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Prototype Friberg/Kjellman Flapper-Locking Semiauto Rifle


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum and we have a really
cool rifle to take a look at today. This is a Swedish prototype self-loading rifle using the Friburg
patent, which was the beginning of flapper locking. This would go on to be used in the
German G43 rifles, the G41 Walther rifles, the MG42 machine guns, the Degtyaryevs. The whole pattern, whole system of
Degtyaryev was largely based on this patent. And it’s really cool to get a chance to take a look at
one of the very early progenitors of that whole system. Now what makes this a really additionally
interesting patent is that this Swedish gentleman, by the name of Friburg, developed this in the
1870s as a mechanism for a self-loading rifle. The problem was in the 1870s, of
course, you were using black powder. And black powder fouling is
a death knell for semi-auto rifles. So Friburg was never able to actually get a gun running
in that time period, they had to wait about 20 years until this thing took form. Because they needed
smokeless powder to make a self-loading rifle viable. Now this was manufactured by a company
called Stockholms Vapenfabrik, which was … the incarnation of the Nordenfelt gun company. It’s the same Nordenfelt
factory, just under a different name. Nordenfelt … was a Swedish guy who had
developed a … sort of a manual machine gun, a multi-barrel repeating firearm.
The Nordenfelt was one of the major pre-machine guns used
by military powers around the world. It competed directly with the Gatling and the
Gardner guns primarily, and then some other smaller companies as well. But Nordenfelt, originally they made artillery,
they made these Nordenfelt guns, they actually made a U-boat in
the 1880s, you know, a submarine. And they ended up partnering with the Maxim
company, became the Maxim-Nordenfelt company. That didn’t last very long, it was reorganised
as Stockholms Vapenfabrik, and at … some point in the late 1890s to the very
first few years of the 1900s, they manufactured this. So at the time the superintendent, or the chief
engineer, of the factory was a guy named Kjellman (K J E L L M A N). And so these are
often known as Kjellman pattern guns. I think the formal official name would be a Friburg/Kjellman, giving credit to both the guy who made
them and the guy who patented the idea. At any rate, they made either 51 or 53 of these
rifles in a huge variety of configurations. This wasn’t a government arsenal, … they
were making the rifle to sell commercially, and they wanted to get contracts with military powers. So they made these guns in all sorts of different
calibres, the obvious ones to start with were some of the Scandinavian calibres. So
they made them in 6.5 [6.5×55 Swedish], and then they also made them in … southern
European calibres, .303 British, there were plans for … Interestingly, this particular one is in the 8×57 S
cartridge, that specific barrel and chamber size setup that was what the German military adopted
in 1905. Now that could mean this gun wasn’t made until 1905, although I think it’s earlier.
It seems … more like an 1899-1900 pattern of gun. It could be that that chamber and barrel
specification was available before the German military adopted it, and the factory
decided to try and get ahead of the curve. It’s also possible that the gun was rebarreled at some point in an effort to get German military testing or adoption. I don’t know exactly … the circumstances
surrounding the chambering on this particular one. But like I said, there are a wide variety of them
out there and they differ hugely in form really. Some of them actually have fully covered
receivers, some of them, like this one, have an open bolt and receiver. It’s just, you know, they were trying to get
contracts and making things they thought would appeal to different groups. Ultimately
they were not able to get any military contracts and the 50-some rifles or prototypes
like this are all that actually survived. So, we are going to take this apart, and then we are actually going to take it
out on the range and see if we can get it to fire. I don’t know that this has fired in
probably close to a hundred years. Hi there puppy. And she is very excited to get it to shoot. So, let’s start by taking it apart,
and then we’ll head out to the range. So there’s only one substantial marking on this and that is right here on top of the receiver. Stockholms Vapenfabrik and the serial number of 33. That number is going to be repeated on a whole bunch of the other parts, there’s another example right there. Now in terms of configuration this is absolutely set up as a military rifle. In fact, especially from looking at the Lange Visier style, the German style of rear sight here, you would think this is a military rifle. Well it’s not, not entirely, this was a military trials rifle. Stockholms Vapenfabrik was not an actual government arsenal, they did a lot of military work, of course. But they were trying to get this rifle adopted by militaries, and so they built them in a military pattern, military sights, military style handguard, at the front end here we have a bayonet lug, cleaning rod. This is all very much a military pattern rifle, not a sporting pattern rifle. And one of the more unique features is this on the back. This acts as a physical safety to guarantee that the bolt doesn’t come back and actually hit the shooter. And it also actually blocks the trigger. Takes quite a lot of force to open the bolt manually. And then you can see there … are two little cutouts for a stripper clip right there. The magazine holds five rounds, and it does lock open when empty. So interestingly there is this secondary spring on the follower, and there’s a reason for that. You’ll see why a little bit later when we take this apart, but what happens is the gun is going to
