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Ljungman AG-42B

The AG-42 was the first semiauto rifle adopted by the Swedish army, as well as the first production rifle to use a direct gas impingement operating system. Today we’re taking a closer look at the Ljungman – how it operates and how to disassemble it. Enjoy!

44 comments to Ljungman AG-42B

  • Turk

    I’ve heard that this is a pretty sweet firearm to shoot. 6.5×55 is a marvelous caliber, and I’ve always wanted to get some trigger time on one. I owned an 8mm Egyptian Hakim, which is to all intents and purposes the same gun, and it had pretty surprisingly mild recoil. The counter intuitive bolt operation was kind of daunting at first, and I’ve NEVER owned a rifle that chucked brass farther away. almost dead forward, and a good 30 feet!!!!

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    I assume that it won’t be very convenient to shoot rapidly, because the action is actually open and gases from intensive fire may blow to the shooter’s face or at least make aiming harder. I would ask guys who own one of these guns and have done rapid firing (say … one mag at once) to comment on my guess and share their experience.

  • Mike Halvorsen

    I’ve only fired one once, but it was delightfully reliable and very accurate, with what I would call negligable recoil. But, yes, it throws your brass a good 5-10 meters forward,and the bolt does take some getting used to, but I never had a problem with gas blowback. (and I was firing VERY rapidly as a test)

  • swede1986

    Nicely done! I love these videos and the AG-42B holds a special place in my heart.

    BTW, the “L” is silent in Ljungman.

  • AZRon

    I bought one of these back in the mid 70’s. It was the first semi-auto rifle that I had ever owned. I had to go to 3 different gun shops before I found a box of Norma 6.5×55 ammunition.
    About 3/4 of the way through my first box of ammo, I encountered a surprising BOOM that sent the magazine floorplate, follower and spring 20 yards downrange. I couldn’t see any obvious damage to the rifle, but I hung it up for the day.
    One of the other guys at the range made me an offer on it, and I sold it to him. (I was still a little shaken)
    That’s one sale that I still regret.

  • John D. Dingell III

    Also had one of these back when 6.5x55mm ammo was hard to get. Loaded up some cast bullets with a mild load of IMR 3031 which had worked well in a Norwegian Krag because I was having trouble finding my brass with full house jacketed bullet loads. Wound up with surplus bullet lube all over my face from the gas system. Fortunately, I was wearing good shooting glasses. After about five rounds I could not see the sights! You can feel the gas from the gas system wash over your face when you fire these rifles.

  • Tony

    As swede1986 said the L in Ljungman is silent, also a swedish pronounced j is more like and english/american y. So try Yungman :)

    Also the sight should be marked in meters not yard, a yard is about 0.91 meter. So over a few hundred meters the difference would be significant.

    anyway some irrelevant info Ljung means Heather (plant).


  • Doug

    I own one of these and have shot it several times… its a rifle designed before it’s time.
    This is one smooth shooter and very accurate with minimal recoil. Guess you could say it was the AR-15 of it’s day.. Not totally the best all around gun but one with unique operating features that you could get use to first time on the firing range.
    Only issues is finding parts such as magazines, stripper clips and the ammo is a little on the pricey side …

  • ethan

    I own one of these fine rifles and find they were vastly superior to the other semi-autos of their day such as the Garand. Virtually recoil free due to the muzzle brake and the gas action. Paid $60.00 many years ago, wondering what their value is today.

  • john

    A fine job of describing this fine firearm! I have tried a couple of rifles well known in any circle for hunting purposes… But the Ljungman has fast become my favorite to date. It is easy to maintain and the newer lubricants have saved me from malfunction in the cold weather. The 6.5×55 round is close to a .270 for hunting and it isn’t too expensive here (about $10 less per box of 20 than .308 or .303). It shoots flat and fast. I like the open sights and the ease of dialing in for distance too.

  • Roger Hunter

    I bought one of these rifles about 30 years ago when I was into collecting rifles with unique actions. The $140 sticker price is still on it, and it shows little wear for its age. I’ve never fired it, but there is a time and place for everything, and being retired leaves me the time.

    Before I bought the rifle I spoke with a Ljunman expert, who explained all the proof markings and what to look for before purchasing one. Mine had all the markings, and that was all I cared about at the time.

