Home | Ezine | Forums | Links | Contact
NitroExpress.com: Karamojo 303

View recent messages : 24 hours | 48 hours | 7 days | 14 days | 30 days | 60 days | More Smilies


*** Enjoy NitroExpress.com? Participate and join in. ***

Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Lee Speed Forum & Archive

Pages: 1
yumastepside
.333 member


Reged: 25/10/15
Posts: 393
Loc: Tasmania Australia
Karamojo 303
      #368100 - 02/08/22 06:28 PM

Does anyone have any pics or articles on Karamojo Bell's 303, his actual rifle not " just like this one " pics.

Roger

--------------------
If you live for a thousand years, you still only have one life, don't waste it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: yumastepside]
      #368129 - 05/08/22 12:11 AM

Did he keep it long? Or did he sell it when acquiring the 7mm?

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rigbymauser
.400 member


Reged: 15/05/05
Posts: 1950
Loc: Denmark
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368131 - 05/08/22 01:30 AM

As I recall Bells description it was a
BSA carbine with military pattern.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hendo
.224 member


Reged: 23/05/18
Posts: 21
Loc: South Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: rigbymauser]
      #368134 - 05/08/22 10:20 AM

In "Bell of Africa" he says "I acquired two sporting models of the .303, each with the ten shot magazine. In fact they were the military arm with the barrel cut down a bit, and sporting pistol grip stocks. They cost 8 pounds each"
eight pounds was 160 shillings. In my 1913 BSA catalog, 165 shillings would get you a No 3 pattern. ie the basic lee Speed with pistol grip stock.
It would appear that this was his Lee Speed of choice.

In "the wanderings of an elephant hunter" he has one chapter devoted to his rifles and how to hone your shooting skills. a very interesting read. cheers

--------------------
.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
yumastepside
.333 member


Reged: 25/10/15
Posts: 393
Loc: Tasmania Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368137 - 05/08/22 06:31 PM

Maybe something like this...



...nothing fancy, he was a frugal man.

Roger

--------------------
If you live for a thousand years, you still only have one life, don't waste it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bwanabobftw
.333 member


Reged: 29/12/04
Posts: 479
Loc: Texas
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: yumastepside]
      #368140 - 06/08/22 11:56 AM

Does the 10 shot magazine hang down below the stock line or is it flush? I love the Lee Speed but I have never owned one.
Robert


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
yumastepside
.333 member


Reged: 25/10/15
Posts: 393
Loc: Tasmania Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #368142 - 06/08/22 12:15 PM

The 10 round mag is the standard military mag and hangs down to about midway down the trigger guard

Roger

--------------------
If you live for a thousand years, you still only have one life, don't waste it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368145 - 07/08/22 12:36 AM

Quote:



In "the wanderings of an elephant hunter" he has one chapter devoted to his rifles and how to hone your shooting skills. a very interesting read. cheers




Something I should copy and bring to a thread here.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368146 - 07/08/22 12:39 AM

Quote:

In "Bell of Africa" he says "I acquired two sporting models of the .303, each with the ten shot magazine. In fact they were the military arm with the barrel cut down a bit, and sporting pistol grip stocks. They cost 8 pounds each"
eight pounds was 160 shillings. In my 1913 BSA catalog, 165 shillings would get you a No 3 pattern. ie the basic lee Speed with pistol grip stock.




Does a Lee Speed take a SMLE 10 shot magazine? Or is there, or was there, an optional 10 shot Lee Speed magazine? Lastly were Lee Speeds used as military rifles at some time?

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368150 - 07/08/22 01:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:



In "the wanderings of an elephant hunter" he has one chapter devoted to his rifles and how to hone your shooting skills. a very interesting read. cheers




Something I should copy and bring to a thread here.




https://www.gutenberg.org/files/68044/68044-h/68044-h.htm

THE
WANDERINGS OF AN
ELEPHANT HUNTER

BY
W. D. M. BELL


CONTENTS
PAGE
List of Illustrations vii
CHAPTER
I. Hunting the Big Bull Elephant 1
II. The Brain Shot at Elephant 5
III. The Body Shot at Elephant 8
IV. African “Medicine” or Witchcraft and its Bearing on Sport 12
V. Karamojo 20
I. INTO THE UNKNOWN 20
II. IVORY AND THE RAIDERS 31
III. THE COMING OF PYJALÉ 44
VI. Dabossa 59
VII. Through the Sudd of the Gelo River 78
VIII. The Lado Enclave 87
IX. Hunting in Liberia 105
X. Buba Gida, the Last African Potentate 128
XI. Buba Gida and the Lakkas 135
XII. The Ascent of the Bahr Aouck 149
XIII. Buffalo 170
XIV. African Lions 175
XV. Rifles 179
XVI. African Administrations 184
Index 188





XV
RIFLES

The question of which rifles to use for big-game hunting is for each individual to settle for himself. If the novice starts off with, say, three rifles: one heavy, say a double ·577; one medium, say a ·318 or a ·350; and one light, say a ·256 or a ·240 or a ·276, then he cannot fail to develop a preference for one or other of them.

For the style of killing which appeals to me most the light calibres are undoubtedly superior to the heavy. In this style you keep perfectly cool and are never in a hurry. You never fire unless you can clearly see your way to place the bullet in a vital spot. That done the calibre of the bullet makes no difference. But to some men of different temperament this style is not suited. They cannot or will not control the desire to shoot almost on sight if close to the game. For these the largest bores are none too big. If I belonged to this school I would have had built a much more powerful weapon than the ·600 bores.

Speaking personally, my greatest successes have been obtained with the 7 mm. Rigby-Mauser or ·276, with the old round-nosed solid, weighing, I believe, 200 grs. It seemed to show a remarkable aptitude for finding the brain of an elephant. This holding of a true course I think is due to the moderate velocity, 2,300 ft., and to the fact that the proportion of diameter to length of bullet seems to be the ideal combination. For when you come below ·276 to ·256 or 6·5 mm., I found a bending of the bullet took place when fired into heavy bones.

Then, again, the ballistics of the ·275 cartridge, as loaded in Germany at any rate, are such as to make for the very greatest[180] reliability. In spite of the pressures being high, the cartridge construction is so excellent that trouble from blowbacks and split cases and loose caps in the mechanism are entirely obviated. Why the caps should be so reliable in this particular cartridge I have never understood. But the fact remains that, although I have used almost every kind of rifle, the only one which never let me down was a ·276 with German (D.W.M.) ammunition. I never had one single hang-fire even. Nor a stuck case, nor a split one, nor a blowback, nor a miss-fire. All of these I had with other rifles.

I often had the opportunity of testing this extraordinary little weapon on other animals than elephant. Once, to relate one of the less bloody of its killings, I met at close range, in high grass, three bull buffalo. Having at the moment a large native following more or less on the verge of starvation, as the country was rather gameless, I had no hesitation about getting all three. One stood with head up about 10 yds. away and facing me, while the others appeared as rustles in the grass behind him. Instantly ready as I always was, carrying my own rifle, I placed a ·276 solid in his chest. He fell away in a forward lurch, disclosing another immediately behind him and in a similar posture. He also received a ·276, falling on his nose and knees. The third now became visible through the commotion, affording a chance at his neck as he barged across my front. A bullet between neck and shoulder laid him flat. All three died without further trouble, and the whole affair lasted perhaps four or five seconds.

Another point in favour of the ·276 is the shortness of the motions required to reload. This is most important in thick stuff. If one develops the habit by constant practice of pushing the rifle forward with the left hand while the right hand pulls back the bolt and then vice versa draws the rifle towards one while closing it, the rapidity of fire becomes quite extraordinary. With a long cartridge, necessitating long bolt movements, there is a danger that on occasions requiring great speed the bolt may not be drawn back quite sufficiently far to reject the fired case, and it may become re-entered into[181] the chamber. This once happened to me with a ·350 Mauser at very close quarters with a rhino. I did not want any rhino, but the villagers had complained about this particular one upsetting their women while gathering firewood. We tracked him back into high grass. I had foolishly allowed a number of the villagers to come with me. When it was obvious that we were close to our game these villagers began their African whispering, about as loud, in the still bush, as a full-throated bass voice in a gramophone song. Almost immediately the vicious old beast could be heard tearing through the grass straight towards us. I meant to fire my first shot into the movement as soon as it became visible, and to kill with my second as he swerved. At a very few paces’ distance the grass showed where he was and I fired into it, reloading almost instantaneously. At the shot he swerved across, almost within kicking range, showing a wonderful chance at his neck. I fired, but there was only a click. I opened the bolt and there was my empty case.

I once lost a magnificent bull elephant through a ·256 Mannlicher going wrong. I got up to him and pulled trigger on him, but click! a miss-fire. He paid no attention and I softly opened the bolt. Out came the case, spilling the flake powder into the mechanism and leaving the bullet securely fast in the barrel lead. I tried to ram another cartridge in, but could not do so. Here was a fix. How to get that bullet out. Calibre ·256 is very small when you come to try poking sticks down it. Finally I got the bullet out, but then the barrel was full of short lengths of sticks which could not be cleared out, as no stick could be found sufficiently long, yet small enough. So I decided to chance it and fire the whole lot into the old elephant, who, meanwhile, was feeding steadily along. I did so from sufficiently close range, but what happened I cannot say. Certainly that elephant got nothing of the charge except perhaps a few bits of stick. That something had touched him up was evident from his anxiety to get far away, for he never stopped during the hours I followed him.

