• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

Safari Express rifle pic thread

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by DUKE NUKEM, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. fireman

    fireman Familiar Face

    Ammo would be the issue. .30-40 Krag ammo in bulk would be hard to come by. Also, if the ammo is original it would probably have a fair number of dud rnds.

    The 60's-70's might be a better time frame esp with the seaplane/tramp steamer.

    When can we read it!?!?!
  2. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    If there are boxes of untouched Krags somewhere, there will be boxes of ammo, too. "Enough to finish this war and start another one!"
  3. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Thanks for your comments! It sounds like the basic concept at least passes the laugh test. I think Fireman makes a good point about the ammo. I purposely did not make any references to ammunition in the book, hoping that your average reader will assume the rifles could use some standard issue caliber available today.
    I have just started the always difficult quest of looking for a literary agent, so don't hold your breath. Book is the right length, 171,000 words and is intended to be fun beach-reading, not a timeless piece of great literature. Hopefully it will get a nibble from somebody. Thanks again for your comments.
    SurfGent likes this.
  4. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    The word steampunk comes to mind but probably just because I was just reading the thread about science fiction and I know that isn't what you had in mind. All the same, there were movies (never did read much) about gun running and smuggling in the 1940s and 1950s when bolt-action rifles were still basic issue and even still being manufactured. I once had a Lee-Enfield manufactured in 1957. They were being manufactured in India in 7.62 when I was in the army in 1968. Most of the stories seemed to be set in Africa, especially North Africa, and the South Pacific. By the way, 300 rifles isn't really that many.
    SurfGent likes this.
  5. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    True. I actually upped the number from 200. The backstory is that, where the rifles were discovered, 300 would have been a large amount indeed. The hidden 300 were originally intended for the all-but-forgotten 1895 Wilcox counter-revolution in Hawaii. The plot thickens, eh? Max Perkins, give me a call! Or better yet, Steven Spielberg.
  6. You need seaplanes. Gotta have seaplanes for a good swashbuckler like that. PBY's or Grummans would be good. Heck, even Spielberg knew that. Remember Indiana's flight in Raiders?
    SurfGent and Stearmen like this.
  7. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Hey, that worked for Gilligan's Island, when it came to the question of where the Howell's and Ginger got all their cloths, when it was only a three hour cruise! ;)
  8. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer A-List Customer

    And don't forget Mr. and Mrs. Howell's wardrobe that change multiple times from show to show.
  9. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Until quite recently (and maybe until today) Central and South American government armories have tended to contain odd numbers of "classic" weapons from Thompsons to trapdoor Springfields. There was even a rumor of some containing arms and armor dating back nearly to the conquest! For some reason they don't seem to ever completely liquidate any generation of weapons. Time stands still south of the border I wouldn't doubt the possibility of a cashe of nearly any sort of ammo.

    Back in the early 2000 the LA Times ran a bunch of stories the number of guns that supposedly come from the United States and move over the border into Mexico. In one of the stories was a picture of a partitioned wooden box (like from an armory or factory) full of Walther P-38s and one swastika stamped Luger ... I dare say that pic wasn't of American civilian weapons, though that is how it was captioned. That was a museum load of historic firearms and it was probably lifted from the back room of a Latin American government armory or the warehouse of a large arms dealer. Wherever they came from, the story of that photo was a good deal more interesting than the one the text was trying to sell us!

    The warehouses of the world hold many odd and wonderful bits of history.
    Oldsarge likes this.
  10. Vintage .30 US Army (30/40 Krag) is still out there. This walked into the shop several years ago and I was able to snag it up cheap.

    The .30-220 is 30/40. The other box is 30/03! There's a good one for you!!! Now finding a case of this stuff may be a bit problematic. (Btw, this stuff is circa 1910. Give or take). My "availability" comments are a bit "tongue in cheek". ;)
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  11. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I think the official designation was .30 Government (to the US government) but anyone was free to call it whatever they wanted, I suppose. But no doubt it was still being manufactured in quantity for decades later and in a variety of loads.

    WWII was probably the point when a lot of older calibers and loads became scarce. Someone writing in the Gun Digest around 1960 lamented the fact that the .45-70 had become available in so few loads. I think there may actually be more different loads for that cartridge than there was 50 years ago.

