Norma Ammo Review: The Scandinavian Ammunition Connection
When you’re looking to stock up on some premium rifle ammunition for hunting or target shooting, it’s easy to flock to old standbys like Hornady, Federal, Barnes, and Winchester. All of these companies make outstanding ammo, but many shooters don’t consider Norma Ammunition when they really should be.
One question I consistently get asked here at Ammo.com is, “Is Norma ammo any good?” Although my answer is always a resounding, “Yes!” I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment to explain why Norma makes such high-quality ammo.
Norma has been producing exceptional handgun, rimfire, and rifle ammunition to Europe and North America for over a century. They are dedicated to maintaining amazing accuracy with many of their loads producing sub-MOA groups in our hands.
In this Norma ammo review, we are going to take a look at the different ammo lines Norma has to offer and explain which ones will fit your needs best. Furthermore, we will dive into the history of Norma Ammunition and explain how and why they produce some of Europe’s most accurate ammo.
Yes! Norma makes incredibly high-quality ammunition for hunters, target shooters, and for training. Their dedication to quality and consistency lead to many of Norma’s multiple ammunition lines achieving sub-MOA levels of accuracy.
One of the best aspects of Norma Precision ammo is how accurate it is right out of the box. Shooters report that Norma ammo burns clean and feeds well with very few malfunctions. On the flip side, Norma ammo can be pricey if you’re a high-volume shooter. However, most shooters who demand top-tier performance out of their ammo understand that this comes with a slightly higher price point than your run of the mill plinking ammo.
Norma Ammunition was founded in 1902 by the Enger brothers: Lars, Johan, and Ivar. Originally the L.A. Enger & Co, the three brothers purchased an ammunition factory in Raufoss, Sweden and later moved their operation to modern day Oslo.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the naming of the company. Some have speculated that it is shorthand for Normandy, or “Norge” which is Norway in the Nordic language. However, the truth is that Lars was a huge fan of the opera, and he convinced his brothers to allow him to name the company after the Italian opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.
Norma quickly became the primary supplier of ammunition for the Swedish Shooting Movement (like the NRA in the United States) and has consistently provided hunters and competitive European shooters high-quality ammunition to meet all their shooting needs.
One historic accomplishment was that Norma Ammunition was the development of the boat tail Sptizer projectile. Using the secret French Balle D projectile, ballistician Karl Wang and the Enger Brothers successfully developed a process to consistently and uniformly apply a boat tail to pointed bullets. This gave Norma an edge over other ammunition companies.
Norma was primarily focused on producing military ammunition through the first half of the 20th Century. However, after WWII the company started focusing on big game hunting projectiles which opened up the company to a slew of new products they could sell to the European hunting community.
During the post-war years, Norma made incredibly strong connections with Nils Kvale and Roy Weatherby. Kvale manufactured several cartridges that bear the company’s name, most notably the 308 Norma Magnum and 358 Norma Magnum.
In July of 2022, Norma Ammunition was purchased by Beretta Holding Group. Prior to this, Norma Ammunition was a subsidiary of Ruag Ammotec, a Swiss-owned company. After acquisition, Beretta renamed Norma Ammunition to Norma Precision Inc.
In November 2022, Beretta invested nearly $60 million into a new ammunition production facility located in Savanah, Georgia for Norma Precision. This is a 300,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility that will provide hundreds of jobs to the local community and cement Norma Precision as a premier ammo company in the United States.
Today, Norma Precision produces over 30 million rounds of ammunition per year in 110 different calibers. As the company continues to offer innovative, new products to the market, there’s no limit to the potential for Norma’s success.
Norma ammo is manufactured in Savanah, Georgia in the United States. In Europe, the company has ammo manufacturing plants in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland.
Norma offers a wide variety of rimfire, centerfire rifle, and handgun ammo in different chamberings, here are some of their most popular factory loads:
- 22 Long Rifle (.22LR)
- 32 ACP
- 380 Auto
- 9mm Luger
- 40 S&W
- 10mm Auto
- 45 ACP
- 38 Special
- 357 Magnum
- 222 Remington
- 223 Rem/5.56x45mm NATO
- 243 Win
- 270 Win
- 6.5 PRC
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser
- 308 Winchester
- 30-06 Springfield
- 300 Winchester Magnum
- 300 Weatherby Magnum
- 338 Norma Magnum
- 338 Lapua Magnum
- 7.5x55 Swiss
- 458 Lott
Norma Precision has multiple ammunition lines that they sell to American and European shooters. Below we will briefly describe each ammo line and explain what they are used for.
Range & Training Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) – These FMJ handgun rounds are designed for long-range shooting but at a price point everyone can afford. Clean burning, accurate, and affordable, Range & Training ammo is your bread-and-butter round that your handgun will love, and we have no doubt you’ll love the tight shot groups too! Range & Training ammo is available in both FMJ and TMJ bullets for 32 Auto, 380 ACP, 9mm Luger, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 10mm Auto, and 45 ACP.
Range & Training Frangible – These rounds are loaded with frangible bullets designed to shatter when they encounter any barrier. Typically, these types of bullets are utilized for live fire training although some indoor ranges require the use of frangible bullets. Range & Training Frangible rounds are only available in 9mm Luger, 38 Special, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP.
