Why are there no Double Rifles which are Over and Under?

Fastrig

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Picked up my first double rifle a couple of months ago, OU 9.3x74R. Fantastic rifle, feels just like the shotguns I’m so used to shooting. She’s compact (24” barrels), light, shoulders and swings like a dream. Never cared for a SxS shotgun and the SxS rifles didn’t feel right to me either. Give me an OU any day of the week and would bet I can reload an OU just as fast as anyone can load their SxS...agree with Red Leg and others that said that faster loading on a SxS is a myth.
 

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@Fastrig
Please post the details and some pics on that 9.3x74R O/U.
 

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This is a Krieghoff Ultra kombination gun 20/76 - 7x65R and Doublerifle over and under in caliber 9,3x74R x2

Krieghoff ultra.jpg
Krieghoff ultra_2.jpg
 
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baxterb

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George Hoenig built over/unders that loads as a SxS. You rotate the barrels 90 degrees then pull to open. They are neat to handle, but not sure they are the fastest to reload.
They are perfect in execution though.

Anyone who knows George will know what I mean. One of the best ever.
 

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Picked up my first double rifle a couple of months ago, OU 9.3x74R. Fantastic rifle, feels just like the shotguns I’m so used to shooting. She’s compact (24” barrels), light, shoulders and swings like a dream. Never cared for a SxS shotgun and the SxS rifles didn’t feel right to me either. Give me an OU any day of the week and would bet I can reload an OU just as fast as anyone can load their SxS...agree with Red Leg and others that said that faster loading on a SxS is a myth.
Absolutely correct. The contrary is an Anglo-centric myth espoused by those who use terms like "proper" when referring to a SxS double rifle. Anyone with meaningful experience with OU and SxS shotguns can prove it for themselves at any clays range.
 

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George Hoenig built over/unders that loads as a SxS. You rotate the barrels 90 degrees then pull to open. They are neat to handle, but not sure they are the fastest to reload.
They are perfect in execution though.

Anyone who knows George will know what I mean. One of the best ever.
They are actually fast to reload, same procedure as with the side by side. you ned to practice.
 

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Hello

I'm reading this thread with interest as I own both a side by side and an over and under and whilst I like both, I'd never consider a single trigger on a DG gun so that tends to steer towards (although not exclusively) a side by side.

To hopefully compliment the discussion I've shamelessly copied what follows from a thread on a UK site (Author - HeymSR20). This explains a little of why doubles are the way they are...so to speak

Firstly to principle groups of rifle style and this comes down to very much how they are used.

Firstly British. The British gun trade was primarily focused on shotgun shooting of flushed game, and the British style is very much carrying gun with butt down, muzzle up and tracking the bird with muzzle and firing as butt hit shoulder. When Brits went overseas and were faced with big scary animals with big horns, tusks, sharp toe nails and big teeth the Double Rifle, built in the main by the same makers as the fine shotguns mimicked the handling of a fine British shotgun - fast handling, weight between the hands and balance to enable a snap shot to be taken at a fast incoming or running away big animal - and often in dense cover.

The British Guntrade developed in Birmingham, London and Edinburgh / Glasgow with companies that built everything in house (Purdey, Holland & Holland etc), but with the majority of gunmakers relying on trade suppliers - typically from Birmingham who would supply semi finished component parts that would then be assembled into finished guns. Indeed there were a good number of Birmingham and London makers who would supply nearly finished guns to all the regional gunshops, as well as to overseas Emporiums, where they would be finished to customer spec and labelled accordingly. In the main these were boxlocks shotguns, as well as rifles, but plenty of Sidelocks as well. Generally they were well made and solid, but with different grades of finish. The underlying were pretty much all the same. How time has treated them is the key factor. Not were built in 9.3x74r, but many have been converted to this calibre, and if done well means that they are very shootable today.

Go to the other extreme, the German / Austrian gun trade was much more focused on their domestic market where they tended to hunt big game such as Boar, Red Stag etc as well as birds etc. The style of shooting is very much more deliberate with a deliberate mount and an aimed shot albeit frequently at a moving animal. Shooting tends to be from a stand or high seat, rather than stalking. Hence the germanic style of guns tends to follow more of rifle type balance with the weight well forward to give a deliberate swing. And often there would be multiple different types of game hence the combination guns and drillings where you have multiple barrels often of different calibres and guages. Many - particularly the Drillings and Vierlings (four barrels) make good sense when handled as a rifle, but not as a fast handling shotgun, which seems odd until you realise that things like Black Grouse and Auerhaun would shot sitting, but with the shot barrel.

