The latest addition to Merkel’s Helix line of rifles is the Merkel Helix Carbon. As its name implies, the new Helix Carbon features carbon fiber furniture which is what sets it apart from its siblings in the Helix family. Let’s take a closer look.
Merkel @ TFB:
Premium high-tech made in Germany: The Helix Carbon is the perfect synthesis of one of the most advanced hunting rifle concepts with a new type of stock made of a composite material. The new lightness of carbon saves weight and fits the times as a countermovement, because more and more functional attachments make the rifle heavier. Helix Carbon convinces with much more than a perfect finish of the stock: The dynamic damping performance of the material makes shooting comfortable, the back of the stock can be individually adjusted to the shooter and everything together is just as robust as a new generation hunting rifle should be.
Merkel Helix Carbon is a straight-pull bolt action rifle with a rotating bolt lockup and quick-change barrel system. Like other Helix rifles, the Helix Carbon is offered in three caliber groups: Mini (.222 Rem, .223 Rem), Standard (.243 Win, .270 Win, 7x64mm, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, 8x57IS, 9,3x62mm) and Magnum (.300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag, 7mm Rem. Mag). The rifle is fed from 3-round detachable box magazines with 5-rounders available optionally.
The Merkel Helix Carbon rifle is available with two different barrel profiles, both equipped with iron sights and muzzles threaded with the metric 15x1mm thread pitch. Depending on the caliber and barrel profile choice, the barrel lengths vary from 470mm to 610mm (18.5″ to 24″). The overall length with a 56cm (22″) barrel is 107cm (42″). The overall weight starts from 2.8 kilograms (about 6lbs 3oz).
The carbon fiber stock of the Merkel Helix Carbon rifle features Soft-Touch inlays, an adjustable cheekpiece, a toolless recoil pad changing system for adjusting the length of pull, QD sling swivels and a bipod adapter. The trigger pull weight can be adjusted within the 900 to 1900-gram range (2lb to 4lb 3oz). Other features of the Merkel Helix Carbon rifle include the integrated Picatinny rail on the receiver and manual cocking lever.
I think what is missing to make this rifle fully fit the latest fashion trends is a carbon fiber wrapped barrel. What I like about this trend of using ultralightweight materials like carbon fiber and titanium in bolt action rifles is that now so many rifles can be configured into a Scout Rifle in terms of meeting Colonel Cooper’s weight requirements, something that only select rifle makers were able to achieve in the not-so-distant past. Let us know in the comments what you think about the Merkel Helix Carbon rifle and the carbon fiberization of hunting rifles in general.
Pictures by Merkel Jagd- und Sportwaffen GmbH, www.merkel-die-jagd.de