The Schultz & Larsen company of Otterup, Denmark has always made their rifles to suit those who expect exacting workmanship. Their new “Classic” is an unassuming design that is entirely different to their original rear-locking M-54J sporter and more orthodox.
The Schultz & Larsen rifle that I reviewed back in the early 1960s was chambered for the 7x61 Sharpe & Hart cartridge which for some unknown reason doesn’t appear in Frank. C. Barnes Cartridges of The World. Both the rifle and the cartridge are an interesting study.
Despite being a rear-locker, the original S&L M-54J action was very strong with four large, symmetrical, evenly spaced locking lugs that contributed to a short bolt throw. The extremely snug assembly of the bolt in the receiver (lap fitted) prevented any compression due to backthrust on firing. The cartridge head was well supported in the bolt face a la Remington 700, and there were several gas ports in the bolt body that made it a very strong, safe action. As a measure of its inherent strength, prior to the introduction of his Mark V action which was at that time, five years in the future, Roy Weatherby adopted a magnumized S&L action for his big .378 Weatherby Magnum cartridge!
The 7x61 cartridge which became famous through being associated with the S&L rifle, was based on a cartridge “discovered” by Phil Sharpe at the end of World War II. He took a chamber cast of an unknown experimental French Army autoloader identified as “M.A.S. 1907. No. 4.” Inspired by the modern design of the proposed military round, after much developmental work the American firm of Sharpe & Hart created a cartridge derived from that chamber cast, but changed to make use of the Holland & Holland belted case. The 7x61 S&H reached its final form as a medium length, big-bodied, rather straight-sided case that was quite sharp shouldered for a factory round of that era. The straight-bodied case was an advantage in the rear-locking S&L action since it not only improves combustion, but lowers rearward pressure and reduces possible forward flow of the brass
This story was first published in the Sporting Shooter November 2009 issue of Sporting Shooter > November 2009.comments powered by Disqus