Good-looking, well-built, easy to handle and impressively accurate, this trim rifle from Schultz & Larsen is a practical choice for shooting deer or fox, says Bruce Potts
Schultz & Larsen (S&L) comes from Denmark and has a long history of making precision rifles and barrels. It has become a household name for its excellent cut rifled barrels and its new CNC machinery produces quality at an a ordable price. Schultz & Larsen offers a good range for stalking rifles and this Legacy model is designed for small-calibre rounds such as the .222 and .223 Remington calibres, with my favourite option the .300 AAC Blackout. The Legacy is a small, trim rifle weighing 6.2lb (2.8kg) that offers a smooth bolt action with a detachable magazine and quality walnut stock.
Action and barrel
The action is all-steel construction and really well made or proportioned for the smaller-calibre rounds that it is designed to shoot. As with the barrel, it wears a rich, deep-blued finish and nicely scalloped faceted wall sides, with the action top drilled and tapped to accept scope mount bases. But it is also cut with integral grooves for proprietary strong and lightweight S&L all-steel scope mounts, which are available in a range of diameters and heights.
So, the choice is yours: Picatinny one-piece for night-vision sight use or scope tube for conventional sights. The bolt itself is well machined, all steel with a polished body that has a three-lug locking system for a good strength lockup and short bolt lift. It is designed to take three times the normal pressure load, which is reassuring.
There is a Sako-type extractor for positive extraction and a strong plunger-type ejector that really ings out empty red cases. The bolt handle has a low 60° arc, courtesy on three-lug system, and I like the straight bolt stem and teardrop polished bolt knob for a firm, comfortable grip.
On S&L rifles, the three-lug bolt locks directly into the chamber end of the barrel so that none of the pressure on ring is transmitted to the action body. This also means that you change switch barrels with a tool supplied and by loosening two locking screws that tighten the receiver around the barrel.
Barrels are screw-cut for a sound moderator with a standard slim Sporter profile and 21in length in this .223 cartridge, though the 30 AAC Blackout is 17in. S&L barrels are all cut rifled, which offers an ultra-precise internal finish and precision to the rifling that means better and more consistent accuracy and longer life than a button-rifled barrel because the barrels are totally stress-free. They have a slightly tight or choked to the barrel muzzle, again for better accuracy potential, and each barrel is hand-lapped so that the barrel’s bore gets less fouled.
Trigger, magazine and stock
The trigger is precise. The blade itself has a steel long slim profile with a good curve for positive grip. It is single stage, adjustable and this model broke cleanly at 2.2lb. The safety catch is a three-position lever type. Forward is fire, central allows the bolt to operate and unload the rifle but block the trigger, while rear-most it locks both the bolt and firing pin.
The detachable all-steel and blued magazine will please hunters because it is easy to remove and switch to a different bullet type if necessary via a small button catch in front of the magazine.
S&L has a great array of walnut stock grade options to choose from. This is a grade two for £165, while for those who love a good figure and walnut grain, the grade four upwards will not fail to please. This excellence is not just skin deep, as the Legacy’s action is well bedded, with a synthetic material to maximise accuracy potential in all climates, and the barrel has a small amount of support just ahead of the action join. The stock design is pure classic in appearance and, like the action, is perfectly proportioned to the overall rifle profile.
The butt section has a small amount of cast with an elevating comb section for scope use, with the pistol grip being particularly comfortable. It has a nice palm swell and longish rake finished off, as with the fore-end, with hand-cut chequering.
There is no cheekpiece, and it does not need it because the quality walnut and design are sufficient to support and achieve aesthetic appeal. Finally, the stock has a very nice traditional oiled-linseed finish, again bringing out the quality of the walnut and being practical for field use.
Field test results
Accuracy and targets
I fitted an S&L Ultradome sound moderator and a Zeiss scope in the S&L 30mm rings. First, even with the moderator fitted, the Legacy handled well and was balanced. The noise reduction was impressive as was almost no felt recoil at all. The .223 barrel on test has a 1-in-12in rifling twist rate and digested the 35-gr to 55-gr bullets with ease.
Best factory load was the Norma 50-hr Ballistic Tip, with a velocity of 3,370fps from the 21in barrel for 1,261ft/lb energy — three shots into 0.75in at 100 yards. This load would be a good small-species deer load and is legal for roe in Scotland as well as fox.
Reloads were equally impressive, with a good, flat shooting fox load being the Hornady 40-gr V-Max bullet travelling at 3,588fps and 1,144ft/lb energy from a payload of 24.5 grains of Alliant RL10X powder. Three shots grouped consistency gave 0.50in clusters. I used Federal Match small primers for all the loads.
Loading, ejection, feel and accuracy of this Legacy was impeccable and gave real assurance in reliability and hitting your mark, every time.
If you appreciate a good-looking, well-built rifle in the traditional style and old-fashioned attention to detail, but using the latest technology, the new S&L Legacy is the rifle for you. Certain rifles just feel right in the hold and aim and this Legacy is one of them. It is perfectly proportioned as a small-calibre vermin/fox rifle and equally at home as a small-species deer rifle.