If you look objectively at the subject of double rifles, you will very quickly find more reasons against a double rifle than in favor of it. So, why should you think about a double rifle?
Fact is that you can get certainly two bolt-action rifles for the price of one good double rifle. The precision of the double rifle is much worse than that of a bolt-action rifle. This is especially true after the first shot. Immediately after that, the thermal forces begin to have a strong influence on the barrels and for at least 20 minutes, you only get acceptable precision from one of the barrels. Changing ammunition can also quickly become a feat of strength, since in the worst case; the barrels have to be completely re-adjusted.
Nevertheless, double rifles have something magical and are a lifelong dream for many hunters.
With a double rifle you practically have two independently operating rifles on your hands. Even if one system should fail, you can still shoot with the second barrel. Another advantage is that you can fire a second shot faster with a double rifle than with almost any other type of rifle. When push comes to shove, that can make all the difference.
For me personally, the double rifle has another fascination.
I grew up with a shotgun in my hands. I love the dynamic shooting over the rail and front sight and still spend a lot of time clay shooting. When you shoot a well-fitted and balanced double rifle, the movement is natural and without disturbing the swing. All the movement goes smoothly. And that's when shooting is the most fun.
Boss & Co.
Caliber: On request
Boss & Co is London's oldest gunmaker, a company that has remained in privately-owned operation since being established in 1812. Whether you are a seasoned shooter, an owner or an enthusiast this insight into Boss & Co history will tell the story of the innovators and craftsmen who made the company what it is today.
Today it is owned by Arthur DeMoulas, a man with a long-standing knowledge and appreciation for the company, our heritage and guns. He understand the importance of private ownership, a fact which has enabled Boss & Co to continue to focus on building "Best Guns Only", unencumbered by the distractions of diversification, that can arise from being part of a large luxury lifestyle brand conglomerate.
In fact, the first decision that Arthur communicated to the workforce on buying the company was that Boss & Co would continue to make "Best Guns Only" by hand, using traditional methods. Second grade and machine made guns would never be built at the company.
Since then under his leadership, the company has invested in the London workshop, has helped to secure key suppliers and set-up an apprenticeship scheme to train and pass on the skills to a new generation of Boss & Co, London gunmakers.
With an extended team of master craftsman, the next stage of Arthur's vision was set in motion revitalising the excitement for innovation that was seen at Boss & Co during the late 1800s and early 1900s, when our company led the gun making world with new inventions, design and style.
Work is now underway to re-introduce unique Boss & Co products not seen for over 100 years, providing continuity with the most celebrated periods in our history under the stewardship of our ancestors such as John Robertson and Thomas Boss.
For Arthur, he simply sees himself as a custodian and trustee of the company in the continuum of the storied history of one of the most famous gun companies in the world. His enthusiasm, investment, drive, knowledge and respect for the company and passion will continue to set Boss & Co apart as the gun makers, gun maker and builder of "Best Guns Only".
Source: Boss & Co
Calibers: 375 H&H, 375 FL, 450/400 N.E., 416 Rigby, 470 NE
Quelle: Fieldsport Channel
The company started with action and Barrel making before being a complete Gun maker in St Bonnet le Château. (Near St Etienne in France) The family Chapuis has been involved in the gun industry since the early days of the 20 Century. Due to continuous improvement over the last 100 years, Chapuis became the gun maker as it is of today.
Eager to control from A to Z all the stages of the production chain, Chapuis has acquired over time the knowledge and the technical skills required to manufacture high quality firearms. They maintain this craftsmanship, in order to keep the highest quality level of gun making.
The African Double Rifle has an action with solid sidebars for strength and is double-scallopped for a firm wood-to-metal fit. The double trigger "Blitz"-type battery guarantees function at all conditions. A new deep-cut Royal-style engraving with an "al bulino" Cape buffalo trophy on the action gives no doubt about the field of work. To manage also the chamber pressure of large cartridges the rifle has double parallel locking underlugs.
The barrel length can vary from 600 mm (24 in.) to 650 mm (26 in.) which, is depending on the chambering. The same is valid for the weight which, can vary between 4,2 kg and 4,9 kg. A classic quarter-rib with express-style rear sight, one fixed blade and three folding blades allows classic open sight hunt. Nevertheless, the rifle is also prepared for scope installation.
The excellent AAA walnut pistol grip stock with an English-style cheekpiece and an old English buttpad shows a classic design which, is completed with a superb hand-rubbed oil finish. The high quality is also underlined with an extended trigger plate with bordered, engraved trigger bow and an engraved steel pistol grip cap.
