Two Brothers, A .3006 Rifle & A Very Angry Leopard

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Kawshik Rahman, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    I am extremely thankful to the members of Africa Hunting forums for the tremendous amount of support which they have shown for me , regarding my accounts of Shikar in India from 1962 to 1970. Therefore , today l have decided to provide an account to my fellow forum members today's about a very memorable shikar involving
    two brothers , a .3006 rifle , a jeep and a very angry leopard.
    Let us begin , dear readers . The account shall unfold in three more posts.

    Screenshot_20191006-203533_01_01_01.png
    Our respected clients with our loyal tracker , Jeddiah . The rifle is one of the titular .3006 calibre rifles .
     

  2. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    It was 1966 and Shikar season was well underway in Darjeeling , India. I had just come back from an excellent fishing trip with my eldest uncle , Neerob Rahman.
    Alongside Shikar , fishing was ( and still is ) a very favorite sport of mine.

    As l went to Sundar Raj Shikar , our respected boss , Sundar Raj Sir had introduced me and Karim to our clients . We were to guide a pair of American gentlemen who were brothers. For the sake of brevity , let us call them BB and DB. The brothers had booked a Shikar with us for some water fowl and a leopard. This was certainly a very simple demand , and one which Sundar Raj Shikar could accommodate.
    We had a chance to examine the armaments of our two clients. And the fact that they were brothers definitely told , in their armaments. Both the brothers had brought the same calibre of rifle and the same type of shot-gun. The rifles were of the venerable American calibre : .3006 Springfield .
    One rifle was made by the firm , Springfield. The other rifle was built by a maker who's name l had unfortunately never asked the client and l still regret it to this day . It was a little uncommon looking , in that it had a removable magazine like that of a Lee Enfield. Perhaps a custom made rifle of some sort ? I will be posting a photograph of the rifles in my other post and l am certain that one of my more learned members can identify it easily.
    The reason why l did not have my focus upon the rifles was because l was more intrigued by the shot-guns. They were made by the excellent firm , William Wellington Greener and were single barrel 12 bore pieces with an under-lever . They looked very much like the martini henry rifles , seen in the excellent film , Zulu . What intrigued me the most was that these guns had removable choke mechanism . This was the very first time in my life when l had seen a shot-gun with removable choke type mechanism and it certainly fascinated me.
    The ammunition brought by them was the little unsettling .
    DB brought boxes of excellent 220 grain soft blunt head cartridges from the excellent American firm , Remington. A fine choice indeed. However BB had brought a green container of ammunition with AP printed on it . A container which Karim and I were sadly , quite familiar with. This a container for military surplus .3006 ammunition. The ammunition had tapered metal envelope points which were black. While such ammunition was excellent for the purposes of war ( as l would find out five years later ) , it did not belong in the shikar field ( l shall illustrate why , in the future post ) . Unfortunately , quite a few of our American Shikar clients used to bring such cartridges with their .3006 calibre rifles. I am assuming that this was done with frugality in mind and for economic reasons. However , it had very negative effects on Shikars as this story shall relate. Please bear in mind , dear readers , that this is in no way , a reflection of our honorable clients. They were exceptionally kind specimens of humanity. However , to err is human and some of our clients would make some unwise decisions in choice of ammunition. This was simply one of them. The shot-gun cartridges too were most unique . These were from the American firm , Remington and they were unique in one more way. These were the very first plastic shot-gun cartridges which we had seen in our lives. Up until this point all the shot-gun cartridges which we had used or seen were always made from paper ( and occasionally a few brass cartridges which were brought over by clients ) . They came in the shot sizes of BB and number 2.
    Even though , Karim and l anticipated that DB's choice of ammunition might prove troublesome , we remained quiet , because Client is King.
    And so , decisions were made.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2019

