Best make for Doubles

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Oliver.Wettstein, May 5, 2009.

  1. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I have a Heym in 470NE. JMP - I would have mentioned it but other people got here first. I love my Heym, and prefer it over most of the other guns mentioned above. Not that I dislike the others, I am actually buying a Merkel for my wife right now, but I prefer the Heym. I have handled and shot a couple of K-guns, Merkels and Chapius guns before I bought the 470 NE and found the Heym to be the best built of the bunch. The intercepting sears that prevent the rifle from "doubling," where both barrels go of at once, is a very nice feature when standing in front of big dangerous game. Not that it happens often but I have seen it and, as Murphy's Law predicts, it tends to happen in teh worst possible circumstances.

    I also think the Heym balances very well in the hands of most people. Even my wife, on her small frame, can handle my 470NE without problems. The recoil is not nearly as bad as you would think, in part because the gun is so perfectly balanced. It carries right up once fired and with minimal practice you can learn to rock and settle with the gun for 2 of the quickest shots imaginable. I can shoot 2 accurate shots considerably faster with my Heym than almost anyone can shoot a bolt action 2x. the guys with a bolt action can get 3 shots off faster than I can but I usually can beat them by the 4th shot. I am not sure how practicle that is in the field but its fun at the range.

    The Heym "PH" retails for about $7,500 more than the K-gun, Merkel and Chapius but as others have said, you get what you pay for.

    Like most guys I would stay away from the older English doubles. There are some fines old rifles from England out there but they usually go for a very heafty price. Be weary of any English made double that seems like its a really good deal - in my expereince - there are no "good deals" when it comes to English doubles. With those guns you better be willing to pay what the market bears an that is often way to much for me, and I am using an $18,000 gun as my starting point of reference.

    I have heard only good things about Searcy's guns but having never handled one, I cannot add much to that discusion.

    Best advice out there is go to were some doubles live together and handle some, the right gun will just "feel" like it belongs over your shoulder on the long trek behind a big tusker. Having been there, I can say that when you walk up to your Elephant and he turns, you will be very happy to be holding essentially 2 guns in your hands with very large bores. And you will still feel small and helpless - and are!
     
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  2. Heym 88

    Heym 88 AH Fanatic

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    Amen to Heym!
     
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  3. zephyr

    zephyr AH Enthusiast

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    I've noticed that nobody has recommended the VC's double Ie handled them at SCI along with others if I was in the market for a modern double this would be my choice. Like others it is a bespoke gun order to your preferences the wood and metal fit that I have seen is quite spectacular. They offer a round body action that fits very nicely in the hand..
    The other gun to look at is the Heym.
    Best of luck in your search.
     

  4. PaulT

    PaulT AH Elite

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    I have a recently aquired Roundbody V.C in .500 N.E and am extremely happy with all aspects of the gun.

    In my particular gun the fit, finish, quality of wood used, balance and over-all weight are, for me, perfect.

    I have only recently finished regulating loads for it and am looking forward to getting it out on our buffalo country in the North.
     
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  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Since this thread started, I have become a real Blaser S2 fan. I have a R rifle in .300 which is probably the best made and most accurate bolt action I have ever seen. Several friends use their shotguns which are starting to get real traction in the competition world. However, I had also read Wieland and many of the rest of the band wagon who hated the S2. A little over a year ago I picked up a 500/416 - and soon owned it. It now has .375 and 30-06 barrels as well.

    So the bad first. Like all Blaser products, it is non-traditional. The barrels are wider apart than any other sxs rifle in the world giving it an "industrial" look from overhead. You will not mistake its lines for a Holland Royal. The push to cock takes a little practice, and it does have an automatic decocker (which is loud) when only one barrel is fired (though I think this is more a theoretical problem than a real one as I have become familiar with the rifle).

    The good. Like all Blaser products the S2 will shoot! It is in a class alone. I had Hendershots load up four loads in SPs and solids to see if any would regulate. All shot into the same 4-inch group at fifty yards. The A-Frame load puts a LR/LR into two inches at 100 yards (using an aimpoint red dot). The rifle has the Blaser quick detachable mount system, and though I won't be scoping a 500/416, the red dots are a blessing for 60 year old eyes. For elephant at thirty yards, even I can see the factory open sights which are the best I have ever used on any double. Like other Blaser rifles the S2 is a "system". I have subsequently purchased .375 and 30-06 barrels which fit the rifle right out of the box (only the Germans!). And like the 416, they shoot. I have both these sets set up with the 1.5 x 6 Zeiss Victory. With their best loads, both do under a two inch LR/LR at one hundred yards, and the right barrels of each shoot clover leaves. I would not hesitate to take a three-hundred yard shot with either. And, because of the Blaser's modern lines, those scopes do not look out of place as they would on a traditional double. And of course, like any Blaser, the scopes are instantly removable for a follow-up in thick stuff. Finally, and no doubt due in part to Terry's hard work, they are extremely affordable.

    I am now an unapologetic fan.
     

  6. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the report Red Leg, I found it very informative and useful. I always thought a good red dot scope on a double would be super deadly too!
     

  7. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    You would be surprised how many "AD" happen with the Blaser and Keighoff type safety. Many PHs detest this type of safety. Personally I have used a bolt type Blaser for many years BUT would not purchase a double rifle in Blaser.
    My Ultimate is a Westley Richards.
    [​IMG]
     

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  8. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    the title of this thread is "best make for a double". i would say the best double for you is the most expensive one you can afford in terms of build and quality ,and forgetting about the engraving etc which can easily get on for doubling the price if you get carried away! classicsaf likes westleys ( beautiful rifle you have there) and for others it will be Hollands or whichever of the top names they like. for me money no object i would get paul roberts to over see the build of the rifle, as he has hunted in many countries and continents over the years and knows what is needed in terms of reliability and usability in any hunting rifle let alone a double. i know him well and you would be surprised at the number of doubles made by top british and european makers that have been taken to him over the years by the owners who have asked him to sort problems out. he lent me his personal rigby .470 double for my 1st hunt in tanzania and this is what got me hooked on them. after that trip i had him build me a .470 in the early 1990`s when he owned rigbys, and it was the last one they built with the classic rigby scroll engraving . it was a beautiful rifle with a balance that made it feel lighter than it was. paul always used to say it was one of the best doubles the company built before the sale of rigbys to red river rogue rifles or whatever their name was. i had a brain fart a few years ago and sold it (still trying to work that one out!!) and i dont even have any photos of it for some reason....so for me its the classic style and not the krieghoffs or blasers which i personally dont like at all. but here`s to personal choice :beer: even though i know i am right.....:biggrin2:
     
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  9. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    I have just fallen in love with the Scottish lass by the name of McKay & Brown. Now to find the Penny's...
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  11. David W. Kropelnicki

    David W. Kropelnicki AH Member

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    How much are you willing to spend on the rifle?
     
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  12. Heym 88

    Heym 88 AH Fanatic

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    That is the million dollar question......how much can you spend? That alone will set the course for you.
     
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  13. David W. Kropelnicki

    David W. Kropelnicki AH Member

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    That is for sure!
     

  14. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello Each and Everyone,

    If I had the money, (if a frog had wings) I would commission Westley Richards to build for me, a Drop-Lock, 26" ejector barrels.

    I would have to struggle with the caliber since I am very fond of three different cartridges appropriate for the above.

    (.450/400 3"............. .450 NE 3.25" ............... .500 NE 3")

    I have fired all three from SxS rifles and it would be difficult for me to choose.

    As it is, I have been blessed to have owned 4 double rifles in my lifetime and to have hunted in Africa with two of them (Merkel SxS in .375 H&H one safari and Army & Navy SxS in .450 N02 Nitro on another).

    But at the end of the day, I would almost sell my house to get the above mentioned WR (almost).

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  15. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I think that would be a little overboard to do something like that (lol).
     

  16. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Enysse,

    Since examining one, I have been haunted by it for about 12 years now.
    There are many super extra fine doubles on the market today, from various makers.
    H&H is perhaps the most famous and don't get me wrong, Hollands are truly impressive.
    However, after having examined and fired approximately a dozen or so maker's SxS rifles, without even firing the WR menditoned, I was struck as if by lightening upon merely examining (and nearly slobbering on) the aforementioned piece of dangerous game hunting history.

    DO NOT ever handle a WR drop-lock, or even examine the accoutrements contained within the luggage case, such as the spare locks, with gold plated contact points (to resist corrosion in the tropics), rosewood cleaning rod, buffalo horn handled screw drivers ("turnscrews"), sterling sliver oiler, etc., etc., etc.

    If you do not heed my warning, you will just like myself, be tormented by the memory of it for the rest of your life.

    As it is for me, I now have a Heym 88B and I really like it, no complaints except that it is not a Westley Richards drop-lock, not even close.

    Best Regards,
    Velo Dog
     
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  17. juan pablo pozzi

    juan pablo pozzi New Member

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    Hi im dr Juan Pablo Pozzi Zurbriggen and i work as a professional hunter in Argentina ,hunting mostly water buffalos in the swamps and jungles of the north of the country .Thanks to my work im exposed to several doubles each season .I believe Verney-Carrons are great classic guns good value for the money ,Chapuis are not a VC but they are good guns ,Searcys are solid guns and i shot several very accurate,PH-Heym is a good option too ,Merkels are really solid guns ,Krieghoff ,are good rifles i was exposed to them by the late Don Heath but needs a bit of training extra.I dont like Blasers ,cant get trained on them but its pure personnal matter .Most of the used VC ,MERKELS ,SEARCY and Chapuis are under 10000us .
     
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  18. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Wish I owned a double but alas I do not. I have fired a Blaser 500 NE and it was all I wanted to deal with in terms of kick. I did notice that the safety made a very loud click.
    I have shouldered a very nice Merkel a couple of times and really like it!
    Prices of these fine rifles are amazingly high in my mind but one gets what he pays for.
    If I were an African PH I would own a double and I think it would be the Merkel i. 470 NE
     

  19. Ndumo Hunting Safaris

    Ndumo Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    You absolutely cannot get better value for money than a Verney Carron, period.
     

  20. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nothing else like responding to a two year old thread!!! Coming home on leave in early July...Finally!!!. Will return to work until November 26, then I am done. Now you are asking yourself, why did he tell me this? That is because I am going to Birmingham, not the one in Alabama, and of course London in the last week of October. I will be mainly window shopping, but seriously looking at some of their used double guns, 12s or 20s! The new WR double rifle, the rising bite, starts around 90,000 pounds, about $130,000, so I may look at one, but not touch!! We have to stay in touch more often on these 2 year old threads!
     

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