The World Of Hunting : Then And Now

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Major Khan, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    I have actually been wanting to write an article like this for a fairly long time , but for some reason or another , l never actually got around to doing it . I consider myself most fortunate that countless honorable members of African Hunting forums have very warmly received the articles written by myself and my learned colleagues and compatriots , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman and Captain Kareem Hossain Newaz about shikar in India in the 1960s ( our hey day ) . At the same time , l have also been highly amazed by all of the changes which came to the world of hunting in the last 50 years , many of which came to my eyes after l joined these forums. So , today l thought about doing something a little different ( and hopefully interesting ) . I am going to do a step by step comparison of different aspects of hunting and how things in our time were different from the world of hunting in modern times .

    @Captain Nwz , please forgive me for copying your format of writing . I really think highly of it and prefer it to my own writing format , greatly .

    This article will have the following sub headings :
    * Ethics
    * Tactics
    * Calibres
    * Bullets
    * Rifles
    * Costs
    * Resources
    * General remarks

    Without further ado , let us begin , dear readers .

    Here is a photograph l had taken of a group of beaters whom we had hired to organize a beat for flushing out a royal Bengal tiger for a client , during a shikar. Beating today , is practically unheard of , in modern times .
    Screenshot_20191201-063825_01_01.png

    I hope that you will all enjoy this article as it unfolds.
     

  2. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Ethics
    No bigger change has come to the world of hunting in the last 50 years than the area of “ ethics “. When l was a professional shikaree in Nagpur , India from 1961 to 1970 , working for Allwyn Copper Limited , shikar ethics were practically unheard of .

    During those days , the work of a professional shikaree in Allwyn Copper Limited was to only open fire if an animal was charging the client or anyone in the shikar party. A wounded animal escaping back in those days , was the client’s problem . If the client did not wish to carry out a follow up , then you patted him on the shoulder , offered him a bottle of our infamous Indian Old Monk rum and said “ It is only bad luck and nothing else , Sahib “ before driving him back to his hotel . Even though , l was personally extremely particular about following up any game ever wounded by myself , l must admit that l was rather indifferent about following up any game wounded by clients. My ( admittedly flawed ) logic was that the escaping animals wounded by clients were not my responsibility , as l was not the 1 who had shot them in the 1st place . By 1965 , however l had begun to follow up animals by clients . This sensibility was largely indoctrinated into me by my American friend and fellow professional shikaree , the late Tobin Stakkatz. Tobin was always extremely particular about following up game wounded by anyone in our shikar party , be it client or otherwise. Even though , my desire to follow up the wounded game stemmed largely out of my loyalty to Tobin and not any perceived “ ethics “ at the time , l have changed my views genuinely over the years . As l look back at those days through the eyes of an elderly man , l now fully realize that what Tobin and l were doing was the right thing to do. As a matter of fact , now that l think about it , l cannot recall having even 1 American client of mine , who did NOT want to follow up any game wounded by themselves. But then again , as good old Tobin used to say , “ Back where l come from , in the States , we never leave a wounded critter to die in the bush “.
    Unlike today , there were no legal restrictions on the minimal calibres which 1 could use for dangerous game back in those days. The closest thing to such a regulation that existed back in those days was that a foreign client shikaree could not use a calibre smaller than.375 Nitro Express for royal Bengal tiger, gaur or water buffalo . However , this law only existed in Nagpur and less than a dozen other states in India. In other states ( such as Darjeeling where my fellow retired professional shikaree
    , compatriot and friend , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman was based ) such laws did not exist . If any of you have ever read all of Kawshik’s articles on these forums , then you will recall a story about 1 of Kawshik’s colleagues , Rongon Daas getting hanged by the police , because his American client had gotten mauled to death , while trying to hunt a royal Bengal tiger with a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .220 Swift ( using 48 grain soft nose bullet ) . That is right . Some 1 actually thought that it would be a good idea to use a .220 Swift to dispatch a 479 pound royal Bengal tiger . The results were inevitably predictable.

