The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


One of the best things about having a gun shop is that I am able to experiment (or just play) with different stuff at a reasonable cost. Some "stuff" works very well, other don't. So, I would like to tell about a new set-up that worked really well.

I tend to be a very traditional hunter, using mostly double shotguns (preferably side-by-side) and even double rifles (in this case reason won and it is an over-under) for most of my hunting, but for the 2017 Michigan Deer Season I wanted to try something different. 

I decided to give a rest to the medium and large bore rifles and experiment for the first time with a screaming quarter bore, the 257 Weatherby Magnum. First introduced in 1944 and said to have been Roy Weatherby's favorite creation, the 257 WM is one of the flattest shooting commercial cartridges, being able to harvest most of the big game animals of North America, short of of the brown and polar bears and bison. While it may not be ideal for elk and moose, with proper bullet construction and placement the 257 will do the job there as well.

As the launch platform for the very, very fast little pill (bullet weight varies from 87 to 120 grains) I select a modern version of the Weatherby rifle, the Vanguard Back Country. I sold the same rifle to a customer early in 2016, a recoil sensitive bow hunter, and he took it to Alaska and successfully hunted dall sheep and caribou, and I was very impressed with the rifle at that time, so I figured, why not?

With such a hot rod, my whole idea was to have a relatively long range pack, as that would align with the potential shots I could get on a new property I was hunting, and since you can't hit what you can't see, I need good optics to top the Vanguard.

My choice of scope was the Hawke Frontier 30, 2.5-15x50 SF with the LR (Long Range) illuminated reticle. I had previous experience with Hawke scopes on several of my air guns, and I like their quality and value, so I knew that this would match the Weatherby rifle well.

The reason for selecting this specific model is that I wanted a 30mm body scope for maximum adjustment range a light transmission. Then I wanted a scope that had a low enough magnification that could be used on a running shot at relative short range and high enough magnification to allow precise shooting at the longer end of the spectrum of shots that I could possibly take (400 to 500 yards). The 50mm objective also helps with the light gathering, and illuminated reticle provides a positive aiming point in low light conditions, the situation one is more likely to encounter during the twilight hours that deer are most likely to be moving (although that is not the case, as you will find out).

One thing that I could not get away from was shooting premium controlled expansion bullets, and that is why I select the Nosler Trophy Grade ammo loaded with 110 Grain Accubond bullets, with a muzzle velocity of 3,400 feet per second.

Sighting the rifle was one of the easiest times I ever had. Virtually no recoil and precise scope adjustment, allowed me to shoot a small group two inches high at 100 yards in minutes, and I ready to go hunting. And the lighted center dot in the reticle was easy to see under full sunlight.

On the day before Opening Day I received a visit from dear friend Mike Vander Muelen. He was visiting some friends in the Traverse City area and was going to spend Opening Day in their deer camp, but had no plans to hunt. I convinced or rather forced him to buy a deer license, and let him use one of my rifles for the day, and since I was a bachelor for a couple days we agreed to meet on the sixteenth and maybe hunt together, and after that have dinner and libations.

November 15th, Opening Day was almost a deluge. It rained overnight and the rain just did not let go until late afternoon. I sat all day on my blind, reading, checking my phone, snacking, but never letting go the hope that eventually a deer would come by. And sometime towards dusk I saw movement, not three or four hundred yards away, but maybe three or four hundred feet away.

A young buck was moving towards my blind on an old logging road, and at around twenty-one yards he just turns broadside! The little red dot from the center of the reticle rested just behind the buck's right shoulder and a third of the way up. At the shot the two hind legs kicked high in the air, and the buck spring forward, and after a run of about thirty yards just flipped upside down. Heart shot.

Young but legal

Next day Mike met me at my shop, Hampel's Gun Co. in the morning, and then we went to my home to get ready for the hunt. Before we left I fired up my Big Green Egg and put a whole rib side on it, so we could satiate our hunger when we came back late in the night!

That almost did not happen. We arrived at my blind around 2:00 PM, and not fifteen minutes later, there comes, through the same old log road, a nice mature Michigan buck, bigger than any deer I've ever shot, and the rifle was on my side of the blind!

But Mike had not hunted in several years (his fault, not mine), and as much as I may torment him, I really like the guy. I could see the buckfever mounting on when he asked for the rifle. I considered teasing him a bit, but he would suffer, so I passed him the Weatherby. He rested the forend on the window frame, looked through the Hawke Frontier, adjusted the magnification, took a deep breath and ... the deer moved closer.

