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Madsen file photo [7443]

Madsen Machine Gun

Country of OriginDenmark
TypeMachine Gun
Caliber7.920 mm
Length1.143 m
Barrel Length584.000 mm
Weight9.070 kg
Rate of Fire450 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity870 m/s


ww2dbaseThe Madsen light machine guns were developed by a Captain Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen of the Danish artillery in 1896 and were adopted by the Danish Army in 1902. They were among the first true light machine guns produced in quantity. They were made by Compagnie Madsen A/S. The company later operated under the names of Dansk Rekyl Riffel Syndikat A/S and Dansk Industri Syndikat A/S. After Russia purchased 1,250 units, many of them were deployed in the east during the Russo-Japanese War. In 1914, the German Army deployed them and saw service during WW1. Both nations noted that they were expensive but extremely reliable, thus eventually over 34 nations worldwide placed orders between the 1910s and the 1930s, serving in combat in faraway places such as South America and China. By Apr 1940, the Norwegian Army was still using the Madsen light machine gun as its standard light machine gun; 3,500 units of them were in use when Germany invaded Norway. Norwegian and Danish examples captured by the Germans were kept in use in second line units. In the Pacific, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army operated a number of them, and some were captured and used by the Japanese. After WW2, the Danish Army used them until 1955. During the Portuguese Colonial War of the 1960s and the 1970s, the Portuguese Army used Madsen light machine guns either with light infantry units or mounted on armored cars. Among the last forces to retire these weapons was the Military Police of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which used them until Apr 2008.

Though listed on here with the caliber 7.92-millimeter, due to the wide market for this weapon design, they were actually of a various number of calibers, using cartridges such as the 7x57mm Mauser, 6.5x55mm, 7.92x57mm Mauser, and others.

Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Mar 2009


Chinese armorer with a Madsen light machine gun, 1911Chinese Madsen machine gun crew, date unknown
See all 8 photographs of Madsen Machine Gun

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Oct 2010 12:09:19 PM

The Madsen Light Machine gun, was not the
weapon I was thinking about that was listed
in the small arms section.


Madsen introduced in 1946 the M-50/M-53 9mm
Sub-machine gun, the weapon was easy to field-strip the box magazine held 32 rounds
later models had a curved magazine.
It remained in service from the 1950s into
the 1980s.
Brazil manufactured a model chambered in
45 APC.

'Star Trek' fans will remember the episode
called 'Bread and Circuses'. Kirk, Spock and
Dr. McCoy find themselves in 20th Century
Rome, the guards are armed with the Madsen
Sub-machine gun. As they beam back to the
Enterprise, the guards fire at them, using
blanks thus no bullet holes in the cell walls!

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Madsen Machine Gun Photo Gallery
Chinese armorer with a Madsen light machine gun, 1911Chinese Madsen machine gun crew, date unknown
See all 8 photographs of Madsen Machine Gun

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