Your Thoughts on "Heym"

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Daniel Cary, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Daniel Cary

    Daniel Cary AH Member

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    Cont. Research has validated the significance & advantage of a proper Double, I'll be? I came across a video of a Client & PH vs. an African Cape. There was essentially 6 shots, 2 from a Clients 375 H&H, 2 From a 577. Well, someone pissed off 2000 lbs of Livestock. As the Cape was on the charge, it must have been 15 feet from the PH where the 5 shot seemed insignificant and the 6th a second later put it Down!

    Anyways, back to Heym USA. Curious on the users thoughts that own, hunt, respectively with their rifles. As they seem to reflect an exquisite piece, any downfalls, etc? I like what they offer to their customers, as they'll fly you out to Dallas to shoot the 88 in available chambers that suites your liking!!!

     

  2. Hunting Hitman

    Hunting Hitman AH Senior Member

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    I have and use a Heym 88B in 470 NE and love the gun and caliber. I’ve killed plenty of dangerous game with it and it has performed flawlessly.
     

  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    They are a solid choice for a double. In that broad price range, you can find a new VC, Heym, Krieghoff, Merkel, or a still on the shelf (they are no longer in production) Blaser S2. All will deliver as advertised, and you will find champions of each. It is more a function of which rifle and features seem most comfortable to you. For instance, some are more traditional, some scope easier (the S2), and some are inherently safer in the bush (S2 and K-gun). I would not jump into a used English gun without some expert guidance. Many of these are a good buy, but many also have hidden issues not apparent to those with little expertise in looking for them. Enjoy the search!
     

  4. Daniel Cary

    Daniel Cary AH Member

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    Wise Policy, It took me a year just to Shoulder up an Autoloader for Upland or Clay that "was in the Pocket" for me, well after being set on the A5. … The problem of finding ones on display, perhaps area dependent seems a dying breed. I Recall almost 2 decades ago. Cabela's In Dundee MI had quite an eclectic display. The Merkel was suggested, due to a somewhat affordable Double, perhaps angling? I preferred the Blaser, overall for my Fit, but he was adamant against the S2? As I vaguely recall he was not impressed with the overall Construction??? As Around that time I believe that S2 was relatively a New Double? … I do know the salesman in the Library had never been to Africa! So?? … But Thanks!
     
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  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I am a big fan of the S2. It is the most accurate double I have ever used (taken one to Africa twice and killed game out to 250 meters). It is designed to accommodate a scope. However, it is non-traditional and that seems to put a lot of the outdoor commentary class into a tailspin. Terry Wieland has been particularly critical, and naturally lots of folks who have never held one, much less shot one, have jumped on board. (I should note, I find similar reactions to the Blaser R8 of which I am also a fan. But, I digress.) And of course, the S2's interchangeable barrels and calibers (without the need of a gunsmith) seem all wrong to a traditionalist. I have been told on this forum that the S2 and the way I employ it is simply not “proper.” I assume he sniffed as he typed. Got to love tradition.

    But I will not claim it is the best design - all double designs have quirks. The Blaser, for instance, requires a different manual of arms and is a bit slower on reload. I own and shoot others to include a classic English boxlock. My .470 is a wonderful thumper, but like all English guns, don’t think of it as a rifle to be used much beyond shotgun range. Not a problem if I am PH worried about inbound angry hairy beasts, but perhaps not the best solution for most clients? Particularly on what may be a once in a lifetime buffalo hunt where the only shot is threading a bullet 80 meters in dark thick cover into a group of dagga boys.

    I would suggest a trip to DSC or SCI. All the major builders will be there with new guns, including the high end English houses who will build you a new bespoke one for well north of 100k. In my next lifetime, I will own a Rigby Rising Bite. Also, several of the better used dealers will be there with many used double rifles. Spend some time shouldering them all and chatting with the representatives. You will learn more in a day than in years dropping in on Cabelas or friends’ gun rooms. Plus the shows are great fun. We would love to meet you at the AH get together in Dallas.

    Have fun with the quest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @Daniel Cary,

    I may have already encouraged you to come to DSC, but I’ll do so again. Red Leg has pointed out why with multiple DR manufacturers there.

    And of course you could come to our annual dinner / bullshit session on Friday night.
     
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  7. The Engineer

    The Engineer AH Member

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    I have both Heym 88Bs in 450 and 470NE and a 89B in 450NE and am extremely pleased with them. I chose Heym doubles for the following reasons that are probably unique to me:

    My Merkel 470NE doubled on me several times. I have not had that problem with my Chapuise, Sabatti, or Heym doubles.

    I like the Krieghoff design but with the arthritus in my thumb I could not reliabley work the rifle from the shoulder.

    I do not like the Blaser breech design and automatic safety from a quickness standpoint.

    My outfitter had his 470NE double fall over and discharge. This cannot happen with the Heym as it has interrupting sears.

