M55 Hunting rifle.
This rifle is one of 17 produced between 1955 and 1963. The M55 was used as a gift rifle, and was among others given to important partners of the factory, to people who were stationed at Kongsberg to supervise the production of specific parts and some rifles were even given away from the foreign affairs office to other countries’ ministers. This specific rifle was given to a Swedish engineer called Stig Lundqvist back in 1955 when he was going home after spending about 1 year at Kongsberg. He was an employee at Volvo Flygmotor (Volvo Aero) and he was supervising the production of a part used by them. Kongsberg våpenfabrikk was during this period producing several civilian products, and the civilian market was
beginning to become a major part of the production line. The
rifle is, as you can see not very luxurious, and is actually quite
dull. The action is a M98 from FN in Belgium, with a civil design.
It was chambered in 30-06 only, and most of the rifles have this
metal plate with a short text on the right side of the stock. This
metal plate is more or less the only thing that indicates that this
is no ordinary hunting rifle, produced in thousands. Since the
M55 was used as a gift rifle most of them are located outside
I have found out that there are some errors when it comes to
the serial numbers on the M55 model. The first M55 has
number 1453 and was built in 1955. The last M55 has serial
number 1470 and was produced in 1963. The problem is that I
have an M62 with serial number 1462, which is right in the
middle of the serial number range of the M55. The M62 should
start with serial number 1474 and end with 1505. I guess they
had some minor logistics problems at Kongsberg.
In 1962 Kongsberg våpenfabrikk came up with a new model of the gift rifle, that one is therefore called M62 and goes under the name Hurlen rifle, after the managing director at the time, Bjarne Hurlen. You can read more about the M62 here.