Solothurn S18-1000 20mm

Apr 15, 2013

The Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI severely limited Germanys ability to conduct research and development of military hardware. In order to circumvent this the German firm of Rheinmetall acquired a controlling interest in the Swiss firm of Solothurn. Solothurn developed some interesting small arms in the 1920’s and 30’s. The S18-1000 was their premium Anti-Tank rifle, semi automatic firing the 20 x 138B round. Commercial sales were disappointing and as an anti tank rifle she was obsolete before WWII started. These rifles did see limited use, mainly in North Africa. Many were sold as surplus into the US in the sixties for $189.50!

She weights approx 120 lbs and is over 7 feet long. The cocking handle is a crank, two and a half turns are required to pull the breech block to the rear, the breech block is held to the rear by the sear and the crank reversed two and a half turns. When a loaded mag is inserted the breech block “thunders” forward and chambers a round. She is equipped with a telescopic sight, the body of which is machined as part of the receiver and has back up iron sights.

My good buddy Craig has started reloading ammo for her, the lighter bullets we have were failing to make her cycle but the rifles were originally supplied with several different sized breaks to suit different ammo types. I have been fortunate to locate an original two hole break so our lighter ammo she operate the action well now. Both the Italians and the Swiss had a wheeled mount for this girl, one of them would make a good conversation piece.


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