    Here is a client from the very 1st shikar in my life which l had ever guided with Kawshik in 1963. This gentleman brought a .243 Winchester calibre Savage Model 110 bolt rifle for hunting a royal Bengal tiger . Call it sheer luck or sheer skill , but this gentleman successfully took down his royal Bengal tiger with a single 105 grain soft point .243 Winchester calibre bullet to the heart without any complications whatsoever. Regardless , l would be pretty uncomfortable if all of my clients began to come to India to hunt royal Bengal tigers with .243 Winchester calibre rifles.
    Screenshot_20191125-042910_01_01.png
    This is Tom Bolack ( an American gentleman and a client of Kawshik's and mine who would eventually become the governor of New Mexico ) . Mr. Bolack won Allwyn Cooper Limited's " Tiger of the year " award in 1963 . He killed the royal Bengal tiger , whose head is mounted in the photograph , with a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .270 Winchester .
    Screenshot_20191125-042606_01_01.png
    While the use of smaller calibres for large , dangerous game is definitely not something l can ever recommend , l did learn a very valuable lesson from my clients who managed to successfully kill big , dangerous game with such under powered weapons : Accurate shot placement always deserves to be given higher priority than the size of your rifle bore ( although , calibre choices must also be extremely reasonable as well . )


    Today , when l read many of the excellent posts made on these forums by our fellow forum members , l am most pleased to see how much ethics plays a part in the minds of the modern sports man. When l read the hunting reports of our fellow forum members , my respect for the members of African Hunting forums quadruples when l see the efforts that each of these fine gentlemen put to recover any wounded game and prevent them from dying a lingering death in the thickets.
    On the subject of regulations relating to minimal calibre legally permissible for dangerous African game in modern times , l believe that majority of the African countries do not allow the use of any calibre smaller than .375 Holland & Holland magnum for dangerous game in modern times . In some African countries , l have read that they go 1 step further by not allowing anything smaller than the .400 series calibres for dangerous game. In some African countries , l believe that the law is a little lax and the minimum legally permissible calibre for dangerous game is the 9.3 × 62 Mauser . With laws stipulating the use of appropriate armaments in most of Africa , not only is the hunt far more ethical ( in the sense that you have a greater chance of being able to afford the animal a cleaner death ) , but it is also much safer to use when hunting animals which can potentially hunt you back .

    Coming up next , " Tactics " .
     

  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great start Poton!
     
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  4. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Tactics

    The tactics used for hunting are largely ( but not solely ) derived from the ethics of the time and place where 1 hunts in .

    During my hey day , for example ... the most popular method for drawing out a royal Bengal tiger was to organize a beat. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of beats , please allow me to elaborate :
    A group of trackers would narrow down the general forested area where a royal Bengal tiger may be lurking . Then , the professional shikaree (s) would hire anywhere from 4 dozen to 5 dozen villagers and give them a series of instructions.
    Here is a photograph of my good friend , Kawshik organizing a group of beaters for a royal Bengal tiger shikar.
    Screenshot_20191018-001102_01_01.png
    The beaters would comb through the entire patch of forested area in a single row ( with each beater being 5 metres apart from the other ) loudly beating drums and blowing flutes . The whole concept was to " spook " the royal Bengal tiger away from the beaters , so that it would move towards the other end of the forest , where the shooter(s) would be waiting .
    Here is a photograph of a group of beaters whom l had hired once to conduct a beat and flush out a royal Bengal tiger for a client .
    Screenshot_20191201-063825_01_01.png

    Now , every lover of Indian shikar who is familiar with the works of the great Jim Corbett or Sir Samuel White Baker always imagines a beat being conducted whenever a shikar for a royal Bengal tiger was being carried out. Infact , Stewart Granger's excellent cinematic piece " Harry Black and the tiger " infact illustrates , very accurately a how a beat for flushing out royal Bengal tigers would be conducted back in the old days.

    However , the truth is that we professional shikarees used to HATE conducting beats . They were extremely labour intensive and costly . Gathering 5 dozen villagers to comb through a portion of the forested area , loudly blowing musical instruments in order to flush out a 500 pound royal Bengal tiger towards the direction of the shooter , is by no means an easy task , l can assure all of you. 1stly , getting all these villagers to agree to conduct the beat was quite challenging , especially when they were made aware of the fact that the animal in question is a 500 pound royal Bengal tiger. Upon knowing this , very few of them actually would decide to go forward with it , out of fear for their lives . And those who did agree to go forward with it , would often demand 200 - 300 more Rupees than what we were offering them to do the job . We always paid it a point to pay them AFTER the best had been conducted . Otherwise , there was always a risk of them taking the payment and then conveniently " disappearing " from the village on the day the beat was to be conducted.

