Harald Wolf Gunsmith

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Hoss Delgado, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    I was reading about a Belgian Gunsmith recently by the name of Mr. Harald Wolf . This gentleman made some pretty impressive rifles in some rare German calibers and it is my understanding that he is the man responsible for bringing back the .500 Jeffery in 1986 after which it became popular due to Mr. Tony Sanchez Arino ( one of my favorite big game hunters of ALL time ) using it successfully on elephant. Mr. Harald Wolf apparently run a company called Mastergunworks in Belgium. But l can't find any trace of him anymore. Does anyone here know if he is still around and making rifles ?
    He even used to run a rifle Magazine called " Hatari Times " . He seems to have Vanished .
    Does he have an email address or website ?
     

  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com AH ENABLER FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    The last Wayback Machine capture for the website www.hataritimes.com was on November 20, 2008. See the last contact information on the following screenshot of their website contact page.

    Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.49.41 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.49.44 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.53.14 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 7.53.15 PM.png
     

  3. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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  4. John P.

    John P. AH Veteran

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    Sadly he is no longer in the gun building trade. There is a bit of a discussion over on another forum.

    I have almost all of the Hatari Times issues, was one of the original subscribers.

    Some say he became ill (true). Also injured his back doing chores around the home (true). And the final thought is he went through a divorce (a rumor, do not know if it has merit) and is now working in the Aircraft Industry.

    He is missed by many of us. A talented top end gun builder and a good writer, a rare combination to say the least.
     
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  5. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    That's really sad to hear. I read his excellent article on the 11.2 × 72 mm Schuler last night. It was very well written. I believe he is the only writer to make any detailled analysis on the 11.2 × 72 mm Schuler. His friend , Jannie Meyer in Mozambique used to own an August Schuler Model 34 in this caliber ( which originally belonged to Jannie's father Johan who purchased it in the 1920s when he became an ivory hunter ) . Jannie was a professional Hunter who would use his father's old rifle to crop elephant until the early 1980s when all of the existing stocks of pre war 11.2 × 72 Schuler Ammunition got exhausted. I found that bit really interesting. 11.2×72 Schuler Ammunition stopped being manufactured in 1939 and never resumed after the second world war. Johan and his Son , Jannie must have had A LOT of surplus 11.2mm Ammunition in stock to last them 40 plus years .
    If he was still making rifles , l would definitely order an 11.2 × 72 Schuler rifle from him .
    The only 11.2 × 72 Schuler rifles in existence now are the August Schuler Model 34 rifles made before World War II . Due to the rifles being built on a cheap military issued standard Mauser 98 action , all the factory Ammunition was manufactured so that the 11.2 × 72 Schuler bullets were seated really abnormally deep into their cartridges , so that the Cartridges could be made to fit into the standard M98 magazines. This of course caused case capacity issues due to not enough powder being put into the cases. Mr. Wolf believed that by building one of these rifles on a Magnum Mauser action , he could then load it with cartridges where the bullets weren't so deeply seated ( thus increasing powder capacity and power ) .
    And this would make it a superior weapon than it ever was in the pre war days.
    Too bad we never got to test his theory .
     
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  6. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Veteran

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    I learn about a different cartridge I didn’t know every week from you Hoss. I enjoy it quite a bit.
     
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  7. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Thanks , Wyatt. I am a bit of an afficianado about the old school European calibers . I believe many of them didn't deserve to die out like that . That said , my favorite working rifle is my trusty old .375 HH Magnum Winchester Model 70 :D
     

  8. John P.

    John P. AH Veteran

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    I recall the 11.2 article. I have the Hatari issues in my office.
     
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  9. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Veteran

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    I’d like to see some pictures of that old Winchester 375 sometime hoss. A rifle with a story like that might deserve its own thread. I too have a Winchester 375 but it’s story has just begun.
     
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  10. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Sure , Wyatt. I think l uploaded a pic of it in one of the threads about .375s when l first joined these forums. I'll inbox you a pic of it today or tomorrow
     

  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Timing is everything on a caliber. The 11.2 was essentially a .458 WM - .44 caliber in a standard length magazine, and a potentially adequate thumper of DG in an affordable package. Unfortunately, it was created and became available to German colonists in German East and Southwest Africa only a decade before WWI and the collapse of Germany’s overseas colonial empire. The British who supplanted them naturally brought their preferences for dangerous game rifles and calibers with them. I should note that they adopted (or at least Jeffrey did) the larger 12.7x70 Schuler, renaming it the 500 Jeffrey.

    The .458 on the other hand arrived just in time for a post WWII generation of newly wealthy, bolt action centric American hunters going afield in the twilight of the British African Empire. It filled, just adequately most of the time (that problematic standard length action), the void left by a similarly contracting British rifle and ammunition industry.

    I owned a pristine one for a number of years with a 3/4 length stock. Ross Seyfried helped create a load, but I finally threw in the towel and it found a new home. It was a lot of effort to essentially duplicate a .458 of which I wasn’t that fond of anyway.
     
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  12. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Ah , from the words of one of the few who actually handled an 11.2 × 72. If l was a member of these forums 10 years ago , Red Leg , l would have bought that 11.2 × 72 August Schuler Model 34 from you for sure.
    It's seems to me that the case capacity issues caused by the deeply seated bullets in the factory 11.2mm ammo is what caused it to die out ( but as l mentioned earlier , this was a necessity in order to make the cartridges fit the standard length cheap issued Mauser 98 actions on which these Model 34 Schulers were built.
    About the .458 Win Mag , l was actually doing some recreational reading lately. A beautiful book called " white hunters " by Brian Here. From my observations , it seems as if the .458 Win Mag was never really popular among the PHs in Africa , but rather with the wealthy American client hunters of the 1950s.
    It came at a time when Kynoch had just discontinued all the British centre fire Cartridges and when game laws had just started declaring the .375 H&H Magnum as the legal minimum for DG . So aside from the .375 Magnum ( which only survived because it was a non proprietary cartridge and American companies like Winchester and Remington had started loading it ) , the .458 Win Mag was the only other big game caliber available. Even so , most PHs that l read about actually didn't use these rifles , but client hunters used them A lot in that era.
    The standard DG rifle of a PH in that era was a Double barrel .470 NE rifle ( source : Guns Magazine 1964 ) . Only two recorded PHs ( Harry Manners and Wally Johnson ) used the .375 H&H as their backup rifle . In Harry's case , he always had another hunter with a second .375 HH Magnum Winchester Model 70 back him up . In Wally's case , he often needed as many as 8 shots from his. 375 HH Magnum to put down elephant or buffalo.
    Lots of other hunters owned a .375 HH Magnum , but these two are the only guys who used them as their primary/ only backup rifle . Lots of client hunters preferred a .375 HH Magnum and PHs actually recommended it for a one gun Safari ( as a .375 HH Magnum owner , l must say l 100 % agree with them ) .
    Regarding the .458 Win Mag, l can't really find that many references to PHs exclusively using one for back up .
    The only ones l can think of are Finn Aagaard who owned a push feed Model 70 ( which he admitted would sometimes jam if it wasn't kept super clean , and he generally preferred his .375 ) Ian Gibson ( one of my favorite hunters who unfortunately died when a first shot from his .458 Win Mag Model 70 failed to stop an elephant and the second shot misfired ). We do have guys like Harry Selby and Brian Marsh who used a .458 Win Mag for some time . But in Harry's 'case , he was only using the .458 Model 70 for two years while his .416 Rigby Magnum rifle was being rebarrelled by Rigby in London and that .458 was his Safari Outfit 's spare big bore rifle and rent out big bore . Brian used the same rifle when he worked in Selby's outfitters only because at that time a non citizen living on a work permit couldn't import rifles into Botswana .
    Then you have guys like Richard Harland , Barry Ducksworth , John Kingsley Heath and Peter Grobler who used the .458 win mag , but actually preferred the .505 Gibbs , .500 Nitro Express and .470 Nitro Express respectively .
    Mike Cameron had a .458 Winchester Model 70 early in his career but quickly adapted English Mauser rifles .
    Then , there are game rangers like Donnie Jan Bredenkamp and W Middleton Lofty Stokes who would use .458 Mannlichers , but that's mainly because they were issued .458s instead of choosing them .
    A lot of PHs however did have a .458 lying around camp for a client hunter to use , while they didn't prefer it themselves . They did this primarily because back in those days it was customary for the client hunter to leave his surplus Ammunition with his ph after the Safari was over , so Many PHs racked up quite a store of .458 Win Mag ammunition.
    But the .458 Winchester Magnum was EXTREMELY popular among American Client hunters . Almost universal , you could say. Here is a small snippet about the popularity of the. 458 , 470 and .375 in Africa in 1964. Screenshot_20190723-032522.png
     
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  13. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Red Leg What does Pondoro Taylor say about this obscure cartridge?
     
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  14. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have no clue.
     
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  15. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Taylor hated it. Here is what he said. Screenshot_20190903-030623.png
     

  16. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    While not the final arbiter of fact, Taylor has a solid batting average. His list of sinners and saints when it came to calibers is a good reference point.
     
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  17. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    A sensible reasoning :) But Tony Sanchez Arino used this caliber to kill 9 Bull Elephant using two side brain shots and 7 heart shots. He was using an Old , but well maintained rifle owned by his friend , Otto Krohnert. The ammunition which Tony was using was old pre 1939 RWS German Cupro Nickel Jacketed solids which Otto had in stock with the gun for many years already.
    Taylor mistook the 11.2 × 72 mm for it's less potent older brother , the 11.2 × 60.
     

  18. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Fanatic

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    Yes, I too really enjoy Hoss’s historical and informative information and perspective on modern and obscure rifles and cartridges. Although, half the time it’s way over my head! He’s like a human Wikipedia of firearms/cartridges here on AH! Great!
     
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  19. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Why thank you :) I am actually writing a book about my hunting experiences in different countries of the world with different calibers :) I want to add a chapter on Africa before l publish the book ,Specifically comparing Cape Buffalo hunting to Australian Water Buffalo hunting . Hopefully , my 2020 Cape Buffalo Safari in Botswana will provide me with more insight :) . Of course , it is not a guide , as l am no expert or ballistics guru. Just a Hunter and his personal experiences with the Different calibers he tried in the last 30 years . I plan to cover 46 calibers ( unless l end up trying more by the time the chapter on Africa is written ) in 500 pages . I will also be detailing my discussions with professional Hunter , Terry Irwin and Professional Hunter , Mark Sullivan about Rifle calibers. I will also cover my Granddad's Safari in 1968 Kenya and my Father's Shikars in Darjileeng , India in the 1960s when he would visit there.
    I've actually written most of my book . Only the chapter on Africa is left ( which is ironically the whole reason l started writing the book anyway ). It's going to be out in 2021 , January , hopefully .
    It goes without saying , that to fulfill an ambition like this , doing one's research is imperative :) . Luckily , it means l get to try out a lot of cool rifles and shotguns
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  20. Bos Javanicus

    Bos Javanicus AH Senior Member

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    Taylor doesn't pull any punches commenting on the 11.2x72 or for his dislike of the .425 WR. I assume he was not a fan of rebated rim cartridges?
     
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