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Thread: 4 Gauge Elephant Gun

  1. #1
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    4 Gauge Elephant Gun

    I finally got around to getting some pics of one of my more interesting BP guns.

    A little history on this gun:

    I've had this gun for about 15 or so years. I bought it from a dealer who was really into muzzle loaders and he kept a lookout for me as I was one of his better customers. One night he called me and told me he had a gun I "couldn't live without." This piqued my interest, so I paid him a visit the next day and he pulled this gun out from the back room. The second I saw it, I knew it was mine (if the price were right, that is).

    He told me all the info he could find on it and said it was "modern-made" around 1947 in Belgium. It seems the Belgian Congo was starting to go through its "liberty" period and the French still wanted the ivory the natives supplied, but they didn't want to arm them with "modern" weapons that could be used to overthrown the colonial government. So the Belgian government made up a batch of these flintlocks that were capable of killing elephants and supplied the natives with them.

    The gun was loaded with a 1/4 lb. round ball and about 550-650 grains of BP. The native, carrying this gun would load it, cock it, and run under the belly of the elephant, while it was being distracted by other members of the hunting party; plant the butt spike in the ground, aim it at the belly, pull the trigger, and run. (Obviously, this type of hunting wasn't for the faint-hearted.)

    When Val Fogett first started Navy Arms, this was in one of the first shipments of guns he got in from overseas. Navy Arms only imported 7 of these and no more came in, so this could well be one of the rarest of this type of gun left (can't substatiate that, but the odds are good for it being true).

    An older woman found it in her closet when she was cleaning it out after her husband died. She knew nothing about guns, so took it to the dealer to sell. He didnt' really want it, but knew I would, so he bought it. I paid $350 for it. About 2 weeks later, I went to a local gun show and took it with me to find a flint that would fit (all standard flints are way too small). While walking around, a guy came up to me and told me he would give me $600 if I would sell it. I said, thanks, but I was going to keep it.

    Here are some pics of it:





    Here's the butt spike that gets planted in the ground just before pulling the trigger.


    Here's a comparison of the bores of the 4 gauge and a 12 gauge. (Sorry for the dust in the 12 gauge barrel...I cleaned that out. I didn't realize it was that dusty.)

  2. #2
    Give me the ol'257 Rigby Bell used... That thing makes my shoulder hurt (I believe he for a time used a 4 ga). Being that 4 bores were used and regularly shoulder fired (Bell stopped using his after it was accidentally double loaded) I tend to doubt the run under the elephant story, the hook is probably there just to ensure the rifle doesn't go flying under full recoil.
    Last edited by mriddick; 09-16-2011 at 05:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Team Gunsnet Platinum 07/2011 O.S.O.K.'s Avatar

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    Range report!!!

    1/4 lb balls huh?
    ~Nemo me impune lacessit~
    MSSG, 2LT (MS), 125th MP Company



  4. #4
    Team GunsNet Silver 07/2012 Hobe Sound AK's Avatar

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    Question

    Was 4 Gage the famous .70 Caliber Nitro Express of 1902? the Holland and Holland Caliber?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobe Sound AK View Post
    Was 4 Gage the famous .70 Caliber Nitro Express of 1902? the Holland and Holland Caliber?
    Doubtful as I think just slightly under 12 ga is 70 cal.

  6. #6
    Team GunsNet Gold 07/2012 / Super Moderator Gunreference1's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobe Sound AK View Post
    Was 4 Gage the famous .70 Caliber Nitro Express of 1902? the Holland and Holland Caliber?
    4 Gauge should have a bore diameter of 1.052". The typical 12 gauge will have a bore diameter of 0.729"

    Steve
    After today, it's all historical.

  7. #7
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by O.S.O.K. View Post
    Range report!!!

    1/4 lb balls huh?
    1 MOE @ 4 ft.

    Yup. 4-4 gauge balls to a pound.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stinker's Avatar

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    I think your 12 gauge needs a little cleaning there maybe?
    That bore looks dustier than a 90 year old nuns thong.

    erp...nm...just saw you mentioned that
    Last edited by stinker; 09-17-2011 at 01:05 AM.
    History has a severe case of stuttering complicated by chronic hiccups.
    It always repeats itself and it never fails that something will go horribly wrong along the way.


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  9. #9
    Team GunsNet Silver 07/2012 Hobe Sound AK's Avatar

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    Post

    Thanks for the Info. Paul

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