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23 Mar 2016
Gary Costello
For many who know anything about firearms, the double rifle has always elicited awe and respect. It reminds of the early days of hunting dangerous game in India and Africa; when men pitted their hunting prowess up against the most dangerous game on the "dark continent. It elicits respect due to the fine workmanship bestowed on double rifles plus the technology involved to help make the rifle into a highly efficient firearm.

Victrix Armaments
Ahead of the invention of smokeless powder, semi-automatic rifles or perhaps bolt action rifles, it was the hunter furnished with a single shot rifle and cartridges set with black powder. The thing that was needed was a large thereby powerful cartridge so that you can bring down an elephant or charging lion with the one shot at the hunter´s disposal. If this shot failed, then there would be one less hunter on earth!! Enter the double rifle. If still fired a large diameter projectile with black powder, but it had two barrels in the event the first shot should fail. These rifles were created in large calibers like the 12 bore (12 gauge) in order that the black powder propellant could deliver maximum shock towards the target. Some of the these double rifles were designed into what is called a paradox double rifle. The first part of the barrel was smooth bore and toward eliminate the barrel it turned out rifled to give the projectile a spin and so give stabilization through its flight.

As the gun smithing art progressed, calibers including the 577, 577/450, 450, 470 and eventually the 600 nitro express were placed on the market with the double rifles chambered of those cartridges. At first a few of the these cartridges use black powder because the propellant but later the cartridges were full of smokeless powder and were dubbed nitro express rounds. The smokeless cartridges had many perks: first when the cartridge was fired there was no large cloud of smoke to give up the hunters position and second they had a much higher chamber pressure and so more foot pounds of deliverable energy when a pet was hit. I would add that collects within the bore of a rifle fired with black powder can produce a caustic mix that will pit the barrels. Remember, black powder includes a key ingredient, sulfur which may form sulfuric acid when combined with water.

Witch these large powerful cartridges, there were a great deal of recoil and that has been transmitted to the hunter´s shoulder. These double rifles were created heavy to decrease this heavy recoil generated through the powerful cartridge and could weight in the 15 to 25 pound range. This rifle would have been a heavy load for a hunter of middle age or order to bring the tropical heat of Africa or India so gun bears were utilized to carry these heavy rifles. When game was spotted, the loaded rifle was presented with to the hunter to the shot. After the shot was fired, the rifle was presented with back to the bearer.

Most of the double rifle cartridges stood a tapered case with a rim in the base to facilitate extraction. Nowadays some double rifles were manufactured with rimless cartridges, though the extraction of these rimless cases can fail using the inherent problems connected with a cartridge case stuck inside the chamber.

Double rifles are manufactured with both box locks (the least expensive) and side locks (the most expensive). The side locks cab be hand detachable and thus can be removed in the field if the spring breaks, for instance. Of course, an extra ser of side locks must be carried within the field and this raised the price of the rifle with hand detachable side locks.

Aside from the inherent labor needed to produce a fine double rifle, most of the well to do hunters with the era had the stocks and metal embellished with engraving, carving, inlays, and checkering. This may drive the price skyward, with respect to the owners taste for your very best that money could buy.

Regulating a dual rifle, to have both barrels hit in a specified area at 100 or 150 meters, was obviously a gun maker´s nightmare. Following the barrels were made and fitted as well as that could be done, the rifle was taken to the range and fired together with the specified load that the new rifle was to be regulated. After firing, the barrels would have to be readjusted and re-soldered and fire again, and again.... and again. the task was only stopped in the event the proper regulation of the barrels was achieved. Firing expensive, high intensity cartridges was a tedious and dear part of the final manufacturing process.

The double rifle is often a rifle of close to moderate range and isn't for varmint shooting at ranges of less than six hundred meters. When the range is extended at night distance in which the rifle was regulated, the aim of impact for the two projectiles will deviate greatly. Not just are we talking about the normal bullet drop because the range increases but the lateral dispersion of the projectiles.

The point of impact for that two projectiles can also be altered with respect to the powder charge used, the type of powder used, the body weight of the projectiles, the type of jacket materials used on the projectiles, etc. Every time a double rifle is regulated, then this act of using an ordinary load in the rifle prevents one from coming to the gun shop and saying, "Give me a box of ammo with this caliber"! Stick to the regulated load for your double rifle.

To fire a double rifle, fire the proper barrel first and so the left barrel. For the most powerful results fire left barrel within five seconds in the right barrel. Or else the heat generated within the right barrel might cause the barrel to maneuver with a resultant decrease in accuracy. Do not contain the barrel with you free hand! Lightly keep the fore end, with no undue pressure and after that fire the rifle. Don't let the barrel rest with a fence rail, branches or side of a tree trunk.

Why wants a double rifle looking at the few points outlined within the paragraphs above. Well first of all, a double rifle is not for everyone. In fact it is limited to the chosen few. You need to follow the rules carefully if you are planning to have any luck firing the rifle accurately. If you're able to find factory loads that work well in your rifle then you can stick to these loads. Or else, you may want to reload. Reloading is another requisite if you have a rifle in the absolute caliber or it the factory ammunition is quite expensive. Cartridges for your fairly new (in double rifle years). 7000 Nitro Express can cost in the neighborhood of Seventy dollars per ROUND! Naturally, anyone who awns a. 700 Nitro Express doesn´t need to bother about the cost of ammunition as they loads his double rifle into his Most highly regarded.

What do double rifles cost? The textbook response to this questions is ... whatever your want to pay for them. The double rifles of continental Europe are the least expensive. The British double rifles include the most expensive as they are virtually hand-crafted and hand fitted together with the finest finish, engraving and stock wood. Being a ball park figure, the very best British double rifle will cost some $ 60,000 around the low end. Used European doubles can be had for $ 5,000 on up. I will say, for clarification, that some good buys can be has in great britan for used double rifles which are not of the Royal grade.

If you're interested in a double rifle, check the many firearms auctions which might be held around the country. Get yourself a copy of the Double Gun Journal at Barnes and Noble and acquire some books on double rifles. One which comes to mind is Shooting the British Double Rifle by Graeme Wright.

I'm hoping I have piqued your interest on the world of double rifles. In the second part of this discussion Let me go over a German double rifle i have had for many years which is still my favorite rifle.


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