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 Post subject: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:59 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
I have inherited an old Merkel O/U. Trying to figure out the choke on the 2 barrels. I can’t decipher the hieroglyphics on the barrel. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
https://share.icloud.com/photos/0NFJDx4XafuzfjTp4IR6BwTmQ
Image




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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:54 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 23204
Welcome! That pic is of the proofmarks; the choke markings will be on the barrel.

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The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:55 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:56 pm
Posts: 455
The great majority of Merkel O/U come from the factory as F/F or M/F.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:30 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
oneounceload wrote:
Welcome! That pic is of the proofmarks; the choke markings will be on the barrel.

Looked all over the barrel but see nothing except a serial number and “BOHLER STAHL” and “Weichlot”.

There is a “KJ” in the corner?


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
The 156 in the pic I sent apparently indicates that the gun was manufactured in January 1956.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
Oh yeah, the barrel is 26” almost exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:34 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1680
Location: Northeast Ohio
Good on you for having a family heirloom, with priceless sentimental value, if that's how you feel about it.

My two inherited guns from my dad would garner little to no interest from other shooters, but to me they are to be cherished. One I never use, (but I think of him each time I see or handle it), but I'm going to make it a point to shoot a rabbit or two per year with it the rest of my life.

The other, I use as a back up, and make sure I hunt at least dove, one time per year with it; often saying to my self "that one's for you Dad" when I drop a bird.

Merkel O/U are great works of craftsmanship. I'd love to own one. They are known for tight chokes I believe.

I'd have the chokes measured by someone who knows what their doing, have it reamed for what's appropriate for your needs if necessary, and then use the HECK out of it. Cherished memories included.

I'd get a kick out of using that gun, wondering where and under what circumstances it had been used since the 50's; and by whom. Crafted during the cold war; maybe (likely ) used in Europe, even behind the Iron Curtain perhaps, taking game we don't have here, observing customs we don't observe here? Or was it imported and spent it's previous life in the USA? If only that gun could talk!

Enjoy! You have an absolute classic there.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
Grouse Gunner wrote:
Good on you for having a family heirloom, with priceless sentimental value, if that's how you feel about it.

My two inherited guns from my dad would garner little to no interest from other shooters, but to me they are to be cherished. One I never use, (but I think of him each time I see or handle it), but I'm going to make it a point to shoot a rabbit or two per year with it the rest of my life.

The other, I use as a back up, and make sure I hunt at least dove, one time per year with it; often saying to my self "that one's for you Dad" when I drop a bird.

Merkel O/U are great works of craftsmanship. I'd love to own one. They are known for tight chokes I believe.

I'd have the chokes measured by someone who knows what their doing, have it reamed for what's appropriate for your needs if necessary, and then use the HECK out of it. Cherished memories included.

I'd get a kick out of using that gun, wondering where and under what circumstances it had been used since the 50's; and by whom. Crafted during the cold war; maybe (likely ) used in Europe, even behind the Iron Curtain perhaps, taking game we don't have here, observing customs we don't observe here? Or was it imported and spent it's previous life in the USA? If only that gun could talk!

Enjoy! You have an absolute classic there.

The name engraved on one side indicates it was being made for a gunshop in Zurich. I know my father-in-law bought it in Switzerland in the early 70s.


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:33 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:56 pm
Posts: 9
Would anyone make a 20 gauge shotgun barrel that was 26” for anything but improved cylinder? Skeet?


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 Post subject: Re: Merkel O/U choke ?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:52 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:03 pm
Posts: 139
Having a qualified smith measure the bore diameter and the actual constriction in the last 4 inches of the muzzle is the only way to determine current choke constriction of that shotgun. It is 65 years old so who knows what has been done to the chokes over that time.

The drop in brass choke gauges are only accurate if the bore is of a standard diameter (i.e. .729 r 12 gauge). My Merkel 12 gauge O/U has bores measuring .724 so it is under-bored by 5 thousandths right there. My actual measurements on this gun were full and extra full.

Merkel also used to mark the factory choke constrictions on the face of the ejectors at the breech. This chart is from their O/U manual in the mid 1990s. I am not sure if that marking practice was followed in 1956

Choke
Identification / Description / Pattern Percentage /Distance
1/1 Full Choke 70 - 75 35m
3/4 Improved Modified Choke 65 - 70 35m
1/2 Modified Choke 60 -65 35m
1/4 Quarter Choke 55 - 60 35m
VZ Improved 45 - 50 35m
Cylinder Choke
S Skeet 70 - 75 20m


Hope this helps.




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