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Test: KRIEGHOFF Semprio. An innovative first-class repeating rifle

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Anyone with an elementary knowledge of how repeaters operate is used to cartridges – be they shotgun, flobert or rifle cartridges – being pushed into the barrel by the movement of the bolt, and engaged via a bolt-action forward locking motion. 

This is also true of what are known as pump-action shotguns, which are also fondly called pump guns and similarly less classy terms. Here loading or repeat action is effected via forward or backward motion of the forestock. The cartridge is pushed from behind into the barrel. 

Krieghoff Semprio
The new KRIEGHOFF Semprio repeating rifle is different

This is different with the Semprio. The idea is sensational; it takes some getting used to. Until now I have been unaware of any weapon whereby the loading is effected in repetition via advancing with the bolt. Probably there were similar approaches earlier in the construction of repeating cannons. When I first heard it I thought the idea was completely absurd. I classified it immediately and high-handedly as an unnecessary solution to a non-existent problem.

In the meantime things have changed in that regard . . . I was thoroughly aware that KRIEGHOFF was a weapons manufacturer to be taken seriously. And rightly, as became apparent. At KRIEGHOFF this completely new system is called - elegantly - the In-Line Repeating Rifle.

Of course, in the Semprio the cartridge is also pushed from behind into the barrel chamber. But here the breech lock does not move - instead the whole barrel assembly moves. This idea is absolutely crazy, but as with many things, only supposedly crazy - ingenious in fact!  It is obvious that the new and unfamiliar needs getting used to. That especially goes for rethinking. If you can manage that cognitively, as a technically oriented person you can’t help but admire the thing, and ... like it.

As a sceptic, I immediately thought of the difficulty of repeating if you’d used a tree rest for shooting. Here a shot taken with a rest can hardly fail. You briefly leave the rest, and the repeating proceeds as if by itself. On driven hunts shots are mostly taken freehand over a short distance. With a classic repeater the right hand must be removed from the trigger guard, and loading proceeds via the bolt handle. With the Semprio both hands remain where they were before the shot. Loading is accomplished by a light push and pull of the forestock – which includes barrel assembly and scope. This happens with amazing ease and as if by itself. The gun works almost like a self-loading rifle. After the shot the front part of the weapon automatically moves a few inches forward, thus conducting the repeating operation. This happens so fast that the left hand automatically completes the correct movement. Thus the force required for the repetition is very low. The measure of it is under 5 kg. The double action trigger of a revolver requires 4.5 kg!

Both hands remain permanently on the gun during the repetition; there is no need to rearrange your grip. No bolt handle need be manipulated with the right hand, to then return to the trigger upon completion. Therefore the Semprio is likely the fastest manual bolt-action repeater. Insofar as this may be a criterion for evaluation.

It doesn’t backfire anymore ...

Lately we have been somewhat unsettled here and there by stories of bolts flying back into the face of the shooter. Recently a report about hairline fractures by K31 bolts has been in the hunting press again. Although in most cases the problem originated with the shooters (reloading?), the idea of a bolt accelerating backwards at 3500 bar is not very encouraging. Such a thing cannot happen with the Semprio. In the worst case the barrel assembly including forestock and scope would fly off toward the target, i.e. away from the shooter. It is nice to know that with reloading there isn’t a bolt coming threateningly close to the shooter’s face. 

Krieghoff Semprio
In the custom-made case the KRIEGHOFF Semprio with all accessories is well protected
Krieghoff Semprio
Even for mountain-hunting the KRIEGHOFF Semprio is a really good choice

Take-down - the buzz word

The KRIEGHOFF Semprio is probably the most ingenious take-down gun. Even scatterbrained hunters with 2 left hands can disassemble this gun into 2 handy sections within 30 seconds. There are no loose bolts, washers or springs that can get lost, and you needn’t consider how to put it together. It is simple, logical and self-explanatory. It is simply impossible to do something wrong.


Magazine

The solid box magazine is 100% protected against falling out by a locked bolt. Everything has two sides; one might complain that with some weapons the magazine isn’t secured against falling out. That is not the case with the Semprio. The magazine capacity is 3+1 shot for standard calibres and 4+1 shot for magnum calibres.

Trigger

The Semprio’s combi-trigger is one of the best to be found among hunting rifles. The so-called set triggers are common, but they can lead to deviating the shot. This is not problematic for short distances, but can be an obstacle for precision shooting at greater distances. For safety reasons set triggers should not be regulated for use under 1000 g of trigger pull weight. The Semprio’s combi-trigger - with adjustable set trigger - is also ideal and perfect for taking a precise shot over a long distance, be it with stand or rest. From the factory the trigger is set at 1250 g.


