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KG m/40 (Knorr-Bremse)

Light Machine Gun (LMG) [ 1940 ]

The KG m40 Light Machine Gun was produced in small numbers and became a largely forgotten World War 2 firearms design.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/01/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The lead-up to World War 2 (1939-1945) provided many weapons with the avenue needed to see serial production and combat service - some out of sheer desperation due to shortages. During the late 1930s, the nation of Sweden moved ahead in adopting the "Kg m/40", an automatic machine gun design intended for portable squad level service, as a means to fill its light machine gun requirement. It was a largely conventional weapon utilizing gas operation and full-automatic fire while being chambered for the local 6.5x55mm Swedish service rifle cartridge. This cartridge was, itself, adopted as early as 1894.

The m/40 went on to have a short service life in the scope of the grand war, also seeing local manufacture in Nazi Germany during the conflict as the "Maschinengewehr 35" (MG35) or simply referred to as "Knorr-Bremse" after the Berlin-based company that produced it. Small German stocks were shipped to Finland during its Winter War against the Soviet Union and Norway rounded out the list of known operators of the weapon. In German service, the guns were replaced by various types of Czech light machine guns.©MilitaryFactory.com
The m/40 was of largely metal construction, this seen at the receiver, the barrel, and gas cylinder. The gas cylinder sat over the barrel with a noticeable gap witnessed between the cylinder and barrel. A carrying handle allowed for ease-of-transport while it also doubled as a barrel-changing grip in the sustained fire role. Sling loops also aided the operator during marches, the loops found at the gas cylinder and under the shoulder stock. The stock and grip handles used wood, the grip being nearly vertical in its design and the stock showing some smoothly contoured lines. Iron sights were fitted over the receiver and at the extreme forward end of the gas cylinder for ranged fire. Feeding was by way of a 20-round detachable box magazine inserted into the left side of the receiver, spent shell casings ejecting from a port along the right. The magazines were based on the American BAR straight boxes though slightly revised to a Swedish pattern - the Swedes also produced a version of the American BAR light machine gun locally as the "Kg m/37". Rate-of-fire was 490 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 2,600 feet per second.

The Swedish patent for the weapon was recorded around 1933-1934 and early forms were rebuffed by the government. The design then fell to Knorr-Bremse of Berlin, Germany, who - up to that time - had specialized in automotive brake equipment and were certainly not recognized gunsmiths. Nevertheless, they were able to interest the Waffen-SS into purchasing a small stock of the Swedish design. Their stay in the German inventory was short-lived once more effective products emerged. They were then used up by the Finns in short order. Swedish Army service involving m/40s was also rather brief.

Knorr-Bremse's inexperience in military gun-making eventually showed through however. The guns were of a largely sound Swedish design though their operational history became somewhat marked by the failure of some of their individual components - chief among these being misfires through improperly set safeties and shoulder stocks coming loose in action due to the vibrations when firing. Overall, this made the m/40 guns largely forgotten in the grand scope of World War 2 firearms.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Sweden national flag graphic


Light Machine Gun (LMG)

Svenska Automatvapen AB - Sweden; Knorr-Bremse AG - Nazi Germany
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Finland National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Norway National flag of Sweden Finland; Nazi Germany; Norway; Sweden
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,308 mm
51.50 in
Barrel Length
692 mm
27.24 in
Empty Wgt
22.05 lb
10.00 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Gas-Operated; Full-Automatic

Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
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 Swedish

Rounds / Feed

20-round detachable box magaizne
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.
Muzzle Velocity
2,600 ft/sec
(792 m/sec)

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