The Last Kaiser's Sporter

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Designed by German master gunsmith Louis Schlegelmilch at the Royal Arsenal in Spandau, this bolt-action takedown rifle was one of a group of prototype arms made for Kaiser Wilhelm II and his hunting parties. Built around an action similar to the Mauser Model 1888, this unique design, requiring no tools for complete disassembly, was originally intended for military application. Only three examples are known, Nos. 1, 2 and 3, with each rifle varying slightly in bolt configuration, sights, trigger style and engraving. This rifle is serialed as No. 1.

Now on loan to the National Firearms Museum, this piece is one of the arms represented in "Regal Guns of Royal Houses," an exhibit incorporating the guns of presidents, kings and other heads of state.

Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, October 2004.