Krieghoff Semprio—One Rifle, Many Possibilities
By Monty Hudson
It’s been several years since Krieghoff unveiled the technology-laden Semprio. Krieghoff is perhaps best known for world-class shotguns and double rifles, and the Semprio is an entirely different kind of rifle. On close examination, Semprio is an engineer’s dream, complete with a reverse slide action and takedown technology that allows the shooter to change calibers quickly. That said, it’s not a traditional design, and requires a bit of study to fully appreciate it. Given the flexibility of the system and the maturity of the design, we thought this hunting season was the time to give the Semprio a new African field test.
For our field evaluation, Namibian PH Gunter Schwalm of Omalanga Safaris put Krieghoff’s
Semprio to work on plains game in northern Namibia. On a series of hunts in June and July 2017, the Semprio was front and center on impala, oryx, kudu and warthog. To add to the fun, the rifle was tested in the hands of both experienced Professional Hunters and clients with moderate hunting and shooting experience. The trophy results speak for themselves. For this test, rifles in 9.3×62 and .300 Winchester Magnum were combined with Schmidt and Bender optics, and produced consistent “dead right there” results.
Aesthetics: Taste in design is in the eye of the beholder. Semprio is sleek and clean. It appears almost futuristic, there are no bolt handles to catch or snag, and the optional synthetic stock eliminates most opportunities for water damage or scratches. Our PH evaluators call Semprio “Sleek and functional, all business”. Semprio is available with a high-grade Turkish walnut stock or a synthetic stock.
Handling: The rifle has fine balance, and at around nine pounds (with an appropriate scope) you can carry it without needing a masseuse at the end of the day. The traditional style stock is stable and does a fine job of distributing recoil, and the reverse slide action makes follow-up shots lightning-fast. This unique slide action where the bolt is stationary and the detachable magazine slides works beautifully and naturally with the recoil to set the shooter up for follow-on shots. Semprio excels when shooting moving targets off hand. Our PH staff especially appreciated the quick handling when used with open sights for off-hand follow-up shots. Off hand, the shooter never has to remove the stock from the shoulder or release the grip to reach for a bolt handle. The cheek weld also stays in place—the recoil actually assists in moving the fore stock forward, and closing the action readies the rifle for the next shot. Smooth. Shooting from sticks, the barrel must be lifted from the rest in order to cycle the action, and this takes a bit of practice.
Accuracy: The test rifles were very, very accurate. For this field test, all hunting and range work was conducted at distances of 200 metres or less. On the rifle range with factory Hornady ammunition, the rifles consistently produced groups of less than 1.5 inches, and many groups of less than 1.3 inches at 100 metres. The test rifles didn’t seem to care much about bullet weight, but I suspect a bit of effort in handloading could produce even better results. Punching paper is one thing, field accuracy can be something else. In the Namibian bush, the quick handling and no-slip stock allowed our hunters to get on target and stay on target.
Flexibility: The ability to quickly change calibers to suit the application, game, and hunting conditions truly makes the Semprio a multipurpose rifle. This takedown / caliber change feature sets Semprio apart from its competitors, allowing discreet travel and straightforward assembly. It takes a bit of practice to change barrels / calibers quickly, but this task becomes second nature after a few minutes of practice. Clients using the Semprio during this test reported that, “once you change calibers a couple of times you find it’s a simple process”. Our PH evaluators and clients all give the takedown design high marks.
Reliability: During this test the rifles were completely reliable and never failed to operate as advertised. The strength of the design, engineering and manufacturing makes Semprio a strong contender for hunts in the toughest conditions. PH Gunter Schwalm calls the rifle’s action, “Africa Proof – dust doesn’t stop it, the rifle works on time, every time”. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Value: To evaluate a rifle honestly, you have to set aside personal preferences, or at least try to admit any bias that may exist. I confess I am a bit of an old-school dinosaur, and I did not want to like this rifle. It’s different. It isn’t a double and it isn’t another bolt action rifle. My unwarranted bias to the “traditional” was exposed by the quality of this rifle. Semprio is just an entirely different animal – strong, reliable, flexible, accurate. Priced at around $5000.00, Kreighoff’s Semprio is not an inexpensive hunting rifle. This rifle is about value. Given the takedown design, the ability to configure for multiple caliber requirements, the tough construction, the fine accuracy and uber-fast off-hand handling, there is definitely a place for Semprio in our camp.
One rifle – many possibilities.