At one time I used a double ·450-·400. It was a beautiful[182] weapon, but heavy. Its drawbacks I found were: it was slow for the third and succeeding shots; it was noisy; the cartridges weighed too much; the strikers broke if a shade too hard or flattened and cut the cap if a shade too soft; the caps of the cartridges were quite unreliable; and finally, if any sand, grit or vegetation happened to fall on to the breech faces as you tore along you were done; you could not close it. Grit especially was liable to do this when following an elephant which had had a mud bath, leaving the vegetation covered with it as he passed along. This would soon dry and tumble off at the least touch.

I have never heard any explanation of the undoubted fact that our British ammunition manufacturers cannot even yet produce a reliable rifle cartridge head, anvil and cap, other than that of the service ·303. On my last shoot in Africa two years ago, when W. and I went up the Bahr Aouck, the very first time he fired at an elephant he had a miss-fire and I had identically the same thing. We were using ·318’s with English made cartridges. Then on the same shoot I nearly had my head blown off and my thumb severely bruised by an English loaded ·256. There was no miss-fire there. The cartridge appeared to me almost to detonate. More vapour came from the breech end than from the other. I have since been told by a great authority that it was probably due to a burst case, due to weak head. On my return I complained about this and was supplied with a new batch, said to be all right. But whenever I fire four or five rounds I have a jamb, and on investigating invariably find a cap blown out and lodging in the slots cut for the lugs of the bolt head. Luckily these cartridges are wanting in force; at one time they used fairly to blast me with gas from the wrong end. The fact that these faults are not conspicuously apparent in this country may be traced to the small number of rounds fired from sporting rifles, or, more probably, to the pressures increasing in a tropical temperature.

I have never been able to appreciate “shock” as applied to killing big game. It seems to me that you cannot hope to kill an[183] elephant weighing six tons by “shock” unless you hit him with a field gun. And yet nearly all writers advocate the use of large bores as they “shock” the animal so much more than the small bores. They undoubtedly “shock” the firer more, but I fail to see the difference they are going to make to the recipient of the bullet. If you expect to produce upon him by the use of big bores the effect a handful of shot had upon the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, you will be disappointed. Wounded non-vitally he will go just as far and be just as savage with 500 grains of lead as with 200. And 100 grains in the right place are as good as ten million.

The thing that did most for my rifle shooting was, I believe, the fact that I always carried my own rifle. It weighed about 7 lb., and I constantly aligned it at anything and everything. I was always playing with it. Constant handling, constant aiming, constant Swedish drill with it, and then when it was required there it was ready and pointing true.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bwanabobftw
.333 member


Reged: 29/12/04
Posts: 479
Loc: Texas
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368153 - 07/08/22 09:15 AM

Thanks Roger

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
yumastepside
.333 member


Reged: 25/10/15
Posts: 393
Loc: Tasmania Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #368181 - 08/08/22 05:46 PM

Do any of the Bell books have a picture of his 303 ?

Roger

--------------------
If you live for a thousand years, you still only have one life, don't waste it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: yumastepside]
      #368182 - 08/08/22 06:33 PM

Quote:

Do any of the Bell books have a picture of his 303 ?

Roger




Here you go. Bad humour.



--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hendo
.224 member


Reged: 23/05/18
Posts: 21
Loc: South Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368199 - 08/08/22 07:32 PM

I have a number of his books and not one photo of his rifles in the editions that I have. Lots of drawings, but no rifle photo's.
It’s interesting that the main reason that he preferred his Rigby .275's was the quality of the ammunition. Not one failure. But he had many failures with the British .303 and .318 ammunition.

--------------------
.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368200 - 08/08/22 08:00 PM

Quote:

But he had many failures with the ... and .318 ammunition.




You'll have to back that statement up with actual quotations, please. i.e. on the .318 WR.

The military .303 fmj ammo was hopless.

The .275 Rigby FMJ penetrated well.

Later his preferred rifle was the .318 Westley Richards and the 250 gr FMJ ammo.

The .275 was chosen for light recoil when shooting from a tripod in high grass on undisturbed here's in the Karamoja. Later he preferred the .318, different conditions.

My recollection it was not "ammo failures" but penetration issues with the pointed .303 fmj ammunition. I don't remember any mention of .318 ammo failures.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kuduae
.400 member


Reged: 13/01/10
Posts: 1586
Loc: middle of Germany
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368201 - 08/08/22 08:37 PM

Quote:

Does a Lee Speed take a SMLE 10 shot magazine?



