La Brea solo adventure rifle
MI recently learned La Brea tv show was contracted for a second season so will end this newsletter on a lighter note. The season finale saw father Gavin Harris jump into a living room size sinkhole to 10,000 years BCE. The modest sinkhole is roughly 1,500 miles from his wife, Eve, and their son in the Los Angeles area. Hiking an ambitious ten miles per day will take nearly six months so Gavin will need food and may need defense from animals and humans. The animals of the time are known as the megafauna: The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals (Princeton Field Guides, 112): Prothero, Donald R., Williams, Mary Persis: 9780691156828: AmazonSmile: Books
Larger herbivores include mammoths, mastodonts, giant sloths, glyptodonts, bison, camels, horses and 300-pound beavers. Predators number saber tooth cats, lions, jaguars and dire wolves. The wolves are about twice the weight of modern grey wolves and likely hunted in packs. The larger animals deserve a long round nose bullet with full metal jacket to ensure adequate penetration. Such bullets were common to military cartridges of 120-years ago. Karamoja Bell used a 6.5mm rifle with a 156-grain bullet to kill hundreds of elephants before graduating to slightly larger calibers: CUTTING EDGE BULLETS 6.5mm (.264) 155gr BULLET COPPER SAF SLD 50b - Graf & Sons (grafs.com) Lost hunters and, more likely, wounded game animals led to game managers requiring larger caliber bullets for African Game. I have previously advocated the .375 Ruger cartridge for the gun-savvy maroons in La Brea, who numbered about thirty souls: 375 Ruger Rifles For Sale (Caliber/Gauge: 375 Ruger) - Buds Gun Shop (2020). I'm sure there are several such rifles in the Los Angeles area for buyers planning on a safari to Africa or Alaska. The solo adventurer may be attacked by a pack of dire wolves or even people and need to fire many rounds in a short period of time. I will nominate the 9.3X62mm cartridge in a military Mauser rifle for the task.
The 9.3X62 resembles to .30-06 cartridge with a .366 diameter bullet of 286-grains. It happens to be the smallest cartridge advised for the big five of Africa: elephant, rhino, hippo, cape buffalo and lion: 9.3x62mm Mauser: Is It The Best Hunting Cartridge Ever? - Big Game Hunting Blog (thebiggamehuntingblog.com)
While not as desirable when facing a charging mammoth as the .600 Holland and Holland double, it is lighter to carry and can be loaded into a military Mauser using stripper clips. The Mauser is easy to clean from the rear by removing the bolt and has a step profile barrel that does not change the point of impact as it lengthens with the heat of firing: ANKARA ARSENAL M98 1945 for sale (gunsinternational.com)
Bolt actions like the Mauser cam the cartridge to the rear as the bolt handle is lifted, easing extraction when the chamber gets hot and dirty. I have fired an Ankara 8x57mm Mauser in a 100-round civilian marksmanship meet and had no problems with the action. I bought the bayonet for the rifle and imagine it would discourage attempts to grab my rifle muzzle: Your Rifle Needs a Bayonet: (thenewrifleman.com)
Military Mausers are not chambered in the 9.3X62mm so the rifle would need to be rebored and rechambered: Caliber & Bore Options - Reboring by J E S (35caliber.com) 9.3X62 Mauser
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Rick Kester is a Viet Nam era veteran living in Northern California with his wife Nancy.