Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Hoss Delgado, Jul 7, 2019.
My picture with the Ishapore shot-gun in Darjeeling in 1968 . It was taken by Don Fernando Delgado
@Kawshik Rahman ...I think you owe us a few stories from back in the day
After your story, and now with this old picture, it is all like family re-union.
Welcome, to the forum, again - Kawsik Rahman!
Mr. Rahman , wow !
You just come to the US , this time ! I'll let you fire a .458 Lott , a .505 Gibbs and my personal .405 Winchester !
I am thankful to Spike.t and Marko Hunter for your kind words. I will share anything you wish to be shared.
To Hoss Delgado , l look forward to it. I someday would like to try a four sixty Weatherby calibre rifle. An American hunter who booked a shikar with us through Sundar Raj in 1970 was supposed to bring a rifle in the aforementioned calibre for Gaur . Unfortunately , the war broke out and life was no longer the same after the war. It is supposedly the most powerful rifle in the world which existed during my career as an active Indian Shikari and l always hoped a client would bring one for me to try,
Oh , Mr. Rahman , where do we begin !
Stay far , far away from a .460 Weatherby Magnum . You should consider yourself lucky you never had to use one . And l don't just mean monstrous kick ! It jams and the factory ammo for it made by Norma , using Hornady bullets tends to deform at the ultra high velocities it is launched in ! How about a .500 Jeffery ?
PS : If you still wanna shoot a .460 Weatherby Magnum , l will arrange that for you
Thank you for your lengthy posts. I grew up reading Kipling, Jim Corbett, and darned near everything else written about the Raj. It is one of the reasons I had to own one of Rigby’s new Highland Stalkers in .275. It is based on Corbett’s rifle. As Spike suggests, I am sure there are a campfire adventure or two to tell.
I hope these will suffice . The lower picture is from 1951 of myself when l was six years of age with my mother ( whom we call “ ma “ ) , my father ( whom we call “ baba “ ) and our servant , Rongon Miah . We were heading off for shooting quail birds . The long , thin object which my mother is leaning on , is my father’s gun in its leather cover. It was a British twelve bore shot-gun with horizontally stacked barrels made by a firm called I Hollis . It took paper cartridges. In 1972 , the government destroyed this gun after confiscating it.
The upper picture is a bird hunting friday from 1966. I would like to request bird hunters never to use a shot-gun without any choke for shooting birds . It is too cruel as you get many wounded birds . A half choke is ideal for most bird shooting applications and also works well with SG . I did succeed in getting many birds at short distances but many more escaped wounded . Back then , l used to appreciate the two trigger design of the Ishapore gun as you could instantly fire a second charge of SG at a charging boar or Leopard. These days , l like the single selection trigger design of the Beretta more . Two triggers some times hurt my finger due to recoil .
To Red Leg , that is excellent . As l still have two more fire arms to buy before l reach my license limit , one of them will be a seven millimeter Mauser from the United States of America . Even though ammunition is not available locally , l can purchase some ammunition every time l come to America and build up a stock.
Dear Kawshik Rahman,
Could you please tell us of how you hunted tigers?
This is a dangerous big cat, practically no longer hunted - and I am certain many of us will be interested to hear!
To Mark Hunter
I am glad to oblige. I will stress , however , that there are two different categories of killing Royal Bengal tigers . The first is hunting which was carried out by our clients . The second is plain killing which was carried out by Karim and myself. I have killed four . My former partner , Karim killed eleven . We also guided clients who killed seventeen. A Royal Bengal tiger weighs between four hundred and five hundred pounds . A full grown male will average 470 pounds . Let us elaborate hunting as carried out by our clients. I have seen Royal Bengal tigers hunted with three seven five, thirty ought six and twelve bore German solid slug projectiles . The most sensible clients were those with three seven five rifles . These were invariably Belgian bolt rifles or Winchester bolt rifles made in the United States of America . The Winchester rifle used by Hoss Delgado's grandfather was a bit different from the other Winchester rifles which other clients would bring . It had a Mauser rifle type extracting claw , which other newer Winchester rifles lacked . According to Don Fernando Delgado , it was because his rifle came from an earlier vintage . During his Shikars with us l do not recall it ever failing to fire , although the Winchester three seven fives brought by other clients did jam occasionally if they got dirty. It is my view that Winchester should have kept making rifles with that extracting claw device.
The best ammunition to use for a tiger is the American Winchester silvertip . If the shikari is facing the tiger while it has its side exposed to him , a shot should be made aiming for the lung region. A tiger with two pierced lungs will not go far and seldom attacks the Shikari .Do not use hard nose bullets for tigers unless you wish to shoot them in the head . The heart of a tiger is tucked between it's two fore legs . If it is facing the Shikari , then a shot through the heart is advisable.
