This Westley Richards .375 double is fitted with a QD Lyman scope. These were a perfect size optic for a double and it doesn’t look too out of place. The new 1 inch or 30mm scopes we get today are so big for the rifles and stand off so high, not very attractive at all. This size vintage optic is getting harder and harder to find now, you used to be able to pick them up at the Las Vegas Antique arms but this year I couldn’t find one!
The first pair of .470 hand detachable lock double rifles that we made were for George Eastman in 1925, those were for his 1926 & 1928 Safari’s and which were documented in his book Chronicles of an African Trip (1927). Our second pair was made in 1992 for an Italian gentleman whose order I took over a long and liquid fuelled lunch at the then infamous Langan’s Brasserie in London. The deal for 2 pairs of double rifles was detailed out on the paper table cloth during lunch, after a long negotiation the price was agreed and signed by both parties on the cloth and this the waiter kindly folded and gave me on departure.
This latest pair of 470 rifles were commissioned as a gift for the 2 sons of a long standing customer of ours, a customer who had hoped his 2 boys would one day accompany him to Africa. Alas, their interests have taken them in a ‘non hunting’ direction and with father being a total .500 3″ afficiando for his doubles, I have been asked to find a home for these rifles.
Pairs of double rifles are a rare item to find and they are something I have always enjoyed making as a result, there being a very special feeling about a person needing a pair of rifles to hunt with in Africa, it is a sign of true enthusiast .
This pair of detachable lock rifles is made for hunting, a deluxe gift but not too precious for the bush. 2 rifles with extra locks, elaborate scroll, fine cameo’s of large elephant all cased in a fine alligator skin case with outer cover.
Anybody with 2 sons to spoil or a big hunt planned?
We don’t often have any readily available, modern manufacture double rifles for sale in our used guns department, we had a couple of .470 rifles as we went into the shows in January but these promptly sold.
This .500 rifle which is a few safari’s old and very lightly used, is just passing through the workshop now, getting a service and polish up before being put up for sale.
With 24 inch barrels, 14 3/4″ length of pull over leather pad, extra locks and cased it is a great opportunity for anyone who doesn’t want to wait the years it takes for a new rifle to be built.
” I knew Elmer Keith well for many years. He was my first and best mentor when it came to double rifles. He owned several double rifles by the best makers in England and without question always referred to the Westley Richards Hand Detachable Lock Double Rifle as the Finest of them all. As Testament to this, he practiced what he preached. When he went to Africa for the first time, to hunt the big 5 in Kenya it was the realisation of his life’s dream; he carried a Best Quality Westley Richards .476 double rifle. He also owned four other Westley Richards with detachable locks, including a best quality, One Trigger .577 with an extra set of locks.”
Ross Seyfried. Feb 2015.
On the 15th March James D. Julia will be auctioning the rifles and guns of Elmer Keith, and for anyone with an interest in our rifles it is well worth a look at what they are offering. Whilst I was in Las Vegas for the Antique Arms show in January I had the opportunity to see the rifles myself, 2 in particular stood out to me and they are the .577 and the .476 droplock rifles which were amongst his favourites. These are superb examples of our rifles which bring with them great provenance. I can’t expand on Elmer Keith but here is Wiki link!
This is a very nice original condition, 1935 single selective trigger gun which is named on the rib The Heronshaw. It is not what I normally associate with the Heronshaw model which had a particular type of basket weave engraving, two triggers and normally a hinged floor plate with fixed locks. This is however a later model of the gun, so changes were probably made.
With 28 inch barrels, 1/4 & full chokes and a 14 1/8″ stock and weighing in at 6lbs 5ozs it will make somebody a very nice walk around gun. The gun is cased in original lightweight flat case to which we have fitted new accessories.
