The Merkel Double Rifle is one of the leading side-by-side rifles in Europe. This firearm is the preferred weapon of choice even in the most dangerous African wilderness hunt. When it comes to top-class firearms, very few names can stand side-by-side with Merkel rifles. This revered gun-making company in Germany manufactured the Merkel Double Rifle patterned from 28-gauge shotgun frames. If you’re looking for a super accurate long range firearm, this Merkel rifle is not a good option, however, it gives you the fastest two shots any rifle could ever shoot. No action is necessary to chamber a second round which makes this double rifle even faster than a semi-automatic firearm.
Merkel Double Rifle Side-by-Side Barrels
This 2-shot side-by-side rifle is available in barrel lengths of 21.65 inches and 23.6 inches. It’s made in 8 different calibers from 7x57R to .500 NE. The beautiful walnut stock features a pistol grip and beavertail forend. The steel blade front sight is ramp-mounted. This rifle’s weight is 6.6 to 11 lbs depending on the caliber.
Ease of Use and Performance
Unlike most single-barreled rifles, double rifle accuracy is not one of the strengths of this Merkel. On the plus side, it feels comfortable on your firing stance and the balance is superb. It’s very reliable and never misfires with the right ammunition. This rifle is handy as it is powerful, which makes it suitable for dangerous game hunting.
Pros and Cons
This Merkel’s second round shoots faster than a semi-auto rifle. Ammunition is chambered in two separate barrels, thus, no action is required to prepare the next shot. It solely depends on how quick the shooter pulls the trigger. I also like how the manufacturer built these rifles in a wide range of calibers making it versatile for different types of game. On the other hand, it would be great if Merkel double rifles can develop a feeding system that loads ammo faster. I’m thinking of a mag type for both barrels which houses 4 to 5 bullets each. How cool is that?
Overall Verdict and Price
A price tag of around $13595 is just too expensive for a gun built for this purpose. There’s no doubt about Merkel’s ability to make firearms that stand above the rest, yet there are tons of cheaper brands that make rifles which are capable of handling the same task. It may be a good buy for collectors but for gun enthusiasts who want to use it in the field might just have to pass.
Here’s a shooting video of the Merkel Double Rifle posted by WaffenlandTV:
This rifle is clearly not for the ordinary shooting fans. We can talk about all its great features and how it outshines many other brands, but the price will surely break your heart. Despite this, many gun aficionados would still be willing to spend a fortune to get their hands on one of these Merkel’s.
What can you say about the Merkel Double Rifle? Is it overpriced or is it worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Up Next: Merkel Over and Under | Gun Carrier Shotgun Reviews
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Featured Image Via – csmcspecials
Merkel makes some of the finest rifles and shotguns in the world if not the finest.
Merkel double rifles are expensive, but they are made for a very specific type of sportsman who lives to challenge dangerous game on it’s own turf under conditions where you would be fortunate to get a second shot before being run over and mixed into the surrounding landscape.
The rifle must be rugged, reliable, accurate, and powerful enough to stop a charge with one well placed shot.
It is not a sport for those who see their lives pass before them under the most stressful conditions.
You say it must be accurate, but this article says early or that it is lacking in accuracy department.
If I could only afford one! Maybe I start a Go-Fund-Me page or maybe some rich person out there would feel my pain and buy me one! Absolutely nothing as great as a good double rifle!!! NOTHING!!!
This double rifle looks awesome when you figure the work done by hand in this platform for big game hunting around the world compared to a Rigby rifle price marked at $30,000 this rifle is a bargain
” Is it overpriced of is it worth it?” What the heck does that mean? For the value of this gun, there is shoddy story-writing on its behalf. ” This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.” (Still not finished with the quality updating.)
I’m not privy to who they had test the Merkel for accuracy and I wouldn’t consider a double rifle In a caliber less than a .375 H&H. The .375 H&H normally recoils at about 40 Ft.Lbs., but it would be a little less in a double rifle which is heavier than bolt action rifles. Once one starts shooting a 470 NE, with a 500 grain solid the recoil is close to 69.3 ft.lbs. Go up to a .577 NE, and you start taking 127.5 ft.lbs in the shoulder each time you fire the weapon.
Most American hunters are uncomfortable shooting anything with recoil over about 20 Ft.Lbs., and flinch each time they fire a heavy recoiling rifle whether it is a double or not. So unless you are really comfortable shooting the calibers that hunters of dangerous game usually use and have accepted the recoil as the price of shooting those calibers you will flinch and be a very inaccurate shooter.
The weight of double rifles helps some with the pain of recoil and muzzle brakes can help a little more, but the charge stoppers as they are commonly called, hit hard at both ends. The Merkel and other high quality doubles do cost a lot, but in the hands of sportsmen who have learned to shoot them well, they are extremely accurate at the ranges they were designed for, which usually is something less than 100 yards.
For plains game most hunters Use calibers under the mandatory .375 H&H for Dangerous game.
I realize that most people would think that paying more for a double rifle than some people will pay for a car seems silly, but when you need to stop some thing big and ugly that wants to rearrange your anatomy, it doesn’t seem so silly.
What can anybody comment regarding doubling, meaning simultaneous fire pulling one trigger? Thanks
Don’t do it. I haven’t fired any single triggered double rifle, so I don’t know why a single trigger meant to fire each barrel with a separate pull of the trigger for each barrel would fire both barrels simultaneously unless it is defective.
The double rifles I am familiar with have a separate trigger for each barrel and you have to learn to slide your finger from front to rear trigger if two shots are necessary. If you are shooting a 12 or thirteen pound .470 N.E., the recoil is about 80 ft pounds of shove as opposed to a hard sharp kick. If you erroneously or purposely fire both barrels at the same time that is 80 foot pounds of recoil from both barrels simultaneously. After you pick yourself up, you will be asking if anyone got the license number of the truck that just ran over you while you check to see if any of your appendages are still lying loose on the ground.
Thank you so much, just have aquired a .416 rigby, double rifle 140 AE, and someone told me about doubling, at the moment is working with no problem at all. Best Regards,
THE PROPER WAY TO FIRE A DOUBLE RIFLE IS TO PULL THE REAR TRIGGER
FIRST, THEN THE FRONT TRIGGER FOR THE SECOND SHOT. MOST “DOUBLING” IS CAUSED BY THE FINGER SLIPPING OFF THE FRONT TRIGGER DURING RECOIL AND TRIPPING THE SECOND TRIGGER. CHEAPLY
MADE RIFLES MAY ALSO HAVE MECHANICAL ISSUES.
That is incorrect, modern double rifles the front trigger is pulled first, the right barrel, then the back trigger. All you have to do is read the owners manual . It is done so for regulation and with the rebounding front trigger the chance of doubling can increase if rear trigger is pulled first.
Love my 470, beautiful double.
I saw in youtube the video : elephant gun fail, LunkersTV
A short comment seems necessary. I have 11 double rifles from 7x65R to 500 N.E. , including a 1906 Rigby 450 3 1/4 and a set of 3 matching Merkel 160’s. “Are they worth the money?” YES – if you use them for the purpose they were designed. Unlike most firearms they appreciate with age so for my children that’s a plus. As for Doubling, did it – don’t!! Practice and you learn to set fingers like a shotgun – not too little finger on the trigger. As for accuracy, 1 minute of Grapefruit at 70 yards is all that is needed. Double Rifles are a work of art as well as a proper tool.