accelerate the bolt open and then, after it’s open, when the whole recoil system starts to go
forward it’s going to accelerate the bolt forward, and so that spring is there on the follower to
decelerate the bolt when … you fired the last round. Otherwise it would accelerate the bolt and
slam it into the follower and eventually damage it. So, that spring there is just a decelerator. And this has a very small ejection port, just big enough to load cartridges in and to kick spent cases out. So, I think had this actually gone into military service, they probably would have wanted to open that up a fair amount just to make it a little more reliable. The two round cut-outs here, of course,
are for your thumb for loading a stripper clip. One other interesting feature here, and this is something that you see on a number of early semi-auto rifles, this is basically a manual operation disconnect. So in the downward position, like this, the rifle functions as a semi-auto. But I can rotate it up, just slightly, locks into position there, and this disables
the gas system. It … disables the recoil system, locks the the action in place and allows you to
use the gun as a manual straight-pull bolt action. Now I can push this in, take out the follower. It’s got a pair of leaf springs. You know,
this whole thing is just very intricately machined. You can see how that all interacts in there, the X shaped springs for the magazine
follower and, of course, another number 33. These did have a variety of different configurations as
they were trying to market them to different countries. And so … there’s one that has a tubular magazine
under the under the stock, or under the barrel. There’s one that has an extended
magazine that comes down, probably 10 rounds. This one has a pretty standard
military pattern five round magazine. We have a bolt release right here, that’s
this kind of serrated pad. So pull the bolt back, pull this in, this forces the locking lugs
to retract in, and allows us to remove this. Now the remainder of disassembly is a little bit trickier. Basically the front half and the back half of the rifle come apart, and they’re locked in place by the magazine well. So not just the follower here, but the magazine well box actually comes out. So for disassembly it starts with this cross button here. You push that in, it’s coming out the other side. That allows you to just slightly separate the … front and
back pieces, then you can remove the magazine box This is a process that’s a little tricky, and it
takes a little bit of help from the rifle’s owner. So I’m gonna go ahead and do that off-camera
and we will be right back with the gun disassembled. The core concept here is that there are a pair of locking lugs at the front of the bolt which
can retract into the bolt when it’s cycling, and it protrudes out from the bolt in order to lock
it in position when it’s actually firing. Now as a safety mechanism and, well, part of the operating system, we have a firing pin here running all the
length of the bolt, and you can see at the front it’s got this large square, square-ish, sort of
protrusion. What that does is force the locking lugs out into the locked position like this, when the gun fires.
So if the firing pin is protruding out the front of the bolt this is forcing the locking lugs outward. That
means that there’s no way that the gun can fire when it’s out of battery, and that’s of course the
primary safety consideration for guns in general. So that’s that’s how that is taken care of. This system was originally, as I
said earlier, patented in the 1870s but not fully refined until smokeless powder
became available. And this is the first gun that actually made use of this system. Now, it would
go on to be used in a bunch of other guns, fairly successful ones actually. Degtyaryev used a conceptually similar system, or
conceptually identical system really, in the DP and the RPD and the DShK machine guns. And then the Germans would actually use this in a number of guns. This is very similar to the G43, and the
Walther G41, and it’s also pretty similar to the MG42 operating system. The MG42 used
rollers instead of square locking lugs, but working in very much the same manner.
So a really cool and early fundamental concept here from Kjellman and
manufactured by the Swedes. Now let’s put this in the receiver I’ve got a bolt release here, that comes forward and, slide that in there. Now I have the bolt in the receiver and we can
see some interesting stuff by looking at the bottom. So down here you can really kind of see what’s going to happen. There is no spring on this bolt. It is physically controlled by this arm This arm right here, which we’ll touch on in a moment,
but first. Let me show you when I lock this in place, (yep, that’s all the way in place), and you can
see right down there one of the locking lugs (the top one’s a little harder to see), but you can see that the locking lug has been pushed
out into the side of the receiver, where it’s locked, the trailing ends of the locking flaps are back here. And then the firing pin is ready to fire. When it
does it will go forward, in fact I can probably … there we go, now the firing pin has fired, so it’s gone forward and the centre lug of the firing pin is
