Schultz & Larsen’s Legacy switch-barrel sporting rifle

The fact that Denmark is home to a well-respected firearms manufacturer in Schultz & Larsen (S&L) is something that deserves to be celebrated. The company was registered in January 1919 by Hans Schultz and his son-in-law Niels Larsen and their rifles have always been made with an emphasis on first-class craftsmanship and high degrees of accuracy.

In Australia, S&L is represented by Gone Hunting based in Brighton, Victoria. Included with the review rifle were two scopes - a tactical IOR and Premier Heritage 3-15x50 - supplied in detachable rings. Ammunition came in .222 and .223 Remington as well as .300 Blackout.

The rifle

The Legacy is a traditional bolt-action repeater built on a modular switch-barrel design. Its deep blued metalwork and pillar-bedded walnut stock with an oil finish is a classic look.

The fully-floating switch-barrels are cut-rifled and tin-lapped and the 60-degree bolt throw and triple locking lugs make for a rock solid but silky smooth action. The rifle weighs 2.8kg bare and is supplied with a full length hard-case and take-down tools. One barrel comes with the rifle upon purchase with another three calibres of various profiles, generally standard (14mm diameter) and varmint (18mm) available to suit the Legacy action.

The receiver

This is the heart of the Legacy rifle and machined from a solid piece of steel. Ultra-precise CNC machining ensures the receiver and bolt are perfectly aligned with the barrel. The front portion of the receiver ring is bored to accommodate the shank of the barrel with a tight slip-fit. The underside of the ring and lug are split off-centre with the left side drilled and tapped to accept two barrel retaining screws.

The thicker side of the bottom ring accepts the front action screw as well as accommodating a short stud which mates with a slot in the barrel shank. The receiver has a compact profile with a scalloped segment of the left side having the Legacy name tastefully engraved. Scope mounting is facilitated by the receiver top being machined to accept proprietary S&L ‘Slide and Lock’ scope hardware as well as being drilled and tapped to take Weaver or Picatinny-style bases. The review rifle had a one-piece Picatinny with quick-detachable rings fitted to both riflescopes.

The barrel

Barrels are a strong point of S&L. Chrome molybdenum steel barrels are bored before being cut-rifled to produce the lands and grooves concentric to the bore itself. The Legacy, being a compact action sporting rifle, is tailored to the .222 and .223 Remington calibres as well as the 6x45 and .300 Blackout. Furthermore, select calibres are offered in differing rates of twist and barrel profiles - the Standard barrel with 14mm muzzle diameter or Light Varmint at 18mm.

All Legacy barrels are threaded at the muzzle with either a M14x1 or UNF-20 thread for additional accessories. All barrels have the calibre engraved on the shank to ease identification.

The trigger

The bottom flat of the receiver possesses the trigger group and is located to the rear. The trigger is of a single-stage design and fully adjustable for pull weight and sear engagement. The test rifle was set at 1.3kg and perfect to use as supplied (S&L stipulates trigger adjustment be made by a competent gunsmith). The trigger blade was slim and comfortable.

The magazine

This is a detachable box design of all-steel construction holding four rounds, kept in place by a spring-loaded latch engaged by a press-button to the front of the magazine. All calibres supplied in the Legacy can use the same magazine and all rounds tested in the different calibres fed easily into the magazine and chambered without fault.

The bolt

The steel one-piece bolt is of a push-feed design with a polished shank, blued bolt shroud and three locking lugs mated to a 60-degree bolt throw. The handle is of a straight profile with a rounded knob at its terminus. Case extraction is possible with a plunger ejector through the bolt face and a Sako-style extractor.

The three locking lugs and recessed bolt face lock up directly into the breech of the barrel and S&L specifies that when fitting a barrel to the receiver, the bolt be fully homed and locked in to set the correct head-space before tightening the rear barrel-retaining screw first, then the front screw. The correct tightening procedure is sacrosanct to the rifle functioning safely.

The stock

This is a piece of straight-grained walnut. Gone Hunting also offers the Legacy stocks in higher grades of walnut for those who like fancy swirls and stripes. The profile is a straight-combed American-style sporter devoid of cheekpiece and with a slim pistol grip. Precisely cut panels of chequering around the grip and either side of the fore-end set the stock off well and give an excellent hold. The rifle is fitted with a slim recoil pad made of sorbothane but recoil in the calibres offered is negligible.

The stock is normally fitted with QD sling swivel studs as standard but in this case a Spartan Javelin bipod adapter plate is fitted at the front stud position, concurrent to the testing of several Spartan bipods and tripods. The inletting of the stock is excellent with all surfaces neatly finished and sealed with oil.

Aluminum pillars are inletted into the floor of the stock which provide a stable bedding surface for the receiver, with the contact areas glass bedded. The barrels are free-floating along their entire length.

Barrels change-over

The Legacy comes with one barrel according to customer request. The sporter barrels with 14mm muzzle diameter are $210 less than the equivalent light-varmint barrels at 18mm (when bought with the rifle).

The Legacy is made to use at least one extra barrel, if not two or three, with additional barrels costing from $1063 to $1225 depending on chosen profile. Changing barrels requires the bolt to be withdrawn from the action and the stock removed by extracting the two action screws. Once the stock is taken out, two barrel retaining screws in the front receiver ring are visible. With the supplied tool, each screw is loosened a quarter to half turn and by grasping the barrel firmly  it can be pulled from the receiver. The replacement barrel should be inspected carefully to ensure no oil or lubricant is present on the shank or inside the receiver ring.

The barrel is inserted with the groove on the barrel shank mating with the stud in the receiver ring and the barrel needs to be firmly homed with no gap between shank and receiver ring. The bolt can be inserted to set the correct head-space and the two barrel locking screws tightened, the rear first ‘just snug’ then the front one. With the screws ‘snug’ they can be tightened to 6-8 Newton metres (Nm) with a torque wrench or nipped up and tightened one quarter turn with the supplied wrench. The stock can be replaced and the action cycled to ensure the rifle is operational.

Range testing

The review rifle was supplied with three barrels in .222 and .223 Remington as well as the .300 Blackout. Two scopes in the Romanian IOR and American Premier Heritage were also available. The Premier was chosen as the most suitable scope for aesthetics.

The rifle came fitted with the .223 Remington barrel and testing over several range sessions involved using all three barrels and shooting groups at 100m. Conditions ranging from sunshine to gale-force winds tested both rifle and reviewer. The 1:8 twist rate of the 223 Rem barrel stabilised the larger projector better than the lighter ones as expected. For lighter projectiles, twist rates of 1:10 and 1:12 are available and with the switch barrel system it’s possible to swap and match barrel twist rates to various projectile sizes and quality.

Results for accuracy testing of the S&L Legacy at 100m with five three-shot groups the norm. All loads, apart from the Browning BXV in .223 Remington, came with the review rifle.

Ammunition

Best group

Worst group

Average **

.222 Remington - Sako 50gr Gamehead SP

23mm

35mm

28mm

.223 Remington - Sako 113G OTM 69gr

6mm

23mm

15mm

.223 Remington - Sellier & Bellot Match 69gr HPBT

10mm

16mm

14mm

.223 Remington - Buffalo River OSA 55gr Blitz King

16mm

23mm

19mm

.223 Remington - Browning BXV Varmint Expansion 50gr

15mm

26mm

20mm

.300 BLK Buffalo River OSA 125gr PP SN

32mm

80mm

48mm

.300 BLK Remington High Performance Rifle 220gr OTM

n/a

n/a

n/a

** Average calculated from five three-shot groups

The rifle did experience issues firing the Remington .300 Blackout ammunition with loads failing for the first seven loads tested. Primer strike was visible but they failed to fire. The Buffalo River .300 Blackout performed without trouble so hard primers on the Remington loads seems the only explanation. All other loads gave no issues.

All other loads tested in the specific calibres gave a mixed bag of results. The .223 Remington chambering performed above expectation, the .222 Remington and .300 Blackout had to deal with gusty winds as indicated in the groups seen at 100m but overall the rifle performed very well.

Overview

The S&L Legacy was a pleasure to use and is an excellent rifle for the hunter looking for a switch-barrel platform suited to small-scale calibres such as the .223 and .223 Remington, .300 Blackout and the 6x45.

The ability to use the same bolt and magazine for all calibres and simple barrel-changing procedure make for a lovely outfit. The S&L Legacy starts at $2614 (with standard profile barrel), with additional barrels from $1063. More at shultzlarsen.com.

Specifications

Manufacturer: Schultz & Larsen, Denmark

Model: Legacy

Action: Push-feed bolt-action, take-down

Barrel: Chrome moly, cut-rifled. Barrels offered as standard weight (14mm muzzle diameter) or light varmint (18mm muzzle diameter) ‑ calibre dependent.

Calibres: .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .300 Blackout (all tested), 6x45

Sights: None fitted. Receiver machined for proprietary S&L mounts, drilled and tapped for Weaver base or Picatinny rail.

Trigger: Single-stage adjustable

Magazine: Steel, three shots in single column. Five-shot magazines available

Stock: Oil-finished walnut, Grade 1 (test rifle). Higher walnut grades offered (additional cost)

Weight: 2.8kg

Distributor: Gone Hunting Pty Ltd

RRP: $2614 with standard barrel (14mm muzzle diameter), $2824 with light varmint barrel (18mm muzzle diameter). Additional barrels: Standard $1063, Light Varmint $1225.

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