Merkel RX Helix Bolt Action Rifle Reinvents the Classic Bolt-Action

Merkel RX Helix Bolt Action Rifle
Merkel RX Helix Bolt Action Rifle

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. —( Merkel has cast aside traditional workings of the bolt-action design that has reigned supreme for more than a century, and it has created a truly revolutionary design of bolt action that cycles in half the length of the conventional system.

This new Merkel rifle is the linear-bolt-action Merkel RX Helix, and it stands as the fastest operating centerfire bolt action in the world.

The modern repeating bolt-action rifle hasn’t changed much since the introduction of the Model 98 back in 1898 by famed gunmaker Paul Mauser. One afternoon in hunting camp, 112 years after Mauser created his bolt-action design, a pair of Merkel engineers decided it was time to create the next generation of bolt-action rifle. After a lengthy collaboration, the pair came up with a design for the rifle that would ultimately become the revolutionary RX Helix—a design that is nothing short of genius.

Amazingly, while the RX Helix is a straight-pull rifle, it retains 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 RX Helix’s linear motion of the bolt handle is transmitted to the bolt head at a ratio of one-to-two by way of a revolutionary transmission gearing system, providing for smooth and fast cycling without the rotational or tipping movement found on other straight-pull bolt-action rifles.

The Merkel linear-bolt-action system cycles exceptionally fast, which allows more time for aiming and accurate follow-up shots. Since the RX Helix employs a closed action, the bolt body doesn’t travel outside that action, therefore the shooter can maintain cheekweld with an eye on the target as he cycles the bolt. The RX Helix’s bolt handle is also exceptionally easy to manipulate for left-handed shooters, as they can maintain cheekweld while using the support hand to cycle the action.

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

A true takedown rifle for exceptionally easy packing, the RX Helix can be dismantled almost effortlessly in a matter of seconds without tools for cleaning or transportation. The RX Helix has a universal action length that 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 is available in a standard black configuration as well as four levels of design—Arabesque, Wild Boar, Spirit and Deluxe. An all-carbon-fiber version is also available either with or without a carbon-wrapped barrel. The RX Helix is available in a wide range of popular calibers including .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. and .300 Win. Mag. Barrel lengths vary according to caliber, and additional barrels, bolts and magazines are available for caliber changes. The MSRP for the standard black rifle with Grade 2 wood is $3,795.

Merkel Rifle Specifications

  • Model: RX Helix
  • Purpose: Hunting & target shooting
  • Manufacturer: Merkel Jagd und Sportwaffen, GmbH
  • Operation: Linear-bolt-action repeating rifle
  • Caliber: 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
  • Barrel: Cold-hammer-forged steel Mini: 20-inch; Standard: 22-inch; Magnum: 24-inch
  • Rifling : CIP standard for caliber
  • Sights: Iron sights; integral Weaver rail
  • Safety: Tang-mounted manual cocking lever
  • Trigger type: Two-stage direct
  • Pull weight: 2 lbs., 1 oz. – Adjustable
  • Stock material/type: Walnut/Classic profile
  • Finish: Oil
  • 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: Detachable
  • Checkering: Laser-cut checkering on grip and foreend
  • Weight, empty: 6 lbs., 6.4 ozs.
  • Overall length: 42.1 inches (Standard)
  • Variations: Helix Arabesque: With arabesques laser engraving
  • Helix Wild Boar: With wild boar laser engraving
  • Helix Spirit: Hand engraved two animals surrounded by leaves or oaks
  • Helix Deluxe: Hand engraved three animals surrounded by leaves or oaks
  • Helix Carbon: carbon-fiber stock with or without carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel
  • Included accessories: Owner’s manual, one detachable box magazine, plastic case, two Sling swivels
  • MSRP: $3,795 (Standard)

About Merkel:

Steyr Arms is the exclusive importer and distributor of all Merkel products in the USA. For more information, contact Steyr Arms at 7661 Commerce Lane, Trussville, AL 35173; call (205) 655-8299; or visit

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William Athas

Is the RX Helix offered in a left handed version?