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Thread: The Ghost and the Darkness Movie 1996

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    The Ghost and the Darkness Movie 1996

    Does anybody recognize the rifles in this movie. Some are single shot, bolt action, and double rifles.
    A great movie!

    Leadmelter
    MI

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I believe the bolt rifle that he replaces with the Farquharson rifle is a Ross Staight Pull sporting rifle.

    http://www.gunsinternational.com/gun...n_id=100844865
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_rifle

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farquharson_rifle
    USMC 6638

  3. #3
    Boolit Man KMac's Avatar
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    Funny you should bring that movie up. Just watched it in cable the other day. For probably the 10th time. It is one of my favorite movies.
    And it has a good lesson in it.
    Don't go hunting lions with someone else's gun that you aren't familiar with and you haven't checked out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    "The law of averages is damned faint comfort, when YOU are the exception." Jeff Cooper

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Val Kilmer uses a Lee speed feed bolt action in 303 at one point.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    The bolt action rifle is a British 'Lee-Speed' sporter. Made in various configurations and with a long list of options available.
    Most were built on the older 'Long Lee' action (Lee Metford & Lee Enfield). No charger bridge, a dust cover attached to the bolt. Metford safety or Enfield style safety, full round bbl, round bbl with raised rib, all sorts of sight combinations, a top tang safety available too..
    BSA made the most of them, but LSA (London Small Arms) also made some.
    Later the MkIII charger bridge was available (after 1907) as an option. That deleted the dust cover from those particular rifles.

    303B is the most common caliber, .375 NE 2 1/2" is probably the grail caliber of those who covet these rifles.
    They were also made in 8x50R Mannlicher(aka 8mm BSA , .315 India) and 7mmR Mauser. along with a few other odd chamberings.

    They are beautifully handling classic rifles and have a quiet but steady following. I still have 3, two in 303 and one that was rebored to 35cal from 303. I'm sorry I ever sold the 4th!

    You can gather a lot of info on the rifles and their history over on the NitroExpress.com / Lee Speed Forum & Archive.
    The rifles & the movie are a bit of a cult favorite with that crowd.
    http://forums.nitroexpress.com/postl...at=0&Board=lee

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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  7. #7
    Boolit Mold Catpop's Avatar
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    BORN FREE was another great movie, I'll never forget the night he snapped on a lion with an unloaded double rifle. YIKES!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    One of my favorite movies.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Don't forget the Howdha pistol the Remington charachter used to back the workers off!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    To All,

    BOTH of the maneaters were dispatched with a British Army standard SMLE in .303 British, according to LTC John H. Patterson.

    He also had access to a SxS double rifle in 450/400 (3.25") Express for BP, which belonged to the construction crew manager, but he evidently never hunted the pair of maneaters with the DR nor did he evidently ever use the SxS 8-bore double-barreled shotgun, that was "company owned".
    (Had I been in his shoes, I think I would have chosen the 8-bore shotgun, loaded with a 2 3/4 ounce load of 000 buckshot for such a close-range encounter with maneating lions. = One of the pair was killed at "12 long steps" & the other at about 40M. - To me, that's BUCKSHOT range.)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 08-23-2017 at 09:37 PM.

  11. #11
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    The film takes quite a few liberties, but even at that, it's STILL one of my favorites. For a guy who as a young kid, read everything he could get his hands on (even from the school library when possible) about the old African hunters and the derring-do of others there back in Africa's "Golden Age" of hunting, how could I NOT love it? Errors and all!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Blackwater,

    For all its flaws (and they are MANY) I too like the movie.

    yours, tex

  13. #13
    You don't necessarily have to believe in vampires to be entertained by a vampire movie, and a lot in this one is well done. But when they say at the beginning that the events in the story are true, it does develop the expectation that they should be. I haven't read Col. Patterson's book, but a lot in the movie doesn't come from it, and his account is on various counts suspect.

