Tools Of The Trade: Rifles & Reliability

Red Leg

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Not that it matters a lot, but I do not believe that is precisely how Ian died. Chifuti Safaris released this statement shortly afterward.

Dear Chifuti Safaris clients,

It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).

The details are just starting to emerge as we write this. However it appears that Ian and his client had been on the tracks of an elephant bull for approximately 5 hours when they decided to take a break and allow the client to rest. Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client, stayed with the game scout to rest. Robert indicated the bull was in musk. They eventually caught up to the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 meters. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge. Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.

Ian Gibson was a fine man and one of the most experienced professional hunters on the African continent. He will be deeply missed by all...

Dave Fulson provided a bit more that Brickburn was kind enough to post.

"Hunting Community/ Family
The national feeds have kicked in and we are besieged by, and now rejecting interviews from outside the hunting community media. This is not entertainment or news fodder, it is the soul wrenching loss of a great man, friend , and hunter. Indeed our Facebook has been lit up by vicious comments and outright celebration by people with the usual agenda.
The report of stalking lion is incorrect, Ian and his tracker Robert were approaching a elephant bull in thick cover to judge ivory size when the wind shifted and brought a immediate charge from a determined bull.
Our position is that the folks we, and Ian would have wanted to know, now do. The AH AR family is on that list.
GOD BLESS for your prayers, calls, and support you have so generously shared. It will all be passed on.

Dave Fulson"


Everyone with an agenda tried to take advantage of this fine man's untimely death - to include infiltrating this forum. I am unaware of any investigation that indicated there was a failure to extract issue. What is more likely is that Ian was doing everything in his power to not have to shoot that charging elephant
 

Red Leg

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Not that it matters a lot, but I do not believe that is precisely how Ian died. Chifuti Safaris released this statement shortly afterward.

Dear Chifuti Safaris clients,

It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).

The details are just starting to emerge as we write this. However it appears that Ian and his client had been on the tracks of an elephant bull for approximately 5 hours when they decided to take a break and allow the client to rest. Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client, stayed with the game scout to rest. Robert indicated the bull was in musk. They eventually caught up to the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 meters. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge. Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.

Ian Gibson was a fine man and one of the most experienced professional hunters on the African continent. He will be deeply missed by all...

Dave Fulson provided a bit more that Brickburn was kind enough to post.

"Hunting Community/ Family
The national feeds have kicked in and we are besieged by, and now rejecting interviews from outside the hunting community media. This is not entertainment or news fodder, it is the soul wrenching loss of a great man, friend , and hunter. Indeed our Facebook has been lit up by vicious comments and outright celebration by people with the usual agenda.
The report of stalking lion is incorrect, Ian and his tracker Robert were approaching a elephant bull in thick cover to judge ivory size when the wind shifted and brought a immediate charge from a determined bull.
Our position is that the folks we, and Ian would have wanted to know, now do. The AH AR family is on that list.
GOD BLESS for your prayers, calls, and support you have so generously shared. It will all be passed on.

Dave Fulson"


Everyone with an agenda tried to take advantage of this fine man's untimely death - to include infiltrating this forum. I am unaware of any investigation that indicated there was a failure to extract issue. What is more likely is that Ian was doing everything in his power to not have to shoot that charging elephant
I should also add, that like all your writings, and particularly those that provide historical detail to hunting India in the closing days of that era, I appreciate you taking the time to reopen a CRF push feed discussion.
 

mark-hunter

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Attempting to “ snap” the extractor over the rim of a cartridge ( which the operator is attempting to directly feed in to the breech of the rifle ) can actually break the ejector of the rifle .

There is another CRF system which in this, and earlier discussions, to my observation may possible have been omitted. (?)

If the intention is to load additional round in a chamber over fully loaded mag, (to get +1) there is also an option of removable magazine on m98 action. Then, it would allow closing the bolt over loaded magazine and chambering a round, then removing a magazine and topping up with additional cartridge. This will give "+1" round feature, in technically acceptable manner.

When rifle CZ550 was still produced in medium calibers, they had also option for a rifle with removable magazine. However, a step back in this system is that removable mag will have one round less capacity then fixed magazine.
For Zastava m70, also m98 system with fixed mag, also, there are available removable magazines on back market, to be fitted by gunsmith, but they suffer the same quality - one round less, in removable mag.

For other models, brands of CRF system/m98, I am not sure.
But considering the fact that some DG bolt action rifles have magazine capacity of only 3 rounds, this may be worthy looking into, if "+1" is desired option in CRF systems.

On Blaser 08:
It is new (and modern) kid in the block. Not typical push feed, because in addition to push feed, it is also straight pull, push feed action, modular concept with interchangeable parts.

Obviously, many have been using it successfully, world wide and in Africa, and including on DG. I have even seen those rifles at range at local matches and they have undisputed accuracy, less then 1 moa. That I have seen.

However, when compared to the other systems discussed herewith, this is only new rifle, and I will keep my reservation till some more time passes by, as the best judge of rifles (as anything else) is the trial of history and time. Like more then 100 years of mauser 98 history, and still in use, while other models come and go.
Is Blaser R8 here to stay?
I dont know. We are yet to see.

Note, Blaser R93 is already phased out from production, even rarely spoken about today (inlcuding this forum). Maybe we are yet to see Blaser R 22, or R29.... if the R8 phases out? Who knows? Lets give R8 some time to establish it self.
 

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Stocks Splitting

Believe me . There is nothing more frustrating than taking aim with your rifle at a fine game animal , lining up your front sight & back sight on the brute's vital region and then firing a shot .... only to realize that your rifle stock has " given out " or split or cracked .
I have been hunting seriously now for more than 61 years , 10 of which ( from 1961 to 1970 ) was spent as a professional shikaree working for Allwyn Cooper Limited . In the last 61 years , I have seen so many split stocks on rifles and shot guns of various makes and models that I have actually lost count !
Even my favorite bolt rifle of ALL TIME ; the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 was also prone to having it's stocks split . This was exceptionally prevalent in the .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre variants and the .458 Winchester magnum calibre variants .
Below , is a photograph kindly provided to me by good , old Kawshik of his trusty 12 Bore Beretta Model S. 686 Special over under shot gun , which had it's stock's butt plate split and needed to be to be replaced .
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Now , that we have looked at the " What " . Let us begin to look at the " Why " .
Why do rifle and shot gun stocks sometimes split ?
The answer is simple - Recoil .
Large calibre rifles are more prone to developing split stocks than small calibre rifles .
Rifles firing " Heavy Loads " are more prone to having their stocks split or crack , than rifles firing " Lighter Loads ".
I have personally seen 7 Weatherby Mark 5 bolt rifles belonging to my clients , chambered in .460 Weatherby magnum , which had their wood stocks crack .
Given the ...brisk recoil of the .460 Weatherby magnum , this is understandable .
The pre 64 Winchester Model 70 bolt rifles chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum and .458 Winchester magnum were quite prone to developing split stocks . This was because " Stock Bedding " technology at the time , was still in it's infancy . Straight out of the factory , these rifles also had no cross bolts ( to reinforce the stock ) and only had a single recoil lug .
The less well known predecessor of the Winchester Model 70 was actually the Winchester Model 54 . I have only seen 1 Winchester Model 54 ever brought by a client to India for shikar , and it was chambered in .30-06 Springfield . The stock of this rifle had also split .

How does 1 repair a cracked stock in the field ? I have seen quite a few innovative ( and occasionally , quite bizzarre ! ) field remedies being done to repair the split stock of a rifle , during my time.
Using + - epoxy adhesive to hold the stock together comes as a very basic solution .
Using bolts to reinforce the stock is an excellent idea . Until I had personally witnessed it , I could never fathom exactly how useful the door bolts of the Land Rover Series 1 could be , for helping to hold together a split rifle stock .
As added insurance , you could go to a repair shop of motorized vehicles and purchase some fiber glass . This fiber glass could be used for re bedding the rifle's stock . I can personally attest that NOTHING used to hold a split rifle stock together , back in the old days like good , old fiber glass .
Of course , prevention is much better than cure . Is there not any way to prevent a rifle stock from splitting , EVEN BEFORE such a problem occurs ?
Of course , there is .
1st fore most , when purchasing a new rifle , do give some consideration as to what kind of wood goes in to making the rifle's stock .
Open grain wood stocks are best avoided for large calibre rifles . This includes American Walnut and Claro wood . These stocks are more prone to cracking due to recoil . French Walnut , Turkish Walnut or Mesquite wood are ideal for building stocks on large calibre rifles . Stocks made from these kind of woods , are less prone to splitting that American Walnut and Claro wood .
I had an American client who had purchased a brand new pre 64 Winchester Model 70 chambered in .458 Winchester magnum , which had the stock give out in less than 30 firings . The gentleman replaced the original stock of his pre 64 Winchester Model 70 with a custom rifle stock , made from Turkish Walnut . This stock held together for the duration of all of the 4 shikar trips which he had booked with Allwyn Cooper Limited between 1963 and 1969 .

Upon purchase of the rifle , have a competent gun smith install cross bolts on the stock , in order to reinforce it . This strengthens the stock .
Do not always trust the factory bedding of your rifle . Have a competent gun smith give your rifle stock a proper re bedding job .
Rifles chambered in calibres larger than .375 Holland & Holland magnum should always have a 2nd recoil lug added to them ; This aids in reducing the strain of recoil placed on the rifle's stock .

