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Thread: The Hunter from 100 years ago - how would he react today?

  1. #1

    The Hunter from 100 years ago - how would he react today?

    Prompted by a comment the latest Rifle Shooter Magazine which I picked up on Monday as two hour wait at Luton Airport. One of the writers made a comment to the effect that a hunter from 100 years ago would be totally happy using pretty much any modern rifle, whereas give him an iPhone or other piece of digital technology, he might be pretty amazed. Worth pondering on.

    Thinking about it not a lot has changed. Bolt action is basically the same, although modern rifles might shoot a little more accurately out of the box. Certainly optics are better, and possibly a bit more reliable, but WW1 era german optics certainly allowed shots at well beyond normal hunting ranges and at night. Straight pull rifles were turn of last century - Canadian Ross being a good example.

    And as for ammunition, it will be pretty much the same. Indeed all our calibres were already well established. 22lr, 6.5x55, 7x57, 30-30, 30-06, 375 H&H, 470NE, 45-70etc all still going strong. In the 22cf and 6mm, cartridges such as the 22 Savage High Power, and 244 Holland are now somewhat obsolete, but 50 year old 22-250, 223, 243 etc fill the same niche and offer pretty much the same ballistics.

    I suppose the one big change in the last 30 odd years is the wide use of polymers. Many rifles and shotguns from the turn of the last century are still in use today. I wonder if polymer built rifles will still be in use by our grand and great grand children in 100 years time. Not sure if many of us on SD will be around by then.

  2. #2
    First rifle I ever used was a straight pull Ross in .22 LR with aperture sights. It had hung on the farm wall since the early part of last century and I shot no end of rabbits and to my horror now, quite a few Fallow. First fullbore was a 1903 6.5mm Mannlicher which I used for twenty years or so, a first class woodland rifle. I agree with you nothing much has changed and I still like the feel of an old Mannlicher bolt.
    Honour all men, Love the Brotherhood, Fear God, Honour the Queen.

    Keep the Faith.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The fourth Horseman View Post
    to my horror now, quite a few Fallow
    Why? Didn't it make them dead enough?
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  4. #4
    I can't go back 100 years but i first went out with a keeper 70 years ago who shot everything with a 22 Hornet. Roe, Fallow, fox rabbit all went the same way and yes they looked pretty dead to me.
    We didn't have a car or a phone or electricity, night vision, the internet or thermal imagers but a lot of stuff was shot. And of course you could go to the pictures, eat like a king and still have change from a farthing!

  5. #5
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    The hunter of 100 years ago would be angered by the fact that he now needed a Firearm Certificate and couldn't if he wished display his weapons in a glass fronted case in his gunroom. Nor obtain his ammunition without such certificate.

    For the then existing Gun Licence wasn't a "permission" but a tax measure. Directly equivalent to today's Television Licence and something you got at the Post Office.

    He'd marvel that today's optics didn't fog up, were variable magnification, and in real terms very very inexpensive. But he'd decry that today true quick detachable mounts are not of the same functionality of his era.

    He also why people paid good money to shoot another man's vermin...aka roe deer...in English woodlands where game shooting and fox hunting were its proper uses.

    He'd envy our non-corrosive primers and be amazed a rifle could be shot, put away, shot again, put away and the barrel be unharmed by pitting and be rust free.

    His deer would, unless on the continent, be taken on the hill with a rifle or in "a park" also with a rifle. And mostly over open sights at under two hundred yards.

    He may have tried the Ross, even perhaps in .280, but he mostly use a Mannlicher. Or a Lee Speed by BSA but maybe retailed by Martin or another Scottish "giant".

    Or if wealthy a Mauser from Rigby or Holland's. He also know both 6.5x54 and the fall back .303 with 215 grain bullet were both deer legal and he could travel almost door to door save the last five or ten miles from his house in London, or the Midlands to his "deer forest" in Scotland...by train.

    (I still live in a village. The railway station, Kirby Muxloe, was not even two hundred yards from the road entrance to my family's house and when I first went shooting in Scotland near Comrie I saw the remains of the old railway line and its station. As above door to door by train except the last five miles was perhaps something that could have been done).

    No bloody BDS and no bloody Beeching! But OTOH he would see a world unequal, harsh, unforgiving, with no NHS, no safety net in old age and no employment rights.

    He also, unless at War, be able to travel from Calais or Boulogne to the frontiers of China passing through just three or four nations..France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. And a common currency for his gold sovereign woulb, being gold, be accepted in all.