  3. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    In three days , we had set off to the Agargao stream which ran into the Buri Ganga river . It was a beautiful water body where teal ducks and geese could always be found. With us , was Rishi , our loyal Gurkha coolie who carried a large rucksack full of shot-gun cartridges . Karim and l carried our own Ishapore 12 bore shot-guns slung on our back , while holding our client’s William Wellington Greener shot-guns in our hands. We offered our services to the clients as their loading servants . However , they politely declined , saying that they were accustomed to loading their own arms and they just wanted us to enjoy “ the show “ . This , Karim and l looked forward to. I was most curious to see how these removable choke shot-guns would work. To put it in a straight forward manner , the results were shocking in a most positive way. The brothers were excellent bird shooters and in half an hour , no less than 24 Indian teals had fallen to their shot-guns with number 1 cartridges. However , the brothers were only getting started. They changed the choke in their shot-guns and loaded them with BB cartridges. They were going to go after geese.
    If only my students today in Bangladesh Shooting Federation would see what those 70 millimeter cartridges can do. The brothers were blowing those geese out of the sky with clear effortlessness. No less than eleven geese had been blown out of the sky and fallen into Agargao. However , the fun was over and now . Karim , Rishi and l had the arduous task of going into the water to collect our client’s fallen geese . This was a fairly simple task , but there were some risks in this work. You see , as l had previously mentioned , Agargao stream runs into the Buri Ganga river and occasionally a gui shaap would get into the stream. These loathsome creatures can either be described as an extremely large lizard or a fairly small crocodile and while not as dangerous as their larger cousins , they were known to cause extreme infections with their bites . I removed my satchel from my side and removed my wallet , compass and Imperial Schrade pocket knife from the pockets of my pleated cotton poplin trousers. I left my wallet and compass inside the satchel and put the pocket knife in the pocket of my cotton poplin half sleeve shirt. I also took four AAA cartridges from the satchel and put them into my shirt pocket , because the cartridges were made from paper and could not be allowed to get wet. With two more AAA cartridges loaded into my shot-gun , l followed Karim and Rishi , waist deep into the water as they collected the fallen teals and geese . For killing gui shaap , AAA cartridges were the best size and those 44 pellets would make short work of them ( the subject of a future story ) . However , today was uneventful and we all gathered the downed birds and got them back to our clients.
    At night , when l returned home to change my wet clothes , l was terrified to see that three ugly , filthy Jhog ( leeches ) were clinging to my legs. The sight is fairly nauseating , but baba ( father ) was easily able to remove them from me by using tobacco juice. There were few men like father . He was my role model and he was always there for me , even in adulthood. After graduating college with a degree in Economics , when l had told my father that l did not want to work in a boring bank by wearing a neck tie , but rather wanted to be a professional Shikari , he did not refuse even once. While my mother initially had some reservations , due to the risks involved ( no mother would want her son to be eaten alive by a Royal Bengal tiger) , it was my father who convinced her to let me live my life on my own terms. But enough reminiscing. Let us proceed to the leopard Shikar.
     

  4. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Another great story in the making.
     
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  5. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    Three days later , we were after leopard. Karim and l had our old shot-guns loaded with SG cartridges. DB and BB both had their excellent .3006 rifles . Two of our Garo trackers and Jedediah and Rishi were with us , in the jeep .
    Screenshot_20191006-203533_01_01_01.png
    The start of another adventure .


