My First Man Eater With The .375 Holland & Holland Magnum

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Panther Shooter, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    This is my very first article on Africa Hunting (AH) forums , and I apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors which I may potentially be making , as English is a secondary language in our country . In order to understand a little bit more about my back ground , I refer all those who are reading my story to read this story on AH forums first . It was a story of mine , which I had allowed @Major Khan to share with everyone on these forums a few days ago .
    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/in-pursuit-of-the-fabled-black-panther.55807/
    It will familiarize everyone , with the context in which I was hunting man eating Hunting Leopards in the 1970s .
    I am going to share a story today ,which ( as a firearms lover ) is quite close to my heart .
    It is the story of how I killed my very first man eating Hunting Leopard with a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum .
    I sincerely hope that my story can be at least passable in terms of quality . I shall be borrowing the writing format of my close friend , Major Khan as I really like the structure of his writing .


    417130FD-C2E2-46FD-BFA1-54534A01E875.png
    Man eating Hunting Leopard shot by the fearless Major with his trusty Belgian shotgun . I shall share the photograph of the man eater shot by myself , at the conclusion of this story ,in order to provide a bit of suspense .

    Well.. here goes my first attempt at being an amateur author .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2020

  2. Skinnersblade

    Skinnersblade AH Fanatic

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    Thank you for choosing to share your unique experiences with us. You and your colleagues offer us a glimpse into a bygone era. I for one very much appreciate the history you fine gentleman are preserving.
     

  3. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    It was the April of 1973 . One night , I had successfully secured a fine Chital Deer for the larder . During that day , I had received news from our employees that a large Chital Deer was roaming around the mango garden near our house in the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . Time for some fresh Venison , I thought .
    At night , I took my Indian Ordinance Factories ( IOF ) 12 double barrel side by side shotgun , and loaded it with two “ Indian LG “ cartridges . “ Indian LG “ was a type of home made buck shot, which Indian poachers ( used to ) make. This is made by taking an ordinary bird shot cartridge ( Say , No. 1) and breaking them open , before pouring the lead bird shot in to a cauldron and melting it . Then , the molten lead was re moulded in to forming 6 large leaden pellets . These 6 large pellets are then re loaded back in to the same shot gun cartridge and the shell is then closed again after being treated with molten bee’s wax . It is reasonably effective on up to Chital Deer sized game , if the ranges are kept short .
    I attached a small , but powerful flashlight to the fore end of my shotgun with duct tape and I waited for night time to come and then I began to slowly make my way towards the mango garden . TE , my faithful and indispensable tracker had decided to accompany me , for my nocturnal adventure . The Chital was there , licking the ground under a large mango tree . Ever so quietly , I began to stalk my quarry . 50 yards , 30 yards , 20 yards . I was trying to get as close as I possibly could . My shot gun had zero constriction in either barrel , and each 2 3/4 inch cartridge only held 6 pellets . When , I was within 20 yards of the Chital , I signaled TE to circle around the mango garden and try to get in the direction behind the deer . TE did as he was told with the stealthy proficiency of a King Cobra . Once , he had circled around the mango garden and gotten himself in the direction behind the Chital Deer , TE picked up a small pebble and hurled it in the direction of the Chital . The pebble landed on the ground a few inches away from where the Chital was standing . This accomplished my desired effect of “ Spooking “ the Chital and the startled creature began to rush away from the direction from which the pebble was thrown .
    In doing so , he directly was coming towards my direction . As he got within 10 paces of my hiding shot , I swiftly leapt up , while simultaneously flicking on my flashlight .
    I took aim at the Chital Deer and let off my left barrel at the creature ; full frontal .
    The concentrated charge of large buckshot caught the Chital Deer full on , in the chest at practically point blank range and he was quite done for . And thus , our larder had some much appreciated venison for the the next one week .

    The next day , a friend of Dad’s had come to have lunch with us at our family home at the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . He was a Forest Department Official and was one of the more liberal and sensible Hindus who ate meat . Mom and our servants served us all an excellent excellent platter of grilled mutton chops , garlic Naan flat breads and mint yogurt sauce , after which all of us sat at the family lunch table to enjoy our lunch . The Forest Department Official ( Let us henceforth, refer to him as V ) lamented to us about the passing of the Wild Life Protection Act - 1972 and about how the ban on hunting had lead to a rampant increase in poaching all across the 30 states of India . Mom , Dad and I quietly listened to him without saying a word . Did he somehow become aware of my nightly poaching activities ? V went on to rant about how the Forest Department Officials themselves were partaking in wanton poaching , as well . Every single Forest Department Official was anxious to use the ban on licensed hunting to make some easy money under the table by poaching .

