What’s Up With Norway and Military Scout Scopes?

Aside from the German widespread issue of the ZF-41 type scope, I have only come across three other military uses of long eye relief optics – and they are all Norwegian! One is simply Norwegian reuse of surrendered German K98k-ZF41 scopes, including updating them to .30-06 in the 1950s (these were eventually replaced by the M59 pattern sniper). Second is a very interesting M1A1 carbine fitted with a ZF-41 scope by the Norwegian Resistance during World War Two, which is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. Third is an experimental Norwegian G3 sniper made with a Leupold M8 scout scope in 1968.

Both books referenced today are by Aslikd Antonsen, are written in Norwegian, and were donated to me by viewers. I don’t have any good source where I can direct you to buy copies, unfortunately.


  1. I am sorry to say I don’t know much about the land war in Norway, but if was a “rifleman’s war” as opposed to the large formation, war of maneuver and artillery that was the primary focus of the US and Britain in central and southern Europe then an effort to make individual riflemen a little more effective might have been a good investment. Guess I need to add to the reading list and find out more. Thanks for the scout rifle coverage, by the way, has been an interest since Cooper’s original articles.

    • You are correct about your knowledge.

      So no! The Luftwaffe played a very big role as ground-support. For the Norwegians it wasn’t just a rifleman’s war either. They did have their own gunners.


  2. Ian sad “gas tube” and then corrected himself.
    It has been so hard for me to get my head around how and why a roller-delayed blow-back rifle that was the second arm of the free world looks like it has a gas system.
    Yes, I get the evolution from the Mauser StuG 45 [never touched one, only seen pictures] but that looks like a delayed blowback gun only sprung from the rear.
    Any insights on why or how the charging handle and spring got put on top?
    I’m not dissing. It did give us the MP5. Try to better than that.

    • “Any insights on why or how the charging handle and spring got put on top?”(C)

      Do You mean “why the loading handle is a separate unit from the carrier”?
      First of all, as in most similar ones, in order to reduce the ingress of dirt into the receiver.
      And, the additional mass on the side of the carrier can cause imbalance, which will lead to improper operation.

      • I am Malps for a reason so yea, you make a great point about the manual bolt operation mechanism separate and in front of the carrier. Not clear on the “additional mass on the side” bit.
        Can you give examples?

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrKhJC35QRA
          It’s more of a guess. There is no one to ask, they all died long ago.
          The Roller Slow Rollback System is known for its high quality workmanship. Even a slight deviation from the correct dimensions of the roller assembly leads to unstable system operation, up to and including failures.

          The extra weight of the charge handle, an ounce or so, doesn’t seem like a major addition to the mass of the carrier, but who knows, it might play a role in combination with the inevitable dimensional deviations during manufacturing.
          Or perhaps they were just trying to increase the strength or rigidity of the receiver by removing the longitudinal groove.
          Or maybe someone just didn’t like the movable handle.
          Underline whatever applicable.

    • Although I have zero evidence to back this up, I would contend that having some of the carrier’s requisite mass in the HK G3/91 distributed over the barrel and trunnion allows for a shorter overall reciever length, as opposed to having all mass behind the bolt. Also, the placement of the charging handle forward seems to give the user more leverage/mechanical advantage to unlock the system manually, as opposed to a charging handle integral to the carrier body. As for the recoil spring, it is sprung from behind the carrier.

      • Yea, JG, got that the recoil spring is behind the carrier, thus the funky hump in the G3 stock.
        Mass distribution is a nice idea until you look at the bolt and ask yourself “were they really trying to put any extra metal up there”?
        I don’t have any detailed drawings for the StuG 45. I probably should go down that rabbit hole to solve this mystery. Clearly there was a reason why Vorgimmler or whomever decided it was better to put those bits on the top of the CETME and G3 when the StuG 45 didn’t seem to have them there. Manufacturing efficiency would be my guess but I know little and have gained what paltry knowledge I have largely thanks to FW and commenters such as yourself.

        • “were they really trying to put any extra metal up there”?(C)

          The talk is NOT about “added” mass.
          Talk about the “extra” mass on the side of the carrier. A mass that will shift the center of gravity of the wearer to the side and cause an asymmetric distribution of forces in the node.

    • The STG45 seems to be the answer you are looking for.

      The charging handle tube seems to be a rabbit hole the Germans went down and couldn’t come back out of. It does nothing more than house the charging handle and, add an asthetic value, which doubt any German engineer would admit to…?

  3. As a youth, I had the opportunity to live on the west coast of that lovely country for four years. Anytime I see a post on Norwegian arms or Norway and WWII, I am excited. As a boy, I was very much interested in history and the several trips we took to Oslo included visits to the Resistance Museum. That site and the hands-on Vigelund statue park were always highlights of the trips.

  4. Interesting! I have a Burris 2.75 scout scope on an Ultimak rail on my Mini-14. It’s very easy to pick up targets through.

  5. I see Scout Scopes in this manor. While they are a necessity ( in location and LER) due to bolt actions or any semi auto discharging from the top of the action like the Garand and M1 carbine, the scout is not a dedicated sniper. He must use his rifleman skills, but he must also maintain situational awareness. Therefore the lower magnification, along with the generous eye relief allow a scout to be more aware of the surrounding environment. High power scopes, with minimal eye relief diminishes, localized situational awareness.

    Like 4″ pistol barrels, they are a “split the difference” concept. Not the full on target tool, but neither the compact concealable convenience too.

  6. It wasn’t just a transport ship that was sunk to keep the Germans in Norway.
    Towards the end of the war “all” railroad bridges were blown up, and in at least two instances, the resistance hijacked the tug boats from harbors to impede all ship traffic. My grandfather was a tug hijacker 🙂

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