Why no lever-action rifle for Elephants?

bruce moulds

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crs,
in the old days some people made claims, and the general populous just unthinkingly believed them.
nowadays people tend to look at evidence on such issues.
while I cannot comment on the quality of the man's presidency, in other areas evidence would suggest that the image presented had a gap from reality.
while being connected to national parks, in the real world he believed them to be hunting reserves for himself, as president.
while presenting as the great hunter, he used people to chase game to him, and was indiscriminant in what he shot.
he used according to legend, a 405 win on elephant, and thought it adequate.
these things alone, when given any consideration, mark the man.
sometimes delving below the surface just a little shows that "legends" while convenient, can be disappointing.
bruce.
 

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while I cannot comment on the quality of the man's presidency, in other areas evidence would suggest that the image presented had a gap from reality.
while being connected to national parks, in the real world he believed them to be hunting reserves for himself, as president.

You may want to go into where your thoughts of TR are coming from...because what you said above could not be further from the truth from my readings.
TR as far back into the 1880s first noticed the demise of certain species as well as the grazing land and saw effects on his own property. He wrote quite a bit about it. Yes, he was a hunter, but above that a conservationist. And yes, as President he did create the forest service to protect these public lands, over 220 million acres, and establish parks for future generations could use the land and wildlife.

I'm personally not aware of a quote or book written that states TR wanted these lands as his personal hunting leases...do you have a primary source for this information?
 

Major Khan

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I have just had a quick read through my copy of " African Game Trails ".
President Theodore Roosevelt appears to have only shot 1 elephant with the .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle. His son , Kermit and he shot it repeatedly I the head. For all of the other elephants , buffaloes and rhinoceroses , he preferred a .500/450 Nitro Express double barreled side by side rifle , built by the company , Holland and Holland .
Infact , he is vocally saying that he does NOT think that the .405 Winchester is adequate for elephants at all .
 

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crs,
in the old days some people made claims, and the general populous just unthinkingly believed them.
nowadays people tend to look at evidence on such issues.
while I cannot comment on the quality of the man's presidency, in other areas evidence would suggest that the image presented had a gap from reality.
while being connected to national parks, in the real world he believed them to be hunting reserves for himself, as president.
while presenting as the great hunter, he used people to chase game to him, and was indiscriminant in what he shot.
he used according to legend, a 405 win on elephant, and thought it adequate.
these things alone, when given any consideration, mark the man.
sometimes delving below the surface just a little shows that "legends" while convenient, can be disappointing.
bruce.
You really need to do some research. That is one of the more uninformed assessments of Roosevelt and his legacy I have ever seen. There is revisionist history and then there is hostile revisionism designed to reinforce a specific conclusion or impression. This is as bad a synopsis of one of the latter that I have read in years.
 

cagkt3

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I was typing a response and several others beat me to it. Just read the above and +1
 

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@crs my original post did suggest that perhaps there is no viability in offering a commercially made Lever in Elephant gun chamberings.
I’m sure it could be done but with the coloured sold what’s would be the retail price.
I’m talking about say. 458wm and above or some of the Nitro Express cartridges that I know little about. Even a .375H&H probably won’t fit in a lever gun so it’s start from scratch and built a bigger action to handle the cartridge and the load.
I read they say a .458wm needs to propel a 500gn projectile at 2150fps to be a good elephant round. So that is probably running at higher pressure than the .45/90 with that slightly shorter case. If you want a Lott you probably need. Bigger stronger action.
I have nothing against lever guns but unless they offer one designed to handle these rounds I wouldn’t try have one rebarreled to suit.
A lever action built as a special run to handle such cartridges may well cost what a double does.
I’m sure there are 2 things, don’t reinvent the wheel when traditionally these big bore offerings are available in Doubles and CRF ,
Secondly the cost of producing a limited run. If they done them at 2k each we may buy them just because they made them but with research and development I’m sure the initial roll out would be expensive! Very expensive
 

crs

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Plus another one.
 

crs

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CBH in New South Wales.
Either I have failed completely to convey the fact that the current Winchester 1886 in .45-90/.458 2.4 ALREADY kills ele with 450 grain bullets at 2150 fps and that so does the .45-70 with slightly SLOWER bullets, or you just skimmed over my reply. Nothing requires a 500 grain bullet to kill an ele.
And there are the 45-110 cartridges. IMHO, the .45-90 performance is enough for the hunter, but each hunter can and must make up his own mind. I read one report where a hunter used his .460 Weatherby to stop an escaping ele at 200 yards. OK by me if it is legal.
The professional hunter that may be expected to stop a charge has reason to use any rifle of his choice that will do that job. Why not a .600 NE if he can handle it and it is legal?

