M1884 Jarmann

Jarmanns gevær M1884

JarmannThe Jarmann rifle is one of the first (the first?) military approved bolt action repeating rifles in the world. It was produced by the ten-thousands over a period of only 10 years and is virtually impossible to get hold of today. This 10,15 mm 8 shot repeating rifle was used both by the Norwegian army and navy and some 1500 were produced for the Swedish army. In Norway, it was fitted with a cruciform bayonet for the army and a knife bayonet for the navy.

The Jarmann was never a truly successful design. In the beginning it had pointed bullets, something that proved a little too exciting when stored in a tubular magazine, the balance changed for every shot fired and it was designed for black powder. The far superior Krag Jørgensen replaced the rifle after only 10 years.

There were produced some 30 000 of the Norwegian version, but I’ve only had one of the approved rifle. I have, however, had a number of the experimental versions dating from 1881 to 1883 and of the fishing fleet’s harpoon gun. Rumours say that 20 000 were sold to South America, but the ship sank. I doubt this. I’ve seen pictures of German soldiers pouring kerosene on a 50 m long and 2 m tall pile of Jarmanns. That picture alone must have shown some 10 000 rifles burned by the Germans – too obsolete to be of interest, too modern to have lying around. Some 5000 were converted to harpoon guns for the fishing fleet and the rest, they are just gone (trust the army to take care of a nations history). The Jarmann was Noray’s second most produced rifle until the Krag Jørgensen and the Norwegian version is virtually impossible to get hold of. Finding one of the 1500 Swedish ones is no big deal.

I’m being told of people getting a good one for NOK 10-15 000 in recent years and find this to be unreasonably inexpensive considering how difficult it is to find the approved rifle. From my point of view, an excellent Jarmann should at least collect some NOK 25-40 000. The cruciform bayonet is usually in pretty tatty condition, but even with deep rust pitting it should collect some NOK 4-5 000. A perfect one with scabbard? At least twice that. The knife bayonet is usually in great condition, somewhere around NOK 5000.