During my career as a professional shikaree , I have seen more than a few custom rifles brought by my American clients , which were built by an American gun maker , named Fred Wells . The work of this gentleman was rivalled by none ( in my humble opinion . ) . I have handled quite a few custom bolt rifles , built by Mr. Wells ; even a behemoth piece chambered in .460 Weatherby magnum , which was built on a French Brevex magnum Mauser action . Yet , I have NEVER seen even a single Fred Wells rifle which had a cracked or split stock . By design alone , these stocks were capable of withstanding the monstrous kick of even the largest big game cartridges , with impunity.


Of course , another practical , but radical solution would be to simply replace the wooden stock of the rifle , with a modern synthetic stock . However , I am a man of old fashioned tastes . For me , wood stocks are a thing of beauty and I simply cannot stand the thought of ever replacing the wooden stocks of any of my fire arms , with plastic stocks . Plastic stocks have their virtues to be sure ...however , they are just not for me .

In modern times , most fire arms manufacturers will usually install 1 , more or all of these features on their wares , prior to the hunter purchasing the rifle .
While I am personally not a fan of the post 64 push feed action Winchester Model 70 , I found it most commendable how Winchester began to install a 2nd recoil lug on these variants , in order to handle the strain of recoil better than their pre 64 counterparts . Winchester also began to install cross bolts on their post 64 Model 70 bolt rifles by default , in order to prevent any mishaps involving split stocks .
Most modern manufacturers of big game rifles will have these features by default , on their wares .
The elder son of my good friend and fellow forum member , @Captain Nwz owns and uses a Heym brand Magnum Mauser bolt rifle , chambered in .404 Jeffery . The young man has been using this rifle successfully on Australian water buffalo for many years ever since he purchased it unmodified from Heym , and he has never encountered a split stock , as of March 2020.
Nevertheless , I am of view that 1 should always have a competent gun smith check the bedding and reinforcements of the stocks of their new rifles , before taking it to the shikar field .

Coming up next ...
" Iron Sights Versus Telescopic Sights "
 

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Major Khan

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Iron Sights Versus Telescopic Sights

What is the difference between us , real sports men and poachers ?
Well... almost everything , contrary to what the anti hunting crowd will have you believe . However , amongst the most fundamental differences is this 1 :
We actually do give a damn about giving the animal a swift , clean and painless death with no prolonged or unnecessary suffering . Therefore , it is imperative that as real sports men , we MUST do everything to place our 1st shot accurately in a vital region of the brute .
It goes without saying that using a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight allows the operator to place a more accurate shot on the animal in a vital region than a rifle with open iron sights and therefore I wholeheartedly endorse using a rifle equipped with a good quality telescopic sight for the hunting of all game under most circumstances.
Therefore , in the days of shikar in Old India , we employees of Allwyn Cooper Limited would always encourage our clients to use telescopic sights .
During our time , the 2 most popular brands of telescopic sights were Birmingham Small Arms and Weaver ( K series ) . However , today the modern sports man is blessed with far more modern and superior choices than what we had available in the 1960s.
Below, I provided some photographs kindly provided to me by my good friend , Kawshik of some of his clients and the rifles , which they would bring to India for shikar. From up to down , they are :
>Remigton Model 700 , chambered in 7 mm Remington magnum
> Weatherby Mark 5 , chambered in .300 Weatherby magnum
> Springfield Model 1903 , chambered in .30-06 Springfield
> Mauser Oberndorf, chambered in 9.3 x62 mm Mauser
> Brevex magnum Mauser , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum
>Savage semi automatic rifle , chambered in .22 Long Rifle
> Savage Model 99 , chambered in .243 Winchester
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Observe , how all of these rifles are wearing telescopic sights ? This is because , even back in 1960s India , it was understood that a telescopic sight allows more accurate shot placement than open iron sights ever can allow the operator .
Today , I understand that in Africa , shots at game animals ( especially in open terrain ) are typically taken at significantly long ranges than they were , back in the 1960s. This only further serves to further illustrate my point about the indispensable nature of telescopic sights .

There is 1 area , however where the basic iron sight reigns supreme - Following up wounded dangerous game . I would not personally recommend having your rifle equipped with a telescopic sight for this sort of work .
For quick , instinctive and close up shooting , my old fashioned tastes long for a rifle , with a wide V back sight and a bead fore sight . They do not go out of setting when bumped , like a telescopic sight does .
Therefore , It is imperative that if the shikaree wishes to use the same rifle for placing the initial ( and hopefully ONLY ! ) shot and also for follow up work on a wounded dangerous animal , that he should have his rifle , equipped with quick detachable telescopic sight mounts. For the initial shot , a telescopic sight should always be used . For follow up work , the telescopic sight attachment should be removed .

Coming up next... “ The Double Barreled Rifle Myth “
 

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The Double Barreled Rifle Myth

Alright , let us get 1 very untrue rumor out of the way immediately. I am personally 1 of the largest admirers of double barreled rifles . However , there appears to be a very common rumor circulated frequently by members of the double barreled rifle crowd . It goes something like this , " A double barreled rifle is inherently more reliable than a bolt rifle , because you are practically guaranteed the 2nd shot , without needing to rely upon the mechanical properties of the rifle . It is like you have 2 separate rifles. " .
Now, all this sounds well and good...
except that it is not entirely 100 % true .
Stay with me , while I elaborate on this statement .
Contrary to common beliefs , a double barrelled rifle CAN fail and it has happened in the Shikar field . I have seen a Holland & Holland Royal Best Grade Royal Side Lock Ejector double barreled side by side rifle , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum fail miserably in the field , during a royal Bengal tiger shikar in 1963 . A piece of the left barrel's lock had broken and lodged under the gun's cocking lever , preventing my client from opening the gun . When the wounded royal Bengal tiger ( which had taken 2 Winchester Silvertip 300 grain soft point bullets to the flank ) charged us , l had to finish it off .
When the brute got to within 7 paces of our shikar party , I put the contents of a 2.5 inch Eley Grand Prix Lethal Ball cartridge , right into the region between it's 2 eyes .
In 1969 , the exact same thing happened when I was guiding a shikar for an Asian Sloth Bear . My client was armed with an Auguste Francotte brand double barreled side by side rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum . However , this time , the situation was even worse .
My unfortunate client fired off the 1st barrel at the Asian Sloth Bear , wounding the brute 2 inches too low from a vital region . When my client pulled the 2nd trigger to give an insurance shot .... The gun just would not fire . The brute charged and once again , I had to step in , and shoot the charging Asian Sloth Bear in the head, with 1 of my hand loaded spherical ball cartridges .
l saw another double barreled side by side rifle , built by a German gun maker named Franz Sodia , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum , which was regulated for Remington ammunition . When used with Winchester cartridge cases ( which were hand loaded to replicate the Remington load ) , the rifle flat out refused to open anymore . It was as if the action had jammed. Why did this occurrence happen , you ask ?
If any of you gentlemen possess vintage 1960s era Winchester and Remington Peters cartridge cases for the .458 Winchester magnum calibre , then measure the diameter of each cartridge case. You will observe that the Remington cartridge case is just a hair tinier than the Winchester cartridge case . This was what had caused the problem . Understandably , none of us knew about this strange phenomenon at the time ( even my client , who used to be an extremely competent hand loader . )

Therefore , I do not subscribe to the idea that a double barreled rifle is inherently more reliable than a bolt rifle . A double barreled rifle has it's advantages to be sure . The speed of letting off the 2nd barrel is 1 such advantage . When following wounded panthers in to the thickets , a bolt rifle should never be used , because it essentially becomes a single shot rifle on account of the speed of the panther . The usefulness of a double trigger short barreled side by side rifle with 24 inch long barrels , manual safety and a wide V back sight and bead fore sight , in such situations is something which needs to be seen to be appreciated .
Below, I have provided a photograph of 1 of the 21 forest panthers which I have killed in my life . This brute was a man eater who needed to be followed up into the thickets . A bolt rifle would have done me no good , in this situation , and I suppose that I am extremely fortunate that I had my " Old Belgian " in my hands .
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However , the concept that a double barreled rifle is inherently more reliable than a bolt rifle is 1 which I find most disagreeable .
A decent bolt rifle is always superior to a sub standard double barreled rifle ANY DAY.
If you want a COMPLETELY reliable double barreled rifle , then get ready to spend a great deal of money and buy a proper , thoroughly reliable rifle , from brands such as Verney Carron , Heym, Krieghoff , John Rigby & Co. or Lebeau Courally . These people know exactly what they are doing .

Below , I have provided a brace of photographs kindly provided to me by good old Kawshik of 1 of his British clients who used a Holland & Holland .458 Winchester magnum calibre Royal Side Lock Ejector double barreled side by side rifle , to law low a 2000 pound male gaur bison and a 500 pound male royal Bengal tiger in a span of 2 consecutive days . While , I have no love for the .458 Winchester magnum calibre chambered in a double barreled rifle ... this specimen clearly served Kawshik's client well on that shikar !
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Coming up next .... " Barrel Rifling ".
 

Major Khan

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Barrel Rifling

It is natural . Some times , if you fire a rifle hundreds of thousands of times... you may eventually wear out the rifling inside the barrel . I believe that the American terminology for this phenomenon is , “ Shot out barrel “ . In some rifles , this seems to happen sooner than others. It other rifles , it does not seem to happen at all . I have personally seen rifles that have been handed down for 3 generations from father to son to grand son and yet , they are still working perfectly , in “ Apple Pie Order “ and still shooting 1 inch groups . So , how does a barrel’s rifling erode and what are the factors which contribute to this phenomenon ?

