What about a double appeals to you most?

Kevin Peacocke

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Ive got the double bug quite badly, the whole concept seems so 'correct'. I also admit to being an avid trawler, checking out all the models of the different manufacturers and it is always the photograph that appeals first, only then onto all the specs and features. For me, top of the list is the form, it either appeals or, well, not so much. There is that perfect proportion that comes together perfectly like the Heym 87B. Then the action, dead simple plain steel, or adorned with detailed engraving, like the exquisite Westley Richards Forrest Rifle? Scrolls and patterns do nothing for me, animals are better, but honestly plain steel is equally appealing for it's simple clean line. Finally of course the wood, the natural art of it, no two ever identical. Here the guiding principle is taste and balance. The wood mustn't be too ornate for the double wearing it, or it just looks off. Paging through the Explora you see this exemplified perfectly, horses for courses I guess.
So what about a double makes it shine for you?
 

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As a child I used to love the look of my dads side by side 12 bore. There was something so perfect about its lines and feel. As I grew up I realised (pretty quickly) what a totally rubbish shotgun shot I was so I was never heading to use and enjoy his guns. Then came Africa. One cannot read of the heroic hunters of yesteryear without tales of legendary doubles.

My circle closed. The beautiful memories of my dads shotguns but as a rifle. Its magic, history, engineering and artistry all rolled into one perfect package. It’s a seductive sorcery.
FN
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Well said. Do you own a double FN? If so post a pic. By the way, look up the WR Forrest Rifle, you would appreciate it.
 

Fabnosh

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I do. I have a .375 H&H Chapuis side by side and a Fabarm Asper 9.3x74R over and under......but is an over and under a proper double? It’s a great driven boar gun but a proper double is a side by side with open sights!! Ooo, contentious.

I’ll post some photos on the weekend.
FN
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I do. I have a .375 H&H Chapuis side by side and a Fabarm Asper 9.3x74R over and under......but is an over and under a proper double? It’s a great driven boar gun but a proper double is a side by side with open sights!! Ooo, contentious.

I’ll post some photos on the weekend.
FN
I have a Verney 375 Flanged Magnum O/U and yes, it is a proper double! But my sights are set on a Heym 89B sxs either in 450/400 or 375 again. Do you have any extraction problems with the 375H&H in the Chapuis? Do you reside in Europe?
 

tigris115

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Tbh, I think what allures me about the double rifle is that to me, it's one of those things that screams that the owner is a fancy old Mother Hubbard. Everything about an African double rifle is just pure khaki-clad AESTHETIC to me
 

Fabnosh

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Yes KP. I’m a Brit so I’m continually teased by sharing the same island as Holland and Holland, Purdey, WR, Boss and too many more to mention.....and I own a French and and Italian double. I shoot all over the place though.

No extraction problems at all with the Chapuis. I was a little concerned that it’s a belted and not a flanged .375 but I’ve never had any issues.
FN
 

Gringocazador

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I had the double rifle bug years back but was able to get over. I got really busy with my Tournament bass Fishing, it pretty much made me forget anything else but tournament fishing.

Someone the other day on Accurate Reloading had a Searcy Double for 10k US. Its not an English Double but still a good solid double. If I get a chance to hund DG, it will be maybe one in my life time based on me crowding 65 in a couple of months. None the less, I thought about but just could not justify it.

English doubles are what its about no doubt.
 

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As a young man who first began hunting in 1972 , I was immediately drawn to the double barreled platform ( preferring side by side configuration weapons ) . I purchased a Laurona 12 bore side-lock ejector double barreled side by side shotgun . It features 2 3/4 inch chambers , 30 inch barrels ( a 1/2 choked left barrel & a 1/4 choked right barrel ) , double triggers and a semi beavertail fore end . 49 years and counting ; that shotgun has never let me down .
DE0B62D3-DD0B-4EFC-808C-8238FB1CF0D4.png

I hunted the first ever game animal in my life , with this weapon . It was a giant cormorant which I had shot in January , 1972 .
D08FDADD-D522-4D2F-8A67-EEA061F9A720.jpeg

