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The Model 1893 in Africa
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April 5, 2024 - 4:05 pm
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Lately I’ve been re-reading many of the vintage African hunting books I purchased about 30 years ago.  Enough time has passed such that it is like reading these books for the first time Embarassed

Aside from being very enjoyable reads, occasionally a real gem pops up.  My current read is After Big Game in Central Africa by Edouard Foa.  This book describes one of several multi-year expeditions he took, this one from August, 1894 to November, 1897 when he crossed from the mouth of the Zambesi to the French Congo.  He traveled 7200 miles, nearly all on foot. During this expedition he collected over 500 specimens for a Paris museum.

His arms consist of four doubles:  an 8 bore, two .577’s, a .303 and, “1 smooth 12 bore Winchester six-shot repeater.” 

Surely, this is a M1893 – which I was delighted to read.  He uses it for bird hunting but typically keeps it loaded with buckshot.  I greatly enjoyed descriptions of when he used it.  He often kept it at the ready while resting in camp.  I also enjoyed his reference to when he was following up wounded dangerous game in tight quarters (lion or leopard).  He would be carrying a heavy rifle, have a gun bearer carrying another heavy rifle (or the .303) and another gun bearer would be close at hand carrying the Winchester.  There is never a reference to the Winchester not functioning perfectly – which is a bit of a surprise given the M1893 didn’t have a great reputation.  And by the way, FOA was very particular about his firearms.  

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April 5, 2024 - 5:51 pm
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Steve,

The Model 1893 had a wonderful reputation until it was outdated by modern advancements in shotshells.  Hence its evolution to becoming the Model 1897.  I have no doubt that Edouard was referring to a Winchester Model 1893.

Bert

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April 5, 2024 - 5:57 pm
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steve004 said
Lately I’ve been re-reading many of the vintage African hunting books I purchased about 30 years ago.  Enough time has passed such that it is like reading these books for the first time Embarassed

Hope your collection includes some of Steward Edward White’s African books (a fraction of his novels & other works).  He was the most gun-savvy of any African hunter of his time, & the man most responsible for transforming the ’03 Springfield service rifle into the best big-game hunting rifle before the Model 70 (itself merely an “improved” ’03) by commissioning the great German gunsmith Louis Wundhammer to remodel a service rifle for himself & good friend Edward Crossman in 1910.  As the leading gun-writer of his time, Crossman spread the word about these conversions, but it was White who got the ball rolling. 

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April 5, 2024 - 7:02 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Lately I’ve been re-reading many of the vintage African hunting books I purchased about 30 years ago.  Enough time has passed such that it is like reading these books for the first time Embarassed

Hope your collection includes some of Steward Edward White’s African books (a fraction of his novels & other works).  He was the most gun-savvy of any African hunter of his time, & the man most responsible for transforming the ’03 Springfield service rifle into the best big-game hunting rifle before the Model 70 (itself merely an “improved” ’03) by commissioning the great German gunsmith Louis Wundhammer to remodel a service rifle for himself & good friend Edward Crossman in 1910.  As the leading gun-writer of his time, Crossman spread the word about these conversions, but it was White who got the ball rolling. 

I know have at least one of White’s African books.   And yes, Crossman has cropped up a great deal in my research of the .280 Ross.

  

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April 5, 2024 - 7:05 pm
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Bert H. said
Steve,

The Model 1893 had a wonderful reputation until it was outdated by modern advancements in shotshells.  Hence its evolution to becoming the Model 1897.  I have no doubt that Edouard was referring to a Winchester Model 1893.

Bert

  

Bert – 

I had assumed Foa was of course referring to the M1893 slide action shotgun.  The M1897 was not yet out while he was on his expedition.  However, it just now occurred to me when he mentioned a Winchester six-shot repeater, he might have been referring to the M1887.  I don’t recall any mention of the action style.  

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