Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Double Rifle Prices

Dear Cal:

Good day sir. I am a young "Zimbo" and active hunter. I have been scratching around for some time for a double and have a couple of options. Kettner .500 with ejectors, Rogue River .500 with extractors, Heym .470 with ejectors and a Victor Seragusta .375 sidelock. As a double novice, I was really hoping for some advice from yourself in regards to; .470-.500 as back up/stopping cartridges. What i should expect to pay for these weapons (all are average condition with above average bores). Extractors versus ejectors, I have heard a lot of "old boys" saying that they prefer extractors due to the noise of brass hitting the floor after being ejected attracting undue and rather nasty attention (in particular from cow ellies) I look forward to your esteemed and knowledgeable articles in the Hunter and would really appreciate your advice sir.

Kind Regards,

Chris M.

Good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words about my writings in the African Hunter--it is my favorite magazine!

I know of most the the makers you write of. I’m sure all will function just fine. I would also recommend you look at Butch Searcy and Verney-Caron. They, too, are excellent rifles. What ever your decision is, make sure you handle and shoot it so you have a proper “feel” of the rifle and also the length of the stock (the “pull” must fit). Look at the sights--some will work with your eyes better than others. Engraving and wood-to-metal fit are not important in a working rifle but balance and quick pointing is.

For big African game bigger is better and the .500 has advantages over the .470 in bullet weight, foot-pounds of energy, and frontal area. The rifles may be a bit heavier in .500 and so will the recoil--but not much more of either. As to extractors or ejectors--neither is a preference in my opinion. No one hunts elephant commercially anymore so the noise of ejectors is a moot point but they can come in handy if a quick reload is at hand.

As to selling price, check the web sites that sell doubles such as gunsamerica and gunsinternational. I know Merkel rifles with extractors saw a good drop in price after the company began offering only ejectors. I saw .500s selling for less than $10,000USD in 2009.

With vintage English doubles climbing in price every week, more and more shooters and hunters are opting for the makes mentioned above. They all are equal as to what they will do and only the buyer can determine what rifle looks and feels the best.

Good shooting,