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Old 01-01-2018, 10:48 AM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Crackerland
Posts: 24,304

Capstick's tales were mostly fabricated. A 12 gauge with buckshot is HIGHLY DISFAVORED for lion medicine and is in fact illegal in all countries where lions are hunted. Legal rounds are .375 H&H rifle and up. Shotguns lack the velocity to deliver either shock or good penetration (same problem with handguns). Shotguns with pellets of any size face the problem that each pellet is relatively light so penetration is poor unless shot at point blank range where the pellets arrive as a solid blob. And then the disadvantage is that the projectile blob is delivered at 1000 less than rifles can offer.

Feline nervous systems tend to be incapacitated by shock of a bullet that hits them at 2400 fps or more.

Originally Posted by Silver Bullet View Post
Well, ....... I know Peter Hathaway Capstick (A man who would have known!) only used a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with double 00 buckshot in order to track wounded 500 lb lions through heavy brush in order to finish them off. Capstick said that these engagements always happened very fast, and took place at very close range. (15 feet, and often less!)

Capstick wrote that the only gun he trusted to hit hard enough to stop an enraged cat under those incredibly difficult circumstances was the 12 gauge; HOWEVER, there is a proviso: The animal has to be fired upon at very close range (often less than 6 - 12 feet) with the still tightly compacted FULL 12 gauge charge of double 00 buckshot. Anything less would NOT guarantee an 'on the spot' stop and kill.

Peter (Who I, coincidentally, knew and used to see around town just about every weekend when I was a young teenager.) never allowed a client who made a bad shot on a lion to attempt to follow the animal into the brush in order to finish it off; he always told the client to stay put and wait while he took out his 12 gauge, and very slowly moved through the brush waiting for the wounded cat to launch what he hoped would be its final surprise attack.

I've also watched several national park rangers trap and release large bears. They, also, carried 12 gauge shotguns that I was told would, if necessary, have been used in exactly the same way that Peter Capstick did. All this being said I honestly believe that most people seen carrying 12 gauge shotguns in bear territory are being expedient.

In my opinion very few people have the 'nerves of steel' and 'coldness of mind' needed in order to face down a charging bear and effectively put it down at the kind of very short range needed in order to make the shot charge hit with a full (practically instantaneous) effect. Personally, I think the smallest long arm I would want to attempt stopping a large incoming bear with would be a (heavy) 45-70 Gov't, or Marlin 450 carbine.
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