During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 , the most basic weapon available in abundance to our Mukti Bahini ( Freedom Fighters Regiment ) was the former British service .303 calibre Lee Enfield bolt rifle. We had massive caches of these rifles in our inventory, many of which had been in service prior to World War 1 ( By the way , this little piece of information may be of interest to you fine gentlemen, in case you did not already know . If you ever see a Lee Enfield , which has the magazine tied to the rifle with a small piece of chain , then that means that this rifle was, in all probability, built prior to World War 1 ) . It became very clear to the Mukti Bahini quite quickly that the barrels of many of our Lee Enfield rifles , had the rifling completely worn through . According to the Mukti Bahini Battalion Quarter Master ( BQM) of the sector where I was stationed in ( Rajshahi) , there was a very interesting reason as to why so many of our service Lee Enfield rifles had “ shot out barrels “ . During World War 2 , these Lee Enfield rifles were used with a type of ammunition , labeled “ Mark 7 “ ammunition ( which used 174 grain spitzer pointed tip solid metal covered bullets ) . This “ Mark 7 “ ammunition was actually meant for the English service .303 British calibre Vickers machine guns , and was never meant to be used in the service Lee Enfield bolt rifles . However , countless soldiers ended up using the “ Mark 7 “ ammunition in their issued Lee Enfield bolt rifles anyway , and this ammunition proved to be detrimental to the rifling of the Lee Enfield barrels . Well... at least , this is how the story goes . We were too busy trying to win a war at the time to take a deeper look into the matter . I always looked forward to discussing this matter with our BQM once the war had ended . However , the poor gentleman got blown to pieces , during the West Pakistani air strike on the Mukti Bahini outpost in the North East of Rajshahi , during October 19th of 1971 .

Among sporting rifles , I consider rifles chambered in the .220 Swift calibre to have , perhaps the shortest barrel life of all . I used to have a repeat client , who used to bring a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .220 Swift to India for shikar , every year as his “ light rifle “ . He would use this rifle for shooting mouse deer and 4 horned buck .
When I 1st guided this gentleman in 1961 , his rifle was pin point accurate out to ranges exceeding 300 yards . When this gentleman returned to India for shikar in 1965 with the very same rifle... Why , he was shooting 6 inch groups at half that range ! My client later wrote a letter to me after he had returned to Australia ( his home land ) . He wrote to me that the .220 Swift ( on account of it’s high velocity)was prone to wearing out rifle barrels quicker than most other rifle calibres . He also wrote that , on average he had to replace the barrel of his rifle once every 3 years .

The concept that a super high velocity cartridge is capable of wearing out a rifle barrel relatively quickly , made a great deal of sense to me . I have also seen a .300 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle and a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle with “ shot out barrels “ during my 10 year career , as a professional shikaree. Both of these calibres ( and in fact most of the calibres developed by Mr. Roy Weatherby ) were known to be super high velocity calibres ( I would also be genuinely terrified of a gentleman who is capable of shooting a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle enough times to actually wear out the barrel rifling ... but that is another story .)

I have personally never seen a single .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ in either my career or my life , till now. I used to have an English client who possessed an original Holland & Holland bolt rifle , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum which was built on a pre World War 2 magnum Mauser 98 action . The rifle belonged to the client’s father and was built in 1919 . Yet , when I guided this gentleman in 1966 , his rifle was capable of achieving 1 inch groups with 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point cartridges !
In my 10 year career as a professional shikaree , I have only ever seen 1 .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ . It was a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 “ African “ model . However , to this day , I still believe that there were other factors at play in that .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle having it’s barrel rifling worn away. I have never seen another .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ ever again ... neither in my career , nor my life ( till now . )

Some may argue that the main reason why no 1 ever hears of large bore sporting rifles developing “ shot out barrels “ is simply because no one ever really shoots a large bore sporting rifle so frequently , as to wear out the barrel rifling . While there may be some grain of truth to this , it is not necessarily completely true . Take the professional White Hunter of Africa , as an example . Many of these gentlemen use large bore rifles throughout the year and often use the very same rifle for years after years , on end. Yet , they do not experience “ shot out barrels “ .
Then , there are also those gentlemen who are large bore aficionados , who will use a large bore rifle for all of their general purpose hunting and they will never wear out the rifling in their barrels . I actually used to have an American repeat client who used to come to India for shikar with a .458 Winchester magnum calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 which he would use for all of his hunting . In this gentleman’s hands ... the large bore weapon used to be a tack driver . Using cartridges hand loaded with 500 grain Hornady solid metal covered bullets , he would even lay low mouse deer with impunity ,without causing any excessive meat damage. I had been seeing that gentleman use that same rifle for 7 consecutive shikar seasons from 1963 to 1969 and his accuracy with that rifle never faltered in the slightest. This gentleman told me that the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 was the only rifle which he would use for all of his hunting , even in America , Australia and Kenya ( Africa ) . The gentleman had purchased this Winchester Model 70 bolt rifle in 1957 and despite all those years of use .... he did not ever experience a “ shot out barrel “ .
( Note : During my research prior to writing this article , it was brought to my knowledge that there actually WAS a professional White Hunter in Botswana named Harry Selby who used to own a John Rigby & Co. .416 Rigby calibre Mauser 98 action rifle . Mr. Selby actually did manage to wear out the rifling in the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . However , I shall refrain from commenting on this at the moment ,until I have conducted a conclusive research , as to the circumstances under which Mr. Selby had “ shot out “ the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . )

I personally think that it mostly comes down to how much the individual operator maintains and cleans his rifle . It is an universal truth . If you take care of things... They last . After a day of use , in the shikar field , the operator should always clean the barrel of his rifle thoroughly. Copper fouling should always be removed from the rifling of the barrel and the use of proper bore brushes and bore cleaning solvents , is always crucial.

My favorite fire arms author of all time , a South African problem animal control officer named Mike LaGrange voiced a concern about monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels , in 1990 in his excellent booklet ‘ “ Ballistics In Perspective “ ( This is a book which I HIGHLY recommend EVERY single sports man and fire arms enthusiast to read . It is only 76 pages and highly worth the read .)
Mr. LaGrange used to work for the Zimbabwe Department Of National Parks And Wild Life Management until 1990 and was in charge of 1 of the elephant culling teams at Nyamanetchi in the 1980s . In his book , he writes about how monolithic solid “ All Brass “ bullets can cause far more strain on rifle barrels , than the traditional solid metal covered bullets . He was not alone in his assessment.
The use of monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels has been documented by yet another respected fire arms authority in our international hunting community.

The dearly departed professional White Hunter and gun writer , Don Heath “ Ganyana “ documents the use of M1 Garand semi automatic .30-06 Springfield calibre rifles , loaded with 220 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( made by the company, A Square ) and Fabrique Nationale .458 Winchester magnum calibre Mauser bolt rifles , loaded with 465 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( also made by the company , A Square ) for the African elephant culling programs of the 1990s.
He documents that the department issue M1 Garands and Fabrique Nationale Mausers which were used with A Square monolithic solid ammunition had a barrel life of less than 500 rounds .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of an A Square monolithic solid bullet , for reference .
Screenshot_20200307-025447_01.png


Does this necessarily mean that all monolithic solid bullets are detrimental to the barrel life of your rifle(s) ? Absolutely not ! My learned fellow forum member , @Pondoro kindly helped provide insight to me on this topic . The early monolithic solid bullets ( as manufactured by A Square and seen by Mike LaGrange and Don Heath) lacked “ band “ grooves cut on to the bullets and therefore they caused an unnecessarily large amount of strain on fire arms barrel rifling . Modern monolithic solid bullets invariably possess “ band” grooves cut into the bullets , which greatly help to counteract the strain placed on rifle barrels . Today , excellent monolithic solid bullets can be had , such as :
>Cutting Edge Bullets
> Rhino Monolithic Solids
>Barnes Banded Solids
> Woodleigh Hydrostatically Stabilized Solids
> Nosler Monolithic Solids
All of these monolithic solid bullets have the requisite “ Band “ grooves cut in to them , and therefore I doubt that any of them can be justifiably accused of wearing out rifle barrels .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of a Barnes Banded Solid monolithic bullet , for reference .
Screenshot_20200307-025716_01.png



It is interesting that a fair number of British gun makers such as George Gibbs , Holland & Holland and ( possibly ) Westley Richards still believe that monolithic solid bullets are detrimental for rifle barrels . They only advocate the use of traditional solid metal covered bullets in their wares . George Gibbs and Westley Richards regulate all of their wares for Kynamco brand ammunition. Holland & Holland currently regulate most of their wares , for Federal’s Trophy Bonded line of ammunition. These gun makers do not like monolithic solid ammunition 1 bit . However , I personally believe that ( like most British gun makers ) they are just being overtly conservative . The English company , John Rigby & Co. is the exception to the rule . They will be more than happy to accommodate customers who prefer to shoot modern monolithic solid ammunition from John Rigby & Co. rifles . I suppose that this is 1 of the biggest reasons why John Rigby & Co. rifles are more popular than any of their English gun house , amongst our members of African Hunting Forums .
When purchasing a new rifle , it is imperative to always have a guarantee from the manufacturer, as to whether or not the use of monolithic solid ammunition is covered under the rifle’ warranty.

It must be remembered , however ... that old double barreled rifles will invariably have barrels made from softer steel than their modern counterparts. As a result , I wholeheartedly believe that vintage rifles ( especially double barreled rifles ) should always be fired with traditional solid metal covered bullets .

