Hans Larsen’s Unique Falling Block Rifles at James D Julia

Hans Larsen was a very successful competitive marksman (World Champion, in fact) and gunsmith in Norway in the late 1800s. He, and later his company, made a wide variety of guns, from revolving rifles and muzzleloaders to cartridge breechloaders and repeating rifles.

Larsen’s target and sporting rifles were quite popular in Norway until the adoption of the Krag-Jorgensen (against which Larsen unsuccessfully competed for Norwegian military contracts). As the new Krag took over the Norwegian target shooting community, Larsen’s older designs slowly faded in popularity. The rifles are quite rare here in the United States.

This example is a single shot falling block action using Larsen’s unique design.


    • No, Schultz & Larsen were Hans Christian Schultz and Niels Larsen (the latter eventually became the former’s son-in-law when he married Ellen Schultz).

  1. The lever operating the breech was used earlier on the Norwegian model 1842 “Kammerlader” linen-cartridge breechloader. It had a breech which opened very much like the American Hall;


    It’s distinctly possible that Larsen was involved in its design.

    As for this rifle, it might have been rebored as a shotgun, but is more likely a Lancaster-type “oval-bore” rifle. The 577/500 marking most likely means it is chambered for the 577/500 aka 500 No. 2 Express British cartridge, one of the high-velocity (for its time) blackpowder big game rounds. Introduced in 1882, it was mainly used in India for thin-skinned game, not being considered powerful enough for African dangerous game.

    Interestingly, it was loaded in Germany as the 12.7mm British No. 2, apparently being used for some of the larger European game such as deer and wild boar. So it could well have been used in Norway for that purpose. Which would explain this rifle. Even though a 1,000 meter sight on a rifle in this chambering is wildly over-optimistic.



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