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New to Double Rifles

This is a discussion on New to Double Rifles within the Double Rifles forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; After many years of fantasizing about double guns, I finally have the resources to buy a moderately priced one. Originally ...

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    SkipJ is offline New Member
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    Default New to Double Rifles

    After many years of fantasizing about double guns, I finally have the resources to buy a moderately priced one. Originally I was looking at a Sabatti in 9.3x74 but I've seen where .50 percent love them and .50% say they are junk. I am about to pull the trigger on buying a Merkel 140-2 in .375 H&H and just wanted to know people's thoughts on that particular rifle. I don't want anything bigger than .375 because although I'll be using it in Africa, it will get the most use hunting NA big game. Thanks

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    Welcome to AH ... Your question is a good one...

    While accuracy has improved over the years most double rifles are built for a quick second or follow up shot...

    Do you want a double rifle just to say "I hunt with a double rifle"...

    "The .375 H & H in both belted and flanged format is as good today as it ever was. Still considered the all around cartridge by which all others are judge, it has been used successfully on every big game animal in Africa. In double rifle terms it would not be considered a ‘stopper’ in the true sense, nevertheless it has saved many a life and has a great reputation. The calibre is also manageable from a recoil perspective which adds to the beauty of owning one. Because of its versatility you’ll often find doubles in this caliber scoped."

    "Accuracy...A consistent group of anywhere from 2”-4” at 50 yards and some will do this at 100 yards. This is perfectly acceptable particularly with open sights. At the end of the day, it is your first shot that counts and the second is normally at a fleeing target or at point blank range if your quarry’s decided to come at you! There may be some difference in grouping between solid and soft nose bullets as well as bullets by other manufacturers."

    In 375 H & H i would suggest that you purchase a fine bolt action rifle with a quality scope for precision shooting...

    If i were looking at obtaining a Double rifle i would look at purchasing a 450 NE or bigger...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Welcome to the forum.
    It is true what James say about accuracy with a double rifle, since it is difficult to get both barrels to shoot the same way with different ammunition. The only way is to try different loads. When it come to quality in the build, I doubt there is any other makes that can compare to the Merkel.
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    Skip,

    I own a couple of other doubles and my personal experience with Merkel is limited. With that being said there are people who I know and trust that own Merkels and are very pleased with them. The Merkel should be a very serviceable hunting firearm.

    Chapuis also makes a nice lower end double in the 9.3 by 74. Here is an example.

    Chapuis Deluxe with EAW mounts and scope.9.3X74R - Chapuis Armes Rifles

    I believe Kebco llc is a distributor for Chapuis.

    Make certain the rifle fits and the LOP is correct.

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    Hi SkipJ

    I never hunted or shot with a Merkel rifles before, I had those in mi hands but never used one, but I know people that hunted with them both in Safaris in Africa and in monterias in Spain. Most of those people finished selling their Merkels doubles.

    I would say there are better rifles than Merkel, the problem of course is the price. But there are better brands such as Chapuis. As far as I know chapuis is a nice double.

    You can also try to look for a second hand rifles. I do not know if you can find those here in the US, but you can try to look for a Spanish Ego or Sarasqueta. I got a double Ego in 9.3x74R and works really well, I have hunted with it since I was 14 years old and shot a lot with it. Back in Spain you can buy one of those rifles for somewhere around 3,000Eur, but I do not know if you can find one of those here.

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    I have shot a Merkel and I prefer my Chapuis.. But that's just my opinion. You could also consider a 9.3X74R caliber instead of the 375 H&H. It's a low pressure round that's rimmed made for a DR. No problems with the pawl slipping on the rim and not extracting.
    Powder wise it's just a bit under a H&H. A very servicable round for anything in NA and most anything in Africa.

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    Hi have been hunting with a 9.3x74R since I was 14 years old back in Spain and I never use this rifle in Africa, but I have hunted several buffalo with a 375HH. I personally would not recommend to use this rifle with big boys such as buffalo. To me the 9.3x74R is a slow caliber and with lack of energy. It is such a nice caliber for driven hunts in Europe or monterias in Spain. I would say you can use this caliber comfortable to follow wounded cats with a good soft bullet. But I would never use this caliber with buffalo.

    For big boy such as buffalo I rather using big guns... those animals are tough... that is why I ordered my 470NE...

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    sondhi470 is offline AH Member
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    hi skip
    go for the 375 magnum if the choice is between the two mentioned by you.

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    Thanks for the advice fellas. I'm pretty sold on the .375.

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    Good calibre!!!!

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    I think the 9.3x74R with good bullets driven at good velocity which it is quite capable of, would be adequate for buffalo. The 9.3x62 has long been given a pass for buffalo in some countries and they are capable of the same exact thing. Neither would be my first choice but I would not be afraid to take a buff with them.

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    nsok is online now AH Veteran
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    Hi sestoppelman,

    Just for my knowledge, are the 9,3x74 and 9,3x62 capables of the same exact things?

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    I have owned and shot both. What one will do the other will do.

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    Thanks sestoppelman, I thought 9,3x62 is a bit more powerful

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    nsok,

    The 74 is a bigger case using the same bullet. Most loading manuals give the 62 an advantage being in bolt guns while the 74 is usually associated with doubles and single shots which may not be quite as strong as the bolt. I used a Ruger No. 1 and in such a gun the 74 can be loaded right up to snuff and probably could also in a good double as well. No game animal would ever know the difference between 100 fps either way.

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    For sure you can kill a buffalo with a 9.3x74R and with a 9.3x62 but to me it does not mean that is adequate caliber for cape buffalo.
    I got a 9.3x74R double at home and I will never use it for that purpose. But you know the beauty is there are a lot different calibers tho chose from...
    I would be much more comfortable shooting a buffalo with a 338win or 8x68S with the right bullet than with my 9.3x74R and I can tell I love my double and I use it every single season in Spain.

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    Alcornoque,
    Well you see thats what makes life interesting. I would prefer either of the 9.3 rounds to either of your choices based on caliber and bullet weight alone and either can post nearly the same energy figures as your choices. You can run nearly 300 grs in either 9.3. Yes there is a 275 gr bullet for the .338 and around 250 for the 8mm but heavier than that is not commom. I think any of the four would be about equal for buff and none would be my first choice either. To each his own.

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    nsok is online now AH Veteran
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    Knowing that neither 9,3x62 nor 9,3x74 nor 338 are adequate for buffalo, although capables, I think 9,3x62 and 9,3x74 are over 338, just for de caliber diameter. Maybe I am wrong

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    Dont misunderstand. I believe all would be adequate under the right conditions but none would be my first choice when there are so many other better choices. My next buff if there is one will be hunted with a .404 Jeffery. My first two both fell to the .375.

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    I prefer 338win than 9.3x74R because of confidence. A long time ago the 338win was loaded with 300Grains bullet, but not anymore. I heard people want the 338win to compete with the 375HH... difficult task...

    I hunted 4 buffalo already, I shot and kill them all with a 375HH, I believe this is an outstanding caliber and all round... however I think is not enough for those beast.
    I shot one of them 12meters away from us, the first shot straight into the lungs hitting the hart and the second shot straight into the chest hitting the hart again... and the buffalo did not stop... he run 80-90meters and hide into a thick bush, hitting it looking for someone to fight... the area was burn down we could see it and managed shot it 4 more time. Since then I believe 375HH is just not enough!!!

    Thats him...


    Buff 1.JPG Buff 2.JPG

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