    V went on to ask Dad and I if we both missed going out on Shikars , like we used to , prior to 1972 . I replied that we obviously did miss going out on hunts very much , but added that we were helpless due to the recent ban on hunting . V , who was aware of my days as a marksman in the Bangladesh Army during the 1971 War Of Independence ,then asked me if I would like to return to hunting once again .

    Startled , I exchanged glances with Mom and Dad , who were silent , but judging by the look on their faces ... they were just as shocked as I was . Trying to be diplomatic , I simply asked , “ How ? “ . V told me that there were large quantities of Hunting Leopards , Chital Deer , Nilgai and upland fowl living in the hills around Jolpaiguri Tea Estate and and asked us if they ever venture into the Tea Estate . Mom , without disclosing too much replied , “ Once in a while . “ . We still did not quite understand what V was getting at .

    V then flatly asked me why I never attempted to shoot any of the game , which came down from the hills into the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . Feigning innocence , I flatly replied , “ Prison worries me “ . V laughed and told us that we lived so far away from the villages and towns that it would be practically impossible for the Forest Department Officials or Indian Army Rangers to know what we were doing , as long as we remained careful . He then went on to ask Dad , “ Don’t you have a very big problem with the Hunting Leopards which get down in here from the hills and attack your employees ? “ Dad honestly replied , “ Yes , quite a big problem , in fact . I have lost no less than nine employees after they got killed by those Hunting Leopards . But what to do ? We cannot shoot and kill them either . Your stupid law makers prioritize wildlife over human life . “ V , then finally ceased to speak in a cryptic tone and laid it all before us. He gave us a proposition .

    I would shoot the Hunting Leopards which venture into Jolpaiguri Tea Estate and give the hides to V . In exchange for each hide , V would pay me a hefty sum of money as a reward for my troubles . It was a win win situation for all of us. Dad’s tea garden employees would no longer need to worry about man eating Hunting Leopards .
    I would earn a good chunk of Rupees under the table for my nightly shooting activities . And V himself would possess the expensive hides of West Bengal Hunting Leopards to sell to a third party .It then , finally dawned upon us that V himself was making us an offer which involved operating outside the perimeters of the Indian law . An offer which would benefit V himself , but could also potentially benefit us . Little did he know that I was already taking some manner of wild game every single night in the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate for the last one year by myself , including six man eating Hunting Leopards and one man eating Black Panther .
    Dad , who always gave top priority to my safety ( even today , at the age of 91 and my age being 69 , Dad stills calls me at least four times a day whenever I am traveling outside the city . ) then flatly told V , “ My boy only has an IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun and that is just about the worst weapon for the purposes of hunting anything , let alone man eating Carnivora . Even 2 months ago , the right barrel of his IOF 12 Bore DBBL burst after he fired a ball cartridge through it . We had to purchase a new one for him . Do you really expect him to risk his life , going after Hunting Leopards with such a pathetic excuse of a weapon ? “ . This actually was true . What Dad tactfully neglected to mention , was that I was hunting a Nilgai at night when it had happened . I had loaded both barrels of my IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun with IOF 2 3/4 inch Spherical Ball cartridges and had gone off to shoot a Nilgai at night , with the aid of my flashlight . Unfortunately , when I had the beast’s shoulder dead within my sights and pulled the trigger to my right barrel .... a tremendous blast occurred as the shot gun’s barrel burst . I was temporarily deaf in my right ear for three weeks after that gruesome disaster , but praise be to the Lord that I did not suffer any other injuries in the slightest . Dad purchased me another IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun the very next day , and cautioned me not to fire any more spherical ball cartridges through that cheap pot metal gun , ever again .

    V answered Dad , “ I will give him a proper tool for the task . But if he is ever caught with it , then the prison sentence will be extremely stiff. “ . I quietly nodded , wondering what it was that V would provide me with .

    Next week , V visited the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate once again. With him , he had brought along an ornate mahogany wooden case , On the case , was engraved “ John Rigby & Co. “ . V opened the case and showed me the contents of that mahogany wooden case.
    It was like falling in love . There , lying disassembled within the case was a brand new John Rigby & Co. sidelock Double Rifle . It was a .375 Holland & Holland magnum and it’s beauty was unrivaled by anything else , which I had seen at the time. That fine stock of English walnut . Those blued steel barrels . That ornate sidelock receiver . That ivory bead fore sight . Absolutely marvelous . It had 24 inch long barrels , automatic ejectors , double triggers and a manual safety .Also packed inside the case were the cleaning tools for the rifle , and three boxes of Winchester 300 grain cartridges . Two boxes were full of Winchester Silvertip soft nose cartridges . One box was full of Winchester full metal jacket cartridges . I had read about these splendid weapons in the books written by James Sutherland and John Pondoro Taylor , of African fame . I had seen these sweet rifles in the hands of the great Stewart Granger , as he starred in “ King Solomon’s Mines “ and “ Harry Black & The Tiger . “ . However , I had never seen such a beautiful looking rifle first hand , ever in my life , prior to that day .
    After 1947 , no new firearms of foreign manufacture had been imported into India and after 1972 , an Indian citizen owning an imported firearm was a literally rarer than hen’s teeth. So , how exactly did V come across this fine weapon , in a country where only those pathetic excuses of firearms from Indian Ordinance Factories were available to civilians for purchase and ownership ? I asked V the exact same question . V chuckled and simply replied that he was not a civilian and that Forest Department Officials could have firearms of foreign makes imported into India for their use , during the course of “ Carrying out ( their )duties “ . This was V’s licensed rifle , which he had commissioned fully bespoke from John Rigby & Co. in 1972 .

    V would let me borrow the rifle , in order to make my nocturnal pursuits of those man eating Hunting Leopards , a little bit more convenient. V would be visiting Jolpaiguri Tea Estate once a month in order to purchase the hides of the man eating Hunting Leopards which I had shot , from me . Whenever , my stock of cartridges would dwindle , V would bring me a couple of boxes of fresh cartridges , in order to replenish my stock . However , if I ever got caught by the police or Forest Department Officials with this Majestic weapon , then I would be facing a hefty prison term for violating the so called Indian “ Arms Act “ .

    And thus , there I was . Armed with a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and ready to face any man eating Hunting Leopard , which ventured in to Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . Dad always speculated that in order to afford a fully bespoke John Rigby & Co. Double rifle , V must have been involved in a number of shady practices . This was because Dad strongly doubted that V could actually afford a bespoke “ London Best “ with the kind of salary which a Forest Department Official was getting paid , for their “ Honest Work . “ . However , I was ecstatic with excitement for finally being able to use a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum now for dispatching man eating Hunting Leopards .
    And true enough , just one month after that , another man eating Hunting Leopard had ventured into Jolpaiguri Tea Estate and I decided to pit my skill against yet another feline menace . Let the story of how that incident actually went down , begin now .
    52BE5C39-1F1E-4979-AE08-BE8DCE5AC787.jpeg 98DC72B1-D6FC-4321-B937-AF330F10A607.jpeg EF4F0BB5-574A-40FC-810A-E600D09BA86A.jpeg




    The barrels and proof marks on an Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore double barrel side by side shotgun . Contrary to what the proof marks suggest , the cylinder bore ( Zero choke ) barrels of these miserable guns often could not withstand the pressure of even a standard Indian Ordinance Factories 2 3/4 inch spherical ball cartridge without bursting . The countless complaints by the dozens of local Indian Shikaris and target shooters who were unfortunate enough to have these IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun barrels burst ( often injuring them in the process ) , were largely ignored by the Indian Ordinance Factories .
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020

  4. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Is this the incident where you had used YOURSELF as bait , Panther Shooter ?
    I certainly hope it is . That 1 is my favorite reminiscence of yours of ALL TIME . I look forward to the rest , eagerly .
     

  5. mikecatt13

    mikecatt13 AH Enthusiast

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    Glad you decided to join the forum, welcome! Look forward to the rest of the story!
     
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  6. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    On May of 1973 , It was evening time when I was returning to the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate from the birthday party of a close friend . As I was driving into the Tea Estate in my Premier Automobile , I noticed that there was an ambulance parked outside our servants quarters . Baffled , I stepped out of the car as I saw two hospital orderlies carrying a gurney , hurriedly make their way towards the ambulance .

    Lying on the gurney was our family cook ( Let us henceforth , call her C ) and her appearance looked like a scene straight out of Hell in Dante’s “ Inferno “ . She looked as if someone had dropped a buzz saw on her . She had lost an eye and her right ear was almost completely severed ; dangling by only a small strand of skin . She was missing entire chunks of flesh from her face . I could not see the state of injuries on her body, as it was covered by a white cotton sheet. However, the sheet was completely drenched in blood. Mom , Dad and our other servants and tea garden workers were all standing outside the servants quarters ; a look of worry and apprehension on their faces . Mom got into the back of the ambulance with the orderlies and the unconscious C and the ambulance sped off ( Mom and Dad shared this common trait in their personality . Whenever any of our employees would get hurt in any manner or catch fever , they would always take them to the hospital and pay for their treatment or hospital bills .)

    Just by glancing at C’s injuries for a few seconds , I already knew what had inflicted those injuries upon C . There were only two things in the entire world , which could tear a lady up like that :
    1) A chainsaw
    2) A Hunting Leopard
    And in the middle of Jolpaiguri Tea Estate near the hills of West Bengal in the early 1970s ... the odds of somebody attacking an elderly female cook with a chainsaw seemed flimsy ,at best . A Hunting Leopard on the other hand , seemed like the obvious culprit , especially since it was already an universal fact that the hills were teeming with Hunting Leopards , which would regularly venture into the Tea Estate in the hopes of finding their next meal .
    However, I asked Dad anyway what had happened to C , and Dad , in a state of forlorn sadness , simply replied “ Chita Baagh “ . For those of you gentlemen , who are familiar with the writings of @Major Khan .... you will already know that “ Chita Baagh “ is the Bengali word for “ Hunting Leopard “ .

    Dad and I then drove took Dad’s old Model T Ford and drove to the hospital to reunite with Mom and tend to C . However , C despite the finest medical treatment available at the time from the most skilled doctors of Jolpaiguri ... C did not survive the night. When I had an opportunity to examine C’s corpse , I noticed that the wound patterns on her matched the wounds typically inflicted by a Hunting Leopard which had turned man eater ( i.e flesh had been torn off from the breasts and buttocks ) . Mom and Dad naturally took C’s death quite hard. It is no easy matter to have someone get killed under your employment and then having to make the telephone call to their husband and children one day and finding the words and strength to tell them that their wife and mother shall not be returning home ever again . It takes a great deal of strength to make that telephone call . I am not sure if I ever could muster the strength to make that telephone call.

    I had a different method of grieving . I tried not to think about it , at all. This tactic always worked quite well for me. If I had ever stopped , even for a moment to think about all of those human lives which I took during the 1971 Bangladesh War Of Independence ( although they obviously deserved it wholeheartedly ) ... then I would have probably been in a strait jacket , locked away in the padded cell of an asylum , by now . I resolved to track down and end this man eating fiend .
    I enlisted the help of TE and we began to look for some tracks or paw print of the Hunting Leopard... anything which could help us pinpoint the general direction from which the man eater had entered Jolpaiguri Tea Estate .

    TE , as usual did not disappoint . In less than an hour , he had found paw prints of the fiend . I should have been happy , but rather I was horrified.
    The tracks of the fiend had indicated that it had passed right through the court yard of our house . Right where our servants used to hang our freshly washed clothes on a clothes line for drying every single morning . Mom would visit this court yard every morning in order to supervise the servants . This was not the first man eater which I was hunting . Prior to this , I had already shot 7 man eating Hunting Leopards in the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . However , not even one Hunting Leopard had ever ventured this closely to our house , ever before . This was one daring fiend . However , I now knew exactly which route the monster was using . And since it had turned man eater , I knew that it would return . Once these great cats have developed a palate for the flesh of man , they are almost always guaranteed to return to the area where they enjoyed their last meal , as they believe that they have found new permanent feeding grounds . I could exploit this to my advantage , and thus I began to make preparations .
    12AB2E6E-1939-4DF5-B37D-485D7FBB2822.png
    The Man Eater’s Paw Prints .
     

  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Very interesting and exciting report! Anxiously waiting on the next episode!
     
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  8. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    So, in that time, and in that place, with legal hunting being banned, panthers are mauling and killing local people.

    Question: what authorities were doing then, when having report of a person being killed by a man eating carnivore?
     

  9. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I suppose that I was mistaken . This is not the story of THAT incident after all .
    It is still quite an excellent and interesting 1, though . Please complete it by tonight ! Do not keep us all waiting too long !
     

  10. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Telling the people to pray for their safety and not to venture outdoors after sun down . I wish that I was joking , Mark Hunter.
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    Thank you, sir, somehow I am not surprised.
     

  12. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Panther Shooter you are writing more like an old pro rather than a neophyte. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story. Please don't keep us in suspense too long.
     

  13. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    Mom was always a dog lover , even when I was young . Whenever she came across any puppies which she would see on the roads without mothers , she would always bring them back to Jolpaiguri Tea Estate and look after them . Unfortunately for Mom , what she saw as pets ... I saw as potential live bait for enticing Hunting Leopards.
    Mom was vehemently opposed to me using one of her adopted puppies as live bait to entice the man eater . However , after a great deal of begging and persuading ( along with help from Dad ) ... Mom finally let me borrow one of her pet puppies as bait , under the condition that I bring the puppy back to her ; unharmed .
    The Next day , I put a leash around the puppy’s neck and connected the chain to the mail post in our court yard . I knew that this particular man eater was not even the slightest bit hesitant about getting near our house . The tracks found by TE had proven it .

    I went to the basement of our family house and removed some of the loose floor tiles of our basement. Hidden there , was the mahogany wooden case from John Rigby & Co. I took it out and opened it . I assembled the double barrel .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and loaded it with two 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose cartridges. I put in four more extra Winchester Silvertip soft nose cartridges in the breast pocket of my half sleeve cream silk shirt . I attached my flashlight to the fore end of the the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum. I was ready now to face my foe.

    Come night time , the entire Tea Estate was pitch dark ... save for the light of the half moon night . I was at the veranda of the second floor of our family house , sitting on a mattress on the floor with my head peeking out just above the balcony . From here , I had a 180 degree view of our courtyard , where Mom’s puppy was tied to the mail post, whimpering . The .375 Holland & Holland Magnum lay across my lap and Mom had made me a fresh flask of hot Italian coffee , from which I was constantly taking sips . The caffeine in coffee is a splendid boost for keeping one awake , during nocturnal hunting activities such as these . And my long wait began .

    Come 4 :00 AM , I could see a large four legged mammalian form making it’s way through our tea plants towards the courtyard . There was no doubt about it. It was the Hunting Leopard . It was huge ; roughly as large as a bull Nilgai . I hurriedly , but silently readied V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum . As an added precautionary measure , I took out two extra cartridges and kept them between my fingers in case a hasty reload was necessary. As already established in my previous story ( Narrated by Major Khan ) , the vegetation in Jolpaiguri Tea Estate was not even remotely dense . Our tea plants were no larger than three feet in height . Thus , the terrain was actually quite open and this always permitted me greater visibility of my quarry from a distance .

    The fiend slowly crossed a large pomegranate tree in our court yard and cleaned it’s claws on the bark of the tree trunk ( Assuming that all of you are familiar with my previous story which was narrated by Major Khan , then you will already be aware of the fact that Hunting Leopards always clean their claws on tree barks prior to attacking their quarry . ) before slowly advancing towards the helpless puppy , which only continued to whimper louder and louder in despair after seeing the monster advancing towards him .

    When the Hunting Leopard was roughly twenty paces away from the puppy , and around 30 yards from my veranda , I decided that it was close enough . I leapt to my feet , while simultaneously flicking on the flashlight which was attached to the fore end of my .375 Holland & Holland Magnum . I directed the beam of the flashlight at the fiend’s head , as I whipped the rifle up to my shoulder . As the startled monster turned it’s head to stare at me , I seized my opportunity and fired the left barrel , having selected the region behind it’s shoulder as my target . The enraged fiend roared a blood curling cry in pain and was turning around while I instantly switched triggers and fired the right barrel at the devil cat . I heard the satisfactory sound of the second 300 grain Winchester Silvertip tearing into the fiend’s shoulder as well.

    By instinctive reflex , I hit the top lever of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and broke open the breech . As the automatic ejectors sprung out the empty cartridge casings , I instantly rammed the two extra cartridges into the chambers and closed the breech ; ready to land more shots on the fiend , if necessary. However , it was not necessary . There , lying dead , sprawled across the green courtyard grass outside our family home , was my foe - The man eating Hunting Leopard which had savaged C to death .

    Hearing the gun shots , Mom and Dad ( who use to live in the ground floor of our family house ) came running out of the house and our employees came running out of the servants quarters. Everyone praised me highly for destroying the man eater . Well, everyone except Mom . Mom was angry why I had put the leash on the puppy’s neck so tightly and demanded that I cut the “ poor , frightened baby “ loose immediately . I hurriedly took out my Imperial Schrade Old Timer slip joint pocket knife from my trouser pocket and opened the shaving sharp 1095 carbon steel drop point blade . I then cut the leash open and freed the little puppy . It immediately ran towards Mom whimpering . Dad and our employees laughed heartily and joked that an Army marksman and the slayer of man eating Hunting Leopards was still terrified of angering his mother .
    Everyone was in a good mood .

    Dad , TE and I carried the carcass of the fiend into Dad’s tool shed and we examined him properly after turning all of our room lights on . There was a porcupine quill impaled through it’s gonads and it’s genitals had become gangrenous . No confusion in our minds remained anymore , as to why this particular Hunting Leopard had turned man eater. He weighed a full 94 kilograms . Upon flaying the monster , I was really impressed with the way those two 300 grain Winchester Silvertips had “ mushroomed “ ( I believe that is the correct term ? ) inside the vital organs of the fiend . Both of my shots , had done a significant amount of damage to the heart/ lung region of the creature . I knew then and there , that the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum was the perfect Hunting Leopard rifle for me . And I knew then and there , that the 300 grain Winchester Silvertip was THE bullet for these devil cats .
    Upon removing the innards of the fiend , we found a small piece of the sole of a human being’s foot inside his stomach .
    All these years later ( 47 years ) , my views still mirror those developed by me on May of 1973 . However , I have developed a few small modifications to my opinions ( But more on that , below . )
    C1272F6E-7621-4207-AC43-D5B6E63BBFE6.png

    C’s killer .
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020

  14. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Excellent cartridges ... those Winchester Silver Tip soft points were . They will never quite make anything like them , ever again .
     

  15. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    I went on to shoot 15 more man eating Hunting Leopards in the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate with V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum until 1974 , and that marvelous Double Rifle never once let me down . A double tap behind a devil cat’s shoulder with two 300 grain Winchester Silvertips puts a man eating Hunting Leopard into early retirement , rather fast. Sadly , I was never able to shoot anything other than Hunting Leopards with that fine Double Rifle . Between 1972 to 1974 , I had taken the following game, in total :
    * 22 man eating Hunting Leopards
    * One man eating Black Panther
    * Two Chital Deer
    * One Nilgai
    * Two Wild Boars
    * Countless upland birds ( pigeon, quail , partridge, grouse, snipe, wood cock ,spur fowl, Chukar )
    * Countless Hares
    * Countless Teal Ducks
    * Countless cranes ,
    The Two wild boars , Two Chital Deer and the Nilgai were taken with “ Indian LG “ cartridges fired from my IOF 12 Bore DBBL . Everything else was taken with birdshot cartridges from my IOF 12 Bore DBBL . Prior to leaving India in 1974 , I returned V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum back to him with a heavy heart. It was a good weapon .
    Of course in 1976 , I successfully applied for an NPB ( Non Prohibited Bore ) rifle license in Bangladesh and upon a trip to Oregon , USA , I had a Master American custom rifle maker , build me a beautiful custom 7 millimeter Remington Magnum on a Springfield Model 1903 receiver . Since the last 44 years , I could not be happier with that Majestic rifle . Aside from the standard Sambhar and Chital Deer for the larder ( and Wild Boars for my lovely wife’s side of the family ) , it has also helped me account for two man eating Hunting Leopards which I had to destroy under the orders of the Bangladesh Forest Department in 1980 and 1983 , respectively . Both of these fiends were taken with single shots ( with the region behind the shoulder , selected as a target . ) employing 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose cartridges .
    Nowadays , since I have learnt to refine my hand loading techniques , I have also developed a profound fondness for the Barnes TSX soft nose bullets . However , the humble Remington Core Lokt remains my old standby .

    Before concluding , I would like to express my thoughts a little about the adequate firearms to use against Hunting Leopards . Since , I have destroyed man eating Hunting Leopards with both a small caliber ( 7 millimeter Remington Magnum) and a medium heavy caliber ( .375 Holland & Holland Magnum ) , I will allow myself to share a small philosophy of mine. As far as Hunting Leopards are concerned , I was never a big believer in the concept of “ stopping power “ and I bluntly do not believe in the philosophy that a large caliber bullet will simply drop a Hunting Leopard , regardless of where the bullet is placed. When the heart/ lung region was selected as a target , both the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum’s 300 grain Winchester Silvertip bullet and my 7 millimeter Remington Magnum’s 175 grain Remington Core Lokt bullet was able to drop Hunting Leopards cleanly . If your bullet missed any of the vital organs while employing either caliber , then you would be in for a rather stressful Shikar . Shot placement is the key and accuracy is the top priority .
    The beauty of the 7 millimeter Remington Magnum is that it’s flat trajectory and great reach allow for precise shot placement , which ( As far as the Hunting Leopards were concerned ) compensated a great deal for the relatively minute .284 diameter bore size .
    But this obviously does not mean that you should attempt to shoot a Hunting Leopard with something too small like a .22 Long Rifle , simply because it is accurate . No . Doing that will , in all likelihood culminate in you receiving a mangling .
    Picking the appropriate tool for the task at hand is not only the safest course of action , but it is also the ethical thing to do. The appropriate caliber always should be selected in proportion to the quarry being pursued.
    Of course , all of these arguments are moot when you look at my close friend , Major Khan . The Major has ( till now ) successfully blown away 21 man eating Hunting Leopards ( several of which , had to be followed into thick shrub at night ) with a double barrel shotgun ( loaded with one ounce spherical lead balls ) , of all things and he never needed more than a single shot to do so . But then again , the Major is a crack shot with that old ( but reliable ) shotgun and always selects the region between both the eyes of the Hunting Leopard at close range , as a target . This reinforces my theory about shot placement being the Shikari’s first concern .
    Since I have had the good fortune to destroy man eating Hunting Leopards with both a Double Rifle and a bolt action rifle , I shall allow myself to make a comment about which platform I deem superior . Long story short , it all boils down to what the Shikari himself feels comfortable shooting . Major Khan is partial to a double barrel weapon himself , but then again it needs to be remembered that he used to be a highly competent professional Shikari before he got conscripted into the Bangladesh Army and therefore he has a considerable amount of experience with proficiently landing accurate shots with double barrel weapons . Being that I was a marksman in the Bangladesh Army ( where I was issued a .303 caliber Lee Enfield bolt action rifle ) and I only began to hunt seriously after I had returned home from the War Of Independence In 1971 , my comfort zone lies predominantly with bolt action rifles . Make no mistake . I really admire Double Rifles and that .375 Holland & Holland Magnum never gave me even the slightest excuse to complain between 1973 and 1974 , when it helped me account for 16 man eating Hunting Leopards . It was a most perfect weapon to a most imperfect Shikari such as myself . However , I ( speaking solely for myself ) find that I can land more accurate shots out to greater ranges with a solid bolt action rifle equipped with a telescopic sight , rather than with a Double Rifle equipped with an ivory bead fore sight.

    I earnestly hope that my very first attempt at trying to be an author was not too sloppy . If so , then I apologize sincerely . If all of you have enjoyed this story , then I suppose I can write two or three more in the next few days .

    THE END
    CFCC8D1B-34DF-4D57-B942-E3C97546CB20.png
    The John Rigby & Co. .375 Holland & Holland Magnum


    A1CD87C7-DD2D-4C5B-9B12-A870D6067877.png

    Man Eating Hunting Leopard put down with a 7 millimeter Remington Magnum, employing a 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose cartridge , with the region behind the shoulder being selected as a target in order to reach the fiend’s heart .
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020

  16. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Fanatic

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    well written, i enjoyed your and the major,s stories, i have never had the chance to shoot a leopard. i came close in africa, but it was a female and was not on the shooter list. you and the major have done a great public service and should be proud and thanked for it .
     

  17. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Excellent story Panther Shooter. I’ll bet that .375 Rigby was one fine rifle. I really like the Springfield 1903 action too. It’s good that somebody was willing to destroy those man eating beasts.
     

  18. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    Skinnersblade
    Thank you for warmly welcoming me into your community with open arms. It means a great deal to me.
     

  19. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    Next time , I promise .
     
    Bob Nelson 35Whelen likes this.

  20. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    Please read the rest of it . I just completed it now . Thank you very much for warmly welcoming me .
     

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