New to Double Rifles Need Help!!

toby.davis1

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All,

I am new to the site, and going to be new to double rifles, as part of a five year plan to hunt africa (the first several years saving, planning, and shooting)

1. 450 NE, 450-400 NE, or 470? Also, in the two 450's, 3 or 3.25"?
The two animals I want most are kudu and cape buff. I want a rifle I can go back with and get something bigger someday, if possible. I am a big believer in "use enough gun" but a bigger believer in "use all the gun YOU CAN SHOOT WELL" I use a 375 h&h for moose currently, but want the nostalgia of a double for Africa. Will the 450-400 "stop" a buff? Could I use it if I can get back for an elephant?--or do I need to go bigger? Also, I dont handload, so which has factory rounds available? It seems I can find 3" in the 450 and 450-400, but not 3.25"?

2. I have heard a lot of bad about the Sabatti rifles, so is there much differnece in the Merkels, Searcy's, or similar price range? Or, maybe a place to look for a used higher end gun? (10-12k, with a possibility of going up to 15k if I find a "can't live without"--would obviously prefer less expensive, but not at the expense of functionality)

One more--wrong forum, but....plains game rifle--300 h&h enough for kudu?

Thanks for any replies. I realize that a lot of these (probably all) questions have probably been asked and answered over and over, but I am not the most computer smart guy out there.
 

BRICKBURN

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Many Elephants drop to .375's.

Loving doubles, there are lots of addicts on here.
Search some threads you'll find them.
 

AkMike

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I'm a big fan of DR's and since I load my own I prefer the 450 NE. (There is no 3" 450 NE, )There's a good assortment of 458 bullets to work with. The 450/400's are fine as it the 470. The 470 is almost a twin in power to the 450 so they're a toss up IMO.
I have several old British rifles as well as newer ones. All are good!
Right now Searcy has the PH for sale under 9K IIRC. He's got the best warranty in the business. Not just covering you but anyone who owns your rifle later on too.
 

Cliffy

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Welcome 300 HH is fine for all the plains game IF YOU SHOOT IT WELL The 450 ain't good enough for Impala if you can't shoot straight :) Lots of 308s are used for plains game in SA and Namibia. Dig around Lots of info and help here. Nice members also!
 

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Guns International is a good place to start...gives you a overview. ..300 H&H is plenty for kudu.
 

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hi toby also check out verney carron doubles, for what you want to spend they also could build you one. PaulT on here has recently received his and loves it. i have looked them over and i like them. ken (kebco) the importer is also a member on here. he has a nice .470 on guns international for $12,000.00 at the moment , or there is a heym for $14,500.00 , so there are some good choices in your price limit. just be careful or you could end up like AKMike with doubles coming out of your ears ;), at least i have managed to control myself up to now with only the 2 !! let us know how you go. :beer:
 

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Your .375 HH is enough for anything, and .300 HH is fine for kudu.

I am not an expert in doubles, but would recommend taking a close look at the Heym in .470.
 

redriver

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I had always wanted a double so I did a ton of research on these guns and aside from not being able to afford an old English gun I settled on a Krieghoff classic .470. It is a fantastic gun! At the time of purchase I was torn between the Krieghoff, Heym and Chapuis but learned enough to not purchase a Searcy, Merkle or Blaser (my view). The only problem is that now I want another in either a step down to 450-400 or a step up to a
.577
from a performance, shootabilty and ammo cost stand point a .470 is probably the best bet.
 

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.300 H&H enough for Kudu?

Nope, never. Don't even ask this guy...

DSCN0518.jpg


It's ok though, he didn't know it was a .300 when it hit him...

(180grs of TSX at 2,950 is plenty good medicine for Kudu.)
 

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bebo

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Cause I'm french VC or Chapuis .470 NE :giveusahug:
For plain game .375 H&H 270grs Hornady Superformance for instance .. or classic like Winchester' .375HH :happywave:
 

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I've owned Heym, Chapuis, Sabatti and Searcy. There are more expensive doubles that are better and many in the same price range as I have listed that I do not have personal experience with, but based on what I've experienced:

Heym - Best of the ones I've listed. Strong, smooth action with substantial barrel thickness. The 450-3-1/4" has a more slender action than a .470 and there are several bullet options in .458 caliber. Currently having a Heym 88B Safari being converted from a .458 Win Mag to a 450 3-1/4" NE. If needed, it will be re-regulated for 450 grain North Fork solids.

