Elmer Keith Says

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est of all military bolt action rifles for combat use. The Model 54 Schultz and Larsen action, with its rear locking lugs, managed to clean up the free rifle game pretty well for years in international competition, which speaks well enough for the accuracy, when applied to a big sturdy bolt action.

The new Model 60 Schultz & Larsen employs the same rear locking bolt lugs. The bolt is heavy, large in diameter, and employs four locking lugs. This makes for a very smooth, fast action, as there are no lug races to cramp the bolt in operation. The case head is enclosed in the head of the bolt (similar to the Remington 721, 722, and 725 rifles) with the same type pin ejector; but the Schultz and Larsen extractor is a much larger, stronger unit than those employed in the Remingtons and, to my notion, far better. This type of recessed bolt head, combined with a really good spring-type hook extractor, offers the best possible combination for safety and surety of extraction, to my way of thinking.

The action cocks on the closing movement like the Enfields and, while this is objectionable to some, it will be found very fast once you become accustomed to the rifle and throw the boh fast. Three gas vents are lined up within the ejection port in the lop of bolt when it is closed. The recessed bolt face eliminates any chance of gas escaping other than through a ruptured primer, and these three gas vents should well take care of any such occurrence.

Safely is on the right side of the cocking piece, well positioned for either right or left hand shooters. Bolt stop is small and neat and lays almost flush with left rear end of receiver, projecting just enough to make it easy to reach for bolt removal. Boit liandle is small, neat, well shaped and positioned for both scope use and rapid fire work.

The action appears long and massive and it is just that, but is amply strong for any cartridge and some of the largest most powerful .450 elephant cartridge rifles are now being made on the Schultz and Larsen action. It was proof fired with up to 130,000 pounds pressure, which it handled the same as the old heavy Magnum Mauser action, and which blew up standard Mauser actions. This Danish-made action works very smoothly and fast. The top is matted full length and the bolt is completely enclosed its full length, except for the ejection port. It is tapped and threaded for standard Buehler or their top mounts. Buehler makes a special mount to fit it.

The action is anchored by two strong guard screws, one at the recoil lug and one just in front of the trigger guard, plus a wood screw in the lower tang behind the trigger guard. Trigger is small, neat, grooved, and well positioned. Trigger pull is excellent. The magazine is hinged, with trip in front of trigger guard, where it should be. Ammunition can be changed quickly, or the magazine can be recharged from the bottom while keeping a loaded round in the chamber. The magazine holds three rounds, which with one in the barrel, makes it a four shot rifle.

The rear locking lugs permit a longer barrel shank and thread, making for maximum stiffness at barrel and receiver joint. The receiver has flat, clean top lines, and the trigger guard is neat and well shaped. The barrel is 26" long, just the right length to burn the heavy charge of slow burning 4350 powder or the Norma No. 104 powiier. Barrel is of excellent exterior design, with a heavy breech portion extending one inch forward of receiver, then a gradual taper for three inches and a straight taper on to the rather small muzzle, just right for extreme accuracy in a hunting weight barrel. Barrel and action are beautifully polished and blued a deep blue-black. Bore is rifled with 6 grooves and narrow lands and is perfectly finished.

The stock follows my own design of nearly 30 years ago, first made by John Dubiel, except that the forward end of the cheek rest is raised upward instead of being turned downward into the middle of grip. It has the same excellent Monte Carlo comb, low in front, and instead of my monogram hump on the right side, this one has the old Wundhammer swell. Grip cap is larger and grip flares out larger at the cap. This is an excellent stock that will fit almost anyone and will not punish your jaw in shooting. It is stocked just right for scope use, and no iron sights come on the Model 60. Grip cap and soft rubber recoil pad with white spacers and one inch sling swivels complete the stock job.

All told, I like this rifle very much. It is a well finished rifle, comparable with many fine custom jobs. The forestock is a departure from my design, in that it is flat on the bottom with less width, at the top. It feels and holds very well indeed.

We fitted one of Weaver's latest 60 series K-4 scopes with my double horizontal wire reticle known as the range finder reticle, in Buehler special mounts for this rifle and, after bore sighting, only four shots were necessary to sight it in perfectly for 300 yards. Accuracy was exceptionally good from the start. At 100 yards, this 12" twist rifle seems lo want to pile these 160 grain Norma loads into one-inch groups, and at long range it still shoots very small groups. No doubt the elimination of lug recesses in the receiver ring contributes to a very stiff strong action and a much closer, smoother fit of bolt to receiver, which, in turn contributes to the high degree of accuracy.

In all fairness. 1 must admit to having been prejudiced against those rear locking Jugs when J started working with ibis rifle. However, the more 1 use it, the more I like and admire its many good features. The four locking lugs permit a bolt lift of only one-eighth turn, about half that of conventional Mauser-type actions. The flush extractor permits the bolt to be completely enclosed in the receiver. The trigger pull is one stage, no slack to take up. Lock time is very fast. Striker travel is about one half inch. The safety has three positions: fully forward is fire, fully to the rear for safe with trigger, bolt, and firing mechanism fully locked, and the half-way position which locks the firing mechanism but permits bolt to be withdrawn or ammo loaded safely into the rifle.

The rifle bolt is easily dismounted by cocking and moving the safety to the midway position. Then press a small pin on the left side of the cocking piece to rear and rotate the sleeve clockwise 45 degrees, and it comes apart. After much study and considerable shooting, I firmly believe this Schultz & Larsen action to be one of the strongest I have ever used including the well known Magnum Manser actions.

After looking through a lot of factory-made rifles since World War Two and finding many crooked barrels, poor stocking, and rough reeeiver-and-bolt fits, it is a pleasure to test a rifle that comes to the shooter all ready to take into the hills. Merely slap your favorite scope in a set of Buehler split-ring mounts, bore sight and target, and yon are ready to go. In conclusion, 1 can only give this rifle and cartridge a clean bill of health and believe the rifle and the 7x61 S & H factory load to be one of the best yet offered sportsmen for all our lighter big game that has to be taken at long range.

Excellent dies for reloading the cartridge may be had from several reloading tool makers, including the fine R.C.B.S. dies. The 7x61 Norma cartridge case takes our commercial large rifle primers, and empty cases as well as loaded ammunition may be obtained from Sharpe & Hart or their dealers.

Gun Writer Elmer Keith

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  • mandy
    What type scope bases fit on schultz & larsen 54j?
    2 years ago

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