Big bore Merkel

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Shavesgreen, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Shavesgreen

    Shavesgreen AH Senior Member

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    Can anyone tell me where I could get hold of a set of .416 or bigger barrels for the merkel 200 series 12 gauge?

    Many thanks,
    Charly
  2. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Shavesgreen, Merkel doesn't make a double rifle on the 12 ga action. Even if they did the barrel sets are not interchangable. The barrels must be fitted to the action at the factory. You can't get pre-fit barrels for a Merkel double rifle, or any other one that is worth owning.

    The double rifles made by Merkel are all made on two actions. They are the model 140-1 chambered for smaller chamberings,topping out at the 9.3X74R, and the 140-2 Safari chambered for the 375 H&H, 416 Rigby,450/400NE 3",470NE, and 500NE. These are both made on the 20 ga size action.

    The newer model 141 is also a small chambering rifle, topping out at 9.3X74R and is made on the 28 ga action.

    Do not confuse these double rifles as made on shotgun actions. They are simply sized the same as a shotgun actions of those bores. Rather than the Merkel double rifles being made on shotgun actions, the newer Merkel shotguns are made on rifle actions.

    One piece of advice here is, if you are thinking of buying a double rifle, stay away from rimless, and belted rimless cartridges, and stick to the flanged NE rounds. With Merkel double rifles made for use on dangerous game, they are limited to 9.3X74R, 450/400NE 3", 470NE, and 500NE anything smaller or with a rimless case is not reccomended. :)
  3. Shavesgreen

    Shavesgreen AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info, it seems my local gunsmith was giving me some BS! I had wanted to keep the Merkel as it has some sentimental value but only if I could convert it. I think I`ll just sell it and put the money towards an English double.

    Charly
  4. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Charly, It has always been my opinion that if a person is new to double rifles it is a smart move to buy a NEW double rifle rather than an old Britt double rifle. The reason for this is, the market for even field grade Britt double rifles is in the clouds in price point. Addtionally, the chance of getting a GOOD double is not likely, unless you are very experienced in the proof markings, and the pit falls of pimped up Britt rifles to make them look like a million dollars. The best Britt doubles are in collections, and the stuff on the market today is pretty rough.

    You would be agast at the people who buy these old cammoflaged beaters, and pay collector prices for them, and get really stung with a wall hanger. Besides that, many go into the double rifle world, thinking with a bolt rifle mindset. What I mean by that is, they are used to trying to get all the velocity that can from a perticular cartridge, and look to cartridges like the 375 H&H belted rimless, or the 458 Win Mag in a double rifle, and though new and used double rifle come in those chamberings, these cartridges were designed for bolt rifles, and are not well suited to double rifles.

    There are a number of good double rifles that will cost you far less than a worn out Britt, and shoot better as well. Companies like Merkel, Chapuis, Krieghoff, all come new in the under $10K range, and are backed by warenties. They are made of modern steel, and are all as strong as a bank vault. They are are very accurate with a proper put together handload, and as reliable as you can buy. Even B.Searcy will build you a made to fit "YOU" field grade double rifle for under $10K. It is a no frills rifle but made to fit your personal measurements. The only fly in the ointment there is the 8 mo wait to get it with half down. However even a used Searcy can be sent to Butch for repair, and he houners the warenty even though you didn't buy the rifle from him. That is a big plus for B.Searcy's rifles, he stands behind his product, and he is in Baron, Califirnia, not outer mongolia.

    If I were you what I would do is, buy a good used Merkel, or Chapuis S/S double rifle chambered for 9.3X74R, and about 100 rounds of S&B 286 gr ammo, and find out if you are a double rifle person. That cartridge is good for anything in North America, including the big Coastal Brown bears of Alaska, and is cheap to shoot, has pleanty flat trejectory, and is fine for all plains game in Africa, and is even legal for the big five in many places in Africa. That rifle is light for a double, and handles like a good shotgun.

    On the ammo side of this affair, Federal factory ammo for a 470NE double rifle sells fro $380.oo per box of 20 rounds! That is $16.oo every time you pull the trigger. The Sellier& Bellot 9.3X74R sells for about $45.oo per box of 20 and is about $2.25 per shot! Of course handloading of either of these rounds will save you lots of money, and once you find the load that shoots to the regulation built into the rifle, you will be getting the best the rifle has to offer.

    What ever you decide to do, give me a shout, and I'll try to tell you what to look for when you find something you may want to buy!

    Just some things to think about before you dive into water where you don't know the depth. :confused:
  5. Shavesgreen

    Shavesgreen AH Senior Member

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    I will definately ask your advise before buying. I, and many other brits, shy away from the continental calibres. They are slowly finding favour in the uk, particularly the 6.5x55, but only with the recreational stalkers looking for something a little different.

    Charly
  6. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Charly, I just realized you are in the UK, so you may have a much better selection of Old Britt Rifle than we do here in the USA.

    ....................Good luck with your search! :thumb:
  7. Shavesgreen

    Shavesgreen AH Senior Member

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    We do have plenty around but the prices are sky high! I often use a site called guntrader.co.uk to keep track of whats on offer. I guess the same applies here as with you that lots of potentially valuable guns are given a back street polish and sold to the next unsuspecting buyer.
  8. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Charly,
    Advise on double rifles from Dugaboy1 is always good advise. I have known him personally for a number of years and he is well versed in the double gun world. Your in good hands

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