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Elephant killed by .22LR, myth?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by twoblink, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member




    Is it true that an elephant was killed by a .22LR? I heard that a long time ago, so I hope someone confirms it for me.

    If so, then the quote "a weapon powerful enough to kill an elephant" simply means a .22LR or higher :rolleyes:
  2. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Small world, I was wondering about that exact same anecdote just a couple days back. I believe it was from Elmer Keith's writing.

    Story goes, some circus performer was messing around with his trick-shooting revolver, had an ND and nailed a circus elephant in the eye socket, dropping it on the spot. Also, IIRC, it was .22 Short in that story.

    Anyone recall which gunwriter told that story, and is it just an old wives' tale? I'm sure it's conceivably possible, just not sure if that exact incident literally occurred.

  3. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    Ahh.. now it gets interesting, I thought it was a hunter in Africa who used a 10/22 and downed an elephant..

    a .22Short, the Elephant slayer!!

    from http://talkblade.info/viewtopic.php?p=67751&sid=1dcd3f39a47e093bba16df9d56b3de64
  4. Kurush

    Kurush Well-Known Member

    I think it was John Taylor who claimed he saw someone do that. I guess anything is possible but I think it's more likely that he was full of baloney or the elephant died of a stress-induced heart attack. Look at an elephant skull some time and see if you can find a straight path from the eye to the brain.
  5. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    I'd say a myth as I would be willing to bet a 22LR would bounce off an elephant and he wouldn't take much notice. Though of course any gun can kill anything. If you say caught him in the eye or through an open mouth it may have...maybe. Possible? Sure, but the elephant is more likly to hop up on two legs and do the can-can with his buddies.
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    One thing I don't wnat to see is a pack of pachyderms doing the can-can - those big skirts would look silly on them....

    I can believe a 22lr caused a fatal infection with that supremely dirty bullet, but not a one shot stop...
  7. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    I want that to be going through your head and the last mental image you have before you go to bed tonight armord, dream about it too.
  8. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Well-Known Member

    The secret to killing an elephant is knowing precisely where brain is.
  9. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    There are two confirmed cases in the colonial era in British East Africa. Capstick refers to both in one of his books (I have it somewhere), and Taylor also confirmed it. In both cases, the bullet hit behind the foreleg, where the tough hide is rubbed thin by friction between leg and body, and penetrated a major artery, so that the elephant bled to death internally. The first case was accidental, and the hunter reported it to a control officer, who couldn't believe it - so the two of them set out to repeat the exploit, and did so, to the demise of a second elephant.

    Not recommended as a stopping caliber, however... :D
  10. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Enough with the Republican bashing! :neener:
  11. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    That's how I heard it. The first incident was an effort to spook the elephant into moving where someone else could shoot it better, and the second was to prove the first one happened.
  12. Werewolf

    Werewolf Well-Known Member

    In the final analysis: It is indeed all about shot placement! :cool:
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Correct. Capstick was not involved in either shooting, however. He was relating a story he had been told.

    The shooters were two un-named brothers who were out hunting. One had a .22 and the other had a larger rifle. The brother with the larger rifle didn't have a shot on the elephant so the one with the .22 shot it to move it around a bit for his brother. It died before his brother could get a shot.
  14. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    I can be gullible but I would have to see this one to believe it. Anyone can write anything as the truth - just ask the person preparing King Jorge's intelligence on Iraq's WMD.:D
  15. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Well-Known Member

    Someone wrote it?

    Someone took the time to write it down and post it on the internet, so it must be true........Right?:scrutiny:
  16. Mousegun

    Mousegun Well-Known Member

    The way I heard it was that the elephant died from blood poisoning a few weeks later after being shot by a 22.
  17. MHB

    MHB Active Member

    It was in Safari: The Last Adventure where Capstick talks about that. 2 elephants were killed by a 22lr. I have the text from that story typed up somewhere on my computer, if I can find it I'll post it if anyone is interested.
  18. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    MV, FWIW, Mel Tappan, a gun writer I read growing up, wrote about such an incident. IIRC, it was a circus elephant with a .22 short. Do not recall if he mentioned where or when.
  19. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    I believe with the .22/elephant story, the elephant has to be taking a stride forward, which further stretches the skin just above a major artery in what could be termed the "armpit" area behind the foreleg. A .22 placed just so in this spot will supposedly cause the pachyderm to bleed out . . . eventually.

    Moving down a little (!) in size, I know a 20 grain Aguila Colibri .22 short (primer only, no powder) can down a whitetail if properly spaced . . .
  20. nfl1990

    nfl1990 Well-Known Member

    If you had the right gun, say fully automatic vulcan type I think you could take most anything down with .22

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