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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Lost Opportunity to Shoot Muzzleloaders on working trip to South Africa 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Lost Opportunity to Shoot Muzzleloaders on working trip to South Africa  (Read 3504 times)
Green River Powell aka RonC
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« on: August 02, 2014, 09:38:14 am »


I return to the USA on Monday after a working trip to SA. A friend in Cape Town offered to fly me there from an area near Johannesburg, but a tight working schedule ruled that out. He has about 20 flintlocks and cap and ball rifles and we were going to shoot some. He also has a great interest in "Wild West" history and weapons. However, all was not lost. The parents of one of my students invited me to travel to their farm and help them harvest a Kudu to make biltong, like beef jerky, but better.
I was handed a 1945 Lee Enfield Mk IV No. I and some P&P flat lead nose jacked rounds. They gave me the opportunity to shoot a tree with the rifle and I think I killed that tree. Grin The trigger pull was typical of some old military rifles - must have been 12-14 lbs.
First, here I am taming the African wild beast:


Then, after some 6 hours of driving and tracking, this was the result:


The fore-quarters went to the farm help. The hind quarters were used to make biltong. They didn't want too large a Kudu because the meat is not good. The younger ones were destined for their game farm.
The weekend before, I was supposed to be preparing for one of the two courses I taught, but somehow I was distracted into other activities.

Ron

 

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Ron
PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 10:32:52 am »

Wonderful experience!

A US friend has contacts in Zimbabwe and has visited there a few times, but was never lucky enough to hunt or shoot.

Anywhere you go that was once part of the British Empire, you will find the ubiquitous Lee-Enfield rifles.  South Africa fought with the Brits in WWII, so the rifles abound there as well. They are as common as dirt in Canada and still the issue rifle to the Canadian Rangers that patrol our Arctic regions.

There's been talk about replacing them for years, but that's all it's been - talk.
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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 03:10:51 pm »

I am very fortunate. People pay the big $$ to fly to SA, then pay a PH (professional Hunter). They have to spring for a lodge and then would pay about 20,000 rand ($2000) for a good size Kudu. In my case, a family or friend says "Come to my farm" and I think that I am just going for a visit. Then they throw a Lee Enfield or shotgun in my hands, shove me into the pickup truck (bakke, here), and we are off hunting.
Ron
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Ron
GunClick Rick
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2014, 04:05:16 pm »

Boy! New handle bars for the harley Grin Grin Don't get eboli!!! Shocked
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GunClick Rick
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2014, 04:06:03 pm »

Man that's one heck of an animal!! Smiley
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Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 07:09:08 pm »

Man that's one heck of an animal!! Smiley

Of course you were referring to me. Grin
Ron
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Ron
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2014, 11:38:32 pm »

Of course,i don't know what that thing on the ground is.  Grin
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Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 09:11:58 pm »

Back home again from South Africa!
I can't tell you how good it feels to get back to the US of A and home!
I'm fried after 2 hours driving to Johannesburg, 16.5 hrs to Atlanta, 2.5 hours layover, and 3.5 hours to Denver.

And guns? It took a friend 3 years to gain possession of the S&W 44 mag left to him by his grandfather.
One interesting gun issue I noted: people think that you can buy a gun, shove it in a holster or store it within reach at home, and be able to use it perfectly under duress. That is, without practice. After all, you just have to point it in the general direction of the "goblin" and pull the trigger. That concept is wide spread.
Oh, and safety rules? What safety rules.  I was handed an FN pistol after the person removed the magazine. I then racked the slide, looking for the potential cartridge still in the gun. The person was highly offended that I had to check after he "made certain" the gun was empty. He didn't say much when I dumped on the floor the cartridge that was in the gun.
My friend is an exception and shoots IPSC just to maintain his level of skill.
Ron
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Ron
RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 10:14:54 pm »

Great opportunity, Pard!

..... I was handed a 1945 Lee Enfield Mk IV No. I .....

Actually, that would be a No. 4, Mk I* ....  (The "model" was designated by "Number" .... expressed in Arabic numerals .... and the specific "Mark" of that model by Roman numerals and asterisks .... although, to add to the confusion, for firearms introduced after 1944 the system was changed so "Marks" were also designated by Arabic numerals!  At any rate, if produced in 1945, it would have been a Mk I* not a Mk I ....)