1848 until 1901 in Edinburgh; Scotland
Around 1873 Daniel set up his own business in Edinburgh. Initially at Greenside Place, within a year he moved to Leith Walk where he remained until 1878. At this time he went into Business with his brother John, forming D. & J. Fraser and moving the business to new premises on Leith Street Terrace. Obviously proud of his apprenticeship with Alexander Henry (and aware of its marketing potential), an 1882 advert for the gunmakers carries '(From HENRY'S)' beneath the name 'D. & J. Fraser'.
In 1889 Daniel and John parted company, each continuing to trade separately as gunmakers in Edinburgh. While Daniel's business (Daniel Fraser & Company (later Limited)) continued to operate into the 1930s, John Fraser appears to have ceased trading around 1898.
Daniel Fraser died in London on Tuesday, 10 December 1901 and was one of the best rifle makers in that time in Edinburgh and Scotland.
HEYM 88B Safari
Calibers .450/.400 N.E.; .450
N.E. 31/4"; .470 N.E. .500/.416 N.E.; .500 N.E. 3
Price: Start at 20,720€ (Sidelock)
Source: Heym USA
The Heym 88B is renowned for handling, accuracy and reliability, each Heym rifle represents over 150-years of combined experience utilizing the best in modern materials, machining capabilities and craftsmanship. While modern CNC machining is employed to produce parts with exacting accuracy, that fact alone is no substitute for the trained eye and experience needed to maintain tolerances that are measured in the thickness of a layer of smoke. Heym rifles are still built by hand and every part of a Heym rifle - "Lock, Stock and Barrel" - is made and finished in house. No two parts on two different Heym rifles are interchangeable: Each is hand-fitted to painstaking tolerances by a host of specialized craftsmen averaging more than 25-years' tenure. This unique capability provides Heym with full control over every aspect of quality, while providing clients with bespoke services that are seldom seen in today's gun world.
Ultimately, Heym rifles are designed to shoot, and to shoot well. Each Heym rifle comes with an accuracy guarantee for regulation, and will shoot both barrels into less than 2" at 50-meters. Right barrels print to the right, and left barrels to the left. Our rifle barrels do not "cross."
We drill, rifle, lap, inspect and hand assemble our rifle barrels entirely in-house. During the assembling process, both barrels, which are laying on top of the underlug-base-plate and the underlug-base-plate itself are soldered together. It is the oldest method to make barrel-pairs and an area in which we will not compromise quality to reduce costs. All Heym double rifles are available in your choice of barrel lengths up to 26," and we can provide chopper-lump barrels at an additional cost.
Cocking indicators give the shooter an instant visual and physical indication that the rifle is cocked and - presumably - loaded. By placing them on top of the action, the shooter can feel them with their thumb and without having to look at the rifle.
Particularly on dangerous game rifles, most hunters find an automatic safety to be a liability. Heym rifles are built with a non-automatic safety. After both barrels are discharged and the rifle is broken open for reloading, the safety stays in the "fire" position to allow for the quickest possible follow-up shots.
Since end of 2018, Heym stopped to produce box lock system in the model 88B. The 89B models will only be available with side locks. Box lock systems are produced in the Modell 89B only.
HEYM 89B Safari
Calibers .450 N.E., .470 N.E.,
.500 N.E., .375 Fl. Mag., .450/400N.E
Price: start at 16,250€; PH 13,500€ (Only with a PH license)
Built on the legacy and reliability of the Model 88, the new Heym Model 89 is a tribute to a bygone era in British gunmaking history. Its classic lines incorporate the best design elements of pre-war, British boxlocks, while modern steels and precision machining capabilities provide the most in strength and reliability. The Heym Model 89 is a proper British double rifle... made in Germany.
Stocks (right or left hand) are made to measure to ensure a perfect fit. Receivers are scaled in five unique sizes and are designed from the ground up for double rifle cartridges. Each caliber receives a unique barrel profile to ensure proper balance, weight distribution, and that "weight between the hands" feeling that is synonymous with a well-designed double rifle.
However, the model 89 also kept some proven attributes of the 88B, as the non-automatic safety and the automatic ejectors. And as the 88B the 89 model is designed to shoot, and to shoot well. Each Heym rifle comes with an accuracy guarantee for regulation, and will shoot both barrels into less than 2" at 50-meters. Right barrels print to the right, and left barrels to the left. Our rifle barrels do not "cross."
The differences to the 88 model are:
- A more British styled action (square back and straight sides), similar to a pre-war Webley & Scott.
- A long trigger-guard that extends all the way down the grip to the steel grip cap
- Disk-set (removable) strikers
- A shorter, and more slender forend than the 88B
- The comb of the stock more tapered (from front to back)
- A more open grip than the 88B
- A smaller (circumference) grip than the 88B
- A safety design more similar to the old Webley & Scott
Holland & Holland "Royal"
Double Barrel Rifle
Calibers: Flanged, belted or rimless designs from 7mm to .700.
Price: £165,000 plus VAT
Source: Holland & Holland
A good gun fit is essential for a good shot! Therefore, it is worth to think about a Stock fit as you would do for a superb shotgun.
Source: Fieldsports Channel
Holland & Holland is one of the last remaining traditional London gunmakers. Since 1893 our London factory has produced the world's finest sporting shotguns and rifles. Our guns are handmade by integrating both traditional and contemporary techniques. Time-honored gunmaking skills and state-of-the-art machinery combine perfectly to instill quality and artistry into every shotgun and rifle. For many owners these are not just guns; they are pieces of art.
The Royal Double
When modern nitro express cartridges replaced black powder rifles for dangerous game, gunmakers worked to develop the ideal double rifle: one that would handle like a shotgun, be fast and instinctive to use and with the strength to weight ratios necessary to fire powerful cartridges and heavy bullets.
The 'Royal' Double Rifle is built to the very best standards. Our 'Royal' has the strength to weight ratio necessary to fire powerful cartridges and heavy bullets with great accuracy.
The bolstered action, introduced just after World War One, is elegant and strong. Back-action locks allow for a solid bar, adding rigidity and weight where it is most needed. The articulated front trigger guards against bruising and our patent ejector system is simple and reliable.
Available in any rimless, flanged or belted caliber, with individually regulated chopper-lump barrels and time-proven locks, bolts and ejectors, Theodore Roosevelt's comment, "I do not believe there is a better weapon for heavy game", stands true today. Where the game is close and the perfect shot must be taken in an instant, the 'Royal' double rifle is the best in the world.
Source: Holland & Holland
Krieghoff Classic "Big Five"
Calibers: 375 H&H Mag, 450/.400 N.E. (3"), 500/.416 N.E. (3 1/4"), 470 N.E., 500 N.E. (3")
List Price start at: 8,650.00€ (Ejector + 1,540.00€)
In 1886, the first Krieghoff was built. Today, connoisseurs all over the world trust in the quality and precision of our hunting and sporting rifles. With the experience of over 125 years and the innovative power of each new Krieghoff generation, we build rifles and shotguns today that are more than a weapon - they are a way of life.
Krieghoff rifles are optimally designed to meet the demands of hunting in terms of safety, reliability and precision. They are characterized by experienced practice, proprietary technical solutions and outstanding craftsmanship. For the lover of traditional weapons, Krieghoff still creates valuable unique pieces by hand, which enjoy the special appreciation of hunters.
The Krieghoff Classic demonstrates what can be expected of a modern double rifle these days: A gun with classical look and beauty. With our superior technics and uncompromising design you will have a gun for any hunting condition. Therefore, the Classic is more then just a reproduction of a legendary gun. The Krieghoff Classic is the first and only double rifle with two hammers and Combi-Cocking Device. The wide assortment of barrels give the Classic an enormously broad spectrum of use. The Classic will be a tough companion for any kind of hunting situation. In your familiar hunting field as well as on the safari of your life. And in quiet moments you can enjoy and admire the beautiful look, the perfect craftsmanship, the stylish engraving and noble wood that comes with your Classic. The Krieghoff Classic - the double rifle for true hunting and the pleasure of a perfect gun.
The Krieghoff Classic is perhaps one of the best options when looking for a safari rifle. The hand cocking allows carrying the rifle loaded but completely safe for the PH or tracker ahead. Especially, in the last few yards and dense bush, it can often be difficult to always position the muzzle correctly and not swing over the person in front.
In these situations, carrying the broken and unloaded rifle is not really an option, as firing may occur at any time.
Merkel Safari 140 & 160 AE
Calibers: .416 Rigby, .470 N.E., .500 N.E., .450/400. N.E., .375 H&H Mag.
List Price Start at: 7,898.00€ / 140AE & 15,498.00€ / 160AE
Merkel is the last great brand of the old gun town of Suhl. Since 1898, the Merkel Manufaktur has borne witness to the artistry of its engravers, the sensitivity of its sock makers, the skill of its gunsmiths and the genius of its engineers with every hunting rifle it has produced. In a history rich in challenges and successes, the brand and the company have proven one thing: Deeply rooted in the region's tradition is the gene for the finest hunting rifles made in Suhl, Germany.
Today, one of the most modern production facilities for hunting rifles in Europe is located in Suhl on the Friedberg. In a unique vertical range of manufacturing, which extends from the steel in the barrel forge, the fine stock wood of selected quality and origin to the fired hunting rifle, both traditionally handcrafted masterpieces and consistently pragmatic modern rifles for hunting are created. Merkel has always had one thing inseparably linked in its DNA over more than 120 years: The love of the principles of gunsmithing and the art of generating new ideas from old knowledge, which is conducive to exploring the boundaries of the world of hunting and always going one step further.
Safari double rifle 140AE
The basic variant of the Africa rifle is the tool and also the favorite of many professional hunters. The Anson and Deeley locks in the Merkel variant are traditionally considered unrivaled reliability for big game hunting. A no-frills workhorse that brings together over 100 years of rifle development experience for big game hunting. All mechanical systems are doubled and thus function independently - especially important in dangerous situations when life and limb are at stake.
Safari double rifle 160AE
Safari rifles from Merkel have been delighting big game hunters and crowned heads with their precision and reliability for generations. The 160 variant combines the strongest calibers with removable side locks and a Greener bolt with double parallel locking underlugs. One of the most beautiful rifles for the most exciting form of hunting.
Calibers: all up to 600N.E.
Price: On Request at James Purdey & Sons
Source: James Purdey & Sons
Source: James Purdey & Sons
Our Founder, James Purdey the Elder, was apprenticed as a gun maker in 1798. After joining Master gunsmith Joseph Manton, he went on to forge a gun making dynasty that would surpass all others. While he had lived in 'Rifle Cottage' in Bayswater, it was his son, James Purdey the Younger, who developed the famous 'Express' double rifle. He took the name from the newly introduced Express Trains, to reflect the velocity, power and accuracy of his new product, something which was eagerly adopted following its introduction in 1852.
We have been building best quality single and double-barreled sporting rifles since the firm was established in 1814. Like the shotgun, their design and technology evolved throughout the nineteenth century. Demand for double rifles reached its peak in the 1870s, when the double rifle was used not only for big game, but as the stalking rifle of choice in the Highlands. Even after the introduction of bolt-action designs, big game hunters preferred a rifle that offered the security of two independently firing barrels; vital for an instant second shot when being charged by angry quarry.
Today, our double rifles are built on the patented Beesley action, which allows for fast opening and reloading, and gives absolute confidence to the hunter, crucial when facing dangerous game. The performance of our rifles, combined with the graceful Purdey shape and balance makes it, we believe, the finest double rifle in the world.
If you order a hand-crafted double rifle, you are joining a tradition of gun making excellence that goes back over two centuries. A Purdey 'Best' gun is a gun that cannot be bettered. No extra time or expense can bring further improvement. From the very first measurement, it is designed to perfection.
Rigby "The Rising Bite"
From .416 Rigby to .600 Nitro Express.
List Price: £119,400
Source: Fine Guns
An icon returns
In the latter part of the 19th century, Rigby advertisements claimed that the business dated back to 1735. However, the John Rigby who founded the company was not born until 1758 and opened his gunmaking business in Dublin, Ireland, in 1775. Either an older company was bought out and the name changed or the reference to 1735 was simply a printing error. We now use the 1775 date, which places us as the oldest gunmaking firm in continuous existence in the English-speaking world.
Adventurers and sportsmen have been knocking on our door since the second John Rigby brought his business to London, in the 1860s. Since then, legendary hunters, like Jim Corbett and 'Karamojo' Bell, have numbered among the more famous of our customers but the name Rigby has inspired generations of sportsmen from all walks of life to take to the wild places in search of adventure.
Increasing manufacturing costs meant that regular production at Rigby ceased in 1910, after around 1,000 had been produced. The last custom order original Rising Bites left the factory in 1932. These were a pair, in .405 Winchester and .350 No. 2 calibers and were made for the Maharaja of Karauli.
After a break of more than 80 years, John Rigby & Co. has resumed building the iconic Rising Bite Double Rifle. So called because of its unique vertical-bolt locking system, the Rigby Rising Bite was and continues to be one of the most famous double rifles ever to have been made.
The precision demanded to produce a Rising Bite double rifle represents a unique test of a gun maker's skills. Each one of the new Rising Bites will have taken up to three years to produce, making them an once-in-a-lifetime purchase for collectors and connoisseurs.
To ensure that the new rifles would be true continuations of the Rigbys of the past, the team reverse-engineered an original Rising Bite that had been delivered to the Maharana of Udaipur in 1902. That pristine action has been replicated in modern, top-quality steel with state-of-the-art technology and a master's hand and eye.
The first of the new Rising Bites - in .470 Nitro Express, featuring engraving by Belgian master engraver Roland Baptiste - was completed in December 2015 and made its debut at the Safari Club International Convention in February 2016.
All models are best sidelock ejectors with dipped edge lock plates and incorporate a number of premium features as standard, including: grade 7 Turkish walnut, mirror-bored chopper lump barrels regulated to 100 yards, traditional Rigby pattern full scroll engraving, gold inlaid details, colour case hardening and London Best oil finish.
Sabatti Big Five EDL
Calibers: 375 Flanged 416 Rigby 450 / 400 N.E. 450 N.E. 470 N.E. 500 N.E.
Source: Ron Spomer Outdoor
Source: Sabatti Italy
The Sabatti family has been in the gun making business for almost 400 years. The experience acquired has been passed down with no interruption from generation to generation, from father to son. All components of a Sabatti gun are manufactured in-house with the best technology available. By doing that the company has been able to develop a Know How very few manufacturers in the world can claim.
Stocks are the only exception to this important rule. Nevertheless, they are still 100% made in Italy by selected suppliers. Barrels are manufactured in-house at Sabatti SpA starting from the very high quality steel specifically forged for the purpose of building firearm barrels. The company is market leader for the production of rifled barrels, which are appreciated for their performance.
The big Five EDL Side-by-Side Double Express rifle is built on a Sabatti Proprietary action entirely machined from a solid block of hot forged high-resistance steel to withstand the pressures generated by African Big Game Express cartridges. The express rifle barrels are cold hammer forged. All dimensions of this side-by-side rifle are oversized to get the extraordinary strength needed to resist the pressures generated these African Express cartridges.
- The bars of steel we use are all induction treated at the steel mill which translates into a longer life cycle of our barrels over that of traditional carbon steel.
- We rifle all our barrels by cold deformation rather than simply by subtractive manufacturing, which results in improved dimensional consistency and allows us to use steels with better mechanical characteristics (harder).
- The Barrels are carefully regulated by hand to make sure they both shoot in the center at approximately 70 yard
The EDL version features very finely engraved side plates and high-grade selected walnut. The refined design and comfort help with instinctive shooting during hunting. The full cheek-piece, and the beavertail forearm, are hand checkered and oil finished. The whole rifle supports instinctive shooting and is an excellent tool in all hunting situations.
Westley Richards & Co Ltd
Calibers: Up to 700 N.E
List Price: Start at £55,500 (Fixed Lock Double)
Source: Westley Richards
Source: FRL Media
In 1812, William Westley Richards founded the company that bears his name and continues to flourish today. In over 200 years of continuous gun making, Westely Richards has been credited with some of the greatest designs in both military and sporting firearm history. Such was the ingenuity and success of these patents and designs, that today we are still building our guns and rifles on the best of them, a testament to their enduring capabilities.
Unique among gunmakers, Westley Richards has a staff with diverse hunting experience, much of which has been obtained in the African bush, hunting dangerous game in some of the toughest conditions. In this environment, the double rifle stands out as the ultimate hunting tool, and Westley Richards has built more large bore double rifles than any other gunmaker. We can humbly say that we know what we're doing and understand exactly what the client requires in today's hunting field.
The Detachable Lock Double Rifle
Experience dictates that strength, reliability, accuracy and ease of maintenance can never be more important than when hunting big and dangerous game, and that's where the Westley Richards hand detachable lock action - or droplock - designed in 1897, stands out from its rivals. The challenging environment encountered in the bush can push both man and equipment to their limits, with dust and moisture being especially hard on firearms. This is where the ease of cleaning and maintenance offered by our hand detachable lock double rifle offers you the peace of mind you need to stay focused on the challenges and excitement of your hunt.
Westley Richards has been privileged over the years to work with some of the finest professional hunters that have ever lived. This has helped us to understand unequivocally the requirements expected of our rifles and to build into them today a pedigree that is without question. Ivory hunter Captain James Sutherland was a staunch advocate of our heavy caliber hand detachable lock double rifle fitted with single selective trigger. Modern day professionals like Johan Calitz, appreciate the fast handling and in-field practicality offered in our rifles. Whether past or present, professional hunters have entrusted their lives to us for generations.