The deer kept coming and suddenly turned broadside, but before Mike could take a shot he jumped over a fallen log and ... moved closer. And then there it was, at the exact same spot I shot my younger buck the day before.

And Mike could take it no more, he aimed carefully and suddenly the Vanguard barked, and the deer took of, the front right leg at a ninety degree angle, like a wing, and we lost sight of him on some multiflora bushes.

And Mike was devastated, almost in tears (this is my story and I tell it anyway I want. If he disagrees he can write it his way!), but I assured him that the running deer was dead, he just did not know about it, and we would find him within a hundred yards, probably northeast of the blind. He did not believe me at the time, but I was proven right at the end.

Mike and his nice buck

Since we are both old grandpas and not fit to hard work (again my story, Mike is right now crossing the country west to east in a bicycle - crazy guy!), I called Steve at Williams & Bay and asked for his help in looking for the dead deer.

We looked, and looked, and when we were about to get discouraged the three of us almost simultaneously saw the dead deer laying among the autumn leaves.

Well, eventually we made it back home and to the green egg, and those were some of the best ribs, venison or otherwise, anyone ever tasted. And the libations where almost as good, especially since the tight fisted Dutchman from Zeeland, Michigan, bought them! (And again, this is my story!)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Observations on the Absence of Wildness

I am currently reading the fantastic book "Dersu the Trapper" by Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev (1872-1930), and I will eventually write a review on it, but I just came through a passage that I must quote in full:

"'All around soon all game end," commented Dersu. "Me think ten years, no more wapiti, no more sable, no more squirrel, all gone.'
it was impossible to disagree with him. In their own country the Chinese have long since exterminated the game, almost every living thing. All that is left with are the crows, dogs, and rats. Even in the seas they have exterminated the trepangs, the crabs, the various shell-fish, and all the seaweed. The Pri-Amur country, so rich in forest and wild life, awaits the same fate, if energetic measures be not taken soon to prevent the wholesale slaughter by the Chinese."

I can confirm the sad state of wildness and wildlife, or the lack of them, from my many trips to China, between 2002 and 2014. By and large, I could only observe the odd sparrow or maybe a pigeon, and very seldom a stray dog. Although the Chinese make a point of having many trees in their cities, they are all transplanted, groomed, without the savage soul found in nature.

During my last trip there I was so depressed that upon coming back to northern Michigan I almost had to immerse myself in our woods in order to recover a semblance of sanity.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thundering Pheasants

Bill, Andrew, Carly, Ken, and the writer

Last week I received an invitation from friend Bill Habich to take part on the first pheasant hunt of the season at Thundering Aspens Sportsman Club, in Mesick, MI, about an hour from my home, and at the time I could not imagine how great and memorable an occasion this would become.

Thundering Aspens was established in 1987 and currently has a 84-person waiting list (including yours truly) to become members in the family operated private club that offers the opportunity to hunt bobwhite quail, chukar and Hungarian partridges, and of course pheasants in its 600 acres carefully managed to ensure habitat for birds to thrive year around.

T.A.S.C. is not your usual hunting preserve where birds are raised in pens and released in the fields shortly before the hunt starts. At T.A.S.C. birds do what their are supposed to do year around, breed, hide, forage, run and eventually fly after being pointed by fantastically trained dogs, mostly brittany spaniels, without any enclosures to tame them.

I arrived at Thundering Aspens beautiful lodge at about 7:30 AM on Friday and had the opportunity to talk a bit with Greg, Jason and Jon, the brothers that run the club and was introduced to the world class taxidermy that is Jon's passion. Shortly after the other members of our party arrived, Bill and his son Andrew, and Ken and his granddaughter Carolyn, or Carly.

We followed Jason, who also handled the two brittanys, Olive and Misty, and one black labrador, Wilco, to a large field planted with strips of corn and sorghum that held the promise of many birds. Jason explained that from their opening on September 1st to about November we are allowed to shoot both roosters and hens, but from November to the end of the season (which could be as early as January depending on weather and number of birds taken) only cock pheasants are taken in order to ensure enough breeding stock to the following years.

About the hunt itself it is sufficient to say that the dog work was outstanding and every bird shot was retrieved, the birds were all strong fliers and except by paying attention to the dogs it was impossible to tell when one or more birds could flush (there was no marked paths or vehicle tracks so common on other places that indicate where birds were planted), and that all hunters and huntress were safe and had a great time.

