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The Sight Seers: A Look Around the Aimpoint Factory in Malmo, Sweden

By Dickson Ly

The first things that typically come to mind when someone mentions the country of Sweden are IKEA and Volvo. What most people do not know is Sweden, a neutral country for both World Wars, has a long history of arms manufacturing dating back all the way to the mid-1300s. Bofors was a world renowned manufacturer of artillery and cannons dating back more than 350 years and was so famous there was even a British movie made in 1968 called “The Bofors Gun.” Saab is most known for its cars, but Saab Group—its aerospace and defence division—has a proven track record of producing military jets such as the famous Draken and Viggen and the current Gripen at their plant in Linköping. The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle was first in use in 1948 and is still used by many countries today including United States and Canada. Saab’s Gotland-class, diesel-electric submarines were able to penetrate the US Navy Carrier Battle Group during wargame exercises and are recognized as one of the quietest submarines in use today. There’s no question that Sweden produces high quality, well-engineered goods for their own military as well as for militaries around the world.

This article, however, focuses on another Swedish invention—the modern red dot sight. I had the honor to be invited to visit Aimpoint in Malmö, Sweden for a factory tour. Upon my arrival to the facility, I noticed they hung not one, but two Canadian flags outside the building flying next to the Swedish flag as a warm welcome. That was certainly a nice surprise! At the building lobby, I was greeted by their President, Lennart Ljungfelt. Mr. Ljungfelt joined Aimpoint in 2003, and he previously spent 6 years working at Bofors, now part of Saab AB. He first came in contact with Aimpoint products when he was in the Swedish Army in the 80s.

The idea of a red dot sight was first conceived in 1974 by Helsingborg engineer John Arne Ingemund Ekstrand, who was an IPSC shooter who wanted to increase his shooting...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N4 (April 2018)
and was posted online on February 23, 2018

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