A few American clients opted to go after Royal Bengal tigers with a thirty ought six . These were invariably from Winchester , Remington or Springfield , all American companies. Karim and l were always a little apprehensive of this calibre. A thirty ought six makes an excellent deer and boar cartridge , but on tiger , it seemed to wound more than it killed. Nevertheless , an American sportsman using a thirty ought six killed not one , but three Royal Bengal tigers with it. His rifle was of Springfield make .
Twelve bore slug projectiles of German make were the best . Generally , however , most slug bullets typically gave only roughly six inches of penetration on a tiger from the front at thirty feet distances . A Shikari from Oklahoma in the United States of America once brought a twelve bore Belgian auto loader , loaded with such slug bullets to use on a tiger. At a distance of twenty feet , he shot the tiger from the side . As it turned to face him , he shot it in the front one more time . It got ready to lunge . Karim and l were ready to shoot it with our own shot-guns , but this American was a man of honour. He yelled at us not to shoot , as he wanted to be the one to shoot it. He held his fire until the beast was less than a dozen feet away and fired twice into it's chest area . It dropped dead at his feet .
Now , we will come to how Karim and l killed Royal Bengal tiger . We always used our Ishapore shot-guns . Initially we killed them using old lethal ball cartridges made by Kynoch during the English colonial period. I really like the design of lethal ball cartridges . It was a hollow ball type bullet with a honey comb type interior . I apologise if l cannot describe it correctly as l do not know the correct English word to describe it. The ball type bullet was hollow and had a criss cross type interior design like the honey comb of a bee's hive. I wish somebody would manufacture such ammunition again . It worked very well on large beasts with soft skin and the internal damage they did to an animal was considerable . If l had any left , l would take a picture to show you . Unfortunately l only had twenty cartridges with this ammunition which l expended by 1965 .I killed two tigers using this type of Cartridge . Both of them were shot from the side.
When Don Fernando Delgado began supplying us with SG cartridges , that was what we used. Sometimes , we received 9 pellet cartridges . But Don Fernando Delgado was a kind man and usually he got us the 12 pellet cartridge . While most of our clients were good men and left us a few loose cartridges for our shot-guns, Don Fernando Delgado would bring whole unopened boxes for us.l killed two Royal Bengal tigers with SG . When we are using a particular fire arm for shikar , it is crucial that we are well aware of the limitations of our weapons. At a distance of twenty five feet , SG shot will not work on a tiger. It will penetrate it's skin but will flatten on its rock hard muscles . If you clip this distance to more than half , at ten feet , your chances of success improve drastically . The ideal place to shoot a tiger with SG shot is the region where the neck meets the shoulder. If you can somehow take the tiger from the rear position , then aim for the line of vertebrae on running from the lower part of the back of the skull.
With AAA , you have 44 pellets giving you a greater chance to land some hits on the spine . However , the size of the pellets are too small to be of consequence . The opposite problem arises with LG . The pellets are large but too few in quantity , only 8. SG is a suitable compromise , using 12 pellets.
The ideal method we adapted to kill Royal Bengal tiger was to tie a bullock or a goat to a tree . While Leopards are occasionally opportunistic scavengers and will touch a dead animal , it is not possible to bait tigers with dead animals . This was a little problematic for us , as we always had to buy a living goat or a bullock from a nearby farmer ( whom we call " krishok " ) , but considering how much a tiger skin fetched back in those days , the cost of a goat or an old bullock was of little consequence.
The ideal method is to tie the bait animal to a tree at sundown and wait up in a nearby tree . When the tiger would come at night time to feed , we would shoot them from above using a shot-gun loaded with SG and by holding a torch light .
There is one more shot for a tiger which has a fifty fifty chance of success. If you shoot a tiger with SG in the stomach , it will not die if the stomach is empty. If , however , the stomach has food inside , the tiger will die. I am unable to explain the scientific basis for this.
I would like to say , however , that Royal Bengal tigers are still shot by corrupt forest department officers in India. The government banned us licensed hunters from hunting , but those forest officials can do as they please. Virtually , all of the poaching is carried out by these greedy people. Back in our hay day , we shot our quarry at night. Shikaris used shot-guns and rifles to kill a full grown male . Now , Forest officials use big spot lights mounted on jeeps and use 7.62 millimeter automatic rifles to kill male , female and cub Royal Bengal tigers indiscriminately . Skins are field dressed and sold to Chinese rich people . These are the same kinds of people who would ban all hunting if they ran this world . Fortunately , they do not .
I have been hunting for six decades , fought in a war and killed dangerous animals for eight years for a living . But my view will always be this : India belongs to the corrupt now. The era of good people is over.
When we were children , my sister and l would ride our bicycles across the whole town and stay out side till sun down. We would eat pastries at the bakery , fly kites or catch fish. Little girls and ladies could wear whatever they liked and keep their hair open and stay out as long as they wanted to without fear of being molested .Foreigners were treated like royalty instead of being swindled . This is the way things should have stayed. But alas . Old India will soon be forgotten.
Dear Kawshik Rahman,
Many thanks for your time, detailed and concise story. I am very much grateful for your insights!
Hunting tigers legally, today is almost impossible, exception being (maybe) hunting of captive bread tigers in South Africa, and practically impossible to export as trophy. Even that, is not so publicly advertised. It is dark area of big game and dangerous game hunting - ate least in my opinion.
So, certainly, for most of us - this will never be experienced, and certainly not in natural tiger habitat of Asia, India, Bangladesh.
With your fine narrative you bring us to another time and another place.
I am of younger generation (now, age 48) and in my country we have more liberal hunting and gun laws. Apart of being a hunter, I am also a target shooter, and have seen either in hunting, or on a public shooting range certain number of firearms.
I also have a good library on hunting, and hunting rifles, historical or modern.
On this I can comment that your insights and observations on some of older firearms are extremely accurate, and many of members of this forum - more knowledgeable then me - could easily confirm. (or maybe argue)
For example in earlier posts, you mentioned occasional failure of .458 win mag caliber on terminal effect on large animals.
Indeed it is accepted knowledge today - that by the end of sixties this caliber has shown occasional failure in performance on big game,as the Winchester made shortcomings in ball powder charge of this cartridge, having inconsistent performance especially in tropical areas - at that time.
Later this problem was fixed, .458 now being a reputable caliber, but bad reputation was made at that time period, which coincide with your story.
On Winchester Mauser type bolt action rifles (m70) again, your observations are in line with overall opinion.
Indeed Winchester did produce m70 until 1964 with Mauser type long extractor, having reputation of good reliability.
After that year they went for new (cheaper) design of push feed type of action, and kept the same model name (m70).
In hunting community they are known as pre-64 winchester m70, and post 64 winchester m70. Post 64 has lower reputation in hunting community. (arguably, and generally speaking)
However, in 1992, they reintroduced production of similar model, control round feed, as pre 64.
My grand father was in world war 2. I remember his story, of doctor explaining him, that being shot in full stomach, will probably make infection. High mortality rate in that case.
Probably this happens with well fed tigers, as you mentioned.
Coming back to subject of hunting:
What is now situation for other game, such as Gaur, blackbuck, nilgai? Are thet present in Bangladesh, or huntable?
I have enjoyed all your stories so far Mr. rahman. It’s a shame about the corruption in your country.
To Mark Hunter ,
Thank you for enjoying my recounts . I think about those times now. In Bangladesh , there is no Nilgai. However in Kuch Bihar and Uttar Pradesh , recently Nilgai is permissible to hunt again in certain times of the year , as it is damaging crops . Gaur is sadly only in India and those people think of bovines as Gods and some of those people even drink bovine urine there.
Thank you for educating me on the four fifty eight Winchester magnum complications. I am glad that Winchester reintroduced their claw in the three seven five. I still have two arms licenses which are unused and l will occupy one of them with a three seven five from Winchester with the claw . Ammunition is not available locally but l can replenish my supply every time l visit the United States of America . Winchester blunt tip metal envelope solid bullets and silver tips would be fun to use on bears in maulvibazaar and also deer .
To Wyatt Smith , thank you. Hoss Delgado will meet with me this December to put some of my experiences and pictures in his book . He asked me if l can write a chapter on Indian Hunting from 1950 to 1970 in his Book and Bangladeshi hunting practices in modern times . Hopefully , you will enjoy it .
I’m sure I will, I’ll be one of the first in line to buy Hoss’s book!
I am glad you are doing this. Hoss please let us know when this book is ready and sign me up for a copy. I was born too late! Oh for the glory days of India and Kenya!!!
Thanks man It will be ready by 2021
I have the chapters complete on US , UK , Italy , Spain , Australia , Kuch Bihar ( only Nilgai and boars ) , Bangladesh and Sweden . Ironically , Africa is incomplete till now In 2020 , l will go for my Botswana Cape Buffalo and Plains game hunt , and then publish the book by 2021 January . I also want to shoot a .510 Wells Express at least once . I know nothing about that caliber
I will include my interviews / conversations with Terry Irwin , the great Mark Sullivan and last but not least , our Shikari Friend , Mr. Rahman
Sounds awesome. FYI, the buffalo quota has not been issued for Botswana yet. Be careful to make sure the quota is issued before you buy the hunt! Who do you plan to hunt with?
I hear that the buffalo quota will be out soon I plan to hunt with Gary Kelly Safaris I have heard good things about them . But it is crucial that it be a Cape Buffalo !!!! I will settle for nothing less .
I really wanna compare cape buffalo with the 4 Australian Water Buffalo which l have shot in the past
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