Market for .450/.400 double?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Max Simmons, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Max Simmons

    Max Simmons AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    22
    Member of:
    SCI
    Greetings all,

    I'm in the market for a SxS double in .450/.400. Right now I'm keeping an eye on a new Merkel Model 140-2 listed on Guns International for $11,995, but before I pull the trigger(s) I was hoping to get a sense of the market for similar rifles at or below that price.

    I've not had any luck finding anything comparable in .450/.400.

    For reference, on Gunbroker I see at the moment:
    -Merkel .470 (extractors) at $7000 opening bid, and an engraved version opening at $9100,
    -Searcy .470 at $7500
    -new Sabatti Classic in .450 for $6100 BIN
    -Westley Richards (!) in .450 starting at $9995
    -new Sabatti Big Five EDL in .470 at $7134 BIN
    -used Sabatti in .470 starting at $4500
    -Searcy .500 at $10,500
    -a number of .500 NE Blasers in the $9k range

    (I note here that I would be disinclined toward Searcy because of my research at AH.)

    I e-mailed IFG regarding the timeline for the arrival of a new batch of Sabatti doubles. They very promptly responded, saying, in effect, "We have no idea."

    So, can anyone here tell me whether it's realistic to expect that a quality sub-$12,ooo double in .450/.400 will appear anytime soon? My search thus far would suggest that they're not particularly common in the marketplace, leading me to think that I'm less likely to find them for the prices I'm seeing for the more popular calibers.

    I'm not in a huge hurry and have some modicum of patience (hard won!) when it comes to buying a gun, but if it's likely futile to wait I'll start scouring the accounts trying to scrounge up enough for the new Merkel.

    Best Regards.
     
    Troubleshooter likes this.

  2. Excessexpress

    Excessexpress AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    73
    Max,

    I would suggest gathering together your sponduli for either a Merkel or a Chapuis.

    If you can afford it, a Verney-Carron would be my recommendation, but there’s a reason I have a Merkel.....
     

  3. K E Johnson

    K E Johnson AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    {where Rooster Cogburn lost his eye in True Grit}
    Member of:
    Endowment Member NRA
    Hunted:
    United States, Canada
    I too am looking for a double. Been looking for a year and a half at least. My first choice would be period English. Yes that is more $$$$ depending.

    There are 450/400 out there. Plenty of people like that caliber. I personally am looking for a 450 nitro or a 470 . 500 nitro isn’t out of the question.

    My best advice is to try before you buy regardless. Make sure the gun fits you. I want it to shoulder and point naturally.

    The local gentleman I purchased my Dakota 416 Rigby from also has a 470 Wesley Richards boxlock that from the tiger engraving, had been in India. Decent price, but it didn’t fit like the Dakota.

    I am trying to patiently wait for the right one. It is hard.

    There will be one come up in your price range if you are patient.

    Best of luck.
     
    Troubleshooter likes this.

  4. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Elite

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,037
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    851
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Member of:
    BASC
    Hunted:
    UK, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland). RSA, North West, Kalahari, Limpopo
    I have a Sabatti and I love the thing. All Id say is wait out untill the DSC SCI shows they'll all be there
     
    sierraone, CAustin and Vanguard2279 like this.

  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,128
    Video/Photo:
    232
    Likes Received:
    8,608
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    Good suggestion with respect to DSC or Reno. Most of the current makers will be there with rifles to pick up and get the feel of. More importantly, so will two or three of the major dealers in quality used SxS rifles (well, maybe not a Sabatti) :whistle: In particular, JJ Perodeau helps man the Champlin Arms booth. They will have some great guns, but more importantly, JJ knows more about doubles than anyone else that I know in this country - and he is the only person on this side of the Atlantic that I allow to repair or adjust one. Pick his brain.

    Finally, buying a used double can be a great deal, a catastrophe, or somewhere in between. My own education took several decades and more of an investment than I care to think about. Pay to have someone like JJ go over it before concluding the sale. And as I say, he is the only person I would use on this continent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019

  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,804
    Video/Photo:
    194
    Likes Received:
    4,526
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    I didn’t see anyone mention ejectors vs extractors on a DG SxS?
     

  7. K E Johnson

    K E Johnson AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    {where Rooster Cogburn lost his eye in True Grit}
    Member of:
    Endowment Member NRA
    Hunted:
    United States, Canada
    EJECTORS.
     
    Stalker91 and Ridgewalker like this.

  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,128
    Video/Photo:
    232
    Likes Received:
    8,608
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    EITHER. It is the gun that matters. You will find folks who prefer a fast reload, others a quiet one. For a client like myself, I can make the case for either and have both.
     
    sierraone, Ridgewalker and ActionBob like this.

