Shultz & Larsen Classic Synthetic
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- Last updated: 24/01/2021
Schultz and Larsen (S&L) is a Danish-based arms firm established in 1919. They produce many fine and highly regarded firearms ranging from target to sporting use.
Known for their high degree of workmanship and accuracy, the Classic model of their sporter boltaction range forms part of a series rifles including the Victory, Legacy and Tactical. With S&L’s inhouse manufacturing process overseeing all aspects of the build, you can rely on all their rifles to shoot in any conditions without compromise.
To that end, apart from the excellent switch barrel system, ultra-smooth and positive bolt operation plus very good trigger, the synthetic option was always missing until now. This Classic model now wears a stock that has taken years to perfect before S&L would put it on one of their rifles. So, you now have a traditional looking sporter, with all the latest technology and manufacturing processes hidden inside, wrapped up in impervious new synthetic furniture. So, making it a real stalking rifle contender in this country for the discerning shooter.
The stock on this model is what strikes you as very different. Firstly, because as I said; S&L are fiercely opposed to any furniture fitting their rifles that is not up to scratch, and as such all models I have tested have been walnut. Secondly, this new synthetic has to be good if they are going to put their name to it. Unsurprisingly this is a traditional sporter type profile that suits the style of the Classic and yields the most appeal and fit to most shooters. I would love to see a thumbhole model in the future.
The stock is formed by two half moulded sections combined together for strength in an attractive hunter green colour with a semi-matt textured finish. It looks really good and has a natural texture and feel.
The technology is not just skin deep either, as the material used has a high degree of glass fibre content which greatly increases density and rigidity without adding weight. Very important on any sporting, real-world hunting rifle. It feels solid without heft to it, i.e. well balanced and sturdy. There is no degree of flex at all. This ensures that accuracy and a consistent zero can be relied on in even the worst British weather.
It has a nice slender forend with a finger groove ledge to the top section for additional grip and chequering below this for additional hold. The pistol grip is well portioned and quite large, but narrow with the same panels as the forend. There is an embossed black plastic pistol grip cap with the S&L logo on it which I could do without visually.
The butt shows a wellproportioned cheek piece that is not too over the top and affords a good level of support for the cheek and thus correct eye/ scope alignment. A decent, soft, black rubber recoil pad achieves a positive grip in the shoulder and softens the recoil very nicely. Twin, QD, sling swivel studs handle any sling you want to fit and inside the action is bedded for consistent accuracy.
Now the part that is what S&L is all about, the barrelled action. You still have the traditional finish applied to the Classic synthetic, that of a wellblued surface that has been polished enough to achieve an elegant and subtle satin look. It’s very important to note that they make every part of the rifle themselves, no outside contractors and thus can achieve superb quality control and R&D research to ensure each part works in unison and has longevity too.
The action is long to accommodate the wide range of calibres on offer, these range from .22-250 to .358 Norma Magnum also the newer 6.5mm Creedmoor, which should prove very popular. No smaller calibre as the Legacy model is best for this, maybe a synthetic stock coming our way for this one, who knows?
The bolt is silky smooth in operation and polished bright plus has a low lift angle. This is due to the three locking lug arrangement thus achieving appositive maximum lug engagement in the abutments, fast operation as necessary and avoiding the handle hitting a lowmounted scope. There is an inset claw extractor and sprung plunger ejector that did a very good job of all the factory and reloads, some quite pokey!
The fast lock time contributes to the excellent accuracy with no time for you to wobble before that firing pin hits the primer. The triggers on all their rifles are excellent, which makes them stand out from others in this price range. The singlestage unit (which I prefer on any rifle) on the Classic Synthetic is adjustable. From the box it broke very cleanly at 2.65 lbs with no creep or backlash, so leave well alone!
The three-position safety offers the usual features: forward – FIRE, middle – SAFE with bolt operation and rear – SAFE bolt locked. Detachable magazines are always popular and the 3-shot, single-column design for this 6.5x55mm rifle is easily removed by pushing a button at the front of the mag well. A spring plunger at the rear ensures it ejects cleanly.
Mounting a scope can be achieved in two ways. First by fitting bases as the top of the receiver is drilled and tapped. Secondly, S&L have a deceptively simple quick detachable system that uses integral attachment points with return to zero recesses that really give a superb and assured solid scope mount.
Now the interesting bit, S&L actions possess a quickchange barrel system so calibres can be quickly changed in the field if desired. Thus, allowing that stalking rifle to become a plains game, boar, or fox gun. Nothing new but the S&L system is simple, elegant and above all mechanically good.
All you need to do is slacken off the two large Allen screws that secure a clamping collar at the front of the action which holds the barrel using the tool provided. The barrel precisely locates on a lug located at 6 o’clock to perfectly align, so you can store, transport, or change calibres without loss of zero. There are two holes in the right side of the stock where the release tool is inserted.
S&L manufacture their own barrels, thus keeping accuracy and consistency top of the list with match grade quality assured. Made from chrome-molybdenum steel and not stainless, there are fluted options available. All stress relieved ensuring perfect internal concentricity and they are traditionally cut rifled. This method is more expensive and time-consuming to produce, but most top barrel makers use it due to the high degree of accuracy achieved. They also take the time to hone and lap the bores to maximise accuracy and minimise fouling.
The Classic Synthetic has a 23” barrel, threaded 14x1mm with a rifling twist rate of 1:8.3”, so ideal for the slender 6.5mm projectiles. Alan Rhone, the importers, include an S&L moderator in the price. Being a 6.5x55mm the barrel length is very useful for good velocity and its sporter profile means even with a moddy fitted it does not make the rifle unbalanced or heavy. Crucially the tube is fully free-floated along the channel to ensure consistent accuracy and zero in all climates, plus the overall finish has a brighter blued finish than the action.
The Classic was accurate with nearly all the factory ammunition and reloads tested, which is to be expected from these rifles. I had a lovely Roe buck that proved its worth in the field too. S&L has done it again with a superbly accurate factory rifle that feels right and inspires confidence. You have an ultra-reliable and safe trigger with great handling and now a premium grade synthetic stock to boot. With both traditional blued touches but also modern-day manufacturing techniques as well, along with a change barrel system too. Roll on more synthetic stock versions I say!