If you’ve had the experience of having one of nature’s wild things coming at you with intent to do you bodily harm then you have a very real impression in your mind of just how intimidating that can be. To ensure against unhappy endings in such situations the British big game hunters of the golden age tended to prefer a double rifle because it offered a “swift sure second shot”. However, if you’ve had the opportunity to shoot a double rifle and needed to rapidly reload after that “swift sure second shot” you may have found that a sticky case can be an obstinate problem and your broken fingernails trying to get it out might be the least of your worries.
Back in 1989 Hungarian Joseph Szecsei had the experience of being simultaneously charged by three elephants. He survived the encounter, and decided that a double rifle or a good bolt action were not really enough life insurance when out after the big and the bad. In his thinking he wanted to design a rifle with all the advantages of a double rifle, and of a bolt action with its rapidly accessible magazine. So he invented a bolt action double rifle.
There will be those reading this who ask the question “Why not just get a semi-automatic?” There are a couple of problems with moving to a semi-automatic; the first is that in some of the countries one might go to to hunt dangerous game the semi-automatic is frowned upon as being illegal. The second is that semi-automatics sometimes jam and a jammed rifle can prove to be a fatal liability. The third is to go looking and see how many semi-automatic rifles you can find in .375H&H or .458 Winchester Magnum? Last time I checked Browning’s Safari semi-automatic only goes up to .338 Winchester Magnum. So the short answer is that a semi-automatic is not a solution, its probably going to be illegal where you plan to hunt and unobtainable in the heavy calibers one needs for African Cape Buffalo on up.
To keep the weight of these rifles down to normal parameters extensive use is made of titanium. This enables the creation of the necessary double magazine and double sized bolt action yet keeping the rifle handy and easily portable.
In the video below Mr. Gerhard Fuchs demonstrates and explains this unique rifle. (Video courtesy all4hunters English).
The Szecsei & Fuchs bolt action double rifles come in both side by side, and over and under configurations. Calibers range from the pachyderm busting .470 Capstick down through the .416 Remington Magnum and .375 Holland & Holland Magnum for African and Asian Safari. Calibers then head down to include the European 9.3x62mm, 8x68S and the American 30/06 all the way down to the diminutive .17 HMR rimfire.
The smallest bolt action double rifle is called the “Hummingbird” and it is chambered for the .17 HMR rimfire cartridge. This is a fascinating small game rifle and is sure to be not only a wonderful companion for one’s rabbit, hare or fox hunting outings but, like all Fuchs firearms, is an investment quality work of the gunsmith’s art.
The “Hummingbird’s” bolt and magazine assemblies give an idea of how simple yet ingenious Mr. Szecsei’s rifle design is.
In addition to their fascinating range of bolt action double rifles Fuchs also make ordinary double rifles, bolt action rifles, and double shotguns. Fuchs “King of Africa” double rifle is chambered for the .577 Nitro Express which is pretty much guaranteed to stop a charging elephant or hippo as long as the hunter does his part and places that 750 grain bullet where it needs to go.
The Fuchs bolt action rifles come in two versions. The first is the “Classic Mauser” which is exactly that, a classic Mauser 98 bolt action rifle. The second is the “Marksman Hunter” which is created around a more modern action and made in a twenty first century classic style.
The Fuchs “Marksman Hunter” is chambered for the .338 Lapua and has a 26″ barrel. Rifle weight is 11lb.
You can find the complete range of Fuchs’ sporting arms including Joseph Szecsei’s unique bolt action double rifles at Fuchs’ website which you will find if you click here.
Joseph Szecsei’s bolt action double rifles are unique in the world. If you are looking for something that is an investment quality sporting arm, and something that might just help you stay alive and un-munched on for your next safari, then one of his bolt action double rifles might be just what you are looking for.
(All pictures courtesy fuchsfineguns.com unless otherwise marked).
Jon Branch is the founder and senior editor of Revivaler and has written a significant number of articles for various publications including official Buying Guides for eBay, classic car articles for Hagerty, magazine articles for both the Australian Shooters Journal and the Australian Shooter, and he’s a long time contributor to Silodrome.
Jon has done radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews on various issues, and has traveled extensively, having lived in Britain, Australia, China and Hong Kong. His travels have taken him to Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan and a number of other countries. He has studied the Japanese sword arts and has a long history of involvement in the shooting sports, which has included authoring submissions to government on various firearms related issues and assisting in the design and establishment of shooting ranges.