French and Italian guns tend be somewhere between Germanic and Briitish, with the French much more into wing shooting - indeed the sport of shooting flying game came from the French courts

In Europe there are old centres of Gunmaking - Liege in Belgium, St Etienne in France, Suhl in Germany and Ferlach in Austria all had their own destinctive styles but with lots of different individual gunmakers all producing individual guns. Many have now gone, and many of those left may well dissappear, however some evlovled into major businesses, albeit still pretty bespoke.

Germany - you have Merkel, Blaser and Kreighoff who seem to dominate, but still plenty of smaller makers such as Zimmermann Waffen oHG
Austria - Ferlach - still some utterly beautiful rifles being built by the likes of Home - Johann Fanzoj, Hambrusch Hunting Weapons - Jagdwaffen Ferlach - Used Guns - Barrels - Gebrauchtwaffen, and Peter Hofer Jagdwaffen - Guns - but you will also find many many other Ferlach guns built by makers who are no longer there.

Italy - you of course have Berretta, Rizzini, Fabarm etc who all build good and nice guns. There actions are strong and many do build perfectly good and functional in 9.3x74r. There are though some lesser makers who whilst can build good shotguns seem to struggle with regulating a double.

France - Chapuis seem to be the most active double rifle maker and have looked and handled and they are nice. Dorleac & Dorleac are also nice.

Belgium - Browning are by far the most prominent, they do make good strong double rifles based on the Browning Shotgun action.

Key on any double rifle is Regulation - how the two barrels shoot compared to each other. In traditional doubles the barrels are soldered together and regulation is what it is. ie it was regulated with a certain type of ammo. Change anything - such as mounting a scope or using a different weight of bullet etc wil change the regulation. With most side by side doubles the barrels tend to be regulated so that both barrels will shoot together at say 80 yards. Before that they will start off an inch apart and then converge at 80, and beyond that they will get further apart on a windage basis. With an over and under you don't the windage factor, thye tend to shoot higher as they get down range. Bearing in mind that a double is really a short range weapon - this doesn't matter so much. But for longer ranges a scoped over an under in a mid range calibre - say 7x65R may be a better option. You will have one barrel with shoots well out 250 yards and thats the barrel to use for longer shots. The other is there for when you need two quick shots.

You can change the regulation on an older double rifle, but it's a specialist job involving solder, blow touches and refinishing.

Many of the modern doubles, especially the Merkels and Blasers have a "thermo stable system" where the barrels are not soldered but instead have systems of grub screws where the user can adjust them to regulate to different types of ammo - you are in effect bending the barrels. These are a pain in the arse to set up - 1/4 turn can make a big difference, but once set up its a leave well alone and don't mess with it type system. In my Ferlach 7x65R/ 16bore combination, I have a second liner barrel in 7x65R so I have a double and it uses this same system. As a single shot with the main barrel it works very well and is accurate out 200 yards. Rigged as a double it shoots well enough on a 50 metre running boar target and can both put barrels into the killzone on a pig. But could I confidently take head shots with both barrels on a rabbit at 50 - probably not.

In terms of Value - its all down to perceived value. A quality gun will always sell and hold value. A less well made gun or lessor maker - value will drop through the floor. But they may still work very well. Baikal double rifles are crude - but they work, but you can by them for not a lot f money.

There are plenty of good double 9.3x74r's over and under's by the likes of Merkel, Browning and many of the Ferlach makers in the @1,000 up €3,000 level that will work well. Go to the likes of eGun and you will see plenty. Some of these will be very good, others shot out. What seems to be happening is that the younger generations are having these passed down, but they are following fashions and trading them in for Blasers R8's - pretty much as British shooters are trading in their old fine side-by-sides for Berretta Silver Pigeons.


Hope you found that interesting.

FN
 

baxterb

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Funny, how did that long post get attributed to me? Sorcery...
 

Red Leg

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Hello

I'm reading this thread with interest as I own both a side by side and an over and under and whilst I like both, I'd never consider a single trigger on a DG gun so that tends to steer towards (although not exclusively) a side by side.

To hopefully compliment the discussion I've shamelessly copied what follows from a thread on a UK site (Author - HeymSR20). This explains a little of why doubles are the way they are...so to speak

Firstly to principle groups of rifle style and this comes down to very much how they are used.

Firstly British. The British gun trade was primarily focused on shotgun shooting of flushed game, and the British style is very much carrying gun with butt down, muzzle up and tracking the bird with muzzle and firing as butt hit shoulder. When Brits went overseas and were faced with big scary animals with big horns, tusks, sharp toe nails and big teeth the Double Rifle, built in the main by the same makers as the fine shotguns mimicked the handling of a fine British shotgun - fast handling, weight between the hands and balance to enable a snap shot to be taken at a fast incoming or running away big animal - and often in dense cover.