    As we were driving alongside the Kushtia forests , our luck would be extremely good that day ( or so we thought ) . About 300 to 320 yards away from us , Rishi ( with his binoculars) had spotted a leopard near a pond. It appeared to be cleaning the paws on it’s fore legs . Could a better amount of luck ever present itself to a Shikari ? This was the only leopard in my entire life which we had hunted , that did not even need tracking. Karim and l stopped the jeep and turned around to discuss our plan of approach with our clients. But what was this ? DB was standing up on the jeep and fitting a telescope sight to his .3006 rifle ( with the removable magazine ) .And he was loading the rifle with those pointed black tip cartridges. He wanted to take the shot from the jeep. Karim and l found this most unusual . However , Client is king. We stared at the leopard with binoculars while DB raised the rifle and took careful aim. He fired and the bullet definitely hit the leopard . He was a most excellent marksman . However , it was not brought down and instead disappeared into the denser foliage in the forest.
    Karim and l were immediately on our feet , with our shot-guns in hand and our loyal tracker by our side . We were naturally going to follow the wounded animal , as per the unspoken code of any ethical Shikari ( if only l felt the same way about birds ) .
    However , DB refused to get out of the jeep. “ Shahib , let us go after your puroshkaar “ l said. DB demanded that we pursue the leopard on the jeep , but it was not possible to take the jeep into that heavily vegetated region. Karim and l then decided what had to be done. Our respected client could not be disobeyed. Client is king. He was absolutely adamant not to get out of the jeep and pursue the leopard on foot. Yet , we had a wounded sentient creature to put out of it’s misery . Finally , It was decided what had to be done. Karim , Rishi and the trackers would pursue the leopard on foot , while l drove our respected clients to the Darjeeling circuit house. It was here that BB got out of the car with his .3006 rifle by Springfield. He was going to assist Karim in going after the wounded leopard. What an honorable gentleman . Of course DB was no less honorable but BB’s courage was commendable . I drove DB back to Darjeeling Circuit House , while worrying every moment about the brave men who were pursuing this leopard on foot . What was worse , was that the sun would set in less than two hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019

  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Oh Kawshik! You stopped too soon! I’m excited waiting on the next episode!
     
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  7. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    At Darjeeling Circuit house , l had left DB and decided to take the jeep and return to Kushtia forest to assist Karim , our loyal trackers and BB . On the way , however , l saw my friend triumphantly walking with our client , BB and the trackers . Even more fortunate was that they had the leopard corpse with them. The next part of the story was not witnessed by me , but was told to me by Karim and BB . I see no reason not to believe them and l relate it below. The Garo trackers went to the water hole and tried to find a trail of blood . The blood trail was extremely difficult to follow on account of the pointed black tip bullet being used which did not cause a large enough hole.
    However , Jeddiah could work wonders. Any hunter today , would be blessed by Divine Providence to have a tracker as proficient as Jeddiah. He was able to get a trail . Unfortunately , as any professional Shikari will tell you , a wounded leopard always retreats into the bushes and waits for his foes . As Karim and BB Wade's through those bushes , the leopard had decided to pounce. Karim , being that quick witted Shikari with half Turkish blood , running in his veins , immediately fired off two barrels ( one after the other ) at the leopard. ( I do not know what distances the shots were made at , but it must have been very close . I will mention down why l think so . ) The Leopard was Injured , and stunned. BB lost no time. He fired his .3006 rifle at the heart of the leopard . The 220 grain Remington firm soft nose bullet was excellent . It finished the leopard. However , one can never be too careful with these beasts and Rishi cut it's throat with a Ram Dao.
    The corpse of this beast and the effect of each of the bullets on it can be seen in the upcoming book " A hobby called Hunting " by my young friend and fellow forum member, Hoss Delgado. However , l shall describe the affair here. The .3006 black tip pointed bullet had gone cleanly through the beast's neck without damaging any arteries , veins or even it's spine . It had gone through flesh alone.
    Karim's two SG shots had left 13 out of 18 pellets embedded in the rock hard muscles of the leopard and skull of the leopard without penetrating into any vital regions. BB's 220 grain .3006 soft nose bullet had done great damage to the heart of the creature . When we recovered the bullet , it looked like an open umbrella after expanding in diameter. It would be unfair to my friendly forum members , not to show any photographs at all. So let me show you one .
    Screenshot_20190926-010411_01_01.png
    The leopard skin lying on the balcony wall of Darjeeling Circuit House. The Shikar arms are laid on the skin. From up to down : Two William Wellington Greener 12 bore single barrel under lever shot-guns with adjustable chokes and two .3006 rifles. The rifle in the bottom is made by the firm , Springfield. However , l am hopeful that one of my fellow knowledgeable forum members will be able to identify the rifle above it. It looks very much like a Lee Enfield mechanism with the removable magazine.

