I know your situation as until recently I was in the Army as well. I have a Chapuis and a Blaser and while I like both of them I can assure you that the Blaser is the better gun. Blasers get a bad rap because they don't have the traditional style and 1000s of hours of ornate engraving that Merkels or Chapuis or k-guns do. People constantly sway people away from Blasers because they say the cocking mechanism doesnt allow you to reload and quickly get off a third or fourth shot but quite honestly I find that criticism idiotic. First off, no reliable PH is going to allow you to make a shot on dangerous game at more than 50 yards. So let's say a cape buffalo charges at 50 yards after the first shot. He can run 35mph (51fps). Which means that he's on you in about 3 seconds. Wile I'm not saying it can't be done, but it takes a pretty seasoned and practiced guy to fire the second round, break the action, dig out two more rounds, reload those rounds, remount the gun on your shoulder and fire one to two more aimed rounds. That's the reason PHs carry a gun with them on dangerous game hunts.
Secondly, you can achieve pretty decent accuracy with most if not all double rifles at 50 yards. However with the Blasers free floated barrels and adjustable regulation it pretty hard to beat the accuracy you can get from one. IMO the first shot is the one that counts most and while my Blaser may not be the prettiest gun out there I know when I fire either barrel, it's going to hit where I was aiming. My Chapuis is pretty accurate too but it took literally hundreds of dollars and a lot of time in different bullets, powder, cases, primers, and tweaking case length, to find a load that it would shoot to the standard I was comfortable with.
Lastly, it's unfortunate but I think a lot of double rifle owners buy a certain brand because of how they look instead of how they perform. Which is okay because most of them perform for there intended purpose (except for Sabatti, which are absolute junk). However IMO accuracy is the most important feature in any gun that I intend to use to hunt things that could kill me and i find it pretty hard to beat a Blaser in terms of that.
As long as everybody is trying to chip in, I'll add a rouble's worth of advice. If you really have to want a double, have another close look at Heym 88B; they chamber one in .470.
And, do not waste your time and taste on Blasers.
Why do I think that i have a right to say anything on this subject here?
I am the so called "hunting consultant", which is in plain English is a "booking agent". But I think i am a little bit different from most of my colleagues. I spend on average 100-120 days per year in different African countries, plus a couple of weeks in other countries too. I accompany most of my clients on their safaris to make sure they do not get shorted on anything, to make sure the camp is right, and, just help them to communicate with the Phs and the camp stuff, and, simply because I love hunting and because I feel better when tse-tse flies are buzzing around as opposed to toyotas and chevys. And, i get to watch quite a few professional hunters. Old and young ones, different, all of them. But, most of them are good ones, as I've learned how to choose the best. Some of them have become very good friends. I can appreciate your dream of getting into this romantic, but... dying profession. Believe me, it's a tough one. Also, getting back to the "double" issue. For a beginner PH to own a double is like for a college graduate to own a fancy web site and a flashy business card. You have your CZ in .375, and, it's a damned good tool to start in the profession, Ok, you can get a bigger gun, there's lots of them on the market (I assume you are an American): .416s, .458s. It does not matter, buddy. Sounds like you are approaching this issue as an amateur, whose main priority is "I want a new piece in my gun room". You are going to face bigger problems if you really will press into getting into this profession. A bolt, or, a double? It's not important. Learn the As and Bs of the job, first. Then brain a cow elepahnt at your client's feet, and, he will present you with a nice Manton. Good luck, anyway.
I have read your words with the upmost care. I thank you for taking your time to write. You are correct about most things you said. I do not however just want a new piece for my gun room. I look at at a gun as a tool. I see the beauty in them but I'll take function over that any day. Seeing that it will take quite a bit of money to get to where I want to go... I shoot that .375 well enough to feel comfortable in any situation I might get into so I'll stick with her until I drop that big cow. I would love to talk to you more about hunting and any other subjects that might lead to. Take care on your travels.
If your going to the DSC show in Jan I'll be there and we can get a cold drink or two. I've talked to PaulT quite a bit, he'll be there as will a great many others. Look forward to talking more.
I appreciate your comments regarding my remarks. But, it often helps to listen to somebody who thinks not exactly along your lines. That way you have to rethink your lines, and, if you stay on the same position, you only become stronger. But, if that opposite makes you deviate, then... Well, you can continue that line yourself.
If you think that my rouble worth of chatting is worth your attention, then you are most welcome to ask me. And, maybe sometimes I'll be able to be useful to you.
Thanx for the offer, but, I am afraid, this year I will not be going to the Shows.
It's just been a few days since I have joined the AH, and, I am really flattered by the attention. This is a great bunch of guys. It is something I've been missing.
I own three sabbatti's; a 9.3x74 extractor, 450/400 extractor and an 458 NE 3.25 ejector. I don't know what kind of problem people have been having with regulation, but my guns regulate at 50 yds with both factory ammo and hand loaded ammo loaded to replicate factory ballistics. Were these people shooting factory ammo or handloads? Do they understand some of the idiosyncrasies of the double rifle? At what range were they having regulation problems? At 50 yds my guns will keep their shots from individual barrels in a 1-1.5 in. group and each barrel will be within 1.5 in. of each other. My F.A.I.R stack barrel double in .308 Win. shoots less then 1 in. groups from each barrel at 100 yds and each barrel within 1.5 in. Its amazing how accurate these guns can be with careful handloading or factory ammo they really like. My handloads are more accurate and consistent then factory ammo probably because I spend more time and care loading. The Hornady ammo is very good and if it were not so expensive for practice, thats all I would use. I have shot the 9.3 at least 200 times the 450/400 about 75 and the 458 NE,ouch, about 25. I still don't know why I bought the 458, probably just because I wanted it. The guns may be inexpensive but they are well made and nice looking to boot. Numerical controlled machining helps to reduce costs immensely. The most expensive was the 450 NE at just under $6000. The 9.3 was just under $3000 and my favorite the 450/400 was about $4300. I have met and discussed the Sabatti rifles with Emanuele Sabatti twice and he does not appear to be a person who would sell a rifle one could not depend on. One can spend 2 or 3 times more money on a Merkel or other name brand, but for a beginning hunter and for the amount of actual use the gun will be put to in today's African hunting, other then game control, you could do worse. I would be very careful before " betting my life" on a used gun of unknown provenance without having it checked over by a double gunsmith of proven competence. My 450/400 will be used on buffalo in a few months.
It appears that Sabatti has stopped 'cutting corners' with their reguation attempts. Now the current production ones aren't getting the 'dremel treament' to fine tune the regulation . They'll play down that bad name for a very long time I'm afraid.
The one and only one that I've shot here locally wasn't ground and shot well at 50 yds. I haven't seen what it'll do at other distances yet.
Originally Posted by AkMike
Please explain this Dremel tool regulation you speak of. Having been witness to actual double rifle regulation years ago in England, I find the Dremel regulation facinating.
Basicly they ream out the rifleing from the muzzle in different areas to make the bullet go where it's supposed to go. BUT by doing this it de-stabilizes the bullet. It may print at 50 yds but will be keyholeing at other ranges. There is a 500 here locally that has be shaved like this and it's ugly! At least to me.
Jake, Thank you as well,
I just did a search on gunbroker.com there are several doubles for sale on their site, just type in "double rifle". They have a Blazer S2 in 500NE for $7999, worth a look, they have A LOT on there right now.