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Sauer & Sohn history in short

Sauer & Sohn Suhl 1751 to 1947

Sauer & Sohn Suhl was founded 1751 by Lorenz Sauer in Suhl. In the beginning the company only worked with military contracts, but a smaller amount of civilian weapons was made.

1774 the company was run by Lorenz Sauer and J.S. Spangenberg. The company 1815 handed over to Johann-Gottlob Sauer, who in his turn handed the firm to Paul Sauer and Ferdinand Spangenberg 1835

1839 the company changed name to Spangenberg & Sauer after Ferdinand Spangenberg and Johann Paul Sauer.

1840 the company changed the name to "J. P. SAUER & SOHN" and Lorenz Sauer joins the company.

1849 the company was divided between Sauer and Spangenberg famlilies and for some time the company "Spangenberg, Sauer u. Sturm Suhl" existed.

1873 Rudolf and Franz Sauer starts again the comapny J.P. Sauer & Sohn. Under 1880 to 1890 some guns was made under the name L. Sauer - Suhl.

1852 J.P. Sauer moved to Steinweg 37 in Suhl

1870 Sauer wins a order on 150 000 rifles for the German army. Up to then this was the largest order in the history of Sauer

1880 the company slowly shifted focus from military production to civilian production due to lack of military orders. A display room was opened in Berlin Franzsicherstrasse 40-41.

1881 Patent for the invention of the three barreled gun (the drilling).

1881 the Sauer company presents a unique SBS rifle that should be a landmark for all modern double rifles for smokeless powder. Together with Friedrich Krupp Sauer develops special steel for barrels.

1882 The first catalogue is produced. Rudolf and Franz Sauer is the only shareholders and runs the company.

1891 patent 60492 for extractor a breech loading gun, and the first patent for expanding bullets.

Sauer introduce Krupp Special steel in four different types:

1. Krupp laufstahl

2. Special Gewehr Laufstahl, Fried.Krupp A.G. Essen.

3. Krupp-Inerso-Laufstahl.

4. Fried.Krupp A.G. Essen Nirosta.

1894 Franz Sauer runs the company and once again the company opens a display room and smaller workshop in Berlin.

1900 the shop in Berlin moves to Jägerstrasse 59-60.

1905 Franz son Hans Sauer joins the company.

1911 Franz son Rolf joins the company.

1912 Suhl Proofhaus change to a crowned N in April 1912.

1913 the company opens a display room and smaller workshop in Hamburg, Brandstwiete 28.

1914-1918 mostly war production.

1915 Mod. 25 Drilling is introduced.

1918 and the years after the war the company is down on it knees and makes typewriters and bikes, temporarily the company is moved to Thüringen and once again starts to develop sporting guns.

1920 the company sticks to sporting guns since all military production is forbidden, the company moves back to Suhl..

1930 Mod. 30 Light steel drilling is introduced.

1931 Mod. 31 Bockbüchsflinte / over and under is introduced.

1932 Mod. 32 lightweight drilling, a somewhat simplified version of the drilling m/30 is introduced due to the harsh economical times. The shop in Berlin is closed.

1933 Mod. 33 Bockbüchsflinte / over and under is introduced

1936 Mod. 36 and 37 Kipplaufbüchse is introduced

1937 the company is controlled by Hans Sauer and Rolf Sauer.

1939-1945 military production, from 1943 all production is controlled by military command.

Sauer & Sohn Eckernförde 1951 to 2000

History in short and some vital years.

1945 Hans Sauer continues production under Soviet occupation.

1946 Sauer & Sohh Suhl makes 9500 guns for hunting, all exported/confiscated by Soviet.

1947 Sauer & Sohn Suhl is expropriated by the Soviet military administration SMath. Most of the machinery is sent to Sestorosk to form the basis of the factory who’s production we today know as Baikal.

So all guns branded Sauer, Vorm Sauer, Sauer & Sohn that is made in Suhl after 1947 are not made by Sauer - they are made by Fortuna or Thälmann. And are by no means a genuine Sauer & Sohn.

1948 VEB Fortuna is founded on the remains of Sauer & Sohn Suhl

1951 VEB Fortuna is amalgamated with VEB Mewa Ernst Thälmann. From 1951 Thälman makes m/8, m/29E, the drillings m/30 and m/32 from Sauers production before the war. In the beginning they have a lot of material from Sauers prewar production and the guns are normally engraved with either of the following trade names: Merkel, Sauer & Sohn Suhl, Vorm. Sauer and plain Sauer.

1951 Sauer & Sohn Eckernförde is started by Rolf Sauer in Eckerförde in West Germany, and the first gun to make is the m/8. No drawings was rescued from Suhl so Sauer started by taking a prewar m/8 into pieces and make the drawings from that gun. Since Sauer & Sohn Suhl was founded 1751 one cannot by being impressed that they managed in less than a year to start up production. The production started in december, on the 20:th of december.

1955 a updated version of the drilling m/30 as m/3000.

1957 Sauer starts to produce guns for Weatherby due to Sauer very high quality production.

1961 Sauer is sold to Dynamit Nobel, and again 1965 to the Murmann family. The production of quality guns in Eckerförde continues.

1972 common production between SIG and Sauer.

1974 J.P. Sauer is now a part in the Swiss concern SIG. The production at J-. P. Sauer at Sauer Weg, Eckernförde is expanding. Approx. 10% of the staff works with development.

1984 Sauer m/200 is introduced, one of the first models with easily replaceable barrels. Sauer and Franchi presents a over and under shotgun that is sold in large quantities.

1993 Sauer m/202 is introduced.

2000 Sauer celebrates its 250-years jubilee. The company is sold to Michael Löke and Thomas Ortmeier by SIG Holding Inc.


Sauer & Sohn Links

A very good article in Danish about Sauer&Sohn history including a list of serial numbers from 1880 to 1924 by Peter Ravn Lund:



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Senast uppdaterad/Last update: 2013-06-04