  9. Max Simmons

    Max Simmons AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    22
    Member of:
    SCI
    I’d prefer ejectors, but it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker on the right rifle at the right price. The Merkel that I mentioned, which I’m using as my benchmark, has ejectors.
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

  10. Troubleshooter

    Troubleshooter New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    9
    First, let me preface this by stating that I am NOT an expert on double rifles. However, I recently purchased my first double following a similar search, and will offer my opinions based on those experiences. You might as well sit down and have a cup of coffee or other suitable beverage, as I have much to say on the subject.

    I first started getting seriously interested in purchasing a double rifle about five years ago and have been watching the auction sites and some store prices as time permitted. I had preferences, but retained flexibility regarding caliber and manufacturer.

    It appears from your post that you are leaning towards a SxS double rifle in one of the traditional British calibers, so I’ll skip the usual questions about intended use, O/U vs. SxS configuration, caliber type (English vs. metric vs. American modern), etc. with the assumption that you have already considered these matters and know more-or-less what you want. I will also confine my comments to moderately priced rifles, as the high-end items are just plain out of my price range.

    My sense is that the overall market is soft. The asking prices for newly manufactured pieces seem to have been decreasing over the past several years, and used specimens seem to linger quite awhile until either the seller reduces the price or a suitable buyer happens along. The blackpowder guns seem to remain on the market longer than those which are nitro-proofed. However, once the price is reduced to an acceptable level the guns seem to get snapped up rather quickly. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you exactly where that threshold lies, but you may be able to gain a general sense of it over time. What I can tell you is that if you miss out, another one will come along shortly.

    The Sabatti is a beautiful rifle, and certainly affordably priced, but their reputation has suffered due to shortcuts taken during the process of regulating the barrels. It is my understanding that this problem was limited to a single production run made for one specific buyer, but the stigma remains. That could work in your favor as a purchaser. However when the day comes for you to sell it…….. well maybe not so much. I think the prices you mention for the new vs. used Sabattis should tell you all you need regarding future resale value.

    I have handled several Merkel doubles, and found them to be rather stiff and not to fit me well. Of course, we are all built differently, so as they say, your mileage may vary. The factory engraved ones are certainly works of art. But again, I see them sitting on the shelves or on the auction sites for months, sometimes years so the prices may be too high for what the market will bear. (This does provide a good starting point for negotiations though, should the seller be amenable). I would suggest to you that the price you mentioned is a good one for the engraved models, and reasonable for the unadorned version; although I personally would not go much higher.

    I attended the big Wanamaker gun show several years ago and had a lengthy conversation with an older gentleman who was selling his collection of double rifles. They included another Sabatti, a Jeffery, and a couple others whose makers I cannot remember right now. The Sabatti was used; the gun was beautiful although the action was somewhat stiff. But the Jeffery – ah, that Jeffery was a pure delight; it shouldered perfectly and fairly danced in my hands! The price was more than I was prepared to pay that day, but the seller and I exchanged information in case our situations changed.

    I saw a used Searcy double at a reasonable price, and wanted to contact the manufacturer to inquire about the possibility of fitting and service should that be necessary. Several emails were sent, and several attempts to make contact via telephone (the voicemail didn’t work) but three years later I have yet to hear anything back. Given the size of their operation, I figured that sending it in for potential repairs or modification would be an iffy proposition. Later, I was afforded the opportunity to handle a used boxlock; it was certainly built stout but I just did not care for the way it handled. In fairness, I had already been spoiled by that wonderful Jeffery.

    The same shop which had the used Searcy also carried several new and used Chapuis and a Verney-Carron, so I had the opportunity to handle them as well as to learn the proper pronunciation of “Chapuis.” Both brands handled nicely (for me) and the Chapuis were slightly more affordable. So at this point, I had narrowed the field to Chapuis, V-C, and a Jeffery or similar vintage, nitro-proofed English double. I found several Jeffery’s at online auction sites; two of them are still listed and probably will be until the seller reduces his asking price to that magic threshold number (wherever that may lie).

    Last year, I was traveling through Oklahoma enroute to a jobsite when I happened to pass near Enid, home to Champlin Arms. On the return trip I arranged for a short visit during which I handled more double rifles than I had in the previous four years combined, all while Mr. Caswell dispensed wisdom, commentary, and advice. He was adamant that the Chapuis was the best modern double rifle for the price, and I have to admit that it is very well-made and fits >me< well. He also noted that the older English (and other) doubles should be expected to hold their value fairly well, as there is a finite universe from which to choose, whereas those brands which are of current manufacture will by definition, be available in new and used versions far into the future. This confirmed a suspicion of mine and reinforced my preference for an older classic British double, should one present itself at a reasonable price.

