Capegun

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John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by John 39 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:41 am

Hi Robert,

Ok, Ok, Ok, I still say the logic behind the designs is lacking and they are ugly as well. A bit like the 1986 (?) Mercedes imitation of the Range Rover!

I completely forgot the question about the Rook and Rabbit rifle. It was just a small calibre usually single barrel rifle for shooting small game which included rooks, even young rooks during the first couple of days out of their nests when they perch on nearby branches. I hate to think what that relatively big bullet did to their small bodies - I wouldn't want to eat one but then I have no wish to eat a young rook shot with a shotgun! Thank goodness the Americans invented the .22.

John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by John 39 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:43 am

Hi Robert,

Ok, Ok, Ok, I still say the logic behind the designs is lacking and they are ugly as well. A bit like the 1986 (?) Mercedes imitation of the Range Rover!

I completely forgot the question about the Rook and Rabbit rifle. It was just a small calibre usually single barrel rifle for shooting small game which included rooks, even young rooks during the first couple of days out of their nests when they perch on nearby branches. I hate to think what that relatively big bullet did to their small bodies - I wouldn't want to eat one but then I have no wish to eat a young rook shot with a shotgun! Thank goodness the Americans invented the .22.

Allen Peterson 44
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by Allen Peterson 44 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:36 pm

John you are probably correct about not all were actually made. At least I certainly have not seen many of the more uncommon configurations. They must just have had a way of doing it during the pre war years. as they offered them. But some are just plain weird looking . I can't help wondering how they handled and shot. I sometimes use the Capegun to hunt a nearby population of small Sika deer.(actually an elk) that survives in a coastal region nearby. They are very small and stunted due to their diet.We are allowed to go on a normally closed reserve to help control the population in a special season once a year. The 9.3X72r rifle is adequate for these small elk.

John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by John 39 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:01 pm

Hi Robert / Allen,

Don't worry, I joke often with my mother about inheriting and she doesn't mind. My father left a small trust fund in 1976 so I've been waiting 42 years so far !

There is no direct connection with guns, but just in case you are interested my father was Assistant Inspector General of Police (Indian Imperial Police) in Assam, India where I was born in 1944. His main job was to administration in the ares and keeping order amongst the Naga tribes which populated the Naga Hills around and north of the provincial capital Shillong and the towns of Kohima and Imphal. This is a remote and difficult country to get to and travel through, partly jungle with some of the highest rainfall in the world (700 inches in 3-4 months of the monsoon season). The hills (about 6000 feet high) are separated by ravines (6000-7000 feet deep) and one can talk and shout from one hill top to another. The Nagas, about 12 different tribes possibly originating a thousand or three years ago in South Eats Asia, and speaking slightly different languages although their villages are sometimes as little as 5 miles apart, were headhunters. It was my father's job to keep inter-tribal headhunting to a minimum and thankfully it now seems to have died out. The Nagas were moderately friendly with the police and district administrators except after raids to punish repeated head taking and slave taking. Incidentally, the Nagas fought on our side against the Japanese who they didn't want invading their land.

This first photo is of three Naga Daos, each of which have taken heads as can be seen by the red stained human hair of the victims on the handles. The most prized head is that of a woman, then a man. The heads are displayed on a bamboo head "tree" until cleaned by the birds, they are then put on shelves in the head house as a reminder that all strangers are to be eliminated.
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The next phot is a Naga spear, every man had a Dao and a spear, decorated with goat hair and human hair, and on either side are my father's two pig sticks, he was a champion pig sticker and Polo player. Also shown are two copper amulets - very rare!
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The next photo is a Naga crossbow used on forked sticks with a trip cord to kill wild pigs. The arrows were often poisoned, they also used poisoned sharpened bamboo partly buried in paths against trespassers ! Nobody knew what the poison was, only that it had been imported from Burma for generations.
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The last photo is of 5 bamboo drinking vessels, the precision of the pyrography (decorative wood burning) constantly amazes me!
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Allen Peterson 44
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by Allen Peterson 44 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:04 pm

Amazing museum quality artifacts, with a family connection. I had no idea of headhunters in India . I thought that was practiced in Borneo only. I learned something new .Thank you for sharing that information. Was your Father a hunter?. As the head of police was he responsible for removing problem Tigers.

