Zoli FFV rifles
This wapiti-red deer hybrid was anchored with a 189gn bullet from a Zoli FFV in .30-06 at about 250 yards

The Carl Gustav saga

Q: Recently, I became the proud owner of an FFV Carl Gustav Model 2000 rifle in .270 Winchester, like the one you used to own.

I am really happy with this rifle, which appears identical to a Zoli rifle my mate has. Obviously, there’s a story here. What can you tell me about the history of these rifles?

Bill Davis

A: The Carl Gustav has an interesting history. It all began with Husqvarna, which introduced a lightweight small-ring Mauser rifle in the early 1950s.

In the late 1960s, Husqvarna dropped the traditional Mauser in favour of the Model 1900, which had a unique dovetailed locking lug system.

Later, Husqvarna sold its gun making business to FFV, a state-owned enterprise which made military AK4 rifles and Carl Gustav 84mm rocket launchers.

After sales of the 1900 stalled, FFV used its modern manufacturing facilities to bring out a new, improved version, the Model 2000, along with the Models 3000 and 4000. The last two were based on the Sauer action.

Swedish hunters preferred the Model 1900 and it was soon being made by Hellenic Arms in Greece and Antonio Zoli in Italy.

As a result, FFV found itself competing against its former product, which was now being made by foreign competitors, and sold the rights of the rifle to Winscam, a small Swedish firm.

At the present time I believe Zoli is the only company making this attractive and thoughtfully designed hunting rifle. You and your mate are lucky; I often wish I’d never sold my Model 2000.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.