Thought Provoking Question : How Many Of You Would Use A Smaller Calibre If It Were Legal?

Skinnersblade

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Karamojo Bell shot 1011 Elephants all one shot with a .275

in his ledgers attached to " the wanderings of an elephant hunter" he stated an average of 1.5 shots to an elephant which indicates he in theory shot every other one twice. In practice I'm sure there were many one shot kills and ones that required multiple follow up shots. That is not to discredit his shooting abilities.
 

Major Khan

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in his ledgers attached to " the wanderings of an elephant hunter" he stated an average of 1.5 shots to an elephant which indicates he in theory shot every other one twice. In practice I'm sure there were many one shot kills and ones that required multiple follow up shots. That is not to discredit his shooting abilities.
There is another factor ... Which also must be observed , Skinnersblade .
Mr. Bell slew upwards of 1000 African elephants , 800 of which ( rough count ) were slain with brain shots by using a .275 Rigby ( better known to the international hunting community as 7 x 57 mm Mauser ) calibre Mauser style bolt rifle , built by the British company , John Rigby and Co. Now , every 1 marvels at how a .275 Rigby cartridge ( using a 175 grain solid metal covered bullet ) can possibly slay African elephants which weigh between 5 and 6 tons .There are even gentlemen who have come to doubt Mr. Bell’s accomplishments over the years . Having read all 3 of Mr. Bell’s books ( “Wanderings of an elephant hunter” , “Karamojo safari” and “Bell of Africa” ) , l personally believe every thing which this gentleman was written. It is imperative that we all must understand the context in which Mr. Bell was killing those 800 African elephants with the .275 Rigby . Mr. Bell was an ivory hunter , not a white hunter. An ivory hunter’s job is to simply kill an elephant to acquire it’s tusks. These elephants were often stationary or moving slowly and most certainly unsuspecting brutes . A white hunter’s job is to stop a charging elephant ( or indeed any other dangerous animal ) which may attack the safari party . Therefore , an ivory hunter , like Mr. Bell could afford to use a small calibre rifle , like a .275 Rigby to dispatch unsuspecting elephants , by using picked shots ( such as side brain shots , because an elephant’s skull is far thinner at the sides than it is in the front portion ) . A white hunter , on the other hand , will however need something far more adequate for the task at hand , because if an elephant charges towards the safari party , then it will only offer the frontal brain shot , or the frontal chest shots ( shots which are certainly not picked shots ) .

2 more words are requisite about Mr. Bell. After reading all of his books carefully , l can safely say that Mr. Bell never once mentions about him stopping a charging elephant. Also , in " Karamojo Safari " , he makes passing mention of a .416 Rigby calibre bolt rifle , built by the British company, John Rigby and Co , as being a part of his battery . This leads me to believe that Mr. Bell did indeed possess a heavier calibre rifle in his battery , possibly as insurance ... should an elephant charge.
 

Wyatt Smith

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I recall reading Mr. Bell say the best thing to do in a charge is to stand your ground and shoot whichever one is closest.
I think he used the frontal brain shot quite a bit, from my reading. It seems he had an unnatural ability to find an elephants brain with such a small bullet. I would guess that he owes his life to his skills in marksmanship, during those charges when he was holding a deer rifle.
 

Skinnersblade

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I am in know way questioning mr. Bells metal or abilities, I simply corrected the myth that they were all one shot kills.

Mr. Bell Should be famous for his military service alone if not for an unfortunate incident of friendly fire.
 

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Karamojo Bell shot 1011 Elephants all one shot with a .275

The numbers seem to keep growing as time goes by so does the mans ability to shoot....

Think about that for a second or two...1011 Elephants with a 7x57 mm and all with only one shot each....only somebody with zero hunting experience would believe that....

Bell recorded all of his kills and shots fired. It was a business to him, not pleasure, and he needed to record expenditures.

