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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This story starts 1934 and I copy this from the "Fm/23 Trial match Rifle"-thread:

In late 1933 came reports from Finland that they had a new try-outrifle that seemed to be a very strong shooter!! This was a surprise for the Stockholm competitiors and of course for Thure Holmberg! The 1934 years Nordic Capital City shooting were getting closer. In June decided that shooters for that event could get a new barrel for half the cost and Norma factory would freely test-shoot the rifle. Just before the event in Copenhagen did K.A. Larsson in an article declare why the fm/23 started to be "out of fashion". All depended on a inferior stock. Specially now when Finland announced better and better results with their new try-outrifle. But to late. No time to get a new stock before the events. And the fear for failure was not a delusion. Helsinki won a tremendous victory. Could Stockholm just take that and move on as nothing had occured? Of course not!! Something had to be done!! But that leads us in to the fm/23-36.

In September 1934 did the inventor of the fm/23, Thure Holmberg, explain what had to be changed for next generation tryout-rifle.
Another rifling twist and breech designed for the Torpedo-bullet that almost all shooters were using.
Thicker barrel.
The diopter about 5 mm lower (if frontsight lowered equal).
Shorter buttstock, more sturdy stock with pistolgrip.
Front sling swivel attached to underneath forstock instead of to barrelband.
Much better triggerpull.
A bigger buttplate with horizontal grooves.

This matter were to be put up for decision to the Board of Stockholms skytteförbund (N.B. not for the SkytteÖS, meaning this were a matter dealed "locally" in Stockholm, not on a national FSR-level. Simply because the rifle could never be approved for FSR-use) and hopefully creating a committee to then present a proposal for military authorities.

Well, now it was just a matter of time before a new tryout-model were at hand.....
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The tryout-rifles only important stage to be viewed upon were the “Nordic Capital Citys Champs”. At the 1934 Champs in Copenhagen had Helsinki taken the victory with a 6 kg heavy finnish tryout-rifle. Stockholm was in need of a new model to compete with. Irritating came an announcement in spring 1935 from Helsinki that maybe the Capital Citys should move from tryout-rifles and instead use each countries military rifle but with open sights. This wasn’t what Stockholm wanted to hear while developing a new match-rifle under the “try-outrifles protection”. If just the military gave a positive answer and sponsored a production at GF in Eskilstuna could Stockholm again take a lead in the battle……Everything had to be in time for next Champ in Helsinki 1937.
Already in January 1936 came the result. In the first days of 1936 had a committee met in Eskilstuna. Three high-ranked members from GF (Ch. Holmgren, G. Björkenstam and H. Lundström and three from Stockholms skytteförbund (G. Lindström, Thure Holmberg (father to fm/23) and K.A. Larsson) could unite on a proposal for a new tryout rifle. The rifle shortly described were in fact the fm/23-36 and was to be priced to 160 Skr. Price were not the actual production-cost instead told to be set by “the courtesy of the military authorities”.
One small detail was the the rail underside of the forend to connect part of the sling to make a adjustable support for the left hand ( I know, sometimes you read that it was ment to accept a palm rest but I have never red or seen such a thing. Here are some pics showing a fm/23-36 compared to a m/96 with their different slings. Look also where normally a palm-rest is placed for support when shooting in standing position ( in this case a fm/23-36 compared to an old Swiss match-rifle from around 1850. Didn’t have anything else at hand)). Another new technical detail was the retractable steel extension from lower part of the nicely chequered butt-plate.
Pics follows in next post.
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, in September 1936 were the annual postal-match between Helsinki and Stockholm held. Allowed to use were tryout-rifles. Like the two years before did Helsinki take the victory. Boy!!! Stockholm seemed very much in need for those coming fm/23-36 rifles but had to wait a little bit longer. Just one year left to the big match in Helsinki between the Capital Citys....
But , suddenly in october 1936 came the braking news, the fm/23-36 where ready to be delivered!! Some interested shooters had already got a rifle and they didnt even live in Stockholm!! The first one were bought by the laywer C. Thyselius in Landskrona. Also worksmanager Thure Malmström in Malmö and "the shooters" Halvar Johansson and J.E. Jonsson in Norrköpng among several others. Norma Projektilfabrik had ordered and received one. Shooters from Umeå, Gävle and Ludvika were as well waiting for a rifle. 70 Stockholm shooters were waiting for the police-department to send out weapon-licenses and then they should one after the other receive a rifle. No training were supposed to be able to perform before the winter. 1937 was to be the starting year for this fm-rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After a long winter could the Stockholm shooters in April 1937 for the first time use their fm/23-36. Here is a picture on K.A. Larsson (who I mean is the inventor of this tryout-model) holding a rifle in his hands and to the left (with cap) is the happy owner of this particular fm/23-36, Mr. T. Gullstrand.
This is the first picture shown on this rifle in the Swedish FSR-magazine.



