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Here is a spot for good info. :)
 

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The short story about Fm/23 is to be found in the book "Nordisk familjeboks sportlexikon" volume 1, printed in 1938. On page 263 has editor Karl August Larsson (at the time very active and skilled Swedish shooter both international and on national level. Also the "father" of the later Fm/23-36) made some notes regarding Fm/23.
He tells:" During the worldwar it became necessary to develop and use special targetrifles named "snipers". In the Nordic countries grow a great interest regarding this rifles among the shooters organisations and all four countries (meaning Sweden, Norway , Denmark and Finland) created after the War "tryout-rifles" of similar kind. The Swedish, named Fm/23, were developed by (at that time) lieutenant Thure Holmberg and shows the following divergence compared to the ordinary armyrifle m/96: The barrel are thicker (21 mm at muzzle). The front part of the stock with front band is taken away. The sights are changed to a diopter (American, type Lyman) and front-sight with post or aperture inserts. Stroke shortened from 27 to 18 mm."

Well, this is a start. More to come and with old and new pics;).
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Look at this photo from 1931. Can you see what kind of rifle everybody is holding on to? Yes, a fm/23.



Happy shooters. They are the winning Swedish team in the 400 meters event at the "Nordiska Huvudstadstävlingarna" (Nordic capital citys champs) 1931. The tall man in front is Thure Holmberg that developed fm/23 and.......the young man in the back lane in the middle with light-coloured hat is K.A. Larsson, mentioned above, that stood behind the evolution of fm/23-36, but more about that later.
To understand this fm-rifles that werent never allowed in ordinary FSR-shooting we must understand the importans of Champion-ships held between shooters from Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki. Thats crucial. Just this teaser for today. Back as soon I have time;).
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Arilar, was there a special way of numbering these rifles? I had heard that the last three numbers of the serial were repeated after the full number on the receiver.
 

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Thank you Lars!! This is fantastic! The fm23 and fm23/36 hold a special place in my collector's and shooter's heart. I love hearing about the history of their development and especially the people behind it.
 

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Arilar, was there a special way of numbering these rifles? I had heard that the last three numbers of the serial were repeated after the full number on the receiver.
As I have understod doesnt the fm/23-serialnumber follow the receivers number. Both "brand-new" and older receivers seems to have been used. But....it looks like the 501 (or 500) fm/23 followed a serialnumber 1-500(-501) that were placed on the receiver just after the receivers serialnumber. Is this confusing? Hope not. Correct me on this matter Swede or Dutch if I am giving info that seems incorrect.
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ARILAR:)
 

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In the yearbook 1934 (about the 1933 years shootings) of "Stockholms Skytteförbund" is Thure Holmberg (now pure civilist) himself explaining on the background of fm/23 birth. "When, year 1922, the manager of the Infantry shootingschool gave permission to the try-outs that later led to the decision for 6,5 mm rifle fm/23, did this accure in the thinking that it was desirable for the Army to have experimented on a rifle ment to be used and put in hands of special trained shooters ,in case of war, in first hand a trench-war.
A first production of 500 of this weapons were established 1923 and a number of those weapons is said to have been placed out on our Infantry-regiments, surely with consideration to the wich that permanently employed Army-personal should get knowledge on the try-outs rifle and its shootingabilities.
Its sofor pure military needs that lays behind the origin of the try-outrifle even if the rifle has been mostly known through its use among FSR-shooters. The fm-rifle is, as well-known, among others used by Stockholms skytteförbunds shooters at the Nordic Capital Citys Competitions."

Why Thure wrote this and how surprised he must have been a year later will I tell you all later on;).

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ARILAR:)
 

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Back to the "Nordic Capital Citys Competition".
It all started 1911 between Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen and the event were held in Stockholm. Stockholm got the victory, every city had 25 shooters and everybody used their own countries army-rifle. Next year in Copenhagen and same result. Next time were in Oslo 1915 and now 30 shooters from each city but Stockholm number one once again. 1919 in Stockholm did Helsinki participate for first time but once again Stockholm in top position.
From now on a Championship every third year with rotating location. 1922 Copenhagen, 1925 Helsinki, 1928 Oslo, 1931 Stockholm and 1934 again Copenhagen.
Stockholm hold the victory up til 1931 when Helsinki was the winner as they repeted 1934.

