A Different Sort of Double Rifle

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Red Leg, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Over on one of the other threads I have been in a dialogue with a fellow member about my experiences with the Blaser S2 double rifle. He seems perplexed, even somewhat offended, that I am comfortable using a double rifle in a non-traditional way. Allow me to open that discussion to a broader audience. As a condition setter, let me say that I am taking my S2 on its second trip to Africa - this time to Mozambique with its .375 and 30-06 barrels.

    I have other doubles. A couple have claw mounted scopes. All are used traditionally. By that I mean 80 yards and closer with open sights and no farther than 150 meters or so with the scopes. The S2 is another thing entirely.

    The S2 uses the Blaser scope mounting system - read very secure and instantly dismountable. Using 300gr .375 TSX's, each barrel shoots MOA groups at 100 meters. The barrels are adjustable, and I have these regulated to converge at 200 meters. I sight the right barrel to be slightly high at 100 meters, and with the 200 meter convergence (remember these are one MOA barrels), I have composite groups no larger than 4-5 inches out to 250 meters. Thus when following a buffalo's tracks, I have a double rifle easily capable of making a shot at a record book kudu out to 250+ meters.

    In its 30-06 guize, the rifle shoots less than MOA from each barrel, and I have it set up with the same 200 meter convergence. It is truly a 300m rifle.

    In Moz we will initially concentrate on buff. I'll hunt the S2 with the .375 barrels and scope in place. I have the same capabilitie and first shot MOA accuracy as any bolt rifle, and the advantage of a second, almost as accurate, instant second shot. When we switch to plains game, I'll switch to the '06 unless we stumble across something compelling while trailing a buff.

    So if I am goring a traditionalists ox, then sorry, but this is a different sort of double rifle. It can be employed in ways that a traditional one can not. I am using it this summer not for nostalgia's sake, but because it seems to be the most efficient tool for the type of hunt I am taking.
     
  2. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Wow sounds fascinating! I need to look that thing up. How much does such a rig set you back?

    Best of luck on your hunt.
     
  3. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    I would love to have a double but fear the price is too high to then hunt. This set you have does sound very interesting. Any pictures to share?
     
  4. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Red Legs

    I have looked at the Blaser S2 rifle that you currently have. Plus having also visited with the factory rep about the rifle. I just thought it was a little on the lite side and did not purchase one. I also looked at their shotguns and trap guns, the factory rep was trying to get me to shoot one of their trap guns for competition.

    However taking a rifle of your choice, is your business and if that is the rifle you want to take, then go for it.

    As mentioned many times, it is your money that you are spending, so enjoy your money doing what you like to do.

    Now, if another person your are debating was paying your way on the safari and they wanted you to shoot a different rifle, then i would have to agree with them. However i do not think that is the case here.
     
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  5. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    This sounds like a fascinating set-up, to me.

    In many ways, very nearly the best of both worlds melded together in a very useful package.

    Tim
     
  6. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    i see nothing wrong with using a double as a medium range rifle. in fact, that was the point in my caliber choice for my double (500/416 NE). if i set my scope to being just 2 inches high at 100 yards then im just 2 inces low at 200 yards.which gives me an effective 200 yard gun. although with my rifle i dont think i would try much past 200 yards.

    as to how it groups at 200 yards... this is too be seen after it gets back from repairs.

    -matt
     
  7. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Sounds pretty cool to me..

    Enjoy it!!!
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Blaser S2 is just one fine example of great engineering.
     
  9. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    My friend has a blaser S2 and he loves it...however i didn't shoot with it yet...damn!! Porbably the cheapest double NEW to get in RSA - ±$8500
     
  10. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    $8500 would be a nice deal, they tend to run just a bit more then Merkel's here in the US. (around $11k)

    I considered a Blaser S2 in 500/416 NE but I couldn't get past how strange they look. :eek:

    -matt
     
  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I probably should have added that part of being a "different sort of double" is that the S2 has a very different look - elegant is not the first word that springs to mind! http://www.blaser-usa.com/index.php?id=374&L=1 There is nothing about it that reminds one of a London "best" or even a pre-war Suhl. It was designed with Teutonic functionality in mind. I am told that Blaser brought in a group of engineers - not gun designers - gave them a list of requirements and the S2 is more or less what emerged. It has the same cocker/safety design one finds on the K-gun which I like a lot but some do not. It is also a non-ejector which seems to drive some of the gun scribes to distraction - particularly Weiland. I personally find even the .375's pluck or drop out really quickly. I bought the base rifle used in .500/450 about four years ago for about 8k. I subsequently purchased the .375 and 30-06 barrels new from Euro-optic. http://www.eurooptic.com/search.aspx?keyword=blaser s2 They don't give them away, but they fit the action right out of the box and they really shoot. I have Zeiss Victories mounted on the .375 and the 30-06. So say about 22K all in for a three barrel set and optics.

    One rarely sees them in the States - the look seems to appeal to the Continental hunter more - and a few critics here have been relentless in deriding it - The major complaints are the auto-cocker de-cocker, the lack of ejectors, and the over-hang formed by the unique lock design. The same savants seem to be all in on the K-gun but which looks very traditional in spite of the same cocking feature - I think more than anything they can't get past the gun's looks. Never mind that an S2 will shoot circles around any other double I have ever seen.

    My critic on the other thread finally resorted to fulminating that a double "Its simply not made for this". Well, this one is. It has first round MOA accuracy in .375 and sub-MOA accuracy in 30-06. I suspect the 500/450 does as well, but I haven't scoped it. It shoots just as accurately - just as far - as any other MOA accurate .375 or 30-06 built on any other kind of action on the planet. Pretty amazing.
     
