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 Elephant guns

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old historian2


Posts : 1096
Join date : 2009-01-14
Location : East London

PostSubject: Elephant guns   Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:04 pm

Did the Zulu's own elephant Guns.scratch

"Buller's Horse, on ahead, soon came in contact with the enemy, and opened the ball, and drew them on by steadily retreating fighting, until
the Zulus, showing up very strong and determinedly on all sides, compelled him to canter back into the square, and thus enable the infantry to become engaged. On came the enemy the great fight commenced in earnest, and for the three-quarters of an hour that it lasted was as disagreeable as one could wish for.

The air seemed alive with the whistling of bullets and slugs and pieces of cooking-pot legs fired from elephant guns as they
came banging in amongst us from all directions.
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Neil Aspinshaw


Posts : 544
Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

PostSubject: Re: Elephant guns   Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:06 pm

The Zulu's had a mixed bag of varous european and africa firearms.

With the lack of availability of loaded cartridges, they went for firearms which could be easily loaded without tools.

At the time an Elephant gun, would be around .50 cal or .577 calibre, and normally doubled barrelled, as produced by Holland and Holland or Jeffery. The load was a whopping 100-120 grains of powder, normally in cartridge form. The secind barrel gave you a second chance that a single shot would not, especially if you had a four ton bull running at you.

The remedial .577 Enfields and various smoothbores they carried simply would explode if overloaded, unless as your anecdote says anything would go out pretty fast if it would go down the barrel, its a bit like the blunderbuss of C1780.

I fired a .50 calibre Jeffery double barrelled game rifle at our club, load was 120 grains, the owner told me the first round gives you a nosebleed, the second detaches your retina, I did one round, then wimped out..... and thats from someone whi will do 40 Martini rounds in a t-shirt.
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Mr Greaves


Posts : 746
Join date : 2009-10-18

PostSubject: Re: Elephant guns   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:34 pm

Quote :
the first round gives you a nosebleed, the second detaches your retina
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Posts : 9490
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 61
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: elephant guns   Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:53 am

Hi Neil.
I am curious , what sort of effect would the third shot have ? , or has no-one survived to tell the tale :lol!:
If you can fire 40 rounds of the M.H in a t-shirt and wimp out after one of the Jeffrey , I shudder to think what
the 3rd or 4th shot would be like :)
cheers 90th.
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Neil Aspinshaw


Posts : 544
Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

PostSubject: Re: Elephant guns   Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:26 pm

I would guess pretty savage!, I remember my late grandad, Billy Shaw who was in the Derbyshire Yeomanry in Tunisia in 1942, he was tasked to train on a Boyes Anti Tank rifle, they did two rounds then claimed it was better be captured by Jerry than shoot the retched thing again.
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