What exactly makes doubles so expensive?

tigris115

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I'm going to cement how naive I am about guns by asking what it is about double rifles because both dangerous game rifles and double barrel shotguns can be found for about 1-2k so in theory, double rifles in a DG caliber shouldn't be as grossly expensive as they are.
 

sgt_zim

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It takes a great deal of effort and expertise to get the barrels regulated. Centerline of the bores have to be exactly on the same horizontal plane, and the horizontal angle has to be just so in order for a given pair of bullets to cross at say 50 or 75 yards, whatever the regulation distance is. Thus, they're all hand-made by absolute craftsmen.
 

Hogpatrol

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CTDolan

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I'm not sure of it's mentioned in the article but if the bullets cross then regulation is off. Ideally, out to whatever range they should never cross, the group opening up only due to distance (like any group out of any barrel).

Double rifles are subject to much more breech thrust than a shotgun and must therefore be made rather carefully (lots of skilled handwork in getting all the bearing surfaces just so). A company could make an inexpensive double rifle but it wouldn't last.
 

crs

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Then there is the nice wood and custom touches such as cheek pieces, palm swell, recoil pads, low scope mounting and overall design. The most expensive ones may have custom engraving, gold fill, etc.


Here is a custom scope mounting touch that allows the same stock design to be perfect for the barrel express sight, the QD scope, and QD peep sight. The QD grooves in the rear rib do away with scope bases and allow low mount of Talley QD scope rings:


Also the Talley QD peep sight:


Custom work can add $$ to tune the rifle to the shooter.
 

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Mekaniks

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My 2c.... I believe the big firearms manufacturers are perfectly capable of building quality low cost doubles. Just like they have done with bolt guns. the problem I believe is that there is not a large enough market to justify all the tooling and expense of turning out mass produced double rifles.
That leaves production of these rifles to more specialized manufactures who produce a lower volume and presumably higher quality product with more customization features.
As an example, if savage started building a 600.00 double and people started to buy it, like they do the Axis or similar bolt guns, we would start to see more" affordable" double rifles on the market.
I personally don't think that would be a good thing just because I like the quality of hand made and good quality double rifles in the niche market.
 

enysse

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They cost so much to regulate the barrels to sight in for a specific bullet weight or type. Some guns are better than others due to the quality of materials used and who did the work. It’s a fine science to get a well regulated firearm.
 

crs

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enysse,
Yes, it can/has cost me $1000 plus ammo to have a DR re- regulated.
I do not know how that compares to the cost of the original regulation.
 

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My 2c.... I believe the big firearms manufacturers are perfectly capable of building quality low cost doubles. Just like they have done with bolt guns. the problem I believe is that there is not a large enough market to justify all the tooling and expense of turning out mass produced double rifles.
That leaves production of these rifles to more specialized manufactures who produce a lower volume and presumably higher quality product with more customization features.
As an example, if savage started building a 600.00 double and people started to buy it, like they do the Axis or similar bolt guns, we would start to see more" affordable" double rifles on the market.
I personally don't think that would be a good thing just because I like the quality of hand made and good quality double rifles in the niche market.
Doubt it. After all, Ruger tried it. 2k+ gun and they were still loosing money on it.
 

Mekaniks

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@Red Leg yeah you could be right. But I think it's as much about total rifle sales. Generally if they tool up and can only sell 500 a year then the costs per rifle are going to pretty just high to cover manufacture costs. But if they can manufacture and sell 5000 rifles a year then costs to manufacture each rifle should come down. So I personnally think its a much about supply and demand and what the market will bear. We Americans (not all of us I know) seem to be super enamored with "capacity" (# of rnds in the mag) the last 30 or 40 years and double rifles don't really fit into that "more is better" mentality.
 
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BeeMaa

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I can see it now...
The Double Black Rifle
 

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Hogpatrol

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@Red Leg yeah you could be right. But I think it's as much about total rifle sales. Generally if they tool up and can only sell 500 a year then the costs per rifle are going to pretty just high to cover manufacture costs. But if they can manufacture and sell 5000 rifles a year then costs to manufacture each rifle should come down. So I personnally think its a much about supply and demand and what the market will bear. We Americans (not all of us I know) seem to be super enamored with "capacity" (# of rnds in the mag) the last 30 or 40 years and double rifles don't really fit into that "more is better" mentality.

Got me to thinking about the intended purpose of a double rifle, especially in today's world. Two quick shots on dangerous game? That market is probably so small it doesn't even register in firearm sales figures.
 

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With all due respect most people could never afford to buy and then justify the cost of a double simply because all dangerous game hunts
are down right expensive. I don’t begrudge anyone for owning one and if I could justify it I would undoubtedly own one too.
 

Hogpatrol

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With all due respect most people could never afford to buy and then justify the cost of a double simply because all dangerous game hunts
are down right expensive. I don’t begrudge anyone for owning one and if I could justify it I would undoubtedly own one too.
You hit the nail on the head. A PH I hunted with is now in Tanzania doing DG hunts. Just the day rate for a ten day hunt is 17k, no animals included.
 

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I asked my PH about double rifles and his opinion is that that they are a status symbol for clients.
Most of his clients that have showed up with a double rifle were seriously deficient in their rifleman skills.
His view on PH's owning them was that it's fine for DG backup work, but other than that not really necessary.
Not exactly my view, but it's his opinion.

If I had the money, I would own at least one.
With any luck I would be able to change his mind about a clients shooting skills with a double.
 

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CoElkHunter

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Not knowing anything about double rifles except reading here here on AH they have to be tuned/regulated due to the sighting plane and crossover of the bullets with the side by side barrels. Would over/under barrels work? Same sighting plane for both barrels?
 

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In Europe, they are used by the wealthy for driven hunts. The best way to get two quick shots at a quarry that is running past you.

Maximum caliber used is 9,3.
 

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Not knowing anything about double rifles except reading here here on AH they have to be tuned/regulated due to the sighting plane and crossover of the bullets with the side by side barrels. Would over/under barrels work? Same sighting plane for both barrels?

Over /under is not considered optimum for dangerous game as the rifle has to be broken to more of an angle to gain access to bottom barrel.
A gunsmith I used to visit before he died over 30 years ago, loved his Merkal o/u guns. His favorite was in 7 x 5 7. He used it for everything he hunted in North America.
 

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Not knowing anything about double rifles except reading here here on AH they have to be tuned/regulated due to the sighting plane and crossover of the bullets with the side by side barrels. Would over/under barrels work? Same sighting plane for both barrels?

As mentioned they tend not to be favored for dangerous game. An O/U is generally easier to regulate, though.
 

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