The ‘Swedish K’ Submachine Gun: A Favorite of US Special Forces


In early 1969, Reconnaissance Workforce Illinois of the Research and Observations Group, an elite covert operations unit, encountered North Vietnamese Military troopers whereas on a battle harm evaluation mission in northeast Cambodia. Because the SOG crew retreated to its extraction touchdown zone, Sgts. George Bacon and Newman Ruff laid down suppressing fireplace. At any time when Bacon stopped firing his CAR-15 carbine, the NVA rushed ahead and had been shot by Ruff’s sound-suppressed Karl Gustav submachine gun. Not sure of the shooter’s location, the North Vietnamese held again, which enabled the crew to flee.

Generally referred to as the “Swedish Okay,” the Karl Gustav m/45 was created by weapons designer Gunnar Johnsson for the state-run Karl Gustav rifle manufacturing unit. The gun entered service in 1945 — thus the “45” in its designation. It integrated options from a number of World Battle II-era submachine weapons to offer the Swedish military with a sturdy and easy-to-use automated infantry weapon. It was low cost to fabricate with a easy, no-frills design restricted to firing solely in automated. It employed a straight blowback firing system with a hard and fast firing pin.

The Gustav had a low cyclical firing fee, the variety of rounds fired for those who held the set off for a full minute, which lowered the recoil and made the gun simple to manage. Troopers might fireplace single pictures by releasing the set off earlier than the second spherical engaged. The Gustav fired over an open bolt to facilitate cooling. Sliding the cocking deal with into a brief side-slot above the primary (lock) slot or putting a detachable cowl over the ejection port put the Gustav in security mode. The Gustav had an modern straight two-row 36-round field journal with a tapered feed that each one however prevented jamming.

The Gustav’s compactness and reliability made it well-liked with SOG and different U.S. particular operations items. The SEALs beloved the gun’s skill to fireplace instantly upon breaking the water’s floor. American forces typically added sound suppressors and eliminated all markings so the weapon’s origins couldn’t be traced to so much bought by the U.S. The CAR-15 carbine started to exchange the Gustav in 1966. Retired from U.S. service by 1972, it was utilized by Sweden’s Residence Guard till the late Eighties.

This text appeared within the December 2020 problem of Vietnam journal.

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