Starting out in doubles.

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by DBateman, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I've had a want for a double rifle for a wile now I grew up reading about hunting Africa and a few other far off places and well now I'm old enough to do it, so I am going to.

    So I thought I would ask people who have been there done that.

    I have read a lot on here and other places on the internet.

    I have been looking around at the prices for new and secondhand doubles, they seem to hold their value very well being only a few thousand shy of new price.

    So I have been thinking if I am going to spend 15K+ on a rifle I may as well get one built for me.
    I have been looking at Heym and keep coming back to them. An 88-B chambered in 470NE.

    There are some nice rifles for sale but like I said they are near new price

    Here is a pretty nice looking set but for $39,500 I think I could get something fitted to me ?
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    Or there is this one for $14,900.
    </title> <title>

    I don't know enough about them to know if they are good buy's or not and I'm not quite ready to buy just yet anyway.

    If you guys where starting out again would you buy used or go and get a rifle made for you ?
    You know go somewhere and get fitted ?

    I think I want a 470NE I have no idea why I want that particular round I just do, I have never seen one in real life and I don't know anyone who owns one I just want one.

    I am unsure of how much recoil they have I have used 375H&H and 458Win in Ruger No. 1 and Rem700 300RUM. I expect recoil to be stout but not unmanageable.

    I'm looking for a Ruger No.1 in ether 450/400 or 470NE at the moment just to see if I can shoot enough to be proficient with the round.

    I may reconsider the chambering, may not be as tuff as I think :)

    I plan on hunting everything with it including Elephant one day I obviously intend to travel with it a bit.
    We have pigs, donkey, feral cattle camels and buff over here that I can hunt amongst other things.

    So in short if you where to start out again knowing what you know now would you buy secondhand and sell and move onto something else or would you get a rife made to fit you ? What round would you use for a do all double ?


    Thanks Dave.
     
  2. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Dave i see you are a member of sci, so do you or are you going to attend the annual convention in the usa? if so then you can get measured by one of the double rifle makers there. for the budget you seem to have you will be able to have a rifle built to your measurements and specs by several makers. heym are good and verney-carron also. they both attend the show, and guillame verney-carron would measure you and write your measurements down for you even if you are only thinking about ordering. i like the jeffery double you have a link to as i like the two sets of barrels and that is unusual. if you have shot a .458 win in a ruger no1 you wont have any probs with a .470 double.as for calibre every one has their favourite. the .450/400 is more "allround" but uses a lighter bullet, so for elephant and buff in the thicker stuff the .470 is better and if you want to shoot lots of other animals with it go for it, its all good practice ! all i can say is dont hang around get it sorted!!!!;)
     
  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    The Heym 88-B in .470NE is a good choice.
     
  4. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    It depends on where you're at. Every DR owner I know of would be happy for you to shoulder his rifle(s) for fitting and probably shooting time also. That way you can decide if the recoil is acceptable also. :)
    Another member recently tried out several of mine to see what LOP he needed for a proper fit. His Chapuis came too long for him.
    If you're in my neck of the woods stop by!
     
  5. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info guys I appreciate it.

    I have never been to the SCI convention in the USA however I was just reading about it on this forum.
    I may have to go over next year I see there are quite a few people from this forum that go and there's so much to see it really looks like it could be worth the trip.

    As far as budget goes I'm not a rich man but I have thought about it and say I spend $$$$ on a rifle if it was one of my main rifles I can justify it to myself, with the 470 I could hunt everything on the planet
    I'd like to hunt NA as well as Africa and then you have the game here at home in Australia.
    And a few places in between.

    However I have said I'll just buy one rifle and thats it before and well it didn't work out like that :confused:

    I am 30 now so I still have a quite a few years to do what I would like.

    I would love to be in an area where there were a few people with double guns but I live in Mt Isa Au it's kind of out of the way of everything.
     
  6. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    DBateman, don't know how many doubles your going to see in the Isa, but if you've not handled many and you are starting from scratch then you want to be somewhere where you can look at LOTS of them and compare before making the considerable purchase that a double rifle is.

    Looks like this gun warrents a special trip somewhere.

    I can refer you to a couple of gunstores down here in Melbourne that stock several models of two different brands (Chapuis & Verney Carron) at least giving you a starting point.

    Also in Melbourne you should be able to track down at least one Merkle for comparison.

    Otherwise attending either Reno or Dallas you will see a LOT of doubles.

    You probaby need to be fitted for the very best feel, or you may be one of those lucky generically structured people that fit standard dimensions.
    I think in a big bore double (anything .450+) it is best to be fitted in order to optimise natural shooting skills and minimise felt recoil.

    A .470 in a custom stocked rifle of a sensible weight will be simple to get accustomed to.

    I am only now just getting familiar with a new Verney Carron .500 and so far I love it.
    My only frustration has been in getting enough projectiles to shoot through it.
    The weight is perfect and it fits me like a glove.

    Good luck in your quest, doubles are a lot of fun apart ofcourse from their nostalgic allure.
     