The British Guntrade developed in Birmingham, London and Edinburgh / Glasgow with companies that built everything in house (Purdey, Holland & Holland etc), but with the majority of gunmakers relying on trade suppliers - typically from Birmingham who would supply semi finished component parts that would then be assembled into finished guns. Indeed there were a good number of Birmingham and London makers who would supply nearly finished guns to all the regional gunshops, as well as to overseas Emporiums, where they would be finished to customer spec and labelled accordingly. In the main these were boxlocks shotguns, as well as rifles, but plenty of Sidelocks as well. Generally they were well made and solid, but with different grades of finish. The underlying were pretty much all the same. How time has treated them is the key factor. Not were built in 9.3x74r, but many have been converted to this calibre, and if done well means that they are very shootable today.

Go to the other extreme, the German / Austrian gun trade was much more focused on their domestic market where they tended to hunt big game such as Boar, Red Stag etc as well as birds etc. The style of shooting is very much more deliberate with a deliberate mount and an aimed shot albeit frequently at a moving animal. Shooting tends to be from a stand or high seat, rather than stalking. Hence the germanic style of guns tends to follow more of rifle type balance with the weight well forward to give a deliberate swing. And often there would be multiple different types of game hence the combination guns and drillings where you have multiple barrels often of different calibres and guages. Many - particularly the Drillings and Vierlings (four barrels) make good sense when handled as a rifle, but not as a fast handling shotgun, which seems odd until you realise that things like Black Grouse and Auerhaun would shot sitting, but with the shot barrel.

French and Italian guns tend be somewhere between Germanic and Briitish, with the French much more into wing shooting - indeed the sport of shooting flying game came from the French courts

In Europe there are old centres of Gunmaking - Liege in Belgium, St Etienne in France, Suhl in Germany and Ferlach in Austria all had their own destinctive styles but with lots of different individual gunmakers all producing individual guns. Many have now gone, and many of those left may well dissappear, however some evlovled into major businesses, albeit still pretty bespoke.

Germany - you have Merkel, Blaser and Kreighoff who seem to dominate, but still plenty of smaller makers such as Zimmermann Waffen oHG
Austria - Ferlach - still some utterly beautiful rifles being built by the likes of Home - Johann Fanzoj, Hambrusch Hunting Weapons - Jagdwaffen Ferlach - Used Guns - Barrels - Gebrauchtwaffen, and Peter Hofer Jagdwaffen - Guns - but you will also find many many other Ferlach guns built by makers who are no longer there.

Italy - you of course have Berretta, Rizzini, Fabarm etc who all build good and nice guns. There actions are strong and many do build perfectly good and functional in 9.3x74r. There are though some lesser makers who whilst can build good shotguns seem to struggle with regulating a double.

France - Chapuis seem to be the most active double rifle maker and have looked and handled and they are nice. Dorleac & Dorleac are also nice.

Belgium - Browning are by far the most prominent, they do make good strong double rifles based on the Browning Shotgun action.

Key on any double rifle is Regulation - how the two barrels shoot compared to each other. In traditional doubles the barrels are soldered together and regulation is what it is. ie it was regulated with a certain type of ammo. Change anything - such as mounting a scope or using a different weight of bullet etc wil change the regulation. With most side by side doubles the barrels tend to be regulated so that both barrels will shoot together at say 80 yards. Before that they will start off an inch apart and then converge at 80, and beyond that they will get further apart on a windage basis. With an over and under you don't the windage factor, thye tend to shoot higher as they get down range. Bearing in mind that a double is really a short range weapon - this doesn't matter so much. But for longer ranges a scoped over an under in a mid range calibre - say 7x65R may be a better option. You will have one barrel with shoots well out 250 yards and thats the barrel to use for longer shots. The other is there for when you need two quick shots.

You can change the regulation on an older double rifle, but it's a specialist job involving solder, blow touches and refinishing.

Many of the modern doubles, especially the Merkels and Blasers have a "thermo stable system" where the barrels are not soldered but instead have systems of grub screws where the user can adjust them to regulate to different types of ammo - you are in effect bending the barrels. These are a pain in the arse to set up - 1/4 turn can make a big difference, but once set up its a leave well alone and don't mess with it type system. In my Ferlach 7x65R/ 16bore combination, I have a second liner barrel in 7x65R so I have a double and it uses this same system. As a single shot with the main barrel it works very well and is accurate out 200 yards. Rigged as a double it shoots well enough on a 50 metre running boar target and can both put barrels into the killzone on a pig. But could I confidently take head shots with both barrels on a rabbit at 50 - probably not.

