German “System Luck” Martini Schuetzen Single Shot Benchrest Target Rifle 30” Barrel MFD 1891-1912,Engraved, Double Set Triggers, C&R
SOLD FOR: $1,950
Model: Schuetzen Target Rifle
Serial Number: 182
Year of Manufacture: 1891-1912 (From Crown over V proof)
Caliber: 8.15x46R (The groove diameter is about 0.314” as close as we could measure.)
Action Type: Lever Operated Falling Block Single Shot Rifle, Martini Style Action with Internal Extractor and Double Set Triggers
Markings: The underside of the barrel in front of the forend is marked “182”. The underside of the barrel at the receiver is marked with a “GS” in a circle, an Imperial Eagle, a “Crown / B” definitive proof, “7,7mm”, “Krupp-Stahl” (the foundry where the steel was made), and two diamonds, each with the letter “K” inside. The receiver, tangs and lever are elaborately engraved with floral patterns, and there is a large gold filled “F” on the left side of the receiver. The left side of the breechblock is marked “SYSTEM LUCK” and “4314”, and the front face of the receiver is also marked “4314”. The underside of the receiver at the front is also marked “SYSTEM LUCK”. The top surface of the breechblock is marked with a “Crown / V”, Imperial Eagle and “Crown / B”. The buttplate is marked “4314” and with a crowned left facing eagle. br>
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 30” in length and 0.912” across the flats.
Sights / Optics: There is an empty dovetail on the front of the barrel for a front sight. The top edges of the dovetail measure 0.471” front to back. There is also a 6 ½” long dovetail at the rear of the barrel which is filled with a blank. There is an aperture sight mounted on a base built into the upper tang. The sight has a huge Hadley style eyepiece with an aperture that is adjustable in size using a thumbwheel at the top edge of the eyepiece. The sight is adjustable for windage and elevation using small screws with square heads.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece walnut with a smooth forend and checkering in the grip area. The buttstock is ornately carved with a thumb rest on the right side and a large cheekpiece on the left. The buttstock has a Schuetzen buttplate for shooting offhand: a smooth knob at the top and a single hook at the toe. There is a sling swivel mounted in the toe and another on the underside of the barrel. The forend is held with a barrel wedge and has a Schnabel tip. It shows several compression marks on both sides and tiny nicks in its curved rear edges. There is also a sliver of wood missing from its left front top edge. The buttstock shows several compression marks, mainly in the belly and on the cheekpiece. There are also ten tiny punch marks on the left side of the wrist between the checkering and the cheek. The checkering shows light wear with several small mars. The LOP measures 12 ½” from the front of the forward trigger and 11 ½” from the front of the rear trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate is case colored and shows a few spots of frosting. It is in about Fine condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blued. The receiver and lever appear to have been case colored.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with light wear in the rifling. There is extremely light erosion near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The barrel shows thinning on its left side at the front of the forend, and on its edges and underside. The barrel and rear sight blank shows numerous tiny nicks and dings with a few small spots of solid erosion. There is also erosion on both sides of the barrel along the top edges of the forend and a half inch long “ding” in the left edge of the rear sight blank. The receiver shows pinprick surface erosion around its front and top edges. There are also two nicks in the left top edge, a light mark on its left side and several spots of surface frosting scattered over the underside of the receiver, lever and tangs. There is a noticeable gap between the back edge of the upper tang and the stock, which is at least partly caused by erosion of the rear edge of the tang. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. The engraving still shows sharp detail. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has double set triggers, with the front trigger adjustable for pull. The breechblock pin sticks out of the right side of the receiver and has a spring loaded catch on its head for easy removal. It has internal extractors that pull the case out when the lever is fully opened. There is also a lever on the bottom tang for removing the stock from the receiver once the upper tang screw is removed. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The sport of off-hand target shooting has been around in Germany since the 1800’s. The Schuetzen rifles, first used in the latter part of the 19th century and extending up to WWII, were the culmination of the sport. Actions were based on the Aydt swinging-block action, unique to German and central Europe, and on the Martini action. This rifle was made on a Martini style action and is marked “System Luck” (The only reference we could find to this system was on a Schuetzen rifle made by F.R. Wolff, but we would guess the maker of this rifle had the initials “GS” from the barrel markings). The 8.15x46R cartridge was probably the most popular center fire target round and was very highly developed. This rifle was all set-up for offhand target shooting with a Schuetzen style single hook buttplate, deep cheekpiece and thumbrest and a tang sight with a huge eyepiece for blocking unwanted light from the shooters eye. The sight has an adjustable aperture similar to the Hadley eyecups used today for shooting in both bright and limited light conditions. Unfortunately, the front sight is missing from its dovetail. The rifle is in about Very Good to Fine condition. The barrel shows thinning on its edges with several nicks and bruises along its length. There are tiny spots of solid erosion scattered over the barrel and rear sight blank, and pinprick surface erosion sprinkled over the front and top edges of the receiver. There is also a gap between the back edge of the upper tang and the stock caused partly by erosion in the edge of the tang. The wood shows compression marks in both the forend and buttstock with light wear and small mars in the checkering. The bore is mostly bright with light wear in the rifling and extremely light erosion near the muzzle. The receiver is heavily engraved with a floral motif and has a gold filled letter “F” on the left side. The engraving is very detailed, so please see our pictures. This is a nice looking rifle that would look great in a collection of early target rifles. If one would ever decide to shoot this beauty, they would find that ammunition is still available from Black Hills and brass is still available for reloading.