We hunted until about noon and then drove back to the lodge where a great meal of barbecued pheasant, maple finished white beans and homemade apple pie waited for us. The lunch was really a feast when we celebrated friendship and the passion of hunting.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Is a National Treasure Hidden in Traverse City?

The "Lewis & Clark" Blunderbuss

Between May 1804 and September 1806 a group of about thirty-three intrepid individuals under a commission from President Thomas Jefferson braved virtually unknown territory, traveling westward from St. Louis, Missouri, across the continental divide until they reached the Pacific Ocean near present day Astoria, Oregon. Captain Meriwether Lewis was selected as commandant of the Corps of Discovery by President Jefferson himself, and he picked his close friend Second-Lieutenant William Clark as his second-in-command.

It is undisputed that there was a great deal of care in the preparation for the expedition in order to ensure its success, and the greatest proof of that is that all members returned safely to St. Louis, and part of that preparation was the selection of firearms to be used for an unknown amount of time in the wilderness.

According to the Western Explorers site “The journals and records prepared by the expedition members show that they carried U.S. military rifles obtained from the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and service muskets brought by soldiers posted from other units. Personal firearms were brought by Captains Clark and Lewis, and some of the hunters enlisted for the journey may have used their own rifles. The French-speaking boatmen may have carried “trade guns,” a common type of musket. Lewis brought an “air gun,” a case of matched pistols, and a fowler, and Clark brought his personal .36 caliber long-rifle, and an "elegant fusil”. A “swivel gun,” a small cannon, was mounted on the keelboat, and the two pirogues each had a blunderbuss, each also mounted on a swivel. All the firearms of the Lewis and Clark expedition were single-shot, muzzle loading, black powder guns with flintlock ignition, the notable exception being Lewis's air gun, which on several occasions astonished native Indians with its repeating operation.”

Blunderbusses were short, heavy, smoothbore shoulder arms used for defense. They were usually mounted on a pivot in the rail of a boat or the top of a wall. The muzzle was flared for rapid loading and as an unforeseen benefit it also worked like a sound amplifier, increasing its psychological effect.

Contrary to popular belief blunderbusses were not loaded with stones or nails or broken glass or pieces of chains or horseshoes, but with a healthy load of buckshot, or grapeshot as it was known at the time, and they generally were used against a concentration of men.

While your typical 12-gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot will put eight to twelve pellets downrange, you could easily loaded twice that much on a blunderbuss.

From a tactical perspective, and considering the personal firearms or light weapons of the respective eras, the blunderbuss at the times of Lewis and Clark would paly the same role as a light machinegun or a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) plays today.

The blunderbusses came into play during the explorers' confrontations with the Teton Sioux on September 25 and 28. On Lewis's orders the men loaded the swivel gun with 16 musket balls and the blunderbusses with buckshot. On the second occasion, warriors seized the keelboat's cable. Clark was ready to blast them with the swivel gun when a chief defused the situation by jerking away the cable. That winter, the swivel gun and blunderbusses were apparently mounted on the walls of Fort Mandan. Returning to the Hidatsa villages on August 14, 1806, Clark wrote, "we directed the blunderbusses be fired several times" -a peaceful salute to the Indians who had befriended them during the winter of 1804-05.

Again in salute, the blunderbusses sounded for the last time upon the explorers' arrival in St. Charles, Missouri, a month later. As Clark recorded in his journal entry for September 21, "we saluted the Village by three rounds from our blunderbuts (sic) and the Small arms of the party, and landed near the lower part of the town. We were met by great numbers of the inhabitants.” Two days later, according to Clark, when the explorers arrived in St. Louis, "we suffered the party to fire off their pieces as a Salute to the Town."

Upon returning to St. Louis, and following a well-deserved heroes welcome, the expedition was disbanded and all items were auctioned off, and partially due to that auction currently there is not a single firearm from the historic expedition known to the public. Or is that so?

In 2001 Hampel’s Inc. (the predecessor company to Hampel’s Gun Co.) was engaged by the family of renowned firearms collector Jack Berryman to handle the dispersal of his collection of fine, historical firearms. After the successful completion of this task, the Berryman family presented to Mr. Karl Hampel the opportunity to acquire the last item and crown jewel of said collection: a blunderbuss mounted on a swivel, that Mr. Berryman obtained from William Clark family descendants in the Detroit area in the 1950’s. He had actively pursued this gun, utterly convinced that this was one of the two blunderbusses mounted on the pirogues of the Lewis & Clark Expedition!

