First Double - need advice!

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by FFemt5287, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Since you guys helped me pick my first two big/medium bore rifles, I figured I'd let you guys help on a third!

    I'm venturing into the world of double rifles on this one. I'd like to make a purchase this month. I've a (roughly) $10,000 budget. I've a few in mind, please comment as you see fit:

    MAKE: Here is the first dilemma. I seem to be leaning mostly towards a Merkel, but I can also swing offerings from Krieghoff and Chapuis. I know Searcy's are in this price range, but I can't seem to find any for sale and he cut out the PH line, which I would just purchase brand new if he still offered it!

    CALIBER: I would like to have either a .470NE or .500NE, but would be open to a .450NE, also. I do see the merit in a .450-400NE, but those seem to be tough to find on my budget.

    I know Cabela's has a number of Merkels and Krieghoffs for sale and I'll be venturing to my local one this week to snoop about. In the meantime, I would appreciate any and all comments from you all as to what my best choice(s) would be.

    Thank you all again!

    Brandon
     
  2. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    A 450NE would be my first choice. Good selection of bullets if you reload. Ballistically it is basically the same as a 470NE.

    Here is another place to look, most of their guns tend to be on the high end but not always.

    Champlin Firearms - Gun Vault - Quality Firearms

    Champlin Firearms - Gun Vault - Quality Firearms

    Of the guns you mentioned you will find detractors and supporters for each one. Find one that fits you, that is probably the most important thing. I like my K-Gun, others I know like Merkels.

    You did not mention Blaser. It is a little different (like Krieghoff), IMO the drawback with it is the automatic safety. After you shoot and reload you have to slide the safety/cocking device forward.
     
  3. crosspoint

    crosspoint New Member

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    Verney-Carron French guns

    Hi guys,
    Well I've been looking into double rifles from Verney-Carron:

    :: Verney Carron : fabricant d'armes de chasse, fusils automatiques, armes a feu ::

    Look under the english texts, for fine guns. I am really going to buy one of these guns, doubles with side locks or doubles with boxlocks. Both are called Azurs, but the side lock's largest caliber is .375 H&H, the boxlock (Azur Safari Standard and PH) is up to .600NE, take a look. They are very helpful on the phone.
    Good luck, Frank from Switzerland.
     
  4. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    I would suggest that you add Heym to the list of rifles.
    I love my Chapuis in 9.3. it's a very accurate rifle.

    I have a 450NE shotgun conversion that is alot of fun so far. I've put approx 100 rounds thru it so far and grinned each time. It's a fine caliber.
     
  5. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Brandon
    I am shooting a Krieghoff that i had custom build in Germany in 470 NE , i use it only as buckup rifle on big game and what a pleasure to shoot this thing, years ago i did use a 416 Rigby but for the last 10 years i only use the 470. I did not do anything to it, had it build as a working rifle and that was it. Very smooth on the shoulder taking aim at something that want to bite, or push you around, well then you do not think about recoil.

    Johann
     
  6. Gloucester

    Gloucester AH Member

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    I agree with your inclination to go for the Merkel. The safari model 140A is a great no-frills gun and is as good as you'll get, unless you start to spend serious money on having one made.

    I prefer the Merkel to Krieghoff and Blaser because Merkel has a long-term reputation that rests on double-rifles.

    There isn't a lot of ballistical difference between the classic 450's and the 470NE. I prefer 470 NE.

    Good luck
     
  7. Askari1

    Askari1 New Member

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    I looked at many different maker of doubles before purchasing my "off the rack" Merkel 140-A in cal 470 NE. This gun is not fancy but solid. She is simple to use, fits me like a glove (I am 5' 9"), is well balanced, ideal for snap shooting, is very accurate, and pleasant to shoot. My gun does not have ejectors which make extra noice and will fail (question only when - Merkel refused to put them on large caliber guns for that reason) and has no recoil pad which lowers the risk of getting the butt stuck while sliding the gun up the shoulder. All things I want in a big bore double when quick shooting might be a life saver when hunting dangerous game in thick bush.

    I recommend that you look at as many different doubles as you can. Just pick them up, "throw" them at your shoulder, swing them for a simulated quick shot, and see how each one feels. Then purchase the one you like best.
     
  8. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your advice. I liked the Merkels so much for the points brought up: plain, rugged, dependability.

    I liked the idea of the .450 NE for the fact that cheap bullets could be used for practice ammo (yes, I reload Mike). I'm just having a very hard time finding if Merkel made the 140 in the .450NE.