In addition to the standard 1886 .458 rifles, several variants have been made in 50 caliber for Alaskan brown bear. They too should kill an ele.
Modern bullets are a far cry from the old cast 500 grain lead bullets first used to kill bison.

Please consider doing a bit of research on this matter as I can think of nothing else to say.
 

crs

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HWL said earlier in this thread (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….)
President Trump has plenty of rifles in his family and one of his sons has plenty of African hunting experience.
But if he wants to borrow my 1886 .45-90, we can arrange that too.
MAGA
 

Major Khan

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HWL said earlier in this thread (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….)
President Trump has plenty of rifles in his family and one of his sons has plenty of African hunting experience.
But if he wants to borrow my 1886 .45-90, we can arrange that too.
MAGA
Why yes , that is correct. I have seen a photograph of Donald Trump Junior , with a double barreled side by side rifle made by the British company , John Rigby and Co . I have read an internet article which claims that it is a .470 Nitro Express , Crs . It was a beautiful looking rifle .
 

JimP

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As for a lever gun and shooting a elephant dont you you think that with modern bullets you would be a lot more successful than good old TR was back in the day when he tried it.

Most 45-70 and even the 50-110 were shooting lead bullets and even if they were a hard cast I think that even hard cast are better today than they were back in the days of TR
 

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You really need to do some research. That is one of the more uninformed assessments of Roosevelt and his legacy I have ever seen. There is revisionist history and then there is hostile revisionism designed to reinforce a specific conclusion or impression. This is as bad a synopsis of one of the latter that I have read in years.

Well said!!
 

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@crs I’m not debating if the older rifle will kill Ele but I took it more that the OP @tigris 115 was asking why they are not common, perhaps I misquoted you but I don’t think there are any current offerings as they probably never reached the popularity of the CRF and Doubles therefore there hasn’t been a surge in popularity in big bore Levers and there is probably not any offerings in current production in .458wm larger or the like, the Nitro cartridges or modern big bore rounds.
For all the reading I have done they don’t seem to have the popularity. My only lever action is a .357magnum, and I fired a .44-40 and .32-20 in some old Winchester’s but I don’t recall the model as I was young.
Running .38special in my .375 has dropped cattle in yards instantly although Ele head is different.
I am not in a position to hunt DG but like most I would probably go with the commonly used CRF in my budget (CZ550’s $1500) but i wish any one all the best whatever they hunt with , no issues with levers It’s seems the OP Like Me, doesn’t see them getting publicity as DG rifles and my conclusion was availability due to demand driven by popularity. Hell invite me over to hunt Bison , if you are happy to loan me the lever you can back me up with my .375 Cz550, I will trust you your load and your experience and when they make a new and affordable Lever in a True DG chambering for 2k I’m in. (Ok so by TRUE, I mean traditional or common)
I won’t start on Teddy as I don’t know much about him. Calling a son Kermit would make me wonder.
When Blaser R8 become more affordable their will be no debate just the R8.
 
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Certus

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Browning BLR can be done in .458 win mag, .416 Ruger and .375 Ruger.
If you start with a WSM platform you have many wildcats to play with also, up to, if it fits, the .470 Rhino. This round was designed for AR-10’s and gets bloody close, if not the same, as a .470 nitro.


I think someone mentioned be savage 99 earlier. These can be done in .375/284 and .416/284.
 

Tam Dl

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"I cannot comment on the quality of the man's presidency, in other areas evidence would suggest that the image presented had a gap from reality.
while being connected to national parks, in the real world he believed them to be hunting reserves for himself, as president."

Even if this were true, it would show an element of entitlement, but not really rule out a conservation approach.

"while presenting as the great hunter, he used people to chase game to him, and was indiscriminant in what he shot."

100 years ago, if true, this was fairly typical. Of course, it does beg the question of what one means by "indiscriminate". Beating, or drives was and is a common tactic. Indiscriminate is the sort of word people use when laying a guilt trip on others. It would be very rare for anything most people did to be indiscriminate. Just in terms of cost, effort, etc... But large mixed bags of animals were common when animals abounded. And something like shooting every varmint one sees, which is common enough today will not likely pass tests in the future.

"he used according to legend, a 405 win on elephant, and thought it adequate.
these things alone, when given any consideration, mark the man."

This may not be accurate, but even if he did say that, there are many elephant hunters in history who used choices available in their day, from 4 bores, to 7x57s, even 9.3x62, which today are either tossed aside, or even banned.

