Merkel

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by ar15meister, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. ar15meister

    ar15meister AH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am going to Africa in June to hunt Buffalo.

    I am considering trading a couple rifles and handguns that I never use (and some cash) for a used Merkel .470NE Double to take with me.

    I know absolutely nothing about them. Asking price is $8900.00 and I can likely get that cost way down with trades and make a cash offer. They told me it has been there for at least a year....maybe more.

    Is this a nice rifle? It handled very nicely and looked great.

    I bought a Winchester Model 70 .375 Safari brand new last week. I would either keep it or trade it on the double. Strangely enough I handled about 15 rifles today ranging in cost from 1200-10000 and I liked the Merkel double and the CZ550 the best.

    I am 29 and it is my first time to Africa. If that matters.
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    2
    My Photos:
    134
    Member of:
    S.C.I. International. Rowland Ward. Sporting shooters Association of Australia. Australian Deer Association.
    Hunted:
    Aus. N.Z & Zim.
    It is going to be difficult for anyone to give you an assessment on the value of this used Merkel without knowing many more details regarding up-grades/options(e.g. engraving, ejectors, extended straps, c.c.h.etc), which model it is(Merkel came out with a few different models, some of which cost considerably more than others) and its existing condition. If you are not well versed on double rifles you might consider to seek advice and help in selecting a used double from someone who is experienced and knowledgable when looking. There are currently a LOT of used doubles on the second hand market. Some are excellent purchases, and great value for money, others are just someone else's junk being off-loaded for cash. Be careful, a double rifle purchase is never "cheap", but the wrong purchase could cost you dearly. Considering your hunt is coming up this June, are you well versed in the handling and function of a double to be carrying it on DG in only a few months time ? (no disrespect intended).
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,999
    Likes Received:
    146
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    Picking up someones poorly regulated double could be a real bad start to owning a double.
    ie. Why did the guy sell it in the first place?

    I hope someone close by can help you out.
     
  4. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet)
    I have a Merkel in 470 it shoots really well with the old Barnes XLC bullet, the bullet is no longer made. As for value I paid $8000 Canadian for it new in 2004. Don't know if this will help. If you can talk to the prevoise owner and find out how it shoots and with what load it maybe ok. If you are taking it to Africa, practice with it. Reloading, shooting and practice moving you trigger finger from one trigger to the next. This is the one thing I didn't practice, when I went to shoot the second barrel nothing, it could get you killed.
     
  5. huntsolo101

    huntsolo101 AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    My Photos:
    29
    Member of:
    SCI , NRA, Wisconsin Bowhunters, SCI Wisconsin Chapter,
    Hunted:
    usa, canada, south africa, namibia
    I also have been looking for My first double. On my previous hunts I have used a muzzleloader. Not being able to get quality black powder in South Africa has forced me to let the muzzleloader in the safe. For this years hunt I am bringing my ruger 1 in 450/400. I have installed a leupold vxr 2-7x33 with alaska arms quick detach rings. The ruger is my first step to one day owning a double. Doubleriflejack has been very helpful in answering my questions and pointing me in the right direction. The only double rifles I have held in my hands are 3 sabattis that the cabelas by my house had. I will make a point to attended next years sci show and go to as many double booths I can.

    image.jpg
     
  6. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    37
    Member of:
    NRA-Life ASSRA DRSS
    Ar15,
    That Merkel should be a fine rifle. They have a great reputation for regulation and workmanship.
    Make sure that if this is from a private party or dealer, that you get a chance to check it out at the range with factory ammo or their hand loads to verify regulation and to see how well it fits.
     
  7. ar15meister

    ar15meister AH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    2
    where did you buy a new one for 8k in Canada?

    I have experience with 2 triggers in an old side by side shotgun I have.

    What other rifles can be had in the 7-10k range used? Is it normally better to buy new in a double?

