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Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures!
      #164007 - 14/07/10 03:21 AM

Harrowing Howdah Hunting, Howdahs, Howdah Guns and Pistols, pinched from elsewhere on the forums and the net. Enjoy!



The Howdah Discussion Thread - click here







Oh ..... !






From this thread



The Howdah Discussion Thread - click here

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"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164008 - 14/07/10 03:26 AM

Greener side lever howdah pistol,
1870-1890?
chambered for the .577 service cartridge?














From this thread

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John aka NitroX

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164009 - 14/07/10 03:28 AM



Wilkinson howdah pistol with a side lever






From this thread

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164010 - 14/07/10 03:33 AM

Magnificant pair of double barrel 14-bore howdah pistols by Mortimer.


Quote:

A fine pair of full sidelock .68 caliber (14 bore) double-barrel pistols made by Thomas Alfred Clark (T.A.C.) Mortimer in 1862. Cased in their original case with Trade Label and joined with all their accessaries, these fine condition officer's/howdah pistols have all their original parts, function flawlessly, and maintain 85% of their original finish. The locks are marked "Mortimer & Son" and the pistols are fitted with their original belt slides. The pistols are numbered #6293 and #6294 consecutively and appear in the surviving Mortimer and Son ledger book as being made approximately 1860-1862 for Robert Kirkwood. Sgt.-Major Kirkwood was a member of the 3rd Waikato Militia and also of the Cambridge, New Zealand, Volunteer Cavalry. He was an early settler of New Zealand and fought in the bloody Land Wars of 1860-1866 against the fierce Maori Tribesmen. His complete biography (with photos) is in the Cambridge Museum and a street in downtown Cambridge still has his name. For auction here is a finely crafted big-bore set of double-barrel pistols by one of London's top makers. Pistols that were used by one of England's bravest Cavalry Officers to tame a wild tribe of cannibals and open New Zealand for British settlement. A great set of pistols with an identified violent and colorful history. The owner, here, wishes to express his gratitude to H. Lee Munson, author of "The Mortimer Gunmakers", without whose help this historical connection would not have been made. His book is awesome and the man so much more !



















From this discussion thread


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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164012 - 14/07/10 03:43 AM

A. Hollis & Son 12-bore Howdah ejector rifle



This 12-bore has 2 3/4 inch chambers proved for cordite and 750 gr bullet. Invisible rifled 23 inch barrels. Ejectors, rib extensionwith a blind Breener cross-bolt. One quarter rib with four folding leaves and night sight to 300 yards. Fitted for original claw mounts. 7 ibs 6 oz unscoped.




From this discussion thread



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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164013 - 14/07/10 03:59 AM

12-bore Howdah Rifle



Quote:

The howdah rifle presented here bears the inscription "W & J Kavanagh" on the lock-plates, having been built by the very talented Irish gun-making family by that name. The top rib carries the firm's address: "12 Dame Street, Dublin". We know that William Kavanagh originally set up shop at Lower Ormand Quay around 1817, and moved up to the Dame Street foundry in 1821 where the company continued to trade for over 100 years! Like the rib and locks of this gun, trade labels from the second half of the 19th Century read "W & J Kavanagh", however the Dublin City Directory of 1850 listed only William Kavanagh as a gun-maker and no-one by the name of J. Kavanagh was listed in the trade. We can surmise that he joined the firm some time after 1850, a younger brother perhaps? Later guns made around the turn of the century were marked "Wm Kavanagh & Son", implicating the next generation of this famous gun-making dynasty.




Quote:

The Kavanagh firm hung its shingle alongside other well-known Dublin gun-makers, the most notable being William & John Rigby of Suffolk Street, and William Trulock of several addresses in the Dublin gun-making quarter including Dame Street. The well-respected London maker, Stephen Grant, apprenticed to William Kavanagh in his youth.



















Quote:

Like the better-known howdah pistols, however, this stumpy 12-bore 3-dram rifle would have possessed all the short-range power required to dislodge an angry tiger from the elephant's head, at distances measured in feet and sometimes barely inches! Sadly, the attempts of modern man to distance himself from the soil have relegated many marvellous artefacts like this howdah rifle to insipid curiosity, and as a result the majority are now lost. For the avid hunter/collector, however, merely shouldering this surviving example conjures up the sights, smells, and excitement of shikar in that distant land so long ago!






Photos borrowed from Marrakai's article, to read the full article - click here.



Discussion thread on NE, click here.

