Best make for Doubles

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Oliver.Wettstein, May 5, 2009.

  1. Oliver.Wettstein

    Oliver.Wettstein AH Senior Member

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    Im looking at getting a double, and wanted to ask you guys here what you think is the best make for a double.

    I appreciate your answers

    Cheers,

    Oli
  2. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    I would reccomend a Krieghoff - a good dependable gun made with german precision and can be customised to your specs at minimum extra cost. I think it is the best value for money out there and you can get special deals on various guns through the people at Krieghoff. I had one made myself and been using it for eight years already with no complains. Understand that it is my working gun and it goes through a lot of beating and have fired more than 500 rounds with it. It is a classy looking work horse. Look into it.
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    For anyone who hasn't seen the pictures of Ryans' .470 NE Krieghoff Double Rifle, lovingly named "Humping Rabbits", be sure to check them out by clicking on the number next to "View My Photos" in the Stats box on the right of Shallom post header... I am sure you have never seen engraving like this, it's excellent :drooling:.
  4. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    My favorite doubles have been Searcys especially the newer ones on the smaller frames, They are strong and have outstanding accuracy..My favorite calibers are 450-3 1/4, and the 450-400-3"...I really lean towards the 450-400-3" as my all time favorite and the one that I have used most...

    I also love the old English doubles like Westely Richards, Holland and Holland, Watson, Jefferys, and Army-Navy and a few others..and not in any particular order.

    The German Francotte double is the best of the old guns that I have seen and would be my all time choice but they are hard to come by, especially in prime condition.....

    Unless I was well versed in double rifles I would just stay with the new guns that are out there on todays market as you can get burned pretty bad on one of the old doubles if you don't know your business.....:)
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Yes the American made Searcy are nice rifles. I have handled a couple of the newer ones and they are a solid rifle.

    I like the Kreighoff's as well. Very well built.

    There are a number of French companies producing some classy looking doubles.

    For the money I also like the fairly plain working model from Heym, the PH.
  6. JOODOWD

    JOODOWD New Member

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    where do merkels fall in the list?
  7. Oliver.Wettstein

    Oliver.Wettstein AH Senior Member

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    I was looking into Krieghoff, but i heard that they are only good for about a 1000 shots, and then after dint function so well anymore...but i guess 1000 shots is a lot. I have an old Francotte side/side shot gun from my father, as well as an old Holland&Holland side/side shot gun, and they are really magnificent guns.

    Thanks for all the input
  8. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Oliver The Krieghoff rifles are capable of far more than 1000 rounds of proper loads. The coming off face in a double rifle is far more frequently caused by poor care of the rifle than anything else. Sure serious overloads will damage any rifle, but as long as you care for the mateing surfaces in your rifle, and use proper regulating loads in the K-gun, you will have little trouble with it.

    If you are new to double rifles, then the learning curve will be very shallow for you with the K-gun. The Combi-cocking system of that rifle gave some of us pause when it first came on the sceen, but with a little time, and some learning the difference between the older calsic double rifle and the K-gun, it became evident that the K-gun was not a bugger man it was first thought to be. The K-gun, and the Blaser are the two safest double rifles on the market today to carry fully loaded, but that is where the comparison of the K-gun and the Blaser ends. My reccomendation is, if you want to use the rifle for hunting the bite-backs (dangerous game) then the Blaser will stay in the store. The Krieghoff, however is fine for that purpose, design wise.

    When loading the K-gun, you simply push the combi-cocking lever ( it looks like a treditional safety switch) forward slightly, and release, this uncocks the rifle. To cock the rifle you need to push the switch forward all the way to cock. This takes some pressure, but you will get used to that. If you fire one, or both barrels, the rifle re-cocks it's self on opening, so that just like the treditional double rifle, the rifle is ready to fire as soon as it is closed. If no more shots are required, then simply push the switch forward a little and release, and the rifle is un-cocked again, and safe to carry loaded.

    The Blaser doesn't work that way! If you open the rifle for any reason the rifle de-cocks it's self, and must be manually re-cocked before it can be fired. This is a feature that makes it safet to carry loaded, but not safe, IMO, when faceing a dangerous game animal. the last thing you need when a lion is close to makeing contact with you skin, is to have to remember to re-cock your rifle.

    There are several good double rifles on the market today, that are, for double rifles, cheap, but well made, and accurate. I own several double rifles, but my paire for Africa today are a pair of Merkels, a Safari 140-2, 470NE, and a 14E, 9.3X74R. The are very accurate, and trouble free, and I bought both for under $12K. Of course I bought both several years ago!

    Good luck with what ever you choose, and welcome to the DRSS!:worship:

    I am one of the four founders of the DRSS (Double Rifle Shooter's Society)
    And like most members we hunt almost everything with double rifles!
  9. Oliver.Wettstein

    Oliver.Wettstein AH Senior Member

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    Dugaboy1 thanks for this great post. It is really informative.
  10. JOODOWD

    JOODOWD New Member

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    I am also looking into a new double rifle most likely a merkel 140 in a .375. I would be interested in knowing why you chose the Merkels over the K-guns dugaboy. You seem to really know alot about double rifles and appreciate the input.
  11. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Please understand there is nothing wrong with the K-gun, but they simply do not fit me well, and I really do not like the way the action locks up. They are accurate, at least the ones I've shot were, but as I said they are hard for me to shoot without haveing to take a lot of time getting the sights on target, because of the fit. I like the Merkel because it has a better locking system, it is far more treditional in design, and ballance, and even off the shelf they fit me. For me they point naturally, and are simply a better looking rifles! Of course that is only "MY" opinion, and you know what they say about opinion. :D

    On your choice of the 375 H&H is a good one but not for a double rifle, IMO! If it were a 375 H&H flanged then I say go to it. It is my opinion that rimless, and belted rimless cartridges are sometimes problematic in double rifles. The new Merkels are now available chambered for 450/400NE 3", and are regulated with Hornady ammo. This is a far better choice for a double rifle than the rimless/belted case of the 375 H&H, or the 416 Jeffery!
  12. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Mac, now you have started it, my K-Gun is better looking;)

    If you can make a big show it is nice to handle several rifles to see which fits you better. The only issue is if your LOP is 15 1/2" it is hard to find any that fit especially if you are left handed like me.