The blunderbuss has locks made by Cooper, of London, in approximately 1790, a 23 ¾” inches bronze barrel with a .729 inches bore (which is about 12 gauge), English walnut stock, and a total length of 40 inches. The complete gun weighs a bit over twenty-three pounds and would have been quite a load had it not been mounted on a swivel.

Mr. Berryman actively displayed the blunderbuss in multiple collectors meetings around the country and it was prominently featured at the “FIREARMS OF OUR WESTERN EXPANSION” at the NRA Annual Gun Collectors Exhibit in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 1992. Its description during that meeting reads as follows:

#1. This flint-lock (sic) “swivel gun” was made by Cooper of London, ca. 1790. It was designed for fixed mounting on a riverboat or rampart. This type of firearms found favor with early explorers such as Lewis and Clark. Many such pieces were utilized along the rivers and by-ways of the far west where effectiveness in repelling would-be borders was an important function for a boat borne weapon.

The NRA 1992 BEST ARMS AWARD RECOMMENDATION FORM provides the following additional details:

Description: Blunderbuss (shotgun), British manufacture, .729” bore, no serial number, flintlock.

Originality of Components: All original except possibility of replacement ramrod.

Provenance and/or historical importance: These were used aboard ships, early stage coaches, forts, and any place a yoke and swivel feature could be used. Lock-Cooper London, about 1790. The Lewis & Clark expedition carried two swivel guns on boats, which “saved the day” when they encountered the Teton Sioux on September 24, 1804. Scarcity of these boat swivel guns at the time could support a contention that this weapon or one like it had an important role in the success of that Missouri River exploration.

Other significant information: This blunderbuss had hand made forge welded chain links, ring and wedge, indicative of the time. It is probably the only one available with full brass barrel and original swivel hardware. This weapon, or one identical to it, is featured in a treatise by Cyril Bracegirdle, on page 35 of the August 1983 issue of the Gun Report publication. Picture here reproduced. A letter by Charles R. Suydam volunteered information as to this swivel blunderbuss authenticity. Letter and publication are available.

Note from Author: Unhappily I could not locate copies of mentioned publication and letter.

I think that nobody would disagree that the Lewis & Clark Expedition marks the beginning of the western expansion of the United States of America that eventually resulted in a country that extends “from sea to shining sea!” and while it maybe impossible to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the Karl Hampel blunderbuss is the only surviving firearm from the Lewis & Clark Expedition, it is nonetheless a unique artifact from a time when our great nation was being sculpted by the hands and will of giants, to the greatest extent of the word!

Currently the “Lewis & Clark Era Blunderbuss” which is consistent with descriptions from the Journals of the Expedition is displayed at Hampel’s Gun Co. in Traverse City, MI, on consignment from Karl Hampel’s personal collection. Unfortunately we do not have bulletproof documentation to confirm that the blunderbuss under our care is actually one of two carried by the Corps of Discovery, and the modest price of $250,000 reflects that.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Clay Shooting: The Beginning

A Bogardus Glass Ball from the Karl Hampel Collection

Note: This article first appeared in Hooks & Bullets Magazine March/April 2017 issue.