    Nobody but Indians and Africans were killed, and there never was an American hunter or anyone like the psychopathically vindictive Beaumont. It has been suggested, and seems to be supported both from journals and from isotope analysis of the two ex-hearthrugs in the Chicago Field Museum, that the lions killed around 30 people rather than the 135 Col. Patterson claimed. That would make the story much more credible.

    It is usually considered that there isn't great danger from a tiger which isn't a confirmed maneater, except by surprising it with cubs or prey, or trying to protect cattle, which they find a more natural prey. The maneater is usually forced into it by age or infirmity, never loses its fear of man, but often learns to be extremely good at its new way of life. The Tsavo lions weren't infirm, and maneating by lions is more likely to be an occasional sideline of an ordinary lion, which becomes much more dangerous at night. I don't think lions ever bring their victims into a cave, an idea possibly suggested by the lion's den in the Bible, but I don't know whether the Bible suggested it to Patterson or to the movie company.

    Another possibility is that human murderers may have foisted off some of their deeds on the local fauna, a thing far from unknown in Africa:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_Society

    Against all that, though, is that it was two years after the great rinderpest epidemic in southern Africa, which killed large quantities of wild game, possibly making the lions desperate. The rinderpest was a great disaster in farming and transport, since ox wagons were the main form of transport, and the tsetse fly already made horses an unsuitable replacement in much of the region. This probably increased the urgency of building the railway. With smallpox, it is now one of the two major diseases now recognised as eradicated by man.

    The main rifle used by Patterson was indeed a Lee-Speed. The great majority were in .303., over which I doubt if the .375x2˝in., though it appeals to anyone who cast bullets or really wants his rifle to be called "nitro-express", offered any concrete advantage. With the right heavy expanding bullet the .303 would be a good lion rifle, for many experienced hunters reported that the lion was much easier to kill than the large antelope, or above all the buffalo. Of course your need for instant extinction without a little payback time would be greater. The Martini-Henry seen in the movie was likely to be a .577/.450, and although a single-shot, would have more stopping power on thin-skinned game. Jim Corbett used the 7x57 (the .275 Rigby name being only a marketing one) on maneating tigers and leopards, and while he sometimes preferred a double .400 in dense cover, I don't think he found the wrong gun for the conditions deeply worrying. An extra fraction of a second could matter more.

    Joseph Speed worked for the Royal Small Arms Factory, and somewhat annoyed them by taking out patents in his own name for the improvements he designed for the adoption of James Paris Lee's rifle. As a result rifles for the civilian or private-purchase officer's market were termed the Lee-Speed. They are very well made, and unless conditions positively demand a modern scope, you are unlikely to ever miss an animal for lack of all that confounded modernity they have nowaday

    Lee-Speeds could be in standard long rifle or carbine trim, or sporting rifles. They could have the standard cocking-piece safety (very reliable when in place, but easily released by accident), no safety but the half-cock notch, or a shotgun-style tang safety. The one in the movie was the second or third of these. After the expiry of Speed's patents all rifles reverted to the name Lee-Enfield, and this about coincided with the adoption of the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield. Few if any short rifles were Lee-Speeds, and in my Army and Navy Stores catalogue of 1907 they are all listed as Lee-Enfields. The .375 is available to order only, and much more expensive than the others.

    The misfiring rifle was indeed a Farquharson, with the slightly unusual large side cocking indicator which may have been usable to put the lhammer on half-cock. Probably they chose this one to make the misfire visible. I would sooner trust half-cock than the crossbolt safety in the trigger housing which is often seen, or the easily fumbled centre hammer spur which is exposed in some of Farquharson's patent drawings. With the change from black powder to smokeless, the rifle may have been used with harder primers than had been intended.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Ballistics in Scotland,

    I have read LTC Patterson's book (as well as all of LTC Corbett's books, over the last 50 years) and Patterson's book is quite modest & "low-key". - He was not a braggart.
    (Little in THE GHOST & THE DARKNESS comes from Patterson's book. The movie script seems to be a "Hollywood-ized" version of other men's "glamorized" reports of the siege by the man-eaters. = That's why it's called "fiction".)

    yours, tex

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    +1^^^^^^^

    I still like the movie and watch it every now and again.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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