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The World’s Fastest Centerfire Bolt Action Goes Polymer
in the New Merkel RX Helix Explorer

Click image to download high-res version

BESSEMER, Ala. (Jan. 22, 2014) — Having cast aside the century-old design of conventional bolt-action rifles in favor of its revolutionary straight-pull RX Helix that cycles faster than any other manually operated centerfire rifle, Merkel has taken the platform a step further with the introduction of the RX Helix Explorer, complete with a synthetic stock.

The RX Helix Explorer is a straight-pull design that retains all the strength and safety of a rotary bolt head with seven locking lugs as well as a fully enclosed, hard-anodized-aluminum action housing. The linear motion of the bolt handle is transmitted to the bolt head in a two-to-one ratio by way of an innovative transmission gearing system within the action, providing for smooth and fast cycling without the rotational or tipping movement found on other straight-pull bolt-action rifles.

The linear-bolt-action system of the RX Helix Explorer cycles extraordinarily fast, allowing more time for precise aiming and accurate follow-up shots. Since the RX Helix Explorer employs a closed action, the bolt body doesn’t travel outside that action, therefore the shooter can maintain cheekweld with eyes constantly on the target throughout the the bolt cycle. The bolt handle is also exceptionally easy to manipulate for left-handed shooters, as they can maintain cheekweld with the rear hand on the grip, while using the support hand to cycle the action.

The RX Helix Explorer features a tang-mounted manual-cocking lever and a direct-trigger system. The patented linkage-driven-hammer system provides maximum ignition energy for flawless operation as well as added confidence when hunting dangerous game.

A true takedown rifle to its roots, the RX Helix Explorer can be dismantled almost effortlessly in a matter of seconds without any tools for cleaning or transportation. The universal action length covers calibers from .222 Rem. to .300 Win. Mag., and changing calibers takes less than a minute with the appropriate barrel, bolt and magazine. Weaver rails are integrated into the action, and fast-acquisition iron sights with three-dot rear and one-dot front fiber-optic inserts are standard.

The RX Helix Explorer is available in a standard black configuration with the recoil-dampening synthetic stock, and it is available in a wide range of popular calibers including .222 Rem., .223 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5x55 SE, .270 Win., 7x64, .308 Win., .30-’06 Sprg., 8x57 IS, 9.3x62, 7mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag. Barrel lengths vary according to caliber, and additional barrels, bolts and magazines are available for caliber changes. The suggested retail price is $3,295.

For more information, contact Steyr Arms, 2530 Morgan Rd., Bessemer, AL 35022; call (205) 417-8644; or visit
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Click image to download high-res version

Click image to download high-res version

Click on image to download high-res version

Click on image to download high-res version

Click on image to download high-res version

Click on image to download high-res version

Merkel Rifle Specifications:


RX Helix Explorer


Hunting & target shooting


Merkel Jagd und Sportwaffen, GmbH

Schutzenstrasse 26

D-98527 Suhl, Germany


Steyr Arms, Inc.

2530 Morgan Rd.

Bessemer, AL  35022

(205) 417-8644  


Linear-bolt-action repeating rifle


Mini: .222 Rem., .223 Rem.; Standard: 6.5X55 Swe., .270 Win., 7X64, .308 Win, .30-’06 Sprg., 8X57 IS, 9.3X62mm; Magnum: 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag.

Magazine type/capacity:

Steel detachable box/3 rounds; 5-round magazine optional

Action material:

Hard-anodized aluminum


Cold-hammer-forged steel Mini: 20-inch; Standard: 22-inch; Magnum: 24-inch

Rifling :

CIP standard for caliber


Iron sights; integral Weaver rail


Tang-mounted manual cocking lever

Trigger type:

Two-stage direct

Pull weight:

2 lbs., 1 oz. - Adjustable

Stock material/type:




Length of pull:

14.4 inches

Drop at comb:

1.3 inches

Drop at heel:

2.7 inches

Recoil pad:

Elastomer; .6-inch thick

Sling swivels:



Laser-cut checkering on grip and foreend

Weight, empty:

6 lbs., 6.3 ozs.

Overall length:

42.1 inches (Standard)

Included accessories:

Owner’s manual, one detachable box magazine, plastic case, two Sling swivels


$3,295 (Standard)



* High-resolution images are also available upon request by contacting
Kimi Herndon at