SINGLE SHOT BREAK-DOWN RIFLE: THE CHALLENGETO TAKE GAME WITH A SINGLE, PRECISE SHOT


The Single shot stalking rifle, or Kipplauf, best reflects best our Alpine-European hunting tradition: The idea of being part of nature, of putting one’s skills and intuition to the test, and to take game with a single, precise shot. This is hunting at its most elemental form – and hunting at its finest.

Our company history is closely connected to the single-shot rifle. We were asked to build this model previously for noblemen and the Austrian imperial court back in the 19th century. The archaic tradition of hunting constantly calls for new visions. As pioneers, we are challenged to combine traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology and to carry on the fascination inherent in these ancient human traditions.

The „art of building bridges“ has been successful: The innovative power and passion of our 230-year-old family firm is most evident in our single shot rifle models.

One might ask if the origin of our current Central European hunting practice can be traced back and attributed to a single person, and the anwser is yes.

Archduke John of Austria (1782–1859)

Marshal and imperial regent (Reichsverweser) of the short-lived German Empire during the Revolutions of 1848; patron of moderniization, (agri)culture and art, who was excluded from succession to the Habsburg throne for marrying a „common“ lady. Anyone who researches the hunting reforms introduced in the 19th century will inevitably come across him.

Erzherzog Johann on the „Hochschwab“/Styria, Austria, 1839

At that time, the situation of hunting was tense, because until the revolution years of 1848 (the middle of the 19th century), the right to hunt was reserved solely for the aristocracy. To the increasing outrage (discontent) of the common people, as in some cases excessively high game populations led to large game damage, which reduced the already meager agricultural yields – and opened the door to poaching (die „Wildschützen“).

On the other side Aristocratic feudal hunting practices (Riegeljagden) were excessive and decimated Europe´s wild game in quick succession. Game was chased on horse with dogs, trapped and cornered with nets, in ditches. The hunting success of the noble gentlemen was measured by the number of animals taken.

Archduke Johann implemented far-reaching reforms that have shaped Central European hunting practice to this day. in 1850 he ruled that “The game should no longer be merely an object of the lust for hunting. In addition to the right to hunt, there was now an obligation „to look after the game, to preserve the game, and to treat the game with respect”.

He rebuilt the wild game numbers through new regulations using area systems and so-called professional hunters. For example, he had only certain parts of the area hunted and then placed them under “protection” for several years.

As a role model for many of his hunting guests, it was important to him that strict selection criteria for the game that could be hunted were set for society hunts on his property. For example, during “Gamsriegler” (driven hunts on chamois) guests were not allowed to shoot a female or fawn and each shooter had to use a single-shot rifle.

It is said that Archduke Johann was inspired by the „peasant poachers“ („Wildschützen“), who hunted in secret, for meat and had to make sure that the game fell in the fire, and that it was killed immediately.

Archduke Johann's Single Shot

"With a single barrel you learn to shoot clean, save your shots and fire at the right time“. (Archduke Johann´s principle)

The forerunner of the modern single shot rifle: a flintlock rifle (muzzle loader), specially converted for Archduke Johann, with a short octagonal barrel, in caliber 15.5 / 14.2 mm (rifling) already has a German set trigger and a sighting device. The wooden trigger guard, the butt plate and the ramrod eyelets are brass-covered.

With the exception of the golden coat of arms and some silver inlays on the barrel, the rifle is of of elegant simplicity which is said to reflect the archduke’s mindset and appreciation for hunting and wild animals.

Travelling forward in time a bit, almost a hundred years later. We immerse ourselves in a bygone era, in the historic Bad Ischl, summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830–1916) – the “eternal” last emperor of the Habsburg Danube monarchy (he ruled for 68 years). There, everyone of social rank and name met to celebrate lavish parties with the Emperor and his beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) – and to celebrate the hunt. It was here, where a special rifle model world became famous: the ISCHLERSTUTZEN.

The Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl, Upper Austria, was the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sisi.

The mansion is currently the residence of their great-grandson Archduke Markus Emanuel Salvator, on the pics with Johann and Ilse Fanzoj.

The “Ischlerstutzen”

TRADITIONAL. ELABORATE. BEAUTIFUL.

The Ischler short rifle became popular at the end of the 19th Century, when Emperor Franz Joseph I presented it at his society hunts in Bad Ischl, Austria. It was elegant, with perfect handling, relatively light in weight, perfect for calm targeted shots from a good position, for distances of nearly 80m – and worlds apart from the heavy large-caliber muzzleloaders commonly used before this time. The octagonal barrel was cradled in a full length stock- forend (with a decorative horn end-cap at the muzzle) which protected it from damage and also prevented clanging noises that might scare game. The aristocratic hunters were thrilled and the rifle has been called the “Ischler short rifle” ever since.

Emperor Francis Joseph I, Bad Ischl 1912. To his right the great-grandfather of Johann Fanzoj senior, who crafted the Ischler-short-rifle model for the emperor.

Johann Fanzoj sen. gives his prelude to the hunting season every year with his original Ischlerstutzen from 1912, cal. 8x50R made by his great-grandfather for emperor Franz Joseph I.

More than a century ago our company Johann Fanzoj crafted this “Ischler short rifle” for Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I. We still build this unique hammer rifle today. A handcrafted delight with a nostalgic flair, reminiscent of bygone times and the glory of the Habsburg emperors.

In the past few decades some amazing rifles have emerged from our workshop.

READ MORE
-> www.fanzoj.com/collection/single-shot-rifles/ischler-short-rifle

A lot of water has flowed down the Loiblbach stream to Ferlach since then. Times have changed and our portfolio has expanded. At our workshop today, tradition and exceptional craftsmanship blend seamlessly with advanced technology to create unique technical and artistic masterpieces. We build a fascinating variety of classic models – both shotguns and rifles, as well as multi-caliber special commissions – and now work with high-tech materials such as titanium and even carbon fibre.

Our heart still belongs to the single shot rifle. With the new model KB-1 we have introduced an evolution to the classic break-down single shot rifle that has attracted worldwide attention. Our Fanzoj Kipplauf KB-1 combines outstanding accuracy and durability with elegance and history.

This corresponds more than ever to the ZEITGEIST.

READ MORE
-> www.fanzoj.com/craftsmanship-walk-4
-> www.fanzoj.com/collection/single-shot-rifles



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