  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hi Red Leg,

    Your earlier posts some time ago on this rifle began with me wondering what the heck an "S2" was and it roused my curiosity.
    I researched it and was only able to examine it in photographs unfortunately.
    It would be good for me to try one in person before shrugging them off like this because it does seem like a very interesting concept indeed.
    However until I can actually try one / at this stage, the following is my take on the S2:

    The cocking/decocking slide - safety gadget in function does not put me off at all.
    What put me off is like so many other grouchy old curmudgeons like me .. the rifle over all strikes me as a bit garish or "Star Treky" looking for my taste.
    Likewise, I prefer ejectors, even on PG calibers but very much on DG calibers, (very, very much on DG calibers).
    And, that overhang of steel above the chambers appears as though it'd get in my way, during the reload, especially if some huge grumpy bear around here was trying to throttle me and my fingers were cold (I live in a cold / northern coastal climate).
    Also, I strongly prefer longer barrels on my doubles with somewhere around 26" seeming to be the best for balance/handing characteristics in my style of shooting and carrying.

    All that being said, I also can see clearly why you and others do like that type of rifle, especially the excellent accuracy thing and the interchangeable barrels without any Gunsmith hand fitting required .. even I totally get that.
    No doubt, if we were to walk the same ground for several safaris, with each his own chosen double rifle, you would sack more game than I because with mine, I would have to pass-up longer shots that, you would take with ease (mine is a Heym 88B in .458 Winchester and I will never scope it).

    And, although I am not interested in owning an S2, or any other Blazer product that I've seen so far, when anyone moans that you should not use such a rifle, (unless of course they are willing to buy you whatever type they prefer), I vote that you not loose any sleep over their comments, LOL.
    Same goes for your choice of pointy / copper alloy bullets (or whatever they're made of) in your double.
    Those are not my thing, especially not in a double rifle but, they obviously work well for you and I applaud you for doing enough research and experimentation to settle on what works best for you.

    I am convinced that your pending Safari de Mozambique will be a roaring success, at least partly because of your choice in equipment, including the rifle / bullets / optics / mounts and all.
    Again, I have more traditional ideas about double rifles (rifles in general), projectiles and related equipment but I will never claim my ideas are "better" than yours for your needs and taste or, anyone else's ideas for their needs and tastes.
    Your ideas are best for you because they obviously work well for you and I will look forward to your words on your Mozambique safari when you return.
    (Fact is that I'm a bit jealous because I cannot go along).

    Kind Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  13. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Always appreciate your comments Velo. I am actually much more of a traditionalist than the S2 would indicate. In '08 I rolled two warthog and a couple of dozen sand grouse from the same waterhole with my William Evans Paradox (incredible gun built in 1912). I shoot box birds and my primary pigeon guns are a pre-war Merkel and a Cashmore. I shoot quail with a 20-bore hammer Lucchini and geese with a 10-bore hammer Lindner. But I really like this S2, and it seems the perfect combo for the majority of shooting that I do as a client in Africa.
     
  14. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    You are just showing your versatility by owning/using the S2!
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I applaud people for thinking outside the box, this how great ideas are developed. We should not be so quick to judge something based on looks. We should embrace versatility and performance!

    My hat is off to Red Leg. I know a lot of traditionalist that would not try a great gun just because of the looks, which I think is wrong. Ejectors and other things are all subjective. I think the guy that practices with his equipment can be just as fast as the next guy for the most part,
     
  16. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Red Leg,

    Thanks and likewise, I always appreciate your comments as well.

    Pre-War Merkels and William Cashmores rule.

    Linder was the H&H of Prussia.

    And although I have never seen a Luccini, I have heard of them.

    Hammer guns have a charm all their own (they're time machines for me).

    I shot my one and only African buffalo with an Army & Navy hammer gun in .450 No2 NE.

    I repeat myself in that, I look forward to your posts regarding your pending experiences in Mozambique.

    Cheerio,
    Velo Dog.
     
  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello Enysse,

    Aside from applauding people for thinking outside the box (generally I agree with you on that one), I do respect your opinion but respectfully, my opinion otherwise differs from yours.
    This difference of opinion is especially regarding ejectors, as you wrote; I think the guy that practices with his equipment can be "just as fast as the next guy" for the most part.
    Likewise, I differ regarding your opinion on traditionalists not favoring something that you conversely, do favor.
    For that notion you wrote: "which I think is wrong".

    One might say that I'm primarily a traditionalist and I might say that if it's not pleasing to my eye, it's very likely I will not want to own it.
    Such a philosophy might be "wrong" for you.
    It is however quite right for me.
    In Spanish, there is a common saying that retorts with my position on this "looks" subject perfectly.
    With tongue in cheek, and translated to English it says: "You have no eyes".

    I repeat that; Even though the S2 is not something I'm interested in owning at this stage in my life, it reportedly sounds like it is the perfect rifle for Red Leg's planned trip to Mozambique.
    It's not my thing but, far be it from me to think he should not have it.

    One man's bread is another man's poison "which I think is right" by dang.

    My best regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well my thinking is based on guys shooting Ruger single shots. I can't embrace the idea at all, but a lot of people love them! I have seen plenty of people on youtube shoot them very accurately and super fast. I guess I embrace the idea that people can adapt and if they don't them pay the consequences of doing the same thing.

    No disrespect to the traditional double gun owner. I can see everyone's love for them.

    My dad owned a 69 Dodge Charger new, he used it and abused it and sold it for $2000. He told me 20 years ago, they are only worth $5000 at the most. I begged to differ! He'd rather have a new car!!!!! Everything to me is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  19. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    I'm slowly scratching my head in ponder.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    It's like telling someone they have to use controlled round feed vs push feed for dangerous game. Most including me would say use only a controlled feed, but some will pick the push feed.

    Ejectors are a choice on a double rifle.... So are other things
     

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