Merkel Creates an Elegant yet Affordable Bolt-Action Rifle for the U.S.

Walnut R15 bolt-action rifle
Merkel Arms
Merkel Arms

Bessemer, AL -( German firearms manufacturer Merkel has announced the introduction of the R15, a new bolt-action rifle designed and manufactured specifically to meet the expectations of American hunters and shooters.

Available in both wood- and synthetic-stocked versions, the R15 rifle combines the classic hunting rifle style with old-world craftsmanship and the latest manufacturing technology to create a platform that is refined yet surprisingly affordable for the American market.

Functional, practical and beautiful, the R15 features a newly designed receiver that is cold-forged and precision machined. With three lugs for maximum strength and safety, the R15’s full-bodied bolt has a 60-degree bolt throw and glides effortlessly in the receiver for fast follow-up shots. The receiver of the R15 is mated to a standard-contour cold-hammer-forged barrel, for which Merkel has become renowned.

The R15 features a direct trigger with a weight of just less than three pounds, as set by the factory. The rifle’s safety is located behind the bolt handle and acts directly upon the sear. It also features a separate chamber lock, which allows safe unloading while keeping the safety “on.”

The detachable magazine is seated in front of the trigger. The mounting pattern for optics conforms to Savage standards.

Merkel offers the R15 in two versions: a Grade-1 walnut stocked version and a fiberglass-reinforced, black synthetic-stocked version. Both versions are available in standard and magnum calibers: .243 Win., 6.5×55, .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-’06 Sprg., 9.3×62, .300 Win. Mag. and 7 Rem. Mag. The walnut R15 weighs 7 pounds, 4.4 ounces, and the synthetic R15 weighs 6 pounds, 9.8 ounces.

The suggested retail price for the walnut R15 is $799, and the synthetic R15 is $699.

 Synthetic R15 bolt-action rifle
Synthetic R15 bolt-action rifle

Merkel Rifle Specifications:

  • Model: R15
  • Purpose: Hunting & target shooting
  • Manufacturer: Merkel Jagd und Sportwaffen, GmbH
    • Schutzenstrasse 26
    • D-98527 Suhl, Germany
  • Importer: Steyr Arms, Inc.
    • 2530 Morgan Rd.
    • Bessemer, AL 35022
    • (205) 417-8644
  • Operation: Bolt-action repeating
  • Caliber: 6.5×55, .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-’06 Sprg., 9.3×62, .300 Win. Mag., 7 mm Rem. Mag.
  • Magazine type/capacity: Detachable steel/polymer box/standard: 3 rounds, magnum: 2 rounds
  • Action material: Steel
  • Barrel: 22 inch, Mag: 24 inch
  • Rifling: 4 grooves, 1:12” RH twist (.308 Win.)
  • Sights: No sights, drilled and tapped for Savage-style mounts
  • Finish: Blued
  • Safety: 2-position-trigger-safety with separate chamber lock
  • Trigger type: Direct trigger
  • Pull weight: 2 lbs., 10.4 ozs.
  • Stock material/type: Walnut or polymer/straight
  • Length of pull: 14.5 inches
  • Drop at comb: 1.5 inches
  • Drop at heel: 1.5 inches
  • Recoil pad: Elastomer; 0.7 inch thick
  • Sling swivels: 1”
  • Checkering: Machined checkering on grip and forend (walnut)
  • Weight, empty: 7 pounds, 4.4 ounces (6 pounds, 9.8 ounces: synthetic)
  • Overall length: 43.3 inches
  • Included accessories: Owner’s manual
  • MSRP: $799 walnut; $699 synthetic

For more information, contact Merkel’s exclusive U.S. importer, Steyr Arms, 2530 Morgan Rd., Bessemer, AL 35022; call (205) 417-8644; or visit

About Merkel USA:

Merkel guns offer the customer the power reserves of the unique Merkel top-down principle. This means that the highest calibre of every gun class defines the breech of all the underlying versions. The breech of the Africa side-by-side rifle thus sets the standard for all the other side-by-side guns.

For more information, please visit

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I like the lines. I will need to see, feel, and handle the R15 before I say anything good/bad about it. The Sauer 101 sets the standard for a smooth fat bolt rifle that you can work from the shoulder quickly, but is in a different price point. The 14.5″ LOP seems a bit long to me. The R15 looks like they are attempting to compete with the Tikka T3, which has been one of my go to, default, picks for botl guns for years. I wish them well because the T3 is a very good rifle. Most of the… Read more »


There are many excellent firearms manufactured by U.S. companies, buy one, not German.


I’m 50/50 with that sentiment JohnC. I fully support American manufacturing of all products. At the same time Europe is full of countries that don’t support their firearms owners or manufacturers with their draconian laws and tactics. Would you agree that buying European arms (not exclusively, that’s dumb) could help them in their fight for rights?