Merkel K3 and K5 single-shot rifles – review

The Merkel K series isn’t the gun for everyone; it’s a top-lever break-barrel single-shot rifle that you wouldn’t choose for a big deer culling job or pest control.

But the K3 and now the K5 have a loyal following among hunting purists who are all about the one perfect shot. They love the idea of a light, single-shot rifle that’s easy to take on hunting trips and perfect for mountain hunting in the Alps, or taking a roe buck or red stag closer to home.

Andy Norris, from distributors Viking Arms, has made some great memories with his own K3

“You won’t find anything nicer or more pleasant to carry,” says Andy Norris from UK distributors Viking Arms. He had his own K3 personalised with his name engraved on the sideplates, something that Viking offer as a service to anyone who buys one of these rifles.

“I love the idea of a rifle that’s a travel companion I can take anywhere, and that’s what I’ve done with this rifle,” he says. “That’s what I’ve done with this rifle – this gun here carries a lot of memories for me, and that’s the whole thing about hunting with a traditional rifle, it’s making memories.”

The gun's open sights can be removed to fit a conventional scope

Andy’s gun is a K3 which, he explains, is now being superseded by the K5. That gun has a light, quiet top tang safety catch, removable open sights and a six-position adjustable trigger.

It’s ergonomic and light weight, at just 2.3kg. There are various options including an octagonal or fluted barrel, stock configurations and different grades of wood.

It’s available in all the popular calibres including .223, .243, .270, .308 and 6.5mm. Prices start from £3,470.

Find out more at the Viking Sporting website.

Have you used the Merkel K3 or K5 rifle? Join in the conversation – share your experience in the comments on Youtube.

Check out our other rifle reviews on Fieldtester.

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