The day I first met Kevin Speer, the heart and soul behind Hooks & Bullets, we talked about many different subjects, one of them being my on-going efforts to write something that is readable without too much pain and discomfort to the reader. Another was that Kevin thought it would be nice to have some articles on clay shooting, since many readers showed interest in the subject, but were not familiar with the different forms of the shotgun sports.
But before we go any further I must make it very clear that my shotgunning parallel my writing: I am an enthusiast at both, but not really good, or just good, at either. And although I have published three books and written twenty or so magazine articles, I never shot a single registered shotgun target in my life, so…thread these lines with care!
Nowadays we have an apparently ever-increasing variety of shotgun sports, also called "Clay Pigeon Shooting", but the most common forms are Trap and Skeet. The basic difference is that in Trap the “birds,” as we call the four-inch diameter clay saucers lunched by a machine also called a trap, flies away from the shooter in a somewhat random pattern, while in Skeet the “birds” fly across the Skeet field in trajectories that are supposed to be fixed, unless wind plays tricks on the “bird,” or the shooter.
The other way of telling the difference between Trap and Skeet is by the behavior of their respective shooters: if everybody is hanging together, talking and laughing out loud you are in the middle of Skeet shooters; and if everyone is serious, concentrated, looking solely at their guns, and not saying a word besides “PULL”, the universal command to release a bird, now you find yourself among Trap shooters.
Since I shoot both Trap and Skeet, along with Sporting Clays, Five Stand, Skrap, and in more distant fields Bunker Trap (also called International or Olympic Trap) and Helix or ZZ-Birds, you could say that I must suffer from multiple personality disorder. C’est la vie!
But it amazes me is that with all the variety of clay shooting modalities that we have available in our modern times, many of us either forget or choose to ignore how the sport of shooting flying began.
Shotgunning as we know it today began in the later part of the XVIII century when the first practical shotguns came to light. By practical shotgun I mean a smooth bore long gun that was light enough that it could be handled relatively easily, ergonomically enough that a person could swing it while pointing at a moving target (for all practical purposes, a bird), and with a fast enough lock time (that is the time elapsed between pressing the trigger and the main powder charge being ignited and eventually the shot charge leaving the barrel) that would make it possible to hit a moving or flying target (again, a bird).
Bird hunting as a formal social activity originated in France, but was adopted by and perfected in England or the United Kingdom, and it is more than fair to say that shotguns first achieved perfection in that land, and a master gunsmith by the name of Joseph Manton is regarded as the creator of the first "Best Gun" and the forefather of the world-famous London Gun Trade.
The problem was, and continues to be, if you ever try shooting flying, is that once practical shotguns were available and hunting seasons were over, gentlemen of means, or of no means, still wanted to use them and demonstrate their newly acquired skills to the world, so friends began shooting at each others hats, thrown in the air for safety and to better imitate a bird (there is no historic evidence of that), but I imagine that they soon got tired of shooting at their hats, probably because it was boring and could become sort of expensive, since the beaver pelts to make those top hats had to be imported from America.
So they put their hats to use in a slightly different way. After digging a shallow hole on the ground, and place a live pigeon in it, they covered the hole and the pigeon with those hats. A long string was attached to the hat and the shooter (not a hunter anymore, but a shooter) would call "PULL" for whoever was manning the string to free the pigeon, and then shoot at it. In order to make the sport more challenging pigeons could be released from different positions, generally five.
Apparently those shooter had plenty of old hats (at least that is my assumption as they may have shot them before the pigeons became the accept flying target, again, no historic evidence), and they probably used those old hats, since one of the first famous Trap Clubs in England was called OLD HATS.
As the game evolved the old hats were replaced by wooden boxes that had a trap mechanism to release the birds and compel them into taking to the wing, therefore the name of the sport.
Eventually Trap reached the United States of America and the once abundant passenger pigeon became the target of choice, but once they became scarce (that was before they became extinct), and even in the XIX century animal rights activists began to make noise, the typical and unparalleled American ingenuity put itself to work to find suitable replacements for live pigeons.
First a Captain Adam Henry Bogardus invented the "Bogardus" glass ball in 1866. The glass ball was launched by a spring loaded trap with an arm that looked almost like a big spoon, but they made less than perfect replacement for pigeons: they were hard to see, hits were difficult to spot, so people started to fill them up with feathers, and many times shot would just slide around the smooth glass surface without breaking the targets. To correct that, the glass balls were made with textured surfaces, but the design proved to be a dead end.
Some years later, in 1880, the Cincinnati, Ohio, trap shooter George Ligowsky created the discoid clay pigeon, and we continue to shoot it today, launched from manual throwers or highly sophisticated automatic traps that hold hundreds of birds in their magazines.
From the humble beginnings (or maybe not so humble, as the first live pigeon shooter apparently were either of noble blood or had enough money to spend time with them), the multitude of "Clay Pigeon" sports evolved, but every single time I pull the trigger I envision my shot charge connecting with the feathers of a fast flying live pigeon against the blue sky.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Flag

The WWII Brazilian Flag

Early this January, around the time that I started operating my new business, Hampel's Gun Co. in Traverse City, Michigan, Pete Zimmerman, a long time Hampel's customer and family friend, came to store to meet me. And at that first meeting he presented me with a most unique and dear gift: the Brazilian Flag that you see in the photo above.

Pete, owner and operator of Rediscovered Shooting Treasures, that provides faithful "Reproductions of Classic Original Factory Firearm Manuals, Instructions, Boxes and Hang Tags", explained to me that both his parents were in active service during World War II, his father being a bomber pilot and his mother a nurse, and that they were based in Natal, northeastern Brazil.

