There is certainly something timeless about owning and shooting a singleshot rifle. The onus is put more squarely on the shooter to put the shot exactly where they aim as there is only one available to them. Krieghoff offers superbly built rifles and shotguns of varying construction. Its new Hubertus single-shot model is as classic a stalking rifle as one can get, offering superb handling, fit and finish with perfect one-shot accuracy to point of aim. Calibre choice is diverse, as is the amount of styling and embellishment that one wishes to apply to the basic Hubertus design. The rifle on test was a standard-quality model in 7x57R calibre, but was none the worse for it in fact, it represented excellent quality with only the increase in monetary investment relating to outward appearance, not performance.
Barrel and sights
The barrel is easily removed and exchanged for a differing calibre by removing the fore-end and opening the action so the barrel is removed like a shotgun. There is a non-ejector that rides on twin transfer bars set in the lower action and gently presents the spent case for you to pick out of the chamber. The barrel has a muzzle diameter of 0.614in and 0.888in at the chamber end, so it is nicely tapered with a smart-looking and functional quarter rib all finished in a smooth deep-blue overall. This has a rearsight set into the leading edge that is used in conjunction with the highly visible foresight tipped with gold and adjustable for height. Scope mounts are mounted via a swivel mounting system. The front mount secures via a dovetail lug and the rear mount locks on to a machined recess to the rear of the quarter rib. A small catch on the rear scope base allows the scope to be swung off in an instant.
Action, trigger and safety
The action is available in either a lightweight Dural (aluminium) or traditional steel. This model had the all-steel action with a nitrited finish, which gives the Hubertus a solid feel with the weight balanced well when a scope is fitted. This model did not come with sideplates, though they are available, and you can choose how much engraving you have on them. This model came with attractive scroll engraving on the bottom and both sides of the action. The top of the action is nicely scalloped and houses the typical top-lever, shotgun style, that, when pushed open to the right, unlatches the barrel to drop open.
There is a large locking bar activated by the top catch that locks securely into the rear of the barrel lugs. In fact, there are four lugs: two to the rear and two in the front. The front two secure under a solid hinge pin that allows the barrel to tilt forward while still being retained within the action body.
The trigger is probably the best single-set unit I have tested. It has a creep-free, crisp single-stage pull when not set. When it is, by pushing the trigger-blade slightly forward until a click is heard, the weight of trigger release is lowered to 1lb. Be careful, however. The action features a manual cocking lever named a Combi-Cocking Device, instead of the traditional safety catch. This has the advantage that the Hubertus can be carried loaded, but with the rifle decocked and thus perfectly safe. When it is moved to the up position, revealing a red dot, it recocks the internal hammer and is ready to fire.
A superb stock
The best feature is the stock, not only for its superb design but because of the quality of walnut used, and its styling and handling. That may be waxing lyrical, but when you pick the Hubertus up you instantly feel that you have a perfectly balanced and highly pointable rifle that comes to the aim naturally. The slender fore-end, which is 10in long by 1.5in wide, houses the single release catch inset into the walnut. The wood-to-metal fit is perfect. Hand-cut chequering wraps around the side and continues on the bottom, finished off with the obligatory Schnabel fore-end.
Equally good is the classic Bavarian butt stock. Though it has a dropped comb, the integral cheekpiece is ample for a comfortable fit and has two nice flutes scalloped into the lower section. Again, the walnut has good colour and a striking grain pattern with an oil finish that gives warmth to the stock and is correct for this type of rifle. The butt-pad is a solid black rubber with a spacer and the whole stock design delivers recoil in a straight line to minimise upward thrust into the cheek. Little touches such as that can make all the difference and can endear one to a rifle.