VO Faktori, where every single rifle is created and rigorously tested, all in one grand building, is something very unique. Not only is it an outstanding facility solemnly created for the making of the ﬁnest rifles possible and located in a magniﬁcent area of Sweden – on the land and castle of the Trolle Wachtmeister family. VO Faktori is also a part of a long tradition.
Sweden has a long history of successful weapon manufacturing plants. Once Swedenwas actually a rather aggressive power in Northern Europe and the crown’s armies needed weapons. In the early 1600s, King Gustavus Adolphus ordered that every blacksmith should deliver a certain number of arms each year. The local Sheriff was to decide how many and when.
Later it was decided that the best blacksmiths should move to certain towns and a kind of co-operation was established. These loosely bonded organisations were called “Faktorier”. In the 1700s these state arsenals were extremely well organized, and there were many throughout all of Sweden.
During the Great Northern War, the annual production at each of the provincial small arms arsenals was between two and ten thousand muskets. One of these became Husqvarna Vapenfabrik, just a few hours drive from where VO Faktori is located today. In 1967 Husqvarna launched a new and very innovative rifle mechanism – a smooth and elegant design that Viggo Olsson always had a fondness for and remembered when he started VO Vapen in 1977.
Today, a redevelopment of that very invention is a vital part of the rifles that are being handcrafted at VO Faktori. The name VO Faktori is of course an homage to Sweden’s long history of rifle production, being the old Swedish word from which the term factory once derived – a weapon factory.
Here, at VO Faktori, the stockmaker is working side by side with the engraver. At the same time rifles are being tested and calibrated in the shooting gallery. This is a building ﬁlled with craftsmanship and ingenuity. Every corner devoted to creating the ﬁnest rifles possible. Something that has been a long-term dream of Viggo Olsson and his son.
The Trolle-Ljungby Castle, next to VO Faktori, has medieval origins and is a historic centre in a county famous for its hunting traditions. It’s hard to ﬁnd a more ﬁtting setting for the home of VO Vapen. And, even though from the beginning it was built as a starch factory, when you visit today there is no doubt what the building is all about in the 21st century: a tribute to the art of gunmaking.