    But in truth would I offer him my place in 2016 for his in 1916? No. A "golden era" for a few. But not for those outside that class...
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 06-10-2016 at 19:07.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    The hunter of 100 years ago would be angered by the fact that he now needed a Firearm Certificate and couldn't if he wished display his weapons in a glass fronted case in his gunroom. Nor obtain his ammunition without such certificate.

    For the then existing Gun Licence wasn't a "permission" but a tax measure. Directly equivalent to today's Television Licence and something you got at the Post Office.

    He'd marvel that today's optics didn't fog up, were variable magnification, and in real terms very very inexpensive. But he'd decry that today true quick detachable mounts are not of the same functionality of his era.

    He also why people paid good money to shoot another man's vermin...aka roe deer...in English woodlands where game shooting and fox hunting were its proper uses.

    He'd envy our non-corrosive primers and be amazed a rifle could be shot, put away, shot again, put away and the barrel be unharmed by pitting and be rust free.

    His deer would, unless on the continent, be taken on the hill with a rifle or in "a park" also with a rifle. And mostly over open sights at under two hundred yards.

    He may have tried the Ross, even perhaps in .280, but he mostly use a Mannlicher. Or a Lee Speed by BSA but maybe retailed by Martin or another Scottish "giant".

    Or if wealthy a Mauser from Rigby or Holland's. He also know both 6.5x54 and the fall back .303 with 215 grain bullet were both deer legal and he could travel almost door to door save the last five or ten miles from his house in London, or the Midlands to his "deer forest" in Scotland.

    No bloody BDS and no bloody Beeching! But OTOH he would see a world unequal, harsh, unforgiving, with no NHS, no safety net in old age and no employment rights.

    He also, unless at War, be able to travel from Calais or Boulogne to the frontiers of China passing through just three or four nations..France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. And a common currency for his gold sovereign woulb, being gold, be accepted in all.

    But in truth would I offer him my place in 2016 for his in 1916? No. A "golden era" for a few. But not for those outside that class...
    Exactly.... all the above... as long as you were either rich, of the aristocracy or preferably... both... Most of us would have been shovelling his lordships **** for him or mucking out the pigs!

  7. #7
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    With his shot gun he'd embrace today's plastic case cartridges and bless the fact that truly waterproof ammunition was a reality...whilst scorning its brass washed steel base as a poor thing compared to the true brass base of his ammunition.

    Today's felt wads? He'd ask how "builder's board" could be. passed off as "felt" and bemoan that quality white felt wads, or "pinks" as he might call them, were no longer used in cartridges.

    And Eley Grand Prix papet cartridges? He'd know them for what, in his time, they were. The cheapest grade and lowest quality cartridge of their range. And laugh that today some thought it the game shot's "acme".

  8. #8
    I wonder the response you would get regarding dsc level 1&2...
    I have both btw.

  9. #9
    hed sh.t himself at the money hed have to part with to shoot

  10. #10
    Here in America, 100 years ago, 90% of people lived on farms, and cities were so small that it was easy to catch a train to Maine or Canada for deer, beer and moose. In the South, huge tracts of land had been bought up for taxes by wealthy industrialists in the North, following the War Between the States. The economy had not recovered from that war, and would not until the 1950s, so deer populations were very low, except in the rugged swamps where no people lived.

    I still hunt with my father's 1934 Winchester Model 67 .22 single shot, and my grandfather's Remington Rolling Block #4 in .22 LR, on which I cut my teeth. He bought it for himself at age nine, for $4.00, the savings of a summer picking cotton.

    Other rifles and shotguns with which I hunt are over a century old:
    A.H. Fox 16 gauge SxS
    Lefever sidelock 12 gauge
    Savage 1899 saddle carbine in .22 Savage High Power
    1893 Mauser Sporting Rifle in 6.5x55 Swede, from the first batch made.
    1888 Commision Mauser in 8x57I
    1895 Winchester made in 1915 in .30-03
    1903 Springfield made in 1914, in .30-06
    Enfield No. 1 MkIII in .303, made in 1914
    1895 Winchester pump shotgun in 12 gauge
    Model 98 Mauser Sporting Rifle, circa 1906, in 8x60S

    So I often dress just as we did when I was a boy, in an old corduroy sport coat, cotton shirt and khaki trousers which I used to wear to work, soft leather boots in moccasin style, a wool felt hat, and century old pocket watch for good luck.

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