I have used that shotgun ( loaded with Eley Alphamax LG shells ) to hunt a wide array of our East Bengal game . Both for the larder ( such as upland birds , waterfowl , Axis deer and barking deer ) and During Problem Animal Control work ( such as marauding Asiatic leopards , marauding Royal Bengal tigers , Asian Sloth Bears and Bengal bush boars ) .
35118643-43A5-4B3B-A752-A2CC9DDA4994.jpeg


I have tried and hunted with quite a few double rifles in my life ( such as the .577 Nitro Express and the .375 Holland & Holland Belted Magnum ) . However , my personal favorite calibre has to be the 9.3x74 mm Rimmed . Someday , I dream of owning a 9.3x74 mm Rimmed side by side double rifle . Preferably built by either Krieghoff or Lebeau Courally .

The ability to get off two instant ( almost simultaneous ) shots is extremely advantageous , especially when one is following up wounded leopards . Your bolt action rifle is as good as a single shot rifle , should a leopard decide to decide to charge you . The sheer speed of these animals mandates a double barreled weapon . During driven hunts , a double barreled weapon really comes into it’s own . This is because game is constantly moving during a beat , and you often need to take an instant second shot .
 

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For me it was the history and tradition of classic big game hunting in Africa and the photos and movies of hunters carrying big bore doubles on safari in Africa. I took a Model 70 on my first trip to Africa in 1987 and shot plains game. Didn't get back until 2018 and made the decision to get a double. It's so much fun to hunt with and I've used it on two hunts in Limpopo. There's just something about the look and feel of a double rifle that speaks Africa.
I used it in 2019 in thick bush stalking a nice nyala. First shot knocked him down, but apparently hit him just a bit high and went right through the hump of fat at his shoulders. After tracking for a bit we found him again and I hit him with another shot and he turned to run and I instantly fired the second barrel and he went down. My PH immediately said, "That's why I love double rifles!"
Mine's a Chapuis 375 H&H and I really enjoy hunting with it.
 

BeeMaa

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If I could easily afford a DR, it probably wouldn't mean very much to me.
The fact that I'll have to earn it...that's what makes me want it.
 

Ray B

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At a young age the first guns that I was exposed to were lever action Winchesters and Marlins, so that was my starting point. Then actual hunting of deer and elk became an issue and bolt action rifles took the stage. Off to college in Chicago and visiting relatives along the Mississippi and waterfowl replaced the big game. The cousins shot Rem 870s, so pump shotguns became \the issue. But an interesting thing happened while in Chicago, I purchased a Browning Superposed Lightning 20ga which caused a shift to break action- over unders. But I had a problem with loading the O/U. Upon shooting it, I'd open it then hold it by the fore arm (left hand) and load the new shells with the right. But in the course of doing so the buttstock was resting on my hip and the action would close slightly, just enough that I had to make an effort to open it completely to get clearance for the bottom barrel to be loaded. When shooting waterfowl that extra time generally meant only getting the two shots. This was solved when I saw a M21 Winchester for sale. That became my go to gun for anything shotgun, so it was only natural that moving those skills to a rifle would involve getting a double rifle. I'm not knowledgeable about the finer points or the whys that this one is better than that one. i just know that the one that I got comes to the shoulder without a hitch, my cheek is right on the stock and I'm looking through lined-up sights- just as I do on the M21. bolt action rifles have their place with scopes and MOA groups but if I anticipate a shot at shorter range, the double is going to get the call.
 

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I got to handle Tony Seth-Smith’s Rigby 450 Nitro - the one his mom gave him. It is an absolute thing of beauty... I put it up to my shoulder many times with visions of elephant dancing in my head...

I love doubles, can't afford any, but love them.
 