    The villagers were rowdy and undisciplined and would often start fighting with 1 another for the pettiest of reasons . Making them stay in 1 single row was a chore , in and of itself and it was not uncommon for them to break the line and flee for their lives during a beat if they so much as heard the growl of a royal Bengal tiger in the distance.

    As a precaution , lest the royal Bengal tiger choose to turn and attack the beaters , 6 professional shikarees , armed with either rifles ( typically Indian Ordinance Factories .315 Bore bolt rifles ) or shot guns loaded with spherical ball cartridges ( typically Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore side by side shot guns) were posted to stay with the beaters at all times . When l began my career as a professional shikaree in Allwyn Cooper Limited , for the very 1st year l was predominantly assigned to " Beat duty " and therefore l had to spend a great deal of time walking behind the beaters with my old Belgian shot gun to protect them , lest the royal Bengal tiger choose to move towards the beaters rather than away from them . The whole affair was extremely loud and the whole village would be disturbed by the loud noises , while the beat was being conducted ( often for up to 4 hours ) .


    1 more thing which can be gleaned from the writings of myself , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman and Captain Newaz is that nocturnal shooting of game was an universally accepted and standard practice during our time. Out of the 20 forest panthers which l have shot in my career as a professional shikaree , 16 of them were taken at night.
    Here are some photographs of forest panthers which I had shot at night.
    Screenshot_20191220-003933_01_01_01_01_01_01.png Screenshot_20191208-071341_01_01_01_01_01_01.png Screenshot_20191208-071335_01_01_01_01_01.png


    During our time , l thought nothing of taking my old Belgian shot gun and a pencil torch light and going out of my family house in the evening to shoot a nice cheetal deer in the surrounding woods and bring back some lovely venison for supper. This was a very common practice for me and other local shikarees in my youth.

    Today , however ... things are different.
    Based on my reading of the " reports " section in African Hunting forums , it would appear as if beats are completely unused nowadays . It has been brought to my attention by my friendly fellow forum members , @Ridgewalker and @Shootist43 that the vast majority of African lions and African leopards are taken " over bait " in modern times . What this means is that , instead of beats , most modern sports men prefer to lure their lion or leopards towards them with the use of bait . This is actually a far more cost effective and labour effective method of hunting the great cats in my personal opinion . You no longer need to pay 60 rowdy , undisciplined villagers to blow musical instruments loudly as they move through a forest , while essentially waking up the entire village. Things can now be done far more quietly . And a professional shikaree no longer has 5 dozen people to watch over , like we had to , in the old days , should the royal Bengal tiger or the panther choose to pounce on any of the beaters.

    In many parts of Africa in modern times , the taking of game at night has now been illegalized . The modern sports man views the taking of game at night to be unethical. I am not certain how l really feel about this . However , from personal experience , l can attest that panthers ( the Indian cousin of the African leopard ) are predominantly nocturnal creatures who feed at night . Therefore , it makes a great deal of sense to me , as to why so many people assume that the African leopard is endangered. Since they only hunt leopards during the day , they see relatively few leopards in the wild . However , the bulk of leopards ( being nocturnal feeders ) only appear at night , when most people are not hunting them.
    Therefore , people see so relatively few leopards these days .

    Coming up next .... " Calibres".
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020

  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Poton, I have hunted varmints at night from the time I was 6 years old. I’ve taken coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats and of course feral hogs. Here most states allow night hunting for varmints. Some states you must have written permission from a land owner or game warden.
    I believe it is perfectly ethical and certainly no sure thing to call in varmints, or hunt over a hog feeder. I don’t believe it is legal anywhere for big game such as deer or elk.
     

  6. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  7. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    An excellent article, so far so good.
     

  8. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    I think that commercial hunting has a lot to do with modern ethics.

    First, if a hunter pays for hunt (sometimes top dollar), and usually same full fee is paid for wounded and lost game, certainly every effort will be taken to collect the animal.

    Secondly, in modern times of online mass media, and antihunting NGO waiting for a chance to act, PR is another reason.
    No sane hunting organisation will allow wounding of animals to be supported, or ignored, and this will be implemented in each hunting organisation code of ethics.

    Following all this, then we have modern rules for minimum calibers, developed an implemented hunting methods, to avoid wounding, etc.

