Jim Corbett's Rifle

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Jeff Hoover

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Feb 25, 2009
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Due to the interest of Jim Corbett's rifle, which now resides in the Elmer Keith Museum, at Cabela's, in Boise, Id., I did a little research. I remember Elmer was the owner of said rifle, but how did he obtain it ? I remember reading about it, several years ago, but where ? Well, last night, I found it. April, 1967, Gun Notes. Keith talks of his prized rifle, and great respect and regard for Corbett.

I own the late Jim Corbett's tiger rifle-the best quality boxlock .450-400(3") double rifle by W.J. Jeffery & Co., with which he killed so many man-eating tigers for the Indian government. He also used it in Africa. The brass-cornered oak and leather case is in fine shape, while the rifle shows more use and less abuse than any old rifle I have ever seen.

The metal is as bright as a silver dollar. The action is that good No. 2 Jeffery is sound and tight as a rat trap. Engraving shows up even better on the bright steel. Only traces of checkering are left. The stock ears are actually worn away from the frame, as is the butt of the stock from the engraved heel and toe plates.

The bores are grey in the grooves from cordite, and the lands are worn down about halfway, but there are no pits from neglect.

With Corbett lying out in tree crotches and machans in the rain waiting for tigers, this rifle was exposed to all kinds of weather. Jim Corbett had no Hoppes No. 9, or Rice's X-10 solvent, but I would bet he poured many gallons of water through these tubes. In spite of external wear, this .450-400 is as effective and accurate a hunting rifle as when turned out by W.J. Jeffery & Co.. I fired both barrels at a six inch bull's eye at 80 yards, shooting from a car window. The bullets(Kynoch 400 grain softnose) landed one inch apart, one directly over the other, both cutting the centerline of the target. Jim sold this rifle to a man from Vancouver, and my friend George Neary got it from him. I swapped a perfect .350 Elliot caliber Danial Frazer double ejector for it.

I would like to have known Jim Corbett. His book, Man Eaters of Kumoan, is a masterpiece on the Indian tiger and proves he knew more about life and habits, of that beast than any living man. I treasure his old rifle. You can judge a man by the condition of his rifle.

Pretty strong endorsement from a great man about another great man. I hope you enjoyed this and found it as interesting as I did.

elmer011.jpg


Here is the legendary rifle. Looks alot more interesting, after hearing a little history about it.
 

TDF

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Feb 23, 2006
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Seward, NE
Interesting stuff.

Corbett's book Man Eaters of Kumoan is an excellent read. Elmer wasn't kidding.

TDF
 

sixshot

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Jim Corbett was probably the most fearless man who ever lived, reading his books makes you want to take your teddy bear to bed with you. Some of it was clear off the charts for exciting!

Dick
 

americal

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Feb 19, 2009
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GREAT Jeff-- I read that book thru readers digest as a teenager :) he was indeed a strong minded man 8) those hunts would make a great movie --there was one made in 1980's by someone :!: :!: saw it twice a fair movie but low budget he killed CATS that had killed HUNDREDS of people and they were not all Tigers, there is a huge reserve in India named after him --many tigers there protected I have specials on t.v. about resurves --he was also first to film albino & regular tigers in the wild :!: he was up in tree just yards away :shock: saw the film on NATIONAL GEO. what man :!: what a gun :!: It was great that the gun ended up in America & Elmer Keith owned it 8) 8) Sixshot you & Corbett would have made a GREAT team but you would have been under intense pressure to make the SHOT :lol: :lol:
 

Geezer

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Mar 13, 2009
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Conway, SC
Books by Jim Corbett and Peter Hathaway Capstick are the best reading. You feel like you are right in the middle of the action.
 

Jeff Hoover

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Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
Mike,Yep, you betcha, that's another story itself

Sorry for the picture quality. I took it from "Hell, I was there", page 77, while perusing it this evening. Think it's Corbett's rifle ? I don't know for sure, but would bet it was. How many double rifles in .450/400, can a guy have ? Not only that, he used it during a elk hunt, in the snow ! No safe queens for Elmer ;)


450400elk001.jpg


I remember reading somewhere, Elmer hated the title' Hell, I was there' . The victim of publishers.
 
A

Anonymous

I just came across this thread from another forum and read this quote from Keith in Jeff Hoover's post above:
...Jim sold this rifle to a man from Vancouver, and my friend George Neary got it from him.....
Would that be Vancouver, WA or Vancouver, B.C.? Corbett being a British subject I suppose it could have gone to someone from Vanc. B.C. I grew up there, and it's nice to think that this rifle might have been in the same city as I was when I was a kid!

:) Stuart
 

Jeff Hoover

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Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
Stuart, That was quoted straight from Gun Notes . I have no idea if it was WA or B.C., as it only said Vancouver. I was wondering the same thing.
 

M'BOGO

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Jan 18, 2009
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Hey Jeff,

It looks like that rifle leaning against the meat elk has some blueing on it? But I have been wrong many times before. I could see Elmer wanting to connect with the rifle, besides oiling it.
 
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