By Larry B. Schuknecht

Max Lepper (Dec. 23, 1864-May 9, 1936) was a Meisterbüchsenmacher and in 1888 established his own independent shop where he manufactured guns under his own name and did a great deal of work for the E. F. Buchel firm. In 1912 his shop was located at Unterzella 16 in what was then Zella St. Blasii.

A 1915 Advertisement fron Der Buchsenmacher und Waffenhandler

In 1929 he advertised that he made target rifles using Original Aydt, Original Meister (Buchel?), Martini, Henry-Martini, Kessler and Mauser actions. From this I assume that he bought those actions from the other makers. In this same advertisement he states that he produces excellent quality Keilerbüchsen, which no doubt were built using his Ideal action. The Lepper “Ideal” action is based on the first successful single shot falling block self cocking action designed by Richard Bornmüller in the late 1860’s as a Schuetzen rifle and modified by Max Lepper and Hilmar Stötzer to make their target and hunting rifles. Max Lepper’s actions often have a circular recess on the front of the action where it meets the fore end. Also the lever often has a latch to hold the action closed. More on this later.

The 1929 advertisement referred to above.
another 1928 advertisement that appeared in the same issue of the Büchsenmacher un Waffenhandler as the following article.

Following are three rifles built using Lepper “Ideal” actions. They are from the top-

F. W. Vandrey & Co.-Berlin in 6.5x52R

Imman Meffert-Suhl in 8.15x46R proofed in Aug. 1926

F. Jaeger & Co.-Suhl in 22 Hornet proofed in No. 1921.

This is a typical Lepper action showing the circular recess on the front of the action, the lever with a simple finger to operate the breech block and the lever catch to keep the action closed.

Below is a rifle built on a Lepper action which was made between 1945 and 1970 and sold by the Joh. Springers Erban Auction house in Vienna and is courtesy of them.

Below is a portion of a 1915 Greifelt catalog showing their “Ideal” rifle built on a Lepper action.

A Simson advertisement labeling their rifle with a Lepper action as the STANDARD rifle.

Below are two images from a later Greifelt catalog with a rifle using the Lepper action.

Below is a catalog page from Eduard Kettner using a Lepper action.

Below-another Lepper action used by Imman Meffert of Suhl, from a Meffert catalog.