    All this time, I had been periodically checking current prices at the various online sites as my schedule and workload permitted. Asking prices were duly noted, but more informative were the sales prices realized at the various live and internet auctions. If I were to do it right, I should have built a spreadsheet showing the initial offering price, reductions (if any) over time, and the final realized sales price. But I was not that sophisticated, choosing instead to gain a general sense of what was moving and what was not.

    My recommendation to you sir, would be to use the “Search” feature on several sites (e.g., Guns International, GunBroker, etc) to determine current starting prices, then search for the realized sales price on the completed auction to determine the price for which it was ultimately sold (or perhaps, remains unsold). I would also suggest that you check online auction houses both large and small (e.g., Rock Island Auction, Morphys, etc.) to see what’s out there and what the gavel price was; remembering to factor-in the buyer’s premium and shipping where applicable. I would also check sites such as Proxibid which will expand the search universe to include some of the smaller auction houses which might offer the occasional double. The best circumstance would be to locate a smaller auction house holding a live (no internet bidding) auction, where the consignor is selling to a crowd which may not have interest in old double rifles, and thus may not be inclined to bid too high. It was at such an auction that I almost (almost!) won a very nice old Joseph Lang double rifle earlier this year. As luck would have it however, there was that one other fellow in the crowd that who also realized what was being offered for sale.

    In short, I think that you can find and purchase the double rifle that you want for a reasonable cost. You will need to put in the time and effort to research the going price trends, search out the smaller or specialty auctions, know what you want and what you are willing to pay, maintain flexibility regarding the exact configuration, and be prepared to act when opportunity presents itself. It will require persistence, resourcefulness, and frankly, a bit of luck. But I think that what you want is very do-able.
     
    ActionBob likes this.

  11. Troubleshooter

    Troubleshooter New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    9
    p.s. It was at an estate auction earlier this summer that I finally purchased my Jeffery boxlock double in .450-400 3” NE; my winning bid was well within the price range that you quoted. Right time, right location, and more than a bit of luck.

    Keep looking, yours is out there somewhere.
     

  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,128
    Video/Photo:
    232
    Likes Received:
    8,608
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    Well written and well reasoned. The only caution I will add is that at least a third of the used doubles that I handle have an issue that would cause me to walk away. Few of these problems are obvious to those inexperienced with double guns (shotguns or rifles), and often they are unknown even to the seller. Most of those potential issues can not be seen in an internet picture. There are dealers who specialize in these guns who will guarantee its condition. Champlin is one. From them, you will get a fair market price, but not a fire sale one. I noted above, acquiring those skills takes time and is not cheap. An alternative is to have a potential purchase shipped to someone like JJ Perodeau for evaluation before closing a deal. That is not possible at an auction, but a quality gun languishing somewhere would fit the bill nicely. @ActionBob recently did that with one of the finer doubles I have seen for sale recently, but by a maker with which any but the consigliere are usually unaware. Again, a trip to DSC would offer you many insights.
     
    ActionBob, Max Simmons and sierraone like this.

  13. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,356
    Video/Photo:
    130
    Likes Received:
    1,531
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Alaska,lower 48
    You have some very good advice from others9 @Red Leg @Troubleshooter ) already so I won't recover that ground. I will concur with both men especially use of JJ as a quality control agent. I will also add another up and coming gunsmith that is the other guy that I would trust is Aron Little. I have done business with William Larking and Moore and Vintage Doubles and had very good luck with them and find them to be honourable companies to work with. Vintage doubles currently and a vintage english 450/400 for sale in your budget range. http://www.vintagedoubles.com/catalog/?sort=5 . and WLM has a chapuis a little above your budget https://williamlarkinmoore.com/inventory/itemid/6899 you might call and see if there is some wiggle room in the price (They also attend DSC and SCI). and a vintage english well above most any of our budgets:) https://williamlarkinmoore.com/inventory/itemid/7152 https://williamlarkinmoore.com/inventory/itemid/7177
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2019
    ActionBob likes this.

  14. Max Simmons

    Max Simmons AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    22
    Member of:
    SCI
    Thank you all for the detailed and thoughtful replies.

    The thought of 1/3 of used doubles having a problem is pretty eye-popping, and crucial to note.
     
    ActionBob likes this.

  15. Max Simmons

    Max Simmons AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    22
    Member of:
    SCI
    Thanks so much. Great resource!
     

