The Story of Lynx Rifles
Our history is more than facts and figures of a company. It is a story of one man’s lifelong passion for hunting and gun technology, which lead to the creation of the best rifle bolt action on the market. It is the life story of our founder, master gunsmith Mr. Torsti Laaksonen.
Mr. Laaksonen was born 1934 into a family living in the isolated Finnish countryside. At the age of six, young Torsti began hunting and through his prey provided great relief to his family during the hard, cold years of scarcity while World War II was raging. After the war, at the age of 20, he entered his military service and was admitted to the Finnish Military School of Weapons, where he studied weapons technology during 1954-55 and developed a keen interest in weapons and gun technologies.
The professional career of Mr. Laaksonen began at the Tampereen Asepaja Oy (“Tampere Weapons Factory Ltd”), where he began as a worker, progressed to a gunsmith in 1964 and further developed his knowledge under the guidance of Mr. Niilo Lahtinen, the owner of the factory. Following Mr. Lahtinen’s sudden passing away, Mr. Torsti Laaksonen became a partner and was appointed as Director of Technology of the factory in 1968.
The first production rifle designed by Mr. Laaksonen was the 1970 Caribu, which was a .222 Rem caliber pump action rifle for running target shooting. This was followed by his first real straight-pull rifle, the .22 caliber WildBoar. In 1975 the factory launched the world famous Lakelander TAP-375, jointly designed by Mr. Laaksonen and his partner Mr. Jali Timari, which became a huge success with over 4000 pieces produced during 1975-79 before the patent was sold to Kongsberg in Norway, where the success story of the rifle continued. The partners continued their co-operation and the factory’s second straight-pull rifle, the .22 caliber FinnBiathlon, was designed for the Finnish Biathlon Team and launched in 1976. Due to the selection of materials and the innovative bolt action it was very light, fast to reload and the trigger system was easily exchangeable as it had only two screws. Over 3500 pieces were produced during 1977-1984.
Even with all the success achieved at the Tampereen Asepaja Oy, Mr. Laaksonen had a dream of creating a perfect hunting rifle. In 1979 he decided to leave the factory and found his own company Pirkan Ase Oy.
Birth of the best rifle bolt action
Through his deep knowledge and understanding of straight-pull bolt actions, Mr. Laaksonen saw the benefits it offered. As he designed his third straight-pull rifle, a .22 Lr caliber which was patented and subsequently sold to Sweden, he started thinking of ways to create a straight-pull bolt action to shoot center-fire high pressure cartridges – something, which no one had been able to produce.
Some years later, in 1989, he succeeded and the first prototype of a Lynx straight-pull bolt action for bigger calibers was introduced. Extensive testing followed and the design was improved further. Finally in 1994 the Lynx 94 straight pull bolt action was patented and small scale production began. Through extremely clever innovation and design, the Lynx 94 straight-pull bolt action became a true masterpiece of gun technology and mechanical engineering. The mechanical construction was streamlined to an unheard level – the entire bolt action has only six parts and is virtually unbreakable. Our entire rifle has fewer parts than any of the competitive bolt actions on the market.
The Finnish wilderness is an extremely harsh environment for hunting rifles. Through real life hunting experiences, some further enhancements were made to the design and in 2010 the company was awarded another patent for the system.
The Lynx straight-pull bolt action is recognized and praised for its smooth action, extreme reliability and superior accuracy. It is the heart and soul of a Lynx Rifle – the realization of one man’s dream for a perfect hunting weapon.
Lynx Rifles today
Our factory is located in the small town of Orivesi, located about 200 km north from the capital city of Helsinki. We produce sporting and hunting rifles of highest quality for demanding customers. Our rifles are handcrafted and each and every rifle is produced and tested to perfection – our goal has always been and will always be top precision.
Mr. Torsti Laaksonen is still a partner of the company and his vision for a perfect hunting rifle remains as one our guiding values. His legacy has been passed on to the next generation: his nephew Mr. Harri Laaksonen has followed in his footsteps by joining the company after graduating from the Finnish Military School of Weapons – just like his uncle did 37 years earlier. Under the guidance of The Master, Mr. Harri Laaksonen continued to learn and develop his knowledge of gun technology. In the year 2000 he was appointed to the positions of riflemaker and CEO of the company and during his time further technical and product innovations have been introduced.
Lynx Rifles are available through a carefully selected network of distributors, all of which share our passion for hunting and weapons technology, and are therefore able to offer our end-users highest possible levels of customer service and technical knowledge.