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Early SKB or Weatherby versus Merkel

This is a discussion on Early SKB or Weatherby versus Merkel within the Merkel Shotgun Forum forums, part of the Shotgun Forums by Model category; Hey All Coming into my retirement years I seem to have caught the classic shotgun build bug. I have the shop, the machining experience, and ...



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Old 12-09-2020, 05:52 AM   #1
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Early SKB or Weatherby versus Merkel

Hey All
Coming into my retirement years I seem to have caught the classic shotgun build bug. I have the shop, the machining experience, and maybe the time and money at the same time for once to actually set up on a small scale. I have been looking off and on for a Merkel 210E in 16 gauge and 8mm S bore for a long while, but so far only find the J bores from the 1920's or so. I have enough inventory to sell to afford one probably. The thought has occurred to me that the SKB 500's and Weatherby Orions I encounter occasionally might be candidates for a similar build. Of course the chassis is a 700-800 initial investment even if you find the deal, but that is chump change compared to the cost of a decent Merkel. These Japanese clones are hell for stout according to my long term gunsmith friends. How closely are they patterned after the older Merkels?
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:18 PM   #2
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The SKB is not exactly a Merkel clone but is well-designed and extremely strong as well.
I have three Merkel guns and am not likely to get rid of any of them - but there is nothing wrong with that SKB.
The only Weatherby Orion that I have seen had a barrel separation issue that would have required re-barreling at a higher cost than the gun was worth when new.
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Old 12-11-2020, 05:57 AM   #3
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I encountered an early Weatherby Orion by SKB a few months ago in wonderful condition for $700 locally. I passed cause I get distracted so easily, and I am determined to see my current build completely through to the end. That Orion with the barrel separation would have made the perfect project, the trigger mech is not usable as is, and only the monobloc possibly usable from the barrel group. Wow, no job. Just grind, file, mill, sand, blacksmith, farm, remodel, chase the Mrs. around, and fit parts till I fall over.
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