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164014 - 14/07/10 04:04 AM

And from Marrakai's article, a time when the Howdah rifle would have come in handy!



But maybe one of these ...



... for this ...







Read more of Marrakai's article here.


Discussion thread here.

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164093 - 14/07/10 05:30 PM





Pair of Rodda .577's on auction currently. Go for it guys!









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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164098 - 14/07/10 05:37 PM

Jos. Lang Howdah in .577




From Atkin Grant & Lang Website


Joseph Lang

Until 1812 Joseph Lang worked for Alexander Wilson of 1 Vigo Lane, who subsequently moved to 14 Titchbourne St, Piccadilly. In 1821 he set up on his own and in 1825 was recorded as Joseph Lang Gun and Pistol Repository (from Wilson's Warehouse, Vigo La.) at 7 Haymarket and was to stay there for more than a quarter of a century. In 1826 he had something of a commercial coup, as he was able to advertise in the Morning Chronicle of 8 June the entire stock of guns of the bankrupt Joseph Manton after he had to leave his Oxford St premises. He opened a 21 yard shooting gallery adjoining the premises in early January 1827, one of the earliest recorded shooting schools.

In 1830-34 Joseph took delivery of 84 guns, rifles and pistols from James Purdey on sale or return, all of which were quickly sold. Joseph obviously got on well with Purdey; indeed he got on even better with one of his four daughters, whom he subsequently married, making the younger James Purdey his brother-in-law. Just before leaving his Haymarket premises he exhibited at the Great Exhibition and was very impressed with a French Lefaucheaux gun, so much so that in 1856 he introduced his own version using the Houillier pin-fire cartridge system. His marketing of this design and subsequent improvements to it have resulted in Lang's name being forever linked to the introduction of breech loading sporting firearms into Great Britain.

In 1853 he moved to 22 Cockspur St, Charing Cross, the last premises he personally was to occupy. I his life he not only brought us the breech loader, but he became a driving force in popularising lemon and white pointers and also the idea of field trials for dogs. After his death, his son, also Joseph, ran the business, although it appears that the name was not changed to Joseph Lang & Son until 1875. Young Joseph, perhaps as a result of the kinship through marriage, had been apprenticed to the younger James Purdey in 1845 and such expert training helped to ensure the continuing success of the firm.

After the move to 10 Pall Mall in 1890, Lang brought out the Vena Contracta gun, the brainchild of H Phillips (shooting editor of The Field magazine), which fired a 12 bore cartridge in a barrel which was contracted to a 20 bore gauge during the first third of its length. However it was not a great success, as the weight advantage gained was offset by increased recoil and indifferent performance and many of these guns were subsequently re-barrelled. Eight years later, the business of James Lang & Co. was to be taken over. This was the result of young Joseph's brother, having set up on his own in 1887 and that business now being returned to the fold. The business was briefly renamed Joseph Lang & Co Ltd and it moved to 102 New Bond St, which had been James Lang & Co.'s premises. With that move came the change of name on 28 June 1898 to Lang & Hussey Ltd which was retrained until 27 June 1901 when it reverted to Joseph Lang & Son Ltd.

On 14 January 1902 one the directors, a Capt. Bartle Grant, wrote from Malta to resign. He was in financial difficulties and the company had considerable problems recovering an outstanding account for a gun which he had pawned.

In February 1904 the company applied for a provisional patent for an armour piercing projectile in the joint names of Mr LM Ames and Joseph Lang & Son Ltd. In 1904 it sent 12 guns to the St Louis Exhibition in the USA. It also did work for the Automatic Rifle Syndicate Ltd, trying to improve the product without success and had difficulty in recovering the money since the syndicate was in financial trouble. In 1906, as a result of the need for more production space, it took over the three-storey building immediately behind the Bond St. shop. On 29 October 1913, Dryden & white's patent rights in their o/u gun were assigned to the company and formed the basis of the Lang 'Under and Over' gun. In February 1914, the company set up a five-year agreement with Abercrombie & Fitch of New York for it to be sole USA agent and this was hoped to improve Lang's indifferent trading performance. Interestingly, the rent of 102 New Bond St at that stage was renewed for a further six years, three years at £475 per annum and the following three at £500 per annum payable quarterly! The company remained under the name Joseph Lang & son Ltd at the Bond St address until 1925 amalgamation with the business of Stephen Grant & Sons. This formed the basis of the major London gunmaking combine of Stephen Grant & Joseph Lang Ltd at 7 Bury St, St James's under the guidance of succeeding generations of the Robson family. Surviving records show that in 1933 their joint customer list contained eight dukes, 254 lords, 206 ladies, 73 service personnel, 6,322 members of the British public and 151 overseas customers!

The history of Henry Atkin, Stephen Grant and Joseph Lang is shown by kind permission of Nigel Brown, taken from his book 'London Gunmakers'.

A word from the present owner, Ken Duglan

I served my apprenticeship with Atkin Grant & Lang over thirty years ago. In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that one day I would be fortunate enough not only to be part of, but to run such an exceptional company. We make guns today the way they have always been made, by using fine craftsmen. I like to think that Henry, Stephen and Joseph would be content in the knowledge that their names still embellish very fine guns.



From this thread.


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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164103 - 14/07/10 06:14 PM

Howdah Tiger attack - when the Howdah pistol comes in handy


Tiger Howdah Attack!

1 mb MP3 video file



From this video thread

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164150 - 15/07/10 12:12 AM


The Howdah Discussion Thread - click here

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164159 - 15/07/10 01:46 AM

.577 Snider Howdah Pistol



Cal Pappas with his Howdah pistol.




.577 Snyder



From this thread,
and this thread.




The Howdah Discussion thread - click here

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164326 - 16/07/10 10:07 PM



Howzat!

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164334 - 16/07/10 11:01 PM

Holland & Holland Howdah in .577









Join in on this discussion thread

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #164654 - 21/07/10 02:56 AM

Howdah 66 cal by D.Egg - sidelock









Howdah 20-bore by Hollis - boxlock




Join in the discussion thread here


The Howdah Discussion thread - click here

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #360034 - 04/01/22 08:14 PM

Fancy wooden howdah seat


https://a.1stdibscdn.com/19th-century-bu...4042_master.jpg

19th Century Burmese Elephant Howdah Seat
A$2,616.83

https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/seatin.../id-f_20274042/


Polished. Might be slippery and slidey!

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Edited by NitroX (04/01/22 08:20 PM)


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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #360036 - 04/01/22 08:35 PM

What is a howdah pistol?

https://qsy-complains-a-lot.tumblr.com/post/619897524166246400/what-is-a-howdah-pistol



Howdah pistols were handguns adapted or designed to the specific requirements of hunting Indian wild game from a platform on the back of an elephant, also known as a howdah.



The sport became a favorite pastime of upper-class Britons during the crown rule of India, starting as early as the late 18th century with flintlock weapons. It quickly became apparent then that not only could the wildlife fight back by climbing the ass-end of your elephant to maul you in your silly little basket, but that said basket was then way to small to properly use your hunting gun in.
The only solution, aside from not risking your life and that of others for pelts and bragging rights, was to create a shorter more maneuverable weapon yet still capable of dealing with a tiger. Hunters simply took to shortening their rifles into high-powered handguns, before gunsmiths back in England took notice and started crafting them as such.

https://64.media.tumblr.com/3782b72c7cb8...465868a704a.jpg

Pedersoli replicas of a flintlock hunting carbine and its shortened howdah pistol version.

Howdah pistols as such were rifle-powered handguns made from hunting long arms or using similar layouts as if they’d been, more often than not boasting several barrels to give their users quick follow-up shots on target. Both these features made howdah pistols very simple, sturdy weapons, which they needed to be as any misfire could spell the death of their wearers.
Howdah hunting was popular all throughout the British Raj and as such many weapons were converted or made following these specifications.



Wilkinson-made howdah pistol chambered in .577

Because they were made using rifle calibers, fired more rapidly than single-shot pistols and with more powers than early revolvers, and followed more than a hundred years of firearm evolution from flintlocks to caplocks to metallic cartridges, howdah pistols were also used by these same upper-class Britons when it came time to bring some kind of a sidearm to a colonial war. Up until the adoption of the .455 Webley revolvers by the British army, such handguns were allegedly the only reliable way to stop a local charging at you.



The Lancaster’s four barrels and single double-action trigger gave it unmatched firepower at the time.
what is what are gun weapon firearm history military history howdah howdah gun british great britain india indian british raj
852 notes
Jun 3rd, 2020

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Re: Harrowing Howdah Hunting Adventures! [Re: NitroX]
      #360037 - 04/01/22 08:57 PM

https://gunsmagazine.com/guns/handguns/pedersoli-howdah/


Pedersoli Howdah
Built For The Final Charge
Written By Roy Huntington

Discover
Hunting Handguns Other

2021




The Pedersoli Howdah — a fun gun to own and shoot, even if you’re
not worried about maneaters attacking your elephant!