In terms of Value - its all down to perceived value. A quality gun will always sell and hold value. A less well made gun or lessor maker - value will drop through the floor. But they may still work very well. Baikal double rifles are crude - but they work, but you can by them for not a lot f money.

There are plenty of good double 9.3x74r's over and under's by the likes of Merkel, Browning and many of the Ferlach makers in the @1,000 up €3,000 level that will work well. Go to the likes of eGun and you will see plenty. Some of these will be very good, others shot out. What seems to be happening is that the younger generations are having these passed down, but they are following fashions and trading them in for Blasers R8's - pretty much as British shooters are trading in their old fine side-by-sides for Berretta Silver Pigeons.


Hope you found that interesting.

FN
I did. Even enjoyed it. Sort of. :Banghead:

It is so typically Anglo centric. The same presumptions (such as only a SxS is properly balanced for quick instinctive wing shooting) that litter this dissertation are the ones that infect every discussion w/r to double rifles. His confused comments about OU rifles shooting higher as the range increases actually defy fairly well accepted Newtonian laws of gravity.

The only reason that SxS double rifles dominate the dangerous game scene is the Versailles Treaty. That is it in a nutshell. Period. Had Germany won WWI, and it came within a hair's breath of doing so twice - once in 1914 and again in 1918, German East and West Africa (Tanzania and Namibia) would have remained German, and it is likely British East Africa (Uganda and Kenya) would have become German protectorates. In that alternative universe German designs would have dominated the dangerous game scene and international hunters would gone home to places like the US extolling the virtues of the 10.75x73 and 9.3x62 along with the inherent accuracy of the German OU double.

They both work and both have supposed advantages. Most folks will own a SxS - see comments about the Versailles Treaty. But both can be superb rifles for their intended purpose.
 

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Hallgeir Gravråk

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What do you guys think about using 9,3 X 74R on the big five?
I think Elephant and Hippo on shore are to heavy.
Headshot on hippo in the water I think will work fine.
 
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Red Leg

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What do you guys think about using 9,3 X 74R on the big five?
I think Elephant and Hippo on shore are to heavy.
Headshot on hippo in the water I think will work fine.

The 9.3x74R has taken a lot of buffalo. I own a double rifle drilling that has taken both buffalo and lion (regrettably not by me). However, I would not use one on elephant. I think you would be on the ragged edge of adequate penetration for a frontal brain shot. Very few doubles of any caliber have the pin point accuracy for braining hippo at 100 meters. It would be a fine choice for lion. Obviously, it would kill any leopard that ever lived, but the rifle would need to be accurate and carry a quality scope for a low light shot.
 

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The 9.3x74R has taken a lot of buffalo. I own a double rifle drilling that has taken both buffalo and lion (regrettably not by me). However, I would not use one on elephant. I think you would be on the ragged edge of adequate penetration for a frontal brain shot. Very few doubles of any caliber have the pin point accuracy for braining hippo at 100 meters. It would be a fine choice for lion. Obviously, it would kill any leopard that ever lived, but the rifle would need to be accurate and carry a quality scope for a low light shot.
I agree with you,
 

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Love my 9.3x74R double. Used mainly on driven boar in Europe but I’ve also taken Eland as well. It’s a great round just marginally below what most places accept as the legal minimum these days. As has been mentioned, many buffalo have historically fallen to this do it’s more than capable to do the job.
FN
 

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Side by side doubles are not a monopoly but the vast majority, no doubt. The over and under doubles seem to be the smaller calibers; most of them anyway. I favor side by sides but it's not tradition. It's not that they are quicker to reload. It's not the balance, not the fit and feel, and not the lines. The reason is a fine side by side is Godly.

If the Creator of Heaven and Earth wanted us to shoot over and under guns and rifles, He would have created us with eyes one above the other. End of story. He did, however, give mankind free will. Shortly after Eve took the apple and fell into sin, the first plans for an over and under were being drawn. The draftsman? Satan the Devil.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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A side note:
If I close my eyes and imagine double rifle - it will be S/S.
If I close my eyes and imagine shotgun - it will be O/U.
Hard to explain.
 

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A side note:
If I close my eyes and imagine double rifle - it will be S/S.
If I close my eyes and imagine shotgun - it will be O/U.
Hard to explain.
Versailles ;)
 

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