Yes, at least mine does. Besides it’s 5-shot Lee – Speed magazine, it takes the 10-shot magazines of the Long Lee Metford Mk.2 and the 10-shot SMLE No.1Mk.III one as well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: kuduae]
      #368202 - 08/08/22 08:42 PM

Dankeschoen.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kuduae
.400 member


Reged: 13/01/10
Posts: 1586
Loc: middle of Germany
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368203 - 08/08/22 08:59 PM

Maybe a generic picture. But I once took it from W.D.M. Bell’s last article, published in a 1960s “American Rifleman”:


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hendo
.224 member


Reged: 23/05/18
Posts: 21
Loc: South Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: kuduae]
      #368204 - 08/08/22 09:33 PM

Page 235 , Bell of Africa, “ I had 6,000 rounds of .318 ammunition. Through defects, this stuff was giving a lot of trouble. On an average there were three misfires in ten. I wanted to get rid of the stuff. “

--------------------
.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: kuduae]
      #368206 - 08/08/22 10:39 PM

Quote:

Maybe a generic picture. But I once took it from W.D.M. Bell’s last article, published in a 1960s “American Rifleman”:





That makes a lot more sense as a military rifle cut into a sporting firearm. With a 10-shot magazine.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368207 - 08/08/22 10:40 PM

Quote:

Page 235 , Bell of Africa, “ I had 6,000 rounds of .318 ammunition. Through defects, this stuff was giving a lot of trouble. On an average there were three misfires in ten. I wanted to get rid of the stuff. “




OK thanks. Old-timers, one forgets!

Edited: If that relates to the bird shooting above the waterfalls I understood it was .303 ammunition and not .318 Westley Richards ammunition? I will need access to a book. Nothing online.

--------------------
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"


Edited by NitroX (09/08/22 12:24 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
eagle27
.375 member


Reged: 24/01/09
Posts: 950
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368220 - 09/08/22 11:24 AM

I maybe wrong, need to check the book which I have to confirm, but I thought the bird (cormorants?) shooting with a rifle was with defective 6.5x54 ammo.

Most of the famous old timer hunters wrote more about the animals they shot and didn't always note what rifle/cartridge they were using in each case. John (Pondoro) Taylor was one of the few who specifically noted in his narratives what he was using to take each game animal.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hendo
.224 member


Reged: 23/05/18
Posts: 21
Loc: South Australia
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: eagle27]
      #368222 - 09/08/22 05:16 PM

Hi all, same page (235) he goes on to explain that he used to buzz off .318 ammo at the cormorants at Jinja. A couple of local Goanese clerks asked him what sort of shotgun he was using because it was clearly better than theirs at dropping Cormorants.
It’s a good read and worth tracking down.
He must have been an amazing character. It would be interesting to find out what happened to his rifles. I recall reading somewhere tha Robuart Roark acquired one of the Rigby,s but what about the .303's, the double, the MS's, his little .22's .and the other .275's

--------------------
.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NitroXAdministrator
.700 member


Reged: 25/12/02
Posts: 35787
Loc: Barossa Valley, South Australi...
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: Hendo]
      #368223 - 09/08/22 06:24 PM

Quote:


He must have been an amazing character. It would be interesting to find out what happened to his rifles. I recall reading somewhere tha Robuart Roark acquired one of the Rigby,s but what about the .303's, the double, the MS's, his little .22's .and the other .275's




Do a search on the forums. I think some have been mentioned on here over the decades.

--------------------
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"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
HeymSR20
.300 member


Reged: 23/11/11
Posts: 206
Loc: Scotland
Re: Karamojo 303 [Re: NitroX]
      #368447 - 19/08/22 02:07 AM

The lee speed sporterised Enfield 303’s were often originally purchased by officers being sent to colonies. They would have done double duty as both a sporting arm as well as for military duty. But early 19th century officers didn’t do shooting if the enemy per se. That was for soldiers. An officer’s duty in the British army or the British colonial armies was to command.

However when it came to many of the nasty little colonial skirmishes the 303’s were definitely used.

And many farmers and others would have acquired 303’s - often slightly sporterised military rifles, as well as the lee speed style and they definitely where used in protecting homesteads and farms during many of the rebellions and bush wars. In Rhodesia, whilst the FN FAL was the military weapon of choice, if the farm got revved, anything that went bang was used in anger.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1



Extra information
0 registered and 7 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  NitroX 

Print Topic

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled

Rating:
Topic views: 953

Rate this topic

Jump to

Contact Us NitroExpress.com

Powered by UBB.threads™ 6.5.5


Home | Ezine | Forums | Links | Contact


Copyright 2003 to 2011 - all rights reserved