Once his father was done with bombing missions he started flying casualties between North Africa and northeastern Brazil. Just to refresh your geography, the straight line between Natal - Brazil and Dakar - Senegal, is the shortest distance across the Atlantic, and during World War II this airway was called "The Bridge to Victory."

Anyhow, sometime during their war services, bomber pilot Zimmerman and soon-to-be nurse Zimmerman. met and fell in love and were married in Brazil, when they received this flag as a gift.

And so, the Brazilian flag was kept in the Zimmerman family for over seventy year, until it was gifted to me!

I must say that receiving it was a very emotional moment to me, and immediately I knew that I had not only the obligation to continue to preserve it, but also that it would be an opportunity to display a symbol of love and friendship.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Letters From Famous Big-Game Hunters

The "Corresponding" Hunter

Continuing my quest to read all volumes of the Peter Hathaway Capstick's "Library of African Big Game Hunting and Adventure" (I currently have seven of the fourteen volumes) I just finished reading "AFRICAN ADVENTURES - Letters from Famous Big-Game Hunters", originally published in 1935 by Denis D. Lyell (1871 - 1946).

The limited information that I was able to find shows that Denis David Lyell was born in Calcutta, India, and that his family was originally from Dundee, Scotland. In 1893 he moved first to Ceylon and then elsewhere in India where he established himself as a tea planter. In 1899 he moved again to South Africa and then in 1913 he went to Nyasaland, currently Malawi, a landlocked country bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, and by all accounts some of the greatest big-game hunting grounds in Africa.

After World War I Lyell moved again, back to his family homeland of Scotland. From the time he came to Africa until his death he became immersed in the hunting world and became a renowned author, writing eight books between 1909 and 1935.

In his last book Mr. Lyell presents extracts from his vast correspondence with other famous British big-game hunters, such as Selous, Karamojo Bell, Stigand, Millais, J.A. Hunter, Sir Alfred Pease, Abel Chapman and others, and from this collection of private documents many unique insights from their more mundane aspects of their lives like how it is almost impossible to make a living from writing hunting books (believe me, I know this very well), to discussions on financing hunting trips, extensive discussion on the merit of the small-bore repeating bolt-action rifle versus the large-bore express guns, quality of ammunition and the amount of field failures, common in English made ammo, but unheard of in German made DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken), and going on and on and on.

These three paragraphs in a letter from Leslie J. Tarlton dated March 11, 1926 pretty much summarizes all discussions in hunting calibers since the advent of smokeless powder was adopted for small arms ammunition in the French 1886 Lebel 8mm rifle:

"On the much vexed question of small bores, do you not think it so greatly depends upon the skill and knowledge of anatomy possessed by the individual user as to what constitutes the best rifle?

"Karamoja Bell, I believe, swears by the .256. Personally I use a .275 high velocity, but I also think a great deal of the American Springfield, which with a 220 grain bullet is, I rather fancy, the best all round small bore in the world.

"I think the tendency to go in for 'Magnums' is being overdone, because they sacrifice smashing power for velocity and low trajectory. I have killed one or two lions with my little .275, with shots I did not expect to do harm, but at the same time it seems to me that with these very light pointed bullets one is always a trifle uncertain just what they are going to do in heavy muscles of the larger mammals. Take for example the brain shot at an elephant. I think if you got hold of Bell he would probably tell you that the reason he is so keen on the .256 Mannlicher is that the solid bullet, in addition of being very long and slender, is round tipped instead of the sharp Spitzer tip."

And in a letter from J.A. Hunter dated March 23, 1928, the final verdict is pronounced on the 30-06, despite the apparent British contempt for the so-called Colonials:

"Have used practically every make and calibre of rifles, and have good faith in the .256, .275, .280 Ross (in a Mauser action), .318 and .300 Springfield cartridge. The latter I was loath to try, being American, but the genuine Mauser with 24 in. barrel taking the .300 cartridge and 180 grain bullet is a most perfect small bore weapon with great stopping power."

And who can argue that the 30-06 is the best all around hunting cartridge in the world?

In other chapters there is extensive discussion on hunting ethics, where Theodore Roosevelt behavior while in the "African Game Trails", both regarding the amount and quality of shooting is severely criticized, and game conservation, where the USA is applauded: "That is a country where people have awakened to the value of the big game, and where they are now taking wise steps to the protect it."

Well, this is getting too long, so I will stop before I quote all the book, and deprive you the pleasure of reading the book yourself.