The Swedish machineguns before 1950.

Text and pictures by O. Janson

updated 2013-09-30

 


 

 

This series of articles will basically only deal with Swedish Army Machine guns used as support weapon which can be carried by the soldiers and used separated from vehicles.

Sweden has a long history of Machine guns. 1865 Sweden tested Richard Gatling’s machine gun from 1862. It was the designation Kulspruta fm/1865 (Machine gun test model / 1865). The calibre was 11 mm and had 10 barrels which turned around by cranking a handle. It never became adopted. The Gatling is a mechanical operated machine gun and not automatic.

 

In 1870 Lt. D. H. Friberg got a patent for his operating principles of a real automatic machine gun! The earliest drawing found are dated 1882! This was before Maxim made his machine gun. Due to the black powder ammunition which was used at that time, the gun became full with slag very fast and malfunctioned. Because of this reason nothing came out of Friberg’s invention that time.

 

Look at Nordenfelt's 2 barrel Mechanical Machine gun here on

(picture Armémuseum)

 

 

 

Kulspruta m/1874

The first adopted Mechanical Machine gun was Kulspruta M/1874 (Kulsp M/74).

Machinegun M/1874 (25mm) 
(picture Armémuseum)


 

Kulspruta m/1875 (Kulsp m/75) 

The second adopted Mechanical Machine gun was Kulspruta m/1875 (Kulsp m/75). It was also a multi-barrel construction. It was made by Stockholms Vapenfabrik. The calibre was the same as the Swedish Remington rifles – 12,17x42R.

Specifications:

Kulspruta m/75, Kulsp m/75

Calibre 12,17×42R
Ammunition 12,17 mm Swedish m/67
Feed Gravity fed hopper, 100 rounds
Rate of fire 500 shots/min
Muzzle velocity 380 m/s
Maximum range 900 m
Design Helge Palmcrantz
Action Lever-actuated
Manufacturer Stockholms Vapenfabrik
Barrel 950 mm
Length 1120 mm
Weight 115 kg, 171 kg including carriage
Miscellaneous 10 barrels

 


 

 

 


 

Machinegun Kulspruta m/1900 (Klsp m/1900)
or Hotchkiss Mle'95.

 

1910 Sweden accepted the Hotchkiss Mle’95 machine gun
as Kulspruta m/1900. (Klsp m/1900)

Marked automatisk klsp M/1900 
Automatic mchinegun M/1900

 The gas-operated Hotchkiss MG are named after the company and not after the designer. Benjamin Hotchkiss was famous for his mechanical multi-barrelled machine gun constructions similar to the Gatling system. He died 1885 before the invention of gas-operated machine gun. Maxim’s patents on recoil-operated machine gun systems caused the Hotchkiss company great problems to design their own machine guns and they were on the brink to go bankrupt. An Austrian Army Captain, Baron Adolf von Odkolek, had made a design with gas-operation for machine gun, which he offered to Hotchkiss company. An American called Benét refined the system and made the famous Hotchkiss Mle’95 machine gun. This was the first successful gas-operated automatic machine gun. The French machine gun M1914 is only a slight variation of this MG.

 

 

 

Lid marked Hotchkiss Paris

 

 

Case for machinegun

Specifications:
Kulspruta m/1900, Kulsp m/1900 - Hotchkiss Mle'95
Calibre 6,5×55
Ammunition 6,5 mm m/94
Muzzle velocity 730 m/s
Maximum range 1660 m
Feed 30-round strips or 200-round belts
Rate of fire 8 - 10 /s  480-600 /minute
Design Baron Adolf Odkolek von Augezd
Hotchkiss Mle'95
Action Gas operated
Manufacturer Hotchkiss
Quantity 30 pieces
Barrel 758 mm, 4 grooves
Length 1425 mm
Weight 23 kg
Sights Tanget sight 250-2000 m
Miscellaneous Aircooled
Two versions, first one same as French Mle'97
Status Obsolete, sold in 1940

 


 

Kulspruta m/1914
or Schwarzlose Machine Gun M1907/12.

 

1914 Sweden accepted the the Medium Machine Gun (MMG) Schwarzlose M 07/12
as Kulspruta m/1914. (Ksp m/14)

(private collection)

 

Swedish Medium Machine Gun m/1914 (Schwarzlose)

(private collection)

 

 

This Machine Gun became very successful and still until today the Ksp m/1914 remains on the Machine Gun medals of the Swedish army.

 

Swedish army machine gun marksmanship medal made out of sterling silver. The gun is a Schwarzlose M07/12 water cooled machine gun surrounded by the three Swedish crowns, which are a National symbol for the country and on top the royal crown. Note all the details!

When the author made his army service you could choose to shoot with either the MMG water-cooled Browning Ksp m/36 or the FN MAG ksp 58. It was much easier to win the medal by using Ksp m/36.

 

Swedish army machine gun marksmanship medal in Gold, made out of Sterling Silver. With Three Crowns "Cat foot" as a mark for the Sterling Silver.

 

Swedish Medium Machine Gun m/1914 (Schwarzlose)  

(private collection)

 

Background:

The machinegun is unusual because it is the only successful military machine gun working on the delayed blowback system before H&K systems at 1950.

Mechanism (private collection)

The machine gun has got its name after its constructor Andreas Wilhelm Schwarzlose (1867-1936) who lived in Charlottenberg, Germany. It was first produced by Steyer in Austria 1902.

The machine gun has a small number of moving parts and a fixed barrel. It saw service during both the Great War and WW2.

This is a water cooled Medium Machine Gun (MMG).

The Schwarzlose Machine Gun M1907 was an extremely simple mechanism compared to other famous designs like Maxims. It was easy to make and proved reliable. The designer had managed to solve the problem with a delayed blowback system. The problem is that the breech starts moving backwards immediately as the cartridge is fired. The gas pressure is still very high and the walls of the cartridge case are expanded towards the chamber, which will cause very high friction. At the same time the extractor starts pulling out the empty cartridge case. The problem was solved by using very strong recoil springs and recoil parts together with a very short barrel. When the bullet left the barrel the pressure dropped while the kinetic energy of the recoil parts continued to pull out the empty cartridge case and reload the gun. The Schwarzlose machine gun has a device for oiling each cartridge to ease the reloading cycle. On each stroke oil was squirted into the firing chamber to lubricate the incoming cartridge case.

1912 some changes were made to the feed system and this change was called M1907/12. It had a straight top receiver and a simplified oil pad system instead of the pump mechanism.

 

This m/14 above was made 1930 by Carl Gustaf Stads Gun Factory.

This MMG m/14 was one of the last made Schwarzlose. The year of production (1930) can clearly be seen close to the handles.

 

 

 

Sweden:

The Schwarzlose Machine Gun was made under license in Sweden (and Netherlands). The construction proved to be a remarkably successful machine gun.

Carl Gustafs Stadts Gevarsfaktori in Eskilstuna Sweden produced about 1 300 Schwarzlose machine guns. Browning designs replaced m/14. However the Schwarzlose tripod m/14 remained until about 1980.

 

Top view of the Kulspruta m/1914

 

The water cooling jacket was nicely decorated with the Swedish national coat of arms
and a
"C" topped of with the royal crown for Carl Gustaf gun factory.

 


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Tripod m/1914

The Schwarzlose Machine Gun was put on top of a compact tripod with locking bars to prevent the MG from collapsing.

 

The elevation is controlled by a wheel acting on a toothed quadrant.

By this construction it is just to move the rear of the MMG laterally over a sector plate.

Top tripod m/1914 changed to MMG m/1936

 

Below original m/1914

(private collection)

 

Picture of the sector plate.

From the Swedish army manual.

 

The tripod could be released to allow the mount to lie directly on the ground with the centre line of the bore being just less than 0,3 m above the ground. This tripod was also called m/1914 in Sweden.

It was a very simple and sound construction, so it became the platform for later Swedish Medium Machine Guns like m/14-29 and m/36.

 

 

The Swedish MMG Kulspruta m/36 on the tripod from m/14.

Swedish army instruction manual from 1963

 

Specifications:

Calibre:

6.5 mm Swedish m/94

Length:

1020 mm

Barrel length:

600 mm

Weight:

24,0 kg

Cyclic rate:

480/minute

Ammunition belts:

250-round fabric belt

Mount:

Tripod m/1914

Mount weight:

20 kg

More picture of Kulspruta m/1914>>>

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Kulspruta m/14-29

Kulspruta m/14-29 is NOT a Schwarzlose Machine Gun!

The Ksp m/14-29 is a water cooled Browning M1917 equipped in Sweden with a water cooling jacket from the Schwarzlose MMG Ksp m/14.
T
he MMG Ksp m/14-29 has also inherited the tripod.

The calibre was 6.5 mm.

It was used by the heavy Infantry Support Platoons contrary to the light Infantry Platoons. These Support Platoons were equipped with heavier weapons like this MMG Ksp m/14-29 and with 8 cm trench mortars.

The Ksp m/14-29 was replaced by the Browning Ksp m/36, which you can read more about here>>>

 

 

Closest to camera you can see MMG Ksp m/14-29; in the middle Ksp m/1914; and at the rear Ksp m/36

 

1935

MMG Ksp m/14-29 on a small lorry for air defence.

 


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References:

Smith & Smith: Small arms of the world, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 
Ian Hogg Military small arms of the 20th century.
Alm: Eldhandvapen II Stockholm 1934
Vapenmuseet,  Eskilstuna.
Swedish army manual - Ammunitionsregister 1960 and 1964 F1092-065000
Swedish army manual - KULSPRUTA m/36 lv dbl, 1966
Swedish army manual - KULSPRUTA m/36 mark, 1963

 


 

Kulspruta m/1914 or Schwarzlose Machine Gun M1907/12
and m/1914-29.

Swedish Medium Machine Guns - system Browning

General Purpose Machine Guns of Sweden

 

Gothia Arms Historical Society in English
Gothia Arms Historical Society in Swedish

Swedish Military Designations