Roosevelt is idolized by many gunnies, but not particularly by me. But I prefer not to bear false witness.
 

bruce moulds

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call me an agnostic.
I would like to believe, but I can't.
modern marketing has made me cynical, as have modern politicians, and here I see both ahead of their time.
I cannot feel cosiness in the comfort of legend.
bruce.
 

Tam Dl

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I think one could easily make a stock lever action that was good enough for the task of taking large dangerous game. The reasons it has not been done have been largely identified. Back in the early days of smokeless powder and bolt actions, they so distinguished themselves in Africa, from the Boer War, to the game fields that there would be little reason to look for anything else other than the double rifle, which was obviously very much in use. The US did not adopt bolt actions as quickly, and after their brief appearance at the front in WWI, they had by WWII sensibly moved strongly in the direction of other action types. Of course bolt actions are very popular in the US, but they didn't blanket the game fields in the same way. Even mid way through the last century a hunter in the US might well still be shooting a lever. So you have the lever being important outside the dangerous game fields.

The Winchester was used by the Russians in WWI and worked very well by some reports, being preferred to bolts when the individual soldiers could get them. So chambering them in a 9.3x62 would have been easy enough and they could have been side by side with developments. A local store has barrels for the Garrand in 9.3x62. That could be another thread, why not semis.

I shouldn't draw this cultural distinction too strongly. There are pictures of Settlers in Africa with lever action rifles...

---------------------------------------------------

I think that one of the reasons that big bore levers have not become more available is because of the 45/70 myth. There are many big bore levers being made today, maybe more than at any time. And a lot of this appeal has to do with the universal acceptance that levers are a great platform for 45/70s, and that the 45/70 is magic. This mythical performance of the 45/70 is basically true if you live outside of Big Five country. So you can't blame folks for not wanting more. But for those of us who want more it is very hard to get, particularly outside of the US. The 50 Alaskan has also flagged as far as I can tell without access to actual sales statistics. It has never been offered in a stock 1886 that I have seen, and many of the people who were offering it a few years back, have stopped, offering it in the Mossberg customs. A better choice for the US based shooter is probably the 470 and 475 Turnbulls, because they absolutely stroke the ballistic minimums. These are readily available from Turnbull but so far I have not seen them from others. The Turnbull rifles are excellent, but they lean towards nostalgia over practicality, that is just his niche.

----------------------------------------

I don't think that the lever offers anything that the Blaser or doubles, and maybe even the best bolts can't do better. Basically it comes down to fire power. The Blaser is a stock item in the 500 Jeffery, and second shots are probably fast enough for clients, or the best professionals who might be better off with a double. When they wade in, it can be so tight on time, you really need a double, 3, 4, and 5, are probably not going to get used in every case, and if you have that much time, you can probably get by with a bolt. Most of the levers can be locked up and clearing can be a problem. Again, that is probably something that could be changed in the design, but until Blaser decides to make it happen, we are probably out of luck. Currently my local shop has several Blasers in 500 Jeffery, new and second hand, and not a single super sized lever. Getting one would cost more than the Blaser, or even a custom bolt gun.
 

Tam Dl

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call me an agnostic.
I would like to believe, but I can't.
modern marketing has made me cynical, as have modern politicians, and here I see both ahead of their time.
I cannot feel cosiness in the comfort of legend.
bruce.

I certainly wouldn't press you to change your approach. We all have a way of judging the world that makes the most sense. I just think that in the past, personal standards really were different. When Churchill really screwed up over the Dardanelles, he not only resigned (something ministers did until quite recently), but he enlisted for the front in Western Europe, and served there. And as far as the rest of it goes, I covered some of it above. But just for instance, there is a distinction between shooting and hunting. In shooting the bags can be enormous and drives are common. It was just how it was.
 

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I wonder what could be accomplished when hand loading for the .375 Winchester? It was available in the 1894 model for a few years. One could conceivably use punch style bullets safely in a tubular magazine. Perhaps someone could shed some light as we have a wonderful resource in the collective knowledge our handloading community holds.

I personally don't hold it fair to judge a man from a different time period by our standards. If one starts down that rabbit hole where does he then stop? Wyatt Eurp the Mastersons and bill Cody all contributed too the almost extinction of the amirican bison. Yet none would question their contributions to history. Let us not forget teddy resigned a government job which would of kept him warm and safely at home in order to lead men into battle. Any man what ever his flaws who would willing volunteer to defend his nations way of life I believe has earned our respect.
 

bruce moulds

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don't start me on the earps, bat masterson, bill cody, or hickock, let alone custer , as human beings.
more legends that veer far from the truth.
bruce.
 

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