Why no lever-action rifle for Elephants?

tigris115

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So when it comes to elephant hunting, the big debate seems to be a bolt or double. However, I think there are benefits that the lever-action style rifle has over the other 2.

Not only would a lever-action rifle beat a double in ammo capacity, but it would also beat a bolt rifle in speed as you would only need to do 2 movements of the hand to reload instead of 4, making it better for tight situations. And while a double rifle can shoot 2 rounds as fast as the hunter needs them, it's still only w and a 4 barrel rifle would be grossly cumbersome.

So my question is this. Why has no-one made a lever-action rifle based specifically made for thick-skinned, big-boned dangerous game rounds? I know the 45-70 can be used for that sometimes, but from what I've read, it's more adept at NA dangerous game and not as recommended as something like a .458 or 500 NE.
 

TTundra

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The BLR has been made into a 458 Win Mag. Find an old steel receiver model and a gunsmith known for it and maybe $3k-$5k and it can be done.
 

Bullthrower338

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There are a couple members on here that have done it also
 

Brandon.Gleason

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There've been a few BLR's converted to 375 Ruger to my knowledge, as well.
 

BeeMaa

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Many members here have hunted DG with a lever gun.
Understanding the limitations of your cartridge is the important thing.
As long as you are willing to pass on shots that are outside of the capability of the cartridge, I don't see why not.
You should disuss your choice of firearm with your PH before you go, so they can better tailor the hunt to you.

That said, I'd put a Blaser R8, Merkel Helix or Browning Maral against the lever action in a speed test.
Not sure who would win but I bet it would be close.
 

bruce moulds

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I think teddy used a 1895 Winchester in .405 win to shoot elephants,lions and rhino,s and maybe cape buffalo too.

well that might sum the man up.
he also thought he had the right to shoot in national parks.
and people used to chase bears for him to shoot.
bruce.
 

CBH Australia

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Because if it jams they will stomp on you. Imagine the lawsuits if that happens.
Is it because there is just no time enough demand? Not commercially viable.
How do lever actions rate for reliability opposed to the CRF or even the Blaser R8 etc.
 

Major Khan

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I have a book in my library , written by the greatest American President to have ever graced the world with his presence ( in my humble non American citizen view ) , President Theodore Roosevelt . The book is called " African Game Trails " . The President had ( among other weapons ) a .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle and 300 grain solid metal covered bullets with which he managed to kill 1 elephant . But his son , Kermit and he had to both shoot at it's head together repeatedly to accomplish the desired results . The President then went in to say that he liked the .405 Winchester calibre rifle for lions , but for elephants , buffaloes and rhinoceros , he preferred a double barrel rifle built by the British company , Holland & Holland , in .450 bore ( probably a .450 Nitro Express , but l should check my book 1 more time , just to be certain ) .
It might interest some people to know that my maternal grandfather , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan used his .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle to dispatch 1 rogue elephant in Tamil Nadu in 1937 , roughly 4 years before l was born . He told me the story that he used 300 grain ICI Kynoch solid metal covered bullets to do it and he used 3 cartridges to get the job done .
The 1st shot took it in the throat . The 2nd shot took it in the temple ( where the depression is ) and the final ( and fatal shot ) took the elephant behind the ear.
Since l never got to shoot an elephant myself , l would always love to hear this story from my grandfather .
We used to have a massive photograph of him sitting on top of the dead rogue elephant with his .405 Winchester Model 1895 , along with the British officers ( who were his superiors , as he was a Sepoy ) , hanging over the fire place of my Nagpur house .
Based on what he told me and the elephant corpses which l have helped cut open after they were killed by forest department officials or Shawtaal poachers , l would say that a .405 Winchester calibre 300 grain solid metal covered bullet cannot reliably kill an elephant with a frontal brain shot ( because the front part of the skull is thicker than the sides of the skull ) , but could reliably kill an elephant with a side brain shot , because the side part of an elephant's skull is is far thinner.
Whether a modern monolithic solid brass .405 Winchester calibre bullet could reliably be used for a frontal brain shot at an elephant , l cannot say.
 

Major Khan

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teddy did have good PR and may have been human just like the rest of us(excluding the democrates).
I 100 % agree. We also must judge Mr. Roosevelt by the laws of his own time and not our time . Speaking about myself , half the things l did 50 years ago , like shooting game at night with a torch light or using human corpses as bait for man eating royal Bengal tigers and panthers , would be perceived as unethical today . But times change . I have been a massive admirer or this great American President.
 
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HWL

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For Donald Trump, now it is time to follow the foodprints of Theodor Roosevelt and kill an Elephant with a lever gun.

A 30-30 is appropriate, I think….

HWL
 

Shootist43

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As for reliability, my experience has been very good. I have used, or watched my sons use a Browning, two Model 94 Winchesters, a Marlin 39-A and a 336, a Winchester Mod 71 and a Savage 99 for several decades, and don't remember ever having a jam. These rifles were always cleaned and properly lubricated, dirty or dry rifles might be an issue. AH member Leslie Hetrick has a number of Lever Action rifles, hopefully he will comment on their reliability.
 

Forrest Halley

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Well this thread certainly brought out our finest...

There's a guy: @crs . He's into lever guns and knows about what it takes to get the job done on DG. He's got a headache from another thread right now, but after a few Aleve he might be able to help you.
In the meantime go read the .458 for buffalo thread from page 2 or 3 onward. Basically a .45-90 is longer than a .458 WM and can be loaded up to do good things. A .405 can use modern bullets and be impressive too. Don't recall if it's impressive enough for tembo.
 

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