Due to modern technology features and the optics trends of recent years, hunting rifles are unfortunately becoming heavier and heavier. For example because of silencers or night and/or thermal vision technology. With its new carbon stock, Merkel, the well-known manufacturer from Suhl, Germany, has taken on these challenges for the Helix bolt-action rifle. This saves the hunter a whole 14 oz/400 grams of weight, but it does not have to do without functional highlights such as the height-adjustable cheek piece or an soft-touch inserts for the best feel on the forend, buttstock and pistol grip.
And the Helix Carbon also features the Merkel take-down system, of course. After all, the Helix was designed not only for hunting, but also for getting there. At Merkel, the magic word for disassembling a hunting rifle without tools is take-down. With the bolt-barrel assembly, Merkel has perfected the classic take-down into series production. The Helix models can be practically disassembled to briefcase size in three easy steps. Even less experienced users can do this in just a few seconds.
Features of the new carbon stock for the Merkel Helix
As Merkel points out, various aspects are diametrically opposed in the development of the stock: on the one hand, the hunter wants ergonomics, variability for different body sizes, robustness and insensitivity. On the other hand, the stock of a hunting rifle should also be light and aesthetically pleasing. Carbon, as a material, can combine all of these in an excellent way. "The material communicates well," says Merkel's head of marketing Jean Freyeisen about the look of the composite material, "the carbon look is characteristic and sends clear signals; it stands for high-tech and premium. Carbon is also a statement."
However, not all carbon is the same. Particularly in the practical application of the material, different mixtures can result in different characteristics. In the case of a rifle stock, the difference is primarily defined by how the relationship between recoil absorption and rigidity is balanced. Merkel is taking the functional route with the Helix Carbon, and has sought out an aerospace and premium automotive supplier of composite parts as a production and development partner. "For a rifle stock made of carbon, the weight, robustness and dynamic damping performance of the material are crucial," says Andreas Maurer, who is responsible for product management at Merkel. But above that, ergonomic functionality shouldn't be forgotten: "We've packed everything into this high-tech stock that's needed for precise shooting."
The features of the new Merkel Helix Carbon in detail
The lightest stock in the Helix stock range is particularly suitable for hunters on mountain, stalking or driven hunts. For this purpose, they can adapt the Helix Carbon entirely to their needs and physical characteristics: the stock length, for example, through different thicknesses of the recoil pad. They also compensate for different clothing thicknesses depending on the season. The continuously adjustable cheek piece is intended to ensure a secure, quick aiming – regardless of which optics are mounted. Push-button sling swivels and a bipod adapter are on board as standard – according to Merkel, a tribute to mountain hunting, where the Carbon is intended to make the most of its weight advantages.
Merkel Helix Carbon specs at a glance
- Removable driven hunting sights (Merkel i-Sight System).
- Single stage trigger (trigger pull weight: 900-1,900 g)
- Picatinny rail
- M15x1 muzzle thread
- Slide-in magazine, magazine capacity: 3 cartridges
- Carbon stock
- Hammer forged barrel
- Manual cocking
- Adjustable cheekpiece
- Push button sling swivel and bipod adapter in forend
- Standard barrel Ø 17 cm
- Weight 2,8 kg
- 7 calibers available
|Caliber ||Twist Rate|
|.30-06 Spr.||1:28.0 cm|
|.270 Win.||1: 25.4 cm|
|8x57 IS||1:23.8 cm|
|.308 Win.||1:30.5 cm|
|.300 Win. Mag.||1:28.0 cm|
|7 mm Rem. Mag.||1:24.0 cm|
Many of the features of the new Merkel Helix Carbon come directly from automotive engineering: in Cotesa, the Saxon composite material specialist, Merkel has found a partner who has mastered both noble appearance and functionality. From fine automotive engineering, for example, comes the robust and pressure-resistant soft-touch material that is permanently crosslinked with the carbon of the stock. With a thickness of 1.5 mm, it provides a good grip on the areas that the shooter grips or where his/her cheek rests. Cotesa also manufactures fine interiors for luxury sports cars.
The stocks are made in three parts by hand – Made in Germany. In total, the buttstock weighs 404 grams, the forend 245 grams – together with the action and barrel, the Helix Carbon only weighs around 2.8 kg, depending on the barrel. It is available in all Helix calibers. Launch of the new bolt-action rifle is July 2022 and the non-binding retail price of the Merkel Helix Carbon starts at 5,949 euros including VAT.
As mentioned at the beginning, we will be able to take a closer look at the new Merkel Helix Carbon at the upcoming Jagd & Hund 2022 fair in Germany. Of course, we will then provide you with all additional information, personal impressions and a first video.