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The MERKEL Challenge – a complete package for adventurers
What would a Helix look like if it were fitted out for the toughest hunting situations on every continent? MERKEL's answer to this question is Helix Challenge – the richly traditional German manufacturer from Suhl has upgraded the 'nimble old lady from Suhl' with all features that define a truly professional hunting rifle in the most challenging of situations and under the most inclement weather conditions. And they packed some additional goodies to make it even more efficient in the field. Once a 'concept rifle' developed for professional hunters and Special Forces trainers, it has now become a 'limited edition' – a perfect and well-rounded package for discerning adventurers.
The metal components of the MERKEL Helix Challenge come with a special surface treatment: a specifically designed, annealed coating covers the outside of the barrel and action. This high-tech surface is abrasion-resistant, ultra-thin and immensely robust – also providing complete protection against corrosion. This lends the coated metal outstanding chemical resistance, ideal weather resistance and excellent resistance to salt spray. There is no need to oil or otherwise protect weapon components treated in this way. The feel of the coating is pleasantly anti-slip, even velvety.
The stock of the MERKEL Helix Challenge is made of a high-tech plastic and designed in two-tone to match the annealed finishing. The range of different hues found covering the taiga expanses inspired the color-coding of metal surfaces and stock. Alternatively, the plastic stock is available in camouflage look.
The material dampens noise and absorbs recoil. The straight butt of the rifle transfers the recoil directly to the shoulder – even with high calibers, the combination of material and geometry makes the rifle insensitive to muzzle jump. Requiring no tools, the height of the cheek-piece is infinitely adjustable to ensure the rifle can be perfectly tailored to any shooting position. The forearm has an adapter to mount (optional) bipods.
The new MERKEL Helix Challenge is designed for the 9.3x62, .30-06., .308 Win. and 7x64 calibers, which are standard worldwide. The matching five-shot magazine is made of sheet steel and is likewise provided with a special coating. MERKEL offers the rifle in two barrel versions – both with a grooved 19-millimeter semi weight diameter: producing a length of 560 mm, with muzzle brake and without sights in the calibers .30-06 and 7x64. The barrel in the calibers .308 and 9.3x62 is a mere 510 mm in length, and comes equipped with a drive-hunt sight.
The Challenge-Edition of the MERKEL Helix is sold with a custom-made airtight hard case – together with a color-coded LEICA telescopic sight (2.5-16x50) and an AIMPOINT red-dot sight. Without sight, the rifle weighs around 2.9 kilos and is 107 cm or 102 cm in length.