now forcing those two lugs outwards (not that they were going to come back anyway
really, but that’s just a redundant precaution there), the gun fires. And now in order to cycle, the bolt’s going to be thrown
backward, which I said we’ll get to in a moment, but you can see that this cocking piece is now all the way forward. Now it’s re-cocked. and the firing pin’s back. So there it is fired, and there’s the
firing pin coming back, and re-cocked. Now the operating mechanism of the gun is … also quite unusual, and the operating mechanism
is one that did not see a lot of later service. This is a short recoil gun and up under the handguard here we have this very impressively strong
recoil spring wrapped around the barrel. So this piece, this whole assembly is going
to move backwards, however this arm is blocked, it is resting against this
shelf right here in the lower receiver so if I line these up like so, you can see that’s exactly where everything is resting. This isn’t going to move because this is firmly planted
in the shooters shoulder by way of the butt-stock. So what will happen instead is this piece has to pivot and when it pivots, it’s going to get here, catch the bolt and throw the bolt back. And I can’t really show you that because the amount
of force involved makes it a little difficult to do by hand. So this camming arm is going to control … it’s going to hold on to the bolt. It’s going to cam it backwards to this point or rather it’s going to kick it open at the beginning, and then it maintains control of the bolt so
when the bolt comes to the end of its travel You can see that they’re connected right
there at the end of its travel right there, this arm catches the bolt and stops
it from going any farther back. So because of that there is really no
need for a recoil spring on the bolt. This is going to get kicked back forward into battery when this whole assembly goes forward again because of this spring. Once it’s reached this position then It has run out of energy to move backwards. It’s going to start going forward and this is going to then throw the bolt forward like that, and it will have enough energy when that happens to … (the locking lugs make it sticky up front), but at this point there it is right there when the whole thing goes forward that kicks the bolt forward, … chambers a new round from
the magazine and locks in place ready to fire again. This is a really counterintuitive system
because of the lack of a spring in the bolt. It just is very foreign, very alien to the way
that we’re used to self-loading rifles today. Alright, it’s time to actually give this thing a try at the range. So we have some very old DWM ammo [Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken]. I think it’s a 5 round magazine 2 3 4. There is a stripper clip guide here,
but we don’t have any clips handy. 5 Yeah, it’s a five round magazine, and again you have this very unorthodox feeling, just loose bolt without spring tension, because of that hook inside that actually operates it. So, now we’re ready to fire. I have … the safety and face guard up. Let’s give it a try. Failure to eject. Actually a really pleasant gun to shoot.
The recoil from it is nice and soft, not harsh at all, kind of. And it actually, it’s
a little less than I was expecting from … this is a full-power 8mm Mauser rifle. Usually with a self loading mechanism, you’ll
get some of that absorbed by the system, but I want to try that standing up because I think
it’ll be even nicer and fairly controllable. And now that I’m fairly certain that it’s not going to
throw the bolt back through the centre of my face, let’s try a few more rounds. 1 2 3 4, this would be easier with a stripper clip. And 5, there we go. Alright! And one feed malfunction on the last round, which is kind of a common thing for older guns like this, Let’s do some more. All right, we’ve loaded one last magazine up There we go this is still really, really weird feeling to operate, because there’s no recoil spring and you just kind of slide it
into place, and hope that the little face guard works. Not sure if it fed … it did. All right, there we go. So what’s interesting there that happened was I
had a failure to fully eject the cartridge, and the cartridge case came up in this little slot where you feed. And the recoil system was actually still partially
back and it had been jammed in place by the cartridge. So when I pushed the cartridge down in,
that freed up the barrel assembly to finish going forward. And then I was able
to use the bolt to cycle the empty case out. That is a very … it gives you a very weird feeling operating this. I think I’ve said that
probably too many times now, but it’s really true. The number of things on this gun
that are just totally counterintuitive to the way that we would expect a
firearm to work today is substantial. But extremely cool to get a chance
to actually shoot one of these very early prototype, flapper-locked,
Swedish, semi-auto rifles. Well a big thank you to the owner of this
rifle who let us come out here and actually try running ammunition through it today. It was kind of a little bit of a question if it was
going to work, or perhaps just explode. But it worked remarkably nicely for a
prototype that’s 118 years old now. So hopefully you guys enjoyed the video.
Hopefully you learned about a cool new gun today. If you enjoy seeing this sort of thing, please
do consider checking out my Patreon page. It’s support from folks like you at a buck a month
that makes it possible for me to travel to places like beautiful, overcast Sweden today
to bring you guys guns like this one. Thanks for watching

