The Madsen was the first successful light machine gun, entering production in 1902. It saw much use, but was an unusual design – basically a fully automatic falling block action. It used a top mounted magazine offset to the left side of the receiver, allowing the sights to remain on the centerline of the gun. The Madsen was available in a wide variety of calibers, configurations, and barrel lengths.


History and operation:

Running a semiauto Madsen LMG in a 2-gun action match:

Manuals (English)

Madsen Machine Rifle Main Characteristics & Tactical Use (English)

Madsen Nomenclature (multiple languages)

Madsen 1904/1912 comparison (English)

Madsen Model 26 line drawings

Description of the Madsen Model 1940 (English)

Manuals (German)

German Madsen Manual
Madsen manual, mostly covering 20mm models. Printed 1938.


Manuals (Spanish)

Argentine Madsen Model 26 nomenclature
Argentine Madsen Model 26 nomenclature




Madsen belt-fed tank gun

Madsen also produced a belt-fed variant of their long-lived light machine gun for use in armored vehicles (their is a similar aircraft version as well). We found a parts kit for one of these guns and took a bunch of photos of it (click here to download the whole gallery in high resolution):

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