    The on-line retailer International Military Antiques has a number of Martini-Henry and Snider rifles and carbines that were recently imported from Nepal where they supposedly been warehoused for the last 100 plus years. They look as if they had been stored outside, too. In the 1950s and 1960s surplus bolt actions and all sorts of handguns were being imported by the shipload at what seems like ultra-low prices now. I actually bought several when they were still available through the mail and a few were still first-line rifles, like the FN Model 1949 (available in any rimless caliber!). I got out of the army in 1968 and India was still manufacturing bolt-action Lee-Enfields (in 7.62) at the time. The thing is, when some army needs weapons, including small arms, there are never enough.
  12. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    I'm going to guess that a lot of that stuff, in the 1960s at least, came in through Interarms. If memory serves they started up buying armories all across Europe just after WWII. Initially the effort was through the US government and intended to "worry" the Red Chinese through the suggestion that it was going to be given to the Nationalists. That was either a total ruse or the plan was canceled and the effort turned into the surplus arms company Interarms.

    Again memory is a factor but if I've got the story right, throughout the late 1940s there were dumping areas at many European crossroads where people were encouraged to toss the broken or abandoned weapons that were found in their fields and forests and were considered safe to move. TONS of stuff piled up and most of it was scrapped. Even more stocks were discovered safely warehoused in the armories of defeated and occupied countries. Some were police armories, some intended to be used to fight the just finished war, but many were weapons not modern enough to be distributed under almost any conditions. "Military" weapons are all intended to fire the military spec ammunition of the moment and if they are not set up to do that, even down to just a slightly different rifling twist, they tend to not be used or only distributed to lesser units, home guards, police, etc who weren't likely to burn through the last of the consistent ammo allotment for those guns. Anyway, a lot of stuff was sold off after the war, and I understand it was a pretty through house cleaning in the West except for Spain and Portugal.

    Just to riff for a moment on the age of some of these places: The Barcelona maritime museum was originally Spain's Mediterranean naval arsenal. It started as a "factory" where war galleys were produced on primitive assembly lines in something like the 14th century. But as the tidal control basin that was Barcelona harbor was filled in and the shore line moved farther out it just became a huge, ancient, storehouse for the military. It became the maritime museum in the 1940s. So for something more than 500 years it was a weapons storage facility. Who knows what they found when they cleaned it out!
  13. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Although Interarms in Alexandria did in fact import (and export) a great deal, I don't know if that constituted most of it or not. The stuff I bought came from other companies elsewhere. Interarms finally closed when the founder died and his daughter did not wish to continue the business. There was another company, Hunter's Haven or some variation thereof, located literally next door that a lot of people thought was related, only it wasn't. But it, too, has since closed, also a few years after the founder passed away. One of his sons operates a surplus store in Alexandria.

    During the war, weapons were collected by armies as they passed through an area. Some of the more recent imports of Mausers, for instance, were rifles that had been captured by the Soviets, or so they say, and finally sold off to the surplus market. Remember, bolt action rifles were still being manufactured in Europe into the late 1950s, though hardly to the extent they had been during the war. I once owned a No. 4 Lee-Enfield that was practically brand-new, having been manufactured, I believe, in 1958 (after the FN had been adopted). The Yugoslavian short-action Mausers are another example. The Danes offered a newly designed bolt action in the 1950s but supposedly few were sold.

    The Soviets adopted the SKS rifle and presumably manufactured them in large quantities but replaced it with the AK series. They were given away to some client countries, the same way we gave arms to our client countries, the rest going into storage. But many of them have wound up in the surplus market, too, essentially being a generation or two behind the times. We were even still using M1 rifles and BARs into the 1970s in the National Guard. But when I was in the National Guard (D.C.), we had M16s, something I never saw during my three years in the army.

    There's only so much of the stuff, you know.
  14. The Krag round had several different nomenclatures throughout the years. But it never was refered to as the "Government"'round.

    The government name was reserved for the .30 Govt 1903 and the .30 Govt. 1906 ctgs. As well as the archaic 45/70 Govt. Which had its own series of assorted monikers. 45-55-405, 45-70-500, etc. etc. It can get confusing. Reason for the specifics concerning the .30 caliber ctgs was to help prevent the issuance of the wrong cartridge as there was an overlap of all three cartridges, in use, among federal, state, and other local militia units.

    ( shameless plug. Keep eyes peeled for new Reference book on the 1895 Winchester being put together by Winchester Collectors assn. Might see a familiar face in it! ;) ).
  15. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Close but no cigar, eh.

    Cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos?
    Bigger Don likes this.
  16. MikePotts

    MikePotts Practically Family

    Renault and Stearmen like this.
  17. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Renault likes this.
  18. That isn't the first howdah repro or modern version to come along. It is, however, the most shotgun looking one.
    Stearmen likes this.
  19. Crazy thing is every now and again an old "Auto-Burglar" would walk into the shop!

    Be cool to see the Howdah reintroduced in like .577 Boxer. Easy enough to reload.
    Stearmen likes this.
  20. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    My first reaction was, why didn't they use the action from their successful Kodiak Mark IV rifle? It would be a much more elegant looking pistol!

Share This Page