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June 18, 2008

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Make Mine a Double

In my semi-long and dismal life I've owned just about every gun that anyone with taste could possibly want--except a double rifle. There is no earthly reason for anyone to own a double rifle, just as there is no earthly reason to own a ZO6 Corvette, but if you gave me either I would not turn it away.

I came very close to owning a double rifle in the early 1980s. Safari Outfitters, which was then in Ridgefield, CT, got hold of a Westley- Richards Droplock, with barrels in .300 H&H, .375 H&H, and .458. It had a American-style stock FOR A LEFT-HANDER, and had been made in the 1960s for a majarajah who had never used it. The rifle cost $30,000 and I seriously considered taking out a second mortgage to buy it, but I didn't.

Not only have I never owned one, but I've never hunted with a PH who used a double, or owned one. Mostly, they cost too much, and they are useful only on dangerous game. There is a myth that double rifles handle like shotguns, but that is a crock. A side-by-side shotgun weighs maybe 7 pounds while a double rifle in a serious caliber weighs anywhere from 12 to 15, and most of that is in the barrels. You tell me how something like that is going to handle like a shotgun.

But a double will give you two very quick shots, and because it's more compact than a bolt gun, it can be very quick to maneuver in thick brush where much of the fun takes place.

If you're in the market for a double, here's some advice: Don't get one in .375 H&H or smaller. A true double is .45 and bigger. Probably the most popular cartridge is the .470 Nitro Express, and if you can take the recoil, the .500 Nitro Express is even better. Get a boxlock rather than a sidelock; the latter cost a fortune if they're any good.

Right now, I think the two best using doubles on the market are the ones built by Butch Searcy and Blaser. Searcy's rifles start at $15,000, and the Blasers begin at around $10,000. Both are first-rate working guns. The Blaser in particular has the best iron sights for a dangerous game rifle that I've ever seen, and you can carry it loaded but completely safe, which may prevent you blowing someone's head off besides that of the buffalo.

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Comments

Dennis L. Crabtrey II

About airlines, I had a dream that the Airlines ran over my Blaser Rifle when I was scheduled to fly from Alaska to Alabama. I insured it w/ a rider on my Homeowners insurance the next day. They actually "LOST" my gun on that trip for 4 days. I was upset, but not worried. They found it within hours of finding out it's worth ($6100). If they ever lose your Savage, LIE: TELL THEM IT'S A WESTLEY RICHARS WORTH $50k. YOU'LL GET BETTER SERVICE!!!

Jim in Mo.

Dennis C,
I've never flown with a rifle but with all the horror stories of lost/abused guns by the airlines wouldn't UPS be another consideration? Even cardboard boxes, used as the package I receive, are in great shape. So I imagine (hopefully) that my rifle has been treated better.

jack

OT for those of you interested in the District of Columbia vs. Heller case before the Supreme Court. (2A case involving banning of handguns in DC):

1. The Court officially recesses for the summer next week - most likely on Friday.

2. This morning's batch of decisions did not include Heller.

3. Monday (6/23) at 10:00 a.m. has been announced to the media as another "Decision" day.

4. The Court has a history of holding "high-profile" decisions until the end.

5. If Heller is not announced on Monday, it will likely be released on Thursday 6/26, thereafter, the Court will recess until October.

Clay Cooper

When I was in Alaska, a shooter came out to the range and opened his case and pulled out something similar to a drilling with three barrels, 12 ga, 30-06 and 458 Win Mag. Fired it a couple of times , packed it up and never came back.

Dennis L. Crabtrey II

I think mailing them via USPS for long guns is the best idea. Find an FFL of where your going and ship your gun to him. It's your gun so you don't technically have to file paperwork AGAIN.

Just call ahead and work it out in advance. It's a bit more pricey, but faster and easier. Usually $15-25 for USPS and $10 for his reception.
It may be actually cheaper than flying with them charging $50 for extra baggage.

I've flown probably 50 guns between Alabama, Alaska, and Wyoming. TERRIBLE security at airport pickups in Atlanta. I had a 10/22 with a broken barrel band. 2 Lost gun cases (temporarily) in Atlanta.

Shop for the best travel gun cases you can afford, but then buy a better one. Americase, Pelican, Hardigg, etc.

Del in KS

Clay,

NOS but, Yesterday (out at the range) while waiting for my barrel to cool between shot groups ah got to thinkin'. We all know you're a reg'ler Natty Bumppo. Ah was just wonderin' if you've ever done the two potato with a flinter? Don't be shy now inquiring minds want to know. Heck, ah cain't even do the one potater with a modern gun.