The breeze had stalled and the heat began to pound at the sweating men in the howdah. Their pith helmets were damp, hot and uncomfortable in the sun. The elephant’s gait jostled as they moved through the jungle trail. Sir Reginald Humphries, British Commanding Officer of Her Majesty’s troops in this part of India, his Batman, Wilkins and their mahout riding on the elephant’s neck were hunting tiger.



Or Was The Tiger Hunting Them?

“I don’t like it, I don’t like it at all,” muttered Sir Reginald. “Blast it, we had him and now he’s vanished like the ghost the villagers say he is. Keep the pistol handy, Wilkins.”

Wilkins held the Holland & Holland .577 Snider pistol, only introduced the year before in 1867, but Sir Reginald was known for having the best when it came to hunting. The short, fat, double barrels held the same cartridge as the Snider-Enfield military rifles. Its hefty 480-grain lead bullet carried a lethal sledgehammer-like blow at the muzzle-contact distance, the exact situation the Howdah pistol was created for. Indeed, shooting a rampaging tiger off the flanks of an elephant is something Sir Reginald had done before.

Wilkins hoped he didn’t have to do it today.

Sir Reginald signaled for the mahout to stop the elephant. A low, throaty, gravelly growl oozed from the thickness nearby.
“He’s too damn close, too close, blast him … I knew it. He’s hunting us now. Wilkins,” Sir Reginald’s hand reached out. “Hand me the pistol … quickly man!”



British Colonial Rule

During the 19th century, the British kept India on a short-leash and the country was filled with British officers on station along with monied British society men, all bent on hunting tigers and other game. They often hunted using the same techniques the local Rajas had used for generations — a howdah-equipped elephant.

The howdah was simply a platform securely held on an elephant’s back. They were sometimes built-up on the sides with protective barriers to keep tigers at bay. They could also be very elaborate, if royalty was hunting, or more utilitarian, as situations dictated.

The British were keen on “the hunt” and the strong British “bespoke” gunmakers like Westley Richards, Purdey, Holland & Holland, Manton, Rigby et. al kept them supplied with custom rifles, shotguns, handguns — and eventually, dedicated howdah pistols.

The first howdah pistols were simply cut-down military rifles, often worn-out guns with the barrels shot out. The toe-to-toe engagement distances battling tigers from the back of an elephant didn’t require much accuracy but as much stopping power as possible. The big bore military rifles of the time seemed perfect — but hunters soon found cutting a rifle down often left a poorly balanced tool, dangerous when response has to be lightning fast.




Enter The Howdah Pistol

Between 1835 and about 1850 Westley Richards made a very heavy single-barreled caplock pistol in .722 caliber specifically for defending your life in a howdah. As cartridge technology evolved, other makers got on board, chambering their various designs as muzzle loaders, then pinfires and eventually centerfires. The final iterations of the classic howdah are large bore centerfire cartridge guns, most often double barreled with external hammers. There are some without external hammers but they are rare.

I think the idea of the external hammers is to simplify things. You “know” the gun is cocked and ready when the hammers are back. Most had very rudimentary sights, often just a bead near the muzzle. We’re talking arm-distance or closer so no sights are really needed. Period hunting literature did make a point to say “… use extreme caution so the mahout is not killed, as then the elephant would be out of control.” Well … there’s that too.

Keep in mind, at the time, the only real alternative would have been Colt-style muzzle loading revolvers like the 1851 .36 cal. Navy or the various .44 designs, and European revolvers chambered in rim- or pin-fire cartridges of .38 or .45 caliber. None of them would have been very effective stopping a tiger intent on eating your mahout.





The sights are basic, but so is the gun. Roy found them adequate for
the toe-touching distances the gun was made for.
Enter Pedersoli

Why make a howdah today? Frankly, there’s no good reason at all, which makes it all the more unique, interesting and fun. The main reason is simply to enjoy a bit of what I think we can simply call “living” history. Why do we still make single action revolvers? Or single shot .22 rifles? Or any number of other antique designs? There’s no “need” for any of them and any plastic or aluminum platform will likely outperform the other designs — but we know the siren song of history beckons and one sure way to sing along is by using the guns of the day.

