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African Rifles and Cartridges Paperback – March 29, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Sportsman's Vintage Press (March 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940001013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940001012
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

John Taylor was a professional ivory hunter with some thirty years of continuous living in the African bush. He used all the various calibers of British, American, and German makers and rifles, and with them killed many species of big game found on the continent of Africa. Acknowledged to be one of the finest reference works on the large-caliber rifle (both double and bolt action), this new, high-quality reprint features the original photos (from first edition) on coated paper so that the images can be clearly seen by the reader. A must for anybody interested in rifles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
His writing style is light and brisk.
Walter W. Matera
A must read book for the person who wants to know about large calibres, double rifles and nitro / black powder express.
"shikaree"
The specter of John Pondoro Taylor looms large over anyone attempting a book on big game hunting and big game rifles.
Navaratna Rajaram

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "shikaree" on November 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Taylor is one of the most competent gun writers I have ever read. He has tremendous practical experience with almost every large calibre rifle of his time, including the spell bounding numbers like 600, 577s, 500s, 450s, 450/400, 375 etc., with a nostalgic term of Nitro Express..! When discussing a calibre, he talks of taking literally hundreds of elephant, buffalo & other big game with it. So who can question his authority on African rifles. He has also covered every possible aspect of sporting rifle, which can be questioned, with respect of African hunting, e.g., doubles versus magazines, barrel length, weight, sights, triggers, ejectors/non-ejectors, etc. A must read book for the person who wants to know about large calibres, double rifles and nitro / black powder express. Excellent drawing of each cartridge is also given with details i.e., bullet weight, powder charge and pressure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ryan McNabb on November 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Taylor's masterpiece - the definitive work on African hunting from a technical perspective. And even though his experience is nearly 100 years old now, it's still as fresh as yesterday, because the rifles and cartridges really haven't changed much. Craig Boddington's important work on the same subject is truly current, but you won't miss a beat if you just go by what Old Pondoro says.

But that's not the book's real glory - anyone can publish ballistic data and shooting tips. What Taylor does is to back up his opinions with some of the most exciting hunting literature ever jotted down by lantern light. He's a wonderful writer, with an easy flowing style that grabs you and takes you along. He saw and did things that noone else will ever again do or see, and in a sense saw the last of the old Africa pre WW2, and brings it alive. He tells you that the .577 NE is just the perfect thing for elephant, and has a couple of tales to prove it. Or how about the .375 H&H as a long range caliber? Well, did he ever tell you about the time that... It sounds contrived, but it isn't.

I can't put this book down, and approach it with caution because I know if I crack it open it'll be like saying "Jumanji" 3 times - the next thing you know hours have passed and there's a lion in your kitchen, licking the butter. Absolutely a desert island book, and one of the first to go in the lifeboat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MarmaLakeFirearms on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you love hunting- and african hunting in particular- you MUST have this book! It is the classic by which all others should be judged. I read my first copy so often- and referred to it when reading other African hunting books- that it started to fall apart. I bought another to read and loan, plus one bound in leather to keep for good in mint, unread condition.

Believe me, you will love this book if you are a hunter!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DeathfromAFar on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For most of us, the dream of going to Africa and hunting with the classics of the past will always remain that. However, if one has hankering for the great guns of the past and a by gone era, this book will fill that niche. If you are lucky enough to ever be able to travel to Africa, this book would be essentual reading as knowledge- practocal knowledge - of the big guns is very hard to find and full of misconceptions.
If you fall into the latter catagory, Taylor had several lifetimes of practical hunting experince, and his knowledge shines.
For most of us, there are very few hunters and shooters who have not dreamed of owning a Purdy, Holland and Holland and others of the past, in such lovely calibers as 375 H&H, and .600 Nitro. This is a book to own and dream with.
Incidentaly, despite its comparative age, much in here is still current, although much more recent calibers are not really discussed.
Grade: A+
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Timeless writing! A treasure trove of literary delights for anyone interested in the ambience of a bygone era of action and adventure ala Hemingway, Selous and Bell. Something for everyone, whether an enthusiast of shooting, safari, classic cartridges and rifles of legend (doubles and single action sporters) or a mere naturalist. John Pondoro Taylor was clearly a genius in his given profession, albeit politically incorrect for his time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tubesguy on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was the single most read book of my childhood. It was available at the local library, and I checked it out repeatedly over a period of several years, enthralled by Taylor's descriptions of hunts and the equipment that he and people like Karamojo Bell used on those hunts. The line drawings of the huge .577 and even .600 rounds that were used were awe-inspiring to a kid who shot a .22 at Boy Scout camp. At some point, however, hunting and killing large numbers of magnificent animals lost its appeal, and the book receded in my memory.

Fast forward to about 15 years ago, and I was in London with family. Walking around an area not far from our hotel, I spotted the Holland & Holland retail establishment. I wandered in, looking for the rifle display, and after some time being ignored (to be fair, I hardly looked like a typical (wealthy) customer) an employee approached me. I gushed about my love of the H&H history and rifles, and he stifled a yawn. It was clear that he was thinking it unlikely that I really knew anything about what they produced and sold.

I decided I might try to convince him. I asked if they still made the "magazine" rifles (their term for bolt-action), and he raised an eyebrow and said yes. I then asked him if they were still available in .416 Rigby, and he said "Certainly, sir. Would you be interested in seeing the gun locker?" What followed was a wonderful time viewing and actually handling some of the rifles that I knew only from Taylor's book.

When it came time to leave, I thanked the clerk, and mentioned in a totally off-hand manner that all of my supposed knowledge came from a library book that I recalled from more than 35 years earlier.
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