A Brace Of Rare Big Game Rifles Sold Through Westley Richards Agency

Undoubtedly two of the most iconic cartridges to ever come from the British gun making trade must be Rigby’s .416 and Gibbs’ .505 Magnum. Steeped in safari legend, the mere mention of these two big bore rounds evokes images of big tuskers, old dagga boys and the larger than life characters that used them. Both cartridges have been around for well over a century, and remain two of the most popular cartridges among dangerous game hunters today. It goes without saying that the original rifles chambered for these rounds are among the most coveted rifles out there.

The first rifles chambered for these cartridges were ground breaking developments for Big Game hunters. The rifles themselves were built on the new magnum length Mauser ’98 bolt actions that were very well made, extremely reliable and far more affordable than double rifles. Secondly, these big rifles shot cartridges that matched the ballistics of cartridges like the .470 3 ¼” NE or the .500 3” NE.

This was power previously only available in a double rifle and these new big bore bolt action rifles could carry up to 4 rounds. Furthermore, the two cartridges were similarly shaped and their “big” designs offered ample case capacity that made for low chamber pressure. The cases also had long necks for tightly holding the big bullets, a benefit for the rounds in the magazine of heavy recoiling rifles. All these characteristics were, and still remain, reliable combinations for pursuing the World’s most dangerous game.

Original Gibbs .505 Magnum built in 1927.

Safe to say the British trade hasn’t made “many” of anything, but even when put into perspective, original .416 Rigby and .505 Gibbs bolt action rifles are not only some of the most desirable, they’re also some of the rarest. Less than 200 .416 Rigby rifles were produced between its introduction in 1911 and the beginning of WWII. In the case of the mighty .505 Gibbs, somewhere between 70 to 80 were only ever produced. Low production numbers by any standards and, in rifles that were very much intended for hard use, one must wonder just how many survived much less stayed original?

Being that the rifles are so rare, I’ve encountered very few in my career, and to have one of each offered for sale at the same time, is an even rarer moment still.

The J.Rigby & Co. Mauser Sporting Big Game rifle in .416 calibre shown here was shipped in 1913 and must have been among some of the first made. It is built on the original magnum length action made for John Rigby and his new .416 cartridge. The rifle has a 24” barrel with a sleeved front sight and sling swivel and Rigby’s pattern quarter rib, a cocking piece flip up peep sight, two folding leaf rear sights and the classically shaped Rigby stock. Even though the rifle is 105 years old, I am sure it feels as sturdy and sound today as it did the day it was finished.

The George Gibbs rifle chambered in .505 Magnum was made in 1927. A hulk of a rifle also built on an original magnum length Mauser action with a 26” Vickers barrel, island rear sight and banded front sight with a folding sight hood. The massive size of the action and barrel are appropriately scaled for the equally large cartridge that propels a bullet, one-half inch in diameter, at 2200 fps. This rifle was built for one purpose and it serves this purpose very well.

Original .416 Rigby built in 1913.

The long single square bridge magnum length Mauser ’98 action of the .416 Rigby.

These are two rifles that are not only an iconic representative of a bygone era but they still remain very useful tools for the pursuit of dangerous game or as a cornerstone of a fine gun collection.

Post Script:

Both rifles have been sold prior to the posting of this blog. These are indeed rare and desirable guns and, as it goes with items like these, they are quickly sold. Our method of selling such guns is much more discreet than most other dealers. If these are the types of investment grade firearms you might be interested in, please contact us. We would like very much to know you and add you to our list of discerning clients.

In the U.S. please call “L.D.” McCaa

+1 850 677 3688   ld@westleyrichards.com

U.K. and other International Clients please call Ricky Bond

+44 (0)121 333 1900   ricky@westleyrichards.co.uk 

Westley Richards ‘Used Gun’ Service

Since the 1950’s, Westley Richards has been one of the few English gun makers dealing in second hand guns and rifles by all makers. To this day the sale of used firearms remains a very important part of our daily business. With a globally recognised name, a very popular website and blog, a dedicated US Agency and an extensive sales network developed over the last 60 years, we have a diverse set of tools to market guns and rifles all over the World.

