Swedish AG42b Field Strip #ThumbCrusher

The Swedish AG42 rifles are direct impingement, 6.5×55 caliber rifles that are quite unique relative to the popular rifles of today. From the way the safety operates to the unique method of charging one, the manual of arms can be hard to learn for modern shooters. Still, the old thumb crusher served Sweden well, and in this field strip we look at what makes them tick.

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys it’s Alex C with TFPTV and today’s field strip we’re going to be taking a look at a Swedish AG42B rifle chambered in 6.5 by 55 Swedish The AG42’s are actually really cool they tap gas from the barrel and send it right into the carrier in true DI fashion unlike AR15 M16 DI which has an internal piston and really is DI as Eugene Stoner the inventor described it in its patents but I digress a liitle but anyways if you’re going to get into Swedish firearms something I would recommend is learning how to read these stock disks, very important I’m considering writing an article on it but I’m not sure how much interest that would generate, but back to the AG42, they’re very cool rifles they have a muzzle break on them it’s basically a bunch of holes drilled directly into the barrel, they have a rubber brass deflector located on the dust cover and then the sights are one of my favorite parts they’re actually very cool to adjust with a little rotating deal there and adjust up to about five or six centimeters.

Now to charge it you push the dust cover forward and pull back, there’s a reason that the Swedes call these thumb crushers, they will seriously make grandthumb look like a booboo it’s like a guillotine for your thumb make sure you have the safety on if you’re going to pull the bolt all the way to the rear and load the rifle, but on to the field strip, what we’re going to do is move the dust cover forward rotate the safety to the middle and then lift the assembly out.

Now this will allow the user to remove the bolt and carrier by simply sliding it to the rear.

So this part of the field strip is actually pretty simple, I must say these are a real pleasure and easy to maintain you can remove the magazine, not entirely necessary but they really weren’t designed to be switched in combat.

Now you’re going to want to remove the bolt from the carrier assembly by just pulling from the rear and lifting out at the same time.

Now the next part is my least favorite it’s the carrier and the dust cover are spring loaded and there’s a little tab on the rear, so press that tab on the ground and make sure that the carrier doesn’t fly off into your drywall because it does have enough pressure to do that.

As you saw when I was explaining the thumb crushing capabilities.

But, simplicity is beauty here because that’s all it takes to field strip and maintain your AG42, the Swedes really thought these out well they actually sold license built copies rather than machinery to make license built copies to the Egyptians with the Akeem rifle which is chambered in eight millimeter, I wish I had a Akeem as well but I do have a Rashid which is a scaled down Akeem in 762 by 39 which we have done a video about so we do have an upcoming run and gun with the AG42 and we hope you enjoyed seeing the guts of this rifle because it’s just kind of cool when a gun is this simple and yeah this week’s did a great job thanks to Ventura Munitions, we hope to see you next week.

Alex C.

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


  • The_Champ

    I’ve always field stripped mine without having the bolt carrier locked into the dust cover. I think you will find that much easier.

    I find these very interesting rifles and a pretty solid design considering the design period is alleged to be only about a year. The 6.5×55 is as always a pleasure to shoot, especially in a heavy rifle with muzzle brake.

    Alex, in your experience how would you rate this among its contemporaries of WWII(ie. the Garand, the Johnson, G41 & G43, SVT-40), and the immediate post war full power rifles (Mas-49, SAFN)?

    • abecido

      It’s easier to remove the dust cover before removing the bolt group from the rifle.
      If the magazine is removed, on reassembly the whole group can be pushed into battery and the dust cover then eased back, so that the bolt need not be slammed home on an empty chamber.

  • Vhyrus

    I can attest to the thumb crushing capabilities of this type of weapon as I nearly lost one of my digits to a malfunctioning Hakim rifle at a gun store. I swear they designed them to use the bolt as a last ditch close range weapon.

    • UCSPanther

      Just keep clear of the action and you will be fine. I have never been bitten by my Hakim.

      When you are loading the rifle with stripper clips, it is important to engage the safety. That way, the bolt can be pulled all the way to the rear and will not snap shut.

  • Syd Blefnoiven

    Very interesting article, thanks.

  • UCSPanther

    Many people think the AG42 series and the Hakim are complex rifles, but they are remarkably simple battle rifles. I can take my Hakim down far faster than I can my SKS, VZ52/57, CZ 858, M305 (M1A clone) or Mini 14.

    A couple of things to note about these fine rifles is that they prefer fast burning gunpowder (just like the M1 rifle) and gas adjustment is important, especially with the Hakim. Slow burning powders have been known to lead to damage of the extractor claw (As in getting ripped out), and too much gas being fed into the action will damage it.

    With the Hakim, it is important to ensure normal function of the gas valve at all times, and to ensure that it does not get seized up.

    • The_Champ

      I wonder why the Egyptians thought to put on an adjustable regulator but the Swedes didn’t in the original design. Not being a reloaded, it does worry me a little how forcefully my AG42 ejects.

      • UCSPanther

        I understand the Egyptians added the gas adjustment because there was a wide variety of 8mm mauser loads out there, and they needed the rifle to be capable of handling them reliably.

        The Soviet SVT 38/40 also had an adjustable gas system to handle the different loads of 7.62x54R that were floating around since the dying days of the Tsars.

  • Vitor Roma

    I demand a run and gun or I will not be entertained.