A Reverse Pump-Action, Takedown Rifle? The Radically Unique Krieghoff Semprio – Full Review

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The Krieghoff Semprio is an in-line repeater that features a reverse pump-action system of operation and swappable barrels and chamberings. Image courtesy of manufacturer.

For more information, visit: https://www.krieghoff.com/hunting-guns/krieghoff-semprio-in-line-repeater/.

To purchase a Krieghoff firearm on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Krieghoff.

“What in the hell is that thing?!?” So exclaimed my father, upon his first sight of the Kreighoff Semprio. “Is that for real?”

Yes, it is real, and it works just fine.

The Kreighoff Semprio is not your ordinary rifle. The Kreighoff Semprio is not comparable to any rifle you’ve ever shot. The Semprio is – in a world of cookie cutter, wanna-be rifles – a different, undeniable breath of fresh air. Like it or hate it, the Semprio is irrefutably unique. Please, allow me to explain.

As should be no surprise, the Semprio from Krieghoff is available in a wide range of finish and stock options with ornate engraving available. Image courtesy of manufacturer.

My editor here at GunsAmerica asked me to review the new Kreighoff rifle, and at the mere mention of the manufacturer, I jumped at the opportunity. “Phil, it’s a sweet .30-’06 Springfield in-line repeater. You’re going to like it,” he said to me.

Repeater? As in, bolt? Auto? Pump? What does that mean? I needed clarification on this whole “in-line” deal, but I was intrigued.

The bolt and guide rod of the Semprio are housed in the rear half of the takedown rifle. Note the multi-lug bolt head and fluted bolt body.

SPECS

  • Chambering: .30-06 (as tested)
  • Barrel: 21.5 inches (25 inches for magnum chamberings)
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Stock: Turkish walnut with optional synthetic coating
  • Sights: Fluorescent open sights
  • Action: In-line repeater
  • Finish: Blued
  • Capacity: 4+1 (as tested)
  • MSRP: $4,695.00 (without scope or mount)

Hands On

Well, the gorgeous Kreighoff hardshell travel case arrived at Coxsackie Gun & Bow – and upon opening the locks to reveal the Crown Royal purple velvet interior, I was, well, befuddled. What I had in my hands was neither fish nor fowl; it was a sort of a pump gun, but it worked in the opposite manner of every pump rifle or shotgun I’d ever handled before. It was obviously well-made, in a takedown case that would make any traveling hunter happy, fashioned in a walnut with synthetic coating camouflage stock that would serve any environment. But, upon reading the instructions – to assemble the rifle – it dawned upon me how revolutionary this rifle actually is. The rifle is available in a range of configurations and finishes, including walnut stocks and engraved metal. The sky is the limit on this one.

The Semprio is a takedown design, with it breaking into two primary parts. The author received a camouflaged stock variant for testing.

“In-line repeater” was not incorrect, but requires a bit of expounding. The Semprio, once fired, requires the shooter to work the action not rearward, toward the receiver, but forward, toward the muzzle. The natural recoil motion actually assists the cycling of the action. The entire rifle actually separates at the center. Like a trombone, it gets longer, and then returns to center. Scope, sights, barrel, and all separate from the receiver, and quickly returns to center for another shot.

The fore end of the rifle with the scope mount and barrel moves forward when the action is cycled. The detachable magazine is accessible when it is in this position.

The Semprio is, as stated, is unorthodox, but is well-planned. I can see its European influence; in a hunting environment where our American semi-autos are not legally able to be owned or implemented, the quick-repeating capability is gold. And quick it is. We put it to the test, in many different ways.

Functionality

Shipped and stored in two pieces, the Semprio assembled easily; with the bolt system and guide rod properly aligned, the two pieces connect by pushing the rifle shut. Once assembled, Kreighoff’s unique and very useable Combi Cocking device (read safety, but different) comes into play. In lieu of a safety, Kreighoff employs a thumb-operated, spring loaded shaft to either cock, or fully de-cock the Semprio, which makes a whole lot of sense. It allows the rifle to be carried with a cartridge in the chamber, with the firing pin spring tension fully disengaged, when the cocking device is rearward. When you’re ready to fire, simply push the cocking device forward, and you’re ready to fire. The cocking device has a small lever, which may be pushed downward to release the spring tension, de-cocking the firearm. When in the rearward (de-cocked) position, the action may not be worked, but giving the cocking device a clockwise turn to the two o’clock position will allow the shooter to open the action for unloading or for disassembly. It took a bit of getting used to, and perhaps I might suggest a bit of labeling on the receiver, but once I got the swing of things it makes a lot of sense. Within minutes, I had the Semprio figured out and running like a fine instrument.

The rear sight of the Semprio rifle. Note the high-visibility dots.

