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303 series sidelock over and under


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By the 1920s Merkel had perfected the over-and-under gun to such a degree that development work was started on building the ideal rifle - the ultimate over-and-under gun. The product was supposed to make history - in the hunting grounds as well as on the sports shooting ranges of the world. The 303 series was developed with the intention of combining the most sophisticated technology with a perfect appearance to make the ideal over-and-under gun. And in 1924 Merkel actually managed to launch an archetype; an over-and-under gun which has been replicated in different parts of the world. Often copied but never matched. The 303 over-andunder gun remains the original, virtually unchanged since its inception, still made with a high proportion of handwork. For the former president of the International Shooting Sport Federation, the Mexican Olegario Vázquez Raña, it is “the queen of hunting guns” - one of the best balanced guns in the world. The interaction of all the components of a 303 series gun is equivalent to that of mechanical watch. The sidelock with its V-springs is in fact an energy storage system, which calls to mind the master watchmaker Henlein’s first experiences with spring steel - and the first pocket watches. The two sidelocks can be detached via a concealed sidelock lever and shine in fine technical elegance. These sidelocks are the highlights of the handcraft of the action maker. V-springs reach a tension force of up to 250 Newton and transfer this stored energy to the hammer more rapidly and explosively than coil springs. The shot development time is considerably shortened. This is the time from pulling the trigger to the time the shot leaves the barrel. These fragile milliseconds, in which the marksman has nothing to do except hold his gun on target, are crucial to sporting and hunting success - and experienced marksmen value every reduction as a quantum leap. The V-spring was and is one of the most vital solutions to this problem. The 303 series shows the importance Merkel attaches to safety. The rifle has four stand-alone locking mechanisms. The main load is born by the Kersten cross bolt with double bottom bite. This is supplemented by a locking element called "the circle” at Merkel. When a shot is fired, this component ensures form-fitted power transmission between the barrel and the receiver.

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