Steinkamp SW1: The bullpup double rifle / shotgun

Steinkamp SW1

Of all the guns which I have written about this year, few have been as interesting as the Steinkamp SW1. The sleek polymer bullpup stock of the SW1 looks like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, and yet it is a double rifle, a type of firearm that is most associated with hunting in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Many of you are now asking yourselves “Why?”. I say to you “Why not?”. Double barrels rifles and shotguns are still popular and very useful. It is simply a very short double barreled rifle with modern ergonomics and great balance.

Amazingly, the total length of the rifle is just 2″ longer then the barrel length!

At first glance is appears that the rifle has dual triggers, but this is not the case. The lower trigger-like lever unlocks the action. The spring loaded buttplate then opens and the ejectors fling the empty cartridges out of the gun. The reloading process is quick and can be accomplished without the operator having to take their hand off the pistol grip.

Opening the action.
Buttpad opens to reveal the chambers.

The trigger guard doubles as a cocking lever. This feature allows it to be safety carried loaded but uncocked in the field, yet be quickly cocked if a shot presents itself.

The cocking action
Firing and reloading the SW1.
Demonstration of how the SW1 works.

Currently the SW1 can be purchased chambered in 8x57IRS, 8x68S, 9.3x74R, 20 gauge and 12 gauge but the company says that other calibers can be requested. The SW1 weighs 7.5 lbs.

The Launch Edition is priced at $4.998. Although it was available for order in 2008, the first rifles only started shipping last month.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Canthros

    Looks like something Flash Gordon would use.

  • Freiheit

    $5000 seems extreme. I’d expect to pay more for a good hunting rifle, but does the polymer and bullpup and neat levers really add that much?

    I was pleased to see German engineering made in the USA.

    Steve – Sorry to point this out but: “duel triggers”. It is nice to have a rifle handy in case I offend the governors wife but I don’t think they’ll let me use a rifle on the town green to settle the dispute.

    • Freiheit, ah, fixed. Thanks.

  • Don

    Now that looks fun. I’ve always liked double rifles as “I don’t need a gun out here unless I get stuck and need to eat something” guns, particularly when you get a rifle round and a shotgun round in them. This one is nice and compact!


  • B Woodman

    Looks like a nice update of the military double-barreled rifle & 410 shotgun survival guns.
    Do they / can they come as a rifle & shotgun combo, instead of a rifle & rifle and shotgun & shotgun set?

    Too bad it costs so much.

  • cavalier

    Considering what most double rifles cost, $5,000 seems fair. In this case you’re trading off aesthetics for innovation.

    It may not stir the souls of traditionalists, but I love the way it combines old with new.

  • Pedro

    Nice idea in principle, but a rifle and shotgun combo would be better IMO, and $5k is w-a-a-y too much money for what you get.

    It will be interesting to see if it finds a niche in the market.

  • Tux

    With those over sized controls and compact size it would make a decent home defense shotgun. If the price point could come down, it would fill a niche similar to that of the stoeger double defense that was reported on here not to long ago.

  • Carl

    It seems to me it would be difficult to get both barrels lined up properly while manufacturing these (rifle/rifle version, I guess a shotgun is less sensitive).

    For whatever reason they seem to follow in the strange tradition of many bullpup manufacturers in making a weird trigger/hand guard. I’m still not sure why this seems so popular on bullpup designs.

  • I think I’ve seen the patent or patent application for this. I’ll see if I can track it down for you.

    • Daniel, thanks, I would appreciate that.

  • The deal breaker on this is the eject release right on top of the trigger and SHAPED like a trigger. Under stress, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll hit the wrong “trigger” at least once in your life.

  • KP

    Looks like it’s intended for Europeans looking for something modern/flashy.

  • Mark
  • Why are the optics mounted so high?

    • Heath, I am not sure. They can be mounted lower on the gun.

    • Heath, I am not sure!

  • bullzebub

    i must admit that i like the wood version better…

  • Papa Whiskey

    The more I look at it, the more interesting it becomes. I’d love to see one in .470 Nitro Express. Although at 7.5 lbs. the entertainment would be in watching someone else shoot it!

  • Keith

    It’s made from modern polymers which means the main body probably does not cost much to actually make.

    It doesnt have that complicated an assembly since it’s onyl a single shot dual barrel.

    I’m sorry, but this thing looks like it is barely worth $1000 let along $5000.

    I’d have to agree with the earlier poster. This thing’s only real selling point is it’s fanciness. I’d rather just spend 500 on a nice double barrel shotgun.

