Lahti M Pistol

By E, J. Hoffschmidt

Gun designer Aimo Johannes Lahti of Finland developed a wide range of firearms for his native land— from automatic pistols to aircraft cannons. Today he is best known for an automatic pistol adopted as the L35 by Finland and, in slightly modified form, as the M40 by Sweden.

While the Finnish L35 Lahti is virtually unknown here, the Swedish M40 version is far more common. A number of these guns, marked Husqvarna Vapenfabriks A. B., were imported and sold in the U. S. around 1949 and 1950.

The Lahti is a heavy, rugged gun and mirrors the conditions it was de signed for. The operating parts are strong and well designed for the extreme cold encountered along the Finnish and Swedish frontiers. The serrations on the slide are deep and tapered so that the slide can be retracted easily with a heavily gloved hand. The large trigger guard and protruding safety

Barrel Extension Handgun

Parts Legend

1. Front sight

2. Barrel and barrel extension

3. Accelerator stop pin

4. Accelerator retainer

5. Accelerator retainer spring

6. Accelerator

7. Ejector

8. Locking block

9. Extractor

10. Slide

11. Right grip

12. Grip screw

13. Firing pin retainer pin

14. Firing pin spring

15. Firing pin

16. Disconnector

17. Trigger pin

18. Trigger

19. Trigger spring pin

20. Trigger spring

21. Trigger bar

22. Trigger bar pin

23. Scar spring

24. Scar

25. Hammer strut pin

26. Hammer

27. Hammer strut

28. Hammer spring plunger

29. Hammer spring

30. Spring guide nut

31. Trigger bar spring

32. Frame

33. Magazine

34. Magazine catch

35. Magazine catch spring

36. Magazine catch pin

37. Left grip

38. Grip screw

39. Safety catch

40. Sear pin

41. Hammer pin

42. Takedown catch

43. Takedown catch spring

44. Recoil spring

45. Recoil spring guide

46. Hold-open catch

47. Hold-open catch spring

Improvise Open Bolt PistolLuger Magazine Catch SpringHusqvarna LahtiLahti Husqvarna

catch were also designed for gloved-hand operation. The cold weather also influenced mechanism design.

Even though the gun shoots the powerful 9 mm. Luger cartridge. Lahti added an accelerator to aid the operating mechanism. The accelerator in L35 and M40 pistols is a lever pivoted to the barrel extension. As the barrel, barrel extension. and slide recoil to the rear, the locking block is cammed free of the slide. At this instant the lower portion of the accelerator strikes the receiver wall and this blow is transmitted to the unlocked slide, throwing it back with great force. When the slide counter-re-coils, it pushes the accelerator back into place.

An excellent grip and a long, fixed sighting radius make the gun a fine shooter. When equipped with its Luger-typc shoulder stock, it becomes a formidable carbine.

An unfavorable feature of this pistol is that it will fire with its locking block removed. A check should therefore be made before firing to make sure locking block is present.

Under an excellent blue job. the Swedish-made Lahti shows a great deal of rough machining and hand finishing. Fortunately this docs not detract from the reliability and accuracy of the gun. since critical operating parts and bore are well finished.

The Lahti takedown is simple. First re-■ move magazine and clear chamber. Hold barrel extension (2) back as shown, or push the muzzle against a hard surface; at same time rotate takedown catch (42). Barrel assembly is now slid forward off receiver

2 After barrel and barrel extension arc free of receiver, push locking block (8) up and withdraw slide (10). When replacing locking block, be sure arrow on underside of block is facing forward toward barrel

3 Safety catch (39) must be removed before attempting removal of left grip. Insert a thin punch into hole in serrated portion of safety. Pry it back slightly, enough to swing it over stop pin in frame. Rotate it to horizontal position and pull it out

4 Extractor (9) is long and flexible. It is removed by inserting a small screwdriver under lip to push it free of locking hole in slide (10), then prying it out of its seat

5 The accelerator (6) is designed for easy-removal. Simply rotate accelerator until small hole in its side lines up with spring-loaded retainer pin (4). Push a thin piece of wire or paper clip through hole to depress spring. Lift out accelerator

6 Some Lahti parts are difficult to reassemble without the aid of short slave pins. To replace magazine catch (34) and spring (35), use a short pin to hold them together until in position. Incoming magazine pin will drive short pin out other side and spring will remain in its place ■

9mm Bsp Machine Gun
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