The earliest Swedish machineguns.

Text and pictures by O. Janson

updated 2017-11-06



This series of articles will basically only deal with Swedish Army Machine guns used as support weapon which can be carried by the soldiers and used separated from vehicles.

Sweden has a long history of Machine guns. 1865 Sweden tested Richard Gatling’s machine gun from 1862. It had the designation Kulspruta fm/1865 (Machine gun test model / 1865). The calibre was 11 mm and had 10 barrels which turned around by cranking a handle. It never became adopted. The Gatling is a mechanical operated machine gun and not automatic.


In 1870 Lt. D. H. Friberg got a patent for his operating principles of a real automatic machine gun! The earliest drawing found are dated 1882! This was before Maxim made his machine gun. Due to the black powder ammunition which was used at that time, the gun became full with slag very fast and malfunctioned. Because of this reason nothing came out of Friberg’s invention that time.


Look at Nordenfelt's 2 barrel Mechanical Machine gun here on

(picture Armémuseum)


Early test with ten revolving barrels 1869.

This Machine Gun with 10 revolving barrels was designed 1869 by Helge Palmcrantz (1842-1880). Test showed that the mechanism was unreliable if more than 300 shots per minute were fired. The problems were due to black powder ammunition.

This machine gun has revolving barrels made of cut off Danish Remington M1867 barrels. The system is similar to the Gatling, however a less complicated mechanism.


An artillery soldier with Palmkrantz machine gun

In 1874 he patented a new construction with horizontal barrels, which became a success throughout Europe. The main problem was the black powder cartridges.


Kulspruta m/1874

The first adopted Mechanical Machine gun was Kulspruta M/1874 (Kulsp M/74).

Machinegun M/1874 (25mm) 
(picture Armémuseum)


Kulspruta m/1875 (Kulsp m/75) 

The second adopted Mechanical Machine gun was Kulspruta m/1875 (Kulsp m/75). It was also a multi-barrel construction. It was made by Stockholms Vapenfabrik. The calibre was the same as the Swedish Remington rifles – 12,17x42R.


Kulspruta m/75, Kulsp m/75

Calibre 12,17×42R
Ammunition 12,17 mm Swedish m/67
Feed Gravity fed hopper, 100 rounds
Rate of fire 500 shots/min
Muzzle velocity 380 m/s
Maximum range 900 m
Design Helge Palmcrantz
Action Lever-actuated
Manufacturer Stockholms Vapenfabrik
Barrel 950 mm
Length 1120 mm
Weight 115 kg, 171 kg including carriage
Miscellaneous 10 barrels




The First Swedish produced Machine gun m/1899



Founded by Oscar William Bergman, who sold his patent to Nordfelt & Co. Nordfelt's company was based in Paris at that time. The machinegun was based on the Maxim construction. This weapon is the oldest Swedish fully automatic machinegun.

When the machinegun shot at fully automatic fire it fired 600 shots/minute. It could be fired manually also with a rate of about 150 shots/minute.



Machinegun Kulspruta m/1900 (Klsp m/1900)
or Hotchkiss Mle'95.


1910 Sweden accepted the Hotchkiss Mle’95 machine gun
as Kulspruta m/1900. (Klsp m/1900)

Marked automatisk klsp M/1900 
Automatic mchinegun M/1900

 The gas-operated Hotchkiss MG are named after the company and not after the designer. Benjamin Hotchkiss was famous for his mechanical multi-barrelled machine gun constructions similar to the Gatling system. He died 1885 before the invention of gas-operated machine gun. Maxim’s patents on recoil-operated machine gun systems caused the Hotchkiss company great problems to design their own machine guns and they were on the brink to go bankrupt. An Austrian Army Captain, Baron Adolf von Odkolek, had made a design with gas-operation for machine gun, which he offered to Hotchkiss company. An American called Benét refined the system and made the famous Hotchkiss Mle’95 machine gun. This was the first successful gas-operated automatic machine gun. The French machine gun M1914 is only a slight variation of this MG.




Lid marked Hotchkiss Paris


Picture above by Armémuseum

Case for machinegun

Kulspruta m/1900, Kulsp m/1900 - Hotchkiss Mle'95
Calibre 6,5×55
Ammunition 6,5 mm m/94
Muzzle velocity 730 m/s
Maximum range 1660 m
Feed 30-round strips or 200-round belts
Rate of fire 8 - 10 /s  480-600 /minute
Design Baron Adolf Odkolek von Augezd
Hotchkiss Mle'95
Action Gas operated
Manufacturer Hotchkiss
Quantity 30 pieces
Barrel 758 mm, 4 grooves
Length 1425 mm
Weight 23 kg
Sights Tanget sight 250-2000 m
Miscellaneous Aircooled
Two versions, first one same as French Mle'97
Status Obsolete, sold in 1940



The earliest Machine Guns.
Kulspruta m/1914 or Schwarzlose Machine Gun M1907/12
and m/1914-29.

Swedish Medium Machine Guns - system Browning

General Purpose Machine Guns of Sweden


Gothia Arms Historical Society in English
Gothia Arms Historical Society in Swedish

Swedish Military Designations