  • He shot exactly 1,011 elephants; about 800 of them were shot with Rigby-made 7x57mm (.275 Rigby) rifles and round nose 173 grain military ammo.
  • He shot elephants with a Mannlicher-Schoenauer 6.5x54mm carbine using the long 159 grain FMJ bullets and noted that it was probably the most beautiful rifle he ever had, but gave it up due to faulty ammunition.
  • He shot his first safari with a Lee Enfield in .303 British and the 215 grain army bullet. Thereafter he kept a ten shot Army& Navy Lee Enfield as a sort of back up and in the hope he might find ten elephants silly enough to stand around long enough for him to use the whole magazine.
  • He went to rifles chambered in .318 Westley Richards for a while, which is a .32 caliber cartridge firing a 250 grain bullet at about 2400 fps, but found the ammunition unreliable and again returned to the 7x57 mm. He later wrote that the .318 Westley Richards was more of a reliable killer for certain shots, while the 7x57 was a "surgeons" rifle.
  • He also recorded that one of the reasons why he favored the 7x57 was that the ammunition was more reliable and he could not recall ever having a fault with it; whereas British sporting ammunition, apart from the .303 military ammo, gave him endless trouble with splitting cases.
  • He owned a .450/400 Jeffrey double rifle made by Thomas Bland & Sons, but did not use it after his first safari, as he considered the action not rugged enough and the Mauser repeating action to be just as quick as a double for aimed shooting.
  • He wrote about being able to drop an elephant with a light caliber rifle if he shot it in the same place that he would have shot it with a heavy rifle and realised this fully when he saw that elephants shot with a .303 died just as quickly when shot in the same place as a .450/400 double rifle with both triggers wired together, so they went off at the same time.
To judge ammunition expenditure and his own shooting, he calculated an average. He discovered that with the .275 (7x57mm) he fired an average of 1.5 shots per kill.
 

Major Khan

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The numbers seem to keep growing as time goes by so does the mans ability to shoot....

Think about that for a second or two...1011 Elephants with a 7x57 mm and all with only one shot each....only somebody with zero hunting experience would believe that....

Bell recorded all of his kills and shots fired. It was a business to him, not pleasure, and he needed to record expenditures.

  • He shot exactly 1,011 elephants; about 800 of them were shot with Rigby-made 7x57mm (.275 Rigby) rifles and round nose 173 grain military ammo.
  • He shot elephants with a Mannlicher-Schoenauer 6.5x54mm carbine using the long 159 grain FMJ bullets and noted that it was probably the most beautiful rifle he ever had, but gave it up due to faulty ammunition.
  • He shot his first safari with a Lee Enfield in .303 British and the 215 grain army bullet. Thereafter he kept a ten shot Army& Navy Lee Enfield as a sort of back up and in the hope he might find ten elephants silly enough to stand around long enough for him to use the whole magazine.
  • He went to rifles chambered in .318 Westley Richards for a while, which is a .32 caliber cartridge firing a 250 grain bullet at about 2400 fps, but found the ammunition unreliable and again returned to the 7x57 mm. He later wrote that the .318 Westley Richards was more of a reliable killer for certain shots, while the 7x57 was a "surgeons" rifle.
  • He also recorded that one of the reasons why he favored the 7x57 was that the ammunition was more reliable and he could not recall ever having a fault with it; whereas British sporting ammunition, apart from the .303 military ammo, gave him endless trouble with splitting cases.
  • He owned a .450/400 Jeffrey double rifle made by Thomas Bland & Sons, but did not use it after his first safari, as he considered the action not rugged enough and the Mauser repeating action to be just as quick as a double for aimed shooting.
  • He wrote about being able to drop an elephant with a light caliber rifle if he shot it in the same place that he would have shot it with a heavy rifle and realised this fully when he saw that elephants shot with a .303 died just as quickly when shot in the same place as a .450/400 double rifle with both triggers wired together, so they went off at the same time.
To judge ammunition expenditure and his own shooting, he calculated an average. He discovered that with the .275 (7x57mm) he fired an average of 1.5 shots per kill.
He actually permanently shifted from a 7x57 mm Mauser calibre rifle to a .318 Westley Richards calibre rifle , from 1913 onwards ( Bell's own words ) .
According to " Karamojo Safari " Bell shot only 12 African elephants with his 6.5x54 mm calibre Mannlicher Schoenaur bolt rifle. He shot those 12 on 1 days . He tried to shoot a 13th , but encountered a misfire and the bullet got stuck inside the rifle barrel ( The Mannlicher brand cartridges used poor crimping ) .
 

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