In early years was the Swedish m/96 regarded superior but when Finland from 1922 used thier new armyrifle had m/96 a competitor for the throne. At that time did Copenhagen and Oslo propose a switch towards free-rifles but was rejected. Instead came a Swedish proposal for letting military try-outrifles in and that were decided. Fm/23 saw light in Helsinki 1925 and kept Stockholm in pool-position.Until 1931 Champs hadnt the other countries try-outrifles come close to the Swedish fm/23. But the Finns were working hard on the matter.....
Since 1923 it seemed that most fm/23 rifles ended up in private hands. From military supplies could Swedish shooters buy themselves this rifle that werent allowed to be used for FSR shooting (beside the Capital city Champs each third year if you belonged to the 25-30 hand-picked Stockholm shooters
 

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Now.....instead the fm/23 were regarded a free-rifle and used as such in rest of Sweden. Shooters started to adjuste trigger-pull, make small arrangements with the front-sight et.c. to gain better results. In the book "I Skyttens tecken" from 1931 is a detalied article how to adjust the trigger-pull. Because this was hard, unsafe and sofort it was decided 1933 from military headquarters that it was okey to instead use a m/96 mechanism (and easier to adjust from that one....). Thure Holmberg had worked hard to get that permission. 1925 were reported that the oldest active Swedish shooter,C.J.F. Högberg in Lidköpings Skytteförening, despite his age of 85 years had bought himself a brand-new fm/23 rifle.
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 htat leads us in to the fm/23-36 and we wait with that til another thread. Now me might wanna get close to the actual rifle. The fm/23.

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ARILAR:)
 

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In June 1935 visited the President of Finland, Pehr Evind (Pekka) Svinhufvud, Stockholm. He wanted to shoot and decided to test the fm/23. Helped by the Swedish leading shooter Bertil Rönnmark and under supervision of the fm/23 constructor, Thure Holmberg, did he make a very impressive result. Little did Pekka know what the leaders of Stockholm shooters had in plan.
In this photo is Pekka shooting and Thure is giving him a helping hand.





Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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As a collector of Finns and Swedes, this is excellent information Lars!
 

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Now to the real thing...Starting with the sights. Take a look at this diopter and frontsight mounted on a genuine fm/23. Please give me your comments on observed details and I will get back to you tomorrow with a little more info....;).







Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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Well then. An unchanged Lyman-diopter for fm/23 should look like this.



On the mounted Lyman has the corners been grinded. Also the iris-aperture has been changed to one with bigger hole. On the front sight has an extra cylinder being fixed over the original frontsight as in the drawing beneath.



The rounding of the diopters corners and the trick with the frontsight is explained (with above drawing) in the earlier mentioned article "Om trimning av Fm/23" (About trimming the Fm/23) in the book "I Skyttens Tecken", printed 1931.

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ARILAR:)
 

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For those who happens to own a copy of "The Swedish Mauser Rifles" by Kehaya and Poyer, please open page 246-247. Read the description of this pictured fm/23 that is not identified by the authors and wrongly told to have been produced 1943. What is very interesting is (besides the unusual set trigger mechanism on this specimen) its number "501". In Swedish litteratur has the total production of fm/23 always been regarded to 500. Until the book "Eskilstuna en Vapensmedja, Carl Gustaf stads Gevärsfaktori 1813-2000", printed 2008 revealed the production of 501! fm/23....
Doubt any were produced after 1924 and I would guess that 500 were "ordinary" fm/23 and the 501 the "special" set trigger one that now exist in the Steve Kehaya collection.
Here are the page from the 2008 book above showing figures regarding GF and Husqvarnas total delivered weapons up til 1th of March 1943 and 1th of October 1945. (Notice also only 89 fm/23-36 delivered but we will deal with that rifle in another thread later on).
Hope that all this details dont gets you bored...



Regards,
ARILAR:)
 

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"Hope that all this details dont gets you bored..."

Au contraire, mon ami!! This is what this site is all about!! Do tell us why they trimmed the Lyman and put the globe around the front sight....

Thanks, Dan
 

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foudufoot;1339622 Do tell us why they trimmed the Lyman and put the globe around the front sight.... Thanks said:
In the article states that you could get your hand scratched while reloading and rounding the edges of the diopter could prevent this. Also that a thicker ring around the front aperture was to be an advantage optically. Supposed to be better for older shooter and in insufficient light.
Regards,
ARILAR:)
 
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