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 Post subject: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:14 pm
Posts: 287
Does anyone out there know what year Merkel 201E O/U shotguns were started? I have one that was made between the world wars. Does Merkel still make the 201E? Thanks for your help. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:27 am
Posts: 90
Location: Central Illinois
Don't know when they first started (I have a 201e from 1952, and had a 200e from 1950).
They stopped making the 201e around the mid to late 90s. That series (the 200 series) was replaced by the 2000 series: the 2000el, 2001el, etc. Those guns no longer have leaf springs, among other slight changes (no cocking indicators, etc.). KarlJ or someone might give more detail here.

Some say that the quality of the modern Merkel over/unders is diminished. My Dad has a 2000el sporting, 20 gauge with 30" barrels. Compared it to my two older over/unders. Didn't look beneath the stock at the internal action; but it is clear that the level of handfitting and finishing on the older guns is nicer than on the new gun. And the engraving on the older guns is nicer and deeper. That being said, the wood on Dad's gun is far nicer than the wood on the older guns -- the new gun has beautiful luxus wood. All of the guns have that wonderful "pointability" that Merkels have -- the three piece forend just sits the gun perfectly in your hands. Dad has about 8,000 rounds through his Merkel. It is just now starting to open easily . . . My son will probably find it still tight when he inherits it from me!


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:34 pm
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Location: Quick! Trace this thread. Where am I?
Just in case you don't have this link, here are the current Merkel product offerings:

http://www.merkel-usa.com/products/rifles/

+1 on pointablility, and my recent vintage 1622EL has wood and fit comparable to Spanish best guns, which is pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:56 pm
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Location: E. MA
Quote:
Some say that the quality of the modern Merkel over/unders is diminished. My Dad has a 2000el sporting, 20 gauge with 30" barrels. Compared it to my two older over/unders. Didn't look beneath the stock at the internal action; but it is clear that the level of handfitting and finishing on the older guns is nicer than on the new gun. And the engraving on the older guns is nicer and deeper. That being said, the wood on Dad's gun is far nicer than the wood on the older guns -- the new gun has beautiful luxus wood. All of the guns have that wonderful "pointability" that Merkels have -- the three piece forend just sits the gun perfectly in your hands.


+1. I have a 1963 Merkel 203 and an early 2000s 2000EL Sporter. The fit and finish on the 203 is definitely better. I like the 2000EL, and it is a great target gun, but I had to have my gunsmith fix a few finish things that the factory should have caught. He is Russian and loves Merkels, but feels the same way about the newer guns vs the earlier ones.

Re pointability, I am convinced there are no other OUs that point better than a Merkel - and probably more than a few sxs that aren't as good either.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:14 pm
Posts: 287
Thanks for your great responses. I really find your thoughts on "pointability" really interesting! It seems to me that pointability would be a personal thing, but two of you feel the same way, and I'm in that camp as well. There must be some truth in this. I've always wondered what one of those British O/U like a Boss & Co. would feel like when you shouldered one of them? I also agree that the older merkels have better fit (metal to wood) and not so good wood. My 201E was made in 1930 (12 ga. 28" IC & Cyl) and the engraving is superior, but the wood is just average. I'm not sure that my Merkel is even broken yet. Thanks agian. john


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:27 am
Posts: 90
Location: Central Illinois
The late gunwriter Don Zutz (whose favorite gun was a Merkel o/u) said, "Nothing points like a Merkel." Or something close to that.

I think anyone who owns a Merkel o/u will agree.

I've got a good friend who has a lovely collection of old side by sides, most of which are the old (pre-war) Sauers that are just beautiful to view and a delight to carry and shoot (most weigh right at 6 lbs and have 29 or 30" barrels). He also has a gorgeous English sidelock 16 gauge, with 28" barrels, that weighs 5 lbs. 14 oz.

He is retired and hunts every day during the season (pheasant and quail). He's always taken one of his nice side by sides. He is an excellent wing shooter (and does well at sporting clays too).

Two years ago, after seeing my Merkel 200e 16 gauge, he bought his own 16 gauge 201e (circa 1951). Nice gun, but not nearly as "pretty" as any of his side by sides.

He no longer uses the side by sides -- just takes the Merkel. Says he shoots it better than anything else.

'Nuff said.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 am
Posts: 51
Thanks for all of the great info posted in this post.

I just purchased a Merkel 12 Ga O/U - looks like it's a 200/201 - how do you tell what the model is and its date?


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:27 am
Posts: 90
Location: Central Illinois
Congratulations on your purchase.

Merkel 200e has arabasque scroll engraving.

Merkel 201e has game scene engraving.

Date code should be beneath the barrels and above the lugs on the left hand side. Will be something like 1152, which means the gun was proofed May, 1952, or 674, which of course would be proofed in June, 1974.

Post some photos so we can all share in your purchase!

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 am
Posts: 51
Tom,

Thanks - I'm pretty sure it's a 200 - based on further digging yesterday, which matches what you said. It gets delivered to the gun club this Sunday (I'm in Japan, so gun control is pretty strict), so I'll look for the date stamp and proof marks then and take some pics. I'd post the pics, but I've yet to figure how how to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 am
Posts: 51
Here's the 200E I just purchased.

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:18 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:27 am
Posts: 90
Location: Central Illinois
That's a lovely example of a 200e. Where did you find it? Do you know how much it weighs? I'll be curious to see the date. My guess is 1950s.

I have a 201e in 20 gauge that weighs just over 6 lbs. Lovely gun. I had a 16 gauge 200e that weighed in at 6 lbs. 7 oz that I shot really well, and foolishly traded on a Caesar Guerini sporting clays gun. Love the Caesar, but miss carrying my 16 in the field.

There's a nice article about a Merkel o/u in the Winter 2011 Double Gun journal.

Congratulations again,

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 am
Posts: 51
Tom,

Thanks for listing the Winter 2011 DGJ article, but I cannot get to it. I can't find anything past 2010 on thier website. How to I get the article?

I got the gun in Japan - am stationed here in the Marine Corps. I'll get the gun this weekend, so I'll check the stamps for manufacture date. And see how it shoots :).

Thanks,
Patrick


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:09 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:27 am
Posts: 90
Location: Central Illinois
Patrick,

I actually also have a second Doublegun Journal article on the Merkel o/u from the Spring 2008 issue (I think).

PM me with your email address. I'll look for the articles this weekend, and assuming I can find them (and I should, as I kept the issues just because of those articles), I'll scan and email them to you on Monday or Tuesday when I'm back in the office.

Let me know what you think when you actually get the gun

Have a good one,

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Mercel 201E O/U Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 am
Posts: 51
Tom,

I got the gun today - posted pics in a seperate post (Merkel 200 or 200E?).
It was made in Feb '61 - shot great - full/full chocks, so it was a bit tough on the skeet range. Check out the other post.

Thanks,
Patrick


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