Merkel RX Helix Explorer

Helix Explorer

New for 2014 is the RX Helix Explorer from Merkel.  Like the original RX Helix, the Explorer is a straight pull bolt design that is said to be extremely fast.  The new Explorer is designed to be more resistant to the elements when outdoors with a synthetic stock and new matte black finish.

Helix Explorer

Like the original rifle, the Explorer is a take down rifle.  Take down does not require any tools, and with a new barrel, bolt and magazine, the shooter can change to any of 12 different calibers.  Caliber choices cover popular American and European cartridges.

Helix Explorer

The Helix Explorer shown with optional accessories.

Weaver rails are located on the receiver for the addition of glass, and the guns come with iron sights.  MSRP is $3,295.

Helix Explorer camo

Available Calibers:

  • .222 Rem
  • .223 Rem
  • .243 Win
  • 6.5×55 SE
  • .270 Win
  • 7×64
  • .308 Win
  • .30-06 Sprg
  • 8×57 IS
  • 9.3×62
  • 7mm Rem Mag
  • .300 Win Mag

Helix Explorer camo

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • vitor

    Im a big fan of the straight pull concept, glad to ser it being executed.

    • Mike N.

      Yeah, it’s a shame Merkels are so expensive — I’ve always wanted one or a Blaser, but you can basically buy a full custom built around any of several quality Rem. 700 clone actions for that kind of money.

      • Marc

        But then all you have is a Remington 700 clone with its 19th century 90° turnbolt.

        • Petter By

          Indeed. I have the Merkel RX Helix in 6,5×55, great rifle and has not let me down yet. Taking down the rifle and putting it together (scope and barrel, scope being in merkel one piece mount) shows no noticeable POI change.

    • clinton notestine

      ive got an old m95 straight pull thats a joy to shoot except the ammo cost an arm and a leg.

  • I got a chance to handle these at SHOT earlier this year. The action is butter smooth (as you would expect for that kind of money!). The quick caliber change feature is awesome.

  • FourString

    .308 Win? Wha?

  • FourString

    So yall are gon do a review on this, yesh??

  • mechamaster

    Very interesting straight-pull bolt action rifle. The lenght of rotating bolt head is very short like

    Sommer & Ockenfuss Shorty. Toolless fieldstripping and modularity is nice and easy feature too.

  • iksnilol

    Can you use the same magazine for 306 and 260?

    • Petter By

      I would like to tell you yes, although not 100% sure. The 308 mag also works for 6,5×55 and 270 so I would assume so

  • Alex Nicolin

    In my opinion, Blaser R8 is better, and it costs the same, or a bit less. The action is more compact, and the mount is on the barrel, not the receiver, like the Merkel. It’s also quick detachable, so you can swap both the barrel and the optics in seconds. You can also swap them together, without loss of zero.

    • Petter By

      Not as quick as the helix, still requires tools. As for the scope mount, thats up to you, but with a proper quality scope mount it does basically the same, it doesnt change the point of impact. As for being 5-7cm more compact, sure, but the pull of the bolt is still longer, and you get the disadvantage of a not-so-easy magazine swap.

  • Hunter57dor

    looks intriguing. not sure if it is 6 paychecks worth of cash intriguing though.

    • maodeedee

      Intriguing? Is that a polite way of saying ugly? My opinion is that when form follows function you have a design that is timeless. But when you take something like a firearm and try to tart it up or jazz it up and make it look modernistic or futuristic, the design ends up an aesthetic failure.

      The Merkel single-shot, now that is a timeless ad aesthetically inspiring design that’s worth a premium price. .

      • Petter By

        Ill have to disagree, I like the way it looks.