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Shortly after WWII the Danish arms company Madsen, designed a light weight bolt action rifle, with the intention of selling it to countries that could not afford to equip their armies with semi-automatic or fully automatic infantry weapons.

What Madsen failed to anticipate was the hundreds of thousands of surplus rifles hitting the market at the end of WWII.

The rifle became the M47 Madsen. Despite having many excellent features, such as front and rear ring sights with the rear sight being adjustable for windage and elevation, an integral muzzle brake, and a integral recoil pad, it was obsolete the moment the idea was committed to paper.

Madsen Rifle broken down from the original sales brochure.
madsenm47parts.jpg

It was first available for sale in 1951. Unsurprisingly to everyone but the Madsen Company, the rifle was a commercial flop.

The only country that decided to purchase them was Colombia, which bought, based upon observed serial numbers, somewhere between 5000 and 6500 rifles. The rifles were chambered in .30-06 caliber, with 5-round magazines. Each rifle came with a bayonet which may or may not be serial matched to the rifle and a sling.

Colombia took delivery of them in 1958 - 1959, and never issued them. Some of the rifles, particularly the ones that have a large Colombian crest mounted in the left hand side of the stock (Serial number > 5000) may have been used for ceremonial purposes.

Stock with Colombian Crest note that the serial number is > 5000
StockCrest2.jpg

The bulk of the rifles went into storage upon receipt and were sold to the US civilian surplus market sometime before 1968, when the GCA required import stamps on imported firearms.

Because there were only somewhere between 5000 and 6500 rifles made (the records were lost), and at least 51 years since they were imported, they are not available for sale very often, so as soon as one was posted at a price I was willing to pay, I jumped. It arrived on September 23rd.

Serial number 2235, which was made in 1958.

Roll stamp.
MadsenRollStamp.jpg

After unpacking it, the rifle has some rack wear, but hardly seems like it was used ever.

Full View Left (trained attack cat is patrolling for gun grabbers):
MadsenFullLeft.jpg

Full Right
MadsenFullRight.jpg

After removing the bolt and inspecting the barrel, it looked a little grungy, so I ran a few patches through it, there was still a light coat of cosmoline in the barrel.

Cosmoline covered patches.
MadsenCosmoline.jpg

The rifle is not blued nor parkerized. It seems to be some sort of baked on enamel or lacquer paint.

Finish wear on muzzle brake and the sharp edges.
MadsenMuzzleBrake.jpg

Next Post.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
M47 Madsen Part 2

You can see the feed ramp and chamber, the thin grey lines are from me feeding cartridges through it. You can also see where the finish has chipped off edges and high spots.

The roll stamp on the receiver ring says "Fuerzas Armada De Colombia" or "Colombian Armed Forces"
MadsenThroat2.jpg


The rear sight which features a rear aperture and adjustable for elevation and windage.
MadsenRearSightTop.jpg


View down the sight axis.
MadsenRearSightRear.jpg

While the rifles aren't exactly common, the bayonets are even harder to find, with an estimated number < 5000 in circulation. Supposedly, the bayonets were originally serial numbered to the rifle, but it appears that they were separated when they were imported. There was one individual that was trying to create a listing of all the Madsen rifles by serial number. From his list, there are only three known rifles in the US where the bayonet serial number matches the rifle. Unfortunately, he died in 2014, and no one has taken up maintaining the list.

I managed to find one that did not have a serial number on it. I was just happy to get my hands on a bayonet at all...

MadsenBayonetRght.jpg

Once I got the barrel clean and made sure the bolt was not full of cosmoline, I took it to the range to test fire it. I used USGI 150 grain FMJ ammo that is loaded for the M1 Garand.

As I do with all old rifles, for the first shot, I aim it at the target, then move my face/head well away from the rifle before pulling the trigger.

Target 1 Shot #1 is the lowest shot at the belly. the other 8 shots were aimed, there were a few with 2 bullets going through the same hole.
MadsenTarget1.jpg

Target 2 8 aimed shots.
MadsenTarget2.jpg

Target 3 3 shots at the elbow.
MadsenTarget3.jpg

Between the rubber buttpad and the muzzle brake, the rifle is an easy shooter with mild recoil, even in 30-06. With an overall length of 43 inches, it is quite easy to handle. It would make an excellent deer hunting rifle. :grin
 

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Another excellent write-up and very nice addition to your collection! :2thumsup
 

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Thanks! To me, it is all about the history.
Exactly. It would just be another plain Jane rifle without the history. Thank you for your well put together posts on these pieces of history. Great write up as usual.


