Major Khan... A Hunting Report Just For You

Badboymelvin

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@Major Khan.

A little while ago I promised you that I would dedicate my next Sambar hunt in your honor – and I would use my .458 Winchester Magnum.
I am doing this in response to your excellent article you wrote on the .458 Winchester Magnum.

I am desperate to blood my new Rem 700 .308 but I enjoyed your article so much I just had to use my .458!
Also, I wasn’t using my reloads – I was using 40+ year old Winchester factory ammo!
There are some horror stories about .458 ammo, but this stuff I acquired still goes bang and chronographs 2020fps from my rifle. It also clover-leafed 3 shots at 50m so I was extremely confident using it.

So here we go!

I got up at 3:45 in the morning and was off at 4 having packed the car the night before.
I had already decided that this particular trip was dedicated to you and I really felt that you were with me in spirit. On the car trip it felt like you were sitting next to me!

We were going to hit 2 spots on this hunt. One in the morning and after a rest in the afternoon, try the second one around 3.

It was a nice mild morning and we hunted hard! We covered about 5km through scrub – but with the occasional clearing. We had the wind in our faces and we stalked nice and slow.

Plenty of sign was about and there were droppings and prints galore. And just to get the adrenalin running we would come across an occasional rub tree… stags!

But alas, despite our best efforts we were not to see a single one of our elusive quarry.

Never mind as we still had the afternoon to hunt we said to ourselves as we enjoyed lunch. And to make our lunch even more enjoyable a huge wedge-tail eagle circled overhead. What an awesome sight and it really added to the serenity and beauty of the Australian bush.

After lunch we headed to our second spot, which was about half an hour, drive away.
Once reaching it we parked off in to the scrub, got our gear ready then settled down for a rest for an hour or so.

Once 3 o’clock came around we were off!

Slow stalking was once again the name of the game and straight away this spot felt different. Once again there was sign straight away - but it was fresher and our hunter’s intuition kicked in. I grasped the .458 tighter and we pressed on.

We slowly reached the top of a ridge when we suddenly saw several deer trotting over the next ridge about 50m away.
Yes!
We hurriedly headed towards the second ridge and flushed a young Sambar spiker that was about 20m away.
He hurriedly trotted over the same ridge and now my whole body was alight with adrenalin. We reached the ridge a few seconds later as the safety catch of the Zastava was flicked off. It was all happening!

We stood there Major, our eyes peeled looking for these deer that we had just seen… rifle ready.
Nothing!
It’s like the bush had just eaten them up. Heart pounding I quickly but carefully scanned the area – when suddenly, from our left 3 Sambar ran past us about 40m away. We only had a second or 2 to take the shot Major before they too were gone.

I threw the .458 to the shoulder took aim at the last deer – which was a stag and fired. The big rifle roared and as I recovered from the recoil I could see the stag lurch and his back legs giving way but he was not down.

“Shoot again Russ!” I could here you say in my mind. I immediately obeyed and furiously reloaded the rifle and fired again at the shoulder. Once again I lost him in recoil but I knew that this shot felt good. And it was, the deer only took a few steps before collapsing.

What an amazing feeling! I could feel you congratulating me on a wonderful hunt and a wonderful trophy. While no record-breaker in the antler department, it was still a magnificent animal that was hunted fair and would not be wasted.
Upon closer inspection we saw that the first shot had hit far too back – and I was a bit down on myself for such a poor shot...
But then I could feel you say to me, “Russ, that's hunting - it doesn’t always go to plan, and it wasn’t the easiest of shots being that he was running flat out.. and also, you followed it up immediately with a good shot so the animal wasn’t suffering unduly for too long.”

This made me feel better and we then started to take the meat.
We wasted nothing!
We took all the legs, the back straps and the head.
Any meat that wasn’t fit for human consumption would go to my neighbor’s dogs – along with the leg bones.

As I was breaking down the deer I mentally handed you the unloaded rifle.
I could imagine you holding the rifle in your hands and smiling at it. It had done a good job. Feeding and cycling of the action was smooth and quick and enabled a quick second shot and the power of the .458 Winchester Magnum had pulled up the stag when the shot was less than perfect.

On the trip back we were exhausted but elated. I was delighted that I could fulfill my promise to you and I hoped that this experience had helped with your opinion of the .458 Winchester Magnum.

I admit that this hunt was a special one for me and I really felt like you were there right next to me. Feeling that made me hunt that little bit harder and little bit more carefully. And made it that little bit more special.

We did it my friend! (y)



 
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PaulT

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Way to go Russ (y).

Well done, congrats on the stag.
 

Ridgewalker

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Fun report! Thanks sharing it with all of us!
 

cpr0312

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

gillettehunter

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Great meat hunt. Thanks for telling us about it.
Bruce
 

PARA45

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Congrats on a fine hunt. I'm sure Maj Khan will appreciate this hunt. Thanks for sharing!
 

Professor Mawla

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This is very nice . I own and use a .458 WM ( Winchester Magnum ) for hunting big game , as well . It sees use on Axis deer and wild boar , on a routine basis . However , I have also used it to take a marauding Royal Bengal tiger in 1976 and a rogue Asiatic elephant in 1977 .
A99C1971-1BBF-4EEA-8901-770A5E6A0613.jpeg


Mine is custom built on a Winchester Enfield 1917 action by Flaig’s in Millvale , Pennsylvania . It is equipped with a Douglas Premium barrel and a Turkish walnut custom stock ( re - fitted to my individual measurements ) .
F641E241-6D4B-48CD-9441-13E74F952B9D.jpeg

Oh , and Major Khan Sir is a close friend of mine . He was our sector commander during the war in 1971 . We often butt heads about his hatred for the .458 WM . But the Major is mostly an extremely sensible and rational gentleman .
 

Major Khan

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My Dear Russ , it is my utmost privilege that you have dedicated an entire shikar report to me . And my my ! What a magnificent shikar report it is ! Even though my close friends in Bangladesh ( @Captain Nwz and @Professor Mawla ) have always been singing praises about the .458 Winchester magnum to me ... It was actually the positive reports of the caliber by you and @Timbo which inspired me to take another look at the .458 Winchester magnum .

By the way , I am not even remotely surprised that you incurred no shelf life problems when you used your Winchester Super Speed brand factory loaded cartridges . The shelf life problems in relation to .458 Winchester magnum ammunition , only occurred with the Winchester Western and Remington Peters brand factory loaded ammunition ... Which was manufactured prior to 1979 . These were originally loaded by the factories to achieve a velocity of 2130 feet per second . This caused the powder charge to get compressed in the 2.5 inch cartridge case of the .458 Winchester magnum . From 1980 onwards , Winchester Western and Remington Peters reduced the powder charge of their factory loaded cartridges to achieve an advertised velocity of 2040 feet per second . The reduction in the powder charge , prevented the propellant powder from getting compressed ... Thus , solving shelf life problems of the .458 Winchester magnum .Your vintage box of Winchester Western brand cartridges was no doubt manufactured after 1979 .

Congratulations on such a magnificent shikar . That Sambhar Deer looks both delicious AND beautiful enough for a head mount . I am immensely proud of you .
 
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Nyati

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Newboomer

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Russ, nice report. When are you going to hunt DG with your 458 and write a report? It will be interesting to see how your vintage ammo works.
 

Professor Mawla

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I also own .458 WM ammunition of the same vintage as you do .
4753816C-357C-4B68-AD56-D2C9D42901AB.jpeg

Two boxes of shells , factory loaded with 510 grain soft nosed bullets . One box of shells , factory loaded with 500 grain round nosed steel jacketed solids .
 

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