News & Events


May 19, 2024

MAGICAL RECORDS: FANZOJ SINGLE SHOT RIFLE KB-1 TI CARBON

(English translation)

A passionate mountain hunter describes in “Jagen Weltweit” No. 5/2023 how a bold idea was born and implemented by the Johann Fanzoj firm. Result: World Weight Champion.

(by Hubertus E. Neumann, Jagen Weltweit)

Basically: It’s completely pointless to carry around unnecessary weight, whether at hunting or anywhere else.

The client of the Kipplauf rifle described here is a passionate mountain hunter who has been hunting worldwide exclusively with Single shot break-down rifles for decades. The charm of a Kipplauf rifle is obvious: like other rifles, it is not derived from a weapon of war, it was developed solely and exclusively for hunting. That makes “her” likeable.

The Kipplauf has many advantages and only two disadvantages: The advantages: it is lighter, shorter, more manageable and slimmer than, for example, a repeating rifle. It can also be taken apart, and reloading can be done silently. Also – very subjectively: it is, next to the double rifle and the block rifle, the most elegant hunting rifle.

Let’s look at the disadvantages of a break-barrel rifle: Reloading takes a little longer than with a repeating rifle, and it is usually more expensive.

Some people believe that the Kipplauf rifle only has one shot. This is of course nonsense. If you’re good, you can reload in 2 seconds with a bolt-action rifle, and you can do it in 5 seconds with a tilt barrel. We’re talking about a difference of 3 seconds.

The already mentioned weight of one’s own equipment is an essential issue for many mountain and wilderness hunters, including for the client of this rifle. He already has a Kipplauf rifle that weighs around 3.5 kg with scope and silencer, but “better is the enemy of good” – now he is aiming for a total weight of 3 kg.

Especially when hunting in the mountains, you often carry your rifle for many hours and many meters in altitude, uphill and downhill, even through bushes – for this it has to be light and short. But some people say that you wouldn’t hit as well with a light rifle. Yes, that may be true in some cases, but with enough practice you can master a super-light rifle perfectly. This way you can save yourself the extra kilos that you would only really need at the moment of the shot.

The now commonplace use of a silencer is a major improvement in everyday hunting in many ways. The fact that the silencer also reduces recoil, makes a lightweight rifle more manageable. But it also weighs something, the rifle becomes heavier – and longer. So we have to slim down somewhere else.

Now comes the question of caliber. The specifications were: The cartridge must be suitable for a silencer, so it must achieve the desired performance with a fairly short barrel. The conditions for choosing the cartridge were very clear: a 300 m rutting stag or a large wild sheep must die immediately in the area of impact if it is hit well.

This condition – enough power from a short barrel – is fulfilled by the 8.5 x 55 Blaser and also the 8.5 x 63 Reb e.g. very well. The decision then fell rather arbitrarily on the 8.5 x 63.

The Hunt for Records

Now the specifications were set and a gunsmith had to be found who could build a Single shot break-down rifle in 8.5 x 63 with a maximum gross weight of 3 kg.

3 kg gross means: The naked rifle can only weigh 2 kg!

Most gunmakers politely declined, with creative reasons. Only Johann Fanzoj, CEO Patrick Fanzoj, from Ferlach took up the challenge. He didn’t focus on possible problems, but rather looked for solutions from the very first moment.

Innovation as a Mindset

It was clear that the task would be approached using the most modern materials. The base, a highly stable tilting block mechanism, and as many other parts as possible should be made of titanium. It is light, strong and rustproof. Compared to a Kipplauf rifle made of steel, titanium saves weight by around 200–400 grams. As little material as possible should be used throughout the project – limiting it to what is technically absolutely necessary.

Of course, the only possible stock material was carbon. It is light, stable and easy to care for, and also has a weight saving compared to wood. In addition, a well-shaped carbon stock itself absorbs some of the recoil energy.

As far as I know, a carbon stock on a Kipplauf rifle is only available from a well-known German manufacturer. But this stock is overloaded, it combines an unnecessary amount of materials and weighs about the same as a wooden stock.

The Johann Fanzoj firm worked with the client to design his personal individual stock shape: as simple as possible, with as little stock material as possible. Of course there is nothing to adjust because the owner intends to keep his exact body shape, e. g. maintain the length of his neck approximately.

But all of that wasn’t enough: for 2 kg net, you have to save weight somewhere else!

