Madsen LAR: An AK for NATO!
The Madsen LAR (light automatic rifle) was an attempt by the main Danish arms manufacturer to get into the military rifle market after World War Two (they also released a bolt action rifle around the same time, the Model 47). The first version of the LAR was chambered for 7.62x39mm and submitted to Finnish testing, where it lost out to the Valmet-made Rk-62. Madsen then scaled up the working parts of the rifle and offered it in 7.62mm NATO for testing by the rest of the international military community. Unfortunately for the company, there were no takers, and the rifle was never put into serial production.
At its mechanical heart, the Madsen LAR is a Kalashnikov system, sharing the long stroke gas piston and the exact same style of rotating bolt and bolt carrier as the AK. It uses an aluminum alloy lower receiver with steel front trunnion, and a more complex (and much more closely fitted) receiver cover. It probably would have been a quite serviceable rifle in the field, but it was both a bit too late to market and failed to offer any substantial advantage over rifles like the G3 and FAL.
Many thanks to the Tøjhusmuseet (Royal Danish Armory Museum) for letting me have access to these very rare rifles!