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Double Rifles, Single Shots & Combinations >> Double Rifles

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NitroXAdministrator
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British India
      #382753 - 22/02/24 02:39 AM

India was actually more the home and destination of the Nitro Express rifles. Shikar in India was a great hunting destination. In addition to the wonderful safari destinations of Africa.

What a pity India doesn't continue to be a valuable Shikar destination today The forests and jungles aren't 30 to 70% of the region now, less than 5% today. But that 5% plus farmlands, are still rich in game Managed sustainable hunting would provide immense benefits to local people and these poor countries economically especially for wildlife conservation

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After effectively becoming banned in India, and also redundant due to ammunition no longer being available, the hordes of Nitro Express rifles, many were purchased and came to Australia. Thousands of them.

Innovative enthusiasts, Geoff McDonald of Woodleigh Bullets, Bruce Bertram of Bertram Brass and Bullets, Aussie made Simplex presses and dies, made equipment and reloading supplies, for us to reload these old otherwise redundant Nitro Express rifles and bore and BP firearms.

They were cheap from one thousand to three thousand dollars on the reselling market. Many travelled to the USA, and later also home to the UK A double rifle bought for a few hundred dollars in India, resold in Australia for up to $3000, sold into the USA, might sell for US$80,000, even more today

Too many are in large collections today and never used.

They deserve to see the sun, the dust, the blood and chase of the great hunting fields again.

***
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British India or the British Raj at its greatest extent from 1909 to 1947 (from 1937, British Burma began to be administered separately).



--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
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9.3x57
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Re: British India [Re: NitroX]
      #382757 - 22/02/24 04:12 AM

I agree and TBH I hadn't thought about the split between India and Africa (etc) till you mentioned it.

Thousands means as you say, that there was a bunch of hunting going on in the Raj. Obviously the common man was not involved too much (tho I think for a time there was some fairly reasonable access to shotguns but don't know the regulations details).

Anyway, good point. And yeah, just like with fine milsurps, 10's of thousands which came into the USA in the '90's, it would be nice to have a good flow of them in the market. Like the notos, just sitting in a safe somewhere no doubt.

I really enjoy seeing Marrakai et al out there putting the various doubles thru their paces. I doubt I'll ever own one but it sure is fascinating to see what is being done with them by the guys that use them.

--------------------
What are the Rosary, the Cross or the Crucifix other than tools to help maintain the fortress of our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?


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Marrakai
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Re: British India [Re: 9.3x57]
      #382764 - 22/02/24 12:13 PM

For many of us, the British penchant for Field Sports in India during the Raj is the absolute primary motivation for shooting/collecting classic light nitro and nitro-express rifles, period!

It doesn't hurt that the maharajahs were the richest men on earth at the time, and they absolutely worshipped London gun-makers with their patronage.

It must have been a wonderful time in history, that we can relive to some extent through the marvelous rifles that have survived to this day.

--------------------
Marrakai
When the bull drops, the bullshit stops!
--------------------------------
www.marrakai-adventure.com.au


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grandveneur
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Re: British India [Re: Marrakai]
      #382780 - 23/02/24 07:40 AM

It is certainly a great pity that the hunting areas of South and Southeast Asia were lost.

For a short time I was lucky enough to experience a little of it on the few hunts I did in Malaysia. The environment is not comparable to Africa, just like the game species, which are maybe partly similar to African game species when it comes to the big game, but there are also a lot of European like game which gave these hunts in Asia a special flair. I would certainly have had a lot of fun on these hunts in Asia in the past, if not more so that in Africa.



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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: British India [Re: grandveneur]
      #382795 - 23/02/24 03:41 PM

GV,

My game viewing experiences in parts of India are that a Shikar there in the good old days would have been very much similar to an African safari.

Different species. Very different culture. Buta very similar hunting experience.

Though hunting from a machan would be more prevalent than in Africa.

And hunting from on top of an elephant is far different.

Some areas of India had wild elephant, gaur cattle, water buffalo, tiger, leopard, some had lions, sambar deer, chital axis deer, barasinga deer, other deer species, chingara antelopem Black buck, Nilgai, wild boar, wild dogs, jackals, peacocks, wild cock, geese, ducks, all sorts of birds. Much more.


Hunting in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia might be different with smaller areas, but lots of varying species.

You experiences there are enviable.

One can again do limited hunting, water buffalo and other game in Malaysia, Borneo.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: British India [Re: NitroX]
      #382797 - 23/02/24 04:00 PM



A smaller bag taken by a local winemaker.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=2334&an=&page=0&vc=1

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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DarylS
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Re: British India [Re: NitroX]
      #382798 - 23/02/24 04:05 PM

"When you go into the forest after a hare, be prepared to meet a tiger".
"I almost trod on the tail of a tiger while stocking the spotted buck."
There was also one about his spaniels flushing a panther but I can't remember it right now.
Lt. James Forsyth "The Sporting Rifle and It's Projectiles" published 1862.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


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PCC600
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Reged: 27/02/24
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Loc: Queensland Australia
Re: British India [Re: 9.3x57]
      #382934 - 28/02/24 10:24 AM

John a fantastic map of British India . I recall seeing similar maps when I was at primary school. The hunting must have been fabulous . I guess it is no fluke that the new Rigby box lock double is called the Shikari. My guess is far more British double rifles and high end bolt action rifles went to India rather than Africa before WW2. In my small collection all the big bore doubles came from India as did a few of the magazine rifles.

I am constantly amazed by how many really nice British double rifles are owned here in OZ. Sadly I came in rather late so no bargains for me.


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DarylS
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Re: British India [Re: PCC600]
      #382935 - 28/02/24 11:08 AM

My late friend Will T. had a 3 1/4" .500 that had gold script in the center rib stating, "MADE FOR MAHARAJA (the name)".
It was quite a rifle and made 2 1/2" groups for me, off a normal bench, hand held, resting the back of my left hand on a bag, at 100yards shooting, back in the late 1970's. 2shots from ea. bl. iirc.
340gr. cast bullet IIRC, it was the Gould mould, with the hollow point plunger cut to make a solid bullet.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


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