Springfield for lion and rhino


September 24, 2010, 10:30 AM
I am reading Ernest Hemingway's "The Green Hills of Africa" the story of one of his 1930s African safaris. In it Hemingway talks about some of the rifles he uses. Sometimes he is vague referring to them as "the big gun" or something like that. At some times he is more specific. and one point his then wife and he are hinting a lion. She is shooting a "Mannlicher" while he has a "Springfield" That is all the description provided. He manages to kill the lion with the Springfield. Later he kills a rhino with a single shot from the Springfield. Is he refering to a 1903? Would 30-06 be an adequate round for lion and rhino? In the case of Hemingway I would think he knew what he was talking about when it came to guns. Any help would be appreciated.

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September 24, 2010, 11:01 AM
With a properly placed bullet of proper construction, the .30-06 can slay lion and rhino.

However, you must remember that writers do not always tell the details that might diminish the storytelling. There may have been long and merry chases following those shots. The PH may have followed up with his rifle.


September 24, 2010, 11:04 AM
Go read "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". It's my favorite short story by Hemingway that uses the African hunting milieu. In it, the guide uses a .505 Gibbs rifle. At one point (I won't give away too much) he has to use it to take down a charging animal that the Springfield .30-06 doesn't take out in time.

Also, historically, these stories are quite accurate. Large numbers of people used sporterized Springfields for hunting in Africa.

Art Eatman
September 24, 2010, 11:30 AM
Always keep in mind the difference between merely killing vs. stopping a charging (wounded or unwounded) animal.

I have seen a cougar "practice being elsewhere". I can well believe those who claim that a charging lion can cover a hundred yards in some four seconds. If he begins at 25 yards?

September 25, 2010, 08:50 AM
I believe that in the old days when game was much more plentiful, hunters often used lesser-powered cartridges than one would use today. They had more opportunities at bagging game, so could afford to miss out on some. A 30-06 will surely put down both lion and rhino with the right bullet and proper shot placement, but I don't think it is an adequate round. Adequate rounds for these animals start at the various .375 cartridges and go up from there.

Old Granddad
October 2, 2010, 11:06 PM
Lion shot from a tree stand--.30-06 will suffice. Rhino? I'd probably want that recoilless 75mm cannon that someone else posted on another thread. And for a charging Rhino or worse, cape buffalo, I'd feel better with a howitzer. What I'd really feel better doing is staying home in front of the fire with a good glass of Bourbon and lying about my hunting exploits, just like most of us do. ;-)

October 3, 2010, 03:22 PM
Charging rhino or cape buffalo? I'll take the .50bmg please. Explosive rounds would also be nice there. But then of course I'd also like to be at least 100yds away.

October 3, 2010, 03:26 PM
How about a .275 Rigby to take on Elephants?

Karamoja Bell hunting stories - per latest American Rifleman


October 4, 2010, 10:22 AM
You should read "True At First Light" by Hemingway. It was his last work, and was edited by his son after his death. It is an autobiographical/fictional account of a 1950's safari, hunting with his wife during the time of the Mau Mau revolt. He slept with a .45 strapped to his leg.

IRRC, he mentioned "solids" a lot with the Springfield, which i presume were 220grainers; and his "big gun" was a .577 double rifle. His wife was shooting a "6.5" Mannlicher.

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