Ljungmann AG-42

Notes: As the nomenclature might suggest, this weapon came into Swedish service in 1942 and served in the Swedish military until the early 1970s. Also known as the Eklund-Ljungmann (the designer was a Ljungmann engineer named Erik Eklund), the AG-42 used an unusual direct gas system instead of the gas piston that was normally used in a gas-operated system at the time; this became the basis for standard for gas operation. This makes the rifle simpler to manufacture and take care of. Unfortunately, the AG-42s gas system is its weak point; the design was novel at the time and had bugs in it which led to it being fouled easily, causing lots of stoppages. The AG-42 also has no actual charging handle, as such instead, the breech cover is pulled back to uncover the breech (which also allows the AG-42 to be top-loaded with chargers without removing the magazine), then pushed forward again. Due to the nasty tendency for stoppages, the AG-42 never achieved the hoped-for amount of issue (it was supposed to be the standard Swedish infantry rifle); instead, it was issued at the most to only half a squad (and usually less) to provide extra firepower.

The stock of the AG-42 is a modified form of that of the M-38 Mauser; this was done because Husqvarna (which later became FFV) wanted to affect the manufacture of their M-38 Mausers as little as possible due to fear that the Nazis might invade Sweden. The AG-42 therefore used a hardwood stock with a semi-pistol grip wrist and a fore-end which reached almost to the muzzle of the weapon. The barrel was 24.5 inches long, with a muzzle shaped to allow the use of the rifle grenades of the period and a lug to accept the standard Swedish M-96 knife-type bayonet. Atop the fore-end was a ventilated wooden barrel shroud. A drum-type adjustable rear sight and a post front sight were used; the rear sight was protected by high ears and the front by a ring.

In 1953, the AG-42B was introduced. This improved version of the AG-42 addressed most of the shortcomings of the AG-42, including the use of a wider gas tube made from stainless steel to reduce the fouling which was the primary cause of stoppages. (It still did not become the standard Swedish infantry rifle, however.) The trigger and extractor mechanisms were strengthened. Case ejection of the original AG-42s tended to lead to deformed cases which could not be reloaded without considerable work; therefore, a rubber roller was attached to the right side of the breech cover to stop this. Minor changes were also made to the sights to allow finer adjustments, and the magazines were also made to allow them to be loaded easier and more quickly (these will also fit into original AG-42s). This version was manufactured until the late 1050s, though both the AG-42 and AG-42B continued to serve in a lesser and lesser role until the early 1970s.

A variant of the AG-42 was also manufactured in Denmark as the Madsen-Ljungmann AG-42 (also sometimes incorrectly the ML-42). These were intended to replace the ancient Krag-Jorgensen rifles the Danish used before and after the Nazi occupation during World War 2, but problems with the gas system were magnified when the AG-42 was re-chambered for the standard Danish service cartridges (7mm and 8mm Mauser). Though virtually the entire mechanism was strengthened to allow the use of these cartridges, nothing ever really worked. Changes (other than simple strengthening) included a gas tube coiled around the barrel to increase the length of gas travel (this made cleaning the gas tube by armorers a nightmare), and various other small changes. In addition, the bayonet lug was changed to accept the standard Danish bayonet, and the barrel shroud was made from sheet steel instead of wood. By the early 1950s, Madsen realized the AG-42 was simply not going to accept the Mauser cartridges (the technology to allow it was not quite perfected at the time), and they abandoned the attempt, with only a very few ever being issued to the troops; by the mid-1960s, even these were recalled.

In 1954, the Egyptians had bought the AG-42B design, and a manufacturing license; they successfully rechambered theirs for 8mm Mauser, and manufactured it as the Hakim. (See Egyptian Battle Rifles for the Hakim entry.) The later Rashid carbine was also based on the Hakim.

Twilight 2000 Notes: This was one of the many weapons brought out of storage (or otherwise appeared somehow) and used by Swedish partisans during the Twilight War. Many Danish examples also showed up being used by Luxembourger partisans, and small amounts were also used by German citizens.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AG-42 (Swedish)

6.5mm Swedish Mauser

4.71 kg

10

$910

AG-42 (Danish)

7mm Mauser

4.55 kg

10

$1030

AG-42 (Danish)

8mm Mauser

4.74 kg

10

$1254

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AG-42 (Swedish)

SA

4

2-Nil

8

3

Nil

72

AG-42 (Danish, 7mm)

SA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

75

AG-42 (Danish, 8mm)

SA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

84