So last week, after a year’s worth of waiting, my double rifle was finally ready for a pick up from the dealer. It all started one bloody hot day in Australia’s Northern Territory. I was on a buffalo hunt and in addition to using my Blaser R8 in 375H&H, the outfitter offered me to have a go with his double Merkel in 470 N.E. (damn you Matt, you cost me loads of money!). I have never handled a double and considered them to be something of a curiosity and a relic of the past. This all changed the moment I handled the gun. I loved how it pointed and how easy it came on the target, how fast and surprisingly accurate the open sights were. After shooting it at a target I realised that the recoil was easily controllable and not anywhere near as fierce as I feared. Later that day I shot a buffalo with it and this sealed my fate – right there and then I knew I had to get me one of those. And so few years have passed, I have moved between continents but the obsession didn’t go away. Finally I’ve decided to order one. I knew I absolutely needed to get a classic nitro express calibre for Africa and Australia. However the impracticality of such a cartridge for European game was just too obvious to ignore and so I’ve gotten two barrel sets for it: 470 N.E. and 9.3x74R. I visited the factory and had the stock made to measure and it fits me really well. So well in fact that I now know I will have to get a new shotgun stock made, or get a new shottie altogether (signs of an addiction perhaps?). The difference between a well fitted gun and “standard dimensions” is unbelievable. I knew fit was important but didn’t realise just what a difference it makes, and I am what one would call a regular sized guy. Looking at various guns at the factory Choosing a blank And a year later The standard front bead is tiny and only good for target practise However there is a large and clear pop up front bead that is easy to see, quick to use and appears to be staying up once opened 50m (55yds) off hand. The two holes covered with black stickers are 9.3x74R the remaining four 470 N.E. I have to get plenty of practise before I can hunt with it because I'm very slow with the open sights - I was shooting scoped rifles from day one.