It has been a number of years since I visited Denmark so I was pleased when the opportunity arose to visit Danish Riflemaker Schultz & Larsen. Leaving Stansted on a late Ryanair flight to Billund, I stayed overnight at the excellent and friendly Zleep hotel at Billund airport.
The owner and CEO of Schultz & Larsen, Morten Krogh, picked me up on Tuesday morning for the just over one hour run to the factory.
Founded in 1889 by Hans Schultz and originally located in Otterup, the company today occupies modern premises at Hørning on the Jutland peninsula, which forms the mainland portion of Denmark.
The factory is well equipped with modern CNC machinery and has a highly skilled workforce who concentrate on high quality and proudly state that “everything that looks like steel and should be steel is made of steel”. A refreshing approach today when cost cutting sees the use of both aluminum and plastic in places where it really should not be. The Schultz & Larsen is a switch barrel design allowing the use of multiple calibres on one action and with only two bolts, standard or magnum. Interchangeable and replacement barrels are available at a surprisingly modest cost, especially given that Schultz & Larsen are one of the few manufacturers who use cut rifling. Completely straight and stress relieved chrome molybdenum steel barrel blanks are bored and cut rifled in house and then internally lapped with an individually cast tin lap to obtain perfect smoothness. A labour intensive process but one which produces barrels of the highest quality. An interesting feature is a slight choke at the muzzle, which is said to prolong barrel life and reduce fouling. The barrels are so highly regarded that there is a high demand for Schultz & Larsen barrels made to fit other rifles using the similar switch barrel system.
The bolt locks directly into the barrel and features gas vents in front and along the side of the bolt. This coupled with the tight fit of the bolt and action ensures the shooter is well protected from a primer blow out or case rupture.
Of particular interest to me was the huge selection of finished stocks in every wood grade from standard to absolutely stunning exhibition class. All stocks are made by Schultz & Larsen at another site nearby using fully automatic machinery that even cuts the chequering at the same time. The stocks are finished in the traditional way with linseed oil and the finished stocks continue to have oil applied during the time they are in the warehouse.
The dedication to manufacturing to only the very highest quality was apparent at every stage of the production and there is obvious pride in showing the finished article. Everything is made in house, except for the recoil pad and sling and every rifle is built without compromise to quality. If a part needs to be a certain grade of steel that is how it is made. No plastic parts anywhere on the rifle.
A fascinating visit and one which revealed there is much more to Schultz & Larsen than I had imagined.