Light machine guns have for the past 40 years been primarily belt-fed. While in the first half of the last century magazines were just as common, if not more, in light machine gun designs. Every nation seemed to come up with its own indigenous light machine gun design. From Sweden we have a magazine fed light machine gun that was a cleanly design and rather attractive dealer of death.
With its fine, wide wooden stock and pistol grip, the Kg m/40 was reportedly birthed from a pair of German minds, but went into widespread production in Sweden during the World War II period. Five thousand Kg m/40s were run off of Swedish production lines, each chambered in the country's proprietary 6.5 x 55mm round. This round was used in the Swedish version of the BAR and the Kg m/40 was fed from the same magazine, holding 20 rounds of ammunition.
Differing from other light machine guns of the time, which fed from the top or bottom, the kg m/40 was fed from the left side and could push a steady stream of rounds out at 480 rounds per minute. While fully automatic, the slow rate of fire did allow a practiced operator to quickly squeeze off single shots.
At 18 pounds, the Kg m/40 wasn't a light weapon, but a touch lighter than the Browning Automatic Rifle of the same period. While some LMGs were overloaded with heavy forearms or oversized carrying handles, the Kg m/40 has a clean, skeletonized look.
The heavy rifle could be disassembled into three main components: the gas tube which was attached to the lower receiver and pistol assembly. The upper assembly and stock could be split off, with the barrel and gas siphon disassembled alone. Hanging from above the barrel were two forward folding long adjustable legs with anchoring spikes on the feet.
The gas system of the Kb m/40 ran longitudinally above the barrel and tapped propellant gases from near the muzzle and flash hider of the weapon. The light machine gun instead of having a single port encased in the stout front sight assembly, instead tapped gas via a pair of curved ports. These dual chambers then pushed gases against the long piston, which then actuated the tilting block, extracting and ejecting a spent case and cycling in a fresh round.
The Kb m/40 didn't see service just in Sweden, but also Nazi Germany and Norway.