Coming up next... “Lever Rifles “
 
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rookhawk

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The problem with monolithic solids is that they are incredibly hard, and they are incredibly light for their volume. Thus, mono-solids are very large for their weight. Bullets don't like to be bent by double rifle barrels and as such, a mono-solid stands a good chance of "straigtening" your double rifle barrels for you. (translation: a mono-solid being significantly longer than a FMJ lead core bullet, they will break the ribs loose on a double, especially a vintage double)

Barrel Rifling

It is natural . Some times , if you fire a rifle hundreds of thousands of times... you may eventually wear out the rifling inside the barrel . I believe that the American terminology for this phenomenon is , “ Shot out barrel “ . In some rifles , this seems to happen sooner than others. It other rifles , it does not seem to happen at all . I have personally seen rifles that have been handed down for 3 generations from father to son to grand son and yet , they are still working perfectly , in “ Apple Pie Order “ and still shooting 1 inch groups . So , how does a barrel’s rifling erode and what are the factors which contribute to this phenomenon ?

During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 , the most basic weapon available in abundance to our Mukti Bahini ( Freedom Fighters Regiment ) was the former British service .303 calibre Lee Enfield bolt rifle. We had massive caches of these rifles in our inventory, many of which had been in service prior to World War 1 ( By the way , this little piece of information may be of interest to you fine gentlemen, in case you did not already know . If you ever see a Lee Enfield , which has the magazine tied to the rifle with a small piece of chain , then that means that this rifle was, in all probability, built prior to World War 1 ) . It became very clear to the Mukti Bahini quite quickly that the barrels of many of our Lee Enfield rifles , had the rifling completely worn through . According to the Mukti Bahini Battalion Quarter Master ( BQM) of the sector where I was stationed in ( Rajshahi) , there was a very interesting reason as to why so many of our service Lee Enfield rifles had “ shot out barrels “ . During World War 2 , these Lee Enfield rifles were used with a type of ammunition , labeled “ Mark 7 “ ammunition ( which used 174 grain spitzer pointed tip solid metal covered bullets ) . This “ Mark 7 “ ammunition was actually meant for the English service .303 British calibre Vickers machine guns , and was never meant to be used in the service Lee Enfield bolt rifles . However , countless soldiers ended up using the “ Mark 7 “ ammunition in their issued Lee Enfield bolt rifles anyway , and this ammunition proved to be detrimental to the rifling of the Lee Enfield barrels . Well... at least , this is how the story goes . We were too busy trying to win a war at the time to take a deeper look into the matter . I always looked forward to discussing this matter with our BQM once the war had ended . However , the poor gentleman got blown to pieces , during the West Pakistani air strike on the Mukti Bahini outpost in the North East of Rajshahi , during October 19th of 1971 .

Among sporting rifles , I consider rifles chambered in the .220 Swift calibre to have , perhaps the shortest barrel life of all . I used to have a repeat client , who used to bring a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .220 Swift to India for shikar , every year as his “ light rifle “ . He would use this rifle for shooting mouse deer and 4 horned buck .
When I 1st guided this gentleman in 1961 , his rifle was pin point accurate out to ranges exceeding 300 yards . When this gentleman returned to India for shikar in 1965 with the very same rifle... Why , he was shooting 6 inch groups at half that range ! My client later wrote a letter to me after he had returned to Australia ( his home land ) . He wrote to me that the .220 Swift ( on account of it’s high velocity)was prone to wearing out rifle barrels quicker than most other rifle calibres . He also wrote that , on average he had to replace the barrel of his rifle once every 3 years .

The concept that a super high velocity cartridge is capable of wearing out a rifle barrel relatively quickly , made a great deal of sense to me . I have also seen a .300 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle and a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle with “ shot out barrels “ during my 10 year career , as a professional shikaree. Both of these calibres ( and in fact most of the calibres developed by Mr. Roy Weatherby ) were known to be super high velocity calibres ( I would also be genuinely terrified of a gentleman who is capable of shooting a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle enough times to actually wear out the barrel rifling ... but that is another story .)

I have personally never seen a single .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ in either my career or my life , till now. I used to have an English client who possessed an original Holland & Holland bolt rifle , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum which was built on a pre World War 2 magnum Mauser 98 action . The rifle belonged to the client’s father and was built in 1919 . Yet , when I guided this gentleman in 1966 , his rifle was capable of achieving 1 inch groups with 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point cartridges !
In my 10 year career as a professional shikaree , I have only ever seen 1 .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ . It was a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 “ African “ model . However , to this day , I still believe that there were other factors at play in that .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle having it’s barrel rifling worn away. I have never seen another .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ ever again ... neither in my career , nor my life ( till now . )

Some may argue that the main reason why no 1 ever hears of large bore sporting rifles developing “ shot out barrels “ is simply because no one ever really shoots a large bore sporting rifle so frequently , as to wear out the barrel rifling . While there may be some grain of truth to this , it is not necessarily completely true . Take the professional White Hunter of Africa , as an example . Many of these gentlemen use large bore rifles throughout the year and often use the very same rifle for years after years , on end. Yet , they do not experience “ shot out barrels “ .
Then , there are also those gentlemen who are large bore aficionados , who will use a large bore rifle for all of their general purpose hunting and they will never wear out the rifling in their barrels . I actually used to have an American repeat client who used to come to India for shikar with a .458 Winchester magnum calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 which he would use for all of his hunting . In this gentleman’s hands ... the large bore weapon used to be a tack driver . Using cartridges hand loaded with 500 grain Hornady solid metal covered bullets , he would even lay low mouse deer with impunity ,without causing any excessive meat damage. I had been seeing that gentleman use that same rifle for 7 consecutive shikar seasons from 1963 to 1969 and his accuracy with that rifle never faltered in the slightest. This gentleman told me that the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 was the only rifle which he would use for all of his hunting , even in America , Australia and Kenya ( Africa ) . The gentleman had purchased this Winchester Model 70 bolt rifle in 1957 and despite all those years of use .... he did not ever experience a “ shot out barrel “ .
( Note : During my research prior to writing this article , it was brought to my knowledge that there actually WAS a professional White Hunter in Botswana named Harry Selby who used to own a John Rigby & Co. .416 Rigby calibre Mauser 98 action rifle . Mr. Selby actually did manage to wear out the rifling in the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . However , I shall refrain from commenting on this at the moment ,until I have conducted a conclusive research , as to the circumstances under which Mr. Selby had “ shot out “ the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . )

I personally think that it mostly comes down to how much the individual operator maintains and cleans his rifle . It is an universal truth . If you take care of things... They last . After a day of use , in the shikar field , the operator should always clean the barrel of his rifle thoroughly. Copper fouling should always be removed from the rifling of the barrel and the use of proper bore brushes and bore cleaning solvents , is always crucial.

My favorite fire arms author of all time , a South African problem animal control officer named Mike LaGrange voiced a concern about monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels , in 1990 in his excellent booklet ‘ “ Ballistics In Perspective “ ( This is a book which I HIGHLY recommend EVERY single sports man and fire arms enthusiast to read . It is only 76 pages and highly worth the read .)
Mr. LaGrange used to work for the Zimbabwe Department Of National Parks And Wild Life Management until 1990 and was in charge of 1 of the elephant culling teams at Nyamanetchi in the 1980s . In his book , he writes about how monolithic solid “ All Brass “ bullets can cause far more strain on rifle barrels , than the traditional solid metal covered bullets . He was not alone in his assessment.
The use of monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels has been documented by yet another respected fire arms authority in our international hunting community.

The dearly departed professional White Hunter and gun writer , Don Heath “ Ganyana “ documents the use of M1 Garand semi automatic .30-06 Springfield calibre rifles , loaded with 220 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( made by the company, A Square ) and Fabrique Nationale .458 Winchester magnum calibre Mauser bolt rifles , loaded with 465 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( also made by the company , A Square ) for the African elephant culling programs of the 1990s.
He documents that the department issue M1 Garands and Fabrique Nationale Mausers which were used with A Square monolithic solid ammunition had a barrel life of less than 500 rounds .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of an A Square monolithic solid bullet , for reference .
View attachment 334135

Does this necessarily mean that all monolithic solid bullets are detrimental to the barrel life of your rifle(s) ? Absolutely not ! My learned fellow forum member , @Pondoro kindly helped provide insight to me on this topic . The early monolithic solid bullets ( as manufactured by A Square and seen by Mike LaGrange and Don Heath) lacked “ band “ grooves cut on to the bullets and therefore they caused an unnecessarily large amount of strain on fire arms barrel rifling . Modern monolithic solid bullets invariably possess “ band” grooves cut into the bullets , which greatly help to counteract the strain placed on rifle barrels . Today , excellent monolithic solid bullets can be had , such as :
>Cutting Edge Bullets
> Rhino Monolithic Solids
>Barnes Banded Solids
> Woodleigh Hydrostatically Stabilized Solids
> Nosler Monolithic Solids
All of these monolithic solid bullets have the requisite “ Band “ grooves cut in to them , and therefore I doubt that any of them can be justifiably accused of wearing out rifle barrels .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of a Barnes Banded Solid monolithic bullet , for reference .
View attachment 334136


It is interesting that a fair number of British gun makers such as George Gibbs , Holland & Holland and ( possibly ) Westley Richards still believe that monolithic solid bullets are detrimental for rifle barrels . They only advocate the use of traditional solid metal covered bullets in their wares . George Gibbs and Westley Richards regulate all of their wares for Kynamco brand ammunition. Holland & Holland currently regulate most of their wares , for Federal’s Trophy Bonded line of ammunition. These gun makers do not like monolithic solid ammunition 1 bit . However , I personally believe that ( like most British gun makers ) they are just being overtly conservative . The English company , John Rigby & Co. is the exception to the rule . They will be more than happy to accommodate customers who prefer to shoot modern monolithic solid ammunition from John Rigby & Co. rifles . I suppose that this is 1 of the biggest reasons why John Rigby & Co. rifles are more popular than any of their English gun house , amongst our members of African Hunting Forums .
When purchasing a new rifle , it is imperative to always have a guarantee from the manufacturer, as to whether or not the use of monolithic solid ammunition is covered under the rifle’ warranty.

