Double Rifles?


December 14, 2005, 08:34 PM
I love double rifles. I was lucky enough to have chance to handle an old Purdey rifle at a gun show and would love to have one. However, the Purdey was a bit out of my price range and I as wondering if any modern companies produce as standard item (not custom shop). If so who are they and how much do they cost?

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December 14, 2005, 08:38 PM
IIRC, Eurpoean American Armory had a few of them in SxS and O/U configuration... no really exciting calibers, though. I think retail was like $600 or somesuch, in .223, .243, 6.5x55, .308, .45-70, and others. I don't think they have an importer anymore.

Been a long time since I looked, so I'm not sure on any of it. :confused:

December 14, 2005, 08:52 PM
Spartan Gunworks ( - Baikal rifles formerly imported by EAA and now imported by Remington.

December 14, 2005, 08:59 PM
i've often wondered why the nostalgia companies making the cowboy stuff didn't put out a nice double rifle. something impressive (12 bore or so), external hammers, nice wood.

if they could price them in the $1400-1800 range, i'd bet they'd sell a ton

i'd buy one for sure. a shooter, not so much a collectible

December 15, 2005, 04:26 AM
Much cheaper than a Purdey but still up there in quality, I believe Merkel produces double rifles in the $3,000 - $4,000 range.

December 15, 2005, 07:57 AM
Trail Guns Armory did import a .45/70 double rifle and it sold for about $2200.00 or so. It was sold by Cabela's and Phil Spangenberger took it to Africa on a hunt.("Guns and Ammo" did sell an interesting video of it.) I believe the Model was the Kodiak Mk IV. It was a copy of an old Colt design. I did talk to a gentleman at Trail Guns Armory and he told me that the gun was so well made, it would take the "hotter " 45/70 loads that were used in the No.1's, etc. I did seriously consider buying one, but at the time I had a daughter about to enter college and I was working 3 part time jobs, in addition to my regular job to try to get a little ahead. :)

December 15, 2005, 08:52 AM
The closest thing to a domestically produced "factory" double rifle of the classic type is by Butch Searcy in Boron, CA.

That said, there's really no such thing as a "production" double rifle, as much handwork is required to fit and regulate them.

December 15, 2005, 10:29 AM
Regulating the barrels to shoot to the same PoI is God-awful time consuming ande expensive. Some attempts have been made to build doubles with external (screw) adjustable barrels left for the buyer to regulate but even these are a little pricey and I don't know if the demand is there.

I tried real hard to buy one of those Spartan SPR22s a few months ago but nobody could deliver one. Are they actually being made and sold?

I have a Cogswell & Harrison .375 double that was made in 1910. I bought it in the mid 1970s for $1800 which was a fortune to me at the time. I saw the exact same gun offered by a specialty dealer last year for $5,000 and that one was reblued. Mine is very accurate and the barrels shoot dead on at 100 yards.

December 15, 2005, 10:46 AM
Wasn't someone offering a conversion package to turn a side-by-side shotgun into a 45-70 rifle?

Jim Watson
December 15, 2005, 11:17 AM
EAA advertised Russian double rifles for years but never had any to actually sell. Remington has taken over importation of Baikal guns under the Spartan brand name (An American company selling Russian guns with a Greek trademark. Ick.) and is advertising them but still doesn't actually have any of the double rifles for delivery.

I have seen the Kodiak double, it might be stout but it is nearly as roughly made as the Russian guns.

Taliv, you are about 30 years too late to get a double rifle for $1400.

There are a fair number of Valmet over-unders with rifle barrels floating around.

A French (French!) Chapuis double in the plain Utility Grade Express is $5500 in rimmed calibers, $6000 rimless up through .30-06.

Plainest Merkel Safari model is now up to $10,595 list, calibers .375 H&H up.
Kreighoffs in the same price range.

A friend has a Webley .450 BPE dating to about 1887 that is a hoot to shoot for a few rounds. It weighs 8.5 pounds and with 120 grains of black or comparable nitro-for-black behind a 300 grain bullet, it does kick. I can get off a pair, reload, and one followup shot accurately and I am ready for a time out.

There are fair numbers of used doubles around. Prices are high to very and you better be sure of your ammo or component availablity before you jump.

December 15, 2005, 12:26 PM
I have a Valmet 2 barrel set in 12ga. and .30-'06 works for me but it's not the stoutest possible. Putting the Valmet next to a Remington 3200 which uses the same sliding top cover design suggests the Valmet is nowhere near so robust as the Remington high use - competition - shotgun.

My first barrel set had a mismatch between the chambers on the rifle barrels - the lower barrel was really a sort of improved chamber - perhaps the reamer was just run in a little too far but in any event the headspace was excessive. Returned them with the receiver for a new set of barrels fitted at no charge and well regulated when I got them back.

Rimless cases are extractors only. Always wanted barrels in 9.3x74R which has ejectors.

Much of the utility to me has been having a true no tools takedown ruck not rook rifle ;) for rafting or other hard access hunting. The iron sight line - rib line is the same shotgun and rifle which I enjoy. Swing on claybirds or birds most of the year and transfer skills a little bit.

Scope mounts have been hard or impossible to find from time to time over the years - I bought my scope mount when I had a chance. No idea how common accessories might be today.

Browning has sold a few similar sets on an over/under shotgun from time to time over the years but I don't see very many around.

Today I use a Steyr Scout or Dragoon for many of the same applications for ease of transporting, carrying, handling and swing.

Jim K
December 15, 2005, 02:11 PM
Thatguy wrote, "Regulating the barrels to shoot to the same PoI is God-awful time consuming and expensive."

And remember that a double rifle cross fires, so the PoI is at one range, and one range only. Double rifle shooters in Africa learned to hold their fire until the game was right at that range.


Jim Watson
December 15, 2005, 03:08 PM

As the Krieghoff catalog says, the barrels are about 3/4" apart at the muzzle. And they regulate their safari calibers to hit together at 60 metres. So they will only be 3/4" apart - on average, of course - at 120 metres. Then do the trigonometry to see how far out you can go before the points of impact diverge 3". I just cannot imagine waiting until a game animal was right at the regulated range before shooting. That little bit of converge-diverge is not detectable in MY shooting from any position I might get into with a hunting rifle.

Jack Lott wrote about accuracy in doubles and described a Merkel 9.3x74R that was 1.5 MOA to 300 yds. His .318 W.R. was more accurate than that but he did not say what it did at ranges beyond 100 yards. Ray Ordorica said his double was set up parallel, that his barrel groups center that 3/4" apart at any distance shot. Pondoro Taylor described the hunter who took a .375 H&H double all over the world and found it accurate enough on caribou at 300 yards.

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