Market for .450/.400 double?

dougfinn

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I like the looks of a classic double with lots of engraving and Damascus barrels. However when I decided to buy a double, I went with a new modern one as I want to be able to shoot it with no worries. I also settled on the 450/400 3” as it is mild compared to some of the stoppers so hunting with it in Canada would be more practical.
 

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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:

Good guidelines, thanks for posting. And thanks to Redleg for his excellent advice as well. I had contacted Mr. Perodeau shortly after taking possession of my double, and it is in his shop now awaiting its turn. There were no obvious issues, but we will see what he has to say following a more thorough inspection.
 

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Max,

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

however, your price range gets larger as you save more money! ;)

i ended up with an o/u zoli in 450/400. i had a limited budget, and got the rifle for what i consider a very good price. my rifle is a great shooter. i was glad i was not restricted by tradition or convention to insist on a sxs. it is in my avatar on the screen

as noted above though, i am sure you have thought of all that already. i wish you well in your search
 
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HWL

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Max,



i was glad i was not restricted by tradition or convention to insist on a sxs.

With your O/U, you are in best Continental tradition....(y)

HWL
 

rookhawk

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@Max Simmons a 450/400 3" is a GREAT cartridge. It's also the MOST DESIRABLE double rifle at present as its plenty for buffalo and cats and people aren't thinking much of the extra-oomph for Rhino and Elephant in the current political climate.

Bottom line, you're going to pay a BIG premium for a 450/400. I'd rather suggest that you get a MUCH NICER gun in 470NE or 500NE for the same money.

I betcha a 470NE Heym will come around for $12,000 cash in hand and that would be way better than a Searcy (would never, ever own one...see the thread where Searcy refuses to warranty a super-defective gun of his that he screwed up) or a Sabatti, or even a Merkel.

For $12k you can get a dandy used 470NE Watson Bros, George Gibbs, or Heym if you are patient. The same maker's guns in 450/400 would be $18,000.

Suffer with getting a caliber you don't want and get a much better quality gun, or buy the caliber you really want but overpay and thus you can afford inferior examples.

Tricky decisions.


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.
 

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Good deals are possible. I purchased my Merkel 140AE .450-400 3" including a good Recknagel QD scope mount and another mount including a red dot reflex sight, and dies and brass. It had been shot less than a hundred times. I sent it to JJ Perodeau ( not cheap or easy from Canada) and had it checked over and adjusted the regulation to a load that I preferred. Including all expenses, it was about a 30% saving over new list price. Worked perfectly on a Caprivi cape buffalo last month.
 

rnovi

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For what it’s worth, traditionally the more basic 450/400 Merkel doubles go for around $8k during the holiday season. These will have light engraving and very decent wood.

Give that I own a Merkel 141 in 9.3x74r, I wanted to add a couple things. First, if at all possible see if you can try a double first. Maybe find someone at the range, chat them up a bit, see if they are willing to let you shoot a round or two down range. Even go so far as to offer $100 to do so (double rifle ammo is not inexpensive!).

The rifle absolutely MUST fit you correctly. If it doesn’t, WALK AWAY. It should fit and swing like a fine side by side shotgun, albeit a bit heavier.

You may find that the allure of the double rifle is only skin deep. My 9.3 hammers me much harder than I think it should (*it’s an 8# rifle, scoped, launching a 286 gr. Bullet at 2250) and I’ve found I’m developing a flinch...where my .375 H&H bolt gun (8.5# scoped) is a pussycat with much heavier loads (300gr. @ 2500 fps) comparatively. The Merkel 9.3 stock fit just doesn’t work for me and my hand slips under firing, having caused me to “double” the rifle three times. 570 net grains of bullets at 2250fps HURTS in an 8# rifle!

Ejectors vs. Extractors: I have Ejectors and my preference is Extractors. The theory goes like this: Elephants can’t really figure out where the shots are coming from because they are too loud and the sound bounces all over the place. On the other hand the soft ‘PING!’ Of ejectors is a dead giveaway. This seems to be why folks who prefer ejectors, get ejectors. For me, since the 9.3 isn’t a DG caliber, there’s no real reason to have ejectors. Experience in use though has shown me that while they might be technically faster, a fast reload is more about technique than anything else.