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 10:43:09 pm »

You Sir, are absolutely correct. It was the I*. It also was marked "Property of the U.S.A." or something like that, a stamp that really surprised me.
The trigger pull would have to be measured using a livestock scale.
Ron
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 12:20:29 am »

Sounds like it must have been one of the many rifles produced by Savage in the United States.  Prior to the entry of the United States into the WWII, Savage contracted with the British government to produce 200,000 No. 4 rifles (which were not marked "U.S. Property".) After that, being tooled up to produce them, Savage continued to do so under the "Lend/Lease" program following the U.S. entry into the war, producing about another million rifles. That, of course, explains the "U.S. Property" marking. I understand that a good percentage (perhaps most) of the Savage-made rifles went to South Africa.  The Savage marking was a stylized squarish "S" which almost looks like an Arabic numeral "5" -



I understand that Savage production of Lee-Enfield rifles ceased in 1944, with a fairly large stock of Savage produced and marked parts being transferred to the Long Branch production facility in Canada, where they were used in assembling finished rifles.  If the rifle you used was dated 1945, it was most likely one of these. The Long Branch arsenal mark was a stylized "run-together" letter "L" and "B" like this -



Here is one such rifle, with clear Savage logo and "U.S. Property" mark on the receiver, but bearing the Long Branch marking on the wrist socket (above the white arrow) -

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 06:06:53 am »

Very interesting. Thank you.
I have a 1945 I* and Long Branch is spelled out underneath the date and Mark.

Ron
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 01:58:59 pm »

Yes, the receivers of rifles built entirely at Long Branch are marked that way -


However, the ones assembled using up Savage-made receivers are usually marked on the wrist socket with the stylized L/B logo (which was used mainly on bayonets, magazines and such) to show where the rifle was finally assembled and serial-numbered. 

Here, on the other hand, is the "S"-marked wrist socket of a rifle fully completed at the Savage plant in Chicopee Falls, Mass. -


Oddly enough, if you Google the subject of Savage-made No. 4 L-E rifles, you'll see many people expressing the view that they are generally more poorly finished and fitted, and also tend to be less accurate, than any of the other No. 4 rifles made elsewhere .... whereas Long Branch rifles are often touted as the best in over-all fit, finish and accuracy!     Roll Eyes   

However, I don't recall seeing any sort of reconciliation of these opposing views in discussions of the "hybrid" Savage/Long Branch rifles!    Wink   Grin
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2014, 02:22:16 pm »

There was a difference in the rifling of the Savage made barrels, was there not? Six grooves?
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2014, 04:41:03 pm »

There was a difference in the rifling of the Savage made barrels, was there not? Six grooves?

I believe so ....

Not having owned any No. 4 Lee-Enfield other than the 1942 Long Branch from which the above markings come, I can't comment personally on the above-mentioned assertions .....
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
Green River Powell aka RonC
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2014, 04:47:17 pm »

I can tell you that you had to stick a branch of a tree in the trigger guard and stand on it to push the trigger back.
OK, maybe a little hyperbole there. Smiley
The cartridges were by PMP, from their low end offerings. The bullet went through the shoulder, then broke up as it traversed the lungs and heart.
My shooting technique was turning my head away from the target, closing my eyes, then wishing the bullet to the target. Very effective. Grin
Ron
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2014, 07:57:40 pm »

According to one of my reference's, Savage produced .303 Lee-Enfields had 6 groove barrels, supposedly making them quite accurate and desirable.

In Africa, it is said that the .303 Lee-Enfield accounted for more game killed (and wounded) than any other calibre. My maternal grandfather was issued one in Saskatchewan as some sort of Ranger. Shot everything with issue military FMJ.

It is still the issue rifle to the Canadian Rangers, Inuit and native hunters/trappers that patrol Canada's northlands. It will be a warm day in Tuktoyaktuk before they are replaced with any thing else.
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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Lost Opportunity to Shoot Muzzleloaders on working trip to South Africa « previous next »
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