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|HAENEL-K.K. SPORT - VINTAGE GERMAN
SINGLE-SHOT .22LR TARGET RIFLE
By Wayne McLerran
I was perusing one of the online firearm auction sites searching for J.
W. Fecker vintage scopes and ran across the subject rifle which
“caught my eye”. At the time I had never heard of a Haenel-K.K.
Sport but it was pictured and being sold with a “Fecker” scope which I’
ve very familiar with. Since I can always use and justify another .22LR
target rifle and/or a Fecker scope, after researching the rifle model I
bid on and won it. Following are photos of the rifle: as purchased and
with a custom copy of the tang sight which was added later and is
discussed in this article. By the way, although American-made, the
excellent Fecker scope was manufactured approximately the same
time as the rifle.
Before getting into the specifics on the models and details on my rifle,
following is a bit of historical information which influenced the
development and model name. Target shooting at paper targets with
large-caliber weapons has been popular in Germany at least since the
second half of the 19th century. In 1862 Germany already had 260
rifle clubs with over 7,000 members. In the USA, the UK, Austria and
Scandinavia, target shooting was very active, but based on the
.22 rim fire cartridge. The Germans, not having the necessary
professional skills shooting small-caliber rifles, did not win in
international competitions until the 1908 London Olympics. This was
the impetus for the production of German sports weapons of small
caliber (Kline Kaliber), hence the K.K. in the model name.
Although I was unable to pin down a more exact date range, the
Haenel-K.K.Sport rifles were manufactured in the 1920’s to 1940’s,
possibly a few years earlier, by the C.G. Haenel factory based in Suhl,
Germany. Founded by Carl Gottlieb Haenel in 1840, the company was
dissolved in 1945 as a result of Soviet occupation. In 2008 CG Haenel
GmbH resumed operation in Suhl with Haenel’s original license and
trademark rights and currently produces modern single-shot, bolt-
action and semi-automatic rifles.
Based on the 534 date code on the bottom of the barrel and under the
forearm of my rifle, it was manufactured in May 1934. Considering it’
s almost 85yrs old with the expected patina on the barrel and
receiver, and some dings on the stock and forearm, the rifles fit and
finish is a prime example of fine German craftsmanship. No doubt
some would consider it over designed for the .22LR, the only
Although online information on the rifles is limited, with the help of
members from two forums I received details on the five models
manufactured including the Olympia model. Good photos would have
been nice but I could not find any worthy to include here. The
following list is certainly not all inclusive since “special equipment” or
accessories could be added to each model. A book by Bruno Guigues
titled "145 German Smallbore Training Rifles" displays several photos
of the rifles. I’m tempted to purchase the book, but it’s a bit
expensive and written in German. By the way, my rifle is a Model 4
• Model 1 - Slim forearm, regular pistol grip, no cheek rest, steel
butt plate, tall inverted “V” front sight blade, rear barrel sight and
• Model 2 - Similar to Model 1 but with “Emperor”-style pistol
grip, regular cheek rest and the same sights as on Model 1.
• Model 3 - Large forearm, straight pistol grip, “Bavarian”-style
cheek rest, globe-style front sight, rear barrel sight and the same tang
sight as on Models 1 & 2.
• Model 4 - Very large forearm, “Emperor”-style pistol grip,
regular cheek rest, rubber butt plate, smaller inverted “V” front sight,
rear barrel sight and upgraded tang sight.
• Olympia Model - Many special features for the Olympic shooter
including the following: double-set trigger, Olympic tang sight, globe-
style front sight, Olympic adjustable butt plate, adjustable palm rest,
“Bavarian”-style cheek rest and modified “Emperor”-style pistol grip.
Features/Details of my Rifle:
When reading the following keep in mind that it’s a description of my
Model 4 rifle with a few comments thrown in for clarification.
• Overall weight - Although Haenel did make lighter weight K.K.
Sport models, the rifle I have is certainly not a lightweight .22 plinking
rifle. With the aperture tang sight installed the rifles weighs 8lbs
weighs 9lbs 12oz with the Fecker scope mounted and no tang sight.
