Swedish Pistol m/1940
made by Husqvarna Gun Factory

Text by O. Janson

updated 2014-11-15

 

Page 1

The first Husqvarna m/1940

Page 2

Different slides of pistol m/1940

Page 3 Different magazines and equipment for m/40.
Page 4

Different series and foreign pistols.

Page 5

Pistols of Swedish Military Secrete Service.

Page 6

Wooden shoulder stocks and holsters for m/1940 and Lahti

 

The very first Husqvarna m/1940.

Page 1/6

 

On top Pistol m/1940 (by Husqvarna GF) - the first variation.

Below the Finish pistol Lahti Valmet L-35 of early type with cartridge indicator.

 

No more war.

1926 the congress of Sweden believed that there would be no more war in the region and almost closed the budget for the defence forces. This reflected in very limited purchases of guns and especially of pistols. This trend remained until 1938! The standard army pistol at this was the pistol m/1907, manufactured by Husqvarna, which is similar to the Browning M1903 in 9 mm Browning long (9x20 mm semi rim). This rather weak cartridge (m/1907) was the standard cartridge in Sweden at that time for both pistols and submachine guns.

The cold winds of war came closer at 1939. It came like a shock, when the Soviet Union attacked our neighbour Finland in November 1939. All of a sudden the demand for more weapons became urgent in Sweden.

Sweden bought 1 800 submachine guns from Germany. This was the Bergman model 1935. At the same time 1 500 Walther Heeres Pistol (HP) were bought. (HP became later P38.) These weapons used the German cartridge m/08, equal to 9 mm Luger cartridge! This new cartridge was named m/39 in Sweden. Finally Sweden had got a modern submachine gun cartridge! The Walther HP was an excellent pistol but there was one problem – the pistol could not be bought in sufficient numbers. The question was raised to produce it under license. This was deemed to be too difficult due to lack of machines and skilled personal at that time. Many of the skilled men were called for national service to defend their country.

The eyes fell of the Lahti pistol from Finland Valmet L-35. Swedish volunteers had been fighting alongside with the Finnish against the Russian attack in the Winter War, 30th of November 1939 to 13th of March 1940, and these officers found the Lahti pistol very good. This pistol was also considered easier to produce. 1940 after the end of the Winter War in Finland Sweden bought the right to produce this pistol under license.

There was a problem to find a place to build this gun. Carl Gustafs Stads Gun Factory were busy with production of the heavy Browning machinegun m/1936 and the Husqvarna Gun Factory were also busy but with the production of the submachine gun m/1937-39 and the standard army rifle Mauser m/1938.

A company in south of Sweden called “Rosenfors Bruk” got the order, but this company had never had any experience of building guns. They were unable to buy the machines they wanted and were also in a desperate need for skilled personnel. They started to produce the frames with whatever means they had, but they failed completely.

 

Pistol m/1940 - The very first variation.

To start with Husqvarna made almost exact copies of the Lahti pistol from Finland.

 

This is the very first type of Husqvarna made Pistol m/1940. (Husqvarna GF civilian production H19)
Only
80 were made of this type and 78 were recalled by the factory to remove the cartridge indicator on top.

There are other differences, beside the cartridge indicator, compared to later types:
The thin trigger guard and the Lahti type of loose recoil spring guide without extension

This is one out of only three known remaining pistols, which never were rebuilt!
One pistol belongs to the Museum of the Swedish Police and the other two H19 and H18 you can see here.

Even larger picture (168 Kb) HERE>>>

 

Very soon there were some problems which urged the design to be altered.

The first modification was to remove the cartridge indicator on top of the slide. All produced pistols were called back and the indicator was grinded away and the whole was welded together.

 

This pistol is one of the 150 first pistols ever made and it was rebuilt and it is one of a small number (200 pcs.) of military pistols which were sold to the private sector (a Railway Company).

You can clearly see were the cartridge indicator has been before. Note the same type of grinding like on the very fist variation. Now the recoil spring guide is fixed to the frame and the trigger guard is thicker then the Lahti type.

 

Swedish Army instruction manual for the Infantry.

1943: Pistol m/1940 appears first in the Army instruction manual for the Infantry 1943. As you can see the gun on this picture is not a Husqvarna but a pure Finish Lahti L-35 with cartridge indicator.

 1944: The Husqvarna made m/40 is seen for the first time on page 53, now with the cartridge indicator, but next page 54 the pistol appears without this indicator on a drawing.

Instruction manual 1943.

This is the Lahti VKT L-35 from Finland with cartridge indicator

Instruction manual 1944

This is the copy - first type m/40 with cartridge indicator

 

 

Here the pistol m/1940 is field striped.

 

 

 

When you reassemble your m/40 take care to insert the slide (white) lock with the arrow forward in the direction of the barrel.

 

Royal Armoury Parts list 1 of pistol m/1940 (KATF V29 1962) 60 kB

Royal Armoury Parts list 2 of pistol m/1940 (KATF V29 1962) 60 kB

Royal Armoury Parts list 3 of pistol m/1940 (KATF V29 1962) 144 kB

 

Read about how to field-strip the pistol m/1940 and the Lahti L-35 here

 


 

Index for the homepage of Pistol m/1940.
Page 1

The first Husqvarna m/1940

Page 2

Different slides of pistol m/1940

Page 3 Different magazines and equipment for m/40.
Page 4

Different series and foreign pistols.

Page 5

Pistols of Swedish Military Secrete Service.

Page 6

Wooden shoulder stocks and holsters for m/1940 and Lahti

 


 

References:

Jimmy Johansson
Bengt Johansson
Axel Ekfeldt
Thomas Broborn
Arne Tell
, Magazine Vapen
Lars Junberger
, Magazine NP
Different Swedish army manuals 1933-1977
Smith & Smith / Small arms of the world.
 A&W Visual library 1960

 


 

Gothia Arms Historical Society in English
Pistol m/1907

Gothia Arms Historical Society in Swedish
Overview of all Swedish Military pistols and revolvers