  16. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,585
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    5,179
    Location:
    Central Minnesota
    Member of:
    NRA life, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    Minnesota, Texas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, British Columbia, Argentina, Kansas, Macedonia, Austria
    And many thanks to you Joe for the excellent advice. And I think more than a little influence in getting J.J. fired up about the project. The way that deal ended up was the gun did indeed have several small issues. All of which J.J. was able to address and fix including machining a new plunger for the safety. I think the gun suffered only from what all too many doubles suffer from.. Siting in a closet or gun safe un-loved for many years. The Seller may have been a little apprehensive at first to send the gun off without payment. But he did his due diligence and through professional and fair arrangements on all sides, he sent the gun to J.J. who did the work and the seller happily paid him for repairs. I paid J.J. for services such as confirming regulation/cost of ammo and shipping. J.J. was very fair in what he charged. Plus J.J. served as a non financial intermediary. He had physical possession of the gun when I wired the funds, thus giving me peace of mind I would get it. And he held the gun until the funds cleared into the sellers account so security for him the he had the money.

    I enjoy getting a real deal and am probably inclined to take a calculated risk now and then such as mentioned might be the case buying at an auction, especially the small auction.

    However I also understand and appreciate a true a bargain where everyone wins and I get a quality item at a fair price. Which is how I think this deal played out. It may have even been a real deal to me but there are so few of the guns such as mine out there on the market that it is difficult to ascertain a true market price at the day of sale... And the seller had that gun on the market a long time and got what he asked. In any case, I am very pleased with my purchase;) Now it just needs to taste some buffalo blood :)
     
    Red Leg likes this.

  17. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    758
    Video/Photo:
    276
    Likes Received:
    1,407
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    +1 on "a third of the used doubles that I handle have an issue"
    +1 on "often they are unknown even to the seller. Most of those potential issues can not be seen in an internet picture"
    +1 on JJ Perodeau

    I notice that the discussion has not included, so far, Heym and Kreighoff. I would suggest you also look into them...

    A few thoughts, Max Simmons...
    • Blaser S2 are unconventional but they work well. Some folks have an issue with the fact that they decock every time you open the action. Recocking as you shoulder the rifle is an acquired reflex but it is not as unobtrusive as sliding a conventional tang safety. It takes a certain effort to compress the strikers springs. Each will evaluate for their own whether they want this or not on their double, which may explain why there are indeed a couple of really inexpensive, deeply discounted, brand new S2 around on GB (Mad Dog Guns). Owners tend to like them and keep them. Always a good sign. An $8,400 close-out brand new .500 NE S2 may be the very best double rifle deal out there right now and for a long time to come.
    • Kreighoff are more conventional in built and they also work well. They too have the cocker/decocker mechanism, which is a great safety feature, but they do not decock every time you open the action, hence you do not need to recock on a quick reload. I personally prefer it that way (full disclosure, I shoot a K gun).
    • Merkel made their reputation when they were built in East Germany and came to the West fairly cheaply for what they were: essentially hand built shotgun and rifles. These times are gone. Current Merkel are not as painstakingly put together as they used to, and are now produced on CNC machinery. By all accounts they work well.
    • Chapuis and Verney Carron have a long tradition in France. Chapuis for doubles in continental calibers, Verney Carron for shotguns. Both are comparatively new comers to the African calibers double rifle arena. By that I mean they started in the 1980's - as opposed to the 1880's as many British makers. These are solid rifles produced on CNC machinery. By all accounts they work well. Chapuis tend to be a bit beefier. Verney Carron a bit slimmer. To each his own.
    • Heym are nice but tend to be more expensive. Essentially double the price of Merkel/Chapuis/Verney Carron.
    • There are some very nice century-old Belgium, English or Scottish rifles out there. Some have been barely shot, most saw a modest amount of shooting, and a few have been shot out. As Red Leg says, they "can be a great deal, a catastrophe, or somewhere in between" and learning can indeed get expensive. Here are a couple pointers:
    1. Many of these older rifles shot corroding loads. Check the rifling, throats, chambers, for fulminate or cordite corrosion pitting etc.
    2. A few of these older rifles were in great shape until someone shot them in the last decade or so with mono metal solids and pushed the rifling outside the barrel. Believe me, I learned it the hard way with A Square Monolithic Solids and a beautiful pre WWII Jules Burry 450 #2... Hold the barrels to a light as if to check the bore, but look on the outside surface of the barrels. If you can distinguish the rifling "shadow" on the outside surface, things are not looking good. God knows what stress was exercised on the barrel solders if there was enough pressure for the rifling to be pushed back when the bullet was passing through.
    3. If you do not know how to check if a double rifle is "on face," have someone like Jean Jacques "JJ" Perodeau check it for you. A quick and dirty first check is still easy to perform with the rifle in hands:
    • The rifle action should be able to close with a single sheet of cigarette paper between the barrel flat (the under side) and the action, but you should not be able to remove the cigarette paper with the action closed. It should pinch the paper in place. Similarly, the rifle action should be able to close with a single sheet of cigarette paper between the barrel breech and the "face" of the action, but you should not be able to remove the cigarette paper with the action closed. It should pinch the paper in place.
    • Conversely, the rifle action should NOT be able to fully close, or at least the top lever should NOT be able to rotate back in the closed position with a piece of regular printer paper between the barrels and the action. If the rifle closes with printer paper between the breach and the face, and you can slide this paper out, the rifle is off the face. Things are not looking good.
    • The under-bolt should have zero play whatsoever and a fair amount of wear allowance remaining. A classic way to get a first (but not complete) check on this, is to check visually whether the top lever rests at an angle on top of the action when the rifle is closed briskly. A top lever resting straight in the axis of the bores, likely indicates a fair amount of shooting and an under bolt passably worn. Not necessarily worn out, but worn enough that the under bolt slides fully in the "bites" of the barrels "lumps" (the hook under the barrels into which the bolt engages). Similarly, the top lever should initially resist a bit when opened, as if stuck in place. It indicates a bolt that is in full binding contact with the bites.
    • The hinge pin should have zero play whatsoever. A classic way to get a first (but not complete) check on this is to close the rifle will holding the top lever in the open position, so that the bolt(s) do not engage the bite(s). The barrels should show zero side to side or front to back play whatsoever. None.
    • Ah but will an older double rifle still regulate (shoot its two barrels together) and still shoot to point of aim with modern ammo? Only shooting it, preferably yourself, will tell you...
    • Rechambered, modified, improved, gunsmithed, re-regulated, etc. doubles. The general rule is to run away as fast as you can, clinching tightly your wallet. More doubles are butchered than improved/fixed by home smiths, or even decent bolt gun smiths... Unless a rifle was sent back to the factory, or a third party like JJ Perodeau did the work, and this can be documented in writing and by calling for verification, the odds are against you, big time...
    • No inspection time, no return policy, etc. As a general rule, do not touch it with a 10 ft pole...
    • Cheap double rifles? Well, as they saying goes, you get what you pay for, right? Brand new double for $6,000? Used double for $4,000? I hate to do it again, because he will get a big head :E Rofl:but I liked what Red Leg said in a different thread. It went something like: that is the difference between a double that will shoot for 100 rounds and a double that will shoot for 100 years...
    I hope this helps :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019