• No safety - One feature or lack thereof which may be
somewhat common, I have no idea, for vintage German made
Schuetzen-style target rifles is the lack of any type of safety. Once
the cartridge is chambered and the breech block fully raised the only
way to disarm the rifle is to lower the breech block.
• Dry firing - Due to the firing pin and breech design, the rifle can
be dry fired, as the old saying goes “until the cows come home”
without any danger of damaging the firing pin, extractor or breech
end of the barrel.
• Extractor - An example of fine German craftsmanship, the
extractor seats almost invisibly into the breech and pushes the
cartridge or spent case out approximately 1/2" when the lever is
pushed down. Just dropping the lever will not extract the case. Since
the extractor is spring-loaded closed by the extractor lever spring
(28), see schematic and parts description, the lever must be pushed
down to extend the extractor.
• Cocking - The internal hammer is cocked by closing (raising) the
lever, not lowering it as is common with all single-shot rifles I’m
• Trigger pull adjustment - A small square-headed sear
engagement adjustment screw (11) is located directly behind the
breechblock and is used to adjust the trigger pull. Turning the
adjustment screw clockwise will decrease the sear engagement
thereby reducing the trigger pull. Although the screw can be turned
by a small wrench the adjustment key used for the factory original
tang sight also fits the screw head. By the way, as displayed in the
following photo, some versions of the rifle came with a metal
protective cover over the adjustment screw that extends down both
sides of the receiver and is held in place by a different style of trigger
plate pin. My rifle did not come with the cover or the compatible
pin. One forum member responding to several of my questions said
the cover strap is humorously referred to as “chastity pants”. I
expect “chastity belt” would also be appropriate.
• Barrel antireflective top - The top flat of the tapering octagon
barrel has a very fine ripple pattern along its full length. Besides
being an attractive feature it’s an antireflective surface. It should
also help dissipate barrel heat if shooting on a very hot day.
• Barrel top dovetail rib - The back half of the barrel has a
15mm wide dovetail top rib, also with the ripple pattern. The rib
allows mounting a rear barrel sight at any location along the rib. The
rifle came with custom slide-on locking adapter bases that mated
with mounts for vintage Fecker or Unertl-style external adjustable
scopes without the need to drill and tap the barrel. The adapters are
made to lock in place at any location along the rib without marring or
damaging the rib. If one wishes to mount a modern scope I know CZ
Arms makes a 16mm to Picatinny/Weaver scope rail adapter that
should fit the dovetail rib.
• Forearm - Most of the large forearm is covered with
checkering and it has a threaded recessed socket on the bottom near
the receiver to accept a palm rest. Mounted on the left rear is an
attachment stud identical to the sling attachment studs on the
bottom of the stock and bottom front of the forearm. Not being a
Schuetzen target shooter I assume it’s to attach some type of a
device or sling to help steady the rifle. The stud was damaged on my
rifle so I removed the damaged portion and formed the top into a
screw-head with a slot. Note – on some versions of the rifle this stud
is mounted on the bottom of the forearm very close to the front of
the receiver. An example can be seen in the earlier photo of the rifle
with the trigger adjustment screw cover plate.
• Front sight - The rifles were available with at least three
styles of front sights: two inverted “V” designs of different heights
and a globe-style as seen on my rifle. The globe-style accepts various
inserts. Lyman 17A inserts will fit. What makes the globe sight and
other compatible sights somewhat uncommon, at least to American
rifles, is they can be easily removed by opening a small latch on the
front of the sight base and sliding out the sight assembly. It’s
certainly an attractive feature and allows for easily switching sights
or removing the sight from the field of view when using a scope.
• Rear tang sight - The rifles were manufactured many decades
ago so it’s common to find them being sold without the tang sight, or
even without the front sight and/or rear barrel sight if a scope was
used. Although my rifle obviously has a front sight it arrived with a
vintage Fecker scope, no rear barrel sight or tang sight. Since finding
original sights may be almost impossible, there’s a fellow that makes
a new (close but not exact) copy of the standard tang sight available
at the time for the Models 1 thru 3. The main differences are the
adjustment screws use US/Imperial threads rather than metric and
the square heads are larger. You may have run across some of his
sights listed on GunBroker and/or eBay. His name is Ron Heilman.
