Those thinking about buying a first double rifle
Those thinking about buying a first double rifle. I believe that it is common in the USA that most folks think of a double rifle as either too expensive, or not suited to hunting anything smaller than an elephant, or both. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The double rifle is the only rifle you can have that started it's life as a hunting rifle. All other types started out as a war weapon, and then was applied to the hunting fields. Since it is the only true hunting rifle, that should be reason enough to attract hunters in the USA, but for some strange reason this has never happened.
I blame this on ignorance! Now before some of you guys get your feelings hurt, let me explain! Ignorance is nothing but a word that describes the fact that something is not well understood, or not known at all. It has nothing to do with a person's intelligence, but that he simply has not been taught something.
This phenomenon is not limited to the run of the mill hunter, or the guy who is not well up on "GUNOLOGY" , but is rampant among gun writers, and even some of the most well known rifle smiths in the USA, and many other countries. Even people who have taken the big five, and grand slams of all kinds are sadly ignorant when it come to the double rifle. The misconceptions are a bag full, that would slow a train to haul.
In the USA we tend to read the gun rag guys, as if they were reading from scripture, and anything they say has to be correct, simply because they said it. Again we are being mislead, in some cases because the writer is too lazy to do the research, but mostly because they are printing opinion that the think is true.
The double rifle is a complex type of rifle to build and make it shoot properly. no formula, or jig can be made to get away from the tedious work of fitting these things so they work properly. All types of things have been tried to make regulating the barrels easy, and nothing has worked. Most think if you simply make the barrel exactly parallel then the rifle will shoot side by side! So why not simply use a laser to align the barrels and save hours, and hours, plus several rounds of very expensive ammo to regulate the barrels? The reason is it doesn't work.
The barrels have to be laid to not only converge, but to point as crossing, and low, compared to where you want the bullets to hit the target. The double rifle depends on the recoil arch of the rifle, and the speed of the bullet to shoot to where the sights are pointing when the trigger is pulled. IOW, if you place the barrels in a vice with the sights held dead on your target at the iron sight' regulated distance,then with an empty case, with no primer, in each barrel using the primer hole like a peep sight, look through each barrel. What you will see is, the right barrel will be pointing at a place that is low and on the left of where the sights are aligned. The left barrel will be pointing to a place on the right and low in relation to where the sights are aligned. This is necessary because of thing called barrel time. What that means is, when the trigger is pulled on the RIGHT barrel, the rifle rises up and to the RIGHT while the bullet is traveling down that barrel, so that the barrel is pointing to the point the sights were when the trigger was pulled, and Vice-versa for the left barrel. So the double rifle depends on the recoil arch, and the bullet's speed down the tube, to be aligned when that bullet exits the barrel. This converging of the barrels can be done exactly the same with two rifles shooting the same cartridge and they will not shoot the same, so each rifle has to be regulated by it's own rules to work properly. this is one of the reasons even the cheapest double rifle requires over 800 hours of skilled labor to complete, hence the cost of manufacture. However when this is done properly no rifle in the world is more reliable for hunting anything from jackrabbit to elephant depending on the clambering.