Favorite Firearms: A Holland & Holland on a Deer Hunt

by
posted on March 15, 2021
enough.jpg

My favorite firearm finally came into my possession more than 30 years after I first encountered it. As a city boy from the Bronx, I accompanied my dad and my scoutmaster on a deer hunting trip to upstate New York. I was 16 years old at the time, and my scoutmaster had introduced me to Robert Ruark and his African books, Something of Value, Uhuru and Horn of the Hunter.

During our hunt, my dad and I carried Winchester 94s, but my scoutmaster had a Holland & Holland bolt-action rifle chambered in .400/375 Nitro Express—the world’s first belted cartridge. According to him, the gun had once been owned by farmers in Kenya, but had eventually made its way to an upscale gun store in Manhattan where he purchased it. My dad and I kidded him about bringing an elephant gun on a deer hunt, but my scoutmaster had just finished reading Ruark’s Use Enough Gun, and he strongly defended his choice.

I acquired the rifle from my scoutmaster’s widow when he passed, about 35 years after that hunting trip. It is fitted with leaf sights, and it came with a Bond Street of London fitted canvas and leather case and 120 rounds of 270-gr. cordite ammunition. Over the years, I’ve saved articles pertaining to this obsolete cartridge. I’ve also purchased reloading dies for it, and have researched the use of modern smokeless powder instead of cordite in order to reload for it—as the original, almost 100-year-old rounds do still fire but today are collector’s items themselves.

At 71 years of age, I don’t think I’ll ever get to hunt in Africa with this rifle. Even so, it’s still my favorite firearm.

William Tabacinski, Wyoming

Latest

Luger questions and answers column american rifleman gun pistol handgun left side view details inset within image
Luger questions and answers column american rifleman gun pistol handgun left side view details inset within image

Rifleman Q&A: 1900 Test Luger & Holster

I have a question about a Rock Island Arsenal holster stamped “E.H.S.” that contains a 1900 Eagle Test Luger serial No. 70XX.

NRA Gun Of The Week: Smith & Wesson CSX

Featured on this Gun Of The Week video preview, the Smith & Wesson CSX, with its alloy frame, hammer-fired operation and 12-round capacity, gives defenders a great option in the concealable micro-compact 9 mm handgun category.

The Armed Citizen® July 1, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Firm Attempts To Track Gun, Ammo Credit Card Purchases

The firm Amalgamated Bank was denied again recently by the International Standards Organization for trying to establish a new category to track firearm and ammunition purchases.

Editor's Choice: MyCaseBuilder PrintBuilder

When I find myself in possession of a gun/guns in desperate need of a case upgrade, I often turn to MyCaseBuilder, as the company not only offers a wide assortment of quality firearm cases, but its online design program allows me to custom configure each case’s interior to suit my particular needs.

Review: Culina Custom Revolver Grips

Culina Grips makes a selection of hand-crafted wood grips for Smith & Wesson revolvers, allowing wheelgun enthusiasts grip options that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but fully functional as well.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.