By Dietrich Apel
The Thieme & Schlegelmilch business was located on the “Steinweg” (no. 40), the Main Street in Suhl, and the first street with cobblestone pavement. The shops were added to the back of the house.
Below is the historic marker mounted on the wall to the right of the door.
In 1835 Casper Schlegelmilch is recorded as the owner of a “Rohrhammer”, a barrel hameer work at Langebrücke 105 in Suhl. On May 4, 1850 Carl Adolph Thieme and Heinrich Nicolaus Schlegelmilch founded a gun factory at Steinweg 27. They always listed the trade mark “Nimro” in addition to their names, because there were quite a few gun makers with the same last name Schlegelmilch in Suhl.
The name “Nimrod” comes from the “Old Testament” and was also called “the great hunter of the Lord”.
The company made a great variety of hunting and sporting guns, including target rifle (Scheibenbüchsen) on actions of their own design. They were granted 8 patents (while Dietrich states that they had 8 patents, I know of only 6.) between 1877 and 1900. All Thieme & Schlegelmilch guns we have seen over the years were of the best quality and had multiple features of their own design.
The “Nimrod-Nasenverschluss” is one of their most important patented inventions, so called because of the two nose- shaped protrusions on the underside of the barrels that engaged recesses in the water table of the action and act like recoil shoulders to prevent loosening of the barrels from the action. They serve as additional fasteners besides the traditional Greener bolt on top and the Purdy type bites on the underside and also prevented side to side loosening of the barrels.
The Nimrod Side Locks of their very own patented design is a box lock with cover plates that resemble those of a side lock gun. The design has an L-shaped sear that engages a stud on the hammer fairly high up and away from its pivot pin, allowing a very good and reliable trigger pull. A hole above the hammer is for the spindle of the safety lever that blocks the hammers from falling. This is one of the most reliable safeties that were used not only on their side lock guns but also on their box lock actions. Both the Nimrod-Nasenverschluss and the Nimrod Side Locks are very good design features and the gun maker Gunter Retz and his son still make guns today with both Nimrod inventions.
The Thieme & Schlegelmilch Co. developed a Scope Mount of their own design which had its base as an integral part of the right barrel. A Scope could be mounted without obstructing the view with the open sights or with offset rings high enough over the center of the rib.
The Company also developed and produced several black powder rifle cartridges and sold loaded ammunition and brass cases.
Thieme & Schlegelmilch were one of the founders of the Rhömer Company in Suhl that produced gun components for the various gun makers in Suhl and the vicinity. After Ernst Schlegelmilch passed away in 1934, the owner of the Christoph Funk Company bought Thieme & schlegelmilch for his son Alfred who managed it until 1937 under the name Nimrod-Gewehrfabrik Thieme & Schlegelmilch. In 1936 the Company moved to a new location at Nr. 18 Gothaer Strasse. The now very small company did not survive World War II.
The six patents I know of are DRP’s 39832 of 1887, 68535 of 1891, 69496 of 1892, 70868 of 1892, 97815 of 1897 and an English Patent no 14523 of 1897. Below are links to images of the title page and drawings for each of the patents. Simply click on the link to view the image.
The following preview article titled Two Unusual German Double Rifles by Fredrik Franzén appeared in the Winter 2001 issue (Vol. 12, Iss. 4) of the Double Gun Journal and is courtesy of Fredrik and Daniel and Joanna Côté, editors of the Journal. A back issue with the full article is available by calling (800) 447-1658.
Below are images of a Thieme & Schlegelmilch Drilling in 16 ga. and 9.3 x 72R made in 1928 with a greener safety sent to Dietrich by the late Hans Pfingsten.
The following unidentified images were found in Dietrich’s file for this maker
Following are more images of the first gun shown above.
Following is a side by side shotgun with both Thieme & Schlegelmilch patented features, the nose lock up and the action with side plates.
Below is another high grade side by side Shotgun by Thieme & Schlegelmilch
Below is a single shot Stalking Rifle, caliber unknown.
Thieme & Schlegelmilch also made Bolt Action rifles on the 98 Mauser action, below are images recently received of a 7 x 64 rifle.
The following images are courtesy of-