Double Rifle Opinions

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Vanguard2279, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Given my somewhat compulsive nature, I have recently become (more) obsessed with double rifles. However, I have virtually no experience with them so I thought I would pose the questions to people wiser than I.

    I am not a professional hunter. My use of a double would realistically be used on a Cape Buffalo Daggaboy or a Hippo hunt. The rifle would also just be entertaining to shoot recreationally. I'm looking at several Sabatti rifles. I spent time researching the brand and have seen the good and the bad. I enjoyed the Sabatti rifle thread in this forum. I found it very informative.

    I found a Sabatti .450 NE O/U with extractors only that seemed interesting. I like the idea of at least one barrel being positively aligned with the sights and a scope if mounted. The lack of auto ejectors concerns me more than the gape needed to reload. I read that thread and it would seem that it isn't a concern unless I've already expended two rounds downrange, failed to stop the threat and need to reload quickly. The price is also noticeably less than a S/S. Opinions?

    I have also looked at S/S rifles in .450 NE and .450/400 NE. Brass and loaded ammo is readily available through Midway USA for the latter. .450 NE brass is not nearly as common. The .450 brings all of the power I would want with a 500 grain bullet between 2000-2150 fps. The .450/400 with a 400 grain bullet at 2150 fps has less muzzle energy than my .375 Ruger (Ruger Hawkeye African) with a 300 grain bullet at 2550-2600 fps. Has anyone used both on heavy game and does one seem to have more real world effect?

    I thank everyone who has a constructive opinion and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you all.
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I keep looking at the darn things myself. Had a private showing in Birmingham AL of Merkel rifles about a week ago. Their 470 NE has my attention!
     

  3. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Parallel to your rifle, I have had the same question with shotguns. In 1976 I bought a Browning Superposed 20 ga. I really liked the single sight plane and the handiness of the breakaction. But the feature that was very distracting was reloading the bottom barrel. Ducks would be coming into decoys and I could shoot two, then three hands were needed to quickly load two more shells: one holding the fore-end, one on the grip, holding the gun completely open while the third inserted the shells. Unfortunately, I didn't have three hands. So I resorted to loading only the top barrel for a third shot. the scene would be: shoot top, bottom; reload top, shoot top. retrieve ducks.
    The problem was resolved when the federal government banned lead shot and the only replacement was steel. the Super was designated as a squirrel gun and I haven't been waterfowl hunting since the ban went into effect.
    the rest of the story is that I have recently become reinterested in waterfowl hunting, using the various non-tox tungsten variants- but during the 30 year hiatus I developed a fondness for SxS shotguns, so now for those clay target games and if/when I were to go waterfowl hunting I'd use SxS guns.
    I also am considering getting a double rifle, but my difficulties with loading the bottom barrel of the Superposed and my familiarity with the SxS point me in the direction of a SxS. It's too bad that they cost so much more- and every time I get interested in one, there's another more expensive one that is better.
     
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  4. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    Ive been eyeing that Sabatti O/U as well. Every time about about to pull the trigger, something holds me back. It always comes back to the single trigger. I just cant quite get used to that. I hunt with O/U's with double triggers and extractors, so my muscle memory is quite alright with that. Just the idea of going to a single trigger on a double rifle that I would use on a Buff doesn't quite sit well with me, but purely a subjective opinion of course.
     
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  5. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    First decide how much money you are willing or able to spend on a SxS rifle. They go from $5000 to over $100,000. Then you can decide what brands new or used you can start researching.
     
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  6. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    What does everyone thing of the 500/416 I shot the 470 ne. And no one has every said it was fun. The 599/416 seems to me somewhere in the middle of the 375 h&h and 470. Thoughts?
     
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  7. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Well first I will warn you shooting doubles is very addictive. The first two shots out of a friends 500 Merkel and I was hooked. Doubles are my first choice in hunting rifles now. I have and hunt with singles and bolts also. Don't limit yourself on just Cape Buff or Hippo. I have used doubles on my Eland, Sable, warthog, Zebra and Cape Buffalo. Just means you need to stalk in closer. I grew up shooting SxS shotguns so that format just feels right to me, that said I have one O/U 450/400 and have worked out quick reloads with it by opening the action rotating the action parallel to my body and dumping the empties at my feet then with the barrels looking like a SxS just load the same way I do my other doubles and rotate and close the action in one move and bring back to your shoulder for shots 3 and 4. Takes some practice but worth your time. I tend to have more faith in the Taylor KO vs standard energy in the mid and big bore rounds. The same 450/400 400gr bullet (2150fps) has a TKO of 50, momentum of 122, energy of 4104, Where the 375 300gr has TKO of 40, momentum of 109, and energy of 4330 (at 2550fps). The 450 will get done everything you want. The only thing I have shot with the 450/400 is paper and steel so far but it has a long and very good track record in Africa. Haven't shot the 500/416 but it has the same basic ballistic profile of the 416 Rigby. I have owned two sabatti's and both shot well. They make their O/U in a two trigger model so would look at that. As far as ejector vs extractors it is just a matter of what suites you. Buy one and shoot alott.
     
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  8. Tom Leoni

    Tom Leoni AH Senior Member

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    If I were to buy another double (I used to have an old Coggy that I foolishly sold), I'd go with a side-by-side. It sounds like you'd be doing this at least as much for the nostalgia factor as for the practicality, and an over and under double is nowhere near as much of a classic as a side-by-side. Sure, they are more expensive, but if you save a few more thousands, then you'd have a true classic.

    Also, I'd consider one that either has the provision for a scope, or the space for one to be added. It's an extra expense, but then you'd have something really useful that would never have to stay in the case when you hunt.

    If you budget about $15,000, you can have one in a useful, desirable caliber like a .450/400, a .375 flanged magnum, a .333 nitro, a 360 or one of the excellent European do-it-alls like the 9.3x72R. Anyway, just my opinion, but since you'll end up with a substantial investment anyway, it's better to spend a little more and go the whole hog. Oh, and you wouldn't be flushing money down the drain--you can always resell it for its value.
     
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  9. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Gents:
    Thank you for the great responses. I am probably focused most on the Sabattis. The S/S rifles come with a scope mount which I can only imagine would make the rifle much more usable. I only went to SHOT for half a day this year. I really wish I had looked for the Sabatti booth. I made a point to leave my fingerprints on rifles at the Merkel/Steyr booth.
    MMAL: I too find the .500/416 fascinating. If Sabatti offered that chambering, it would be my first choice.
    AZDAVE: It was nice meeting you at SCI. Thank you.
     

  10. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Another question:
    I handload for all of my hunting rifles. Would the O/U be easier to regulate/tailor loads for than the S/S?
     

  11. 008

    008 AH Veteran

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    I too have obsessed over the O/U express rifles with Boss and Hartmann and Weiss stealing the show. I've recently ordered two. One will take many years to get the other should be here in 6-8 months. It's a Rizzini 92S in 9.3x74R. Side plates, ejectors, Grade 3+ wood, set of shotgun barrels etc. I plan to use it has my all around rifle short of the big DG. I would check them out, not sure they can be beat for the price.
     

  12. Tom Leoni

    Tom Leoni AH Senior Member

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    I think this is a question for Jaco--he's an O/U fan, and I understand he has considerable experience with them.
     
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  13. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    First recommendation is to buy Shooting the British double rifle by Graeme Wright , it is a modern guide for load development and use of doubles. Reloading for a O/U is the same except that when loads are crossing or spreading apart it is on the vertical plane vs the horizontal plane. Since my brain is wired better towards the SxS when developing the Aframe loads for my O/U VC I had to rotate my head 90Degrees so the groups made sense. I could have rotated the target 90 degrees but I am kinda hard headed and gave the others at the range something to laugh about.
     
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  14. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The Side by side has two directions of movement whereas the Over Under only has one. When the SxS is fired the recoil force causes the barrel to lift and go to the side; The O-U lifts and straight back unless there is offset/onset in the stock. Since and O-U has fewer pushes on the barrel it normally would have a wider spectrum of loads that would correspond to the sighting.
     
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  15. Jumbo

    Jumbo AH Veteran

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    I would say that if the .470NE was not fun - assuming too much recoil - I would look to the weight of the rifle rather than calibre in that class. My .470NE is much more fun to shoot than my .375H&H and this is attributed to the weight of the rifle and higher velocity.

    For me in that class take what works best for you, but I doubt there will be a significant recoil difference between the two.
     
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  16. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    Vanguard, good to meet you!

    I too was bitten by the double bug: it is a very slippery slope that may well run you to ruin worse than heroin.

    I truly would recommend caution. It may indeed may...or may not be right for you.

    I became obsessed with needing to be a part of the Double Rifle Shooters Society. DRSS for short. I don't know why...but somehow I because obsessed with needing the ultra fast second shot. I figured that in the end I'd wind up with at least two doubles...in my perfect world a 9.3x74r and a 450-400 would be such an amazing combo.

    After a lifetime of bolt trash and single shits (*yeah, I said that right :p ) I bought a Merkel 141 in 9.3x74r. At 8# full up with a Leupold 1.5-5 I went to the range and shocked myself. Recoil velocity was significant. The set trigger (maybe 6 ounces) shocked the ever living hell out of me. I managed a 1.5-2" right barrel group. Left barrel was somewhere off the page (*note, the 141 has barrel adjustment screws to self-set regulation). Feck...

    I'm around 100 rounds, maybe 150 into the regulation process and I doubled the rifle, slipping both triggers and driving 560 grains at 2250 in an 8# frame right into my face. I shattered my shooting glasses, whacked the shit out of myself (no blood), rang my bell, and hand me packing up early. Feck...

    I reloaded another 50 rounds. My shoulder has been bruised black and I've now developed a damn flinch on the second barrel...but at least I'm grouping 3" at 100 with regulation adjustments.

    I'm running out of 286 gr. Interlocks...gonna have to switch to my Partition 2nds...and I'm dangerously low on Ramshot BigGame...at least I have primers.

    Feck...crushed four of those magnificently long pieces of brass...no recovery there. Damnit...Nosler wants $2.73 a piece. Damned pushers...

    My wife hates me now...haven't had sex in months...I've set up a cot in the garage. My Rockcrusher obviously isn't cutting it anymore. Had order a Redding T-7. New dies...

    Ran out of CCI primers...need to resort to Remington Primers...will a Mag primer be needed with the long powder column? Damnit...dogs won't come into the garage anymore. Haven't showered in days. Pizza boxes are blocking the back door...might be a fire hazard but don't care.

    Range day, 40 rounds...regulation is now off by 12 inches. At 50 yards. Range officer is...concerned...

    Reduced range distance to 25 yards...obviously charging distance. Shot a 6" group. That's Minute of Buffalo, right?

    Got fired from work today. Concerned about chamber erosion and accuracy. Do I need new barrels? I'm only 1200 rounds in...discovered that Merkel regulation requires that both barrels be fired within 7 seconds of each other else risk regulation issues due to barrel heat.

    Damnit...I've been firing four shot groups...managed a 4" cluster at 10 feet. Set target on fire...banned from range.

    Filing for bankruptcy on Monday...






    :oops:
     

  17. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    RNOVI:
    You are a rockstar, sir. Go with God, and thank you.
     

  18. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    Worst part...

    I still want a 450-400.


    :eek:
     
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  19. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    rnovi,

    that was freaking funny!
     
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  20. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    After a long hard day that was a nice read!
     
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