  18. Max Simmons

    Max Simmons AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    26
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    22
    Member of:
    SCI
    Some of the issues you mention seem to potentially be of particular concern regarding the .450/.400. By Boddington's account, development of the modern Hornady load involved a judgment call on bore diameter because the originals were not standardized. This would give me pause in considering an older rifle, at least without being able to have the bore slugged. Besides which, thus far, the older .450/.400s I've seen are 3-1/4" rather than 3".

    A rifle being heirloom quality isn't high on my list, but it has to be good for more than a hundred rounds. I can't imagine putting less than two or three times that through it in the months leading up to going to Africa.
     

  19. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    758
    Video/Photo:
    276
    Likes Received:
    1,407
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    These are two entirely different issues, Max Simmons. Beside actual bore diameter, bullets have to be "soft" enough to take the rifling. A number of earlier mono-metal bullets were simply too hard and damaged the barrels they went through, especially in older, or even recent double rifles, owing to the fact that doubles have typically thinner barrel walls than bolt actions rifles.

    This being said, a well cared for 1919 double rifle (century old), or a 1929, or a 1939 (same difference!) rifle of good make is not what one would consider an heirloom. They are fully functional rifles, in many respect superior to many rifles being currently made. I would take without a second thought a 1919 Boswell, Lang, Wilkes, Westley Richards, Fraser, Boss, never mind Rigby, Holland & Holland or Purdey, and even an Army & Navy, over a brand new Merkel/Chapuis/Verney Carron/Blaser/Kreighoff, never mind, and by a mile long margin, a Sabatti...

    Keep also in mind that not all calibers enjoy the same ammo availability. Fewer companies load .450 or .450-400 than .500 for example, and there is no ammo more available than .470. Buying a .470 gives you additional options for both bullet choice and regulation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019

  20. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,480
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,537
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    Max Simmons, thanks for posting this thread. I'm learning more from just about every post. At the moment I'd have to say there is a reason why I've had "cold feet" when it comes to purchasing a double rifle.
     
    Max Simmons likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice