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The Swedish m/21 BAR in 6.5x55mm

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Sweden was a remarkably early adopted of the light machine gun, for a nation not involved in World War One. Looking over the designs that existed right after the war, Sweden opted to purchase 700 (technically, 703) commercial BAR automatic rifles from Colt (by way of FN). These were configured to Swedish request, with substantial pistol grips, mid-mounted bipods, and chambered for the 6.5x55mm Swedish cartridge. This initial purchase was followed by a license to produce the guns domestically at the Carl Gustafs Stads factory in 1923, and another approximately 7500 were made by 1935.

In 1937, the design was modified to allow for a quick-change barrel, designated the m/37. Another 15,400 of these were built by 1944, and many oft he earlier m/21 guns updated to the new configuration. These would serve as Sweden’s standard support weapons until replaced by the FN MAG in the late 1950s, and remaining in limited service until the 1980s.

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