    The epilogue will follow
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019

  8. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    And thus , ended one more exciting , yet successful Shikar. I had the privilege of seeing the first plastic 12 bore shot-gun cartridges in my life and also the privilege of seeing the first adjustable choke shot-guns in my life.
    My clients were complete gentlemen and they would later send me a film cinema reel of my favorite John Wayne film " Stage Coach " as a token of their appreciation. Father owned a projector and we would hang a white bedsheet on our roof every Friday and watch cinemas there.
    I will however make one request to my fellow sportsmen. Pointed tip bullets have an excellent place in war. However , they are not created for Shikar. It is better to compromise and buy fewer cartridges of suitable design rather than buy a large quantity of cartridges of an unsuitable design. It makes for not very clean killing.
    I hope my dear readers have enjoyed and that somebody here managed to identify the mysterious rifle.
     
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  9. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    Shootist43
    I would be nothing without all of your support.
     

  10. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    Ridge Walker
    It is complete. I hope you enjoy this account.
     
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  11. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Wow , Mr. Rahman :D
    I loved it. I think the rifle was a custom piece built on a BSA Lee Speed Sporter action :)
    BTW , do you find leopards scarier or tigers ?
    And thanks for not posting the leopard pic :D . If you did , no .460 Weatherby Mag shooting for you ! Ha Ha :p
     
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  12. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    Hoss Delgado
    I am man of my word.
    It is really difficult to compare the danger of hunting a Royal Bengal tiger and a leopard. A Royal Bengal tiger weighs from 400 pounds to 500 pounds , normally. The heaviest leopard weighs upwards of 200 pounds. This means that the heaviest leopard is half the weight of the lightest tiger. However , the leopard is far faster and devious in it's method of attack. It is rather difficult to come to a conclusion view as to which is more dangerous. However , leopard is more difficult to hunt if it is wounded.
     

  13. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Sir, I have very much enjoyed every account I have read!
     
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  14. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    I have enjoyed every time you all appreciated it.
     
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  15. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    Thank you again for another great story sir. I always read them with envy, the indian jungle has always been at the top of my list for hunting, even above Africa and you're writing takes us there.

    Fortunately I believe that the times of fmj ammo being used for hunting have passed for the most part. There is a great deal of well constructed ammo with proven performance. Yet i recently fielded a question by a novice hunter wanting to use military fmj ammo in his 303 for a wild boar hunt in Australia. Safety aside I tried to explain how unethical it was to put an animal through that suffering. Unfortunately from his replies I believe he had no intention of changing.
     

  16. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    I am grateful for your response. When l did duty in the Bangladesh Liberation war , l used to use pointed tip cartridge in my issued Kolashnikov 7.62 millimeter Soviet automatic rifle . It works on human beings , but for animals it is terrible.
    Also , they leave poor blood trails. If Karim and l had any tracker other than Jeddiah , l doubt that we would have found the leopard.
     
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  17. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have used FMJ bullets on called in coyotes for a couple of them with failures. I had read (by a well known outdoor writer!) that FMJ s didn’t damage pelts. Right...! If your shot is slightly off the mark (heart) it’s a lost fur. Two bad shots on my first trial day and I decided I’d sew up the expanding bullet holes rather than lose a $50 fur!

    I cannot imagine going after a leopard with an FMJ bullet!
     
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  18. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    This was even worse than a normal metal envelope bullet. It have a pointed tip , black in color and weighed less than 200 grains . The United States of America military used to have this surplus type of ammunition in green containers. Your observations are most accurate
     
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  19. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Springfield manufactured 30-06 caliber rifles for use by the American Military during World War I. They had a Mauser style action and were commonly available as surplus. Back in the late 1950s they could be purchased for $14.95 and $5.00 shipping and handling. These rifles were very accurate as well as robust and large numbers of them were sporterized for use by hunters.
     
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  20. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    Thank you again for a wonderful story!

    I think round-nosed FMJs from Woodleigh are fine for buffalo, but not the best for smaller game.
     
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