The Semprio uses a detachable box magazine, located at the rear of the barrel section of the forward half of the rifle, underneath the rotating bolt. The rotating bolt locks directly into the steel barrel, allowing for the use of a lightweight alloy receiver. The result is a light overall weight of 7.5 pounds. When the action is closed, the magazine is completed encased by the “receiver”, so there’s no risk of dropping the magazine while carrying the rifle in the closed position. Once the action is opened forward, the magazine is accessible, and a small, spring-loaded lever – located at the forward end of steel magazine – easily releases it. The Kreighoff magazine on the rifle tested held four rounds of .30-’06 Springfield, and it is possible to load another in the chamber safely.

The trigger of the Semprio comes set from the factory at about three pounds; there is almost no creep and very little over-travel. It is, however, a single-set trigger, and pushing it forward, in either cocked or de-cocked position, will make it one of the finest hair-triggers I’ve ever used. Simply touch it, and you’re sending a bullet downrange, making it perfect for the longer and more precisely aimed shots.

The Kreighoff detachable scope mounting system, which returned to zero every time for the author.

The Semprio’s Combi-Cocking device, in the de-cocked position. You push it forward to cock the gun and ready it for firing. The action can be uncocked for safe carrying.

While the Semprio comes with red fiber optic sights that show up well on just about any target color, the sighting radius is on the short side; it measured 11½ inches from the rear sight to the back of the front sight. This worked fine for closer targets, and I can see where a woods hunter would be just fine with this sighting system. However, I really liked Krieghoff’s spring-loaded, quick-release scope base and rings, which are nicely engineered to mate with the milled receiver top. The test rifle was shipped with a Swarovski Z6 1.7-10x42mm scope, with 30mm tube, giving a nice fine crosshair and plenty of light. Being removable, I was determined to establish the repeatability of the mounts, wanting to see if there was any zero shift when the Swarovski was taken off.

Also on note regarding the design of the Semprio is the fact that the take-down design allows the owner to purchase additional barrels and bolt-heads, to easily and quickly change calibers if so desired. This adds a lot of versatility to the Semprio.

The author tested the rifle with a range of bullet types and weights and got results in the 1.25- to 2-inch range.

At the Bench

I grabbed several different brands and weights of factory ammunition for testing – Kreighoff specifies that only factory ammunition shall be used in the Semprio – and headed to the range to see how this rifle would shoot. Firstly, feeding and extraction were no issue whatsoever, irrespective of bullet weight or manufacturer. Secondly, as this was a pump rifle – excuse me, in-line repeater –  I wasn’t exactly expecting the hair-splitting accuracy that a bolt-action would provide, as there was a lot more room for play in the locking mechanism than there is in a bolt gun. But as you’ll see, I did achieve perfectly good hunting accuracy, and that’s what the Semprio is built for.

Closing the action of the Kreighoff Semprio.

The best groups I got came from Norma’s American PH line, using their 165-grain Oryx bullet. The average three-shot group size at 100 yards was 1¼”, with the best at just over ¾ inch. Federal Premium’s 180-grain load, with the Nosler Partition, ran a close second, with group size hanging around 1½ inch. The Winchester ammo, using the 180-grain Combined Technology AccuBonds hung right around an even 2 inches, as did the Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 200-grain bullets. While this accuracy may seem mediocre in comparison to what we’ve come to expect from the uber-rigid bolt actions, it most definitely will suffice for almost all hunting with 300 yards.

Recoil was definitely manageable, even from the bench, as the stock design of the Semprio drove the energy straight back into the shoulder and not up into your cheek. A black recoil pad – pliable and textured to keep it where you put it – absorbed much of the energy. The Semprio’s barrel took the heat well, even for a sporter weight tube.

Kreighoff has designed their scope mounting system very well; I experienced no zero shift whatsoever when removing and reinstalling the scope. The rifle returned to point of aim within ½” of the previous group. Yes, I know Swarovski scopes are rock solid and rarely lose their point of aim, but any flaw in a mounting system will rear its ugly head when moving parts are involved. Kreighoff has a winner in their system.

Note the exposed magazine with the action locked forward.

Off the Bench

Since the Semprio is obviously built for speed, I thought it a good idea to see how quickly it could be fired accurately. We set up a target board and multiple targets at 50 yards, to emulate a situation where deer or hogs may be taken in rapid succession, as on a driven hunt in Europe or a hog culling exercise in the South. With five shots in the rifle, and the Swarovski turned down to 1.7x magnification, I grabbed my pals Marty Groppi and Manny Vermilyea, and the three of us took turns trying to put a bullet in the paper vitals as quickly as possible.

The Semprio in action, in the hands of ManDrake Vermilyea.