Ron is a craftsman of the first order. In addition to front and tang
sights for the Haenel-K.K. Sport, he also makes custom front and tang
sights for other German Schuetzen rifles. Following are photos of the
tang sight Ron made for me. He can be reached at 253-840-2623 or r.
• Stock - The stock has a cheek rest and pistol grip. The grip
design is referred to as an “Emperor Grip” vs. the normal style pistol
grip pictured earlier on the rifle with the trigger pull adjustment
screw cover and commonly found on American rifles.
• Butt Plate - The butt plate is finely checkered metal rather
than the standard soft rubber butt plate the factory literature listed
as standard on the Model 4.
• Rifle price - Around the time my rifle was manufactured the
Model 4 retail price was approximately 155 RM (Richsmark) which
was the German currency at the time. The exchange rate to US
dollars was 2.61 RM to $1. Therefore, the rifle cost roughly $59.
Prior to attempting disassembly I researched available online
information and attempted to locate a schematic and direction on
disassembling/reassembling the receiver. Already being a long-term
member of the American Single Shot Rifle Association (ASSRA) forum,
I also joined the German Gun Collectors Association (GGCS) forum.
Although I found some limited general information, no schematic or
disassembly instructions were available. After posting a request on
the ASSRA forum I received a schematic and parts description from a
very helpful member by the name of Rodney Storie (aka “rodneys”).
With the schematic and parts description in hand the receiver was
disassembled which was relatively easy. Following are my notes from
the process. I’m not sure if it’s required, but to be safe drift out the
sear pin (12) and trigger plate pin (21) left to right with the rifle
upright and the muzzle forward, reinstall in
the opposite direction.
• Push out the large finger lever pin (27). The pin should come
out easily since it’s being held in place by a retainer spring (3) that
snaps into a detent groove around the center of the pin. With the
forearm removed the end of the spring is visible.
• Remove the finger lever (26) which includes the trigger guard
and the bottom of the receiver.
• Drift out the trigger plate pin (21). This pin will likely be
different on rifles with a trigger adjustment screw cover which my
rifle does not have. See earlier comments.
• Remove the trigger assembly.
• Drift out the sear pin (12).
• Remove the sear (14). Be sure not to lose the sear plunger
(not shown in drawing) and sear spring (13) located in the top of the
sear which can inadvertently fall out.
• Remove the extractor lever (29) and spring (28). After
removing the lever and spring the extractor (30) should to be easy to
remove since there should be nothing holding it in place, but it
refused to come out all the way with a moderate amount of force, so
I pushed back in and fully seated it in the normal retracted position. I
expect there was a burr holding it in due to the close machining
• Push out the breech block pin (2) that holds the breech block
and hammer assembly. It should come out easily as did the finger
lever pin (27).
• Remove the breech block and hammer assembly.
No attempt was made to further disassemble the trigger assembly and
breechblock assembly. Disassembling the trigger assembly should be
straight forward and easy, but I expect that removing and reinstalling
the hammer into the breechblock assembly could be a bit tricky due
to the strong hammer main spring.
To reassemble everything, follow the above directions in reverse
order and see the following notes:
• When installing the large pins (2) and (27) you may not feel or
hear the retainer spring snap into the detent groove so push them in
until they protrude evenly out both sides of the receiver.
• When installing the trigger assembly, be sure the extractor
lever spring (28) is compressed by the trigger assembly. I.e. with the
receiver upside down, compress the spring below the trigger assembly
as the assembly is lowered in place and the trigger plate pin (21) is
With its large forearm, no safety, able to accept a palm rest, tang
sight and other attachments, the rifle is clearly designed to be a
target rifle. Unfortunately, due to its internal hammer it’s not legal
to use in sanctioned “official” .22BPCR matches. And due to its size
and weight (around 9lbs or more depending on installed sights) it’s
not intended to be easily carried around in the woods or field,
squirrel or rabbit hunting. But each time I pick it up and admire it, it
“grows on me”. It’s a “keeper”.
Wishing you great shooting,