The gun will be found shortly on our used gun site for sale at £3250.00 or $5000.00
Some years ago we re-introduced one of the double rifles which no doubt played a big part in making our name as a maker of double rifles. It is the Gold Name Anson & Deeley boxlock double rifle, complete with model C bolting and Westley ejector work and sights. It is a rifle we have made during our history in the 100’s and which, in it’s basic format provides everything a big game hunter requires. Build quality, reliability, accuracy, balance and pride of ownership. Built by the same team and with the same passion as our droplock and sidelock rifles it is the ‘entry point’ into the world of Westley Richards double rifles.
I introduced this rifle with the aim of making it possible for professional and other hunters to buy a rifle which would last their careers, and either give them a return at the end of their time in the bush or be something they could pass down to their son if he followed in their footsteps. It is a rifle built for generations not for a period of years.
The rifle has not sold in huge numbers but has fulfilled everything I wanted it to do. It is in the hands of both great professional hunters and great enthusiastic hunters, is carried with confidence and has steadily increased in value.
The Westley Richards fixed lock model is available in .470, .500 and .577.
It was Danny McCallum’s turn to come and visit our operation today, it was pleasure to welcome him to the factory, show him our gunmaking, have some lunch and talk some stories.
Whilst on safari these past few years, Danny has always been talking whilst we were seated by the camp fire about how much he would like a classic .318 rifle, one he describes as “a superb calibre” and used by so many PH’s over the years. So after we had cleared away the lunch and Danny was outside for a smoke, we laid on the table a classic .318 bolt action, a gift for him from a most gracious and generous client. He was of course both surprised, overwhelmed and delighted!
Danny then, after a little advice from Trigger, decided that he would in future focus on talking about how much he would like a Westley Richards .577 single trigger droplock double rifle during camp fire discussions!
As Trigger is one of the next to be on Safari with him, I will be closely watching my inventory!
We all see plenty of pairs of guns as we visit the gun shows and gun shops but a set of 3 matching guns is a pretty rare item in the best gun world. Why you might ask would anyone buying a best gun need 3 guns, do they shoot 3 at a time? The answer is no, the third gun is actually a spare. Things break and that is just a fact, Ferrari’s break, Rolls Royce’s break, super yachts break and jets break, if something works it breaks and guns are included in this fact.
So the scenario is that you are on your prized grouse moor on August 12th, a predicted days bag of 500 brace to double guns. Driven grouse is fast, exhilarating game shooting at its very best, they have always said you don’t know how many friends you have until you own a grouse moor. It is the King of Sport and the most desirable of all shooting invites!
In the midst of the hectic return drive a cartridge jams or some other problem occurs, your loader pulls out the spare gun and you don’t even notice there is a problem, the shooting continues uninterrupted. Three perfectly identical guns in weight, balance and trigger pulls. It sort of makes sense if you have invested millions in your grouse moor!
A set of 3 Westley Richards 20g sidelocks would cost £172,500.00 and last a few generations, a 500 brace day of grouse shooting to 8 guns would cost £100,800.00 and last about 8 hours!
Congratulations to John Allison and his team for putting on a superb event ‘The Great British Shooting Show’ at Stoneleigh Park International Centre this weekend. I think it fair to say that there was ‘something for everyone’ at the exhibition, from best guns to air guns and everything in-between. I am sure that under John’s enthusiastic management this show will just grow and grow, becoming the ‘must attend’ show for anyone interested in the shooting sport in all its various forms.
Having just returned from exhibiting at three shows in USA during January and early Feb, I was personally in no mood for yet another show. With show burn out and jet lag I was ready to find fault and finding faults is something I believe I’m quite good at! The drive into the show was easy, the parking was easy, the entry was easy, the halls were spacious, carpeted and warm, there was food and drink, places to sit and rest and most importantly for all, there were people, lots of people.
I have never attended a show with the sole objective of selling things on the day, I take the long view, which in our case is showing the product we make in the flesh. We can put advertisements in the press, photographs on instagram and other social media but there is nothing quit like actually letting people see the products themselves.
This show for us has given literally thousands of people over the weekend the opportunity to see our guns and rifles, see our clothing and leather products which they can find in our shop and online and generally let them know “this is what we do”, and for that John, we are very grateful.