We were all amazed at the fact, in spite of the initial foreign feel of the rifle, we could indeed place accurate shots very quickly. Yes, the scope moves forward with the barrel when the action is worked, and that took some getting used to, but the Swarovski scope has a wide field of view, and came back into focus quickly. The rubberized feel of the synthetic stock and the checkering of both forend and pistol grip gave a good hold on the rifle, and it came to the shoulder nicely. I liked it even better with the scope removed, as it allowed for quicker target acquisition with fewer moving parts. I could easily see where using a red dot type of optic would be a very wise move with this style rifle.

We performed an interesting test with the Semprio – to see if holding the trigger back while you work the action would get the rifle to fire – and I’m happy to report it didn’t fire in that manner. No worries of an accidental discharge with this gun; the shooter must consciously pull the trigger.

In Conclusion

With the ability to take the rifle apart for both travel and storage, the Semprio makes a good choice for the hunter who wants speed and firepower. I think its appeal will be much stronger among the European hunters than it is with the American hunters, as we have the opportunity to use an autoloading rifle for the same sort of hunting situation where the Semprio will shine. While our test rifle was in the classic .30-’06 Springfield – a cartridge that is well suited to almost all the world’s game animals – I think the Semprio might be even faster in a short action cartridge like the .308 Winchester.

The Semprio’s classy traveling case; the breakdown capability makes for a trim, compact package.

The 21½-inch barrel is long enough to give good velocities, yet not so long as to become a hindrance as the trombone gets longer when the action is worked (when purchased in magnum chamberings, the barrel is 25 inches). I truly like the safety factor that Kreighoff has worked into their Combi-cocking device, and I also like the little “safe to carry” lever that holds the action open. When the action is opened, there is a small lever on the right side of the rifle that can prevent the action from being closed, so you may easily verify the rifle is not in battery. When hunting with a large party – as they tend to do on driven hunts in Europe – it’s very nice to know at a glance that the rifle is open and safe, with no chance of going into battery until the hunt begins.

Kreighoff’s reputation for quality firearms is definitely present in the construction of the Semprio; the stock-to-metal finish is tight, and tolerances among the metal parts throughout the rifle are certainly tight. In the end, it’s going to boil down to this question: are you married to the traditional rifle forms, or are you willing to step out of the comfort zone for a new experience? If you are, the Semprio might just be for you.

For more information, visit: https://www.krieghoff.com/hunting-guns/krieghoff-semprio-in-line-repeater/.

To purchase a Krieghoff firearm on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Krieghoff.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Frank April 3, 2017, 8:05 pm

    Folks, Check out the Krieghoff video of how this gun works. What I find objectionable is how much the optic moves during cycling the gun. Experienced lever shooters and traditional pump action shooters can stay on target pretty well while cycling the action. That’s impossible with this design. And I find nothing wrong with a decent large caliber/cartridge semi-auto such as those made by Noreen or Nemo Firearms. Perhaps it is some sort of “loop hole” gun.

  • ejharb March 23, 2017, 8:19 pm

    Wow cheaper than expected
    Most kreighoffs cost as much as a new compact car. I think it’s cool too.

  • Peter Nelson March 20, 2017, 2:53 pm

    $4,695? Listen fellas your greed is sickining. It’s a nice rifle all right but it’s not made of solid gold now is it?

    • Peter Nelson March 20, 2017, 3:01 pm

      I want to add that my trusty Winchester Model 1894 .30-30 has 7 + 1 capability and the lever action is smoth and easy to use. I can get off a bunch of rounds really fast if I ever wanted to. It’s accuracy is good enough. As a matter of fact I would not trade my Wincheseter Model 1894 for this $4,965 pump .30-06 or what ever other caliber it can come in. My rifle has HISTORY and TRADITION and simple elegance behind it. Many kid’s grew up wanting the Winchester Model 1894 Lever Action .30-30. No one has ever asked for a reverse pump action .30-06. The price is outrageous also. OUTRAGEOUS! This company is an insult to riflemen everywhere!

  • SGS714 March 20, 2017, 12:22 pm

    I think you are all looking at this wrong. A Krieghoff buyer is a small market and has it’s following. The same guy might own a couple English Doubles for big game hunting in Africa and want to harvest deer for his table. I have a friend whose father shoot at a highly competitive level skeet and owned a couple Krieghoff Shotguns….I doubt he shot them that much better than he could any other gun, but he could afford the quality.
    As far as the Reverse Pump Action, I think it is brilliant. For some of us that never really owned a pump, it is not instinctual at all the pull after a shot. I’ve owned and shot automatics, and o/u and s/s shotguns my whole life and bought a pump when I started goose hunting 20 or so years ago and just couldn’t get it….for me it was the rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time thing…shot 2 boxes of shells through it and traded it for an automatic that would take 3.5″ shells. But in the same breath I can operate an old Rem 22lr Pump without a hitch.

