Merkel Jagd- und Sportwaffen GmbH is a manufacturer of hunting firearms in Suhl, Thuringia. It manufactures bolt-action rifles, double rifles and shotguns. Merkel firearms represent the finest craftsmanship and are known for their stunning engravings and superb quality. Today, Merkel is one of the very few factories that can manufacture both modern firearms and handcrafted hunting guns.
Gebrüder Merkel was founded in Suhl, Germany in 1898 by Albert Oskar Merkel, Karl Paul Merkel, and Gebhard Merkel. In 1905 the company began manufacturing firearms. Albert Oskar Merkel retired from the company in 1907.
The production of hunting guns suffered during World War I and many overseas markets were lost. Although the company did not fully recover from the consequences of the war until 1924, Merkel rifles were again being exported to 28 countries as the war ended. Co-founder Gebhard Merkel died in 1933. In 1938 Adolf Schade and Ernst Merkel assumed management of the company.
The company began producing carbines and engine and equipment parts after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. In 1937 Hermann Göring received a Merkel shogun beautifully engraved with game scenes. It is believed that General Franco of Spain commissioned this gun and gifted it to Göring. The gun was captured and presented to then General, Dwight Eisenhower at the end of the war and it is now on display in the NRA Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. Karl Paul Merkel died in 1942 and by 1943 the production of hunting related firearms was virtually halted.
Production of hunting guns began again after the war and in 1952 the company was became owned by the government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1990, after the reunification of Germany, the company went through modernization. In 2007 it was sold to Caracal International, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and is a part of the state’s owned Tawazun Economic Council.