Like most things made in Germany, the Merkel RX Helix is an engineering marvel. The Merkel is the newest straight pull bolt action rifle on the market. What sets it apart from the crowd is the fact that the action uses cams to reduce the length of travel. As an example, for a .300 Win Mag you only need to pull the handle back 2.5 inches to get the bolt to move 4.5 inches. I was really impressed how smooth and effortless it was to chamber and extract a round from the rifle. This is undoubtedly the fastest bolt action rifle I have ever handled, and second place finisher is not really close . . .
Another great feature of the Merkel is that you change barrels, calibers etc. without tools in about 20 seconds. If you need to change to a caliber that features a different case head size, you can also change the bolt as well in a minute or so.
Merkels are not cheap: The RX Helix will run you $3500 and up, depending on options. But for a drop dead sexy 7 lb switch caliber rifle with a lighting fast bolt, this thing is hard to beat.