Centrum pistol is a single-shot gun chambered in .22 Long RF Caliber. It has been produced in Germany for the European market of free pistols.
Free pistols are principally a European avocation, being specialized shot .22 weapons designed solely for national and international competition shooting. It is specifically intended for the UIT .22 free pistol contest in which the 10-ring of the target is two inches in diameter and the range is 50 meters. In short, it is the ultimate test of shooting ability, and the rules permit virtually any sort of pistol in order to evade any mechanical restriction and concentrate entirely on the shooter’s skills.
Hence the phrase ‘free pistol,’ which refers to the lack of restriction on style or type. In general, these are hand-built and expensive weapons, vehicles for their owners’ and designers’ pet theories, but there are a few European gunsmithing firms that make ‘stock’ free pistols which can be the basis for individual modification.
One of the most recent is the Centrum made in Germany. It is a single-shot weapon using a falling block breech operated by the trigger guard. The breech is opened and the cartridge loaded until it touches the extractor; the block is then closed and seats the cartridge firmly in the chamber. After firing the block is lowered, which ejects the empty case about one-tenth of an inch, after which a separate extractor, on the left of the chamber, allows the case to be pulled a further quarter of an inch from the chamber; it can be flicked out with the finger-nail. Rapid-fire is, obviously, not a requirement in this type of contest.
The Centrum pistol has a set trigger that is set by a lever on the left side; the trigger itself can be adjusted for reach, travel, backslash, and slack without having to dismantle anything. The foresight is mounted on a large ramp, and the blade is secured in place by a screw so that it can be easily changed. The rear sight is fitted on a dovetail extension over grip; its location can be altered to suit the individual, and it is capable of adjustment for elevation and windage by click-stopped knobs.
The grip is anatomically shaped so that the barrel is low to the hand and thus there is practically no jump or recoil effect. There is also a wooden fore-end, though this is for balance and appearance.
Practical firing shows what this weapon, which is a precision machine, needs to be fed with the best ammunition; it appears sensitive to the ammunition used and does not perform well with cheap cartridges. Each Centrum pistol is supplied with a test target and a five-year guarantee, the target usually showing four or five shots in the 10-ring. Centrum pistols are capable of doing whatever the shooter is capable of.
|Competition free pistol, single-shot
|.22 Long RF
|10 in (254 mm)