Question of the Day: “What’s the Point of a Merkel RX.Helix When You Can Buy a Semi Auto?”

One obvious answer: politics. There are plenty of countries where civilians are not allowed to own semi-automatic rifles. Too bad, then, that the most excellent website is about “Firearms not politics.” BTW: Merkel RX.Helix. And hat tip to commentator Jesse.


  1. avatar Martin Albright says:

    Seems more like just a novelty than an attempt to get around semi-auto restrictions.

    Straight-pull bolt actions go all the way back to the 19th century. Before they adopted a semi-auto in the 50's, Switzerland fielded the excellent K31 (wiki:

    Obvious disavdantages include a more complex (read: Expensive) mechanism, and not as easy to chamber a recalcitrant round (where a turnbolt gun can use the leverage of the bolt and the shooters strong right arm to chamber a slightly overlong round.)

    Honestly a decent lever gun is at least as fast, as is a pump gun (very few centerfire pump action rifles, though) and faster even than this straight-pull bolt gun. an additional plus for the pump gun is that the shooter doesn't have to remove either of his hands from their position on the stock.

  2. avatar H. Sieg says:

    On youtube you have a film where ordinary hunters manage the Merkel RX-Helix. Classical use but very fast:

  3. avatar Pete Moore says:

    Here in the UK centrefire semi-auto rifles have been banned since 1988, so straight-pull rifles like the Blaser R93 and R8 or the Helix to a degree fill that slot for hunting. However, and despite their technically faster action there is little in it in the field. I shoot wild boar in Europe and use a Mauser M03 in 8.5x63mm; sort of German 338-06. It’s a bolt gun with a 5-round detachable mag and it’s quick enough with a strong action and very reliable in all conditions! Don’t think I’d sell it to buy a Blaser or Helix.

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