In the end, it’s really a question on what you shoot best. I’ve figured out it’s the .375 H&H in a bolt gun that works best for my body to date. Yours might be that Blaser 500 mentioned earlier. Personally, I’d love to have the 450/400 you are describing. Unfortunately I’m pretty well turned off on them at this point...which really is a bummer.

Best!
 

Philip Glass

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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.
I was just at JJ’s last week! He has an awesome vault of guns for sale. Many doubles. I had him mount the new Kahles red dot sight on my Kgun. He did an amazing job. I know I need to make a post about it!
I would advise the prospective buyer to call JJ and tell him your wishes and your budget.
Philip
 

dougfinn

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For what it’s worth, traditionally the more basic 450/400 Merkel doubles go for around $8k during the holiday season. These will have light engraving and very decent wood.

Give that I own a Merkel 141 in 9.3x74r, I wanted to add a couple things. First, if at all possible see if you can try a double first. Maybe find someone at the range, chat them up a bit, see if they are willing to let you shoot a round or two down range. Even go so far as to offer $100 to do so (double rifle ammo is not inexpensive!).

The rifle absolutely MUST fit you correctly. If it doesn’t, WALK AWAY. It should fit and swing like a fine side by side shotgun, albeit a bit heavier.

You may find that the allure of the double rifle is only skin deep. My 9.3 hammers me much harder than I think it should (*it’s an 8# rifle, scoped, launching a 286 gr. Bullet at 2250) and I’ve found I’m developing a flinch...where my .375 H&H bolt gun (8.5# scoped) is a pussycat with much heavier loads (300gr. @ 2500 fps) comparatively. The Merkel 9.3 stock fit just doesn’t work for me and my hand slips under firing, having caused me to “double” the rifle three times. 570 net grains of bullets at 2250fps HURTS in an 8# rifle!

Ejectors vs. Extractors: I have Ejectors and my preference is Extractors. The theory goes like this: Elephants can’t really figure out where the shots are coming from because they are too loud and the sound bounces all over the place. On the other hand the soft ‘PING!’ Of ejectors is a dead giveaway. This seems to be why folks who prefer ejectors, get ejectors. For me, since the 9.3 isn’t a DG caliber, there’s no real reason to have ejectors. Experience in use though has shown me that while they might be technically faster, a fast reload is more about technique than anything else.

In the end, it’s really a question on what you shoot best. I’ve figured out it’s the .375 H&H in a bolt gun that works best for my body to date. Yours might be that Blaser 500 mentioned earlier. Personally, I’d love to have the 450/400 you are describing. Unfortunately I’m pretty well turned off on them at this point...which really is a bummer.

Best!
An 8# double in 9.3 is way too light in my opinion. My 450/400 weighs 10.5# and it’s very pleasant to shoot, more recoil than my .375, but not enough to cause flinching. Weight is your friend with powerful rifles.
 

rnovi

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Well, right. Therein lies the rub: My 1/2# heavier .375 H&H is throwing a heavier slug (286 vs 300) a whole lot faster (2250 vs 2500)and is nowhere near as punishing. So I figured I'd be good with the 9.3 at 8#.

Errr...Nope! :oops:

Life's a learning curve, that's for sure. (y)
 

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375 Ruger Fan

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I was just at JJ’s last week! He has an awesome vault of guns for sale. Many doubles. I had him mount the new Kahles red dot sight on my Kgun. He did an amazing job. I know I need to make a post about it!
I would advise the prospective buyer to call JJ and tell him your wishes and your budget.
Philip

There's a 450-400 listed on JJ's website: https://jjperodeau.com/store/?model_number=60467
 

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rookhawk

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There's a 450-400 listed on JJ's website: https://jjperodeau.com/store/?model_number=60467

i like it! I like that JJ gives first Owner a lifetime warranty! I like that it has 15.5” length of pull so a pad can be shortened keeping long wood.

Price wasn’t shown. Is this inside the budget range of the original post? If not, perhaps he should call and ask if JJ does Black Friday pricing?
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Weird that the price didn't show up on the detailed link. On the main page for all the guns for sale, the price is listed.
https://jjperodeau.com/store/
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rookhawk

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