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History of Krieghoff 32 & 80

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Barrelbulge(Fl), Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I found a few old posts by B Dodd. on Krieghoff. There are a couple of notable posts so I am reposting from 2008. Bulge.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subject: History of Krieghoff Shotguns
    From: BDodd
    Date: Thu, Oct 30, 2008 - 09:47 PM ET
    Website Address:

    There has been a number of inquiries here about where the Rem. 32, the Krieghoff guns, and the Rem. 3200 all fit in the scheme of things. Some explanations have been pretty accurate, others way off base but if anyone is interested enough, there's a really nice article in the December 2008 issue of Sporting Clays Magazine which serves as the official magazine for the NSCA, that at least covers the acquisition by Krieghoff to resume building the Model 32 after WW II with a nod from Remington, the timing of improvements, in the M. 32, and the beginning of the K-80 line. It does not cover the Rem. 3200 since that has no bearing on the Krieghoff guns while the K. models DID certainly come to exist from the original Rem. 32.

    Sporting Clays Magazine - WWW.SportingClays.net - 317 S. Washington Ave., Suite 201, Titusville, FL, 32796

    Bob Dodd

    __________________________________________________________________________-----: History of Krieghoff Shotguns
    From: BDodd
    Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2008 - 10:10 AM ET
    Website Address:

    Just for you, Pat; how 'bout a sort of time line:

    The Rem. 32, of course, was the beginning of the saga, released in 1932 (clever name eh?) and was particularly unique in the the sliding top lock. After World War II ended, the Russians took control of E. Germany and Heinrich Krieghoff chose to escape to the West and settled in Ulm near the Austrian border. It was there that he set up a small factory to make sporting arms.

    Around the mid-50s Heinrich was approached by Bascom Lotspeich, a live pigeon shooter, who encouraged Heinrich to manufacture the Rem. model 32 which had been suspended before WWII. The author says, "Hal duPont told me that Remington had not renewed the patents on it's model 32 but eventually duPont had Remington write a letter saying it was OK for Krieghoff to make the Krieghoff model 32."

    When Krieghoff began manufacturing the M.32 exactly the same as the Remington, another live pigeon shooter, Donnie Donaldson, convinced Krieghoff and Lotspeich to design a new trigger for the gun. They spent some $15,000 to have a new design made and the manufacturer of that design was Miller Triggers in Pennsylvania. Miller triggers were famous at that time.

    It is belived the first Krieghoff M.32 was produced in 1955 and continued production was very limited. "The first 400 Krieghoff 32s produced had the Remington trigger, but they were retrofitted with the new Miller-designed trigger at no cost." The author says around 1960 duPont got his MBA from college and began shooting clays around the country and he, "...even made a contract to sell all the Krieghoffs that came into the [U.S.], and he maintained that contract until the K-80 was introduced in 1980." The author continues, "Even then, [duPont] held the contract to sell all the Krieghoffs that came into the country, but he evidently relented in return for his Krieghoff distributorship all over the southern U.S."

    Dieter Krieghoff moved to the U.S. in 1980 to start up what now is known as Krieghoff International. His father had taken over the business in 1970. The author states, "The Krieghoff model 32 was never a monumental seller nor was it intended to be. The idea was to make a precision over-under that could ... stand the tough test of time, ...to withstand the tortures of 10s of thousands of rounds. These days there are hundreds of model 32 Krieghoffs and K-80s that have been shot well over 100,000 times."

    The author goes on to describe the sliding top lock being the most obvious similarity between the Rem. and K. guns and that both 32s and K-80s continue to sport mechanical triggers. He explains that Krieghoff doesn't introduce new guns regularly that have improvements, the improvements are simply added to the guns currently made. He points out the K-80 now has been on the market longer than the M.32 before the introduction of the K-80. He discusses the main difference in the two models is the fact that the K-80 was introduced and continues to sport receivers made of hardened metal.

    There is further discussion of when skeet, 4 barrel sets, and so on were introduced and more on engraving but I've used enough space here to cover the beginnings of Krieghoff shotguns we admire.....breakemall....Bob Dodd

    _________________________________________________________________________


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subject: History of Krieghoff Shotguns
    From: shootem
    Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2008 - 10:49 PM ET
    Website Address:

    Back in 1964, while at a Skeet shoot, I met a man by the name of Leo Darroch. At that time he was shooting a Krieghoff. I had seen, time after time, a little 2"x2" advertisement in the Skeet Shooting Review of a gun called "The Fastest Gun" which was the Krieghoff. I was admiring Mr. Darroch's Krieghoff and he offered to let me shoot it but I declined although I did handle it and shouldered it at Mr Darroch's prompting.

    I immediately decided then and there that I had to have one as most people back then never even heard of the gun. I therefore contacted a Mr. Bascom Lotspeich at Europa in Florida and with my FFL I purchased, in 1965, a San Remo skeet gun for the price of $480 dealer discount. At the time retail was $600. Compare that to today's price on a San Remo. The shooters at my local gun club made fun of my San Remo as they had never seen one. Years later as the model 32 became more well known they all had to have one. I was the FIRST in my area to have one.

    DuPont then took over Europa Corp. around 1966 and the prices immediately began to rise on all models to what they are today. Unfortunately I sold my 32 to a Robert Rodale who, in his day, was a top notch skeet shooter in both domestic and International skeet shooting. He served on several International teams. He and his family were from Emmaus Pa. and were the publishers of "Prevention" magazine. Sadly Bob was killed in an auto accident in Russia.

    Oh, and by the way if you do not know Mr. Leo Darroch, who has passed away, by name perhaps the name Kenneth Darroch may ring a bell as he was an All-American trap shooter many times and still is a very good shooter. Leo was Kenneth's father.

    ________________________________________________________________________
     
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  2. Remdog1187

    Remdog1187 Well-Known Member

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    Good post Bulge.
     
  3. fenoc

    fenoc Member

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    If anyone knows who the poster was who mentioned my grandpa please let us know, we would still like to find out who it is. We have been trying since his original post in 2008.

    Thanks,

    Ian Darroch
     
  4. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Link to another article on Krieghoff history.
     
  5. ljuticsscentennialpro

    ljuticsscentennialpro Member

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    Thanks BBulge. Bob
     
  6. Vincent Rago

    Vincent Rago TS Member

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    Anyone know how to identify a Miller Trigger upgrade?

    I just acquired a low serial number #35x K32 in reasonably good condition - part of a multi gun purchase.
    My guess is it is mostly an M. 32 from 1955-59.

    It's got a double release trigger with a barrel selector inside the trigger guard in front of the trigger.
     
  7. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I'm pretty sure 54 was the first year of production. I have #369 and that was either the end of 54 or the beginning of 55 that it was made. Bulge.
     
  8. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Really good information, guys. I spoke with Dieter at the Krieghoff Masters in 2012 and he told me the 32 really did not go into full production until very late '58 or early '59 - for whatever that is worth. If you have an early 32, please check the proof dates on the bottom of your barrels. Early barrels have "diamond post" ribs instead of the "bridge arch" style ribs. I have never seen a 32 dated earlier than 1959..... I would love to hear of earlier dates. Dieter also told me the first KRIEGHOFF 4-barrel sets were built at the urging of Hal and that they came out about 1965. Earlier 4-barrel guns presumably had Simmons barrels, or other non-factory barrels. I recently learned from another poster that the early guns had cast receivers. This may have continued until 3000. There are no machine marks inside the receiver belly on the cast receivers. I want to learn more...... One poster has stated numerous times that the "Super Crown" was done by Hal and not by Krieghoff. I recently aquired a 1972 Krieghoff catalog. It is in english but was apparently printed in Germany. It lists the Super Crown as a grade offered by Krieghoff and shows a photo.

    M.D.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
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  9. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Button on the trigger = Remington style trigger. Toggle selector in front of trigger = Miller designed KRIEGHOFF trigger (i.e., K-32 trigger).

    M.D.
     
  10. Prostockta

    Prostockta Active Member

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    001.JPG I own #108 a Monte Carlo Grade Trap Gun dated 7/57
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  11. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Prostocka!

    M.D.
     
  12. Vincent Rago

    Vincent Rago TS Member

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    Thanks!
    Most definitely a toggle barrel selector in front of the trigger. I'll take that as good news, is this a good conclusion?
    I'm in CA, so the shotgun is in gun jail for 10 days. I'll get it 7/7. I'll check ribs, stamps and dates, etc. and post here on this thread.
    Interesting what you say about cast vs machined receiver blocks. I'm pretty sure I was marveling at the machining marks on mine while inspecting. When I get it I'll check the inside of the block.

    Also interesting is the fact that there is not all that much documented about the serial numbers and when changes were made, by whom, etc. It's a low production, high value, enthusiast product, I figured there would be more documentation. I find it surprising there is so much folklore and personal perspectives and very little of what historians call primary source material.

    To date I've been a B gun guy and am just learning this trap game (just jumped up to running 22/25 from 16 yds.) The K-32 came along with a pretty nice Browning Citori Special Trap Edition, which will replace my 26" 625 Field gun for Trap. I plan on making the K- 32 a project gun. I'm looking forward to giving the release triggers a try.
     
  13. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    I just sold #473 about a month ago. It had a cast frame.

    There are two accurate sources of history on the Krieghoff model 32. Those would be the Krieghoff archives in Germany; and whatever Europa Corporation files and records du Pont still has. No one is researching the files in Germany and du Pont isn't talking - and I'm sure he has his reasons. Thus, we are left on our own to observe, study, ask and speculate. Dieter remembers the best he can. But, without actual research, he can only give approximate date ranges of the various changes. I am trying to learn as much as I can. But, unless I gain access to some "record" information, I would never have enough to write a book.