    I have zero experience. I plan on shooting a bunch before taking it to Africa.
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,968
    Likes Received:
    135
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    That Winchester you bought is one fine gun, put a scope it and practice. The Africa hunting bug, might bite you hard and you will need every "hobby" dollar to pay for it. If you want a double fine, but you don't need one. Hope I didn't step on anyone's toes.
     
  9. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet)
    CMP Sports in Fort Nelson BC remember, it was 10 years ago MSRP was 7000-14000 depending on the rifle. Louie the owner ordered it for me and gave me a good price. I bought a SxS shotgun with dual triggers after I got back, started shooting clays just to practice.
     
  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    12
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    ar15meister,

    The Merkel is a decent double rifle in the $10,000. range (my opinion).
    I have owned 5 side by side rifles and hunted twice with a couple of them (one safari- a .375 H&H Merkel SxS and one safari an Army & Navy .450 No2 Nitro SxS, jones under lever, outside hammer type ).
    Over-all the Merkel worked well for me (took 8 antelopes and 1 warthog).

    However, It's worth mentioning that the right side barrel flattened primers badly, sometimes extruding primer metal into the firing pin hole, thereby making the rifle difficult to open with the ammo it was factory regulated with, according to my paperwork I bought it brand new (and evidently unfired-literally I guess.)
    Supposedly it was regulated with Federal 300 grain round nose (in other words Woodleigh weldcore bullets in factory ammo, in those days).
    It was way more accurate with Federal Premium ammo, loaded with 300 grain Nosler Partition.
    However, it still had the high chamber pressure in that right side barrel issue, no matter what factory ammo I tried, and I tried several.
    I like the rifle so much that I sent it off to JJ Perredou (sp?) at Champliin Arms for re-regulation to a handload of IMR 4350, Fed 215 primer and 300 grain Hornady round nose, softs and solids, in Winchester brass @ 2400 FPS.
    It cost a thousand bucks but I was tickled with the result.
    Regulated like the best English guns and recoil was tame for a .375 H&H.

    The reasons I sold it include:
    I wanted a more potent caliber for buffalo, elephant, hippo on land and tyrannosaurs, etc.
    I prefer ejectors on DG rifles.
    The barrels on the Merkels are only a little over 23" and I prefer minimum 25", with 26" being about perfect for my OCD taste.

    I almost bought another Merkel in .450/400 with ejectors recently, but for the fact that they still make them with those infernally short barrels.
    Fell into a barely used Heym 88B, with 25.5" ejector barrels, for a couple grand more, in .458 Winchester.
    Bum cartridge for a double rifle I know.
    However, Champlin Arms offers converting/re-regulating those to either .450 Nitro 3.25 inch or .450 No2 Nitro 3.5 inch.
    Not cheap I'm sure but, if the .458 doesn't shoot straight and function flawlessly, and I intend to find out shortly, I can send it in for that work.

    In other words, I recommend the Merkel if you are a serious rifle nut / reloader like me.
    If you are simply a big game hunter and your rifles are just tools instead of treasures, I definitely recommend that you stick with a sturdy bolt action and relatively low powered well built scope (I like the 4x but the 1 to 5 variable is tolerable), with nothing in it except crosswires, no ballistic range finding gimmicks, glowing/lighted gadgets, microwave ovens etc.

    You're gonna flip when you get to Africa.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
  11. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Good post Velo Dog.

    To me, doubles are like a 911. Very good if you know how to use them and are familiar with their quirks.

    Potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.

    With regard to the doubles, the danger comes from a lack of familiarity. Most of us did not grow up shooting double rifles.

    I would not want to be learning a new platform, to use on dangerous game, in only a few months.

    Unless you have been shooting doubles for quite a while and are thoroughly familiar with them, I'd stick with a good controlled-feed bolt on this hunt! Save the double for after a year or two of practice.


    Tim
     
  12. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    4
    My Photos:
    99
    Member of:
    Benefactor NRA, SCI, SCI South Florida, NSSF
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe, South Africa
    I agree. I don't think anyone would argue that a 375 is great Buffalo medicine with the right bullets, especially if familiarity helps you put one in the right spot the first time, and a bolt action rifle is inherently more accurate.