    After shooting shooting the new 89B I ordered one as I liked the ballance, more rounded breech, and the open grip that does not cause the first finger to impact the back of the trigger guard. As a note, the pain of the impact of the finger on the trigger guard is easily avoided by added a NECG rubber pad that is sold for double barrel shotguns. For me the perceived recoil of the 89B is less and I attribute this to the fact that on new sales Heym fits the rifle to the individual ordering the rifle.

    As noted above, you should try as many doubles as possible before making a choice but I must add one additional comment. I was surprized as the difference in perceived recoil between the made- for-me 89B and all the rest of the off-the-shelf doubles I have had or shot.
     
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  8. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    Any rifle that fits properly will seem to recoil less or so it seems to me
     
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  9. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Accidental discharges can't happen with the S2 or K-Gun either. They are far safer than even interrupted sear designs because the rifle is not cocked until the safety/cocking slide is pushed forward.

    But as I say, all have their quirks. For instance most of the German guns come from the factory with extremely stiff actions. And I would agree that the 89B - built to more closely replicate the traditional British rifle - is a particularly nice design.

    As @The Engineer suggests, recoil management and also instinctive shooting are greatly enhanced by a properly fitted stock. Once you have determined the measurements you shoot best, a good gunmaker can replicate that on almost any gun. In addition to rifles, I shoot classic SxS shotguns a lot - a real lot. All of mine have essentially the same LOP, drop at heel, and cast. Stocks can be bent, pads added or shortened, etc.

    A final comment about the S2. It has the finest factory open sights that I have ever used. The designers started with a blank page, so the stock is a bit different, but sights or scope seem to line up extremely well for a non-bespoke gun. Of course, the traditionalists hated it for that unique stock design as well.
     
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  10. Daniel Cary

    Daniel Cary AH Member

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    Well said, on everyone's behalf, And a special thanks for your welcomed consideration to attend the DSC, as that would indefinitely be a great resource & starting point. Great insight into "Blaser" S2's just the same, as once again, I was deterred from the Dealer when essentially it was the Best Fit for my statue, I see the proverbial point. I had an Interest "off topic" in the S8 … which I believe is discontinued? There's a wealth of information here, and certainly a lot to consider. Look forward to moving forward. Thank You
    Regards, Dan!
     

  11. Daniel Cary

    Daniel Cary AH Member

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    That was another question, essentially the difference in the 89B? opposed to the 88. That was touched on, and I'm sure it's a personal preference...
     

  12. The Engineer

    The Engineer AH Member

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    As you noted, it really is a matter of personal choice. As a PE I long ago concluded any design is a study in compromise. The enhancement of one attribute usually detracts from some other desired attribute. I agree the Krieghoff cocking/docking design will prevent accidental discharges as long as the user develops the muscle memory to cock the rifle as it is mounted and decock any time the rifle is removed from the shoulder. The Krieghoff stock fit me better than any of the other double and I really like the open sights. However, as noted I could not reliably cock the Krieghoff on the shoulder due to thumb issues which takes me back to my original statement about compromise.

    With respect to the Heym 88B vs. the 89B, the internals of the action are essentilly identical. There is a noticable visual difference between the back end of the frame on the 88B vs. the 89B. The 88B has "extensions" back from the action that make the 88B action more squared off and Germantic in appearnce. The 89B is a more typical English style boxlock without any extensions from the back edge of the action That makes the 89B action/grip area a bit more rounded than the 88B. In the process of removing the action extensions the area where the 88B cocking indicators were located was removed so the 89B does not have cocking indicators. The action configureation is the most easily recognized change between the two models. The other significant change in the metal portions of the 89B vs. the 88B was a recontouring of the barrels to bring the ballance point of the rifle back closer to the shooter. This balance emulates the classic Brittish double rifle. As previously noted, from the factory the rifle is very stiff in operation. On my 89B I had to lower the barrels and break the action over my knee when I first received the rifle. I believe part of the reason for this is I chose a case hardening finish on the receiver and case hardening not only can cause some warpage but is also causes some minute dimensional swelling. After a box of shells the action had loosened up to the point I no longer had to break it over my knee. With more shooting I am sure is will loosen up and the barrels will drop of there own weight just as the do on my well used 1980s vintage 88B. A minor differnce from the older 88Bs is the 89B comes from the factory with the rib cut for installion of a red dot sight. With my 70+ year old eyes I used RMR sights and appreciate not having to sent the rifle to JJ to have the mounting cuts made.

    The other significant difference between the two models is the stocking of the 89B is in the classic English style. The grip is significantly more open which prevents barked of the second finger. The shape and drop of the stock is also more English. My 89B was the first double I have had that was built from the ground up for me. By doing this the stock fits me perfectly. Having it built also allowed me to pick my wood blank from pictures, action finish, engraving, checking style, stock finish, etc.

