M1855/67 & M1857/67 Navy
I really have no idea as to why production of the M1852 was dropped and the M1855 took over. The only explaination I can see is that the new model probably was slightly less expensive in production. There were probably made som 500 of the M1852 and the M1855/M1857 followed in the same number series.
It is impossible to say if the M1855 and M1857 should be counted as one and the same model or as two different models. With exception for the butt-plate, they are identical and numbered in consecutive order. The M1855 numbers start in the very low 500′s, M1857 start somewhere near 1000 and end in the 1300′s. I’ve never seen either of these in original version, all have been converted to Landmark.
Sweden adopted a rather bulky version of the Norwegian kammerlader in their M1851 Flottans gevär (navy long-gun). Although much more modern than anything else the Swedes had at that time, this rifle was no success and possibly never even left the arsenal. The Swedish rifle was fitted with a somewhat different hammer mechanism and a locking device for the axle of the lever opening the chamber.
M1855 resembles the army’s M1846/55/1859 with the straight bottom line on the rear stock, but is fitted with a socket bayonet. A closer look at the rifle shows that the butt plate is not turned up on the under side. The nose-band is rather different. There is no nut on the lever axle as the Swedish locking system from the M1851 was introduced. The rear sight is also very simple compared to the M1859 army. The M1857 version resembles the M1859 army even more as it has the butt-plate introduced by the army in 1849.
Strange as it may seem, but even if these rifles were made in very limited numbers, they are not impossible to find. It seems that all of them must have been sold to the public for decorational use. One reason that might explain why so many still excist is that the Landmark cartridge probably was very diffucult to obtain and that the rifles therefor never saw civilian use.
Norway was almost on the point of having a civil war break out in 1884. The political system was breaking down due to the Swedish king refusing to accept a law being passed and the king-loyal Prime Minister accepting this. The workers, farmhands and farmers with rented land were very much against the Swedish king – many of these were also drafted by the military. The workers at the naval ship yard in Horten were a “radical” bunch, very much against the Swedish king. As a result, the story says that the officers at the naval base Carl Johans Vern demanded that guns in the arsenals were to be deactivated by taking out and hiding the mechanisms and taking off the bayonets lugs and front sights.
I don’t know if this story is 100 % reliable, but I do have a M1855/67 Landmark rifle where the bayonet lug and front sight have been carefully removed and where somebody evidently at one time replaced the receiver with one that does not really match. I can’t find any better explaination for putting work into ruining a rifle in this way. It’s things like this that really makes collecting interesting!