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How one of our oldest products lives on through Norwegian sports shooters

Blog post   •   Aug 02, 2017 09:38 CEST

The Norwegian National Rifle Championship is one of the largest amateur sports shooting contests in the world, gathering about 5000 shooters from all over Norway, men and women of all ages competing side by side, same classes and requirements.

Nammo today carries a proud legacy from its various precursor companies. From Lapua in Finland to Talley Defense in the United States, they have a long history of supplying their national defense forces with vital supplies and equipment. This week I got to see an example of some of Nammo's oldest heritage when I visited the Norwegian National Rifle Championship (known in Norwegian as "Landsskytterstevnet"), which still relies heavily on one of our first products from more than 120 years ago, the 6.5 x 55 cartridge.

When the Norwegian Government founded the first ammunition works at Raufoss in 1896, facilities that 102 years later would become part of Nammo, their main priority was to produce 6.5 x 55 mm ammunition for Norway's Krag Jørgensen rifles. The Norwegian independence movement was gaining traction at the time, and it was considered essential to have an independent supply of ammunition. Just a few years later, during the stand-off with Sweden in 1905 that eventually secured Norwegian independence, the soldiers guarding the border along with thousands of volunteer riflemen from the National Rifle Association did so carrying ammunition made at Raufoss.

More than a 120 years later, with the military significance of the cartridge long since faded, Nammo still makes a version of that original cartridge, the 6.5 x 55 SKAN, exclusively for the National Rifle Association of Norway. After the Norwegian Armed Forces phased the Krag Jørgensen out of service during World War II, they remained with the National Rifle Association, who kept both the rifle and the round due to its relatively low recoil and excellent accuracy. Even when they eventually replaced the venerable Krag with a modern dedicated sports shooting rifle, they kept the cartridge, and with that secured the continuation of the product that marked the beginning of what would later become Nammo in Norway.

In honor of that legacy, the 6.5 x 55 is today the only product that we still produce under the Raufoss-name. Everywhere else, our civilian products go under the excellent Lapua, Vihtavuori, SK and Berger brands. The 6.5 x 55, however, keeps the name that it has gone under with the men and women of the National Rifle Association of Norway for more than 120 years.

Endre Lunde
SVP Communications