After re reading the thread about "elephant rifles and brown bear hunting" began to get curious about Alaskans who actually hunt with double rifles in Alaska. Tha AR forum has a active double rifle section but most people there chat about doubles and Africa. I know we have more than a few double rifle owners here as we meet a few times a year at Birchwood to shoot and exchange information.
I love the look of a double and would watch every safari movie just waiting to see them in action. Always thought they were so expensive to be out of reach. But one day a gent on the AR forum offered a group buy on Chapuis 9,3x74R's, with ejectors, and stock built to specs and for the first time in my life seen it was possible to order one after selling a couple of firearms no longer needed. For the price of two or three nice bolt rifles with after market barrels and nice scopes you can be be the owner of a nice Chapuis. Sometimes less as they pop up for sale used quite often.
Rifle came in and I was hooked. Used it on back to back Koyukuk trips and hammered nice bulls each trip. First was under 100 yards but the second was shot at a lazered 286 with factory irons. So much for a double only being good for short range. Next trip up north plan on using either my 450 Nitro express or 450/400.
Couple of years ago Remington imported Baikal doubles into the country in 30-06 and 45-70. At the time you could pick up one for under $700. They look like crap and have terrible triggers. But $100 later after a visit to Stan Jackson each trigger broke at 3 pounds without a hint of creep. Rifle will put four 220 grain Hornadys (two from each barrel) into an inch and a quarter at 50 yards.
About the only hunt they might seem out of place would be for sheep or shooting across the tundra for caribou. Doubles are very short, well balanced, and handle light a dream, especially in the thick stuff. I can't think of a better rifle to follow a brownie into the alders. Two barrels, two triggers, and nothing to go wrong with feeding. The newer one's are easy to scope as well. But even though my latest ones have scope mounts they have never been installed because the iron sights have worked well enough. But the Baikal wears a Ultradot.
The most difficult myth to die with doubles is they are designed to cross. Total bunk. They are regulated with specific loads and velocity is usually the most important factor. General rule is if the bullets cross at a certain range, say 50 yards, the velocity is to fast. If they are to far apart they are going to slow. The loads are adjusted to keep the bullets hitting as close as possible without crossing. They should remain parallel. Certaintly am not an expert with doubles and their loads but am learning. Some of those guys on the AR forum have forgotten more than I'll ever know.
Please share your own experiences and if interested, come join us at Birchwood the next time we meet and shoot some very interesting rifles.