Pedersoli’s design has elements of the originals, blended with modern technology. I think had it been offered 150 years ago, it would have been chambered in a larger bore, centerfire rifle cartridge because I think the .45 Colt might be marginal when it comes to stopping charging tigers. We could argue loading it with a Buffalo Bore 300-grain hard cast bullet at 1,400 fps would do the job — and it likely would — but it’d not be the first thing I’d choose were I to step foot in a howdah today.

Nonetheless, it’s a delightful bit of whimsy to hold, shoot and experience. It’s all steel, with a hard-chrome finish and painted wood stocks, while the action is essentially two single-barreled pistols put together.

That was the whole idea of double rifles to begin with. Two barrels, two hammers, two triggers, two action springs — two separate rifles — just in case one broke at a critical moment.

Explanations

Chambered in .45 Colt, it’s actually bored to also chamber .410 shotgun shells. Barrels are 10.25" and rifled, keeping it out of the “short barreled shotgun” category. It’s about 17" long, weighing a bit more than 4 lbs. empty. It’s got a brass bead front and a sort of simple “V” notch rear blade assembly. The triggers each control one barrel and yes — you can shoot them simultaneously if you like. It’s actually not very dramatic due to the weight.

The safety is on the tang and comfy to use. Once broken open with the side-lever on top, cartridges or shotgun shells chamber easily and extract the same way. The edges are a bit sharp on the ejector as is the case with many Italian guns and I’d stone them a touch if I were keeping it — but it was only something I noticed and didn’t affect usability at all.

Overall workmanship is top-notch and parts fit as well as you could expect. I think the black-painted stock is a matter of taste and while it does look “tactical” with the hard chrome, I’d like it more left as natural walnut. Your taste may vary though.




Takedown is like any double barrel shotgun or rifle, making cleaning easy.
Stocks are painted walnut but Roy feels natural wood would be nice too — maybe even better?
Accuracy?

Well now, I’m not quite sure if it matters. While British officers were known to take their howdah pistols into battle at times, distances even then would be measured in feet. Since this gun is simply made for fun, I’d say the same applies. Could you use it for home defense or some such? Well, of course, just like you could use a club or a spear in a pinch, but there are better tools to rely on. The howdah is heavy, awkward to hold in one hand and the manual of arms to load it is a bit fussy.

The “break-open” takes two hands and firm grips and I found a strike on my thigh helped to break it open expeditiously. You need to extract the empties, re-load each barrel, close it down (two hands again), make sure the safety is off, try to aim the beast — I used my off-hand on the fore-stock — then remember to pull two different triggers. Repeat as needed. Give me a Charter Arms .38 any day if things were serious.

But — and this is the big one — it’s absolutely nearly as much fun as law allows, plus it raises eyes to high heaven when people see it. “What the bajesus is that thing!?” they say. “It’s a howdah pistol,” you say smiling. “A what?” they say, eyebrows raised. Then the game is afoot. It’s fun, trust me.

Out of curiosity more than any sense of practical use, I bag-rested the howdah at 15 yards. Using Black Hills factory .45 Colt cowboy loads that were handy, recoil was virtually zero. Even heavy 300-grain hunting loads barely caused a stir.

The right barrel, aimed at the target’s center, sent three of the rounds into a nice, 1″ group about 6″ high and centered, then tossed two into the bull area but just to the right a couple of inches. Oddly enough, the left barrel also hit about 6″ high, but the group was a nicely rounded 3.5″ and about 3″ to the left. The bead sight does make things a bit guessy but I strove to be consistent.

I repeated the drill several times and it always worked out the same. The right barrel would shoot a few into a group, then randomly toss a couple into another spot. The left sent them into the same area all the time. But who cares? I predict if Sir Reginald fired it, he’d pronounce it “Bloody fine, but don’t you have one in a serious caliber, lad?”

Make this in .45-70 and possibly better sights just for the helluvit and you might have just invented a new fun gun, especially if the barrels can be regulated a bit tighter.

And?

Yes, it’s a winner. At about $1,395 give or take, it’s not cheap but it’s not too expensive. You could spend this on a nice, modern polymer fancy-auto and exactly nobody would give it a second glance at the range. Spend the same amount on the howdah and be prepared to be inundated with questions, pitches to shoot it — “Oh, please!” — and the stares of people who don’t know quite what to think. All the more reason to wear a pith helmet when you shoot it. “Oh, he must be English?”

And, if you get attempted borders en route home from the range, you can repel the savage brutes in high fashion.

Just don’t shoot your mahout.

ItalianFirearmsGroup.com

Black-Hills.com



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