Keeping secrets in this house is never easy, for one thing Christel and I are very close, we talk about everything. More to the point Christel is the one who tends to make any purchases, be it something for the business or home so this means if I need something she invariably sorts out the payment, even if it is on-line. So bringing a new rifle into the house without her knowledge was always going to be a covert activity, explaining a large rifle shaped package arriving by courier would be a real give away unless I could pass it off as something else.
So I told her something interesting was arriving for her and it was destined to be her Xmas present and that it was going to be in a huge box so she would never guess what it was. Heh! Well that part worked out OK and end of last week the box arrived and I spirited it off to the SHED for closer inspection. I knew it was a Schultz and Larsen RPLT42 (Model42) Schultz & Larsen, chambered in 8x58RD, other than that I knew very little, it was not going to be all original but given how few and far between these things are I could live with that, I knew the bore was brown and that was about all.
This is what arrived.
Currently there are under 70 known examples in the world which is not really surprising as the factory produced under 1400 of these rifles in the Second World War, hardly a significant wartime production. RPLT stands for Rigspolitiet (State Police) The number 42 is for the year, they were manufactured for an order from the State Police for the Coastguard Police (A division of the State Police) mainly to protect the North Sealand coast (Copenhagen area) from people leaving Denmark for Sweden. They were also used to guard the railway network and were referred to as the ‘Svelletaelleren’ which means sleepers/tracks counter and probably refers to the monotony of walking the tracks with one of these rifles to keep the guard company.
This particular rifle is all matching, that is the barrel, receiver, bolt, magazine, trigger and stock all have the same number. The downside is the stock has been modified to a sporter shape, so the upper woodwork has been removed along with the front band and wood forward of the band, this work appears to have been carried out by a Gunsmith, Emil Frandsen sometime after the rifle was withdrawn from service. His work is OK, he made a fine sporting rifle, probably for deer however it would have been nice to find the rifle in original condition. Someone (Emil maybe) has also added pads for ‘scope rings at some point.Model 42 receiver and bolt
This is the bolt and receiver prior to being cleaned, it is good to see it retains it’s model name and number, such information was sometimes scrubbed. Note the action is a four lug rear locker with a core diameter of 18,86mm or nearly 3/4″ – quite a significant lump of steel. The bolt cocks on close and does take some effort.
Now to the ‘scope pads. As I have already mentioned, it would be nice to own an original RPLT42 however this has the makings of a lovely period hunting rifle, add a leather sling and a set of period rings with a post war 4x Zeiss or similar and maybe a slight tidying of the stock and it will be perfect, it also fills a hole in our rifle collection.
The bore is less than ideal however we have no plans to abuse this old lady so cast bullets around the 180/190 grain mark at 2000fps will be fine and more to the point I think I already have such things on the shelf, and if not I certainly know where to find some, first job is slug the bore and see what it clocks up at. As a last resort the site owner of the excellent Schultz and Larsen site http://www.schultz-larsenrifleclub.dk/ tells me he might know of a man who can supply a barrel to the original profile so that is something to pursue.
You can read more about the RPLT42 history in the Otterup section of this Journal and even more here (In Danish) from the Schultz & Larsen Club, Model 42
…and no doubt more to follow on this rifle.