Your interpretation from WDM Bell's Article in The American Rifleman

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Hoss Delgado, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Was reading WDM Bell's Article in The American Rifleman , January 1950 titled " The neck shot " . Here is a portion of the article where he mentions seeing a fellow hunter use the .22 Hi Power to dispatch Cape buffalo. My question is simple :
    According to your opinion , what killed those buffaloes ? Did they die due to the goring from the other buffaloes ? Or did they die from the .22 Hi Power soft nose bullets through their lungs ?
    I personally used to own a .22 Hi Power Savage Model 99 and never used it on anything larger than a 225 pound deer ( and that too , with neck shots ). I can't imagine the bullets alone killing those buffalo if the others didn't gore them.

    Screenshot_20190625-012420.png Screenshot_20190625-012420.png
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Well 69 years have passed and I guess we will never really know.
     
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  3. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    Killed quite a few buffalo with 55 grain .22-250, brain and body shots, TSXs (although the first was a chest shot with a Balistic Silvertip).
     

  4. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    Also it’s a herd, so most would have been younger animals or cows. Definitely softer than the big bulls and go down much more easily.
     

  5. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Ooo , scientific reply :D But were they African Cape Buffalo ?
     

  6. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    • S. c. nanus (African forest buffalo, dwarf buffalo or Congo buffalo) is the smallest of the subspecies; the height at the withers is less than 120 cm and average weight is about 270 kg (600 lb), or about the size of a zebra, and two to three times lighter in mass than the nominate subspecies.[7][11] The color is red, with darker patches on the head and shoulders, and in the ears, forming a brush. The dwarf buffalo is common in forest areas of Central and West Africa. This subspecies is so different from the nominate subspecies that some researchers still consider it to be a separate species, S. nanus. Hybrids between the nominate and dwarf subspecies are not uncommon.
    • S. c. brachyceros (Sudanese buffalo) is, in morphological terms, intermediate between the first two subspecies. It occurs in West Africa. Its dimensions are relatively small, especially compared to other buffalo found in Cameroon, which weigh half as much as the Cape subspecies (bulls weighing 600 kg (1,300 lb) are considered to be very large). Adults average in weight up to 400 kg (880 lb).[12]
    One of these two no doubt. A lot smaller than a Cape Buffalo. The goring may have contributed but no doubt the bullets did the damage...
     

  7. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I'm thinking the same as you CAustin.
     
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  8. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Woah , it makes sense now. The are a lot less resilient than a a cape buffalo. That's why l was wondering how a 70 grain soft nose could kill a Cape buffalo. They weren't cape buffalo at all.
     

  9. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    Have seen quite a few Australian water buff killed with a .223 and plain old 55 grain mil hardball ammo.
    Own two 22 Savage High Power rifles. They are fine for pronghorn antelope, but are not adequate for large mule deer (at least not in my hands, and that I can attest to)

    I had read this article in the past. I wonder about it. But 1500 pound beef cattle are killed every day with 22 win mag. Thanks for posting.............................FWB
     

  10. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    +1
     

  11. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    I hate to be sacreligious, but the more I read of bell, the more I think things were different in his time.
    more game, less shooters, and a different moral code.
    he was writing for guys that knew little of the subject and would probably never find out.
    compared to taylor's writing, I would have to come to the conclusion that bell was a wanker.
    bruce.
     
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  12. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Bruce , your opinions are valued by me the most over anything due to how many useful tips on gunsmithing you have given me over the last few months. But in this one area , l will respectfully disagree with you. You're spot on , about the first part of your comment. Bell did live in a different time which is what made it even remotely possible to take a bull elephant down with a 7mm Rigby Mauser , let alone 1011. But having read Bell's work and Taylor's , l have no doubt in my mind that Bell is more truthful and less opinionated than Taylor. Don't get me wrong. I admire both. But in his book , " African Rifles and Cartridges " Taylor gets numerous things wrong about other hunters . For instance :
    1) He claims James Sutherland used a pair of .577 NE Double barrelled rifles. That isn't true . I actually read Sutherland's book . Sutherland owned only one .577 Made by Westley Richards and a .318 .
    2) Taylor claims that in the day of unrestricted elephant hunting in Ceylon , the largest bags of elephants made by two hunters was 1500 and 1200. And that they used ordinary BREECH-LOADING shotguns of 12 and 16 gauge with the barrels cut down to 24 inches for general handiness , and loaded with ordinary spherical lead balls. This isn't true. The two men who Taylor refers to are Major Thomas Rogers and Captain Skinner. They lived in the MUZZLELOADING era. Rogers specifically is recorded as using a 16 bore muzzle loading smooth bore with the barrels cut down to 22 inches . So is Skinner
    3) In his book , he has a picture of a Brass 4 bore cartridge which he claims belonged to Sir Samuel Baker. This can't be true. Baker never owned a BREECH-LOADING 4 bore. The largest BREECH-LOADING rifles he owned were a pair of 8 bore Double rifles built by Reilly .
    4) Taylor claims Frank Meland used to use a pair of .400/350 NE Rigby Double rifles to dispatch all his elephant. This isn't true. Frank Meland actually owned a .400/350 Rigby Mauser Magazine rifle and one double rifle in the same caliber. And he never took elephant with it. He took elephant with a .450 NE Rigby Double.
    5) He claims that Bell shot the Buffalo with a .22 Savage Hi Power . This obviously isn't true since Bell , in this article , mentions seeing ANOTHER hunter do this.
    Alongside this , Taylor seemed very opinionated and actually wished that Magazine rifles were banned in Africa.