  7. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Hi Paul.

    I am starting from scratch.

    I am not sure there are any doubles in Isa I know of one fellow that has a few drillings but I'm not sure I've seen any double rifles here.

    I don't have enough money right now to buy a new rifle outright so I'll just keep saving till I have enough.

    I was thinking the same as you I need to see a few different rifles before I make a commitment to one or the other, I have heard a few times that having a properly fitted gun makes it easier to handle the recoil.

    You have a .500 very nice, I keep looking at it but to me it's a number on paper and probably to big for me LOL

    I am looking forward to getting myself a double.

    Thanks Dave.
     
  8. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hey Dave, we all start from scratch at some point !
    At least you've started.

    I think you have the right idea.
    The purchase of a double is a BIG expenditure and you want to make sure you get it right.
    Getting it right means looking at as many as you possibly can in order to feel the balance, check the fit and find out what is going to work well for YOU.

    There is no doubt in my mind that a custom stocked big bore (.375+) is much more comfortable to shoot than the same caliber in a generically stocked rifle.

    As previously mentioed there are quite a number of new doubles in various calibers available for viewing down here, let me know if you ever want more details.
    Currently my local store has a gorgeous n.i.b Verney Carron .470 for $12000.
    Ejector model with 23" barrels, weighs about 10.5lbs
    VERY NICE !

    Cheers,

    Paul.
     
  9. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Paul I've a bit more saving to do yet.

    But like you say I would like to get behind as many doubles as I can just to see what I like.

    Dave.
     
  10. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I am not sure where to ask this so I thought I would just ask here.

    As has been suggested on this forum I am going to go to the SCI 2014 convention the at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

    February 5th - 8th, 2014.

    Where is a good place to stay? I don't know the area at all so I thought I'd ask you fellows if there is a good place or somewhere to avoid.

    Thanks Dave.
     
  11. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Any of the hotels on the 'strip' are nice. If you're on a budget there are many others close by. We stayed at the Flamingo a couple of years ago and walked all over the area.
    Look thru google to see what's near by.
     
  12. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    DBateman, I lived in Las Vegas for a decade and now live about a 4 hr drive away. The only item you need to decide is what your budget will allow for a hotel. Typically you would be OK to stay anywhere "on the strip" as they say. It runs from the Stratosphere hotel on the north to the Mandalay Bay on the south basically. The hotels that are connected to the SCI convention for reservations are all good but not necessarily the most cost effective. Do remember though that even staying in sight of the SCI hotel could mean a walk of over a mile or two to get there. The hotels are big and look closer than they are. It is a longer walk than most "tourists" think. It is wise, even if you have a rental car, to take a taxi back and forth to the convention if you don't stay at a hotel connected to the convention center. If you do drive yourself, use the valet parking always at all hotels. You pull up right in front of the hotel, they park it for you and when you get it back all you pay is a small tip to the valet ($3 - $5 US) otherwise you'll be faced with a looong walk to get your car in free public parking. Buffet food is typically very good everywhere (this is a Las Vegas tradition in every hotel and dates back to the days that the "Mob" controlled the town) but real fine dinning can be had for a price in all the hotels. You will find that 2 days at the convention will barely let you see every booth with no time to stop and talk. Yes it's that big of a show. Also remember that the closer it gets to convention time the higher the surrounding hotel prices go. Those connected to SCI will have a cutoff for the reduced prices. All the hotels in Las Vegas price their rooms according to how busy the town is and they change daily. Hotels.com and others may have good prices early on if you want to go that way. I'd be glad to help you decide as it gets closer if needed. You will be overwhelmed with the choices of not only guns but outfitters etc. Don't bring your wife! Way too many furs and diamonds for sale at the show:)
     
  13. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    There's a double decker bus that also runs up and down the strip that is either free or a very nominal price. I forget... It was kind of neat to ride up top.

    Make sure that you take in a show or three too. Pretty fancy stuff.

    This might be someting to look over too.
    Las Vegas Hotels, Shows, Casinos, Restaurants, Maps and Things to Do
     
  14. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Dave, you've already had some excellent advice from both Mike and Cliffy but let me just add an Aussies perspective having only just visited Vegas for the first time this x-mas.

    I'd love to give you the full details of my trip but you know what they say,
    "what happens in Vegas.......".

    Vegas, for me so far, has been the most entertaining and exciting non-hinting destination I've ever been to.
    There is A LOT to see and do, allow for a bit of time before or after for looking around Vegas itself, even if your not a gambler and especially so during the S.C.I show.
    Some of the displays and entertainment available is quite jaw dropping.
    Waterfountain displays at the Belagio, pirate ship fights on the street etc.
    Don't forget the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam is only 2-3 hours drive and well worth seeing, if your lucky you might see some Sheep (Dessert) at Hoover Dam.