More to come but maybe no time for me to post in a couple of days. But just hang in there!!;)
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ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The trainings kept going on with success for the Stockholms top-shooters with their new favourite, the fm/23-36. In June 1937 were reported high scores and explained by free fluted barrel, much better stock (especially for prone) and sofort. 76 of the around 80 rifles delivered were in use. Also the top-shooters for the international free-rifles events tried the fm-rifle. Reported to be useable for prone but told to be to heavy in front for standing position. So in the end maybe not efficient enough for Swedish international free-rifle shooters.
Two month later in August came the big challenge, the “Nordic Capital Citys Champs”, in Helsinki and the fm/23-36 didn´t disappoint…..Stockholm took the victory both in team and the three top positions individually. Besides this so called “National” team-event were also held a “Nordic” team-event. In this last event did every participant shoot 10 shots with every countrys tryout-rifle. Oslo ended with victory but the Swedish fm/23-36 created the highest scores. Once again had a Swedish tryout-rifle showed to be the Nordic pearl. Stockholm could now be relaxed and wait for the next “City-meeting” in Oslo 1940. Unfortunately were circumstances outside the organizers control to be intervening.......
In the second pic below is the "man behind the fm/23-36", Mr. K.A. Larsson in a shot-out at Helsinki and only defeated by the front-man Mr. C. B. af Burén.

 

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Thank you, Lars, for this great report on one of my favorite rifles. I'll post pictures of number 1069 when the weather gets better since I am not pleased with the quality of my previous shots. It appears that the fm23/36 in the picture with the m96 has a wider target sling. Is it just a regular target sling? Also, you tease us with glimpses of an fm23/26.:grin: Can we see more pictures?

Thanks again, Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Lars, for this great report on one of my favorite rifles. I'll post pictures of number 1069 when the weather gets better since I am not pleased with the quality of my previous shots. It appears that the fm23/36 in the picture with the m96 has a wider target sling. Is it just a regular target sling? Also, you tease us with glimpses of an fm23/26.:grin: Can we see more pictures?
Thanks again, Dan

Clearly wider and as I understand specially designed to be able to shorten with help of that rail underside the forestock. More info and pics will come when I have time to steal some time from office and family duties....

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ARILAR:)
 

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I have seen the "palmrest" for the 23-36 IRL....it was a large wood ball.....can't remember who owned that rifle......I know I have pics of it somewhere.......have to dig deep in the folders on my PC.

//Anders

One small detail was the the rail underside of the forend to connect part of the sling to make a adjustable support for the left hand ( I know, sometimes you read that it was ment to accept a palm rest but I have never red or seen such a thing.
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Arilar has provided a document stating there were only 89 fm23/36 rifles made . From that we can assume they are serial numbered 1001 to 1089 . Here are the serial numbers of the few fm23/36 target rifles that have surfaced to date :

1002
1003
1027
1029 ( now CG63 )
1031
1044 ( now CG63 )
1052
1060
1062
1069
1072
1074
1075
1087 ( now CG63 )
1089

The following have fm23/36 type , 1935 dated receivers without the thumb cut out for loading stripper clips & thumb hole stock . Could be former fm23's ?