  • Norm Fishler March 20, 2017, 10:35 am

    This is the sort of firearm to put out in a prominent spot in your gunshop or on your table at a gunshow to attract attention. I call such a firearm a people magnet. Some damphool will eventually buy into one, shoot it a few times & sell or trade it off at a heavy loss. Of course it will not sell! One would never expect it to, but it gets the gun junkie’s attention. After a while though it will have paid for itself in the attention it has garnered. I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t want to shoot one, but buy it . . . ? I think not.

  • David March 20, 2017, 9:55 am

    Right on Chick. Loophole gun with a lot of expensive machine working for an inferior result. Gee whiz reviews are a waste of time.

  • Robert Hanlin March 20, 2017, 9:42 am

    A $4600.00 MSRP 2″ rifle?? I think not. Hell any rifle worth a damn will give you good “hunting accuracy”..!

  • Craig March 20, 2017, 8:18 am

    Yawn…
    But more importantly…I see scopes failing all over the place. Two major impulse hits on scopes made for a single direction impulse…or simply, why air rifles destroy high powered rifle scopes. Air rifles typically have two impulses when they’re fired…high powered rifles have a single impulse…back due to kick. Takes a scope set for the two way impulses to survive on an air rifle. Some scopes can do it, many can’t. As you slam your scope forward and back every shot…not impressive and can’t see anything good happening. Plus, a manual cocking button? It’s a safety item? Uh huh…I see. And for that price, crappy accuracy, 2″ groups using excellent ammo. Is it interesting..on a theoretical basis…I guess. Blaser is more interesting with their straight back bolt, quick change calibers and fast to use.

  • srsquidizen March 20, 2017, 7:35 am

    Are lever-action rifles banned in some places too? Is this thing a “loophole gun” or just a novelty for rich guys? Can’t believe it’s that much faster than a good ole lever gun that can be had in calibers suitable for most big game as well…at a fraction of the price. Doesn’t sound to me like you’d get a big increase in accuracy that would justify the big hole shot in your bank account.

    • singleshotcajun March 20, 2017, 12:19 pm

      That is a good question, one would think if a pump is legal so would a levergun be. Sako used to make an excellent lever action (Finn Bear or Finn Wolf I think) I wonder if a Loophole was the reason. Someone in Europe could reproduce a Savage 99 and sell it for much less . The Henry Longranger would be a good choice as well as a Browning BLR.

  • Chick March 20, 2017, 7:27 am

    All Krieghoff firearms are super high, as is their quality. The problem is, the quality is not high enough to justify the price of the firearm for the majority of shooters. I saw a doctor arrive in a chauffeur driven vehicle, to a Sporting Clays match. He was shooting a $50,000 Krieghoff O/U, with gold leaf all over it. He shot ok, but his score less than mine, shooting a Browning O/U. But, if you can afford it, and that is what you want, go for it. On this firearm though, I would not buy it at any price, due to the oddball action.

    • Caliche March 20, 2017, 9:14 am

      Good. Krieghoff would be embarrassed to see you fondling one. Plus, you might get your micro-penis caught in the action.

      • chick March 20, 2017, 1:55 pm

        Caliche, does your mother know your are using foul language on her computer? Regardless how infatuated with other men\’s penis\’, you need to leave her computer and the internet alone, before you get in trouble.

        • Pops45 March 20, 2017, 6:07 pm

          Geez, Caliche, Chick posted a good comment and you threw penises at him for no reason.

  • George March 20, 2017, 6:15 am

    My biggest concern was the cost, it seemed kinda high for me. The accuracy was good but not anything to write home about, I thought the unique action was interesting but didn’t like the idea of the scope moving each time it was cocked. While it seems really well made, for the money I think you could do so much better in the US market. (IMHO)

  • martianone March 20, 2017, 5:52 am

    Chick…..IMHO, you are the stupid one.
    Firearms industry needs more innovative & quality offerings.

    • Chick March 20, 2017, 7:24 am

      So, your opinion of innovative offerings is to go exactly opposite of tried and proven design? Brilliant! haha

      • buhbang March 20, 2017, 10:06 am

        she means the pretty purple velour and gay engraving is innovative.
        couldnt be talking about the awful shot groupings

  • Chick March 20, 2017, 5:02 am

    Why any manufacture would produce a pump action firearm that operates backwards from everything else on the market, is obviously stupid. I can just see someone picking one up, who has shot pump action firearms all their life, and in the intensity of needing a quick second shot, gets it back wards, loses precious time, and in the frustration, misses the follow up shot. One other thing, any one who thinks those high visibility dots on the rear sight is an advantage, doesn\’t know squat about open sights. Those type of sights, or specifically fiber optic sights, are great for close action combat handguns or shotguns, in limited light situation. They are not worth a darn for fine marksmanship, with a rifle, at distant targets. I give this rifle a poor review.

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