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Yes, thank you for these great posts. I really enjoy the photos, the process and the history. :thumsup
 

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As I do with all old rifles, for the first shot, I aim it at the target, then move my face/head well away from the rifle before pulling the trigger.

That is a beautiful rifle. Madsens keeps moving up and down my "to get" list. But many times something never thunked of pops up. One with the crest in the stock would be very nice.. You read anything about why they pulled the crest??? I wonder how much money that saved in the day?? Damn shame they pulled that. South American rifles seem to always have the best crests..

Hey on that 1st shot test, I have always liked holding the gun under the bench rest table, placing the table between your head and rifle. Fingers, arms legs are still at risk. :( but some gloves & heavier clothing can help. Also assuming the gun is not a dangerous bomb just an old rifle whos history may be unknown.

Then for guns that shoot from a bi-pod or Tripod.. Toss a couple of Old Flack vests over the chamber area.

Again beautiful rifle.. Love the 30-06 Bolt actions. But those Madsens are really not old surplus rifles but are more like brand spanking new surplus.
 

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As always....some history and then something that we can drool over.....keep them coming......BTW, where do you find all these rare, unthought of rifles.....this one is something that I would like to add to my collection.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
As always....some history and then something that we can drool over.....keep them coming......BTW, where do you find all these rare, unthought of rifles.....this one is something that I would like to add to my collection.....
Gun Broker is about the only reliable source for them. Search for M47 Madsen. Just did a quick check and there are two listed at the moment, one still wrapped in cosmoline and wax paper.

As to where I get my ideas, I spend a lot of time browsing Forgotten Weapons.com. I am a nerd...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is a beautiful rifle. Madsens keeps moving up and down my "to get" list. But many times something never thunked of pops up. One with the crest in the stock would be very nice.. You read anything about why they pulled the crest??? I wonder how much money that saved in the day?? Damn shame they pulled that. South American rifles seem to always have the best crests..
The crests actually went on the last batch of rifles made with serial numbers From 5000 to approximately 6500. The records were lost, but the best guess is they were going to be ceremonial/honor guard rifles. They are identical to the regular rifles aside from the crest.

IMO the Persian Mauser had the nicest crest, followed by the South American rifles. :grin

download.jpeg
 

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The crests actually went on the last batch of rifles made with serial numbers From 5000 to approximately 6500. The records were lost, but the best guess is they were going to be ceremonial/honor guard rifles. They are identical to the regular rifles aside from the crest.

IMO the Persian Mauser had the nicest crest, followed by the South American rifles. :grin

View attachment 64457
Did not know that thought it was the 1st... Wonder what it cost to add..??

The Persians rifles are to die for.. Works of art.

Now nicest thing about fighting bestest mauser crests is there are no losers only winners..

But in the best non South american running you have to consider the Ethiopian crest.. It hurts to see all that crappy
Ethiopian surplus out there now was meant for these fine rifles.. But the wood ammo boxes are beautiful.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, that is a pretty one. Caliber over-stamping makes me sad.
 

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Ok, that is a pretty one. Caliber over-stamping makes me sad.
Yes and no, The purest in me cringiest but its cool because it adds to its historical journey. Its like the Sphinx's nose being cut off be it by Muslim or French gunners, at the time it kinda stunk.. a couple hundred years later its a cool part of the story..
 

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I recently received this Mauser action. Not sure what I’m going to do with it.

 

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Build a long range shooter out of it.


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That is a small ring Mauser originally chambered in 7x57mm. You can turn it into one hell of a 6.5x55 mauser it 6.6 Creedmoor.

If you want me to clean it up and blue it, drop me a PM.
 

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That is a small ring Mauser originally chambered in 7x57mm. You can turn it into one hell of a 6.5x55 mauser it 6.6 Creedmoor.

If you want me to clean it up and blue it, drop me a PM.
That’ll make a nice project.


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That is a small ring Mauser originally chambered in 7x57mm. You can turn it into one hell of a 6.5x55 mauser it 6.6 Creedmoor.

If you want me to clean it up and blue it, drop me a PM.
That’ll make a nice project.
Oh please do! :popcorn
 
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