    With regards to accomms, I would definitely stay on the strip.
    It gives instantaneous access to everything you need, food, entertainment, transport etc and comparitively speaking is inexpensive when compared with prices here in Aus.
    I stayed in a suite at the New York New York (with a rollercoaster going passed the bedroom window) and it cost less per night than what you would pay for a "donga" in the middle of nowhere in Aus.
    You will be shocked at how cheap food can be and the quality of that food will astound you.
    Your probably not a shopper either, like me, but keep in mind that clothes in the U.S are about 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost here back home !

    As Cliffy says, there is a LOT to see and do during a hunting convention.
    Planning, if you have a specific goal, is essential.
    Conact the various makers you wish to visit with; Searcy, Heym, V.C etc and get their booth numbers from them and make a plan, that way you're able to maximise your time.

    Too much to wright down here, feel free to p.m me if you wish and I'll pass you my phone number and talk you through any concerns or queries.

    Cheers,

    Paul.
     
  15. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Another thing to see as a first timer is the amazing light show in "Old Town on Fremont Street" It's a MUST SEE and it's free too! :D
     
  16. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info guys.

    I was thinking of getting the four day pass and staying over there for a week or so so I can have a look at a few other things wile I'm there.


    I will have to see who has what booth where and write a bit of a list.

    Dave.
     
  17. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    Dave, great that you have the passion and the conviction to commit to such a thing. It took me half a dozen safaris, a few ventures into real estate, a couple of kids and a couple of big bore bolt guns before I made the mental commitment to buy a double... and I still don't have my double rifle yet. I had the cash to buy something quite nice 12 months ago but had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Africa chasing elephant and others and thought the experience was a better investment than a rifle. Who knows?

    I've been shooting a .450 Ackley Magnum since 1996 and it has had a few trips to Africa and rolled pile of pigs and a handful of scrubbers. I was looking at VC, Heym and Alex Beer, probably a .470NE or .500NE. I spoke to a few guys at the SCI Chow at Coffs Harbour last year that cemented the idea with VC being the popular option. Then a mate and I started looking at used doubles on Guns International and we found Jeffery guns, Holland & Holland, Army & Navy, Charles Lancaster and a load of others for sometimes quite reasonable prices that fell within the kind of dollars that an Alex Beer would command.

    The beauty of a second hand rifle would be the history that might come with your rifle, after all, nostalgia has a lot to do with such a purchase as realistically, as a hunting client you're probably better served by a scoped bolt gun. As a local lad, you'll also be able to pick up brass and well priced projectiles for something obscure from our local man Bertram. Too easy.

    Just after I booked the 2012 safari, I did good on a business deal and the fellow I was working with offered me a rifle as a good will gesture - "...just buy something and bill it to my account..." So I picked up a Ruger No.1 in .450/400NE 3" and am using that as my nostalgic piece for the moment. Cheap, points well, local brass from Bertram and he makes a well priced 400 grainer for it as well. I also got a Leupy 1.5-5x20 in Warne QD mounts thrown into the deal and for about $3k you've got a pretty good big game gun the you won't cry over should you bump it in the mulga.

    I think you could spend a lot less and be out there shooting much sooner with an old Brno or a CZ550 in .500 Jeffery, .505 Gibbs or something smaller. For the price of your double rifle purchase you can head over for a plains game safari or a buffalo hunt - it's worth considering. Your trip to Vegas could fund the big bolt gun. Give yourself time to hunt some local game with your big bore. A bit of time in the field chasing big game and you'll discover what you need.

    I'm still looking at doubles but it's not a total priority at this stage. Green with envy should you make it to Vegas! I seem to be hoarding my extra pennies to pay for a few big hunts i have in the pipeline. You'll have to keep us informed Dave.

    Dan
     
  18. DBateman

    DBateman GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Hi Dan.

    I agree it is a pretty big purchase it's dam near the deposit on a house.
    Or a trip overseas to hunt.

    But I've pretty much made up my mind I'm getting a double I understand what you're saying about a secondhand gun it comes with history but I am hoping to make my own.

    I am looking for a Ruger No1 in 450/400 like the one you have but have had no luck finding one in Au so I'm looking at importing one and maybe a 450NE at the same time if I can get them both at a decent price.
    Just to give me something to play around with wile I wait and to see if I want to go to 470NE.
    I will want to hunt as much as I can with the rifle not just a one thing.

    I've been thinking about taking my 348win over for plains game also there is one thing I'd like to hunt in Au and thats banteng, that and the normal stuff like pigs and donkeys camel and the like that we have running around up here.
    I'm in two minds as to whether or not a 348 is big enough for banteng I think it would be if it was going well and not enough if it wasn't.
     
  19. detutt

    detutt AH Member

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    If you could organize a hunt for me down there I would bring one of my doubles to do the hunt and then sell it to you for a great price

     
  20. Heym 88

    Heym 88 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Dave,
    In the same boat you are. They Heym fits me perfect so put one on lay away. Heym's are excellent rifles. I'm sure whatever you choose will be nice. Welcome to the club ( of which I'm not quite there yet) :)
     

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