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Thread: Express rifles

  1. #1
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Express rifles

    I know a few on here have these and some who don't own one but know a fair amount about the market so after some advice.
    Now there is the Browning 525 and the Heym 26 both a little over 3000 with the Heym being better from what I have seen however there are much cheaper ones out there.
    We have Verney Carron, F.A.I.R, Sabatti and Zoli which all sell for under 2500; some under 2000.
    Does anyone have experience with these? I have found one UK review on the VC but that's it.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  2. #2
    I have a Unifrance Solitaire which is a Zoli Focus made for Unifrance and sold under their name. I'm not sure where you are getting your prices from Jim because this sells for over 3,000 euro new not 2,000.
    I looked at many express rifles before I purchased mine and discounted the Verney Carron first, it just didn't do it for me. Many of the others such as the FAIR, Betinisolli, Sabatti and Franchi didn't seem to be of the same quality as the Zoli and I couldn't afford a new Browning, Beretta or Rizzinni at the time.

    There's certainly no shortage of choice as just about every European shotgun manufacturer produces double express rifles. If you think of it most are simply 20 bore actions with as set of rifled barrels instead of shotgun barrels. I just wish that Unifrance had offered the additional 20 bore shotgun barrels at the time that I purchased my Solitaire which they started doing a couple of years after my purchase.

    Be careful about buying express rifles though as they can be quite addictive as indicated by my return to France only a few years later to buy a side by side Chapuis to join my O/U Unifrance.
    Last edited by 8x57; 21-08-2016 at 09:28.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  3. #3
    I'm sorry, I only have direct experience of shooting the Chapuis I have, but because you tend to shoot an express rifle like a shotgun, I think "fit" is far more important than that of a standard rifle.

    It also depends whether you intend to shoot it open site, or with a scope/red dot, because the stocks are generally designed to be used open site, the comb is really too low with a site, and can take a bit of getting used to.

    I would also speak to your local shotgun smith, to see if they have any experience of servicing/repairing any of the makes, and if spares are available. Check with the importer of the make you favour.

    Erwin at Alan Rhone is an expert with this type of rifle, and it would be worth emailing him, and asking if there's anything you should avoid.

  4. #4
    Lateral is quite right about fit as these firearms are generally intended for almost instinctive shooting at short range (50 metres) using open sights. That's not to say that it's not possible to use them at longer ranges using a scope just that a removable comb raiser may be required. Using them up close and with open sights as intended is the joy though, otherwise you might as well buy yourself a bolt action rifle or even a cowboy gun if you don't have any taste or style.

    Personally I don't see there being any issues with repairs and maintenance as they are all based on typical shotgun actions, some of the less expensive ones are even simplified shotgun actions because the barrel selection facility is removed.

    I will endorse what Lateral says about Erwen (Alan Rhone) he is certainly familiar with express rifles.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  5. #5
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    8x57, I should have been clearer, I don't know how much a Zoli costs but I got the prices for the others from here http://www.roumaillac.com/80-carabin...ier-pas-cher#s[83][]:24702&s[9][]:849-3960&s[15][]:&s[10][]:&sid:4&h:leftColumn&ics:80&abs:YToxOntpOjA7aToyND cwMDt9&ob:price&ow:desc

    I just keep thinking about "one rifle to hunt the world" for everything that isn't the Big 5 and a 9.3x74r would fit that bill nicely despite the limitations of a express rifle. However, I don't really want to spend as much as a Browning or Heym (or similar prices rifles) and didn't know of the cheaper stuff was any good.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  6. #6
    Hi Jim, If you have woodland stalking, then an open sighted double would be just the ticket in an 8x57 or 9.3x74 or such like - just the ticket for a left and a right, as prickets often seem to travel in pairs at this time of year.The only pricket I have seen so far this season I could not get a shot at. It was 30 yards deep in dark cover. And the cross hair disapeared. Then it was gone. A double would have been perfect - or that was the excuse I was building in my head!!!
    I recently saw a beautiful 8x60 Berry, Leige which was perfect, coming up like a it was made for me. 3000.00, all the way home I was thinking how to get it home!!!
    Cheers Karamoja

  7. #7
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  8. #8
    No it wasnt, though very similar, that looks slightly nicer! Oh god, I won't be able to sleep now for days, ahhhhhhh! Off to scheme now.......
    Karamoja

  9. #9
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    I wish I was sorry but it's just nice to see someone with my affliction!
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Greener Jim View Post
    8x57, I should have been clearer, I don't know how much a Zoli costs but I got the prices for the others from here http://www.roumaillac.com/80-carabin...ier-pas-cher#s[83][]:24702&s[9][]:849-3960&s[15][]:&s[10][]:&sid:4&h:leftColumn&ics:80&abs:YToxOntpOjA7aToyND cwMDt9&ob:price&ow:desc

    I just keep thinking about "one rifle to hunt the world" for everything that isn't the Big 5 and a 9.3x74r would fit that bill nicely despite the limitations of a express rifle. However, I don't really want to spend as much as a Browning or Heym (or similar prices rifles) and didn't know of the cheaper stuff was any good.

    The prices seem reasonable, but I guess you need to see them close up to check the condition, and see what fits. In general terms, with a good fit, the open sites will line up automatically.

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