    Don't get me wrong . These are really minor errors ( although l take offense to his comments about banning Magazine rifles ) . But in Comparison , everything Bell wrote is undisputed .
     
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  13. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    hoss,
    I have heard that taylor was a drinker, a drug addict, and a poedophile, but do not know if this is true.
    it is rumoured that he had many punch-ups with aristocrats when he came into town, and that alone precluded such companies as h&h from picking him up.
    this may or may not be true.
    however what he says about the performance of cartridges seems to make sense.
    taking modern practice and ethics into account, maybe all those old guys were wankers.
    bruce.
     
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  14. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Oh yeah. No argument there. He knew his guns. It's just that some of the things he said about the guns used by other hunters was wrong
     

  15. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    I think we need to put the old dead guys in perspective.
    firstly, they were human.
    they were in an era when hunting ethics were much less an issue than today.
    they hunted what appeared to be a limitless supply of game.
    when they were active it was the end of the black powder era and early into the smokeless era. there was still a lot of technological development yet to occur with smokeless, and they were part of that.
    generally they used the best equipment available to them with regards to what they knew.
    with all this in mind, you need to ask what those same guys would do with todays knowledge and equipment, if available when they were operational.
    they would most certainly be using many of our modern cartridges, for practical reasons.
    bruce.
     
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  16. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    That's a very good way to put it , Bruce. Were Bell alive today , l have no doubt that he would be a .375 man
     

  17. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

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    Definitely true.

    Also put into perspective the fact that Taylor had no internet, digital media, or even access to most of the writings of other hunters to utilize for research. Most libraries didn't even have microform media to research in his day. He was mainly going by word of mouth and recollection. In that context, he was actually pretty close to accurate.
     
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  18. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    True Desert Dog. That must be respected.
     

  19. Peter Lovett

    Peter Lovett New Member

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    From all that I have read about Bell, he took the time to learn the anatomy of the animals he was shooting. He knew where to place his shot and he was fastidious about accuracy. Think of the number of elephants he shot with a 6.5 x 54 MS and then a 7 x 57 Mauser.

    Far more information can be found on this excellent forum:

    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/walter-d-m-bell-aka-karamojo-bell.3161/
     

  20. Curious

    Curious AH Member

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    "Compared to Taylor's writing, I would have to come to the conclusion that Bell was a wanker." –Surely you jest! Taylor was a devil-may-care poacher during his African hunting years. He, unlike WDB Bell, did not keep meticulous records, nor did he have a plethora of reputable hunters verifying his nature and activities. While it would still be a problem in Africa (though not London), Taylor was driven out of Africa partly due to his homosexual reputation, but also for his poaching facts. I cannot imagine what writings you are referring to for either man. Read Bell's "The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter." It is utterly detailed, interesting, and covers hunting in many areas virgin to the European. You clearly haven't read it, yet.

    Yes, Taylor loved large calibers and double guns. He was never, by anyone's account the extremely skilled shooter or expedition boss that Bell was universally held to be. You clearly liked "African Rifles and Cartridges." Bell thought you should use only as much gun as you need, to save your body and keep costs and weight down. He often hunted meat with a rifle chambered for .318 Westley Richards, stout enough. I'm with Bell on that. Bell certainly owned several large caliber rifles, and used one, a .458, to shoot down an Italian plane during his air service in WWI.

    W.D.M.Bell was an extremely reputable man, and his hunting/adventuring was well attested by rather esteemed friends who had hunted much with him, including: Harry Rayne (later District Commissioner of British Somaliland; FDR cousin Gerrit Forbes (who went on Safari with Bell three times); and, Townsend Whelen, who was a personal Friend of Bell's. Bell's fortune (and records of it) from the hunting of Ivory are public record. (Taylor's record...of anything except stories and gun reviews?)

    "More game, less shooters, and a different moral code"? Of course there was more game. Moral code? Bell and Taylor were both market hunters. Bell, though, was generally hunting to feed his African followers as well, as he made forays into remote area full of endless tribal and colonial war. Morals? Bell was hunting in Africa (man-eating lions for the Uganda Railway) at the age of 16, which is eight years before Taylor was even born, fought in the Boer war, returned to ivory hunting in Africa two years before Taylor was born, and unlike Taylor, wasn't known as a booze hound. He returned to Africa as a pilot for the RAF during WWI, serving as a successful fighter pilot in France and Greece, too, receiving the Military Cross with Bar. Retiring to Scotland he was one of the many Brits who put their private sailing yacht into service to evacuate the troops from Dunkirk. Wanker, indeed!
     

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