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Larsen trials rifle (Våpensamling)

av jke @, Wisconsin US, torsdag 16. mai 2019, kl. 18:30 (10 dager siden)

Greetings All,

I was told that this rifle was one of Hans Larsen military trials rifles. Can anyone tell me more about it? Also it is marked Jan Mayen, something appears to have been written above "JAN MAYEN" but it has sadly been mostly polished out before rebluing, perhaps a ships name or unit markings? Any information about this rifle will be greatly appreciated.

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Larsen trials rifle

av Øyvind F. ⌂ @, Bergen, torsdag 16. mai 2019, kl. 19:11 (10 dager siden) @ jke

Have you seen this recent thread on the English forum?

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Larsen trials rifle

av jke @, Wisconsin US, torsdag 16. mai 2019, kl. 21:58 (10 dager siden) @ Øyvind F.

Thank you Øyvind.

Larsen trials rifle

av pereh, fredag 17. mai 2019, kl. 16:19 (9 dager siden) @ jke

Hello
Interesting rifle!
Because of the Jan Mayen marking I would think the rifle belongd either to a station or a ship. The Norwegian meteorological institute established a weatherstation at Jan Mayen i 1921. Before that it was only trapping and some scientific activity on the island, and no nations had claimed it. It could be a gun belonging to the meteorolgical station. It also existed a ship, M/S Jan Mayen. It was built in 1942 as an armed trawler, but in 1942 it seems unlikely to put such a rifle on the ship.
Is it possible to get some more information about the letter above "Jan Mayen" They might be helpful.
Good luck!

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Larsen trials rifle

av jke @, Wisconsin US, fredag 17. mai 2019, kl. 19:07 (9 dager siden) @ pereh

Thank you Pereh.

I think you are correct about 1942 being unlikely. Perhaps 1921 might even be a little late for the 12mm rimfire cartridge? I am not sure of course but I would think by that time they would have converted the rifle to centerfire?
I looked again at the markings above "JAN MAYEN" and they appear to be something like the letters "D.H.5.G." although they are very faint and I could be very mistaken. :-D

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Larsen trials rifle

av Øyvind F. ⌂ @, Bergen, lørdag 18. mai 2019, kl. 00:17 (8 dager siden) @ jke

They don't necessarily have to be Norwegian. For example, H. Larsen supplied kammerlader rifles to Scottish seal and whale hunters stationed in Peterhead, Scotland. Perhaps he continued to supply them with more modern cartridge rifles after the kammerlader rifles were obsolete?

At least two whalers/sealers from the Peterhead fleet was named Jan Mayen. One was built as a wood sailing vessel in 1859 in Peterhead and was owned by Tay Whale Fishing Company in 1882. Another was a steamer launched in 1873 in Bremerhafen and was owned by Dundee Polar Fishing Company at the same time.

In 1884 the Jan Mayen belonging to Dundee Polar Fishing Company in Peterhead arrived at Shetland from a Greenland seal hunt with 65 tons of seal oil. The hunters had killed 3,000 young and 800 old seals. In 1882 the company’s other ship, the Nova Zembla with a crew of 55, arrived from Greenland with 10,000 young and old seals, apparently the largest cargo that had been brought from Greenland for many years. The hunt lasted for two months. This is industrial hunting that would require an arsenal of excellent rifles – although a lot of them were probably clubbed to death with the hakapik.

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Larsen trials rifle

av jke @, Wisconsin US, lørdag 18. mai 2019, kl. 19:36 (8 dager siden) @ Øyvind F.

Thank you Øyvind for this very interesting information, I will have to do some more research into the sealing industry.

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Larsen trials rifle

av Øyvind F. ⌂ @, Bergen, lørdag 18. mai 2019, kl. 19:56 (8 dager siden) @ jke

Some more information about Norwegian sealers, Larsen and vessels named Jan Mayen:

The book Bøssemager i Drammen Hans Larsen by M. W. Hauerbach says on page 41 that Hans Larsen and captain Krag was in Tønsberg in 1870 to demonstrate their rifles to the city’s seal hunters. According to a newspaper quoted by Hauerbach, a rapid-firing, simple, strong and secure rifle was of utmost importance to the sealers, because a shot fired in the Arctic Ocean was worth 4 to 5 spesidaler (Norwegian dollar) which equaled the value of a seal. The rifles had to be accurate, because the hunter had to hit the seal’s small brain.

The newspaper also said that the sealers preferred Larsens rifle over that of Krag.

There was at least one sealing vessel from Norway named Jan Mayen in 1870. This year a brig named Jan Mayen arrived in Tønsberg with a load of 2,000 old and 2,900 young seals. In 1874 the result had increased to 4,300 old and 4,000 young. For an early 1870 timeframe, a 12mm cartridge also fit quite well.

In the thread at the English forum there is a similar rifle which seems to be marked “Mar”.

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This could be the Norwegian sealer Marie which was active in 1871 and caught 7,000 young seals. At the same time Jan Mayen had only caught 2,000.

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Larsen trials rifle

av jke @, Wisconsin US, lørdag 18. mai 2019, kl. 23:17 (7 dager siden) @ Øyvind F.

That is very exciting to hear Øyvind. You are a wealth of knowledge, thank you again.

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