    When I received the 470 the LOP was about 1 1/2 too short. I shot it 15 times and it beat me up pretty bad. I put a slip on recoil pad and got a little over 15 1/4 LOP. I can now easily shoot it 50 times a session. The sights are in line and everything feels "Right". Now it is off to JJ for a proper recoil pad and spacer and to add a 3/32 Ivory bead. Fit is so important especially on heavy hitters. The "cocking device" on the Krieghoff is very nice.

    Another consideration is if you want ejectors or extractors. K-Guns are extractor only. I believe Merkel offers a choice as does Heym and Searcy.

    The 450 3 1/4 would be a nice cartridge. I think Hornady is loading for it also.

    IMO the best double is the one you own and can comfortably shoot.
  13. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Hey Mike, have you learned to work that double as well as you do that No1? You may already know this liveing around Cow Island, but a fast cocking is some times a real chore with wet, or sweaty hands. A friend of mine made himself a thumb glove that has a velcro strap the locks around his wrist. That fixed the problem. He was hunting in October in Zim and his hands were really sweaty, when he needed to cock in a hurry. he had to make three stabs at it before he got it cocked. On another occasion when he fired the first shot, the rifle slipped in his hand, and de-cocked the rifle for the second shot!:eek:

    My wife's family is from Lafayette, and I spend a lot of time down there. If you know Cow Island you probably remember the old "ROCK-A-BY" at the fork in the road. My wife's old Aunt Ada Hebert owned that place yrs ago, and lived right down the road near the canal from it!
    ..................Mac >>>===(x)===>
  14. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I pretty much blistered my thumb learning the cocking device. I practiced in my house learning the feel of the gun. (Don't worry I was not dry firing) The trick is to cock it as you are coming up with the gun. Even with my big hands I struggle a little pushing the lever forward while the rifle is in my shoulder although I can.

    I have not uncocked it accidently while shooting. My best time to date is 3 shots in 6 seconds in a grapefruit group at 25 yards. So much for needing ejectors, but I need to learn how to load two at a time, right barrel is super fast, but two at a time is still awkward.

    I hope some of this info helps because while the K-gun is different it is a fine rifle.
  15. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I like the feel of the Merkels and they shoot good and are relitively inexpensive..Lots of used ones on the market at really reasonalbe prices also.

    I won't own a Krieghoff, the action is too long, they feel clunky to me, stocked poorly to fit me, and I can't abide by that safety, it is a wreck looking for a place to happen..

    Now I done went and dune it, this is bound to upset someone, so I will qualify this statement to mean they don't work for me personally! :)
  16. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Is the cocking issue why Blaser doubles aren't as popular? I've seen them bring less money than others and always wondered why.
  17. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    In a very big way the fact that the Blaser doesn't re-cock it's self after opening for any reason. In fact if the rifle is loaded, and opened it is automaticlly de-cocked. If that opening is to un-load the rifle that is OK, but if you fire one or both barrels on an animal that is taking issue with your haveing poked a hole or holes in him,and those shots don't do the trick, when open the rifle for the re-load, and slam the rifle shut, you better remember to re-cock the rifle, that is if you actually have time to re-cock it.

    The K-gun on the other hand, when you cock the rifle, and fire one or both barrels, and break for a re-load , and close the action it is ready to fire, with only the pulling of the triggers. To me in a tight spot that is a significient difference in the two. A difference that may cost you your life. I will not ven use a double rifle with an automatic safety, much less one that autiomaticlly de-cocks it's self in the middle of a fight with a cape buffalo.

    Here is a quote from the Merkel owners manual:

    " OPERATION OF THE DOUBLE RIFLE "SAFETY" MECHANISM
    The double rifle safety mechanism is located on the tang of the reciever assembly just in front of the buttstock on the top side. Some Merkel double rifles are equipped with automatic safeties, i.e. the safety is automaticlly engaged each time the breech is opemed
    . Double rifles in 375 H&H, .416 Rigby, or .470 Nitro Express are not equipped with automatic safeties because they are designed for dangerous game when the need for a quick reloading and follow-up shots are critical" .........The bold print is in the manual is actually printed on BOLD RED!

    It then goes on to explain how safeties are supposed to work, but you can see the rifle maker doesn't reccomend an auto safety for any rifle used for dangerous game. The auto safety that actually not only puts it on safe, but de-cocks the rifle as well, is not my idea of a good feature! :shocked:
  18. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I dont have much to compare by but I have a old Searcy that I like a lot. It fits me well and I think that makes the recoil more managable. If you are left handed they also have left hand triggers as well as the stock. I am thinking on having a new one built in 450/400, I like this old one so much. I see they have gone up in price but its probably worth it.
  19. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    If you're looking for the best bang for your buck in a new rifle, 9.3X74R and others consider a Chapuis. Mine's well made and very accurate.
    It's not legal for DG in a few countries as I undestand but it'll do the job elsewhere.
  20. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Oli
    I am shooting a 470 Krieghoff , what a pleasure. Use it on most dangerous game. I reload myself and is just very happy with the gun. I had it build in Germany as a custom about 12 years ago.
    When i go past Naboom again i will stop and you can have a look.
    Johann

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