the rimless, bottlenecked 6.5x55mm cartridge of joint Swedish/Norwegian design and originating in 1894. The weapon sported a long wholly wooden rifle-style body complete with integrated grip and shoulder stock. There was one barrel band and the metal receiver was embedded into the wood. The trigger lay in an oblong ring underslung ahead of the hand grip. Curved, 10-round box magazines were inserted into a well some distance ahead of the trigger group though the rifle also supported 5-round "stripper" clips loaded from the top of the receiver. The forward portion of the gun was completed covered by the wood forend with only a short section of barrel exposed. Sights were iron and included a forward and rear iron fitting. A bayonet could be affixed to the forward end of the weapon in traditional fashion. The action relied on a conventional gas-operation (direct impingement) with a tilting breech block.

Initial operator of the AG m/42 was the Swedish Army though their appearance proved limiting to the extent that the standardized 1896 Mauser bolt-action service rifles were never fully supplanted in service. The weapon was in broader circulation by the end of the war and even issued to Norwegian security forces by the time of the German collapse in 1945.

From the span of 1953 to 1956, the rifle was upgraded to the AG m/42B standard in an effort to address some deficiencies in the original design - no doubt owed to its quick acceptance into service. The rear sight was modified to include a new elevation handle and a cartridge deflector was added. The magazines were completely reworked for the better and a new stainless steel gas tube was instituted. The changes made for a better end-product that ensured operational service into the near future. In this form, AG m/42B rifles managed an existence with the Swedish Army into the middle of the 1960s before be outright replaced by the all-modern and excellent German Heckler & Koch G3 Battle Rifle series (as the "AK 4" in the Swedish inventory).

The AG m/42 was in limited use with Denmark (local production by Madsen - Dansk Industri Syndikat), Egypt and Iraq (after 1975). AG m/42 tooling equipment was eventually brought to Egypt where the type was produced as the "Hakim" in its 8.57mm Mauser form. Beyond that, its reach was rather contained when compared to other offerings of the day. The age of the semi-automatic, self-loading rifle had finally given way to the more automatic-minded designs coming online.


Service Year

Sweden national flag graphic


Self-Loading, Semi-Automatic Service Rifle

Carl Gustafs Stafs Gevarsfaktori - Sweden; Madsen - Denmark
National flag of Denmark National flag of Egypt National flag of Iraq National flag of Norway National flag of Sweden Denmark; Egypt; Iraq; Norway; Sweden
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.

Overall Length
1,214 mm
47.80 in
Barrel Length
622 mm
24.49 in
Empty Wgt
10.38 lb
4.71 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Gas-Operated; Direct Impingement

Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


6.5x55mm; 7.92x57mm; 7.62x39mm Soviet

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge
Graphical image of a 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

10-round detachable box magazine; 5-round stripper clips
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

AG m/42 - Original production model of 1942; 30,000 units made in all.
AG m/42B - Improved AG m/42 with stainless steel gas tubes; reworked rear sights and magazines; modified breech cover; rubber case-deflectors.
"Rashid" - Local production variant of the AG m/42B chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge; carbine form chambered for 7.62x39mm Soviet cartridge.

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