The Largest Man Eating Panther I Had Ever Shot

Wyatt Smith

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I use brenneke slugs exclusively for my deer hunting, as my state won’t allow the use of rifles for deer. And I agree the work very well on whitetail deer.
 

Major Khan

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Poton, I think it is the chokes on your double that might have a problem with the Brenneke slugs. Your 3" chambers would handle it just fine. I have an old Ithaca Mod 37 (pump) shotgun with two barrels. The "slug" barrel has a full choke and handles the Brenneke slugs just fine. It should be noted that this barrel was made especially for slugs and may be thicker or made from a higher quality steel. This gun will cloverleaf 3 slugs at 50 yds. Is the company that made your Mercury shotgun still in business? If so perhaps you can contact them and find out what they have to say regarding the use of Brenneke slugs. Another possibility is that there might be another AH member that owns or has experience with Mercury shotguns that can answer this question. Barring an affirmative answer, I think it is best to continue your current practice of using the lethal ball.
Shootist43, to my knowledge they have not been manufactured for at least 50 years. It just says “ Magnum 12 Bore DBBL Made In Belgium”. The gun’s leather cover said “ Mercury “ . I believe that some call such a gun , a “ guild gun” . I use Brenneke Black Magic slugs in my semi automatic 12 calibre German shot gun which has modern choke tubes ( the one which Tobin had gifted me )
 
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Major Khan

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Is the lethal ball made out of 8 sections? Or perhaps it is cut so that it will easily split?
You are correct , Pert time . It is cut in such a manner that it will split into 8 sections inside the animal after smashing open effectively after impact.
 

Wyatt Smith

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Thank you for liking the story , Master Smith . It must be remembered that this was not the first panther l had shot . I had already been shooting panthers since 1965 , and so l had some experience by then , with shooting panthers . This was my 6th panther . I am fully confident that you could do it , as well . Although , l would recommend that you use your Winchester Model 70 ( .375 Holland and Holland magnum calibre ) loaded with Winchester Silvertip soft nosed cartridges , and stay in a tree or a macchan and not on ground level .
I would feel much safer from an elevated position, and I think I would enjoy it afterwards, but I would be very nervous. I’ve read all of Jim Corbett’s books and have the greatest respect for people who deal with these man eaters.
 

Major Khan

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The choke can be the biggest problem using slugs. I recall Kawshik Rahman, in at least one if his articles, mentioned cutting off part of a shotgun's barrels, to make it suitable for single ball and large shot - effectively removing the choke part.

edit: I have only ever fired Brenneke style slugs out of a modern semi-auto, with cylinder barrel.
Lethal ball works in even the fullest of 12 calibre chokes , Perttime.
This is because the ball itself is of 16 calibre so that it can easily pass through the tightest of chokes.
Kawshik’s IOF shot gun could easily handle Lethal Ball cartridges in their original state. However , he cut 4 inches from the barrels and removed the chokes , to make the gun safe to use with buck shot ( s.g cartridges), because buck shot could cause fixed full choke barrels to get bulged ( and the buck shot pellets would also deform through the full choke ).
Like yourself , l also only use Brenneke Black Magic slugs in my Wischo 12 calibre German semi automatic shot gun with Wischo choke tubes.
 

Major Khan

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I would feel much safer from an elevated position, and I think I would enjoy it afterwards, but I would be very nervous. I’ve read all of Jim Corbett’s books and have the greatest respect for people who deal with these man eaters.
Your reasoning is very wise and sensible. The reason l eventually started doing it from a hole in the ground , is to ( ironically enough ) actually be closer to the panther , so that l could accurately place my shot gun’s Lethal Ball bullet in the spot between the panther’s 2 eyes as soon as the beam from my torch light fell on their heads and they looked at me . Since the Lethal Ball bullet being fired from a 12 calibre shot gun , was actually of 16 calibre ( to let it pass through a fully choked 12 calibre gun ) , the Lethal Ball bullet lost accuracy very quickly , at all but the shortest of ranges. In fact , l dare say that l have never shot an animal in my life with a Lethal Ball cartridge , at a distance greater than 30 yards.
With a good rifle , such as your beautiful Winchester Model 70 , in .375 Holland and Holland magnum , you could safely and accurately shoot that panther from a tree or a macchan as soon as it closed in , on the goat.
 

cls

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great article, thanks for posting
 

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Thanks once again for a great account of your hunt. I love the stories of old India!!
 

K-man

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Major, I have enjoyed reading your accounts of past hunts and methods. One thing has especially stood out for me, is that we still 50 years later have some of the same issues with governments interfering with a working arrangement, clients both capable and enjoyable, and some that are incompetent and difficult. Also some professionals who are less than capable and difficult. Thanks again for the stories and keep them coming.
 

Major Khan

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Major, I have enjoyed reading your accounts of past hunts and methods. One thing has especially stood out for me, is that we still 50 years later have some of the same issues with governments interfering with a working arrangement, clients both capable and enjoyable, and some that are incompetent and difficult. Also some professionals who are less than capable and difficult. Thanks again for the stories and keep them coming.
Thank you so much , K Man for enjoying my accounts . Some things will never change and will always stay the same . I suppose that this is what makes all of my shikar stories from 50 years ago , so relatable to all you gentlemen , even today .
 

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Another fascinating read!
I keep wondering what would happen if the panther tried to cross directly over your tarp over your pit? Yikes!
 

Major Khan

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Another fascinating read!
I keep wondering what would happen if the panther tried to cross directly over your tarp over your pit? Yikes!
If that ever happened , the end results would be disastrous for me , Ridge Walker. The timing is crucial . You have to shoot the panther the instant it is within 7 metres from your location . I could not pull the trigger until it got that close , out of fear for a miss. At the same time , once it reached 7 metres , l could not ever let it get any closer than that . It took me a great deal of practice to learn how to time my shots properly .
 

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Poton my brave friend, how could you be sure of what direction the panther would come from? What if he was headed towards the goat by walking directly over your pit? Would you risk having an angry man-eating panther basically fall in your hole behind you without any warning from the goat, or did you have some idea which direction he might come from?
 

Major Khan

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Poton my brave friend, how could you be sure of what direction the panther would come from? What if he was headed towards the goat by walking directly over your pit? Would you risk having an angry man-eating panther basically fall in your hole behind you without any warning from the goat, or did you have some idea which direction he might come from?
Oh , that is a very easily question to answer , Ryan 80.
1stly , we had Ponual up on the tree with the binoculars to keep a 360 degree view of the whole area , remember ? When Ponual would see something , he would immediately start tugging on the string connected to the beer bottle , which would alert us of the panther's presence .
2ndly , always remember this . Whenever , you dig a Shikar Gortho ( Hunting Hole ) , you always make a crude bamboo fence in a semi circle position around half of the hole , taking care to have the open side in the direction facing the goat.
This is done to ensure that the panther circles around the hole when it goes towards the goat .
I have a photograph of such a crude bamboo fence which l took during 1 of our shikars . Perhaps this will assist you ?
Screenshot_20191201-080538_01_01.png


If you would like a more detailed view of how it works , l would be more than happy to provide a simple drawing for you here . A diagram of sorts to help you visualize it.
 

flatwater bill

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"I merely finished them (wounded man eating tigers) off after following them into the thickets".(MK).............................my favorite line from the story, and evidence of true bravery vastly understated.....................thanks for posting, Major.................FWB
 

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