Thumper Mcgee

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Tbh, I think what allures me about the double rifle is that to me, it's one of those things that screams that the owner is a fancy old Mother Hubbard. Everything about an African double rifle is just pure khaki-clad AESTHETIC to me
Thats ezaclty my same thought they arent the perfect gun you could use but man are they cool
 

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I was bitten very hard by the SxS shotgun bug in the late seventies while stationed in Germany. I have used them and a few OU's almost exclusively since. I am sure I have owned over a hundred over the years representing American, British, and continental makers. They consolidated into around twenty that have not changed in a decade. Most are pre-war, but I have Rizzini and Lucchini that represent really fine modern Italian gun making (particularly the Lucchini). My favorite is a WWI era James MacNaughton round body in superb condition.
James MacNaughton 12 bore

I got into combination guns around the same time, and have always owned a drilling or bockbuchsflinte (OU rifle shotgun) since. My favorite is a rare pre-war double rifle drilling in 9.3x74R/9.3x74R/16. It belonged to a good friend who took a pair of buffalo and lion with it about fifteen years ago. Regrettably, I have only rolled hogs with it since it came into my care - though I shot them very elegantly indeed.
Pre-war German Double Rifle Drilling in 9.3x74R

Another favorite, and another WWI era design, is my William Evans 12 bore Paradox. The last six-inches of each barrel are lightly rifled. Ross Seyfried worked up the "rifle" loads for it. It is simply amazing. Both barrels shoot perfect light modified patterns of 1 1/8 ounces of No. 6 shot, and four of the 740 gr bullets will make a sub-three-inch group at 100 meters. That's right - 100 meters over the open sights. As Ross said, the beautiful thing is "more accurate than either of us." One afternoon in Namibia, I rolled two warthog for leopard bait and created an impressive pile of sand grouse from the same waterhole.
William Evans Paradox 12 bore

Various double rifles passed through my hands over those decades, and at the cost of a very expensive education, I discovered there were few real bargains. Cheap guns tended to be cheap guns. Good guns at cheap prices seemed to almost always have very expensive problems.

Then about a decade ago, I was offered a Blaser S2 with .375 barrels. I had read Terry Wieland's condemnation of the design, and so with few real positive expectations, I took it home. I was amazed. In short order it also had 30-06 and 500-416 barrels, and it had traveled with me to Africa where it took buffalo and a lot of plains game. I quickly concluded, that at least on this subject, Terry was clueless.

The rifle is indeed different. It is designed to take game well out beyond 250 meters when scoped (it is indeed that accurate), and the scope dismounts quickly to provide access to excellent open sights if a follow-up is required.
Nyala and S2 with 30'06 tubes

There is a .470 and a couple of more in 9.3x74R in the gunroom. Even a massive Austrian flintlock in beautiful condition. But I suspect I am likely done. Just can't seem to improve on the S2 (or the Paradox!).
Gun Room

New Gun Room
 
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Thumper Mcgee

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As a young man who first began hunting in 1972 , I was immediately drawn to the double barreled platform ( preferring side by side configuration weapons ) . I purchased a Laurona 12 bore side-lock ejector double barreled side by side shotgun . It features 2 3/4 inch chambers , 30 inch barrels ( a 1/2 choked left barrel & a 1/4 choked right barrel ) , double triggers and a semi beavertail fore end . 49 years and counting ; that shotgun has never let me down .
View attachment 383005
I hunted the first ever game animal in my life , with this weapon . It was a giant cormorant which I had shot in January , 1972 .
View attachment 383004
I have used that shotgun ( loaded with Eley Alphamax LG shells ) to hunt a wide array of our East Bengal game . Both for the larder ( such as upland birds , waterfowl , Axis deer and barking deer ) and During Problem Animal Control work ( such as marauding Asiatic leopards , marauding Royal Bengal tigers , Asian Sloth Bears and Bengal bush boars ) .
View attachment 383002

I have tried and hunted with quite a few double rifles in my life ( such as the .577 Nitro Express and the .375 Holland & Holland Belted Magnum ) . However , my personal favorite calibre has to be the 9.3x74 mm Rimmed . Someday , I dream of owning a 9.3x74 mm Rimmed side by side double rifle . Preferably built by either Krieghoff or Lebeau Courally .

