Need some help looking for a new used double

Hunt101

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Hi guys, I'd like to get some opinions on what might be a good option for a new used double. I'm headed to Africa soon to hunt buffalo, maybe a hippo, and some plains game. I'd like to pick up a new probably used double in 450/400 or 470, if I could find that option with some extra barrels including a shotgun set that would be awesome. At this point I'm open to all makes and combinations out there and just want to hear what some of the experienced guys have to say. It isn't critical that the rifle have multiple barrels but it did seem like a neat option. I know nothing of multiple barrel sets and if they work as well as a stand alone rifle or if they end up doing a so so job at being a rifle and a shotgun? I found a nice looking Searcy set that has a 375, 470, and a 12ga I really like the looks of it but I have read mixed reviews on this makers and don't know if this might be a maker to look hard at or not. Also I'm looking for a gun that I can hunt but will increase in value and not be a hard resell if I decide to part with it later. I kind of feel like a nice classic english gun might be exactly that a gun that you can hunt but easily get your money back out of if need be.

Critical points
450/400 or 470
quality gun in the 20K to 30K range
Holds it's value
auto ejectors
non-auto safety

Non critical points but desired
multiple barrels to include a shotgun barrel
Having mounts for a scope

I'm sure there is much more I'm forgetting but that is my starting point for trying to locate a used double, now I just need some maker and model suggestions from you guys. Thanks in advance.
 

enysse

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You should send a PM to AkMike, I know he likes Searcy!
 

AkMike

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Multi barrel sets are unusual but they are around if you dig enough. A quick scan this morning showed 2 different sets available now. One is a H&H that is drop dead beautiful but 120K so I didn't look much further at it.
There is a 3 barrel set from Searcy with 470, 375 FL and 12 ga for 22K also very nice!
You may be able to get Chapuis to make a set for you with your parameters as well as other makers.
 

Hunt101

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I saw that 3 barrel Searcy set and thought it was pretty cool, but I'm unfamiliar with the maker and didn't know if it warranted that kind of price tag for the set? Also I notice there isn't a crossbolt which is different from my Heym 88B so I wasn't sure if that style locking action was as well built as doubles with cross bolts. Mike what do you think of Searcy as someone else recommended I ask you about their guns? Thanks in advance.
 

AkMike

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I have a 450 Searcy and love it. You can see some pics of mine in my album here. They are very well made and accurate. The lack of a cross bolt isn't a concern with his rifles at all.
Searcy has been around for some time and is based out of Boron Ca.
 

Hunt101

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I'll most certainly look some of those pictures up. I often hear people talking down about some double manufacturers saying they are just built on shotgun actions, I really don't know exactly what that means, but would the lack of the cross bolt be an example of a quote unquote shotgun action? Also how do you distinguish his early guns vs the newer ones that seem to get better reviews? I assume this is the link you had seen as well of the 3 barrel set SEARCY DELUXE BOXLOCK THREE BARREL SET - Searcy Firearms

Does anyone have any experience with this seller? I like the looks of this set but when I called yesterday to speak with them on it they really didn't know anything about the maker and I've learned more here then from the seller.

When a gun like this doesn't have a cross bolt does it have extra locking lugs on the underside?

Thanks
 

PaulT

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Hunt101,
compared with but a few short years ago, currently the second hand market for doubles is awash with choices at some very good prices.
A quick look at places such as Gunbokure and Gunsinternational and you will find good to excellent examples of modern doubles at some very good prices.

With regards to the Searcy, Butch Searcy has a fine and long standing reputation for building no nonsense, reliable double rifles. Although I have not owned a Searcy myself I have seen numerous Searcy double rifles in various calibers come through my camp from time to time and from that limited exposure I could comfortably say I would not have any qualms in considering the Searcy brand for a double rifle purchase.

If you are especially interested in the one mentioned in your opening post I would excersise a 3 or more day inspection clause and have the gun sent to someone knowledgable to have it mechanically inspected for function etc.
I could be wrong about this but I beleive that Champlins offer an inspection/evaluation service on doubles.

A three barrel set such as you describe in .470, .375fl and 12ga would be an extremely versatile and practical double rifle/gun set up to have.

Best of luck,

Paul.
 

