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Norma was started in 1902 by the Enger brothers from Oslo, who a few years earlier started "Norma Projektilfabrik A/S". The name "Norma" has often been confused as a shorthand for Normandy or Norway however, the name was chosen because one of the Enger brothers was very fond of the opera Norma by Bellini.

The Swedish shooting movement needed a Swedish supplier and Norma Projektilfabrik A/S was asked to establish in Sweden. At this time, Sweden and Norway were in a union. The Enger brothers took the train to Sweden and simply got off at the first stop on the other side of the border, Charlottenberg, and made inquiries about a suitable factory building. However they found the town council took no interest in their plans and therefore decided to try their luck further into Sweden. Next stop was Åmotfors, where the brothers were better welcomed and decided to establish their company.

From the start until the middle of the century, production was dominated by military ammunition standards. After some time, however, the company perceived a market for hunting ammunition. Norma was also beginning to make international connections which, combined with military interest, forced more modern thinking and necessitated new products.[citation needed]

Nils Kvale and Roy Weatherby were invaluable for Norma's success in the latter half of the 20th century. Kvale was a product developer for the company in the 1960s and introduced a number of new calibers such as the .308 Norma Magnum and .358 Norma Magnum to the market. Kvale's cooperation with American colleagues made Norma well known as a producer of high quality rifle ammunition.[citation needed][according to whom?]

Today, Norma has a yearly production of about 30 million rounds in 110 calibers. As such, Norma produces one of the largest assortments of rifle ammunition in the world.