Sjogren Shotgun Photos

Thanks to reader David, we have several photos of a Sjogren 12ga shotgun. The Sjogren was a very early Swedish semiauto design using a recoil action with a fixed barrel. Most recoil orated firearms function by having the barrel reciprocate backwards when fired, but the Sjogren system is different. It has a locking block connected to the firing pin, which keeps the bolt assembly locked in place as long as the firing pin is in the forward (fired) position. Then a shell is discharged, the recoil energy must first push the firing pin backwards against its spring. This recocks the firing pin and also unlocks the barrel. By this time chamber pressure has dropped to a safe level, and the remaining recoil force can push the bolt back to eject the fired case and load a fresh one.

Sjogren shotgun
Sjogren 12ga shotgun

This Sjogren system was marketed commercially as a 12 gauge shotgun which was somewhat successful and also as a military .30 caliber rifle. The Sjogren military rifle was tested by the British Army at Bisley, but was rejected (the test rifle today resides in the British Pattern Room collection).

Sjogren 12ga shotgun bolt

We have a period article on the Sjogren system available on the Sjogren Rifle & Shotgun page in the Vault.You can also see the photos provided by David here:

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(click here to download the gallery in high resolution)


  1. Must have been a real joy to shoot……. Having the bolt fly towards your face when fired would make anyone’s b’hind pucker….. :>)

  2. Hi
    Just for the record. Sjögren was a swedish engineer. However all his rifles, military and sporting, was made in Copenhagen, Denmark in the “Håndvåbenværkstederne” -meaning “The army smaalarms repairshop”. The military rifles was made in 8mm danish and 6,5mm swedish, three of each, some as carbine and some as full length rifle. I have never heard of .30 cal. and don´t think it is the case. There was made three rifles in 7,62 russian, which probably is the one´s testet in Britan. A pistol was also drawn but never produced.
    There was produced 5000 12 gauge shotguns, and they are still rather common in Denmark. Typical auctionprice about 500 euro.

  3. So it is rather a version of delayed blowback operation!
    Awesome pictures! Thank you.

  4. Unless I’m missing something, this type of action is a what is now called an inertia system. The breech cover stays in place, compressing a spring, while the rest of the gun recoils. That spring then decompresses and rapidly the breech cover travels backward cycling the gun.

    Thanks Ian for another interesting firearm that solves a problem in a different way.

  5. I’ve only fired one once, but it was kinda scary to see that big lump of metal come flying towards your face.

    They show up for sale from time to time and if it wasn’t for the uncommon shell-length I wouldn’t mind buying one.

  6. Thanks to this article, I’ve started looking for one to buy and I ran across one at the Cabela’s (a hunting outfitter that also sells older rifles) near me. It’s for sale for $999, and I plan on going and getting it tomorrow. It’s rather strange to have one show up here in central Texas just a few days after you posted this article.

  7. I have one of these shotgun. When the trigger is pulled and the firing pin impacts the primer, the beech is firmly locked up. Normally, you can pull back on the beech very easily. To unlock the gun, you have to retract the firing pin with the safety. It appears to be unlocked when the firing pin is pushed back by the primer. This is the first time that I have seen the drawings for the gun and will have to do a little more research. The shotgun is fairly light. The barrel can be detached very easily.

  8. By the way, if you want to get one of these shotguns, Bob Simpson of Simpson Ltd. in Galesburg, Illinois has a couple. Just mention my name if you order one.

  9. What a coincidence. I was at the Trade Day yesterday in Wimberly, and one of the dealers had one of these unique guns in very nice shape. I went to Cabela’s in Buda afterwards, but didn’t check out the used shotguns.

  10. Here’s a nicely shot video of someone shooting his Sjogren

    reader of FW might well enjoy his other videos, since he’s a collector of unusual pistols. Not Forgotten Weapons level esoteric by any means, but interestingly off-beat guns. A very in depth rundown on the Dardick, which is most definitely a forgotten weapon.

  11. All I am familiar with the Sjogren. It was the only gun my father used for partridge and pheasant in northern Minnesota. He found several guns of interest in a Black Forest hunting lodge with serving in WWII. He wrapped them up and mailed them home. He took great pride in the gun and it is cleaned and oiled, waiting for a new owner if someone is interested.

  12. Fascinating shotgun! Excuse me for asking,but did the bolt actually mechanically ‘lock’ into place or was the delay provided exclusively by the delay provided by the spring in the bolt carrier? I first read about how this type of action worked from Bill Holmes book on how to prototype your own firearms. rest in peace Mr. Holmes.

  13. Historical records show that this gun construction was patented from 1900 to
    to 1908 in three times at Sweden and in 1910 at the U.S. with Patent Number of
    954546. Working principle is same and forerunner of current Benelli “Inertia
    Driven” system, an inertia block retains its location during recoil and compresses
    a rebounding spring and that block to unlock the breechbolt when rebounded. The
    gun was manufactured even before Browning’s famous A5, but discontiniued after

  14. I have a Sjogren in perfekt condition with a spare barrel. The two barrels have different lengths and choke. So far I have never seen this mentioned in any descreption of the Sjogren, is there anybody out there knowing something about it?

    • According to the original “user manual” 500 guns was made with a standard and a short barrel. You have a rare set.
      But I do not know if the short barrel had same serial number as the rest of the gun and long barrel

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