Norma Safeguard – This is Norma Precision’s standard jacketed hollow point self-defense ammo. Designed for rapid expansion and a devastating wound channel, Safeguard ammo is an excellent choice for CCW or home defense when you need to stop a bad guy in his tracks. Safeguard JHP rounds are only available in 9mm Luger, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 45 ACP.
Norma NXD – Norma’s Non-Expanding Defense (NXD) round represents a new trend in self-defense ammo. Designed as a fluted solid projectile, NXD rounds create a wound channel by forcing body fluids at rapid velocities into the target while not over penetrating. These rounds do not expand like a traditional hollow point, and are therefore more proficient at barrier penetration and won’t clog when they encounter fabric. Currently NXD ammo is available in 380 ACP, 9mm, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 10mm, and 45 ACP.
Monolithic Hollow Point (MHP) – Norma’s MHP bullet is a solid-copper hollow point design that combines rapid expansion with unparalleled feeding reliability. Optimized for all barrel lengths, the Norma MHP can deliver extreme knock down power in any situation. Currently MHP ammo is only available in 380 ACP and 9mm.
Norma Tactical – Often referred to as Tac on various online forums, Norma Tactical ammo is designed for some of the most popular semi-automatic rifles on the planet, namely the AR-15 carbine and AK-47. These rounds are excellent for plinking, general range use, and target practice and come loaded for 223 Remington, 7.62x39, and 5.56x45 NATO.
Norma Golden Target – This is Norma’s Match-grade rifle cartridge for long-range precision rifle shooting. Designed for maximum accuracy, tight shot groups, and unparalleled consistency, Golden Target ammo is perfect for your next rifle shooting competition when you need to ensure you bore out the x-ring. Golden Target ammo is available in 338 Lapua Magnum, 308 Winchester, 223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6.5 PRC.
Norma Diamond – If you need unmatched accuracy and don’t mind paying for it, Norma Diamond is the rifle cartridge you’re looking for. Loaded with the finest components for exceptional precision, Norma Diamond is the ammo I’d take to the National Matches.
BondStrike – BondStrike is one of Norma’s many big game hunting bullets. Loaded with a polymer tip to initiate expansion, BondStrike ammo is deadly on game at all ranges. BondStrike bullets utilize a bonded jacket, ensuring the lead core and jacket remain attached for exceptional weight retention and deadly terminal ballistics.
EcoStrike – EcoStrike bullets combine everything from the BondStrike and incorporates it into a lead-free projectile. Made from a nickel coated copper projectile, the EcoStrike has nearly 100% weight retention to put down big game quickly and with minimal impact to the environment.
TipStrike – TipStrike ammo is designed for maximum penetration and stopping power. Loaded with a polymer tip for rapid expansion, TipStrike ammunition will penetrate deep to the internal organs to ensure big game stops dead in their tracks.
EvoStrike – EvoStrike ammo is designed for small to medium-sized game. Similar in application to the Hornady V-MAX, the EvoStroke utilizes a tapered jacket to ensure weight retention and rapid expansion. A thin jacket at the front of the bullet to promotes expansion while a thicker jacket stabilizes the bullet and ensures penetration.
African PH – Norma’s Professional Hunter (PH) line of ammo is what hunters reach for when they are taking on dangerous game. When you only get one shot and need the most penetration possible, Norma Solids are what you need to stop a Cape Buffalo or charging rhino in its tracks.
Norma Oryx – Utilizing a classic soft point design, the Norma Oryx bullet creates a massive wound cavity thanks to its mushrooming nose. The Oryx bullet offers excellent accuracy and terminal ballistics for an all-around exceptional hunting cartridge.
Norma Whitetail – Perhaps one of the most popular Norma cartridges on the North American market, Norma Whitetail is what numerous deer hunters reach for ever fall. Loaded with a classic soft point bullet, Norma Whitetail ammo will make sure you fill your deer tag every season so long as you do your part.
The Norma Ammunition company’s headquarters is located in the town of Åmotfors, Värmland, Sweden.
Norma ammo is extremely accurate. Their Golden Target and Norma Match lines of ammo are capable of sub-MOA groups when paired with a match-grade rifle.
Yes, Norma has multiple factory loads that are suitable for hunting. Some of their most popular ammo lines for big game hunting are their BondStrike, EvoStrike, and TipStrike ammo while Norma Whitetail is designed specifically for taking down American whitetail deer.
No, Norma ammo is loaded with non-corrosive Boxer primers.
The U.S. Military currently does not use Norma Precision ammo.
Currently Norma Precision ammo is not utilized by US law enforcement. However, Norma MHP (monolithic hollow point) ammo is an exceptional self-defense round for concealed carry and self-defense.
Norma uses their own brand of Boxer primers in all their centerfire ammunition.
Yes! Norma brass cases are Boxer primed, which are perfect for reloading.
For general target practice I like Norma Range & Training 124 grain FMJ with a muzzle velocity of 1,181 fps for an enjoyable shooting experience. For self-defense, my preferred load is the 108 grain Norma MHP for maximum expansion with a lower chance of over penetration.