It must be remembered , however ... that old double barreled rifles will invariably have barrels made from softer steel than their modern counterparts. As a result , I wholeheartedly believe that vintage rifles ( especially double barreled rifles ) should always be fired with traditional solid metal covered bullets .

Coming up next... “Lever Rifles “
 
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Barrel Rifling

It is natural . Some times , if you fire a rifle hundreds of thousands of times... you may eventually wear out the rifling inside the barrel . I believe that the American terminology for this phenomenon is , “ Shot out barrel “ . In some rifles , this seems to happen sooner than others. It other rifles , it does not seem to happen at all . I have personally seen rifles that have been handed down for 3 generations from father to son to grand son and yet , they are still working perfectly , in “ Apple Pie Order “ and still shooting 1 inch groups . So , how does a barrel’s rifling erode and what are the factors which contribute to this phenomenon ?

During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 , the most basic weapon available in abundance to our Mukti Bahini ( Freedom Fighters Regiment ) was the former British service .303 calibre Lee Enfield bolt rifle. We had massive caches of these rifles in our inventory, many of which had been in service prior to World War 1 ( By the way , this little piece of information may be of interest to you fine gentlemen, in case you did not already know . If you ever see a Lee Enfield , which has the magazine tied to the rifle with a small piece of chain , then that means that this rifle was, in all probability, built prior to World War 1 ) . It became very clear to the Mukti Bahini quite quickly that the barrels of many of our Lee Enfield rifles , had the rifling completely worn through . According to the Mukti Bahini Battalion Quarter Master ( BQM) of the sector where I was stationed in ( Rajshahi) , there was a very interesting reason as to why so many of our service Lee Enfield rifles had “ shot out barrels “ . During World War 2 , these Lee Enfield rifles were used with a type of ammunition , labeled “ Mark 7 “ ammunition ( which used 174 grain spitzer pointed tip solid metal covered bullets ) . This “ Mark 7 “ ammunition was actually meant for the English service .303 British calibre Vickers machine guns , and was never meant to be used in the service Lee Enfield bolt rifles . However , countless soldiers ended up using the “ Mark 7 “ ammunition in their issued Lee Enfield bolt rifles anyway , and this ammunition proved to be detrimental to the rifling of the Lee Enfield barrels . Well... at least , this is how the story goes . We were too busy trying to win a war at the time to take a deeper look into the matter . I always looked forward to discussing this matter with our BQM once the war had ended . However , the poor gentleman got blown to pieces , during the West Pakistani air strike on the Mukti Bahini outpost in the North East of Rajshahi , during October 19th of 1971 .

Among sporting rifles , I consider rifles chambered in the .220 Swift calibre to have , perhaps the shortest barrel life of all . I used to have a repeat client , who used to bring a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .220 Swift to India for shikar , every year as his “ light rifle “ . He would use this rifle for shooting mouse deer and 4 horned buck .
When I 1st guided this gentleman in 1961 , his rifle was pin point accurate out to ranges exceeding 300 yards . When this gentleman returned to India for shikar in 1965 with the very same rifle... Why , he was shooting 6 inch groups at half that range ! My client later wrote a letter to me after he had returned to Australia ( his home land ) . He wrote to me that the .220 Swift ( on account of it’s high velocity)was prone to wearing out rifle barrels quicker than most other rifle calibres . He also wrote that , on average he had to replace the barrel of his rifle once every 3 years .

The concept that a super high velocity cartridge is capable of wearing out a rifle barrel relatively quickly , made a great deal of sense to me . I have also seen a .300 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle and a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre Mark 5 bolt rifle with “ shot out barrels “ during my 10 year career , as a professional shikaree. Both of these calibres ( and in fact most of the calibres developed by Mr. Roy Weatherby ) were known to be super high velocity calibres ( I would also be genuinely terrified of a gentleman who is capable of shooting a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle enough times to actually wear out the barrel rifling ... but that is another story .)

I have personally never seen a single .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ in either my career or my life , till now. I used to have an English client who possessed an original Holland & Holland bolt rifle , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum which was built on a pre World War 2 magnum Mauser 98 action . The rifle belonged to the client’s father and was built in 1919 . Yet , when I guided this gentleman in 1966 , his rifle was capable of achieving 1 inch groups with 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point cartridges !
In my 10 year career as a professional shikaree , I have only ever seen 1 .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ . It was a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 “ African “ model . However , to this day , I still believe that there were other factors at play in that .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle having it’s barrel rifling worn away. I have never seen another .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle with a “ shot out barrel “ ever again ... neither in my career , nor my life ( till now . )

Some may argue that the main reason why no 1 ever hears of large bore sporting rifles developing “ shot out barrels “ is simply because no one ever really shoots a large bore sporting rifle so frequently , as to wear out the barrel rifling . While there may be some grain of truth to this , it is not necessarily completely true . Take the professional White Hunter of Africa , as an example . Many of these gentlemen use large bore rifles throughout the year and often use the very same rifle for years after years , on end. Yet , they do not experience “ shot out barrels “ .
Then , there are also those gentlemen who are large bore aficionados , who will use a large bore rifle for all of their general purpose hunting and they will never wear out the rifling in their barrels . I actually used to have an American repeat client who used to come to India for shikar with a .458 Winchester magnum calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 which he would use for all of his hunting . In this gentleman’s hands ... the large bore weapon used to be a tack driver . Using cartridges hand loaded with 500 grain Hornady solid metal covered bullets , he would even lay low mouse deer with impunity ,without causing any excessive meat damage. I had been seeing that gentleman use that same rifle for 7 consecutive shikar seasons from 1963 to 1969 and his accuracy with that rifle never faltered in the slightest. This gentleman told me that the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 was the only rifle which he would use for all of his hunting , even in America , Australia and Kenya ( Africa ) . The gentleman had purchased this Winchester Model 70 bolt rifle in 1957 and despite all those years of use .... he did not ever experience a “ shot out barrel “ .
( Note : During my research prior to writing this article , it was brought to my knowledge that there actually WAS a professional White Hunter in Botswana named Harry Selby who used to own a John Rigby & Co. .416 Rigby calibre Mauser 98 action rifle . Mr. Selby actually did manage to wear out the rifling in the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . However , I shall refrain from commenting on this at the moment ,until I have conducted a conclusive research , as to the circumstances under which Mr. Selby had “ shot out “ the barrel of his .416 Rigby calibre rifle . )

I personally think that it mostly comes down to how much the individual operator maintains and cleans his rifle . It is an universal truth . If you take care of things... They last . After a day of use , in the shikar field , the operator should always clean the barrel of his rifle thoroughly. Copper fouling should always be removed from the rifling of the barrel and the use of proper bore brushes and bore cleaning solvents , is always crucial.

My favorite fire arms author of all time , a South African problem animal control officer named Mike LaGrange voiced a concern about monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels , in 1990 in his excellent booklet ‘ “ Ballistics In Perspective “ ( This is a book which I HIGHLY recommend EVERY single sports man and fire arms enthusiast to read . It is only 76 pages and highly worth the read .)
Mr. LaGrange used to work for the Zimbabwe Department Of National Parks And Wild Life Management until 1990 and was in charge of 1 of the elephant culling teams at Nyamanetchi in the 1980s . In his book , he writes about how monolithic solid “ All Brass “ bullets can cause far more strain on rifle barrels , than the traditional solid metal covered bullets . He was not alone in his assessment.
The use of monolithic solid bullets prematurely wearing out rifle barrels has been documented by yet another respected fire arms authority in our international hunting community.

The dearly departed professional White Hunter and gun writer , Don Heath “ Ganyana “ documents the use of M1 Garand semi automatic .30-06 Springfield calibre rifles , loaded with 220 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( made by the company, A Square ) and Fabrique Nationale .458 Winchester magnum calibre Mauser bolt rifles , loaded with 465 grain monolithic solid ammunition ( also made by the company , A Square ) for the African elephant culling programs of the 1990s.
He documents that the department issue M1 Garands and Fabrique Nationale Mausers which were used with A Square monolithic solid ammunition had a barrel life of less than 500 rounds .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of an A Square monolithic solid bullet , for reference .
View attachment 334135

Does this necessarily mean that all monolithic solid bullets are detrimental to the barrel life of your rifle(s) ? Absolutely not ! My learned fellow forum member , @Pondoro kindly helped provide insight to me on this topic . The early monolithic solid bullets ( as manufactured by A Square and seen by Mike LaGrange and Don Heath) lacked “ band “ grooves cut on to the bullets and therefore they caused an unnecessarily large amount of strain on fire arms barrel rifling . Modern monolithic solid bullets invariably possess “ band” grooves cut into the bullets , which greatly help to counteract the strain placed on rifle barrels . Today , excellent monolithic solid bullets can be had , such as :
>Cutting Edge Bullets
> Rhino Monolithic Solids
>Barnes Banded Solids
> Woodleigh Hydrostatically Stabilized Solids
> Nosler Monolithic Solids
All of these monolithic solid bullets have the requisite “ Band “ grooves cut in to them , and therefore I doubt that any of them can be justifiably accused of wearing out rifle barrels .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of a Barnes Banded Solid monolithic bullet , for reference .
View attachment 334136


It is interesting that a fair number of British gun makers such as George Gibbs , Holland & Holland and ( possibly ) Westley Richards still believe that monolithic solid bullets are detrimental for rifle barrels . They only advocate the use of traditional solid metal covered bullets in their wares . George Gibbs and Westley Richards regulate all of their wares for Kynamco brand ammunition. Holland & Holland currently regulate most of their wares , for Federal’s Trophy Bonded line of ammunition. These gun makers do not like monolithic solid ammunition 1 bit . However , I personally believe that ( like most British gun makers ) they are just being overtly conservative . The English company , John Rigby & Co. is the exception to the rule . They will be more than happy to accommodate customers who prefer to shoot modern monolithic solid ammunition from John Rigby & Co. rifles . I suppose that this is 1 of the biggest reasons why John Rigby & Co. rifles are more popular than any of their English gun house , amongst our members of African Hunting Forums .
When purchasing a new rifle , it is imperative to always have a guarantee from the manufacturer, as to whether or not the use of monolithic solid ammunition is covered under the rifle’ warranty.