    Now I would like to know the history and sequence of proof markings, since my interest has expanded over the years to include the history of each gun’s development. Are there any reference books that our National Library could have either hard copy or microfiche that anyone knows of so I can do further research on this subject (that’s “Canadian National Archives”, but they often can get other research organizations to augment their resources).

    That last proof-mark was critical according to the expert I talked to, because the earlier models did experience failures so the Swedish Government stepped in and established the proofing requirement that was to their satisfaction.



  • Tony

    I realized while looking for scope mounts on another surplus rifle, that I have a Ljungman in my safe I’ve had for over 20 years. It’s in the back and apparently long forgotten. I pulled it out and remembered I also have a bayonet with scabbard and leather holder as well as a field kit. Seems I’ve been sitting on a small gold mine for years as I haven’t seen one advertised with all the accessories. I’m curious now how much the whole thing is worth? The rifle is a 1945 version with all matching numbers. The stock appears to never have been refinished and looks like they pulled it right from service and send it overseas. Thoughts from anyone? Thanks!!

  • Richiev8

    Picked ups ag42 for$800 . Construction is excellent. Can’t wait to shoot rifle. Will post results

  • beeker77

    Thinking of putting my Ljungman on the auction market, after disappointments with perfecting an ideal handload for it. But she’s a beauty and fun to shoot; near-new condition wood and metal. I’ll miss her.

  • Sven

    The AG-42(non -B) were also mounted(reused) on the Bofors 90mm RCL AntiTank gun for firing tracers to verfy distance/sighting.

    Iirc ithe AG-42 was mounted sideways here, and I remember problems with the wire spring, as well as mags not feeding properly.


  • George

    I just bought a beautiful AG-42B in incredible condition. It came with a box of match ammo and shoots very smoothly and very accurate. I am a big fan (and armorer/builder) of AR platform rifles and to find the guns that basically started it all (gas impingement system) is really cool. If anyone knows where I can find accessories for this rifle I would appreciate a shout out. Thank you for a great video and all the interesting informative comments.

  • DJ Arens

    Looking for a mag for this gun, any suggestions?

    Ljungman AG-42B

    • I would keep an eye on GunBroker auctions – but you can also use a Hakim magazine. It probably won’t be quite as reliable as a proper Ljungman mag, but it should work pretty well.

  • Jeremy Garner

    I truly enjoy your videos. A wonderful job describing this unique weapon. The only thing I can see that you missed and that I didn’t see already brought up in the comments section was that a major part of the upgrade to the b variant was the addition of a stainless steel gas tube.

  • Bob Lewis

    I believe that this video was the finest produced and narrated video I have ever seen. Thank you very much and I’ve added a new favorite site under my favorites. I’ve always loved Swedish weapons and believe their quality is matched by few if any. I currently own 6 different models. As for value, I purchased a AG642B Ljunman this week for $850 off of Guns of America (wish I could speak so highly of them). It is in the finest condition of virtually any used weapon I have purchased. Beautiful wood, 90 to 95% finish and I would say that it on par or exceeds any military weapon of that time. If the chance arises to buy one, don’t think about it, just do it. You will not be disappointed. Again, very well done video, the instructor did an outstanding job!!

  • Tony

    I recently purchased an AG42b (in Canada) and searching the web I see a lot of different opinions on what ammo to use (and not to use!). Does anyone have experience?

    • I’ve used Swedish surplus and a couple brands of commercial softpoints, and not had problems with any of it.

    • George

      I’ve used a lot of PRVI ammo in my AG42B, I’ve also used hand loaded match ammo and surplus ammo with no issues. On a side note, I ran into a few thousand surplus wooden blanks that,used with the black firing adapter, work extremely well, scary at first, shooting a wooden bullet into a steel cap that blocks the end of the barrel, but once you get used to it, it’s fun!

  • Ken

    I had to sell a few guns and ended up without a deer rifle so I took a Ljungman that I had, with a damaged stock, and refitted it to an unneeded bolt-action wood stock that had no other purpose. I have a box of older Lapua ammo that I don’t want to use, and some used, foreign, brass that I was thinking about reloading. Thoughts about loads? Would consider selling said rifle with mounted Burris scout scope, in order to get something more conventional. Have already fired foreign ammo and am pleased with accuracy.

  • Tim

    Looking for a magazine for a Swedish Ljungman AG42B. Help!

  • George

    Good luck with the magazine search, I have spares,but I’m going to keep them. I’m not a fan of the Hakim mags,you have to fit them to your rifle and they are not reliable. Search gun shows and gun broker,I see them pop up once in a while.