Safety

It is almost self-evident that a modern repeating rifle will have a hand-operated cocking mechanism. The handy attached cocking lever does not need a ramp, but instead is pulled forward with your thumb about 1cm. This is of course completely noiseless, as is the release, insofar as one hasn’t shot. If the gun is loaded the bolt is locked and only opens after the shot - upon repeating. To deliberately open it, e.g. when unloading, while in a released position the cocking slide is turned about 30 degrees to the right and briefly pressed. Now that the lock is released, the bolt can be opened and the magazine removed. Tension is rather high, which implies adequate firing pin energy. The thumb has to press with a force of about 6.5 kg. The ergonomic shape and arrangement of the cocking slide makes the tension seem easy despite the short span. This is no contradiction, rather it is ergonomics... KRIEGHOFF calls it the combi-cocking device - hand cocking for cocking and release of the bolt.


Stock

The form of the stock corresponds with modern design, for minimal shifting and allowing for quick sighting. High-class stock woods are becoming noticeably rarer and therefore more expensive. Upon request KRIEGHOFF will equip the Semprio with noble and expensive burl wood. A very pleasant standard stock will be delivered to price-conscious customers. 

Krieghoff Semprio
The form of the stock corresponds with modern design, for minimal shifting and allowing for quick sighting

In a normal walnut stock additional grains are seared in using a laser. This looks good, not at all shoddy, unlike what one might think at first assume. For reasons of cost the checkering is imprinted in the wood using matrices. This does not detract from the functionality. More recently thumbhole stocks have become available for the Semprio. Here the reloading principle comes fully into its own. Placement of the thumb in the hole after repeating is omitted.


Scope Mount

There are 2 dovetail recesses on the bolt assembly which make it easy to set up and dismount a scope. The scope can mounted very low. Many people appreciate this probably because they fear tilting errors with higher mounted scopes. This is not the case; scope height has very little to no effect on tilting.


Sights

The open sight is perfectly suitable for drive hunts. Rear sight and front sights are provided with points visible in daylight, which perfectly capture the target. No scope is required for short distances, which is ideal for the quick shot. Some hunters distrust the semi-mounted sights. Which is not entirely unjustifiable. Such sights can affect shot performance with certain barrels. Extensive tests were carried out in this regard by KRIEGHOFF. The developers of Semprio credibly assure that the sighting does not affect shot precision. What could be criticized is that the rear sight is quite far forward, and the line of site falls away rather shortly as a result. All-in-all mounting even larger scopes is unproblematic.


Standard features / technical data / prices:

Standard features of the KRIEGHOFF Semprio:

Set trigger integrated, KRIEGHOFF Universal Trigger System and  Combi Cocking Device, "Click-and-Go" sling swivels , right-handed stock with Semprio cheekpiece, Black anodized action finish. Each Semprio will be delivered in the KRIEGHOFF Semprio GunPack.

AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING STANDARD CALIBRE:

.223 Rem., .243 Win., 6,5 x 55 SE, .270 Win., 7 x 64, .308 Win., .30-06, 8 x 57IS, 9,3 x 62

 

Price for standard calibre: 2.802 € (German MSRP with VAT)
- Standard barrel length: 55 cm (22''); 
- Standard stock with oil finish;

- Length of Pull: 37 cm including a 15 mm black recoil pad; 

- Right-handed stock with Semprio cheekpiece


AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING MAGNUM CALIBRE:

7 mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag., .375 Ruger

 

Preis for magnum calibre: 3.027 €

(German MSRP with VAT)

- Standard barrel length: 63 cm (25'');
- Standard stock with oil finish;
- Length of Pull: 37 cm including a 15 mm black recoil pad;
- Right-handed stock with Semprio cheekpiece


Conclusion of the KRIEGHOFF Semprio test:

We have described here only the most important parts of the Semprio. There is also the bolt head that can be removed with a handle. The weapon is then unable to shoot. And there is a special safety position whereby other hunters can see the safe status of the weapon, similar to the broken single-shot rifle. 

The Semprio polarizes. Those who have one are enthusiastic, while those who don’t know it, condemn it. A not entirely unknown appraisal from out of everyday life. In sum, the KRIEGHOFF Semprio is an exciting new development, a perfect all-around rifle without recognizable errors or defects. It can be unreservedly recommended for all types of hunting. 

Further informationen and all technical details you find here: http://www.krieghoff.de/index.php?id=1&L=1

Watch the video of the KRIEGHOFF SEMPRIO:

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