Dangerous-Game Rifles by Terry Wieland

Dangerous-Game Rifles

Author’s Note:

The big-bore rifle for hunting dangerous game – elephants, Cape buffalo, lions, and the big bears – is a source of endless fascination. It is also a source of endless hogwash, conflicting claims, and outright lies.

Ever since James Purdey pioneered the “express” rifle in 1856, with its light bullets at high velocities, controversy has reigned over the question of bullet weight versus velocity, and more than one hunter paid for a mistake with his life.

The controversy continued into the mid-20th century, with the never-ending debate in print between Jack O’Connor and Elmer Keith, with such luminaries as Roy Weatherby chiming in with claims for small caliber rifles that were worthy of a snake-oil salesman.

Of course, this question is just one small – albeit important – part of the world of dangerous-game rifles. There is the consideration of rifle type: double, bolt action, or something else? And bullets: Soft-nosed, or solids?

Aside from everything else, the development of the dangerous-game rifle in all its forms has a rich and fascinating history, through the British perfecting the double rifle and the nitro-express cartridge, Paul Mauser and his bolt action, and modern bullet developments.

In this book, I attempt to cover the history of the big rifles in such a way that it makes sense of what works, what doesn’t, and what the best choices are today. Also, how to learn to use a big-bore rifle so that when the times comes, and your life is on the line, your rifle will put the right bullet where it belongs.

Terry Wieland



Foreword by Robin Hurt



  • 1. The Rifle to 1898
  • 2. Nitro Express!

Double Rifles

  • 3. The Great English Double:
    • Holland & Holland
    • W.J. Jeffery
    • John Rigby & Co.
    • Westley Richards
    • William Evans
  • 4. Britain Past & Present
  • 5. The Continental Divide
  • 6. Buying New and Used

Bolt Actions

  • 7. The Mauser 98
  • 8. The Modern Mauser
  • 9. Mauser’s Rivals
  • 10. A Question of Strength

Single Shots and Other Players

  • 11. The Single-Shot Rifle
  • 12. Big-Bore Lever Actions

Cartridges & Bullets

  • 13. The Perfect Cartridge
  • 14. Today’s Cartridge Makers
  • 15. Smokeless Cartridges for Double Rifles
  • 16. Cartridges for Bolt Actions
  • 17. From Lead to Jackets
  • 18. The Modern Expanding Bullet
  • 19. Put to the Test: The Expanding Bullets
  • 20. Snake Oil & Pumpkin Balls
  • 21. Solids -- The Revered ‘Full Patch’

Using the Dangerous-Game Rifle

  • 22. The Custom Rifle
  • 23. Loads and Loading
  • 24. Accuracy
  • 25. Sights & Sighting
  • 26. Recoil, Weight and Balance
  • 27. Practice with a Heavy Rifle


  • Appendix One: Ballistic Tables (Kynamco, A-Square, Westley Richards)
  • Appendix Two: Accurate Arms 5744 Special Loading Note



To purchase a signed copy of the book, please e-mail me care of this website. The price is $40 plus $5.00 shipping in the United States. Shipping elsewhere is billed individually.

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