    Once, when behind wounding and loosing animal, there is no any kind of consequence, financial or social responsibility, things can degrade fast.
    Illegal poaching, is extreme example, but there are many shades in between. Like hunting for food, in rural areas where proper fire arms are not available, or too expensive, or hunting is banned for some reason, etc.
     

  9. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    The main reason why i am follow a wounded animal is neither financially nor politically but has to do with the fact that it is a living being , a creature whose agony I have to end as soon as possible. Nowadays , that should be THE reason why something is done. So far on the subject of ethics !

    In Africa it is self-evident as it seems. Unfortunately, it is not yet the case all over the world ...and by trophy hunting. I am afraid that there is a black list and that some hunters worldwide have not told the truth. A delicate topic , I don't want to say more.
     

  10. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Calibres

    We now begin to enter the part of this article which deals with my favorite topic of all times ... fire arms. 1st , let us talk about rifle calibres .
    During the time when l used to be a professional shikaree in Nagpur , India from 1961 to 1970 , ICI Kynoch had ceased to manufacture all centre fire rifle ammunition and thus most British calibres had been pushed out of the scene in 1 BIG swoop. Add to this , you have the fact that the people in post World War 2 Great Britain were living in extremely difficult times and thus hunting was relatively less common among English men , than it used to be prior to the 2nd World War.
    The 1960s was the decade of American calibres , through and through . I had more American clients than clients from any other nation in my career . Roughly 50 % of all my clients were American sports men , while 20 % were from continental Europe . 15 % were from Australia and 10 % were from Great Britain . 5 % of my clients came from other places , such as South America or Asia. Even clients who were not American favored American calibres and were very happy with them .
    The only British calibre which was still being used was the .375 Holland & Holland magnum , but the only reason for this is because the .375 Holland & Holland magnum cartridge was a non proprietary cartridge .

    European calibres were slightly more popular than British calibres , but only just . The European calibres brought by most of my clients were :
    - 6.5 Mannlicher ( Known in Nagpur , as .256 Mannlicher )
    -7 × 57 mm Mauser ( known in Nagpur , as .275 Mauser )
    7.62 × 54 Rimmed Russian service cartridge
    - 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser ( Known in Nagpur , as .366 Mauser )
    -9.3 × 74 Rimmed
    My best friend and fellow professional shikaree , the late Tobin Stakkatz used a .423 Mauser calibre bolt rifle , built by Fabrique Nationale on an FN Mauser action .
    Beyond these few calibres , the American calibres ran the show and they were good calibres. From the smallest to the largest , these were all the American calibres which l have had my clients bring into India for shikar , during my career :

    .22 Long Rifle
    .22 Winchester magnum rimfire
    .22 Hornet
    .22 Savage High Power " imp "
    .243 Winchester
    .264 Winchester
    .270 Winchester
    7 mm Remington magnum
    .30-30 Winchester
    .30-06 Springfield
    .308 Winchester
    .300 Winchester magnum
    .300 Weatherby magnum
    .338 Winchester magnum
    .44-40 Winchester
    .45-70 Government
    .458 Winchester magnum
    .460 Weatherby magnum

    These were all extremely solid calibres and with the exception of the .300 Weatherby magnum , .458 Winchester magnum and .460 Weatherby magnum , l love every last 1 of them .
    Here is a photograph of 1 of Kawshik's and my clients who successfully took a royal Bengal tiger with a .243 Winchester calibre Savage Model 110 bolt rifle .
    Screenshot_20191125-042910_01_01.png

    Here is a client of Kawshik's , who successfully took a forest panther with a 7 mm Remington magnum calibre Remington Model 700 bolt rifle.
    Screenshot_20191018-013938_01_01_01.png

    Here is a client of Kawshik's who is just about to shoot a forest panther with a .300 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark V bolt rifle.
    Screenshot_20191022-165621_01_01_01.png
    Here is Kawshik's Nepalese gun bearer , Rishi Chokroborti carrying a client's .243 Winchester calibre Savage Model 99 lever rifle.
    Screenshot_20191002-203359_01_01_01.png

    Here is 1 of Kawshik's clients carrying a .30-06 Springfield Model 1903 which had it's stock sporterized .
    Screenshot_20191006-203533_01_01_01.png

