A Westley Richards .460 Weatherby – A Beast for A Professional Hunters Rifle

WR & Co .460 Weatherby-45903-Edit

At Westley Richards we are lucky enough to build a multitude of large calibre big game bolt action rifles.  All of these tend to be in the classic British calibres, .318 WR, .375 H &H, .416 Rigby, .500 Jeffery, .505 Gibbs, with the odd European classic for driven big game hunting.

Whilst hunting in Africa a few years back, a very good Professional Hunting colleague asked if we could put together a stopping rifle for him.  Naturally the answer was ‘yes’ and so then came the classic question of calibre?  At the time he was using a .505 Gibbs that he had borrowed and found to be adequate and so this was the immediate choice.  A fine and reputable calibre, capable of stopping the largest of big game.

The order was raised back at the factory, but then later on a phone call came ‘can you build the rifle in .460 Weatherby?’  Well those of you in the know are very aware of the ‘brute’ introduced by Roy Weatherby in 1958.  At the time it was the most powerful commercially loaded big game cartridge, capable of pushing 500 grain projectiles well over 2600 feet per second. Its reputation was formidable and whilst the idea of the power impressed many, the ability to shoot it was quite another!!!!!

So, back to the rifle in question.  Yes it is a .460 Weatherby and yes it is a beast!  That said knowing the history of the calibre we were careful to make sure that the stock was slightly thicker at the forend to obtain more grip, the open sights you will see are unusual style for our rifles and were manufactured specifically as wrap arounds so that the bearing surface on the barrel was the absolute maximum. The rifle is set up specifically for open sights so the stock is shaped specifically for this and set the foresight bead to hit point of aim.

The final result is  a very handy and quite frankly devastating stopping rifle made to the PH’s exact requirements ‘bespoke’, like all our guns and rifles.

Just be sure to stand behind it when the ‘beast’ goes off!

21 thoughts on “A Westley Richards .460 Weatherby – A Beast for A Professional Hunters Rifle

  1. Trigger, another great bit of kit. Could you be so kind as to tell me what knife is in the picture on this post? I’ve seen it in a few of your posts recently and really like the blade shape.
    Many thanks

    • The knife is one we have made and is marked as such WR & Co. and available from us. We tend to make the knives bespoke also and have made in various sizes and with different grips.

      Simon

  2. Mr. Clode and Mr. Trigger.

    This must surely be the working rifle that all others, is judged by -simply outstanding!

    Best regards,
    Peter

  3. Having used the 460 Weatherby I think your customer will very quickly change his mind about it being a “devastating stopping caliber” it does nothing that many “lesser” calibers would do without the crunching recoil, and to use it in African temperatures I think it will need to be loaded down to be of any reliable use at all, I have always thought of it as a caliber to impress people at the range, and nothing more.

    • Chris,
      Fortunely For me, my decision is based on field experience. Otherwise it would be a tremendous waste of exquisite craftsmanship, time and a substantial investment.
      I’m no stranger to the heavy weights, in fact I primarily use a 577. I have a good friend who’s favourite calibre is 600 that I’ve used and seen used numerous times on elephant. I also had and used an eight and half pound 450 Dakota, extensively, loaded to the max with devastating results.
      This rifle to me is the epitomy of a stopping rifle.
      Good hunting
      Leon

      • Leon,
        The 577NE is an excellent choice, the right bullet weight, at the right velocity, I have nothing against large bores, (I have a 577 NE Westley Richards that I shoot myself), it just seems to me that the 460 does nothing better than any of the more conventional calibers available, with the added problem of excess velocity to get the paper figures up. Enjoy your new rifle anyway.

        • Chris,

          Thanks for your response and I totally agree. The 577 is my absolute favourite for hunting dangerous game. However when it comes to long range back-up shots at fast departing big game or plains game, for that matter, often at less than ideal angles it leaves a lot to be desired. Where the animal must be put down or stopped the 460 and its brethren come into their own.
          Thanks for your comments.
          Good hunting
          Leon

  4. Trigger
    Stunning rifle!, whatever calibre is the customer’s choice, we can see that Westley Richards produce only their very best! and again that timber fantastic!

    You spoke about the sights but didn’t mention what distances the rifle sights are set up for, I can see one standing and three folded, am I right in saying this is typical for a rifle of this type and calibre? On the “Ovundo” rifles the sights appear to me to be more of a Military style with sliding elevation? Correct me if I am wrong.
    Many years back makers like “Lyman” “Parkers” “Dicksons of Edinburgh” made Striker
    mounted sporting sights with elevation and windage that gave a much longer sight base, would this type of sight not be practical on such a rifle, or indeed useful?

    Great Post, Fantastic Blog so very interesting no matter what subject.

  5. Thank You for sharing.

    It is an interesting choice of calibre for a working rifle. I’m bursting with techy questions about it.

    Wishing Leon and his clients and team many decades of happy hunting with that rifle as their insurance.

    • I hadn’t realised that the.450 Dakota, like the .450 Rigby is based on the .416 Rigby case, hence the same approximate size and capacity as the Wetherby, just lighter loaded and without the belt.

      In wildcat form, the .475 A&M was a .460 Wetherby case necked up, and it was usually brutally loaded, eg 600 gr bullet at C 2,600 f/s. So forget a follow-up shot if the first one doesn’t work.

      .476, with a rim and at sensible pressures and velocities is synonymous with Westley Richards.

      Hmmm, without a rim or a belt and a 120 grain capacity case…

      • Keith,

        Thanks for your comments! One of the fundamental reasons for going with a Westley Richards is that I believe it’s the best there is. To walk, hunt and provide insurance in the field it’s paramount to have absolute confidence in the rifle.
        Would love to guide you using your 476 WR 😉
        Happy hunting
        Leon

  6. Thank you for sharing this interesting article about Hunters’ rifle. From your write up and analysis, I think this rifle is every hunter’s dream come through. I only have Uncle that is into Hunting full time, I will definitely recommend this rifle. Thanks a million once more.

    • Hi Robert

      Prices now start from £29,500.00 so you have to be a seriously dedicated PH with an appreciation for such fine rifles.

      Best regards

      Trigger

      • I apologize for taking so long to thank you for the information. I bought a new Weatherby Mark V in 1980 chambered for the .460 and shot factory loads as well as reloads. I could only find 350gr Hornady and 400gr Speer flat points (really designed for the .45-70, I believe)and to this day regret selling it around 1985. I grew to dislike the sling stud mounted on the forend instead of on the barrel (I’m sure you know why). What encouraged the decision to sell it was upon shooting it one time, in the standing off – hand position, the rifle somehow recoiled into my trigger hand and dumped the cartridges from the magazine into the half- foot of snow that had fallen the night before. My fault of course, but I lost faith in my confidence to control the rifle as I should have.
        Back to the price you mentioned, I stand in awe of the ability to create such a magnificent piece at anywhere near that dollar amount. I look at the photo from time to time, I still think the rifle is more elegant than the $150,000 + double rifles that are out there. Incredible combination of art and function. To each his own. …

        Best wishes, R.B.

  7. I own a Westley Richards 460 Weatherby, similar to the one in the photo.
    It is a fantastic( and beauty) rifle.The recoils not so brutal…..it just push back,
    this shows the quality of the design and engineering, only possible with the experience of Westley Richards in doing this kind of rifles over the years.

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