It must be remembered , however ... that old double barreled rifles will invariably have barrels made from softer steel than their modern counterparts. As a result , I wholeheartedly believe that vintage rifles ( especially double barreled rifles ) should always be fired with traditional solid metal covered bullets .

Coming up next... “Lever Rifles “
Friend Ponton
Another good article. Unfortunately the person that gave you the information on the 303 has given you the wrong story.
The 303 in the early days had Metford rifling. This was suitable for the black powder loads and the 215 gn cupronickel projectiles. When they changed to cordite this was found to burn out the barrel on the Medford so a change was made to the deeper Enfield rifling.
The new cartridge was designated the 303 MK 7. It had a 174gn Spitzer bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,240fps. This was the standard issue for the SMLE. The machine gun round was the MK7z this was loaded with a great boattail bullet for longer ranges. I was advised not to use the 7z in the SMLE but could be done in cases of emergency. Most 303 barrels were ruined by improper cleaning as the salts in the priming was very corrosive.

In relation to other calibers a lot of people get a bit confused as high intensity cartridges like the swift, 270 Winchester, magnum cartridges and even the humble 222 Remington all suffer from the same problem. Powder burns at a temperature that melts steel. The more powder the more damage, the smaller the hole the more damage. A 257 weatherby will erode the throat of a barrel quicker than a 25/06, the reason being. More powder higher velocity the quicker the errosin. The rifling may still be reasonable but the throat is completely burnt out( eroded).
Hot powder gasses and blasting with unburnt powder erodes the throat of the barrel long before the rifling is worn out. A 222 Remington can have a badly eroded throat but by running a 223 reamer into the chamber usually cleans this problem up and you can them get a lot more life out of the barrel.
High intensity cartridges with the same problem will need a new barrel.
More rifles are ruined by improper cleaning than being shot out.
I hope this clears some things up for you my friend.
Cheers friend Ponton
Bob Nelson
 

Rule 303

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Just to add to BN post. The quicker following shots are fired the hotter the barrel remains and so the hotter it becomes on the following shot. The amount of wear on throat and barrel increases. One reason machine gun barrels wear out quicker than the same calibre rifle barrel
 

Major Khan

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Lever Rifles

The general consensus among the bulk of modern sports men seems to be that lever rifles have no place , in the hunting of dangerous game . People seem to cite all sorts of reasons , as to why a lever rifle is an extremely unsuitable choice for hunting dangerous game . The most common reasons , which I hear include ( but are not limited to ) :
> Lever rifles are not as accurate as bolt rifles .
> Lever rifles are prone to jamming , if not handled right
> Lever rifles can only safely use cartridges loaded with flat point bullets.

Alright , let us assess these statements for a moment , shall we ?

Fine . I will accept that ( on average ) , a bolt rifle will be ( comparatively ) more accurate than a lever rifle . However , a good lever rifle is plenty accurate for most practical shikar needs . Seriously , how far are you planning to shoot ? 100 yards ? 200 yards ? A decent lever rifle can easily accomplish that , in the hands of a competent operator . True ; a lever rifle is probably not a match grade target weapon . However .... lever rifles were never designed for this purpose to begin with .


A well maintained and good quality lever rifle leaves nothing to be desired in terms of reliability. You can get anything to jam if you do not operate it properly .

The argument that lever rifles can only safely shoot cartridges , loaded with flat point bullets does have a few grains of truth in it. Traditional lever rifles ( such as the Winchester Model 1982 , made infamous by the great " Duke " John Wayne ) employ a tubular magazine . In a tubular magazine , the cartridges are all horizontally stacked 1 after the other . The point of 1 cartridge's bullet therefore comes within close proximity of the primer of the cartridge right before it .
I need not belabor the obvious risks of this arrangement , should the rifle be loaded with pointed " spitzer " style or round nosed bullets . The possibility of the point of 1 cartridge hitting the primer of the cartridge loaded right before it , is significant. Even a slight jolt might cause a cartridge to detonate inside your rifle's tubular magazine and disaster will ensue. Manufacturers of tubular magazine lever rifles circumvent this problem , by chambering their wares only in calibres which use blunt point bullets . Take , for example .., the .30-30 Winchester or the .45-70 Government .
Below , I have provided 2 photographs taken from the internet of the .30-30 Winchester cartridge and the .45-70 Government cartridge for reference .
Screenshot_20200308-190012_01.png
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Of course , the argument can then be made that calibres meant for use in tubular magazines such as the .30-30 Winchester or .45-70 Government are not really suitable for the hunting of large dangerous game ( although personally , I do not wholeheartedly agree with radical blanket statements such as these . ) . Well... this is where the box magazine lever rifle comes in to the picture . Lever rifles with box magazines ( by design alone ) allow the use of pointed “ spitzer “ type bullets or round nosed bullets without any risk of a bullet tip of 1 cartridge hitting the primer of an another cartridge.
1 of the most prominent lever rifles , which utilizes a box magazine is the Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle . And I have extremely fond memories of this rifle.

My maternal grand father , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan was a career soldier in the British Army and he was ( among other things ) an exceptionally skilled hunter . In 1932 , he purchased a Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle , chambered in .405 Winchester from the fire arms shop , Manton & Co. in Kolkata ( for only 50 Rupees ) and until 1968 , this grand old lever rifle afforded him the greatest sport . My grand father always used ICI Kynoch 300 grain soft point cartridges and ICI Kynoch 300 grain solid metal covered cartridges for all of his shikars. Aside from the ordinary table fare for the pot ... Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan also used this lever rifle to dispatch 2 man eating royal Bengal tigers , 5 man eating forest panthers and 1 rogue bull elephant . I certainly would not label any of these brutes , as harmless .

Below , I have provided a photograph of my maternal grand father , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan with the rogue bull elephant which he had killed , prior to my birth ( back when India was still a British colony ) in 1937 in Tamil Nadu . His beloved Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle can be seen propped up against the slain brute . My grand father gave him 3 ICI Kynoch 300 grain solid metal covered bullets to the temple , throat and side of the head , in order to lay him low.
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I shot my life’s very 1st sambhur deer with that rifle when I was a child and 1 of my life’s biggest regrets is letting my grand father sell off that rifle in 1968 , when ICI Kynoch ceased to manufacture cartridges for the .405 Winchester calibre and we had exhausted our stock of existing cartridges for that rifle . Little did I know at the time , that 1 day ammunition for the .405 Winchester would be widely available again .

My grand father actually used that rifle to save my life once in 1965 . We were hot on the heels of a man eating forest panther which I had foolishly wounded with an Eley Alphamax 2.75 inch LG cartridge which I wanted to test the effectiveness of ( as a side note : Never ever experiment with any ammunition on dangerous game ! Always use something which is tried and true . Sometimes , I myself have an extremely difficult time believing the sort of things which I got away with doing , back when I was young and stupid . ) . We had pursued the wounded brute in to a farm and he then sprung at me from a tree.
With reflexes faster than lightening , My grand father snapped up that old Winchester to his shoulder and fired a single 300 grain soft point cartridge in to the brute's head and that laid it low .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken by myself of the slain forest panther which would have nearly done me in , had it not been for my grand father's swift shooting .
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The old rifle was not without it's flaws , however . Even though the rifle could hold a total of 5 cartridges ( 4 in the magazine + 1 in the chamber ) ... it was extremely risky to load the rifle to full capacity . Whenever my grand father would load his Model 1895 with 5 cartridges and operate the lever swiftly , he would invariably encounter a " jam " .
What my grand father would do to circumvent this problem , would be to load his Model 1895 with 4 cartridges ( 3 in the magazine + 1 in the chamber ) . This allowed the rifle to function flawlessly most of the time .

There was however , 1 hair raising incident which occurred with that rifle .
My grand father and I were on the pursuit of a man eating royal Bengal tigress and her fully grown male cub ( since the mother was a man eater , she had introduced her off spring to the flesh of man , as well . ) When we found them , my grand father instantly dispatched the royal Bengal tigress with a single 300 grain ICI Kynoch soft point cartridge to the head . As the royal Bengal tiger cub turned to face us , my grand father hastily placed an ICI Kynoch 300 grain soft point bullet behind the brute's shoulder . This wounded the royal Bengal tiger , but did not kill it . As my grand father hastily operated the lever of his Model 1895 , in order to chamber a fresh cartridge ... to our horror he realized that the rifle had " jammed " . To make matters worse , the wounded royal Bengal tiger cub charged us . I instinctively snapped up my 12 Bore Belgian shot gun to my shoulder , and gave it the contents of an Eley 2.5 inch Grand Prix Lethal Ball cartridge , right in the region between the brute's 2 eyes . This laid low the royal Bengal tiger cub , for good .
Below , I have provided a photograph taken by my servant boy , Ponual of my grand father and I with the 2 slain man eating royal Bengal tigers . My grand father proudly holds his beloved Model 1895 lever rifle , in his hands .
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The rifle would also some times " jam " if the cartridges were loaded in a hurry.
For many years , I never really understood why my grand father's Model 1895 lever rifle , would occasionally experience a jam once in a blue moon .
However , these days ( based on my reading of the subject on the internet ) , I would subscribe the reason to the rimmed design of the .405 Winchester cartridge .