Del in KS

Dave,

Saturday ah received my F&S mag. Heck of a good article you did on accurate rifles. Did you do all that shooting using the jerk the trigger method you discribed before? I must "fess up" for years that has been how I shot when shooting off hand. Killed lots of critters that way.

Mark-1

$30k…un-inflated ‘80’s bucks for that double rifle?!?! Was F & S about to give you a nifty raise and some gratuities at that time?

IMHO double rifles are functional, but they are also articles of British Raj and Colonialism and of the period's upper elite. I seldom read much about double rifles by a non-British’er and/or by someone not holding some “title”.

I don’t have the figures, but I’m quite certain heavy, bolt-actions are the item to have in the ordinary hunter-farmer's gun rack to take care of those aggravating elephant, buff’s, and lions invadings.

BTW I also agree .45-cal is minimum for a dangerous game rifle. When the chips are down for some heavy drama I’ll pick my .458 every time. The bullet weight isn’t there in 375 or 416.

Walt Smith

A double is a nice fantasy gun but their practicalness is still a fantasy. The only usable double comes in a 16, 20, or a 12 gauge.

Pete Jefferson

Are you on the dollar menu? You sound kinda cute but not as cute as me. http://nimbusters.org/forum/forum.php?board=8

Rock Studrock

Anyone wanna watch me Jack off on my webcam????

Black nook nook

You're just pissed cause Your Hero has more money than You.. NIM Busters, a forum where anonymous individuals regularly post sick and threatening material.. Hey Woger, need some jack material before bed?

Robert

For what it's worth, there were Remington SPR-22's on both Gunbroker and Gunsamerica last night; both in 30-06 and going for about $900 and $1,100 respectively.

jes

I wouldn't want to dissapoint you fans of doubles, as I am myself..but they DO and CAN lock up on you. Had a fine double a while back, an old Winchester, my favorite, and while sitting out an old gobbler in ambush mode, had that old turkey dead to rights, and touched her off. My surprise! Failed to fire! That bird barely heard the click, but he was running....And confident me, knowing so well that I had a whole new gun in that second trigger...casually touched off my second shot....and heard the same click! $$%#$%! No, twerent the ammo.... a tiny bit of metal had sheered off part of the firing pin and jammed both! End of story. But it does happen, even when you ambush turkeys...served me right for trying that in the first place!

And yes, it was a two trigger twelve, the same one that would double up on me after a rainy spell! Still have that old friend, but she sits in the cabinet nice and dry... but shooting still, and quick to shoulder! Keeps the Chicken Fairy away, hey Dave!

Bill White

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- The Keystone State Skinheads have launched a poster campaign in Philadelphia featuring the photograph of a slain Philadelphia cop and the words "Guns don't kill people; dangerous minorities do."
Keith Carney, a leader of the organization who has also faced charges for the violent disciplining of one of the group's members, has recently been moving the group towards a more political orientation, holding demonstrations and distributing literature, changing its image from one of more typical skinhead criminal thugs to that of a legitimate organization struggling for white working people.

The City's Commission on Human Relations said it had "investigated" the fliers but determined they were "legal".

Such trite nonsense is typical of newspaper reports on white nationalist activities, which always portray white activism as something verging on criminal and meriting "investigation".

-----

Emailed to you by:

Overthrow.com
ATTN: Bill White, Editor

Post Office Box 8601
Roanoke, VA 24014
http://www.overthrow.com
[email protected]
[email protected]

Bill White

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- The Keystone State Skinheads have launched a poster campaign in Philadelphia featuring the photograph of a slain Philadelphia cop and the words "Guns don't kill people; dangerous minorities do."
Keith Carney, a leader of the organization who has also faced charges for the violent disciplining of one of the group's members, has recently been moving the group towards a more political orientation, holding demonstrations and distributing literature, changing its image from one of more typical skinhead criminal thugs to that of a legitimate organization struggling for white working people.

The City's Commission on Human Relations said it had "investigated" the fliers but determined they were "legal".

Such trite nonsense is typical of newspaper reports on white nationalist activities, which always portray white activism as something verging on criminal and meriting "investigation".

-----

Emailed to you by:

Overthrow.com
ATTN: Bill White, Editor

Post Office Box 8601
Roanoke, VA 24014
http://www.overthrow.com
[email protected]
[email protected]

Clay Cooper

Del in KS
Natty Bumppo? Never heard of the name

mike johnson

remington did bring them in the country. I own one and it shoots great. They only imported 30-06. there are several for sale on gunbrockers




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