Norma Rifle Ammunition and Components
By Gary Zinn
American rifle shooters, hunters and reloaders may have noticed an increasing presence of the Norma brand name among the products available to them. This is no accident, because Norma Precision has targeted the U.S. rifle ammunition and reloading components markets for special attention, as part of a program to increase sales of their products on the international market. The company puts it this way on their website, "2013: Norma adds new line extensions in the U.S. market and expands U.S. product distribution."
I became aware of the increased availability of Norma products while doing research for a pair of articles, for which I was browsing selected calibers of centerfire rifle ammunition. Norma ammo kept popping up in my Internet searches and I decided to take a closer look at the company and what it offers to U.S. shooters and hunters.
Norma Precision AB is a Swedish firm that has been making munitions and components for over a century. The business was founded by two Norwegian brothers in 1895. They began making rifle ammunition on a small scale in Motfors, Sweden in 1902 and built a full fledged factory in 1911. Military munitions were the main product until after World War II, but by about 1950 the firm was shifting emphasis to hunting ammunition, including exports.
More recent company benchmarks start with the merger of Norma and competitor Svenska Metallverken, in 1965. In 1975, Norma-Svenska became a subsidiary of Hasselfors Burk AB, then of FFV in 1979 and of Dynamit Nobel AB in 1990. Finally, in 2002, Norma was acquired by RUAG Ammotec AG, a Swiss business conglomerate. (Norma and three other sporting ammunition/components brands, RWS, GECO and Rottweil, are but a small segment of the far-flung RUAG enterprise.)
The comprehensive manner in which Norma is approaching the U.S. market can be understood by studying the Norma-USA website (www.norma.cc/us/Products/Hunting). Overall, Norma makes cartridges for 57 calibers, from .17 Remington through .505 Gibbs. Nearly 200 cartridge loads are listed in total. Ammo product lines include:
Here is a list of Norma cartridges, in most of the calibers highly popular with North American hunters and hunters around the world. (The number of loads in each caliber is noted in parentheses): .223 Remington (5); .243 Winchester (5); .270 Winchester (6); 7mm Rem. Mag. (8); .308 Winchester (10); .30-06 (11); .300 Win. Mag. (9); .338 Win. Mag. (2).
Norma brand bullets used in hunting loads and sold as reloading components, include the Oryx, Vulcan, Alaska, Soft Point, Solid, Kalahari, Ecostrike (new) and Tipstrike (new). Selected Norma cartridge loads also use bullets from Swift, Barnes, Nosler, Woodleigh and Hornady. The Oryx jacketed soft point (image below) is the most widely used Norma hunting bullet.
Besides bullets, Norma makes brass for 92 calibers. Norma brass is of the highest quality and is priced accordingly. (Weatherby ammunition is loaded by Norma in Norma brass. -Editor) In addition, there are ten Norma rifle powders available to reloaders.
Besides the lists of cartridges and reloading components, the website contains a section called Ammo Academy, with ballistics information for Norma loads, reloading data and related information. A Hunting & Shooting page provides links to selected informational articles, stories, FAQs and video clips. The page titled About Norma contains information about the company, links to catalogs and other downloads and contact information. Finally, a Distributors page contains a dealer locator app.
The Norma-USA website is well organized and easily navigated. It is a rich source of information about Norma products available to American shooters and hunters, plus other resources that may be useful.
Norma is not a giant in the U.S. rifle ammunition and reloading components market. Federal, Hornady, Nosler, Remington and Winchester each make more than twice as many individual rifle cartridge loads as does Norma. Barnes, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, Speer and a few others offer a wider selection of bullets. There are several brands of rifle powder available in more formulations than those offered by Norma.
Nevertheless, we who engage in the shooting sports should welcome an increased presence by Norma in the U.S. ammunition and components market. The company has a well earned reputation for making high quality products, so the brand enhances the options that we have as consumers of ammo and reloading components.
Copyright 2017 by Gary Zinn and/or chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.