Sometimes, while walking through the bush — or a convention — it pays to look up. While perusing some of the finer double rifles, or side-by-side rifles from the more higher end of the spectrum it seemed like I was walking in circles . . .
First Purdy, then Krieghoff, then Heym, then Rizzini, then Merkel, then Rigby…. I want to learn the differences between the different manufacturers of double guns. I thought I had decided on an inexpensive Sabatti in .470 NE. But everywhere you go, there are simply magnificent specimens of the classic African double rifle.
European calibers such as 9.3 X 64, older nitro calibers like the venerable .470. Newer (since the 2000’s) calibers like the .458 Express. Engraved models, fancy wood, plain old models. And this caught my eye:
A Damascus steel Purdy. I get to work with some pretty fancy Damascus where I work, but this was stunning. Then I remembered I’m looking for a shooter, not a show piece. A $100,000.00 show piece? No thanks.
Counter guy, in some kind of euro accent: “Ahh, one of our finer pieces, there is a buffalo hide case with it along with…wah, wah, wah, wah, wahhhhh. I think my brain just shut him off. All I was hearing was Charlie Brown’s teacher.
So I made my way down the next aisle, glancing at art work, bronzes, animal hide furniture and such. Trying to find my way back to the gunmakers village. As I was a bit distracted, I almost didn’t notice this fellow sitting behind stacks of books for sale. Ooo, shiny object!
Books! Books on hunting. Safaris…one of my weaknesses. I like books. A lot. I choose my title, and the gent offers to autograph it for me and I unashamedly ask for a photo.
The gent without the lip warmer is Mr. Craig Boddington, former Marine Colonel, hunter, conservationist, speaker, author and TV host. Needless to say, I watch his show. (Somewhat embarrassed here as my gig line was off in front of an Officer).
We chatted a bit and I then was off again to look for a decent, somewhat affordable double rifle.
I remembered a few back at the Blaser booth and consult the 4,000-page directory. Yup, other end of the 99-acre building.
Now, I know the price here is going to be a turn off for some of our Armed Intellengentsia members, but I look at it as a buy once, cry once price. Certain guns just don’t really depreciate in value. Some even appreciate quite considerably.
I recently sold my McMillan .50 BMG for more than I paid for it after seven years and several hundred rounds. My thought, after careful consideration, is that double rifles bought at a good pric will likely appreciate in value. As long as one doesn’t ding the heck out of it.
Enter the Blaser S2 Safari Luxus.
I’ll call this a mid grade (personal opinion). It has decent wood, terrific metal finish, and I really liked the gold bead front sight. It reminds me of a S&W combat masterpiece.
What really intrigued me was the barrel lockup. The booth dude said it can’t come loose or be shot loose. They call it their “tilting block locking mechanism”.
This is an ejector model and that’s what I’m looking for. If I am in need of a reload, I want those dead pieces of brass out. And fast.
It seemed solid. And speaking of solid, the quarter rib for mounting a scope was pretty beefy. Personally, I find a scope on a double rifle abhorrent. The price for this beauty? A bit over $12,000 for the .500 Nitro Express caliber model shown.
Hmmm, where was the Sabatti booth again?