Today our on-line presence is at the core of our marketing. Using a combination of on-line tools such as a high traffic website, a blog with a devoted readership and a faithful following on social media, Westley Richards is easy to find and access from virtually anywhere in the World.

The new Westley Richards website is an updated and easy to navigate site that features our ‘used gun’ section prominently next to our retail site, history page and of course, information about the new guns and rifles we make. In addition to our website, our blog The Explora reaches a diverse group of buyers with different buying habits. We are also well known and easily recognised for our world class photography and, due in part to showcasing those efforts, we have a very large following on Instagram and Facebook.

In conjunction with our global reach Westley Richards also maintains an agency in our largest market, the United States. Well into its third decade the U.S. Agency is the factory’s first point of contact for our American clients and it serves as a conduit for the guns, rifles and rare ephemera we bring to market. The Agency can help move guns back and forth overseas and has a full-time manager, ‘LD’ McCaa, to acquire and sell guns in the U.S. Now located in northwest Florida, the Westley Richards Agency is more accessible than ever, with a stunning retail shop complemented by a diverse selection of fine used guns and rifles.

We believe different guns require differing marketing strategies, a sales approach that is novel when compared to the style that seems to prevail in the U.S. gun market today. It stands to reason that an inexpensive box lock will require a different sales approach compared to a rare, one of a kind gun. With our multifaceted approach, we can effectively market and sell guns and rifles of all makes and models and at all price points. Just one more example of what sets Westley Richards apart from the competition.

We are constantly looking for more high-quality inventory and would be delighted to discuss with you single and multiple firearm consignments.

LD McCaa at guns@westleyrichards.com for USA enquires.

Ricky Bond at guns@westleyrichards.co.uk for UK & Rest of The World enquiries.

Here are just a few examples of the high grade firearms that we have already sold this year.

W.J.Jeffery .600 NE Snap Action Underlever Double Rifle. The only Snap Action Under Lever .600 NE built by W.J.Jeffery since WWII.

David McKay Brown .470 3 ¼” NE Round Action Double Rifle. One of only a handful of double rifles built by this renowned maker.

Westley Richards 12g Anson & Deeley Fixed Lock Pigeon gun. 1930’s vintage and in near mint condition.

Westley Richards .577 3” NE Droplock Double Rifle Cased in Oak and Alligator Leather.

Westley Richards Pair of 16g Droplock Shotguns complete in motor case.

A Superb Purdey .246 Double Rifle.

Highlighting rare guns and rifles, regardless of the maker or the price, is one of the great features of this Blog. A wonderful high condition small bore double rifle has recently come through our doors and it is certainly one worthy of being highlighted here. A rifle that checks all the boxes for the collector of fine guns and one that has caused quite a stir at the factory.

Made in 1927 this J. Purdey & Sons Self Opening Double Rifle is chambered in the company’s .246 caliber and remains in remarkable original condition. Retaining nearly all the original color hardening and barrel black as well as the original pad and untouched wood, this is one of the highest condition between the War Purdey rifles we have ever encountered. Built on the famous Beesley Patent Self Opening Sidelock Ejector action it is strengthened with a bolstered frame, third bite and sideclips. The rifle is a pleasure to handle being very slim and appropriately sized for Purdey’s smallest proprietary cartridge. Adorned in Purdey’s house Rose & Scroll this is yet another example of the between the Wars quality that, in my mind, makes this engraving pattern and this era of gun making so famous.

Introduced in 1923 the .246 Purdey hurled a 100gr bullet at just under 3,000 fps and was described in Purdey’s advertising as “one of the most up-to-date small bore rifles for deer, buck and wild boar it is one of the fastest double rifles made…”. While the .246 Flanged matched the ballistics of cartridges that are exceedingly popular today, the same as the .369 Purdey, it never reached much popularity. Still available in the 1940’s the cartridge was simply ahead of its time and very few rifles were made by Purdey’s in this caliber; just 13 according to Donald Dallas’ book.

Finding such a rare rifle in such high original condition is a rare feat in and of itself, but this little gun had a few more stories to tell. Stuck to the right side of the butt stock is a tattered label from Spain’s Patrimonio Nacional that administers and manages the assets ceded to the Spanish State by the Crown. In a call to our colleagues at Purdey’s, we were told the ledgers state:

Completed 12th July 1927 for the King of Spain

Barrel length: 25 1/2″

Stock length: 15 5/8″

Weight: 9lbs 13oz

While the ledgers are a bit vague stating simply the “King of Spain” King Alfonso XIII, who reigned from 1886 to 1931, was a well-known patron of Purdey’s and known to be a very keen shot and avid hunter. +

One can draw their own conclusions from these clues but nevertheless, it only adds to the mystique of such a rifle. Simply put this is an excellent example of a very rare rifle, from a storied time period, by a World-renowned maker, in extremely high original condition and with royal provenance. There’s really nothing else a collector of fine guns can ask for.

Westley Richards Agency USA

It’s fair to say that we in the U.S. have a long-held and deep appreciation of the best English gun makers. This explains why their order books are so often filled with the names of American clients. Underlining the point, Westley Richards has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success here and, over the years, gained a loyal, enthusiastic following. As Westley Richards enters its third decade of serving our clients through a dedicated Agency – and after more than two hundred years in business – the firm now stands as the only English gun maker with a flagship store here in the United States. Indeed, at a time when it seems other companies are scaling back their presence in America, Westley Richards is, we are happy to say, growing and expanding.

This fall we opened a newly renovated and fully stocked Agency in a brand-new location in the town of Gulf Breeze – just across the bay from the beautiful city of Pensacola in Florida’s Northwest Panhandle. One of the main reasons for relocating was to make it a lot easier for many of our customers to reach us.

We are now just a day’s drive from Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham and Atlanta – and only one flight away from eleven different international U.S. Airports. Add the wonderful weather, crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, friendly people and sheer positive energy of the place and you can see why moving here was such an easy decision!

The new Agency itself is housed in an old warehouse space that has been tastefully repurposed to our design. While it is impossible to replicate the history, grandeur and ambience of our factory in England, the new showroom has all of the hallmarks that make it still recognizably Westley Richards – an inviting and relaxing atmosphere where you will find a level of service you would expect from one of the world’s most prestigious names in gun making. We also stock the same carefully assembled range of leather goods, shooting accessories and apparel offered in our English showroom and factory. The perfect environment for customers to see, touch and feel the quality for which Westley Richards is famed.

I am proud to say the Westley Richards’ promise, to make “as good a gun as can be made”, is matched by our commitment to ensuring a great all-round customer experience. In today’s world, where most things can be bought online with the click of a button, we believe a ‘bricks and mortar’ store allows us to deliver a truly personal service where customers are given all the time, care and attention they need. With a U.S. Agency run by an expert team that holds to the same exacting standards as those of Westley Richards in England, we look forward to welcoming you to Gulf Breeze and sharing with you our pursuit of excellence.

A Lovely Pre-owned J. Purdey & Sons .375 Double Rifle

Purdey 375 cased

While there are many factors that come into play when evaluating a gun for purchase, one of the main criteria I look for is that the gun is in a configuration that is relevant and desirable to today’s shooter. These same features also usually measure up for the collector and when present on a gun make it that much more desirable. Guns and rifles made by the best and most well-known makers with features that are hallmarks of that maker, are often times the most appealing types to me.