The lightest “Kipplauf” (single-shot break-down) rifle in the world

The only additional possibility to save weight was the barrel – so a carbon fiber-coated barrel was needed. There are already a few suppliers of this for repeating rifles, but this is considered the world’s first attempt at a single shot break-down rifle.

The Fanzoj company approached the challenge, inquired, tinkered and tried things out – and found a solution: a steel barrel, 56 cm/ 22 inch, was wrapped with carbon by hand.

Because the silencer is also a significant weight factor, the Fanzoj company had Freyr & Devik develop a super-light and short silencer that, at 17 cm/6,7 inch long, weighs only 162 g (!) and still achieves a useful noise reduction.

Aesthetics and class

A slim hunting rifle with elegant lines is also about aesthetics. A rifle “may” also be beautiful. Usually, especially in Ferlach, they work with exquisite stock wood and decorative engravings, both of which this rifle cannot boast of. The technology that flew into the design and engineering, however, is most extraordinary and the rifle in question can – subjectively – be considered beautiful even without engraving and without wood.

After numerous attempts and a lot of discard, the result was ready: a Kipplauf rifle in caliber 8.5 x 63, which with a large rifle scope (up to 28x) and the small silencer weighs exactly 2,950  grams/6,5l bs! This has never happened before!

The first test of fire was of course on the shooting range. It should be lead-free bullets, because the owner has been shooting almost exclusively lead-free for many years with great success, mainly because of the eagles and vultures.

With factory cartridges from Brenneke and the Ballistics Laboratory, scatter circles (always 3 shots) of approx. 3 cm/1,1 inch could be achieved at 100 m, and at 300 m – much more interestingly – of approx. 7 cm/2,75 inch. This is good and completely sufficient for hunting. The owner does not shoot at healthy game much further than 300 m.

With a handload from the Bernhard Klaus ammunition manufacturer, 12g/185gr Barnes TTSX, and with cartridges from SkaDi, an 11 g/170 gr lead-free bullet, the revelation came: With this, the owner regularly achieves scatter circles of approx. 3 cm/1,1 inch at 300 m! This is a sensational achievement for “a rifle that weighs nothing.” For a shot like this you usually need a 10 kg/25 lbs target rifle… and other good ingredients.

After the shooting range, the rifle was able to prove itself also on the hunt. In snow, rain, sun, heat, cold – in the lowlands and in the mountains – in everyday hunting, the rifle has always met the requirements perfectly. It is reliable, precise, robust, easy to maintain and deadly.

The shooting behavior of this extremely light rifle can be described as absolutely unproblematic. Thanks to the straight stock shape, carbon fiber and silencer, recoil is noticeable but harmless on the shooting range. It is hardly noticeable when hunting.

The Zeitgeist brings us predominantly technically overloaded products, stuffed with every imaginable material, extras, ballast and pointless adjustment options. Even things as simple as hunting rifles sometimes look like science fiction weapons of war. Almost no one has mastered the “high art of omission” anymore.

The company Johann Fanzoj from Ferlach is taking an exceptionally innovative approach. It builds exclusive hunting rifles for demanding and confident hunters who enjoy hunting successfully with as “little rifle” as possible.

TECHNOLOGY AT A GLANCE

Maker: JOHANN FANZOJ, Ferlach/Austria
Model: exclusively handcrafted “Kipplauf” Single-shot break-down rifle KB-1 TI Carbon
Caliber: 8.5 x 63 Reb
Closure: ultra-stable tilting block, designed for new high-performance calibers
Action: Titanium grade 5
Trigger: Fanzoj direct trigger
Trigger weight: 750 g/1,65 lbs
Barrel: special development (carbon-mantled barrel)
Barrel length: 56 cm/22 inch, with MÜ thread M14
Stock: Special development – individually designed & manufactured custom carbon stock
Scope mount: Special development – Johann Fanzoj Titanium tilt mount (140g)
Riflescope: Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28 x50
Weight: 1980g (without accessories)/2950g (with accessories), World Weight Champion!
Accessories: Special development Freyr & Devik Titanium silencer, scope w scope mount
Total length: 100cm/39inch (at 37 cm/14,5 inch stock length)
Price: POD

ADVANTAGES

+ Ultra-high-tech hunting tool in a luxury rifle
+ World (light)weight champion
+ Carbon custom stock
+ Carbon barrel
+ Stable tilting block closure, designed for new high-performance calibers
+ Ultra-stable scope mount: special development based on military models
+ Ultra-light titanium silencer – joint development with Freyr & Devik
+ Excellent shooting comfort
+ Excellent precision

DISADVANTAGES

None

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