?? 110814 ??? ( Walter Borg auction March , 2016 )
GB 231940 190 ( out of fm23 serial range , may be a replacement receiver ? ) ( now CG63 )
GB 304763 158 ( out of fm23 serial range ? )
GB 505001 101
GB 508486 486 ( now CG63 )
?? 508478 ???
?? 508452 ???
GB 510501 501
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have seen the "palmrest" for the 23-36 IRL....it was a large wood ball.....can't remember who owned that rifle......I know I have pics of it somewhere.......have to dig deep in the folders on my PC.

//Anders
Fascinating!! Please, show us the pics. Interesting to see how it is mounted and in what way it can have been used. Will later get into discussion what might have happened to the fm/23-36 rifles after WW2......
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ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Details again....

Some small things that differ between Lyman 48 (M) used on the fm/23 and fm/23-36. Fm/23-36s shown at left on this pics. The Lyman for a fm/23-36 below actually was mounted on the serialnumber 1087 rifle in the beginning. That fm/23-36 were converted to a CG 63 in 1966.....





The diopter iris-disc for the fm/23-36 were made at GF and delivered with 1,0 , 1,2 , 1,4 or 1,6 mm aperture.

Compare here the profile on bolt on fm/23 and fm/23-36.





Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
And more details.....

Trigger style on fm/23-36 compared to a fm/23.



Front sights globe inserts for fm/23-36 came in 3,4 , 3,6 , 3,8 and 4,0 mm from GF, Eskilstuna.
Here compare frontsight on fm/23 (left) and the fm/23-36.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The decline for the fm/23-36........

The Estonian matchrifle cal. 7,62 mm.



At World Champs in Helsinki 1937 had Estonia presented themselves as the top-shooting nation. In 1938 did one Swedish free-rifle shooter make a journey to the Arsenal factory in Estonia and had opportunity to study the Estonian match-rifle in cal. 7,62 mm. and realized its superiority compared to a fm/23-36. Out of 30 Estonian match-rifles did only one “travel” abroad and got to Sweden. The fm/23-36 wasn’t the solution for the free-rifleshooters in Sweden and when the international competitions started again after WW2 were the wanted rifles similar to the Estonian. The Swedish World-Champion 1947 ,Kurt Johansson (N.B. not Champ in free-rifle this year though he took this title several years later), did use a free-rifle made by himself at the World-Championships held in Stockholm the same year. Of course had the few Swedish free-rifleshooters (only 15 shooters in highest class around 1948) already tried to costumize the fm/23-36 but in vain. In handicap-events, free-rifle (in 1945) with 30 rounds did you get 2 point extra if using a fm/23-36, 4 points if a fm/23 used and 8 points if using a m/96. So demands for a fm/23-36 after 1945 must have been low.
Back to the Stockholms-shooters interest in the “Nordic Capital Citys Champs”. For obvious reasons no Champs held in 1940. Next time after 1937 was to be in Oslo 1946. Before the events came complaints from some Swedish top-shooters that using fm-rifles and particular the fm/23-36 wasn’t fair. Therefore decided that in Oslo were given handicap-points to shooters NOT using rifles with diopter-sights. Several Swedish shooters did use a m/96 in favour to the fm-rifle (19 shooters used fm/23-36 and 11 shooters used the m/96). The Norwegian Krag-Jörgensen with diopter performed less than the Swedish fm/23-36. Danish shooters were using Swedish m/96 in lack of other weapons after the war and Finland didn’t participate this time. The fm-rifles glory were over and at next Champs in Stockholm 1949 were the tryout-rifles banned and only ordinary army-rifles allowed (Copenhagen and Stockholm used m/96, Helsinki m/91-93 and Oslo their Krag-Jörgensen).

Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Sad ending to a great story. I think it's a shame when technology advances are discouraged in the name of "fairness". K.A. Larsson worked hard to create a superior target rifle. He and those shooting it should have been rewarded for it, not punished. What's fair about that?

Anyway, thanks Lars for taking the time to tell us the story of the fm23/36 and posting those great pictures. I particularly like the one with the fm23 and CG63. How did you stage it? It looks like you have them propped up vertically with the blanket backdrop. Is it natural daylight? Great pictures!! Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
In June 1936 reported in Swedish shooting-magazine that a first amount of 150 fm/23-36 were made and ready to be delivered. A handful had then already been sent to eager shooters and a handful waited to be sent to other shooters outside Stockholm. Stockholm-shooters seemed to get theirs (80 rifles) late same year. The fms-inventor, K.A. Larsson, explains in an article 1943 that this tryout-rifle came to be a competitive rifle for the “Capital citys” events (and nothing else). Just 30 shooters were taken out for the event (5 of those reserves) so 80 rifles seems to be more than enough for Stockholm. The model had its triumph 1937 but after that the interest died because of changes of rules. The Swedish UIT freerifle-shooters understood that a more modern rifle had to be in use after 1945 to create results. IMO did the interest for fm/23-36 diminish fast after 1940. Newly published documents (as below) tells that in the end only 89 of the fm/23-36 were produced.



My guess is that maybe 60 fm/23-36 (150-89) receivers were produced but never came in use and rested at GF. What happened with the 89 tryout-rifles put together? Several were altered in efforts to achieve a more accurate free-rifle. Its reported that this were done by some of the top free-rifleshooters in Stockholm. One of the rifles (to be exact 1087) came to my uncle, Gösta Hedberg, in 1948 when living far from Stockholm in the country-side (Mönsterås). He was then 38 years old and a experienced national shooter with m/96. In his scrap-book I can see that he started to shot international disciplines, but at his home-range, with his m/96 army-rifle 1947. In 1948 he started with the 1087 and in freerifle-shooting. He belonged to lowest shooting-class (D) but achieved pretty high results. He kept on 1949 but no freerifle-results reported from him 1950. 1966 he converted his fm/23-36 to a CG 63 and used it until 1977 when he gave it to me (to be correct. He participated in his last competition 1972 but kept his CG 63 and Husqvarna m/96 until 1977). I didn’t understand its significance and sold it ($ 70) about 10 years ago. How many unmolested fm/23-36 from the 89 purpose-made batch from 1935-36 does exist today? I guess surely less than 50 maybe only 20-30 at a top……
Getting back on the “loose” receivers.
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sad ending to a great story. I think it's a shame when technology advances are discouraged in the name of "fairness". K.A. Larsson worked hard to create a superior target rifle. He and those shooting it should have been rewarded for it, not punished. What's fair about that?

Anyway, thanks Lars for taking the time to tell us the story of the fm23/36 and posting those great pictures. I particularly like the one with the fm23 and CG63. How did you stage it? It looks like you have them propped up vertically with the blanket backdrop. Is it natural daylight? Great pictures!! Dan
Thanks Dan! Taken in daylight (sunny but at that moment a bit cloudy). Put the rifles on a small board across an armchair (underneath the blanket). The rifles leaned to a door and then I rotated the pic 90 degrees;).
Fairness? Well, had been better to actually allow free-rifles instead of create "false" military tryout-rifles. Either free-rifles or actually military issued rifles (as they changed to) IMO. But today I am glad that it turned out as it did and we now have this interesting fm-rifles to study. Interesting story anyway. I am happy that our, to soon passed away, member Jorma a couple of years ago offered me his fm/23 and fm/23-36. He wanted them to return to Sweden. He had about 15 years earlier bought them at auctions in Stockholm. Jorma had a nice trip and visit at my place in Sweden (bringing the fm/23-36) and I also made the journey ½-years later to meet Jorma in Helsinki to receive the fm/23.
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 
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