The ability to get off two instant ( almost simultaneous ) shots is extremely advantageous , especially when one is following up wounded leopards . Your bolt action rifle is as good as a single shot rifle , should a leopard decide to decide to charge you . The sheer speed of these animals mandates a double barreled weapon . During driven hunts , a double barreled weapon really comes into it’s own . This is because game is constantly moving during a beat , and you often need to take an instant second shot .
Man that's some old school cool, tiger hunting in india what a lucky man
 

expresshunt

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There are many uses of doubles, I am just refering to the dangerous game use here. I like to pick up a stunning double, admire the craftsmanship of the flash ones, and hand em back. After guiding on over 450 Water Buffalo hunts, I have seen it all... double discharges, jammed actions, stuck cases, separated cases, next shells in the dirt, even bullet holders frantically pulled off belts, animals still running.... I could write a book..... Yes a faster boom, boom is available, yet most people think its a competition to fire quickly, sometimes without perfect aim... however now its very empty... and your eyes must come off the animal to direct the next cases in.. Personally when hunting dangerous game I dont want any empty rifle in my hands when nasty things are going down, I want 4 or 5 shots available. I much prefer to carry a bolt rifle around for many months, and load the chamber with an "extra' at approach... the rest of my time I have a safe barrel. (we dont have lions or leopards suddenly grabbing us), If I need to load it fast unexpectedly, dont worry it will be loaded and bolt closed by the time its on my shoulder... did this once as a unexpected Bull appeared 3 feet in front of me, charging up a riverbank to ward off what he thought was another bull after his cows which had spooking in the riverbed. After 24 years I am truly over the clients who balance their doubles on their shoulder, and wave the loaded barrels around the place, past me, my trackers, wives, nice when they shift it a bit away from your back, legs or head when you turn around. Some are 100% safe, many are not. 3 times tired hunters have tripped over and loaded doubles have bumped or bounced on the ground or rocks in my direction out front... hmm lets change places. Better still lets just load when we are about to shoot something. Duck hunters are safe, empty or broken open around people... loaded only when ready to shoot.
Anyway.. yes double rifles are very nice, and fast for elephant to make sure its goes down.... and luckily the back up guide is always there with his 450, 470, 500 or 577, ready as you frantically reload... hopefully perfectly and fast. The person who practices, and practices is ready for a dangerous game hunt,, double or bolt. If the hunters collection has a variety of rifles to choose from, that's very nice... sometimes we have people bring a double and a scoped bolt, eg a 470 and 404, and we try to have both in the field for them.
I have owned and carried 3x nice English doubles, classic, exciting, look cool, and I have moved on. Nowadays I dont like that blast closer to my ears, 3 years of using a H&H 465 double with 24" barrels definitely effected my hearing. Nasty ringing after 2 shots. Back to guiding with a bolt action for me. JMO. Be safe.
 

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Re-Ducks.. Am looking at 2 nice double hammer guns atm, a Greener and a Cashmore, basic, nice barrels and bores, and look like fun,, Gunshop owner is a mate and we can probably take them for a test shot of each.. In the safe I have 2 very old damascus not really safe WC Scott hammer guns, they temp me to get a better useable old hammer gun.
Great pics Red Leg, awesome gunroom, and very nice guns. Thanks.
 

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I started trodding along behind dad about the time I figured out how to walk and at some point while the shotgun was still taller then me he handed me a beautiful little double 28 bore, I killed my first deer with that shotgun more game birds and rabbits then I can count. I’ve had sxs shotguns ever sense.
I’ve got a Blaser s2 In 9.3x74r on hold I’m just working on raising the last of the money to purchase it now. @Red Leg has been a great help steering me in the right direction on double rifles. We’re all very lucky as a community to have many great men who will share there hard won knowledge and opinions a special thanks to the founder and the staff who keep this site running and give us a place to Loiter.

P.s. red leg talked me out of it so I don’t load musket balls in shotgun shells anymore.
 

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