Why no lever-action rifle for Elephants?

Thumper Mcgee

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Yes but it has been done. one of the members on this forum killed an elephant with a 454 cassul, and if I'm not mistaken the ph didn't fire a shot
I'd submit that after their first shot they were backed up by the PH. Similar to bow hunters going after buffalo, elephant etc..
 

Tam Dl

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Reliablitly in general comes to mind as does fail safe extraction as @bruce moulds pointed out. I guess as with any ego based, minimalist or extreme hunting pursuit, it will work until it doesn't.
I am not suggesting that Levers should be used, I just see how they can be used. To which I would add:

1) The model 700 fails on extraction (and on controlled round feed). But the solution was to mill in a stronger extractor. Is that an option for these levers? In the case of the Marlin, WWG just made a drop in extractor made out of quality metal. Done.

2) For sticky round extraction, options include: a) Using actions that are capable of properly handling full power loads with enough volume in the case that we do not get excessive pressure; b) An action job; c) Properly designed levers. There have been a variety of big loop levers that have gained popularity recently, and that make extraction and speed more difficult. Since a lot of these levers are actual, or fantasy, NA DG guns, a rethink of what shape the levers should be on a DG gun might be useful.

3) Lupo got a lot of people excited over Marlin 45-70s. It was cool to think one already owned an "elephant gun" and only 15 years ago, those were selling for 400 or so dollars. But several things have happened. Marlins are great, but they also had a lot of problems. Basically, they were too small to do what needed doing, in terms of velocity, bullet weight, and SD. And the guns were underbuilt. Since then, we are 2 reorgs in, and the 1886 scene is more robust than the Marlin scene, with half a dozed makers (probably some overlap in those numbers). Right now we are at 0 for Marlin production. If we can get the ingenuity directed towards the 1886s, in time we may have something. Turnbull has done a lot, but he meets the needs of the bespoke community, and does not affect what people who live in the woods buy or carry.

4) Last summer I zigged when I should have zagged, and did not pick up a Winchester 1895 30-06 for my 9.3x62 project. That gun should be more than competent enough to function with that cartridge, though it is at the low end of the spectrum for a Big 5 DG gun. Maybe between WWI, Roosevelt, And it being 126 years old, it would not be too insulting to PHs who rightly favour the bolt.
 

Tam Dl

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Exactly . Well said. Too many people use today’s standard to judge people’s actions in the past .
At this point, the "past" has rolled up to ideas from about 12 months ago.
 

Tam Dl

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Yes but it has been done. one of the members on this forum killed an elephant with a 454 cassul, and if I'm not mistaken the ph didn't fire a shot
I don't know how often it happens on caned hunts, but the idea in a DG hunt is you can handle the situation from soup to nuts. Pistols are really woeful in that regard. Unless we are talking short rifles. The lever can come close to being up there with the bolt.

Howard Hill, as the story goes, longbow shot an elephant frontally, in what in any reasonable rifle shot would have been a brain shot. He got 16 inches of penetration into 18 inches of skull. The PH had to clean up the mess. Not blaming Howard, someone had to try it. With todays gear that is about 4 times as powerful on a draw weight basis, and could be more rugged, it is probably possible, but you would still need to be backed.

I did read a story from a guy who shot all 20+ NA game animals. On his polar bear hunt, the guides rifle was not brought to the party, and he did manage to pin cushion a polar, while holding him off with heavy longbow fire. And got the kill and the save. Not recommending it, but he was playing the DG game to the full, if reports are to be believed.
 

Tam Dl

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back in the day, the answer was, they didn't exist in a proper format,
Just one small addition to an excellent post. Back in the day, say 1895, there were a lot of guys using light solids to shoot the biggest game. The names and calibers are well known, sometimes as small as the 6.5x55. Therefore, the Winchester 1895 in the Krag getitng 2300 fps at 180 grain, and 2600 at 150 grain. The Russian contract 1895 were in the 7.62×54mmR, about equivalent to the 7.62 NATO and a few hundred FPS higher in velocity, could have all served in the hands of Bell, or others.
 

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