100 thoughts on “Prototype Friberg/Kjellman Flapper-Locking Semiauto Rifle

  1. Kjellman is pronounced like shell and "man" in kjellman as said in the video. No critic at all! Its really hard to pronounce some of the Swedish names thanks to how different J sounds depending of the letter in front.

  2. Pretty cool that you actually visited sweden, many people seem to think we cant own shit when we actually can own semi auto rifles and stuff, not particulary hard to get a license, only downside its an very expensive hobby..

  3. Thanks Ian!
    Nice to see a Swedish gun on the show.
    This may be the early beginnings to the AG m/42.
    That was not a bad rifle.
    Thanks!

  4. The name your looking for is accelerator . This was also used in the M-40 Lathi pistol to ensure function in adverse conditions .

  5. The recoil in the slow motion video looks harsh except I bet the lever arm catching and returning the bolt smooths out felt recoil. It seems that the lever pivoting and reversing the bolts direction might slow the bolt and smooth out the direction change / recoil impact. Interesting idea but seems unreliable and in need of a lot of refinement to change that. Great video as usual. Love seeing these type weapons.

  6. Thanks to the owner for the opportunity to see this gun disassembled and being fired. Also apparently it is apparently mandatory to mention the dog so….surprise dog.

  7. yo i was just watching your shooting comp you just put out, i saw this gun and i was like wtf is that action? i had to come here to learn and im not disappointed. i want it.

  8. Seems like maybe enlarging the ejection port — which you talk about during the early examination — would have totally fixed those ejection problems?

    Really interesting gun, though! Makes you wonder about an alternate reality where this was the dominant operating mechanism for all of our self-loading rifles!

  9. you know a rifle is complicated hen Gun Jesus himself is afraid to disassemble it and asks for a help of gun owner.

  10. Ian, I demand that from now on you count ammo like "One! Ha-ha-ha!..Two! Ha-ha-ha!..Five! Five rounds in a magazine!"

  11. It is interesting that the bolt is kicked open and kicked closed. You are right. We do not really have any firearms that I can think of that use that system these days. I wounder if there are any hidden advantages and/or disadvantages to such a system over spring systems we use today.

  12. Lovely video and cool rifle, but your attempts at Swedish grinds my gears. You couldn't have asked the owner for the pronunciation?

  13. That extremely narrow ejection port seems to have just about the exact shape of a round-nosed 7,92, which is a) really wishful thinking on the designer's part and B) seems to me like this thing was later reamed and barreled for S-patrone and originally designed with the round-nose in mind

  14. FREIBERG YELLMAN, lmao. I mean it's obvious someone used to english will prononounce swedish stuff in a weird manner, but it sounds too funny to not mention.

  15. Oh what a sweet dog! 🙂 And nice to learn of another Swedish gun that I hadn't heard of before. Kjellman is pronounced "Chellman", by the way. 🙂

  16. Very cool to see!
    If you're interested, the pronunciation of the names Friberg and Kjellman is closer to how you'd pronounce "Freeberg" and "Shellman" in an American accent.
    /A Swede

  17. That makes a pretty decent manually operated straight pull design, does it not? Or would the design not be smooth enough in manual mode for today's shooters?

  18. just for future reference "kj" is pronounced "tsh" use the voice button and hear how we swedes say it 🙂 "https://translate.google.com/#sv/en/Kjellman"

  19. Cool to see something Swedish, would love to see more of that!

    On a separate note; Kjellman is actually pronounced shell (as in the gas station) and man, so saying shellman would get you closer to the Swedish pronounciation :).

    Keep the awesome videos comming!

  20. Ah Sweden, the only nation in Europe that I would love to travel to. My Great Grandfather came to America from Sweden in the 1870's and settled in Dakota. They say he had a farm yet in "the old country" that one of his son's maintained for him, as well as one here. He used to travel to see his family in Sweden (wife and son) then return here to Dakota to live with his Wife and several son's and keep the Dakota farm a going. Ah for the good old days.

  21. As soon as I saw the dog I knew it would jump up :), I loved the reaction Ian had to her!. Beautiful puppy (I call all dogs puppys lol) and the rifle is a real collectors item I'm jelly as hell.

  22. The Nordenfeldt was a volley gun. Kinda like a big-azz shotgun throwing a fist full of heavy slugs at you at rifle velocities. Not a machine gun, but scary as hell, when ya think about it!

  23. some of the guns you shoot make me uncomfortable… liek this one looks like its gonna blow from the back and penetrate your eye socket lol. i guess you get paid decent 😀

  24. "Stockholms Vapenfabrik": "Stockholm´s Weapon Factory"

    Friberg ~ Freeberiy
    Kjellman ~ Shellman ("sh" produced further back in the mouth)

  25. How much would these have cost to mass produce? Let's say the gun is or could be reliable enough for adoption by a military back then, is the design such that the production costs would have been feasible? Or would it have been way to expensive? I'm theoretically thinking if it could equip every rifle squad of the first line units with one rifle each.

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