    Cabelas in East Hartford (about 30 minutes from my house) has a Merkel in .375 H&H which I'm going to check out, probably Monday, just for feel and function.

    Cabela's also seems to only have Merkels in .470 and .500. If it comes down to either of those, what would you guys suggest? I'll be reloading for it either way.

    I would like to make the purchase from Cabela's because my credit card through there gives me rewards points and I would use that card to be able to pay off the rifle over about 3 months.
     
  9. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I own a 470 and have shot a 500.

    If it was a dedicated elephant rifle I would say the 500 nitro.

    If you are like me and plan to hunt buffalo, hogs, deer, bottles, and elephant the 470 may be a better choice.

    The 500 will hit harder on both ends, it is a little more expensive to shoot.

    But it is an impressive chunk of lead.
     
  10. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Man, Mike, you make my decissions no easier! :cool:

    I will more likely than not go for a .470 for this will not be a dedicated ele rifle.

    Has anyone bought from Cabela's gun library before? How easy/difficult is it to get them to ship firearms between stores?
     
  11. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Just sharing my experience here - i have little with doubles not belonging to me and i own a Krieghoff Classic in .470NE. Cannot think of a better tool to have as a PH. Its custom built for me and the performance over the past ten years has been flawless. As Mike said, what you need in a double, is a gun that fits you. Something that 'feels' natural and falls into place when brought into action. I also agree that .500NE is for when you are dealing exclusively with elephant or charges. In terms of range in dangerous game, you really do not need anything more than a .470 Good luck with your gun hunt and do let us know and see what you eventually acquire. Cheers,
     
  12. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    hi! I d suggest if u are keen to procure a good DBBL rifle go in for a .470 NE S/S or a O/U Merkels are technically very fine rifles so r the Krieghoffs. This British catridge deviced by Joseph lang in 1907 based on a rimmed case 3.25 inch in length, this cartridge uses .646" rim diamtre, the Federal and Kynoch are producing .470 loads with a 500 grain SN & FMJ with a ME 5130 ft lbs with a MV of 2150 fps. I own a DBBL .470 NE by John Rigby which has been in the family since 1949 and still has been giving astounding performance.
    So go in for this caliber in Doubles, do let me know wht u finally purchase.

    Happy purchasing a fine dBBl

    Monish
     
  13. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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  14. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I see the Heym 88 quite often and rarely see it mentioned on here. I like their PH model as it seems to be a no nonsense rifle. It is available in most all cartridges mentioned including the .500.

    What do the rest of you who have more experience think about the Heym double?
     
  15. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    The reason the Merkel 140 does not have ejectors is to keep the price down. They are reliable. I believe most if not all high end doubles are offered as ejector rifles, as does Merkel on their Model 140AE and 160AE.

    This from Merkels website

    Merkel Safari rifles have a long and excellent reputation among the big game hunters thanks to absolute reliability and accuracy. In response to requests from many safari and professional hunters these guns are now equipped with strong ejectors.
     
  16. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Ejectors v/s extractors has also been something I've been mulling over during this whole process. I have an SxS shotgun with ejectors and I find it quite nice. Would the general concensus be that the ejectors are necessity in a double rifle for dangerous game?
     
  17. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Ejectors are mandatory for a quick reload as with this calibre ud be pusuing the most dangerous game and the thin line of life and death stands gazing at the lucky one with this wholesome calibre .470
     
  18. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I believe ejectors are a nicety not a necessity. All K-guns are extractor only. Many, many doubles for dangerous game were built as extractor guns.

    As mentioned in another post some people feel the game can hear the ping of the ejector when reloading. I believe it was Taylor who wrote about it in one of his books.

    I am looking at two prewar British doubles, one Boswell and and one a Jeffery. Neither are ejectors guns.

    I do not know if I posted this clip on here before, if I did my apologies. This is me shooting an extractor double.

    470Nitro200-09-19.flv video by Mike70560 - Photobucket

    With practice you can reload an extractor gun pretty quick and there are people that are definitely better than me.
     
  19. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Looks like Mike's video answered my question :)

    I guess that just means I need to spend more time at the range! :p

    I'm heading up to Cabela's in the morning when I get out of work to fondel that Merkel .375 and talk to them about getting me that .470! :D
     
  20. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    Well, I opened the doors with Cabela's this morning and practically molested that 375 Merkel they had. I loved the way it felt. So this model is on its way up to East Hartford with my name on it (oh yah, decided ejectors would be nice....):

    Cabela's -- Merkel Model 140 Ejector .470 Nitro Express

    I'm rather excited! Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I'll post up pics as soon as I pick it up! :D
     

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