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The versatile Merkel rifle range available from Viking Arms

Merkel Viking

Suhl in Germany is surrounded by forests and snowy mountain slopes, offering spectacular scenery and, of course, hunting opportunities. 

It is also the centre of German gunmaking and the home of Merkel, which has been a part of the gunmaking heritage there since the 17th century.  

Given this location and expertise it is hardly surprising that Merkel has an unparalleled understanding of the hunting rifle and the many different forms it should take. 

A rifle for every hunter

Whether you are an avid stalker, a seasonal hunter, a professional land manager or take stalking trips abroad, you will find a Merkel rifle that suits your aims perfectly. 

This is because the company has studied the needs of individual shooters intently, listened to their requests and designed rifle technology accordingly, with precision German engineering. 

Entry level and professional range

These rifles in the Helix range include the Explorer, Alpinist and the Speedster

Heritage range

These are beautifully finished in wood and comprise the K5 Black, Arabesque and the Noblesque. 

Practical Helix design

The Helix rifle range has a modular design, which means you can change barrels or stocks to increase its usage potential even further, with different calibres and sighting options. 

The modular facility also means you can disassemble with ease when travelling so the rifle’s presence remains discreet. 

Viking is the distributor for Merkel and you can find your nearest dealer here

Merkel Helix Speedster

The Merkel Helix Speedster

Rifles for professional deer managers and keen recreational stalkers

Users of these rifles are going to be looking for reliability and robust design. Their rifles will be used on an almost daily basis for deer culling and pest control, so there needs to be an element of flexibility in the design. Merkel has come up with some useful solutions. 

The rifles feature synthetic materials, the latest engineering and all have a keen following.

Merkel Explorer



  • Excellent entry level choice 
  • Reliable
  • Hardwearing
  • Threaded for a moderator
  • Built-in picatinny rail allows swift change from scope to night vision or thermal

Read ShootingUK’s Bruce Potts’ review of the Merkel Helix Explorer

merkel speedster



  • Adjustable memory comb gives it more versatility for different sighting options
  • “Bridgeless” thumbhole stock allows faster follow up shots 
  • Reliable
  • Hardwearing
  • Threaded for a moderator
  • Built-in picatinny rail allows swift change from scope to night vision to thermal 

Watch the review of the Merkel Helix Speedster

Merkel Alpinist


  • Good handling for fast shooting
  • Adjustable stock
  • Threaded

Sam MacArthur, MD at Viking Arms, comments: “The Speedster and the Alpinist employ state-of-the-art engineering and synthetic materials, which not only gives improved performance, ergonomics and durability, but also the luxury of a tool-less field strip for field cleaning and ease of transport.”

Rifles for recreational stalkers 

If you’re the type of sportsman who lives for that annual trip to the Scottish hill to stalk reds or the Roe rut throughout Europe then you need a rifle you can appreciate for its beauty as well as its performance. A rifle that your friends will envy

Merkel appreciates this sentiment and has created the Heritage range with fine engraving upgrades if requested and beautifully graded wood.

Merkel K5


Merkel K3 and K5

  • Light weight
  • Top-lever, break barrel single-shot take down rifles
  • Ideally suited to mountainous surroundings and equally a joy to carry on any stalk
  • K5 weights just 2.3kg 

Lighter-weight rifle that will be welcomed by the hunter scaling steep pathways, particularly as the hours of the day wear on. 

These rifles are for the shooter who is a perfectionist about taking that one shot, which could be in the mountains or on lowlands anywhere. Or take the K5 on a hunting expedition to the African plains, when you’re just after that one perfect shot and keen to carry something that won’t encumber you whilst travelling. 

Watch TGS Outdoors’ review of the Merkel K5 hunting rifle


Helix Noblesse

Merkel Helix Noblesse

Merkel Helix Arabesque and Noblesse

Straight pull rifles

  • The eponymous Arabesque rifle is finely engraved with the scrolling and foliage of the Arabesque design. 
  • A high grade walnut stock makes the Noblesse a rifle of beauty

Watch TGS Outdoors’ review of the Merkel Arabesque


Whilst weightier, the Arabesque and Noblesse do offer the facility of more than one shot. They are likely to draw admiring glances. 

Merkel rifle

Rifles for travelling hunters 

Here the word is versatility. The stalker might be after deer in the UK, wild boar or out on the African plains. 

Merkel has carefully considered these demands and designed rifles that will meet these various needs. Of course all rifles in the Helix range are modular, which allows them to be disassembled without tools, facilitating travelling. 

The fast bolt action of the Helix range is key for running game, like driven boar in Europe. (Those looking for a single shot lightweight rifle should consider the K5.)

Traditionalists will also appreciate the Merkel double rifle, made in medium calibres all the way up to 470 Nitro Express, for the biggest of game. 

The larger guns do have a larger price tag but they are hand-made, well-balanced, mount and move beautifully. In addition, they give you the security of knowing you have the back-up of a double trigger. As Andy Norris says: “You’re not relying on an inertia system. It’s 100% reliable.”

Watch the review of the Merkel double rifle

Merkel K5

Merkel K5

Merkel double rifle

Merkel Double Rifle


Watch Chris Dalton’s Fieldcraft expertise in action here.