    Here is the exact same rifle on the bottom of the photograph.
    Screenshot_20190926-010411_01_01.png
    Here is 1 of Kawshik's Middle Eastern clients with a .348 Winchester calibre Model 71 lever rifle and a custom made .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle built on a Brevex magnum Mauser action ( Kawshik would fall in love with this action after handling this rifle ) .
    Screenshot_20191006-203603_01_01.png
    Here is 1 of Kawshik's clients with a royal Bengal tiger which he had shot. The rifle is a side by side double barreled rifle built by the British company , Holland and Holland. It is chambered in .458 Winchester magnum .
    Screenshot_20191006-203448_01_01_01.png


    Today , by the grace of God , the modern sports man is spoilt for choice with the wide range of so many American , English and European calibres on the market . To name a few , you have the :
    6.5 mm Swedish Mauser ( as favored by my good friend , @Shootist43 )
    .318 Westley Richards
    .350 Rigby magnum
    .35 Whelen
    .338 Lapua magnum
    .400 Holland & Holland
    .450/400 Nitro Express
    .404 Jeffery
    .416 Rigby
    .416 Remington magnum ( my dream rifle calibre to shoot .)
    .500/416 Nitro Express
    .450 Rigby
    .450 Nitro Express
    .458 Lott ( a much desirable improvement over the .458 Winchester magnum )
    .465 Nitro Express
    .470 Nitro Express
    .475 Nitro Express
    .476 Westley Richards
    .505 Gibbs
    .500 Jeffery
    .500 Nitro Express
    .500 A Square
    .577 Nitro Express
    .600 Nitro Express

    What sports man would not be happy with the increased selection of calibres available today ? Personally , l am very happy with the new introductions ( or shall l say " re introductions " ? ) in the .400 series and .500 series . During my career , there were no available calibres in the .500 series and no calibres in the .400 series which l actually liked . I was neither a fan of the .458 Winchester magnum or the .460 Weatherby magnum calibres ( which were the largest calibres which we had available in the 1960s ) . In the 1960s , it would appear to me that American fire arms manufacturers did not yet devise a perfect calibre in the .400 series for thick skinned heavy game in Africa and Asia . I mean this in no offensive manner to my brother American sports men , for l am merely stating things the way l perceived them to be at that time . Today , however the American fire arms manufacturers have gotten out , not 1 , but at least 2 calibres in the .400 series which appear to be quite flawless : The .416 Remington magnum and the .458 Lott.
    The .458 Lott , in particular is an impressive improvement on the .458 Winchester magnum , by giving it a crucial 0.5 inches more of powder space to propel the 500 grain bullet at desirable velocities consistently without any fluctuations in velocity.

    Coming up next ... " Bullets " .
     

  11. DieJager

    DieJager AH Senior Member

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    Enjoying the article so far.

    On hunting at night.
    While not hunted boar (yet) , it is legal to hunt them at night. Although not in every province. Only have hunted a hog while at holiday in Florida.
     
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  12. gesch

    gesch AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you Major Kahn. I really enjoy the format of trying to complete a comprehensive overview of your subject. You are succeeding admirably! As a relatively new rifle hunter, growing up in a primarily shotgun only area, I am benefitting from the teaching going on in your writing. Thanks. Your friend, Brian
     

  13. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Major Khan,
    Excellent lineup of calibers but with one glaring omission: 375 H@H. My personal favorite.
     

  14. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Excellent reading so far Major Khan, I look forward to the rest.
     
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  15. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    He mentioned it !

     
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  16. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Bullets
    It goes without saying that 1 of the biggest changes over the last 50 years , in the world of hunting is the improvement in bullets used.

    During our time , the best bullet for thin skinned game was either the Winchester Silvertip or the Remington Core Lokt soft point bullets. In the higher range .30 calibres , like .338 Winchester magnum or .375 Holland & Holland magnum , the Winchester Silvertip was SO bloody effective on royal Bengal tigers , that we local Indian shikarees actually nick named them , “ Baagh Guli “ ( Tiger bullets ) . I still consider them to be just the stuff for royal Bengal tigers.
    The Winchester Silvertip and the Remington Core Lokt were the premium soft point bullets of our time .
    For thick skinned game , such as gaur or Indian water buffalo solid bullets were the standard practice. During our time these were metal covered bullets with a lead interior or “ core “ . For the .375 Holland & Holland magnum , the best solid metal covered bullets came from the American company , Winchester . For the .458 Winchester magnum , the best solid metal covered bullets were the 1s from the American company, Hornady. Hornady used to be a premium manufacturer of ammunition back in our time . The metal “ jackets “ used in their solid bullets were made of a very thick steel and the penetration offered was a very good penetration.
    Back in those days , when guiding a foreign client for a gaur shikar , the standard practice was to advise the client to load the magazine of his bolt rifle with a soft point bullet for the 1st shot and then fill the rest of the magazine with solid metal covered bullets for the insurance shots. If the client was using a double barreled rifle , then we would advise the client to load the 1st barrel with a soft point bullet and the 2nd barrel with a solid metal covered bullet.

    Here is a gaur taken by 1 of Kawshik's clients who used 2 shots from his Holland & Holland side by side double barreled rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum . The left barrel was loaded with a 510 grain Remington soft point bullet , while the right barrel was loaded with a 500 grain Remington solid metal covered bullet.
    Screenshot_20191006-203431_01_01.png


    The German company , RWS made excellent cartridges for the 7 × 57 mm Mauser and the 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser , both with soft points and solid metal coverings . However , both Tobin and l agreed that the RWS solid metal covered ammunition for the .423 Mauser calibre was rather pitifully constructed . The metal " jackets " were rather flimsy for taking thick skinned game safely .

    Here is a gaur shot to death by Tobin and l , which took several 347 grain bullets from Tobin's FN .423 Mauser ( and also several Eley spherical ball bullets from my 12 calibre Belgian shot gun ) before it went down. Screenshot_20191201-063848_01_01.png

    Military surplus ammunition was ( sadly ) very common for hunting back in our time . Some of my American clients who brought .30-06 Springfield calibre rifles would also bring .30-06 Springfield calibre military surplus ammunition . These came in little green buckets marked " AP " and the bullets weighed 168 grains with tapered black pointed tips . Many the American sports man in the 1960s used to bring .30-06 military surplus black tip tapered point cartridges to India for shikar , presumably because they were quite affordable and easily available to all sports men world wide . However , these were absolutely foul things for shikar. The pointed tips were prone to deflecting off the bones of game if your angling was even 1 % off. These pointed bullets were more likely to wound game than they were to cleanly kill them and l would always get nervous and frustrated if l saw a client bring them to India for shikar .
    There was 1 Spanish American gentleman who was the exception to this rule , named Manuel Delgado ( l understand that his son is a member of these forums . ) . Mr. Delgado used to be my client in Uttarakhand and he would always use a .30-06 Springfield calibre Enfield Model 1917 bolt rifle and military surplus 168 grain pointed black tip cartridges for shikar. He succeeded in taking a royal Bengal tiger , 6 forest panthers , 2 Asian Sloth bears and 9 gaur with that Enfield Model 1917 and those military surplus 168 grain pointed tip solid bullets . However , Mr. Delgado was an unusually skilled shooter ( he did a tour in Vietnam as a sniper , so l suspect he would be pretty skilled with a rifle . ) He is 1 of the very few people l know who was successfully able to secure a gaur with a brain shot and that too , by using these pointed black tip cartridges .
    Of course , just like all of us , Mr. Delgado was human and once or twice he had 1 of those pointed black tip cartridges deflect off the skull of a gaur and this led to severe problems for our shikar party when that enraged gaur decided to charge us .

    There was a way to convert these pointed tip military surplus cartridges into soft point cartridges . I had a client who used to bring military surplus .30-06 Springfield black tip cartridges and then ground the tips off to expose the interior core ( if l recall correctly , the core of these bullets used to be tungsten . However , l may be mistaken . )

    Long after l had retired from being a professional shikaree , l went to Wisconsin in 1988 to visit my good friend , Tobin Stakkatz ( he had moved to Wisconsin with his family after the foul Wildlife Protection Act was passed in India in 1972 ) . By then , Tobin was using a Springfield Model 1903 bolt rifle , re barrelled to use the .458 Winchester magnum cartridge to hunt American Kodiak bears and elk ( Tobin had a very funny sense of humour . It was a .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle which indirectly led to Tobin losing a kidney and nearly his life in 1969 . Yet he chose the .458 Winchester magnum . ) .
    Tobin showed me a new kind of cartridge for shikar - Trophy Bonded Bullets . These came in 2 varieties : Trophy Bonded Bear Claw soft point cartridges and Trophy Bonded Sledge Hammer solid metal covered cartridges .
    I was extremely impressed by the solid construction of the Trophy Bonded Bullets . Tobin was very fond of using the Bear Claw bullets for American elk and moose and l will trust his judgement.
    This was the very 1st time in my life that l had seen a " Bonded " bullet, because prior to that all the bullets which l had seen in my career and life were all traditional " Cup & Core " style bullets.
    In my humble opinion , Trophy Bonded Bullets are some of the most innovative designs which l have laid eyes on .

