FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
First of all, the basic production of the components does not differentiate that much in the Merkel manufacture, be it a hand-made masterpiece or a modern Helix. Modern CNC production centres produce the components; the legendary Suhl barrels come from a cold forging machine. Then the differentiation starts. The difference for the customer: In a masterpiece like a 303 O/U shotgun the steel and wooden components are fitted together by hand – and finished or custom adjusted to the customers wishes. A helix is constructed in a way that allows all the rifle’s parts to be interchangeable. While hunter needs a gunsmith to adjust his masterpiece, he can adjust most parts of his Helix himself – all the way to changing the barrel and calibre.
Merkel does employ own engravers, who pay tribute to the century old artistic manufacture of hunting rifles in Thuringia. These engravers offer, next to individual engravings, also a number of standardised engraving models for masterpieces. Those experienced engravers at Merkel can apply even the most unusual customers wishes, either after a template or after an agreed sketch, to the metal.
Every gunsmith with a workshop can repair Merkel rifles. Furthermore for example Frankonia offers a special repair and spare part service in Germany for Merkel.
Merkel rifles are exclusively sold by licenced retailers and gunsmiths. The sale of rifles is limited to people with the necessary permits.
Merkel exclusively sells their products via licensed retailers.
The helix has a direct trigger with finely tuned characteristics. Optionally available is the super-crisp precision trigger TAR-GT with a wide, riffled trigger, which is freely adjustable between 500g and 1500g trigger weight.
As a standard the Helix has a finely sanded, oiled stock with a straight comb, check piece, rubber butt plate and pistol grip with cap. For the quick take-down, detachable sling swivels are used. The synthetic stock of the Explorer variant comes without a cheek piece and a straight comb. This synthetic stock is also available with a height adjustable cheek piece.
The standard barrel has a muzzle diameter of 17mm. Semi-weight barrels have a 19mm muzzle diameter. Important advantage. When changing between different barrel types, the fore-end does not have to be exchanged.
The precision of every helix, also after changing the barrel is tested during test firing and only after satisfying every quality criteria it is deemed fit to be sold. A “seating shot”, which ensures, that the barrel properly “seats” itself into the system is, in our experience, not necessary if the clamping lever under the fore-end is moved 2-3 times while the barrel is fully pushed into the system. Generally speaking, a prove shot should be done after taking the gun apart for transport, to ensure precision of rifle and scope.
The take-down of a Helix is very easy and only requires a couple of steps. Still these steps should be done very carefully to ensure the functioning of the product and to satisfy the safety responsibilities of a hunter. Some steps for the tool-less take-down and putting together of the Helix include:
1. The operating of the clamping lever 2-3 times.
2. The correct positioning of the fore-end in the receptor until the pressure button locks into position. The proper fix of the fore-end has to be checked before mounting the sling swivels. Especially with wooden fore-ends, which can contort under humidity, this fix control has to be done carefully.
A completely left-handed version of the Helix is not available and also not currently planned.
The delivery of the Helix Speedster will begin at the end of March 2018.
The new SpeedStock can be mounted to every Helix variant.
The new SpeedStock will be available as a spare part from the end of 2018 onwards. The price will be announced then.