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GUNS Magazine April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 32

MoDEL 47 MaKer: Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark, action tyPe: Bolt action, caliber: .30-06, caPacity: 5, barrel length: 23.4", overall length: 43.3", weight: 8.5 pounds, finish: Baked-on, black enamel, Parkerized, sights: Adjustable aperture rear, hooded post front, stocK: Stained beech, value: $400+ HOLT BODINSON the eLusiVe mAdseN O ne of the most interesting, elusive and odd milsurps to reach our shores is the Danish Model 47 Madsen rifle. Odd? Well, considering that the Madsen was designed and manufactured after WWII, this unique rifle is considered to be the last, general issue, military boltaction rifle ever designed in the 20th century. It’s the timing of the Madsen bolt-action rifle which is so odd. Introduced in 1951 to members of an international arms community, already awash in WWII surplus semi-auto and selective-fire rifles and carbines as well as surplus and newly manufactured military bolt actions, the fate of the new Madsen rifle was almost preordained—a preordained failure—which makes it all the more fascinating as a milsurp since so few were actually made. There has been little written about the Madsen, which, given their rarity, is understandable so I went searching for some original Madsen publications. I had to look no further than Cornell Publications’ incredible treasury of 3,000+ old gun catalogs and 600+ old gun manuals, including factory gunsmithing manuals. Over the past decade, collectors all over the world loaned Cornell One of the last of the military bolt-action rifles. Pubs catalog and manual collections. Cornell prints out the catalogs and manuals on demand. The resulting reproductions in b&w or color are of high quality and inexpensive, compared to the cost of an original, if you could even find one. Fortunately, Cornell had two Madsen catalogs: one devoted exclusively to the “Madsen Lightweight Military Rifle” and the second to much broader offerings of Madsen products including light and heavy machine guns, submachine guns, mortars, 20mm cannons and the Madsen-made Ljungman semiautomatic rifle. top successes As an arms manufacturer dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, Dansk Industri Syndikat, known as the Madsen Company, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, was best known for the development of the first, really successful light machine gun in 1902. Eventually adopted by 32 countries in a variety of calibers, the Madsen light machinegun was in production as late as the 1960s. The Madsen submachine gun, too, was a successful development and even appeared in the hands of our Special Forces and indigenous allies during the Vietnam War. Madsen never made it big as an arms manufacturer, but their quality products were well received in countries that had no significant domestic arms industries of their own, particularly in South America and Asia. To quote from their catalog, “The Madsen Lightweight Military Rifle is a magazine rifle developed for the purpose of getting a weapon of lighter weight than the infantry rifles With its integral muzzlebrake and straight stock, the Madsen rifle delivers very little recoil. The elusive Madsen (below) is easily recognized by its distinctive profile and unique features. 32 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 1 2

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