Today , Winchester has recently begun to manufacture the Model 1895 lever rifle once again , and this time , it is better than ever. My learned fellow forum member , @crs put his 1 to good use against ( among other things ) an African Cape Buffalo . Crs managed to modify his Model 1895 lever rifle to use 400 grain Woodleigh bullets ... which helped to boost the .405 Winchester's punch and make it similar in performance to a .450/400 Nitro Express . I also do not recall Crs ever experiencing any jams in his Winchester Model 1895 ( even with 5 cartridges loaded in to the rifle . ) Clearly Winchester has found a way to prevent their new Model 1895 lever rifles from experiencing the jamming problems , which would plague the pre 1936 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifles .

Alongside my grand father's Model 1895 , I have seen several other lever rifles , as well , in my life .
I have had countless international clients armed with lever rifles come to India for shikar , as well .
Below , is a photograph kindly provided to me by good , old Kawshik of a Middle Eastern client of his . The client's 2 rifles are braced against the post . Observe that the lever rifle in the photograph , is a Winchester Model 71 , chambered in .348 Winchester . This rifle was used by the client to successfully take a Neelgai.
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Below , I have provided another photograph kindly provided to me by Kawshik , on his Nepalese gun bearer , Rishi Chokroborti carrying a client's Savage Model 99 lever rifle . This particular specimen was chambered in .243 Winchester . The Savage Model 99 , just like the Winchester Model 1895 does NOT employ a tubular magazine. Instead , it uses a rotary magazine. Later models utilized a conventional integral box magazine.
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The 2 most popular lever rifles ever brought to India for shikar by any of my international clients were the :
> Winchester Model 1886 , chambered in .45-70 Government
> Winchester Model 1894 , chambered in .30-30 Winchester .

And indeed ... In the hands of my American clients , those lever rifles accounted for a GREAT deal of trophies.
The .30-30 Winchester calibre 170 grain soft point flat nose bullet yielded impressive results on bush boars , village panthers and even Asian Sloth Bears .
Oh , how much I would have loved to own a .30-30 Winchester calibre Model 1894 , during our wild boar culling programs in Kooch Bihar . It would have served me so well for dropping those 300 pound tusked menaces ! In my experience ... a quality lever rifle is quite unrivalled in usefulness , when it comes to hunting large groups of wild boars at short distances.

Below , I have provided a photograph taken by myself of some of the 63 crop damaging wild boars which fell to the guns of the employees of Allwyn Cooper Limited , during 1 of our wild boar culling programs.
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The .45-70 Government 300 grain soft point bullet always worked like a charm , on even the largest and heaviest of royal Bengal tigers ... to say nothing of forest panthers and Asian Sloth Bears . In my 10 year career , I have never had even 1 of my clients even complain about any lack of penetration power , or punch on any of these brutes.


It must be remembered that no less an authority than the great American President ,
Theodore Roosevelt ( a true leader , sports man and conservationist, in every definition of the word . ) used a Winchester Model 1895 chambered in .405 Winchester for his African safari and found the 300 grain Winchester soft point cartridges to be quite the cricket for African lions . That filthy traitor to the international hunting community, Kenneth Anderson used a Winchester Model 1895 chambered in .405 Winchester kill all of his man eating panthers and quite a few of his man eating royal Bengal tigers ( although , he preferred a .450/400 Nitro Express double barreled side by side rifle, built by W Jeffery , for hunting the bulk of his royal Bengal tigers and the bigger of the 2 rogue bull elephants which he had shot .)
The beautiful and talented Osa Johnson used a Winchester Model 1895 , chambered in .405 Winchester to great effect to do the bulk of her hunting in Africa .

Me , personally ? I prefer bolt rifles over lever rifles myself , for the hunting of dangerous game. But that is mainly because most of my favorite rifle calibres are available only in bolt rifle platforms.

Coming up next .... " Most Reliable Rifles Personally Seen " .
 
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Shootist43

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Poton, Hornady's Flex Tip Leverevolution bullets added a new chapter to the life of Lever Actioned rifles. The redesigned bullet and the use of Superformance Powder make these rifles even better for hunting than they already were.
 

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Another great series! And a great read!
My two cents worth after reading: (1) Probably goes without much doubt that most any bolt rifle, if not properly cared for, can malfunction. In my limited experience (three African safaris) it's most important to properly and aggressively cycle the bolt to minimize extraction issues or jamming. That is why I am also a fan of Winchester Model 70's. The new ones in 375 H&H have two cross bolts to minimize stock splitting, and I've never had an issue with extraction or jamming. The Mauser 98 Magnum actions have a noticeably longer bolt, so I'm practicing cycling the bolt on my Rigby at the range to get ready for a hunt in SA next year.
(2) Yes a double rifle can also malfunction, but I'd wager that the probability of a malfunctioning double rifle is pretty small and most likely in the instances described by Major Khan where the rifle was damaged. If I'm following a wounded buffalo, or any other dangerous game, I will carry my double rifle every time.
As for sights/scopes, at age 70 my eyes can't use iron sights anymore, so a Trijicon RMR sight on my double and a scope on my bolt rifles are a necessity.

Again thanks to Major Khan for another very informative and thought provoking series.
 

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Major Khan,
Another fine analysis of rifle problems. I check this forum every day to see what you are going to come up with next.

I think one of the reasons for lever guns jamming was from rimmed cartridges being loaded improperly. If the rim of a round gets behind the rim of a round below it in the box mag it can hang up and result in a double feed. Did your Grandfather's jams result from shortstroking the lever thereby causing a stovepipe jam?
 

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Most Reliable Rifles Personally Seen

We now come to the part , where I list out the most reliable rifles which I have personally had the privilege to examine during my career and my life , alongside dissecting what it is that I really love about each of these rifles . During my 10 year career as a professional shikaree in Nagpur, India ... I did see more than a few rifles which I absolutely fell in love with .
Among bolt rifles , there are 5 which I consider to be the cream of the crop for the hunting of dangerous game . They are as follows :
Ranking at 5th place is the Springfield Model 1903 . I consider the Springfield Model 1903 action to be 1 of the best and robust rifle actions in existence . After returning to his home land , Wisconsin in America from India after the disgusting Indian ban on hunting in 1972 , my best friend and former fellow professional shikaree , Tobin Stakkatz had a custom bolt rifle chambered in .458 Winchester magnum built for him on a Springfield Model 1903 action by a custom gun maker in Oregon . To the end of his days , Tobin used that beautiful custom rifle to lay low all of the great game of North America .
Below , I have provided a photograph of dearly departed Tobin with a freshly killed North American black bear. Tobin’s custom made Springfield Model 1903 action .458 Winchester magnum calibre bolt rifle , is in his hands .
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Ranking at 4th place would have to be the Pattern 14 Enfield action . What really impresses me about the Pattern 14 Enfield action is that it is truly a magnum length action , which can easily accommodate magnum length cartridges with a little bit of work done to them . The American company , Griffin & Howe made several bolt rifles by using the Pattern 14 Enfield Actions and many of these were brought by my clients to India for shikar . The very 1st .338 Winchester magnum calibre rifle which I had ever seen brought to India for shikar by 1 of my clients , was a custom bolt rifle built by Griffin & Howe on a Pattern 14 Enfield action. Considering that this rifle accounted for a 218 pound South Indian forest panther.... it goes without saying that the Pattern 14 Enfield action’s 1st impression in my mind was a good 1 .
Below , is a photograph taken from the internet of a bespoke .458 Winchester magnum calibre bolt rifle , built on a Pattern 14 Enfield action .
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Ranking at 3rd place would be the Enfield Model 1917 action . Much like the pattern 14 Enfield action , the Enfield Model 1917 action is a magnum length action and very little work needs to be done to it , to chamber large calibre magnum length cartridges . The American master gun maker , the late Mr. Fred Wells was extremely fond of using the Enfield Model 1917 action to build several of his excellent large calibre rifles on . There are rumours circulating on the internet that the Enfield Model 1917 receivers which were manufactured in the Eddystone factory were heat treated improperly and thus , were brittle . Nevertheless , during my 10 year career as a professional shikaree ... I have never even once witnessed or heard of any bolt rifles built on Enfield Model 1917 actions being unsatisfactory in any way , even when they were re barreled to take large calibre magnum cartridges , such as the .375 Holland & Holland magnum.
Below , is a photograph taken from the internet of a bespoke .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre bolt rifle , built on an Enfield Model 1917 action .
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Ranking at 2nd place would have to be the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 . What more need be said about the iconic “ Rifleman’s rifle “ ? . These were some of the best off the rack bolt rifles available during the time of my career . When chambered in the .375 Holland & Holland magnum , I even technically consider the pre 64 Model 70 to be slightly superior to the modern “ Safari Express “ variant of the Model 70 . The reason for this , is that the Safari Express variant only holds a total of 4 cartridges ( 3 cartridges in the magazine + 1 cartridge in the breech) , while the pre 64 variant of my time held a total of 5 cartridges ( 4 cartridges in the magazine + 1 cartridge in the breech .) . Of course , 1 extra cartridges should not really matter in most practical shikar situations ( especially if your aim is true , which the operator should always aspire it to be .) . However , 1 extra cartridge never hurt anybody . A word of caution is requisite , regarding the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 bolt rifles . They are indeed , fine fire arms . However , they are not 100 % perfect , right out of the box. No. A little work needs to be done to them , before taking them out , to the shikar field.
The stocks WILL split unless you re bed them ( preferably with fiber glass ) and then reinforce them with cross bolts . A little work needs to be done to the feed rails in order to get the pre 64 variants to feed soft point cartridges reliably , such as 300 grain RWS brand soft point cartridges for the .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 bolt rifles . In the .375 Holland & Holland magnum and .458 Winchester magnum calibre variants , a 2nd recoil lug should always be added , as an extra precaution against any risks of the stocks Splitting .
Once these small alterations are made... you have a keeper in your hands !
Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet of a pre 64 Winchester Model 70 bolt rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum .
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Ranking at 1st place , would have to be the BRNO ZKK series . I have an extremely odd history with the BRNO ZKK series . In 1969 , I had a Canadian client come to Nagpur for the shikar of a royal Bengal tiger, armed with an extremely beautiful modified Mauser 98 action bolt rifle , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum , which held a grand total of 6 cartridges in the receiver . At the time , I had never bothered to ask my client what make of rifle it was. It certainly was a most fine quality 1 , possessing some of my most favorite design features in a bolt rifle designed for hunting dangerous game . It had a folding diopter in the receiver and the magazine floor plate release catch was located INSIDE the trigger guard . It was only in 2020 , after seeing my good friend, former fellow professional shikaree and fellow forum member, Sergeant Kawshik Rahman’s new 7x57mm Mauser calibre BRNO ZKK 600 , that I suddenly had an epiphany. The bolt rifle which I had seen my Canadian client bring to India for shikar , in 1969 was a BRNO ZKK 602 , chambered in .375 Holland & Holland magnum . The robust and reliable nature of the BRNO ZKK series is unrivaled and this is probably why the English company , John Rigby & Co . (When under the tenure of Mr. Paul Roberts in the 1980s ) used the BRNO ZKK actions to build their bespoke bolt rifles on . This alone speaks volumes about the quality of these actions . I have been corresponding over electronic mail with a professional White Hunter from South Africa recently and the gentleman was kind enough to provide me with some quite educational insight about the most popular rifles , calibres and hunting practices in Africa , in modern times. The gentleman told me that the BRNO ZKK series actions are far more valuable in Africa , than the BRNO ZKK series bolt rifles themselves.
Below , is a photograph kindly provided to me by Kawshik of his fine new prized BRNO ZKK 600 bolt rifle , chambered in 7×57 mm Mauser .
IMG_20200103_001444.jpg


