Help with Chambering ID for J.P. Sauer & Sohn w/Photos


I work P/T at the local gun shop and a customer brought in one of his late father’s rifles to try and identify it and it’s chambering. A photos worth a thousand words so here goes:

Single Shot Centerfire Bolt Action, octagonal barrel, Set triggers. Barrel wedge, and what apears to be an ornamental tortoise shell grip behind the triggers. I do not know what model this rifle is or when it was made. It’s overall appearance reminds me of a couple of flobert parlor guns that I’ve seen.

I made a chamber cast using cerrosafe and posed it next to a .45 Colt shell casing:

Here’s how she measures out:

Rim Diameter: 13.10mm / .516"
Base Diameter: 12.15mm / .478"
Neck Diameter: 12.05mm / .474"
Case Length: 40.80mm / 1.606"
Bore is around 11mm / .433"

I’m not very good with a micrometer so there probably are some measurement errors. If more photos would help I’d be happy to take them. The rifle appears to be sound but seems to be missing its extractor. I’d like to try and ID the chambering and rifle for the gentleman. If this isn’t the proper place to post this please advise me where I might find some help.
Thanks in advance,

Edited to add that’s it’s a Centerfire


Doug, from the dimensions given, I would say that this was chambered for the German 11.15x40R LK Express cartridge. These LK cartridges (where ‘LK’ is believed to mean “Lancaster Kugel”) originated as brass shotshell cases and were first loaded with plain lead bullets. There were also 50, 52, 55, 60 and 65mm case lengths. Many Sauer rifles and combination guns were loaded for these LK case types.


Thank you!

I do believe that is correct. I cross posted this rifle on another website and a poster there believes the rifle is a sporterized French Gras. The bolt does lead me to believe that may be correct as well.

Thanks for sharing your expertise.


Have you got a closer picture of the action and receiver? The Gras rifles I’ve seen have a distinct cocking-piece on the bolt, but it’s operated automatically by the bolt, and this one looks like it has a separate hammer.


The rifle does automatically cock when the action is opened. The lever on the end of the bolt threads on to the rear of the firing pin. It’s position can also be changed by manipulating the lever. It might function as a safety by drawing the firing pin deeper into the bolt to prevent it from striking the cartridge’s primer. I’m guessing as to the rear lever’s function but in one position it is off to the RH side. In the other position it is verticle and would prevent the operator from looking through the sights.

In this photo the rifle is pointed to the right and the “gas relief cut” can be seen behind the chamber. That is a Gras feature.

Cocked bolt:

Disassembled bolt (no tools required):

If you’d like more photos please let me know.