Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Inexpensive Double Rifle?

Dear Cal:

Where can I find low-priced double rifles? Not like 20,000 bucks--more like under a $1,000 possibly.
James A. USA

James:

Not in this world would be my immediate reply. Maybe if a time machine could take you back to the early 1960s...

Seriously, the only double made today for the kind of money you write of is a Baikal which (I believe) are imported my Remington from Russia. I shot one a few weeks ago (March 2010) during an Alaska double rifle shoot outside of Eagle River. The rifle was not attractive to look at, the trigger pull was 15 pounds, but it was the most accurate rifle at the shoot! It is not a lie to say it was grouping at 2 inches at 50 yards and I have heard this from others via email. I have seen prices for these rifles between $700 and 1200 USD.

This is the only double made today in your price range. The caliber I shot was .30-06 and don’t know what other calibers are produced. A Pedersoli .45-70 or 9.3x74r is an excellent low-priced double but they are about $3500. They, too, shoot very well.

As to the price of doubles in 2010 in a nutshell:

Vintage English doubles in .450-400 are hitting the 15-20K mark and higher for best rifles.
The same in .450 to .500 are in the 20-30,000 and higher range.
The same in .577 are bringing 35-50,000.
The same in .600 are bringing 50-65,000 and up.
American doubles of new manufacture are about what the above prices are.
European rifles of a new manufacture are about 1/2 of the above prices for the calibers.
New English rifles are 3-4x what the above prices are.

One solution is to have a double built on a shotgun action. Butch Searcy did this in his early years and they worked fine if pressure was kept to reasonable levels. I bet the prices will be a fraction of the above although I have not looked into this as it is not in an area of interest of mine.

I hope this helps and good shooting,
Cal