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Emil Kerner u. Sohn rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cee Zee, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    And the other problem is that Suhl was in East Germany, out of contact with the Free World for 50 years or so. Herr Walther got out and resumed operation but a lot of fine old gun companies did not.
     
  2. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Very true Jim. BTW do you know the story of what became known as Suhl, the company as opposed to the region by the same name where lots of small operators seem to build quality rifles?

    I do know that Suhl is considered to be on par with Anschutz in terms of quality. I read a couple of references that seemed to say that Kerner was the starting point for the company that made the Suhl 150 fo example but finding good information on that is probably going to require access to the KGB archives or at least it seems that way.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Never heard of a company named Suhl, that is the city where a lot of German gunmaking was concentrated.

    Smallbore shooters like the "Suhl 150" target rifle but that is nomenclature for rifles made in the Haenel plant in Suhl under Red management.
     
  4. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    XX & Sohn - might as well be a bigger operation.
    As this combo usually meant son would take over one day.

    It could be a dozen expert gunsmiths working for them.




    Interesting rifle. And thread.
     
  5. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Wow there's so much to learn. I knew the region was famous for gun makers but what I had read was the Kerner had much to do with that. Maybe he did but clearly Haenel did.

    Carl Gottlieb Haenel's, who started a gun making company in about 1840, descendents . improved on a pistol designed by Emil Zehner. His company along with another gun maker who also improved on that Zehner design followed also by his descendants was a guy named Schmeisser. His descendant, Hugo Schmeisser, went to work for Haenel's company in the 1920's. They collaborated and produced what was known as the Haenel Schmeisser Pistol. It was a great design and helped make the whole region of Suhl famous.

    A member of the Haenel played a role also in developing the STURMGEWEHR 41. He produced actions for earlier production models that were known by a different name but the development continued and they gave the world the first assault rifle. Hugo Schmeisser was captured by the Soviets and worked on the development of the AK-47. He later went back to Suhl working for the Reds and for an organization that bore Haenel's name. That was the post-war connection to that name.

    At any rate those people along with many others including Sauer and Kerner gave the Suhl region a big time reputation for firearms making. I saw a report from Himmler to Hitler about the region and several of the gun makers there but it dealt with hunting rifles.

    This could be a long chase for any real detailed information on the rifle I have. I could have a whole lot of time in research on this rifle. Or I could just count on the fact that enough people know about the craftsmanship of the region and who Kerner is to make for a decent price on the rifle. It really should be worth it. There's a lot of history there and it is one fine example of firearms. It seems to be as well made as any rifle I ever saw including some much more modern designs. I actually think some of the newer designs are better but they weren't made in th e 1930's or earlier. BTW Kerner copyrighted the name "Kerner and Company Sporting" as a gun maker from the Suhl region. That existed from 1935-1935. The rifle I have here would likely have been older because it didn't mention that company name. Kerner made rifles alone then with his sons and then with the company from what I understand.

    There are many other famous gun makers from the region including Sauer and the company that made the Luger. With a bunch of companies, different firearm categories, a messed up naming convention, two totalitarian empires to deal with and a lot of lost records it's a wonder any of this information still exists. It's about to give me a headache trying to track it down, I know that. :)

    I do appreciate the shared knowledge here. You can just assume I don't know anything about the players here. I'm only going by what I've read on the net besides what I've read here. I do appreciate the info though. It is interesting. It's just complicated too.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Prices:
    In the 1911 Alfa (Adolph Frank of Hamburg, Germany) catalog, light stalking rifles like yours are priced at 62 - 106 Marks. More for fancy engraving, of course. A good scope and mounts would be as much as the rifle itself.

    If you wanted something exotic, a .30-30 Winchester all the way from America was 120 Marks.
    A real scheutzen target rifle was around 200 Marks.
     
  7. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Didn't Stevens make a Scheutzen rifle too?
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Stevens and Winchester and Ballard that I can think of offhand.
    Nnot as fancY as the European stuff, but accurate.
     
  9. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I heard that the Ballard rifles were the best when it came to accuracy and they were highly sought after. But I thought they were German rifles too so what do I know? ;)
     
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