    Here is a box of vintage " Cup & Core " style Winchester brand 7 × 57 mm Mauser soft point cartridges ( 175 grains ). This box is now the property of Sergeant Kawshik Rahman .
    IMG_20200104_224222.jpg

    Today , however ... The choices are endless !

    1stly , there is a new kind of solid bullet on the market ... the monolithic solid bullet. Unlike the " solids " of our time , these bullets were no longer a lead core enveloped by a steel jacket . These were rather a single ( 1 piece construction ) slug of a hard metal alloy ( typically brass , according to my readings . ) The advantage of such a design is obvious . You have lesser chance of the bullet deforming even when fired at higher velocities . The disadvantages are that a solid monolithic bullet will need to be longer to weigh the same as a conventional solid metal covered bullet of the same calibre and thus takes up more powder space . For example , a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre 300 grain monolithic bullet will need to be longer in length , than a 300 grain traditional solid metal covered bullet. This is not so much a problem for calibres which have ample powder space to spare such as the .460 Weatherby magnum calibre ( infact , l actually recommend monolithic bullets in a .460 Weatherby magnum ) . However , in calibres such as the .458 Winchester magnum ( which already has a dismal case capacity , as is . ) this can be a vital problem . People who prefer to use the .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifles with monolithic bullets , therefore opt for lighter monolithic bullets weighing 465 grains or thereabouts . This works , but the bullets have less sectional density and thus penetration is compromised somewhat .
    I suspect that those sports men who are fond of using 500 grain bullets in their .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifles , will thus keep using the traditional metal covered solid bullets of my time .

    There is a book which l would highly recommend every gentleman here to read , named " Ballistics in Perspective " written by a professional elephant culler in Africa who was involved in the elephant culls in the 1980s. In his book , he details the 1st monolithic solid bullets to ever hit the market . They were made by the company , A Square . In his book , he references exactly 1 dozen monolithic solid bullets being used on African bull elephants , during a cull as an experiment to test their penetration. These monolithic solid bullets were of .458 Winchester magnum calibre .

    Here is a photograph taken from the internet of the .458 Winchester magnum calibre monolithic solid cartridges sold by A Square . The bullets are a 465 grain variant. However , the ammunition supplied to the elephant cullers for the experiment was a special batch of 480 grain bullets manufactured by A Square.
    Screenshot_20200116-160202_01.png

    The author of the book goes on to state that monolithic bullets tend to wear out rifle barrels more prematurely than conventional solid metal covered bullets .
    However , it must be borne in mind that the monolithic bullets manufactured by A Square were the very 1st on the market and thus very not a very refined design. Today , l would suspect that modern monolithic bullets have no ill effects on rifle barrels whatsoever.
    I say it with a heavy heart. However , l dare say that in few years modern monolithic bullets will completely push the old solid metal covered bullets of my time in obsolescence .
    Very recently , a friend brought a Verney Carron semi automatic rifle , chambered in 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser and some cartridges , loaded with Barnes bullets to Bangladesh to show Kawshik and me . The Barnes "Banded Solid " style monolithic bullets and their strong construction really impressed me .
    I also read extremely good things about the monolithic solid bullets from Rhino , a South African brand .