  • Alamo 308

    Liberty Tree Collectors has repro Hakim magazines, which fit interchangeably with Ljungman magazines. I have one of each (Ljungman and Hakim) and use both magazines for each rifle.

  • BigMike

    I got one of the ag42,s recently and have had it at the range once. Really nice flat shooter but only 100 meter range. Nice gun. I am in New Brunswick Canada and got this on a trade. I would really love to add K31 swiss to my collection and they seemed to have dried up except for some very high priced ones. Any help contact me I am a milsurp collector and trade as well. Thanks everyone and happy shooting.

    • Ken

      I’ve had two of these rifles but have sold one of them. I ‘sporterized’ the other as I had to sell my deer rifle and had nothing else. At that time they did not seem scarce and were inexpensive. Different now. I lost a magazine and found they have become very difficult to find in Canada. I like the rifle and with a mounted extended eye relief scope can expect to hit an apple at about 150 yards. I may have some left over parts if you are interested. From Saskatchewan.

    • George

      Big Mike, While I respect your opinion, I would have to disagree, I use match ammo and easily score at 200 yds plus, Using my handloads I can extend that range. I would suggest some match ammo and see what you think! Good luck Sir!
      Ken, What kind of parts are you willing to part with? I’m always looking for spares!

      • Ken

        Give me a day or two to dig them out. Got a bit too busy.

      • BigMike

        George I meant the gun range was only 100 meters. I know the weapon is accurate further than that. I just didn’t word it properly lol. Sorry. I just haven’t had the chance to shoot a further distance yet but plan to. Thanks again.

  • CalFed

    My son and I shoot our Ljungmans in a bi-monthly vintage semi-auto military rifle silhouette match…10 rounds each at 220 yards, 330 yards, 420 yards and 550 yards. We usually best the Garand shooters.

    Today my son took first in class, running against “as issued” Garands (he shot 26/40) and I tied for second with a Garand shooter (23/40)

  • Chris

    I live in Limhamn (Sweden), where the Ljungman plant was located since the thirties. It was torn down about five years ago and my brother who worked there until his retirement, found a lot of interesting stuff in the basement, dating back to the forties,when the plant was involved in the effort to supply ammo for the dire needs of the neglected Swedish army. Their main product was gas pumps for filling stations, something they sold all over the globe with great success. In 1967 I was a radio operator in the RSN and the ship I served in had racks with those rifles along the bulkheads underneath the forecastle. One incident from our round the world journey with that ship occurred when we where anchored off the Bahamas and were allowed to dive from the gangway, for a swim in the ocean. The area was deemed as somewhat sharky and there was a guard with a rifle standing by at the gangway. He wasn´t carrying one of the ships fast-shooting Ljungman rifles, but one of our old Mauser carbines, as the Ljungman, wash´t considered as 100% reliable when recycling. I´ve heard that this had more to do with the ammo than with the rifle as such and my father who was a military man by profession had shot them a lot of times and was very pleased with the Ljungman.

  • Chris

    Hallo George! Good to hear from you and your interest in the Ljungman rifle. The thing is, that the rifle was constructed by an engineer at Ljungmans, whose name was Eklund. The rifle was never put into mass production here in Limhamn, but at Eskilstuna, where the main part of the small arms for the Swedish army were produced at that time. What my brother found in the basement of the Ljungman plant, was parts for the artillery rounds which they produced during the war and he actually found some brand new 40 mm/Bofors rounds, that had been deactivated and today adorns his desk. So,sorry to say, he´s got no parts for the Ljungman rifle, but I remember him telling me something interesting about them or rather about the Egyptian “Hakim”, that he´d found in a desk at the plant back in the seventies. It was a report written in Swedish, about something the Egyptians called the “Black Sunday” and according to my brother centered around massive malfunctioning of the “Hakim”, during the six-day war with Israel. From what he could detect from the report, the (8mm) Hakim didn´t like the sandy conditions where most part of the fighting took place.

    • George Robinson

      Hi Chris! Thank you for the reply Sir, much appreciated!! Very sorry to hear I misunderstood the comment. I can tell you from experience that the Ljungman is a far superior rifle than any Hakim ever made! I shoot my AG-42B often as it is such a pleasure to shoot and as accurate as can be!! Thank you for your information, everything I find out about these magnificent rifles is always a joy!

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