Quantcast

Merkel O/U

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by jski, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. jski

    jski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Florida
    I just bought a Merkel 20 ga. O/U for $3,500. Looks to be in excellent condition.

    I bought it from a gun estate middleman who goes to estate sales buying guns of "interest", then auctioning them through action houses specializing in gun sales. I bought this Merkel for the amount he was willing to pay the estate for the shotgun.

    The shotgun was originally bought in Switzerland in 1972 and brought back to this country.

    1) Does this sound like a "good price" for a Merkel O/U in excellent condition? It is ornately engraved.

    2) How do I determine which choke the barrels have? The gun dealer told me at was improved cylinder, which would serve my purpose as a skeet gun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    ms6852 likes this.
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    28,575
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    Look on the barrel flats among the proof marks. I found mention of a Merkel marked 1/2 for modified and VZ for improved cylinder. 3/4 would be improved modified in that system. Some European guns will be marked for bore diameter and choke diameter, the difference is the choke constriction; 1mm is full choke.

    Can't judge the price, but it's yours now.
     
  3. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    4,536
    Location:
    north central indiana
    The price actually doesn't sound too bad for what you got. I have never shot any of the shotguns made by Merkel, but handled and shot a .470 double rifle. Almost bought it 20 years ago, but $5000 used was a bit more than my budget at the time.
     
  4. Pivot Dr

    Pivot Dr Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    207
    You did fine! I’m not in the market for a Merkel but you’d be hard pressed to get a similar quality O/U for the same money. Merkel is quality through and through!
     
    SwampWolf likes this.
  5. jski

    jski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Florida
    upload_2020-11-19_6-6-14.jpeg

    upload_2020-11-19_6-7-4.jpeg

    upload_2020-11-19_6-10-9.jpeg
    These are the only markings I find?
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    28,575
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    There are plenty of proof marks and trademarks but I don't see any of the usual choke indicators.
    You can measure the muzzle but without a down-hole gauge all you can use for constriction is the book value.
    Or shoot the gun and count the pattern.
     
  7. jski

    jski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Florida
    Is there some place else to look for choke indicator markings?
     
  8. Cvans

    Cvans Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Messages:
    299
    Might be a good time to invest in a choke gauge. I think I paid $25 for mine at a gun show. 12 and 20 ga.
    key-ring-choke-gauge.jpg
     
  9. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,657
    Location:
    Justin, TX
    I think you did good.
     
  10. Skoghund

    Skoghund Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Sweden
    What model is it? I've a singe trigger201E 12bore OU, a 211e combi in 12 over 7x57R and a 160e double rifle with extra 20 bore barrels. Here in Sweden and in the UK they sell quite cheaply for the quality you get with Merkels. They seem to bring a much better price in the US. A friend of mine in the UK had an old Merkel 16 bore sidelock OU that must have been made for the American market as it was engraved with white tail deer and turkeys. The engraving was of a very high quality much better than on todays offerings. A couple of weeks ago I was in my LGS and handled a new double rifle drilling 8x57jrs x2 over 20 bore and I have to say that the fit,finish and engraving on that drilling was superb. You may have guessed I'm a bit of a Merkel fan.
     
  11. jski

    jski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Florida
    Apparently that 156 in the top pick indicates the gun was manufactured in January 1956, which is consistent with that serial number.

    There is a “KJ” marking on the barrel?

    BTW, it has a 26” barrel, if that helps any to identify this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,653
    Location:
    SE GA
    This is a gross overgeneralization but German guns tend to be choked tight when they have 28” barrels. Like Full/Full. 26” barrels tend be looser. Like Imp/Mod or Imp/Imp.

    I’m sure your aware but it should be noted these gauges only measure the muzzle diameter and not the choke constriction. Choke is measured as the difference between actual bore diameter and actual muzzle diameter. Since shotguns of different makers tend to have different bore diameters, a muzzle diameter measurement will only give a certain amount of information.

    Still ok for a general idea though. Usually bore diameters are near their nominal spec.

    Backbored and overbored barrels are a more recent thing and their specs are commonly available.
     
    cdb1 likes this.
  13. jski

    jski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Florida
    Would anyone make a 20 gauge shotgun barrel that was 26” for anything but improved cylinder? Skeet?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice