I am often asked what guns I shoot, Westley Richards ‘of course’ but more specifically this pair of lightweight, classic 12g hand detachable lock guns with single selective triggers. The guns each weigh 5lbs 13.5ozs., they are light and fast, at least they used to be fast, when I was fast! I have enjoyed shooting these guns for many years and they have worked well for me in Spain on partridges, Yorkshire for grouse and everywhere I have been fortunate to shoot Pheasant. I use paper cased 2.5″ cartridges, 5’s normally.
I am sure lightweight 12’s are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for my type of shooting I find them perfect, I shoot for pleasure and the social occasion so I am not worried about not being able to use 2 3/4″ 36g No4 cartridges as quite frankly the shot would still whistle past the birds tail. I prefer the trade off of comfortable guns to stand or walk with, guns the loader can load fast (as I need more shots!) and the familiarity of guns I have used on many occasion. In reality these are like a pair of 16’s in weight, but with a bit more punch. Perfect!
I mentioned last year, in a post I did about a single lightweight gun that we had, that the Westley Richards lightweight guns are relatively scarce, I have seen only a few pairs in my time here. I actually think lightweight guns in 12 are relatively scarce in any make.
We continue to build this model gun, the barrels are a key part to reducing the weight, they need beautifully made barrels with less wall thickness than a normal gun would have leading to the action which is also slightly smaller than a normal gun. Wood selection is important as well, dense heavy wood is out, well matured and lighter wood is the choice. Half a pound doesn’t seem a lot of weight to take out of a gun but when you consider the forend of these guns is 8.2oz and consists of the wood, deeley catch, ejector box and forend iron, it actually is a lot.