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

Red Leg

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Plus 1 with @Curious. The thing I admire most about Bell was that he knew how to walk away and be successful. Most of the ivory hunters in his day were lucky to have a coffin when they died. Bell was not only a brilliant shot, but knew what to do with what he made from his ivory. While others of his generation were wasting away in Mombasa drinking gin (Warren Zevon sings softly in the background), he was thinning the herd of red stag on his estate in Scotland. Most importantly, he was the kind of man who earned a Military Cross and Bar. My kind of hero.
 
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Code4

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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.

I have serious doubts about Bell as well. Herds that had never been hunted are almost docile if not feeling threatened. His writings came many, many years after his actual domicile in Africa and like so many hunters relying on income from writings ... well you get the point. Many of these writers have achieved untouchable status amongst those that believe what they want to believe. I'm no fan of Ruark either. Anything can be romanticised.
 

Hoss Delgado

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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!
Ah , a fellow Bell Lover. I really am amazed by Bell's level of Foresight. Take a look at this little bit from Bell's final Article in American Rifleman 1954. He never used a .308 Winchester on Elephant . Let alone Monolithic bullets . Yet , he speculated that if he were going back to Africa again , he would base his battery on a Winchester .308 Model 70 burning a cartridge loaded with a homogeneous bronze bullet .
Funnily enough , 20 years after he died , Don Heath ( Ganyana ) reported how so many game rangers started using .308 Winchesters loaded with Monolithic solids to cull elephant. Bell , certainly had foresight , considering he based his choice on pure speculation
Screenshot_20190808-144044.png
 

Milan

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I know this is old but I like how Bell would take a .308 to shoot with and a .318 as a back up. Makes me think the old 8mm Mauser is not all that bad... ;)
 

Hoss Delgado

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I know this is old but I like how Bell would take a .308 to shoot with and a .318 as a back up. Makes me think the old 8mm Mauser is not all that bad... ;)
Don Heath ( Ganyana's) Dad owned an 8× 57 mm Mauser loaded with Kynoch Round nosed full metal jacket 227 grain solids with which he once killed 17 bull Elephants with 18 shots :) If you're interested in reading the article , inbox me :)
PS : The gun was gifted to him by WDM Bell
 

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I know this is old but I like how Bell would take a .308 to shoot with and a .318 as a back up. Makes me think the old 8mm Mauser is not all that bad... ;)
Wasn’t a “.318” as in an 8mm Mauser. It was a .318 Westley Richards Accelerated Express with a 250 Gr Kynoch solid that by British measurement is actually a .338. A lot more gun than a 8mm Mauser.
 

Wyatt Smith

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Wasn’t a “.318” as in an 8mm Mauser. It was a .318 Westley Richards Accelerated Express with a 250 Gr Kynoch solid that by British measurement is actually a .338. A lot more gun than a 8mm Mauser.
I believe (could be wrong) that the 318 is the land diameter and the bore is .330. I remember reading an article where a man was sizing down 338 bullets to load in his 318 wr
 

Hoss Delgado

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I believe (could be wrong) that the 318 is the land diameter and the bore is .330. I remember reading an article where a man was sizing down 338 bullets to load in his 318 wr
You read that correctly . That was Finn Aagaard :)
 

Red Leg

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I believe (could be wrong) that the 318 is the land diameter and the bore is .330. I remember reading an article where a man was sizing down 338 bullets to load in his 318 wr
That is correct. But essentially a .338. Most American readers tend to assume 8x57 - a LOT less gun.
 

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Wasn’t a “.318” as in an 8mm Mauser. It was a .318 Westley Richards Accelerated Express with a 250 Gr Kynoch solid that by British measurement is actually a .338. A lot more gun than a 8mm Mauser.
I know that. I was referring strictly to the caliber. I did consider .318 WR as a build but then I'd probably go with 8x68 anyway.
 

Milan

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Then again, I suppose if strictly caliber speaking...8mm mauser is 8.2 (.323), .318 WR is 8.4 (.330), .333 WR is 8.5 and the .338 WM is 8.6 so there are some differences even in bullet diameters.
 

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Then again, I suppose if strictly caliber speaking...8mm mauser is 8.2 (.323), .318 WR is 8.4 (.330), .333 WR is 8.5 and the .338 WM is 8.6 so there are some differences even in bullet diameters.
Especially with respect to bullet diameters. The point I was trying to make. An 8mm, whether .318 8x57J or .323 8x57JS, can be a pretty good deer/ elk / PG caliber. The .318 WR Bell used with a 250 gr solid, though not legal for DG most places today, is still a very different thing entirely.
 
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Hoss Delgado

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Especially with respect to bullet diameters. The point I was trying to make. An 8mm can be a pretty good deer/ elk / PG caliber. The .318 WR Bell used with a 250 gr solid is a very different thing entirely.
Agree.
BUT
Denis D Lyell and Trevor Heath made exclusive use of an 8 × 57 mm Mauser to cull bull Elephants
 

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Which has exactly what to do with the .318 Bell used?
 

Milan

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Especially with respect to bullet diameters. The point I was trying to make. An 8mm, whether .318 8x57J or .323 8x57JS, can be a pretty good deer/ elk / PG caliber. The .318 WR Bell used with a 250 gr solid, though not legal for DG most places today, is still a very different thing entirely.
Sure, I get you. Though 8x68 also pushing a 250gr bullet (though I have not looked what kinds are available) should do just as well (same or better SD and all)...especially since bullet diameter apparently does not matter, but placement does. Right? ;)

And while I knew Bell used .318 WR not 8mm mauser, I was talking 8mm mauser as it too was used to kill elephants and that's why I think Hoss wanted to send me that article. Can't wait to read it. Different times, different men, different hunting. Shame everything is riddled with politics and "special interest group" optics.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Sure, I get you. Though 8x68 also pushing a 250gr bullet (though I have not looked what kinds are available) should do just as well (same or better SD and all)...especially since bullet diameter apparently does not matter, but placement does. Right? ;)

And while I knew Bell used .318 WR not 8mm mauser, I was talking 8mm mauser as it too was used to kill elephants and that's why I think Hoss wanted to send me that article. Can't wait to read it. Different times, different men, different hunting. Shame everything is riddled with politics and "special interest group" optics.
To be fair, Bell used both :)
In Karamojo Safari , he references the 8 mm Mauser as his second favorite after the .318 WR
 

Milan

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To be fair, Bell used both :)
In Karamojo Safari , he references the 8 mm Mauser as his second favorite after the .318 WR
Ha. Cool. That I was not sure about. But I was talking with respect to the above anyway and in that discussion it was a .318 WR as pointed out already. But we all knew that.

I still can't decide which I like more, the 7x57 or the 8x57. When I was a kid, I liked 6.5x54/6.5x55/6.5x57 (I really liked 6.5s) and 7x57. Then later 8x57 and bigger and bigger. Now I'm going back to 7x57. My problem is I just shoot them. Not enough money,time and opportunities with them to hunt and kill many different game to make up my mind on terminal performance.

Thanks to you I have your article and his book (Wanderings of an elephant hunter) ready for reading later tonight. This site is bad for impulsive purchases of guns and books.
 

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Other Bell books would include such as Karamojo Safari or Bell of Africa and would give you a more complete picture of Bell himself and the Africa he described so well. You can shop around the net for used copies and they don't need to be 1st editions or anything fancy. So they aren't that expensive.
 

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