Chapuis - I've owned a 9.3 X 74R and am waiting on delivery of a 450/400 NE. Maybe the best value of the ones I've listed. The 9.3 X 74R was very reliable and repeatable from an accuracy standpoint. Champlin Firearms stands behind both Heym and Chapuis.

Sabatti - tried a 450/400 NE and was let down. Great feeling rifle, but accuracy and repeatability were non-existant. Full refund from Cabelas and then ordered a Chapuis in 450/400

Searcy - First double rifle, in .470 NE, and it let me down in every way possible - from a safety that re-engaged on recoil and the loss of regulation not once, but twice; to a cracked stock and ejectors that fired even if you didn't pull the trigger (and this was a new gun). Another full refund. There's a reason everyone knows about Butch's warranty - and its not a good reason.

Long story short - if your budget requires you to consider only a Sabatti or a Searcy, buy a very well-made bolt rifle in .416 caliber. The .375 is more than adequate and would be ideal for buffalo and kudu, but if elephant are in the future, the .416 is an improvement in my opinion.

If you do go double rifle, the 450/400 is very pleasant to shoot, is more than adequate for buffalo, and from a momentum stand point, better than a .375. Ivan Carter claims this is the caliber he recommends for those who will hunt buffalo and maybe one elephant. If you don't mind a bit more recoil, the 450 3-1/4" is certainly more gun. With a proper fit and 450 grain bullets (480 is the "norm"), the recoil is very tolerable. My 13 year old can shoot the Heym in 458 Win Mag with 450 grain bullets with no problems, and these are traveling faster than a typical NE load (2,150 fps). I found the .470 NE with 500 grain bullets to be more than I cared for. Some was probably gun fit, but the recoil was certainly not pleasant. The benefit is the amount of factory-loaded ammo available.

Good luck
 

Pacontender

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I have two Heym PH doubles. One in 470, and one in 450/400. I have been extremely pleased with both of them. The 450/400 is good buffalo medicine. Easy on the shoulder, and fun to shoot. I killed two buffalo with the 450/400 without a problem last June. The 470 packs a good punch, but isn't too bad. I killed 6 buffalo with it in less than 12 months.
 

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Toby, There is nothing wrong with a double if that is what you want. But if it is going to take you 5 years to get to africa with a double then you might consider saving your 10-20k on a double and taking your 375 over now and get a buffalo or the majority of an elephant. Good luck and good hunting.
 

Heym 88

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Wow..makes me re-think the Searcy I have on lay-away...daang. And I really liked the looks and feel that rifle.
 

AkMike

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I'd guess that one bad Searcy was a fluke. Mine has been dead nutz on w/o and issues. I have heard of very few complaints about them.
His price for the doubles isn't that much more than the Italian guns that have had some serious issues.
 

Heym 88

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Mike...the one I'm looking at was built about 15 years ago and fired very very little. It's not built on the shotgun action and looks beautifull and points well with me. I'll already have a Heym, but wanted a 470 also. The price was right from a reputable dealer. Thanks for the confidence.
 

AkMike

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Mine is a touch newer than that but still a used rifle when I got it. I know of two prior owners. But it's still a very good shooter with a wonderful chunk of fencepost on it. Pics are shown on my profile here.
 

Heym 88

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Talk about a nice junk of wood...this one I'm talking about is gorgeous.
 

AkMike

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LMAO! :D I'll show you mine if you show me your's! ;) :D
 

Uintaelkhunter

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My Chapuis in 470 nitro with my 45-70 double as well if your new to doubles my suggestion would be try to find some to shoot its about the feel of the gun. It took me over five years of deciding and looking before I got one I shoot every double I could and finally decided I liked the heym searcy and chapuis from what I read and the feel of the gun I am left handed so the heym and searcy where top on my list as they make lefty guns but I got a chapuis and love the gun.
 

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