Among double barreled rifles , I personally consider the Rising Bite model built by the English company , John Rigby & Co. to be the best variety of weapons in this platform . These side by side ( side lock ) rifles were the ONLY double barreled rifles which I had personally seen during my career , which extracted rimless cartridges with 100 % flawless reliability. An English repeat client of mine used to come to Uttarakhand annually for the shikar of royal Bengal tigers and he was always armed with a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre side by side rifle , built by John Rigby & Co. In the 4 shikar seasons in which I had the privilege to guide this gentleman for shikar .... I never saw that gentleman’s rifle EVER fail to extract the rimless .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre expended cartridges. This was an extremely impressive feat in and of itself , considering that even the great British royal gun makers , Holland & Holland could not make their Royal Side Lock Ejector double barreled rifles extract rimless cartridge cases ( such as the .375 Holland & Holland magnum and the .458 Winchester magnum ) with 100 % flawless reliability.
When ordering or purchasing any double barreled rifles for the hunting of dangerous game , it is imperative that the following features are present on your double barreled rifle :
> Barrels with a maximum length of 24 inches . Anything longer in length, may prove to be counterproductive in thick shrub , as it may become unwieldy ( of course , a great deal of factors determining appropriate barrel length , depends upon the height of the individual operator . )
> Manual Safety. Believe me . You do not want an automatic safety present on your double rifle. It will re engage on it's own , every time the operator breaks open the breech of the rifle , in order to eject the empty cartridge cases . This may cost the operator a vital fraction of a second , fumbling to disengage the automatic safety of his double barreled rifle when he has a furious dangerous game animal charging at him , and ( for whatever reason ) the 1st brace of shots proved to be inadequate , thus necessitating a re load .
> Double triggers . Nothing lets the operator get off an instant 2nd shot , like a rifle with 2 separate triggers. The single biggest advantage of a double barreled rifle , is the ability to get off that instant 2nd shot , which is a crucial feature , when the operator is dealing with charging dangerous game ( especially panthers ) . A double barreled rifle equipped with a single selective trigger sort of defeats this purpose . Only when you possess a double barreled rifle with a traditional double trigger design ... can you actually begin to appreciate the ability of your rifle to let off that 2nd shot instantly .
> Automatic Ejectors . It is crucial that your double barreled rifle possess automatic ejectors . Now , yes . My own double barreled " old Belgian " is equipped with extractors instead of ejectors and I had never even once had a problem in getting out the expended cartridge cases swiftly enough . However , this is only because I used to practice repeatedly how to properly turn the shot gun up side down and get out the empty cartridge cases with a simple flick of the wrist . Automatic ejectors make things just so much easier . After firing your 1st 2 shots , you simply break the rifle open at the breech and slide in the next 2 cartridges. If you practice enough times with extra cartridges kept between your fingers ... then a competent operator can let off 4 shots in ALMOST about the same speed as an operator armed with a bolt rifle . I am really a fan of the new concept of " selective ejectors " present on the new Beretta Model 486 Parallelo shot guns . It allows the operator to select whether the gun will completely EJECT the expended cartridge cases ( crucial in situations where the operator is hunting dangerous game) or whether the gun will merely EXTRACT the expended cartridge cases ( useful for operators who wish to retain their expended cartridge cases , for hand loading ) .

Below , I have provided a photograph taken from the internet catalogue of John Rigby & Co. of a Rigby Rising bite double barreled rifle , along with a list of all the possible calibres which these rifles may be built in , as per customer specifications .
Screenshot_20200310-135304_01.png



It must be borne in mind , however that these rifles are MY personal favorites . In no way , will I ever act authoritarian and declare that these are the BEST rifles in existence . They certainly are not . These rifles are the BEST rifles , which I have PERSONAL experience with .
Today , far more superior choices exist on the market ... I am sure .
What are the most reliable rifles seen by my dear readers ?

Coming up next ... " General Remarks "
 
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Major Khan

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General Remarks
We now come to the conclusion of this extremely long article. It took me roughly 2 weeks to complete this 1 , but in the end I persevered .
I would like to add a few last words , before concluding this article . Thanks to @Red Leg sir , it has been brought to my attention that the story about the dearly departed Mr. Ian Gibson meeting his demise , due to an extraction problem in his push feed action Winchester Model 70 may not be entirely accurate .

Thanks to @Bob Nelson 35Whelen , it has been brought to my attention that it was not the Mark 7 ammunition , but rather the Mark 7z ammunition which would cause the barrels of the service .303 calibre Lee Enfield bolt rifles to have their rifling wear out prematurely during World War 2 .
Finally , I would like to add a word or 2 about the BRNO ZKK 602 action , which I ranked as my # 1 favorite rifle action of all time.
Below , is a photograph kindly provided to me by fellow forum member , @Pondoro of his BRNO ZKK 602 bolt rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum .
thumbnail_.48Win..jpg


In Pondoro's own words : " The last (5th) cartridge in magazine detonate when 4th shot fired due to cartridge slamming around (too big Magazine box for .458) and primer hitting a small protuding piece of steel at the back of the box...bullet broke mag. follower in two, pressure blew the magazine open and cracked the stock" .
This was a hair raising incident ( to put things lightly ) , because it might have resulted in the injury or even the death of the operator or people around him .
Fortunately , Pondoro was able to walk away from this situation unscathed. However , it does raise questions in my mind about the suitability of massive length actions , such as the BRNO ZKK 602 for small length cartridges , such as the .458 Winchester magnum calibre .

I hope that this article has proven enjoyable , dear readers. If any of the information which I have provided is either out of date or inaccurate .... Then please to do not hesitate to educate me. I shall take it in stride . To be enlightened is a privilege and knowledge is power .
Tonight , I shall reply to all of the kind comments made on this article by all of our dear learned fellow forum members .
I shall commence writing my next article for African Hunting Forums next week .
But until then , I do hope that this article was not too boring .

THE END
 

Shootist43

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Poton, thanks for writing another very fine article. It confirms one of the basic tenants of the Hunter Education Class taught in the United States. That being "that a rifle is a mechanical thing, all mechanical things can fail." However it is the "safety" that this statement is applied to most often.
 

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Finally , I would like to add a word or 2 about the BRNO ZKK 602 action , which I ranked as my # 1 favorite rifle action of all time.
Below , is a photograph kindly provided to me by fellow forum member , @Pondoro of his BRNO ZKK 602 bolt rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum .
View attachment 334907

In Pondoro's own words : " The last (5th) cartridge in magazine detonate when 4th shot fired due to cartridge slamming around (too big Magazine box for .458) and primer hitting a small protuding piece of steel at the back of the box...bullet broke mag. follower in two, pressure blew the magazine open and cracked the stock"
....
That does not LOOK as catastrophic as some photos that I've seen. First, I thought that the stock had just split, but at the corners of the magazine well, instead of down the center.
 

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