    Good luck in your quest for a double rifle. If you are able to make it to DSC in Dallas maybe we could meet and discuss DG rifles.
     
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  13. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    A loaded rifle should never ever be put aside propped up against anything irrespective of design, period....when it is loaded it should be in your hands...
     
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  14. The Engineer

    The Engineer AH Member

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    I agree. I was taught to never prop up a loaded gun, never let the gun point at something you would not want to destroy, etc. I was not there so cannot comment on the exact circumstance but the same sort of jarring that caused that accidental discharge from falling over could occure from a fall while trying to avoid a charge or from accidently dropping the gun. Thus the reason I value interrupting sears.
     
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  15. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Most so called accidental discharges are in reality unintended discharges. Any gun can fire unintentionally, but it requires a participant. You can put any gun on the wall loaded and as long as no one messes with it; its safe for as long as it sits there.
     
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  16. chashardy

    chashardy AH Member

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    Heym is a well engineered ifle. Just attended a meeting of the Dallas Safari Club and Chris Sells, the Heym USA President in Dallas, was the speaker and he had a couple of their rifles to examine. They offer a lot of custom design for each buyer, which is great when you are spending $20,000 plus on a double. But also takes a while to get one.
    You might also want to check Chapuis. They were a family run French company making very fine double rifles at affordable prices, i.e. $12500 and up. Beretta recently acquired the company so they now have the dealer network and service of Beretta to go with a fine, mostly hand-made double rifle at an affordable price. I have a Chapuis 375 H&H double I have used in Africa on two hunts and I love it. Champlin Arms in Oklahoma swears by Chapuis on their website.
     

  17. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    Chris did such a good job Princess Bride stayed awake during the entire presentation. (y)(y)(y)
     

  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    She's either interested in getting a double...or keeping you from getting one.
    Vegas is giving even odds at the moment.
     
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  19. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    She must be interested then, because I snuck a VC .470 out of last years DSC convention.
     
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  20. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    +1 on The Engineer, Red Leg, etc.

    I personally shoot a Kreighoff .470 that fits me well. I had a pre WWII Belgian Jules Burry .450 #2 before that. Ammo availability finally ended up being a bit too much of a hassle, and George Caswell of Champlin Firearms wanted that .450 #2 more than I did...

    FYI, there is an incredible opportunity right now for two left-over, brand-new S2 on GunBroker for $8,400 (https://www.gunbroker.com/item/845084607 and https://www.gunbroker.com/item/842311329). I actually saw these rifles a few weeks ago when I visited Mad Dog Guns in Phoenix to explore (again!) the worthiness of the R8 (I agree with the technical worthiness, not quite (yet?) with the financial worthiness of the $7k pro safari, but I digress...). These two S2 are gorgeous. If I were in the market I would buy one immediately. They are priced below used market... and brand new...
    upload_2019-11-16_21-53-23.png

    The S2 is a well engineered, reliable, accurate rifle. Period. It is also a different rifle. In a way, it is the opposite of the 89B. The S2 is a study in engineering efficiency (scope mounting, barrels regulation, etc.), while the 89B is a study in classic British doubles revival. To each their own... Likes and dislikes are opinions, not facts. Do not be concerned about the S2 technical worthiness. Actually, it is arguably technically superior to many other doubles that use traditional engineering. For example, I doubt a S2 can ever get off the face.

    The one thing that deserves to be pointed out is that, as Red Leg mentions, "the Blaser requires a different manual of arms and is a bit slower on reload." What he means is that the S2 will decock automatically every time it is opened, hence it needs to be recocked when it is reloaded, and as The Engineer points out, this does require a significant muscular effort with the thumb. It is far from being as unobtrusive as sliding a classic safety. However, if you have a fully operating thumb, this is not as big a deal as some will make it sound (many quality S x S shotguns also reset to "safe" automatically when the action is opened), but it is a muscle memory that MUST be practiced and acquired. From this perspective, the K-gun cocker that does not decock automatically when the gun is opened for a quick reload, is considered by many as less obtrusive. It too requires the same type of muscular effort with the thumb, but it stays cocked until the shooter decides to manually decock it.

    As to caliber, I would go either .470 or .500 depending on the rifles available. There is not a tremendous difference in either performance or recoil. The .450 is indistinguishable from the .470, but ammo continues to be less available for the .45 caliber doubles... Going down to .400 or up to .577 gets you in a different power/recoil category on either side.

    I agree that you will see at DSC and SCI everything that is available, and I support the advice to be patient until then. The other side of the coin of course is that if you know and like the S2, it may be a gamble not to jump on one now...

    Ah, decisions, decisions... :)

    PS: as to Heym? Great rifles. I had a 55B o/u in 9.3x74R for years in France and absolutely loved it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019

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