Robert Forslund 171
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:08 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by Robert Forslund 171 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:20 pm

I nice little family museum you have there, John!
Please tell us more about the pig sticks. With champion do you mean he was good at it, or were some sort of competition involved?
In Germany a similar device "Saufeder" is used to finish of wounded wild boar on big shooting occations, so called "Drückjagd".
I now understad fully your connection to and intetest in India.
On your recomendation I have bought the book "The lonely tiger" by Hugh Allen.
It is a facinating, but sort of intense book. After reading 2/3 of it I am now making a small pause, but I will finish it soon.
I must confess I was chocked with Hugh's attitude when he in the chapter "Joe" hears his native helper being killed by a wild boar but he does not even go to have a look. Or perhaps I have misunderstood something, I sometimes have problems following Hugh.

John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by John 39 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi Allen,

My father was a keen shotgun (duck), target rifle and pistol shot but he never had to shoot leopard or tiger. A rogue elephant with two wives killed a few villagers and wrecked their crops so he was called in to shoot them. They were cornered by beaters in a thick clump of trees and the male sent his two wives out to charge my father, he shot them both in the eye and they fell beside him but he only had time to reload with one cartridge before being charged by the bull who he also shot in the eye and who fell behind him. He was using a Westley Richards double rifle I think in .416 calibre. I have the tusks but they are small, only about 12 to 18 inches long. The Police were not well paid, he had to sell the gun to marry my mother who was the daughter of Frederick Prike, the owner of R B Rodda & Co. During the war my father helped train the army in jungle warfare, my mother learned to shoot with a service rifle and a Lewis gun but mainly assisted with refugees from Burma fleeing in front of the Japanese.

My uncle Jack, (actually Great Uncle John Paterson) was chief engineer on the Bombay Behari railway based in Bombay About 1910-1935. He introduced air-conditioned carriages in India and on retirement was a consulting engineer on Waterloo Bridge in London. My father claimed he was descended from a long line of maiden aunts. Like his six sisters, apart from my grandmother, he never married but when he died in about 1970 he left a large sum of money to Dr Barnardo's Homes so I think he had fun now and again! He shot a tiger while a guest of one of the local Rajas, my father remembered playing on the skin as a child. It became very worn over the years and I sold it 20 years ago.

John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by John 39 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:23 pm

Hi Robert,

"Field Sports In India 1800-1947" by Major General J G Elliott published by Gentry Books I.S.B.N. 0 85614 0236 is quite a good book. "Tent Clubs" are quoted as the main organisers of pig sticking but it was popular with the army, police and anybody else young-ish and active, but all had to be very good riders with properly trained, very steady and very fast horses. One might use 3 horses in a day.The pigs damaged crops and attacked people. One could either walk-up the boar usually found in dry river beds or, more commonly, use beaters who pretty much ignored the pay in favour of the meat - something they didn't get often! The ground covered varied from open to brush and jungle and normal grassland to thick grass six to nine feet high. Hunting in Jungle was very dangerous and one usually went in only to find a wounded pig. The Tent Club secretary was the guy in charge who picked the "spears" usually one very experienced and two others often backed-up with perhaps another three spears. When a large enough pig was found (between about 24 inches and 44 inches high at the shoulder and weighing 250 to 400lbs the central spear followed it with the other two on either side in case it jinked. Only males were hunted, sows were off limits also pigs under 120lbs. A pig could out run a galloping horse for the first hundred yards or so, then when closely approached it would jink before turning and attacking. Its tusks, 6 to 9 inches long could rip the horse's and rider's legs into pieces, my father had his calf sliced up! The point of aim was behind the shoulder - the pigs heart. They were ferocious beasts not always killed by the first thrust, but they would charge repeatedly until killed. Strangely, falls were the order of the day but falls at high speed resulting in tumbling over were not as dangerous as a slow fall! I've never quite understood why even though my own worst injury was from an ex-racehorse who deliberately walked under a low branch and scraped me off his back - I got my foot stuck in a stirrup and was dragged through a sugar cane plantation. A good pig sticking horse developed a sixth sense in dealing with the uneven ground and sensing the direction taken by the pig, it could turn on a sixpence and would stand for a charging boar.

The Meerut Tent Club organised the Kadir Cup which was the most sought after competition in India, but my father only competed locally in Bengal. I have more than a dozen plated silver beer mugs he won in Paper Chases, some needing re-silvering but I don't think it is worth it. People 70 to 100 years ago were much more active in every way than we are today!

Polo was very popular in India and at one time my father had a string of 6 ponies. I've never tried it.

I can't find my copy of The Lonely Tiger, when I do I'll re-read that chapter.

Robert Forslund 171
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:08 pm

Re: Capegun

Post by Robert Forslund 171 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:16 am

Wow, that is really interesting to read.
Thank you for telling us the story.
A wild boar with a weight of 400 lbs is deadly opponent.
Bull fighting is probably less dangerous.

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