AkMike

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Many years ago Butch started off by building rifles based of the Browning BSS action (IICR) It was a good rifle and still is.
This one is one of the later milled actions like the one I have. Don't worry about the seller, They're that same as a used car dealer. They might not know about them, they just sell them.
I haven't heard anything bad about this seller so that's good.
IF I were serious about this rifle set I'd get the serial number and call Butch himself and inquire about it. If it still sounded good I'd personally have it sent to JJ at Champlins, Butch or Dirk Schimmel for a close inspection and evaluation.
 

Hunt101

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Red Leg

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That is potentially a fine rifle. However, if I did not consider myself a real expert at evaluating a SxS rifle, then I would make sure I had such a person standing by when the gun was delivered (or delivered to that person) and an agreement with the seller to return within 3 days are so if there was a problem. You can also use someone like Diggory Hadoke Vintage Guns | Suppliers and Restorers of British Sporting Guns. Dig offers a buying service for vintage guns and rifles. Tell him what you desire, what you are willing to pay, and what sort of timeline you are dealing with. He has offices in the UK and in Houston and has a great rep in the business. Even a phone call to him could be invaluable. By the way, Krieghoff offers their SxS rifle with shotgun barrels and the K-gun is one of the finest rifles on the planet.
 

AkMike

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I thought that you wanted shotty tubes? Now just a rifle?
That seller had a bit of a problem recently, He "missed" a cracked wrist and separated tubes on a rifle he sold. He did make it right to the buyer.

He's one of the sellers that is very proud of their items. I don't know if they'll hold fast to that much 'blue sky' or if they'll dicker.
 

Hunt101

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The extra shotgun barrels would certainly be nice, but first and foremost I'm trying to find a larger caliber rifle something in either a 450/400 or 470. Naturally I was drawn to that Searcy set because it had 470 and shotgun barrels not to mention the extra 375 set. I'm still very much in the beginning stages of this new rifle hunt and learning a little more everyday as to what I want. The hunt I want this rifle for begins at the end of June, but if the right one doesn't come along I've got a backup plan.
 

Hunt101

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Thank you for posting that link, it will surely be a good starting place.
 

AkMike

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OK, for the Fraser rifle.. It appears to be in top shape from what you can see on the pictures. But it doesn't tell the LOP it looks short to me.
Some of these 450/400 3 1/4" rifles have a odd ball bore diameter. It might not be the now standard .410". This would make it a hand load only proposition. Brass is available thought. The 3" version is factory loaded by Hornady and others.
 

AkMike

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If you like the top of the line Scottish like this Fraser have a look at the Alex Henry DR that is also available. Alex Henry is one of my favorites! I have 3 of his and love them.
 

Hunt101

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Mike, thanks for the info on the 450/400 possibly being an odd ball diameter,I never would have known to ask that question. That is exactly some of the info I need to learn about vintage doubles while trying to make a decision if a really want a vintage double or if it would be a good choice to take out into the field and use just like a modern weapon. Mike, are there any other issues that come with shooting vintage guns, such as spring fatigue or breakage just from being around for a very long time? Not knowing all the ins and outs of hunting a vintage gun is certainly making me question if that is the best choice for a hunting rifle and one I want to shoot regularly. They are sure pretty and I love the looks but it has to be a rifle to use first and foremost. Red Leg, your advice on having the rifle checked by an expert sounds like a must when considering such a purchase of a vintage gun. Thanks guys learning a little more all the time.
 

AkMike

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If it'll work at the range then it'll be fine for the field work. Old rifles are fun and work as well as fresh ones except they've already 'been there and done that'.
For me personally when I get a chance to go to Africa I'll take my 1870's 577 BPE for my stopper for Buff, and the Searcy 450 for the light gun. Why? The way I figure it these old guns worked just fine for the old timers that had them wayyy back then and they should work fine today IF I do my part.
 

Hunt101

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Just received this response from the seller of the Fraser rifle, not sure if this message is complete or not. I assume this is probably a rifle that requires the odd ball bullet size. Never heard the term snow oval bore before.

This is snow oval bore antique that you must reload for it's an awesome tile but not gorgeous modern loafs

The quote is copied directly from the seller's response.
 

AkMike

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I assume that snow is a typo. They probably meant not or no. Lancaster was famous for his Oval bored rifling not Fraser. The rest of the sentence is gibberish to me.
Perhaps ask if he's fond of single malt? ;)
 

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