    The developments made in the field of soft point bullets is mind boggling . Today , you have premium soft point bullets , like the Swift A frame and the Barnes TSX . These bullets expand , but they have a very controlled rate of expansion . They will not open up on the target as fast as say , a Winchester Silvertip or Remington Core Lokt soft point bullet. This has made it possible to use soft point bullets on African cape buffaloes ( the African cousin of our Indian gaur . ) , even for insurance shots ... something which was unthinkable during our time.
    Let me tell you all about how foreign client shikarees would hunt gaurs in the 1960s in Nagpur . Let us use a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 as an example .
    The standard practice at that time, was that the client loaded the magazine 1st with 3 solid metal covered Winchester 300 grain bullets and then loaded a 300 grain Winchester Silvertip on the top for the 1st shot . It was the work of us , professional shikarees to get the client near the gaur so that the gaur was perfectly exposed to us from a broadside position . We would then instruct the client to use a double lung shot on the gaur with a 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point bullet . If the shot was perfectly placed , then the Silvertip would pierce both the lungs and open up inside the gaur's lungs . A wounded gaur hit this way would seldom think of charging . It would run a short distance , coughing blood from it's nose and mouth , before collapsing lifeless on the forest floor . In case the 1st shot was not perfect , then insurance shots were made with the 300 grain solid metal covered Winchester bullets. Typically , if the gaur charged , then the best area to shoot it would be in the the heart from the front side . The heart was tucked between the 2 front legs and in order to reach the heart with a broadside shot , the bullet had to hold together to pierce the gaur's shoulder bone and each the heart . Therefore , it was imperative that a solid point bullet be used for this shot.
    In the old days , a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre solid metal covered bullet used to make a very small hole in the heart of a gaur . A gaur shot in the heart could still remain a threat for up to 20 minutes , because it's blood pumping could potentially close the bullet hole in it's heart.

    Today , modern expanding bullets with a controlled rate of expansion have negated the necessity to have solid bullets in 1's rifle magazine , even for insurance shots.
    Premium soft point bullets , such as the Barnes TSX and the Swift A frame also allow shots to be made on the African Cape Buffalo from any angle .
    And what of the old Winchester Silvertip of my time ? Why , it is not manufactured anymore at all ! Personally , l do not support this decision , because l really liked the Winchester Silvertip soft point bullets . They were THE bullets for royal Bengal tigers back in my time . However , I must approach this subject in an unbiased manner . With bullets such as the Swift A frame or the Barnes TSX soft points , the Winchester Silvertip really does appear to have been pushed into obsolescence .
    The Remington Core Lokt have significantly waned in popularity . However , it is still going strong . Just ask @Captain Nwz who almost exclusively uses 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft point cartridges in his custom .338 Winchester magnum FN Mauser action bolt rifle.
    Here is man eating forest panther killed by the good Captain with a single 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft point bullet from his .338 Winchester magnum calibre rifle .
    Screenshot_20200109-005933_01_01.png

    I am , however genuinely shocked that Hornady receives such negative reviews in modern times amongst my brother sports men . They really were a premium brand , during my time . It is tragic that their quality has slipped so badly ( according to what l have read on African Hunting forums ).

    Perhaps , the most positive change of all , is that no 1 uses military surplus pointed tip ammunition anymore for shikar these days ! Sports men give greater priority to using the appropriate tools for the task , rather than any false economy. If only every 1 of my clients thought like this during my career ... then it would have saved me a great deal of trouble from facing charging royal Bengal tigers , panthers , gaurs and Asian Sloth Bears , or having to carry out follow ups . Facing wounded brutes or having to follow them for miles can be rather trying on the nerves on even the most patient professional shikaree.

    Coming up next ... " Rifles ". This may take a few hours , because there is a tally involved from a survey which l had conducted on another thread on these forums .
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020

  17. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Poton, I'm hanging on to every word. So far you have outlined my experiences exactly and or confirmed what other PH(s) like IvW have been saying. Even though I've never shot Dangerous Game I'm aware that the transition from soft points to solids for follow up shots was at one time the thing to do. But thanks to modern bullet selection and technology it is no longer preferred or necessary.
     

  18. DieJager

    DieJager AH Senior Member

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    Nice section about bullets. Tested a few monolithic bulets from Sax for my 375 h&h. So far I'm very happy with them. They are only 154 grains.

    [​IMG]
     

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  19. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    The image of the buffalo on the box is only for decoration.
     
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  20. perttime

    perttime AH Enthusiast

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    I suppose the "beat" is alive and well in the European "driven hunt" where you have a number of hunters at assigned positions, and people and/or dogs driving the animals towards them. I think it is mainly done for various species of deer and wild boar.

    A drive is one of the usual methods for hunting Moose in my corner of Europe. Typically, the "drivers" are spaced at least 50 meters apart. The hunt manager needs to set it up carefully to ensure the "drivers" do not end up in the line of fire.
     
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