Thanks to reader John D, we have a chance today to look at a very scarce Danish-made copy of the AG-42B Ljungman rifle. The Madsen company in Denmark made about 50 of these rifles for military trials, in several different calibers. This one, and a few others, were imported with a batch of other guns into the US and quickly snapped up by collectors who recognized what they were. Mechanically they are identical to the Ljungman, but differ in many ancillary details like the sights, bayonet lug, magazine, handguard, and charging knobs.
Thanks to John and Chuck for bringing us this video! You can follow Chuck’s ongoing work at GunLab.net.
I agree that DISA was probably looking at export markets where .30-06 was the preferred caliber, mainly due to the vast amount of surplus American weaponry that became available in that chambering, not to mention probably billions of rounds of ammunition that was by then “excess to requirements” for the U.S. forces.
Of course, in the end, it was that very surfeit of U.S. hardware that essentially put DISA out of the small arms export business. They just couldn’t compete with all those M1 Garands. Or FN, for that matter.
Having an action and magazine scaled for .30-06 (7.62 x 63) makes very good sense in this context. It was the longest of all military service rifle rounds of the era, and a receiver set up for it could handle 7.9 x 57, 7.65 x 53 (which was still popular in South America at the time), and even the Swedish answer to an elephant round, 8 x 63. (Chambered in Mauser rifles issued to heavy machine gun units armed with Browning or Bofors weapons in that caliber; not the same thing as the American civilian 8mm-06 semi-wildcat, BTW.)
As for the bayonet lug, unless I miss my guess, it’s a K98 type intended to take the standard Mauser bayonet. There were a lot of those floating around at that time, as well, having become “excess to requirements” of the Wehrmacht…
“Surplus, surplus, everywhere, nor any market for me.” That was the issue at hand. Sadly for Argentina, the Junta relied too much on the surplus and forgot how to train its soldiers in actually seriously going to war with a kingdom which had at least two world wars’ worth of frontline combat experience. The Falklands War was a JOKE so far as Argentine soldierly equipment was concerned…
On the plus side, the British forces had no problem with ammunition and spares resupply, considering the Argentines used basically the same rifle, SAW, and pistol they did.
I believe the first thing in their inventory that showed up different was their mortar.
It was probably for the best of the Argentines as well. They never had the naval power to challenge the RN around the islands, and their air force was operating at its extreme limits. Their Mirage III’s flying from mainland bases had something like 5 minutes over the contested airspace before they had to head back. They also did not have enough Exocets to deny the RN access to the waters around the islands. So, even if their army had fought better, it would have only prolonged the conflict and caused more casualties on both sides.
While the AR family does share the gas tube with the Ljungmann, the way it’s used is rather different. The Ljungmann being true direct impingement in that the system is nothing more than a cup on the face of the bolt carrier over the end of the gas tube. Stoner’s system pipes the gas into the bolt carrier where it expands between the carrier and bolt.
The Egyptian Rashid isn’t really a small Ljungmann. It also shares the gas system and has somewhat similar lines but the bolt system is closer to an SKS.
Interesting stuff, thanks.
Just wanted to thank you, my callander came today. Can’t wait to take the old one down and put it up in the gun room . I hope you make this a holiday tradition for many years to come.