    In Zim last year my first 300 Barnes went right where it was supposed to to go at 95 yards but he took off after his buddies anyway. Second one up the bouncing poop chute ended the encounter at 150. Could I have done this with an iron sighted double? I don't think so.

    A bolt action 375 is also more flexible, with it you can take shots out to 250 or 300 yards on the wide variety of plains game that you will encounter before, after and perhaps during your buffalo hunt. Warming-up with your buffalo gun on eland, impala, waterbuck and the like before tackling old dagga' boy will inspire your confidence and your PH's confidence in you as well.

    Would my PH even allowed a 100 yard shot on a buffalo had he not seen how I handled it at that range and beyond? Doubtful. Since he witnessed its use in the past at a varity of animals out to 300 yards, the sticks quickly went up when that hard-won opportunity arose.

    Confidence is the name of that game, there's no time to be thinking about how to take the safety off, where the front bead belongs relative to the notch or how work the action. Working the gun should be second nature on critters that will stomp, claw and bite their attackers.
     
  13. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Member of:
    DRSS,NAHC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe
    Might I suggest you take the .375 you have and leave the Merkel for down the road. There is nothing wrong with Merkels and I own one in 500 NE, but I noticed you said this is your first hunt. Spend the money on extending the trip and taking more trophies. After you get that first trip out of the way, you may want to start looking at investing your money in a double if you want. $10K may/may not be good depending on model and condition. Be prepared to possibly spend a bit of money regulating it unless you know what it was regulated with and can duplicate the load.
     
  14. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    12
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Tarbe,

    I could not have said it better myself.
    Well put.

    Yours truly is fortunate to have always preferred SxS shotguns and never could understand why the single trigger for double guns was ever invented.
    When I was a teen and had not much income (worked in a burger joint) I bought a well used, AKA: beat up Stevens SxS 12 bore that became my first shot of heroine, so to speak.
    Doubles are the bee's knees for shotguns and for dangerous game rifles.
    At very close range, they are close to necessary, in the right person's hands.

    But you are so right, in that if one does not learn those triggers well enough to be 2nd nature / reflex, he or she is begging to get stomped into a puddle of unrecognizable goo.

    Listen to me, I've taken one buff and I write like I was borne in the Veld.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
  15. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    13
    My Photos:
    1
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, more I'm sure to come
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Texas, Alaska - hey, they count. Trust me!
    First, I fully agree with those saying "stick with the bolt .375 and use the extra fees to extend the hunt". It's great advice and something I personally will be doing too.

    Second, I do have two Merkels in the safe - a K1 in 7mm RMag and a K3 in 7x57r. Both of those rifles are just superbly accurate (as in, .5" at 100 yards) and have a wonder feel to them. All of my other rifles feel crude by comparison, including my Remington Custom Shop M7 Mannlicher and M7 AWR.

    Everyone's taste is different. I too want a Merkel DR in the safe - I just happen to LOVE the short barrels. 20" bbl's are great and I'd love it to be a 450/400. If not, a .375 H&H. I don't see myself hunting more than Cape Buff?here's just not that much need for a .500 in my future.
     
  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Blue Ridge
    My Photos:
    69
    Member of:
    SCI NRA DSC life memberships
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique
    I am all in with those advising you to take a scoped .375. This is your first trip, and I suspect you have other game on your wish list besides that buff. Thinking back, I would guess I at least double my chances for a shot on approach with a scoped rifle than I would with an iron-sighted double rifle (it may be 3 or 4X). I am confiedent that your PH will do everything in his power to get you in position for a shot with that .470, but it could take all week. And that is time that won't be spent sorting through your PG list.

    I would bring along just the .375 and use it for everything. If you find pursuing Buffalo is something you really want to invest on a regular basis in the future, then by all means start that future investment with a double rifle.
     

Share This Page