Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Interesting Sauer Side-by-Side Shotgun story

  1. #1

    Interesting Sauer Side-by-Side Shotgun story

    I recently bought a pre-war Sauer 16 Bore with cocking indicators chambered for the 16/70 cartridges. The guns receiver is marked JP Sauer& Sohn Suhl and is identical to the boxlock Model VIII produced by Sauer before the war. The barrel is marked Fried. Krupp AG Essen, Special-Gewehr-Lauf-Stahl. Thing is this gun was proofed in 1951 and the bottom of the receiver is marked Fortuna Werk VEB Suhl.

    I found this very odd and thought I would share with you the result of my inquiries.

    Sauer was founded as the Koengliche Gewehrfabrik Spangenberg & Sauer. Production started in 1751 and continued in Suhl until 1945. During the war Sauer produced exclusively for the military and next to no sporting arms were made. Before someone corrects me on an obvious point, yes they did make the M30 Luftwaffe Drilling. Components such as receivers and shotgun barrels were stored. Following the end of hostilities Suhl was for a short time in the American Sector. During this time the firm archives were destroyed in a fire. In July 1945 the city became part of the Soviet Sector. The military administrator Col Bukarew of the Soviet Army ordered a thousand sporting guns as reparation payment. Sauer was nationalized by order of the Soviet and absorbed in the VEB Fortuna Werk Suhl. In the nationalization document Sauer was described as a "Schreibmaschinenfabrik" - a type writer factory. The production of civilian firearms for the commercial market was prohibited in the Soviet Sector until 1950. When production of non rifled firearms resumed in 1950/51, VEB Fortuna seems to have used the pre-war stored components to produce the first batch of post war guns thus explaining the markings on the receiver of my gun. This argument is further strengthened by the use of Krupp Stahl, Essen barrels. It is unlikely that the East Germans would have imported barrels from W-Germany. The Model 8 shotgun shown in the first catalog of the Ernst-Thaelmann-Werk in 1960 very much looks like my Sauer Model VIII but does not have the JP Sauer&Sohn markings. This is probably due to Sauer having reformed in Eckernfoerde and claiming the trademark as its own. Most likey then the gun I have is a post-war Fortuna Werke Shotgun assembled from pre-war JP Sauer components. I am very pleased with that as it makes it one of the last Suhl Sauer guns.

    So there you have it, a war story of a different kind.

  2. #2
    Interesting stuff mate thanks for sharing. I'm guessing it's quite a rare gun then? Got any pics?

    Stratts
    Follow my stalking journey & SD sponsored DSC1 progress blog here

    DSC1 forum sponsorship - Blogs - The Stalking Directory

  3. #3
    I love this kind of history, please post a photograph or two.
    Mark

  4. #4
    Stratts,
    It's difficult to gauge how many of these were made, one would expect that in the grand scheme of things it would not be too many. It's a well made gun and I will try to get some pictures up later today.
    John

  5. #5
    Kreighoff were in Suhl also. The story they tell is that an American Colonel gave them the heads up that the zones were changing hands from the Americans to the Russians. They apparently has 24 hrs to make a decision. Mr Kreighoff decided to bale out, offering any staff who wished to come the chance of a job. They took what they could and ended up in Ulm. Anschutz too.
    Apparently, and amazingly, Suhl was not bombed as the allies didn't know about it. Thus, the factories we able to keep working after the war ended.
    No doubt plenty of folks on here know more about this than me.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by goathunter1 View Post
    Apparently, and amazingly, Suhl was not bombed as the allies didn't know about it. Thus, the factories we able to keep working after the war ended.
    Well no, because they made sporting guns, and no self-respecting British plutocrat would buy a German gun because they bought all theirs in St James, next to the laundry where they sent their Union Jacks! And all their catalogues were written in foreign mumbo-jumbo, none of them knew what "Bergstutzen" or "Bockflinte" meant, whilst "drilling" was subject to misinterpretation.

    I have a Sauer drilling which I believe to be from 1960. As I understand it, they set themselves up after the war in Eckenfoerde on the Danish border in 1951, with nothing but the craftsmen who had worked in Suhl, a brand name and some know-how. The first guns they made were exact reproductions of the shotguns they'd made before the war, retro-engineered from existing examples as all the designs and records had been lost. But they had a continuity of knowledge to bridge that gap. When they found someone to invest in a new factory, they bought all the most up-to-date machinery since they had nothing at all, and that combination of the latest gear, metallurgy, and old-school craftsmanship makes for some superb guns.

    Meanwhile, back in Suhl, Merkel had to pretty much use the same kit from the 1940s to the fall of the Wall. Same knowhow but ever more antiquated and inefficient production methods. Now, everyone's happy again, which is lovely.

  7. #7
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    6,996
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    This is a very interesting thread.

    I recently bought a 16g Beretta hammer gun from another site member and it also has Krupps barrels. Apparently Beretta used Krupps barrels on some of their guns in the first three decades of the 1900's, though quite why I have yet to discover. From what I can tell of the proof marks the gun was made in 1935. It also has a Greener style crossbolt, which I've not had on any gun of mine before.

    On the only outing I took it on last season it shot well enough, accounting for one nice pigeon and....ahem....a guinea fowl

    It's currently off with the gunsmith having a stock extension done, a service, and some TLC applied to the woodork, but once it's back I intend to find out more about it. Much as I love my modern Berettas there's something particularly appealing about using an old gun, and researching the history is part of the pleasure of ownership.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 19-03-2015 at 12:13.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    6,996
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Well, the Internet is a wonderful thing!

    A bit of research turned up "Beretta Paralleli Societą", a group interested in old Beretta side-by-side shotguns. A quick email elicited a very rapid response with a couple of their more recent newsletters which covered both the hammerguns of the early 1900's as well as the relationship with Krupps.

    On one the newsletters was a photo of the Krupps works from 1912, showing just how large their operations had become. Krupps barrels were apparently offered as a catalog option by Beretta and other gunmakers of the time, as they were recognised as one of the finest makers of firearm barrels. The newsletter notes the translation of “Fried. Krupp Essen; Prima Gewehr Lauf Stahl” as "top-quality gun barrel steel".

    Hopefully some more digging will turn up additional information.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 19-03-2015 at 16:01.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    This is a very interesting thread.

    On the only outing I took it on last season it shot well enough, accounting for one nice pigeon and....ahem....a guinea fowl
    But Dom it was a very sporting Guinea Fowl as I recall

    Chris
    Life should be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving skidding in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by goathunter1 View Post
    Apparently, and amazingly, Suhl was not bombed as the allies didn't know about it.
    Is this actually true? I find my capacity for belief somewhat stretched!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    When they found someone to invest in a new factory, they bought all the most up-to-date machinery since they had nothing at all
    This is, according to my father, is the basis of the postwar Wirtschaftswunder across the manufacturing sector in the Federal Republic.
    Last edited by Dalua; 19-03-2015 at 18:36.

Similar Threads

  1. For Sale Army and Navy side by side pistol grip 12 gauge shotgun
    By mark-joppa in forum Firearms
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 24-01-2015, 13:25
  2. Replies: 32
    Last Post: 05-10-2014, 08:44
  3. *SOLD* 10 bore Kestrel Side by Side shotgun
    By LJT in forum Firearms
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-02-2014, 19:50
  4. *SOLD* Unknown Italian 12g side by side shotgun (cheap)
    By sandspider in forum Firearms
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 18-01-2012, 20:25
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 21-10-2011, 19:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •