Journey towards a double begins

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by BnC 04, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Been kicking around the double rifle purchase for the last couple years. To be honest if Winchester would have made one I would had been an owner a long time ago.
    After visiting with forum members whose opinion I hold in high regard I decided it is time to take a trip to Double Guns of Nashville. My better half came along as she heard they sold over and unders and clothing.
    After an hour or so of molesting every double they had available I have made some mental notes.
    The VC looks great but feels petite in my hands. For a lack of better terms, slim. I believe it had 24" barrels and felt overly light but we'll balanced at the hinge.

    Next was an older Holland an Holland. This felt like a real piece of hardware. Heavy throughout and shouldered like a familiar Model 21 Winchester to me but well used and just not an option for me.

    Last was a Krieghogg. One in 500 NE and other a 470. Without question the 470 which had longer barrels felt right to me. I do prefer a bit of forward lean and this had it. Had enough weight and like the H&H felt full bodied and filled my grip nicely.
    I took the time to understand and work the safety on it for a while and can honestly say I don't believe I would have any issue getting used to its operation. The K gun was a basic model and thus was without any engraving so to speak. Locked up nicely but had what I would consider numerous handling/field marks for the bottom dollar price on her.

    The last one I want to take a look at is the Chapius. They didn't have one on site so am on a mission to locate one to at least be able to rule it out due to design and how it feels or keep it as an option. Trip to Champlin might be in store but d**n that's a drive.

    If anyone has any input it would be well received on my end.
    I've narrowed the calibers down to either a 450 or 470 and know I want at least 25" spouts on her.
    Being a M70 collector at heart I can't help to always keep resale value retainability in the back of my mind. Perhaps some manufacturers do retain more then others?

    Thanks to all and looking forward to hearing some opinions and possibly getting one step closer.

    On a side note, it wasn't a well elevated decision to take the wife. They sold purses and end result hurt...
     

  2. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Fairly new to double rifles myself, but I do understand your impressions of different guns and barrel lengths.

    For example, German doubles versus Italian doubles.
    I have one of each and though they have mostly the same features, my Beretta with 26 inch barrels is more svelte than my built-like-a -Panzer Simson with 24 inch barrels.
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    [​IMG]
    Both shoot very well and kill very well, but you may find the more solid (stolid?) German gun as below more to you liking, especially if it fits you. I shopped for a few years before finding these rifles and the wait was worth it.
    [​IMG]
     

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  3. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    I have a VC and a Chapuis and ypou can't go wrong with either one. I have handled the Keirghoff and like them but have never pulled the trigger on buying one. At DSC I handled the 470 VC that Nashville doubles had in their booth. It is a round body that feels smaller due to shape of the action. Find one that balances between the hands and comes up like a fine quail gun. Have them fit you and make sure the rifle feels like you have been carrying it your whole life and have fun, shoot allllllot, and go hunt some DG. Good luck on finding a great double no matter who made it.
     
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  4. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Handling as many as possible to see what feels proper seems to be the first Cardinal rule in this quest.
    Hoping I can locate a Chapius within a few hours of me to be able to check them out as well. Really like the lines of them but looks take a back seat to reliability/functionality imo.
     

  5. cal pappas

    cal pappas CONTRIBUTOR AH Veteran

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    Come to the AK double shoot in a few weeks and have access to shoot 50 doubles.
    If you tell me your budget and what you desire I may be able to help. Over a dozen of my rifles will be for sale shortly.
    Cal
     
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  6. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Appreciate the offer Cal, PM sent
     
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  7. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I bought my first double last year after a couple years of kicking tires. Settled on the K Gun with ejectors. There are many uses for sale but with extractors.
    I successfully hunted my rhino last year with the K gun in .470.
    Philip
     

  8. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Good luck on the journey!
     
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  9. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Did the safety take a while to get used? I think being my first double the K gun safety would be all I know as not owning any other doubles previously to compare it to.
    I know it takes more force than my M21 or 23's but nothing crazy in my opinion.
     

  10. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Much appreciated Charlie, going to take my time and get it right the first round, I'm hoping anyway.
     

  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Hope it works out tha way but I suspect you will be like the rest of us and want a second one!
     
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  12. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Well folks I've adjusted my caliber to 450/400. Have way too many bolts that give me a headache after 3 shots so came to realize why get another brain rattler. From reading and talking to folks it seems to be an adequate and enjoyable caliber and mirrors my Jeff ballistics.
    Torn between modern or vintage makers. Have spoke to Champlin and Cal, both have vast amounts of knowledge of doubles. Still working on getting to both to properly handle and fit.
    Thanks to those who have I have spoken with, and those whom shared their knowledge/opinions on the thread.
     
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  13. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Possibly the wrong conclusion...

    Well.... caliber certainly depends on what you want to hunt. It should, rather than depending on recoil only. If your focus is Buff, a 450/400 will be fine, but the .450, .470, .500 hit them noticeably harder. If Elephant or Hippo are in the future, going up a notch is a good idea... Recoil is a direct function of rifle weight (as well as bullet weight and speed of course, but this is another discussion). This is the reason why the classic doubles typically weighed in the 11 lbs (or upper 10 1/2 lbs) range. These were designed to be shot more than carried, and they really soaked up recoil. Modern doubles that are carried a lot more than shot have reversed the priorities in some folks'mind, and you now see double .470 that are 9 lbs and change, and these can be "brain rattlers" especially if they do not fit you very well. It is a personal choice of course, but I personally happily carry another 1 1/2 lb in order to mitigate recoil. Besides, it really helps steadying the rifle off hand after running a few hundred yards as can happen after the ball is open...

    The Verney Caron are great rifles, if you like their slimmer style.

    The Chapuis are beefier. George Caswell of Champlin Armes states: "We feel so strong about these guns mechanically that we will take care of any problems for as long as you own it, except the wood. We have had every current made boxlock double rifle in our shop, have shot them all, worked on all, had all of them apart and we know for fact that you can't buy a better one for the money than a Chapuis. We regulate, re-joint, do triggers, re-barrel and hunt with and shoot a lot of double rifles. We flat know this is one tough, attractive, high precision, go to Africa and have money left for the second Buffalo type of gun. I challenge you to show me a better current double rifle for the money." That is quite an endorsement...

    In the same price range (for used guns), the Kreighoff is dang near unbeatable. Here is mine in .470 I like the shape of the stock; it balances right where it should, and it has about the right weight at 11 lbs 6 ox with the factory mercury recoil reducer.

    Regrading the "safety", the answer is in two parts, because the cocking system acts as both a cocker/decocker and a safety:

    1) It is objectively not as easy and unobtrusive to switch as a regular safety is (you need to exert a certain pressure to coil the strikers' springs), so if you are in the habit of switching automatically the safety on/off as you mount/dismount the gun to your shoulder, it is not as smooth as a traditional safety. I appreciated this smoothness on my previous double, a traditional pre-WWII Jules Burry 450 #2.

    2) It is objectively immensely safer than a regular trigger-locking safety when carrying the gun, especially in single file, when muzzle safety can be challenging, because the gun can be fully loaded while fully safe (uncocked), just as a firing pin-locking safety (e.g. Mauser or Winchester "3 positions safety," Weatherby safety, etc.) makes a bolt action as close to fully safe as possible while loaded.

    Overall, I feel unquestionably safer along the hunt with this system, but I DID have to acquire a new muscle memory reflex to cock it as I mount the gun.

    A third part to the answer, is to clarify that contrarily to what has been said, when the Kreighoff cocker has been cocked, it remains in the cocked position, even when the gun is opened and reloaded, so there is no requirement to recock the gun after it is opened (as I believe the Blaser S2 requires). Reloads are therefore entirely identical to those with traditional guns: break open, flick the empties out, drop two fresh shells, close, aim, shoot. Or if you do not need to shoot again, you can then decock any time you later want.

    So, in summary: it is different; it works; like everything new, it needs to be learned; and, in my view, it is an improvement. I never felt comfortable resting my two hands on top of the muzzles of my .450 #2 - and I always cringe when I see someone do it and trust 100% the trigger safety of their fully loaded double - but I would now feel safe resting my hands on top of my uncocked .470 ... if it was not bad muzzle safety discipline anyway...

    The Heym are very nice too but typically more expensive...

    The Merkel are also nice. A personal mishap with a Merkel sxs 20 gauge sidelock that broke one of its hammer in the field (brittle steel!) considerably dampened by enthusiasm for the brand, so I am a bit conflicted about it...

    And of course, many of the classic British, Belgian, Scottish, etc. from the 1910's, 1930's etc. were not shot all that much and are still tight on the face, if not as new, and make great companions. My first one was the aforementioned Jules Burry and it was very, very nice, being in 450 #2 it was hard to feed, and George Caswell, a self-admitted 450 #2 junkee, wanted it more than I did...

    You likely already know that in double rifles like everything else, one generally get his money's worth and that some offering that seem too good to be true, well ... are too good to be true. As @Red Leg put it in another thread, that the difference between rifle that fall apart after shooting 100 rounds and rifles that keep shooting for 100 years!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019

  14. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    I have seen double rifles before at gun shows, but did not handle them. Never have shot one. But I have seen hunting videos of the doubles in use. They have to be the quickest, slickest rifles for two aimed shots I have ever seen! Just an observation from a neophyte! Too bad they’re out of my rifle budget range.
     
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  15. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Might want to consider the 500/416NE as another alternitive.
    Was made to duplicate 416Rigby performance in a flanged cartridge.
    Uses a .416 caliber bullet which allows a host of choices.
    Also available in the K-Gun.

    Article on the cartridge and the Krieghoff 2-barrel set.
    https://revivaler.com/krieghoff-double-rifle-in-500-416-nitro/

    Count yourself lucky that you only had to buy the purse and not hold it while she tried on clothes.
     
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  16. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    The .500/416 is a good one...but recoil is on par with a .470..
     

  17. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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    Hi, Good luck on your double. I would stress 3 things fit, fit, fit. If it does not fit you, nothing else makes a difference. Recently I received a e-mail from the owner of one of the largest rifle mfg. (including double rifles). He came to Africa to try one of his doubles and went back home a much wiser man. He stated that the double did not fit him and he really did not know how to use a double. Since then he has corrected both issues and is looking forward to coming back and doing the job correctly.

    I believe that DSC or SCI would be a good place to try a large selection of doubles. I once spoke to agents of different double rifle companies. The subject was fitting before buying. The answer from one was please come to Germany for a proper fitting, from number two lets try to work our schedules out where we can do a fitting in Africa. Number threes answer was if a English double fits you so will ours. Guess which one was immediately out of the running?

    Recently I had a friend buy a like new Chapuis at a steal. The rifle looked very well made unfortunately it did not fit him or me, he just bought it for resale.
     
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  18. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Elite

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    I think that you should enjoy them very much . Two of my favorite clients would bring double barrel rifles for Shikar in Darjeeling . Screenshot_20191006-203448_01_01_01.png
    This is one of my clients with his 486 pound Royal Bengal tiger . The rifle was built by the English firm , Holland and Holland in the calibre magnum .458 Winchester , calibrated for the Winchester cartridge .
    Another prominent double barrel rifle brought by one of my clients for a leopard Shikar was built by the English firm , Westley Richards in the calibre magnum .375 calibrated for the Kynoch cartridge.
    Automatic ejector mechanism is best.
    Single trigger or two trigger are both excellent , but l personally am fond of the two trigger configuration. I do believe that the barrels should be no longer than 26 inches at most for easy maneuvering .
    However , take care not to purchase a double barrel rifle with an automatic safety mechanism.
     
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  19. dougfinn

    dougfinn AH Member

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    I have a V.C. In 450/400 and I can vouch for the high quality craftsmanship that goes into one, but the thing I like about it the most is how well it fits me, and this is very important when shooting powerful rifles in quick shot scenarios. Find the one that fits you the best and go with it.
     

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