Madsen M47 Run and Gun (The Last Bolt Action Infantry Rifle)

The Madsen M47 Lightweight Military Rifle was the last bolt action rifle designed with general issue in mind, however withe the surplus of small arms and the proliferation of semi-automatic firearms after World War II, the M47 was not to be. About 5,000 were made, and in this episode we see how the M47 fares on the run and gun course!

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The full transcript is below …

– Hey, guys. It’s Alex C, with TFBTV and for today’s running gun, we’re going to be featuring a Madsen M47, lightweight military rifle.

The Madsen M47 has the distinction of being the last bolt action military rifle, designed with general issue in mind. These were designed in the late 40’s, and issued.. Excuse me.

Well, for sale in the early 50’s. The only evidence I can find of sale is actually to Columbia.

More specifically, the Columbian navy and the sold about 5,000 in 30 ought six, despite marketing these in tons of calibers.

They have a typical flag safety, and feature a split bridge here. You can see that when I lift the handle they are cock on open, it draws the cocking to the rear.

There is a bolt guide rib, because they are split bridge guns. And, yeah, they’re pretty bog standard, military bold action rifles.

Other than that, they are very nice, like I said.

They have a flag safety, with an interesting spring load bit, that acts as kind of a little redundancy there.

They have excellent sights, actually.

In aperture, instead of a typical notch on the rear sight. And then a hooded front side post.

Which is great.

Like I said, the bolt handle/guided rib functions as the safety lug. It doesn’t have an independent safety lug. I really don’t like that in a bolt action rifle.

Primary extraction is achieved by means of an extension, or rather, a cam surface milled onto the receiver ring.

These actually are also quite interesting, because they feature a muzzle brake, and a rubber recoil pad that’s quite thick, and makes these very pleasnt to shoot in 30 ought six. Your controls are gonna be pretty standard as well. They’ve got a very forward mounted bolt handle. They are rear locking, unlike a Mauser, with it’s large receiver ring and front mounted locking lugs. But this does offer some great sand, dirt resistance, what have you.

There also is a bolt hold open, kind of, extension on the follower. So, what kind of screws us in this run ‘n gun, as a heads up, is the stripper clips.

I don’t have enough proper stripper clips, so I just found that Swedish Mauser stripper clips work. For those that don’t know, Springfield 1903 clips kinda suck because they have these little tabs, and the section that’s kinda springy tends to fall out.

So, the run ‘n gun course is gonna be 25 shots with four reloads, at about 60 yards.

With the first 20 shots fired at a steel silhouetted, and the last five fired on a paper silhouetted.

Let’s see how the Madsen performs.

Alright, guys. It’s Thanksgiving Day, and it’s raining, but you can’t say we don’t have moxie, I guess. So here with go with the Madsen M47.

(shot firing) Alright, let’s go down range and check that one out.

Alright guys, it looks like I only missed one on the steel, out of 20 shots. So, I’ll count the pings in the video to verify that, but this is a very accurate gun, with great sights, with very quick target acquisition.

So let’s move to the paper.

I took five hits on the paper, and I definitely pulled them a little to the right, when I was on the last stage when I was moving.

I could kinda feel that actually, I was kinda jumbling around, and then just kinda getting the shots off as quick as I could, in a hurry.

Nonetheless, though, we got five out of five on this.

So, I believe it’s 24 out of 25.

I’ll put the totals, hits versus misses here.

And I think I did pretty good with this gun.

So that Madsen performed actually very well.

Obviously, one thing that held it back was the awkward placement of the bolt handle, which is forward. And you do have to snap your wrist tight back on the trigger very proactively, with each shot.

The stripper clips also did cause a problem, as you saw me kind of fumbling with them a few times. But, all in all, it was still a pretty good run. This rifle is definitely light and handy, and that really helped.

Along with the truly excellent sights, the general handling characteristics are awesome.

The rubber recoil pad and the muzzle brake made for a great shooting rifle.

There’s a good reason why I actually have two of these. One, to kinda keep away, and one actually as a kind of pest control management on my property, north of where I live full time.

So, I was really happy with this run.

I’ve never shot this with haste, but this was a fun run ‘n gun, and I hope you guys enjoyed it.

Anyways, big thanks to Ventura Munitions, our sponsor. Also, if you liked what you saw, hit the subscribe button.

This is Alex C with TFBTV.

Hope to see you next time.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • andrey kireev

    Nice video Alex. Do you have any idea where I can pick one up ?

  • Riot

    It was a daft idea to try and market these when the world was swimming in surplus.

    But today you could maybe get one thats never been shot, as opposed to a grizzled old enfield, so it has its positives.

  • May

    Interesting little rifles, supposed to be pretty smooth shooters but definitely a silly business decision to try and sell these in a market saturated with surplus Enfields and Mausers, not to mention the prolific FAL.

    Just a slight correction though, the country is spelled Colombia, everyone gets that wrong.

    • Indeed. I am not responsible for the transcriptions however.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    Alex, your bolt manipulation is amazing.

    • Tassiebush

      It’s a pleasure to watch a boltaction being worked well!

    • Thanks! This run and gun series is my favorite by far, and I think running it with vintage rifles is the most fun. One of my goals of the series is to prove that bolt actions were not immediately outclassed once early semi autos took flight.

  • gunsandrockets

    So Alex. Of the bolt actions tried so far, which is your favorite for this course?

    • Hmm… Well, you might laugh at this but I would say the Krag. I had the most fun doing that one and it allowed me to really demonstrate how much the humble stripper clip made a difference. It is also smooth as silk to run and recoil is very low.
      As far as which is the best for combat, I would say the MAS 36 with its excellent sights, short action, handiness, and fantastic stripper clips.

      • gunsandrockets

        I thought you might say the MAS 36. Certainly another under appreciated French rifle.

        Have you seen that video of the Norwegian target shooter firing a Krag and reloading with some kind of speedloader? It’s really fascinating and he’s really fast.

        Have you tried any of the 6.5mm bolt actions yet in a run and gun?

        I would like to see run and guns using old semi-autos. But each rifle should use whatever reloading method is fastest for it, so charger loading would be rare. I would like to see the M1 rifle, the M1 carbine, the MAS 49 (or 44?), the G-43, the Tokarev, and the SKS.

  • Dave C

    Many examples were picked up for a nominal fee by police departments in the United States. Some have PD markings as a result. The Armada de Colombia marked examples show up every now and then on the surplus market, but since the condition is typically quite nice, they often go for pretty expensive prices. Good luck finding one. Try Gun Broker and maybe consult Empire Arms what with the “want srervice” on offer there.

  • Rob

    Alex, do you think you’ll do a run and gun with the Swedish m/96?

  • Steven B

    Any chance you’ll do a run and gun with a Ruger GSR? Or other modern bolt action rifles?

  • Fred Johnson

    That is such a nice rifle.

    How’s the peep sight in front of the receiver work for you? I haven’t really liked the Mojo I tried on an SKS a couple years ago. I do better with receiver mounted apertures closer to the eye.

  • 75sl

    Any plans on doing a run and gun with a K31 ?

    • Yes. A very kind viewer has offered to send us some clips so we can do it!