    Here are some Model 32 observations I have made:

    Early guns:
    Remington trigger (first 200?)
    Non adjustable front barrel hanger (to #?)
    Diamond post rib (to #?)
    Cast frame (to #?)

    First factory 4-barrel skeet sets: circa 1965-66. (per Dieter)
    Latching hood loses extended rib pattern down back slope at #3000.
    The "Europa Model 62" was fitted and finished by Europa Corporation using Krieghoff manufactured parts. (per Dieter)
    Sub-gauge barrels gain "U-shaped" middle barrel hanger @ #5000. Previous were "I-beam" style.
    More concerted effort to reduce manufacturing tolerance variations @ #5000 and forward. Goal was more modularity with less hand fitting required.
    Pin through frame and firing pin block gets reduced head diameter (see left side of frame) at about #6600.

    Some of the very last Model 32's, at about 11400 - 11600 were K-80 guns, except for the forearm iron relief not being milled across bottom of receiver. However, they were still marked "Model 32".

    The name changes from "Model 32" to "Shotguns of Ulm K-80" to "Krieghoff K-80" - brought about by mutual planning between Krieghoff and Europa Corporation to facilitate the transition of Krieghoff distribution in North America from Europa Corporation to Krieghoff International.

    M.D.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  14. jake boy

    jake boy Active Member

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    Very cool thread!
     
  15. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Very interesting thread!
     
  16. Vincent Rago

    Vincent Rago TS Member

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    Awesome and fascinating. This is a great thread.
    M.D. Barrelbulge, Mr Dodd and others have contributed to a cool history.
    Thanks for helping to describe the model.

    I wonder if a well crafted survey could be written and shared here and on other shotgun forums. For that matter, I wonder if it would be cool to send such a survey to some of the gunsmiths serving the K gun market.

    Obviously there was some aggressive business deals, marketing, etc. There are vested interests, egos, and probably hurt feelings. Focusing on the factual attributes of the guns now and leaving folklore to cover the motives might be a good way to gather and preserve the knowledge.

    I got the practical information that I was looking for, there are manufacturing tolerance and form factor variances up to #4000-6000 or there abouts (consistent with other threads on the topic.) Obviously nothing wrong with earlier guns, though smithing costs are likely to be higher for upgrades, alterations and barrel matching. Seems pretty reasonable for a low production, high value firearm with many 50-60 year old examples still receiving heavy use.

    Knowing more about the model is valuable to an owner and to the market.

    Cheers,
    V
     
  17. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would guess there probably are a few hurt feelings..........
    Update: Not so! No hurt feelings. The transition from Europa to Krieghoff International was by mutual consent. Hal was ready to "move on". And Krieghoff wanted to increase market dominance. They worked out a plan together to the satisfaction of both parties.

    I think a well crafted K-32 survey would be wonderful. I have this crazy wish/notion Hal might yet divulge some K-32 history before he bucks out. (Hopefully, that time is not near yet.) How neat would that be!!!!!!? And let me add this: I was around Hal in the mid-70's to early 80's. You had to observe Hal to gain a true understanding of the scope and effectiveness of this man. He never tooted his own horn. You will never see a granite statue that Hal errected of himself. In fact, he is just the opposite. He was/is a great proponent of the clay target sports and a very generous guy. Probably no one will ever know the all the things Hal du Pont has done for skeet, trap, etc. He provided excellent guidance and support for the development of the NSSA home club in San Antonio. He believed in the Krieghoff Model 32 and he worked very hard to make it a success. In doing so, he built the reputation of the name "Krieghoff" - and not "du Pont". Thus, much of the market presence the Krieghoff name holds today is due to Hal du Pont - prior to the early 1980's development of Krieghoff International in Ottsville.

    M.D.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  18. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

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  19. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Just a note worthy bit of information. I recently purchased a Rem. model 32 receiver and front iron on this site. I have so far fitted it with K-80 wood and a K-80 triggerguard. I have also tested the fitting of my K-80 unsingle barrel on the gun with little problem. I used my Krieghoff front iron and wood with the barrek but it went on and functioned properly. I am in the process of looking for a model 32 barrel to have fitted to the gun and plan on using it instead of my San Remo.

    The point I am trying to make is Krieghoff parts will fit on a Rem. model 32. Bulge.
     
  20. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    The first importer of K32 guns was Mel Hunting from NJ he flew them in himself was also the parts distributer back in the 1950's they were 495.00 new. Mel was a Pan Am pilot and owned a gun store in NJ. He lives in Florida now in his late 80's still going strong playing golf with his beagle who's life he threatens daily. you will see barrels with his name on them
     
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