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Old 9th August 2019, 12:26 PM   #1
David R
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Default "Max" and the sawn off shotgun in the Sudan

I have mentioned "Max" before, a very old but vigorous man I worked with on an archaeological site back in 1974?

He was a retired Empire official, and had been assistant district commissioner in the the Sudan in the 1920's. He had a fund of stories from his time there, and I was fascinated by them.......

When he received his commission to go out to the Sudan, he also got a "chitty" that gave him a gun-dealers address and identified his posting. He took this down to, I think it was Westly Richards and co, and handed over the piece of paper. The counter man went into a back room and came out with a nice polished box. In it were two custom made 12 bore shotgun pistols with accessories, illegal in the country even at the time. They were his backup weapons for when "out in country".
He was instructed that they were not to be brought back with him when he came home, and that he was to dump them overboard on the return voyage.

I am not sure if I have told this story here before, so forgive me if I have. I was reminded of this by the discussion about Doc' Holliday's guns at the OK Corral.

RIP Max, we will never see your like again.
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Old 9th August 2019, 01:40 PM   #2
Pukka Bundook
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A charming post, David, thank you.

I would have had an awful hard time chucking them overboard on the way back!
It does show though, how the seriousness of his posting was taken, and how if this meant going beyond the law, so be it!

Thanks again and all the best,
Richard.
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Old 9th August 2019, 03:46 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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This is indeed a wonderful post David!!! and thank you for sharing this story.
The thing about these 'old timer stories' is they are pure treasure, and totally meant to be shared and enjoyed many times over. They are windows into the past from the eyes and minds of those who were actually THERE in real time and recount what it was like in those times and moments.

Further, now WE are the old timers (how weird

Thank you for spinning off from the Doc Holiday thread with this, and it brings to mind so many 'shotgun' tales which have profoundly colored historic times.
It is so interesting to see how the shotgun has played such an integral part, although illicitly in so many cases, in these contexts.

I think of years ago, from WWI to Viet Nam, how 'trench guns' were often carried by forces, outside their issued weapons. In my earlier years in California, certain 'biker clubs' (local and not Hells Angels) were known for having sawn off shotguns always handy.

Regarding the Sudan, it does not ever seem to have been a 'healthy' place for archaeologists (or most others either) at any time. Some years ago as I was researching the Sudan, kaskara etc. I was communicating with an Archaeologist who specialized in Sudan, and he went to Khartoum during our talks. Apparently while there the windows of the car he was in were shot out and other very dangerous events took place, he left soon after.
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Old 9th August 2019, 04:16 PM   #4
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Apparently DB shotguns were a go-to option for British officers in the Mahdi campaigns as well. Which caused one of those characteristic British Press outrages about how inhuman this was.
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