Why Not A Double Rifle?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by AfricaHunting.com, May 31, 2009.

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Why not consider a double rifle for big game hunting in North America?

  1. Double rifles are not very accurate

    6.9%
  2. Double rifles are too expensive

    76.4%
  3. Double rifles are made to shoot accurate at only one range, usually short

    22.2%
  4. Double rifles use only iron sights

    8.3%
  5. Double rifles only come in large chamberings

    2.8%
  6. Double rifles are simply not suited to North American hunting

    13.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I've known Dugaboy for a number of years and he and the group of thugs he runs with are about the last word in double rifles, They know their stuff! they shoot them better than well, they are hunters and a good bunch of outlaws in anybodys book..

    I only use a double to hunt Buffalo, Hippo, elephant, and Lion as a back up..and I do love them. I know they can be very effective up to 200 or so yards..I have no doubt that I could put one in a buffalos shoulder at 200 yards or perhaps 275 or 300 with the given iron sights that are on my double as I have filed them in for 100, 200 and 300 yards and they will hit at that range and a buffalo is one big target. Have I done that? NO! but I have shot buffalo at 125 to 150 yards on several ocassions with my 450-400 and my 470..but even with a good scope sighted bolt action I seldom shoot beyond 100 yards on dangerous game, on one ocassion I shot a buff at 227 long steps with a 416 Rem and that was my only instant kill on a buffalo in about 150 kills.

    I don't think I would hunt our Mule Deer in Idaho with a double, but I know that Rusty and at least one of his cohorts would do so and my bet is they would both come home with a buck..

    Personally, I see the double as compared to my 30-30 in range and ability to hit, except its more powerful. Don't be mislead here, I can flat out shoot that old 30-30 I was raised with it in my saddle scabbard and a buck at 200 yards is dead, standing, walking or in a dead out most of the time.

    I see the double as a wonderful rifle to have if you can afford one, but I would always want a couple of good bolt actions on hand. We each see rifles, cars, dogs, horses, and women in a different light and I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  2. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    OK let me take the nostalgia out of the scene..

    The only place a double really shines is those two quick shots at under 10 yards that may save your life..:) :) Hmmm, that could be pretty good insurance! :)
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I have never been inclined to own one but after reading this thread I want to take one of these rifles for a spin, at least.
     
  4. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    They've replaced bolt guns for me. Bear,moose, `boo,deer ect.. They work great.
     
  5. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    I've owned and own a few doubles. Most recently I purchased the Remington Baikal imports in 30-06 and 45-70 for pigs and drive hunts. They are all fun to shoot and when you consider the true English and European doubles I don't think you can find a better quality in rifle building. That has always been the attraction for me, the quality and materials invested in these rifles is top of the line.
     
  6. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    You can't get better advise than that of Dugaboy or Calhoun, both are well versed in techknowledgly of rifles and are a valuble source of information on any forum.

    That said, I would hate to think that I had walked the bush of Africa without either a double rifle or a English type big bore bolt gun. Both offer a bit of nostalgia to any hunt IMO, and each has made its mark on my needs and wants in firearms.

    If one is not into the nostalgia of hunting, then a Stainless steel, plastic stocked, non control feed bolt gun will kill as well as any other gun, as will a Ruger No. 1, a black gun, and a host of other rifles. Take your pick on whatever turns you on..

    Again that said, I feel sorry for anyone that isn't stricken with nostalgia when they hunt in a place where man became a hunter as opposed to a gatherer, and clubed his first Mastadon, arrowed his first meal, and died at the hands of a T-Rex because his PH took to the trees!.:) :)
     
  7. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have never hunted in north america, but having used my double 9.3x74 in europe quite a lot on driven boar and deer, i would have thought a double would be very good for deer and bear in the woods there. The ability to take a fast shot and have an instant backup shot in woodland is far easier with a double than a bolt. I have used both on driven boar hunts, and much prefer my double. The fact it fits me like glove, and seems to hit the majority of running boar i shoot at probably sways my opinion though!!. It has a detachable scope, and the one shot i used it for i totally screwed up, the scope came off and has never been looked at again! I think my best shot with it was a running boar at what i paced out at approx 140yards. I would have thought a double in 9.3x74 or 7x65r would be a perfect woods rifle in the usa. The 9.3x74 in the areas where the bears are bigger! I have used my 9.3x74 in africa and have shot, impala,warthog,wildebeest, and one buffalo on a rations licence when camp building.So i think it`s capable enough for all north american game.If i get around to hunting in america i would definately bring my 9.3, and maybe my .470 just so i could use it, and because i love doubles!
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Spike, I want you to come along and chase some Whitetails in thick cover with that gun. You would do well in some really thick willow thickets. Good close in work that needs a quick well fitting gun.
     
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks sounds like fun. Maybe when the banks are being a bit more friendly!(as if that would happen!!!). In the mean time try and get your hands on a double or get a go with one.
     
  10. spoonieduck

    spoonieduck AH Member

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    In shotguns, I actually prefer side-by-side double guns. In a double shotgun, pinpoint accuracy doesn't matter much because of overlapping patterns. It's an entirely different thing with a double rifle. One of the reasons they are ruinously expensive is because of the technical difficulties of lining up both barrels precisely i.e. making them hit to the same point. Precision accuracy, possible with most well-made [and considerably less expensive] bolt action rifles, is a near impossibility.

    Most double rifles are intended to cross bullet paths, usually a fairly close range. Therefore, they would seem to be best suited to hunters looking for potentially charging, dangerous game. The two trigger systems are a potential life saver because a double rifle is essentially two independent rifles. If, during a charge, one barrel fails, the other barrel is instantly ready. There is another advantage over bolt action rifles in quick shooting situations. The hunter must stop and throw the bolt for a second shot. A double rifle man only has to change is finger position a half inch.

    Although these rifles are, perhaps, best suited to hunting dangerous game, they are used during driven hunts in parts of Europe. Shooting lanes are usually narrow and the game is moving fast, so speed is a major factor. Also, in parts of Europe--especially when hunting close to others--it is considered good etiquette to have your weapon broken open until you are ready to fire. This so that other hunters can see--at a distance--that your double shotgun or rifle is in a 'safe' position.

    Ron
     
  11. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Double rifle Misconceptions:

    The mention of barrel harmonics though it does exist it is not a basic factor where double rifles are concerned. Individual barrel harmonics do not play a much part in the regulations, and is not important in a double rifle. The reason is the barrels are tied together and are thus basically inert to the way harmonics play a BIG part in a single barrel rifle. This is just one of the misconceptions where double rifles are concerned!

    What does effect regulation is barrel time, and the recoil flip of the barrel set!

    That is one the most often misrepresentations about double rifles that one reads from some of the writers that should know better. Of course it really isn’t always their fault, because most were told wrong by well-known custom gunsmiths, who didn’t know better either. There are a few double gun, and now double rifle magazines and quarterlies that still make some of these misrepresentations. Those are lax in editing of contributors for factual claims. Some just slip through because the editor doesn’t know either.

    #1 Is that most people think that a double rifle is useful only at very short range.

    This is one of the most often misconceptions printed in magazines and book by some of the best-known writers, and in articles, and hunting reports by respected worldwide hunters. This issued as a reason why the writer doesn’t use a double rifle when hunting dangerous game.

    This is simply not true, and the double rifle properly regulated by the maker, and using the proper regulating loads, is just as accurate as any hunting rifle having the same type sights. If the double is fitted with a fixed rear sight, and multiple flip-ups for longer range then all the hunter has to do is practice with those sights at the ranges engraved on them.

    #2 Is that a double rifle’s flight path crosses at a given distance because fixing the barrels to converge from chamber to the muzzle regulates the barrels.

    [COLOR:RED]The convergence of the barrels is necessary to make the rifle shoot side by side on the target, at the distance engraved on any of the flip-up sights no matter what range that happens to be.[/COLOR] The fact is, if the rifle was regulated properly by the maker, and the loads being shot are the proper load for that rifle, then the centers of each barrel’s individual group will be on it’s own side of the aiming point no matter the range. Of course, as with any rifle, if the barrel of any rifle is shooting one-inch groups at 100 yds, then it will be shooting two in groups at 200 yds. So this means with a double rifle some of the bullets in a group will spill over into the group from the other barrel. However the centers of each barrel’s individual group will remain parallel to that of the other barrel. This is the first mistake that is made by folks who are unschooled in the way a double rifle works, believing that a double rifle crossed at a given range so would be useless from that point on down range!

    #3 A double rifle is no good for North American hunting, only for dangerous game in Africa, and India.

    The double rifle is the only rifle ever made that started life as a HUNTING rifle! All others began life as a war weapon. Though the double rifles were pressed into war use it was a specialized use to shoot through walls that hid snipers, but then as today the rifle has always been a hunting rifle. The Europeans have used double rifle in smaller chamberings for two hundred years to hunt everything from fox to large bear and boar. The very large chamberings were only used in Africa, and India as a rule. However I use them for all hunting, large or small game in North America, and I’m here to tell you a 300 pound wild hog, or a 1000 pound brown bear will die very quickly with a 470NE double rifle, and there isn’t a better designed rifle in the world for woods shooting of all game there, no matter the continent where hunted, as long as they are cartridge specific for the game sought.

    #4 Double rifle only cost so much because they are all gold inlaid and engraved.

    Double rifle cost is directly attributed to the skilled people, required for the building of a working double rifle, and hand fitting, that can only be done by skilled hands, a skill that has been handed down from father to son for 200 years, and simply can’t be done by machines.
    Engraving is expensive on any type rifle, sometimes more expensive than the rifle it is applied on. A double rifle left in the white, will still be an expensive item, simply because they are so skilled labor intensive! Most other types of rifle can be made almost entirely by machines, and put together on an assembly line basis, double rifles cannot.

    #5 If CNC machines were used quality double rifles could be built as cheaply as good bolt rifles.

    As stated in the answer above, CNC is only used to do the hog work to get the pieces close to their final shape, but the final fitting and shaping has to be done by very skilled human hands.

    #6 The magazine on a bolt rifle makes it a better choice for taking on dangerous game in a charge.

    This is an excuse that many use to justify not owning a double rifle for dangerous game. Their contention is that a bolt rifle with one in the chamber, and three large cartridges in the magazine is more firepower than a double rifle with only two chambers. Their idea that all four rounds in the bolt can be accessed faster that they can from a double rifle, because all one has to do is work the bolt three time to shoot all four. What they are saying is that the bolt rifle doesn’t have them be reloaded for the four shots, while the double has to be reloaded after the second shot! This is true of the double rifle, but they are wrong about the bolt rifle, which must be re-loaded three times after the FIRST shot. The double rifle fires two of the quickest AIMED shots with shots one and too. The reload is necessary, then the next two shots are both AIMED, and all the shots utilized with only a change of trigger, for the first two, then break and drop two rounds into the chambers simultaneously the fire the next two AIMED shots with only a change of triggers. If anyone has doubt that a double rifle can fire four shot on target faster than it can with a bolt rifle, it has been done and timed many times, and I have done it myself.

    The double rifleman is at no disadvantage to the bolt rifle shooter while standing off a concentrated charge of a large animal that requires a lot of stopping. That has been proven many times. At Jullif, Texas we have a shoot twice per year called “HOOT & SHOOT” at the Bayou Gun Club. At this shoot all shooters are shooting stopping rifles, both bolt, and double rifles. The drill for the stopping exercise is 8”targets at 25 yds, the distance where most charges start. The shooters start with the rifle loaded, the bolt with one in the chamber, and three down, and the double rifle with both chambers loaded, with two more rounds in his shell carrier or between the fingers of his forehand, for the re-load. The eight-inch target has a two-inch 10X ring for a possible score of only 40 points if all hit the two-inch 10X ring. As stated the black bulls eye is eight inches across, and any shot that misses the black bulls eye is not counted even though that bullet would still be hitting a large animal.

    I was shooting a Merkel mod 140E –1 chambered for 9.3X74R, and because of a case of procrastination on my part I had failed to disengage the auto feature of the safety though I’d had this rifle for some years. I was taken to task, by my readers for recommending they be disengaged, when I hadn’t done so on my own rifle. In my defense, the rifle in question was not my dangerous game rifle I simply kept putting it off. Because it was a 9.3X74R double rifle it could be pressed into service as a DGR, if need be, so it really should have been disengaged, and I was drawn and quartered, for not doing so. More about the reason for disengaging auto safeties later. The shooting starts with a whistle, and all four shots are fired on the target as fast as you can, and the individual timing is started when each shooter fires his first shot, and stopped when he fires his last shot. I fired all four shots in four seconds flat, with the score on the target being 36 points of a possible 40 points if all shots had hit the 10X ring. The problem was I forgot about the automatic safety and tried to fire shot three, after the re-load, with the safety in the “ON “ position. If the auto feature had been disabled like all my other doubles I would probably have shaved a full second off that time. In the act of trying to stop a lion, or big Brown bear that extra second could have cost me my life. In this shoot I took third place, and the two who beat me were shooting double rifles as well, and the only one bolt that even who beat my score was way down the rank for time.

    #7 When a guy decides to buy himself a double rifle but not understanding how they work he thinks if he buys a double rifle in one of the common big bore cartridges used in bolt rifles he can get more power out of the rifle by hopping up the loads, and the bullets being easily available at the local gun store, shoot it cheaper, and still have a working double rifle.

    This is a big mistake on the buyer’s part. First most cartridges that are used in bolt rifles are rimless/belted rimless, and are not suited for a double rifle that will be used on dangerous game. They are slow to load properly, and the tiny spring loaded pawls needed to snap into the rimless cartridge’s extractor groove, are fragile and prone to damage, or sticking in the down position. Either way they are a danger to the shooter who is trying to stop something that wants to kill him! These cartridges are not simple DROP-IN cartridges for the chambers so the cartridges can simply be dropped into the chamber simultaneously, but must be pushed into the chambers one at a time. SLOW! Too slow, and if they aren’t seated before the rifle is closed sharply, the tiny extractor pawls may be snapped off with the broken piece not allowing the rifle to be closed fully. At that point, if the animal is not down for the count, the shooter is in some real trouble with nothing but a 12-pound club to fight with.

    The double rifle is designed for rimmed, low-pressure cartridges, with tapered bodies. This shape, and low pressure allowed the cartridges to simply slide out of the chambers if only moved a microscopic amount the case was free of the grip of the chamber walls, and would simply fall out of the chambers. Many of the modern cartridges used for dangerous game in bolt rifles are too straight sided, and high pressure to work properly in a break-top double rifle.
     
  12. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    In addtion to the above post since I took too long to edit that post!

    In the USA we tend to read the gun rag guys, as if we were reading from scripture, and anything they say has to be correct, simply because they said it. Again we are being misled, in some cases because the writher is too lazy to do the research, but mostly because they are printing opinion that they think is true. We all do that on occasion, it is only human because nobody knows everything. Still when it is put into print, by a self- proclaimed expert for the public to read it can lead the reader in the wrong direction. (some say this is what I am doing here but what I tell you can be verified quite easily)

    The double rifle is a complex type of rifle to build and make shoot properly. No formula, or jig can be made to get away from the tedious work of fitting these things so they work properly. All types of things have been tried to make regulating the barrels easy, and nothing has worked. Most think if you simply make the barrel exactly parallel then the rifle will shoot side by side! So why not simply use a laser to align the barrels and save hours, and hours, plus several rounds of very expensive ammo to regulate the barrels? The reason is, it doesn’t work.

    The barrels have to be laid to not only converge, but to point as if crossing, and low, compared to where you want the bullets to hit the target. The double rifle depends on the recoil arch (muzzle flip) of the rifle, and the speed of the bullet to shoot to where the sights are pointing when the trigger is pulled. IOW, if you place the barrels in a vice with the sights held dead on your target at the iron sight' regulated distance, then with an empty case, with no primer, in each barrel using the primer hole like a peep sight, look through each barrel. What you will see is, the right barrel will be pointing at a place that is low and on the leftof where the sights are aligned. The leftbarrel will be pointing to a place on the rightand low in relation to where the sights are aligned. This is necessary because of thing called barrel time. What that means is, when the trigger is pulled on the RIGHTbarrel, the rifle rises up and to the RIGHT while the bullet is traveling down that barrel, so that the barrel is pointing to the point the sights were when the trigger was pulled, and Vice-versa for the left barrel. So the double rifle depends on the recoil arch, and the bullet's speed down the tube, to be aligned when that bullet exits the barrel. This converging of the barrels can be done exactly the same with two rifles shooting the same cartridge and they will not shoot the same, so each rifle has to be regulated by it's own rules to work properly. This is one of the reasons even the cheapest double rifle requires over 800 to 1000 man hours of skilled labor to complete, hence the cost of manufacture. However when this is done properly no rifle in the world is more reliable for hunting anything from jackrabbit to elephant depending on the chambering.
     
  13. .416 Rigby

    .416 Rigby AH Member

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    I hunt wild pigs with my .470 several times a year. it is great fun and excellent practice for Africa. Took a 355lb Bar Hog with it in 2008. Use Woodleigh or Trophy Bonded softs is you want some expansion.
     
  14. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    This poll should have had another choice..

    I USE DOUBLE RIFLES and like them!
     
  15. duckman90

    duckman90 AH Member

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    Thats so true Enyesse. I have been drooling over Some Blazer, Beretta, and Kreigoff double rifles. Priced from 10-35k$ Thats the same price as a safari.
     
  16. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    It's super hard to justify a double rifle. They are beautiful! It's just that hunting has got so incredibly expensive, that you have to cut corners somewhere. And a excellent bolt action gets the job done for a fraction of the cost. I can understand someone wanting to hunt with one though :).
     
  17. thriller

    thriller GOLD SUPPORTER New Member

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    If I owned one I would use it all of the time but I dont so that is my reason for not hunting with one I do know that as soon as I can afford one that does not have quality issues like are listed for Sabatti I will own one and shoot it in north america regularly
     
  18. Heym 88

    Heym 88 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I'm thankfull to god for many things and my Heym is one of them. Can't wait to get my Searcy out of layway. I bought a double for the history, nostalgia, looks, feel, and power they have. I may not make it to Africa but one time, but a double is going with me lol. I guess it's just me, but I love em!
     
  19. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

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    I don't own one (yet)

    I do dream of owning one ...... one day
     
  20. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

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    by the way, which do you prefer ?

    heym
    merkel
    krieghoff

    ?
     

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