  • bullzebub

    keith: actually… big pieces of polymer can be rather expensive. because when you use injection moulding the larger the object the more faults you get. and that one is mabe of pretty much plastic! annoyingly much actually. if they made the body as 4 pieces (pistol grip, hand guard, “stock” and butt) they could probably reduce the price rather much.

  • Komrad

    I like it. No need to spend 10 or 20 grand on aesthetics. 5 grand is a little expensive but it sure is cool.

  • Jeff M

    I had an idea for something similar to this in shape, I’d like to see a semi-automatic bullpup with a tubular magazine that fires .40 S&W (because of it’s flat nose, it would stack up well), ejection would be downward.

  • The EPS link to the US patent application appears to be broken. Here is the Google link to the US patent:

    • Daniel, ah, thanks for that!

  • J.S.Bridges

    Interesting, indeed…

    A fairly elegant – and VERY expensive – answer…to a question that a) no one really seems to be asking, and b) probably does not need to be asked to begin with.

    That “double trigger” that is used to open the action, however, can be easily seen to be a product-liability suit looking for a place to happen – makes it far too likely that the user will inadvertently open the action – thereby disabling the whole thing – just at the moment when a second or followup shot is most required.

    Trust a German company, in the end, to over-think and over-engineer almost anything…

  • Anders

    i have testfired one of these (rifle version) and they appears to be worth the money when it comes to accuracy and eae of use dont know how reliable they are. I shot 2 “mags”

  • To Keith (on 22 Nov 2009 at 7:24 am):
    Part of the ‘retail price’ of something covers the cost to develop the product, manufacture the machinery to make the product and the test, evaluate & re-design (as needed).

    By the way, you cannot get much of a double-barrel firearm for $500.

    To the design team: I would like to see double triggers and two firing mechanisms for reliability (which is the major purpose of a double-rifle for dangerous game). I would like to see the ‘action-opening’ lever at a different place (as some have already stated). A pair of ‘ready-cartridge’ loops for the first emergency relaod would be handy; to be loaded when the rifle is loaded. Nice to have ammo on the gun for quick access.

    Great looking product and I hope you do well with it. I am interested in the 9.3x74R caliber (.375).

  • To the design team: As a follow-up after watching the video, I would also like to see the action be made to cock itself when the butt-plate is closed so that it is instantly available to shoot, instead of having to perform the additional step of cocking the lever in front of the trigger.

    That extra step of having to cock the action after loading could mean the difference of life and death when a dangerous animal is moving at you at a speed of 30 miles per hour (44 feet per second). Think about it.

    • TexianPatriot

      If you are hunting a dangerous animal or hunting in a place with dangerous animals and this is all you bring then you are a candidate for the darwin award.

      • Raguel A’septem

        True dat! I keep either my .P229 in 357 SIG tucked in my vest or the 10mm Glock 20 on my side especially with a muzzleloader, single shot or double barrel!

        Especially with wild pigs that charge after being hit… it’s only common sense.

  • Urshanabi

    I really like the look of this, have been searching for something like this for awhile, I love the double shot gun, but its range and accuracy is terrible, so I thought dual rifle, but they’re always so old fashioned big and heavy and need constant alignment, so I could always just go a traditional rifle, but I want to be able to shoot scrub turkeys as well as deer, and I really, really, really don’t like walking round a forest with a loaded gun, that is just asking for an accident. looks like the problem is solved, now…. where do they sell them in Australia?

    • KP

      “”where do they sell them in Australia?””

      Haha! Next bad joke? They are instantly banned in this stupid country as Australia does not allow semi-autos in.

      In fact they have just banned the lever-action shotguns, ostensibly because they cannot pass the “sliding hammer” test, but in reality they hate the thought of any shotgun holding more than two rounds!

      That is a lovely combo- I’d like a couple, a .22/410 and a .223/12#… when we get sanity back into Govt.

  • saint

    i want it in 577 tyrranosaur

  • andrewwww

    sorry, but i wouldnt pay 500$ for this gun…its interesting and all…but at 5000, you ould have a top notch ar, plus a top notch semi or pump shotgun…why would ANYONE spend that much on this novelty gun?

  • truthweaver

    OK, nice design, great idea for sure; 4k+ not even close to being worth that. $500.00 maybe and that’s a bit of a stretch. The cocking action hell no make the closure of the buttpad do that. Opening the action WTH are you thinking make it a dam button that cant be accidentally pressed when in use. Bet I wont be seeing any of these at my gun shop. You shot yourself in the foot with that price. The only thing good about it is its a bullpup that uses the full length available, every other design idea is a failure.

  • Raguel A’septem

    NICE! Now how about that sleek design for a pump Rem 870 or Mossy 500/590?