Scarce Model 1867 Norwegian Kammerladen Rifle
The Norwegian Kammerlader is an unusual and scarce rifle to be found today in it’s Military rimfire conversion configuration.
The Kammerlader, or "chamber loader", was the first Norwegian breech-loading rifle, and among the very first breech loaders adopted for use by an armed force anywhere in the world. A single-shot black-powder rifle, the kammerlader was operated with a crank mounted on the side of the receiver. This made it much quicker and easier to load than the weapons previously used. Kammerladers quickly gained a reputation for being fast and accurate rifles and would have been a deadly weapon against massed ranks of infantry.
The kammerlader was introduced in 1842, and it is thought that about 40,000 were manufactured until about 1870. While the first flintlock breech-loading rifles, such as the Ferguson, were launched decades before 1842 Norway was among the first European countries to introduce breech loaders on a large scale throughout its army and navy, although the United States had been the first in the world with the M1819 Hall rifle. ( See my example for sale) The Kammerladers were manufactured in several different models, and most models were at some point modified in some way or other.
From 1842, until the Remington M1867 was approved in 1867, more than 40,000 Kammerladers in more than 80 different models were manufactured. In 1860 the calibre was reduced again, to four Swedish Liner, or about 11.77 mm. When some of the Kammerladers were modified to rimfire after 1867, this meant that the barrels had to be bored out to 12.17 mm to accept the new cartridge.
During a military sharpshooting competition held in Belgium in 1861, the Kammerlader was proven to be among the most accurate military long arms in Europe. The Norwegian rifles were shown to be accurate to a range of about 1 km (0.6 mi), which is quite an achievement even by today's standards.
After the introduction of the Remington M1867 and its rimfire cartridge in 1867, the Norwegian Army and the Royal Norwegian Navy decided to convert some of the stock of Kammerladers into rim fire rifles. There were two designs used for the modification: Landmarks and Lund’s. Neither can be considered completely successful, but both were cheaper, and quicker, than manufacturing new M1867s. It seems that the Norwegian Army preferred the Lund, while the Landmark was the option of choice for the Royal Norwegian Navy.
For the Lund conversion, the chamber was replaced with a breechblock, and an extractor was mounted on the left side of the receiver. A chamber fitting the 12.17 x 44 mm rimfire cartridge was milled out of the rear part of the barrel. The right side of the receiver was lowered 6 mm and the bottom plate exchanged from a brass plate to a steel plate with a track for the extractor. The firing pin was curved to allow the hammer to strike it.
This particular rifle is a Lund conversion and is an extremely scarce rifle to find as most were scrapped after the introduction of the Remington Army Rolling Block rifle in 1867.
This rifle is mechanically sound with a good mechanism, no missing parts and good walnut stock with no cracks but plenty of evidence of use with the usual pressure dents and scratches. It is rare to find these converted rifles in any condition but this one is very good for the issue.
Another interesting rifle.