Currently for sale at the Westley Richards U.S. Agency is a J. Purdey & Sons Beesley Patent Self Opening Sidelock Ejector Double Rifle chambered in .375 H&H Rimless Magnum. Completed in the early 2000’s, this relatively rare London Best double rifle is in both a practical configuration for a hunter as well as having all the hallmark Purdey features collectors look for.

The Beesley Patent Self Opener is the heart and soul of Purdey’s side by side shotguns and double rifles. The closing of the barrels compresses a set of “lifters” that protrude from the action’s water table, thus compressing the main springs of the actions and cocking the tumblers. Upon opening, the pressure from the main springs pushes on the barrel flats and the barrels spring open. My personal experience is that the heavy, large bore rifles such as .500 NE or the .577 NE can be quite cumbersome to close on the self-opening design. However, this .375 caliber rifle closes effortlessly, yet opens smoothly with very positive ejection and quicker reload; the same benefits to a big game hunter as it is a for a wing shooter in a shotgun. This rifle handles more like a small bore shotgun than a heavy express rifle, yet the 10 lbs. 9 oz. weight handles recoil well when the rifle is shot from shooting sticks or a rest.

James Purdey #29530-671

Proofed in 2002, and coincidentally featured in Donald Dallas’ “Purdey Gun & Rifle Makers The Definitive History” (2000 Quiller & Sons Ltd.) this rifle includes Purdey’s easily recognizable bolstered frame, incorporates Purdey’s third grip rib extension and has sideclips, all classic reinforcements found on Purdey rifles. In addition, one finds all the features to be expected on a Best quality gun such as a bolted safety and gold lined cocking indicators, rolled trigger guard and hinged front trigger, a trap grip cap, an extended bottom tang and a strap over the comb. The stock has a right hand cheekpiece, full pistol grip, and is finished in a leather pad and the forend, Purdey’s very distinctly shaped beavertail, has a push rod forend latch. Finally, the action is brushed and the clean finish showcases the house Rose & Scroll engraving nicely.

The 23” chopper lump barrels have a quarter rib with two folding leaf sights regulated for 100 yds and 200 yds respectively and factory installed claw mounts and a Schmidt & Bender scope which is complemented with a ramp front sight with a flip up moon bead and Purdey’s unmistakable “clam shell” front sight protector.

Complete in the maker’s leather case, this rifle is in the classic Purdey double rifle configuration and combines a quick release scope and the versatile .375 H&H with the added benefits and attributes of a double rifle. A rifle that incorporates all the hallmarks of this great maker in a gun that is relevant and desirable to today’s hunter.

Find this rifle and many others like it available on our used gun website at: www.westleyrichards.com//wrusedguns

J. Rigby & Co. – Bolt Action Versus Double Rifle?

J.-Rigby-#6825-1063-2

When picking a dangerous game rifle, there is the ever present discussion of bolt action versus double rifle. While I think I can make a strong argument in favour of either platform, at the end of the day, it comes down to which style you as a hunter are most comfortable with. Safari season is in full swing and as our friends and clients are in pursuit of some of the World’s largest and most dangerous game, two rifles in our inventory come to mind.

The bolt action is chambered in Rigby’s venerable .416 Bore and built using an original, near mythical, Rigby pre-war magnum length single square bridge Mauser action. These actions were made by Mauser to Rigby specs and represent some of the finest bolt action receivers to ever be manufactured. The gun had a new stock and barrel by Rigby around the early 1990’s (1994 London Proofs). While the .416 Rigby won its popularity from Ruark’s writing as much as anything, the cartridge certainly had the performance to back up that popularity, which it still enjoys today among dangerous game hunters as well as collectors. Besides being in what I would argue was Rigby’s most famous cartridge, there are a few reasons I like this particular rifle; being based on an original single square bridge action but being stocked and barrelled to new is a great combination. It has also always been my experience that guns made under Paul Robert’s tenure at Rigby, as this rifle was, always function with great reliability and shoot equally as well, this rifle keeps with that tradition.

Rigby-#6825-1099-2

The double rifle I have in mind is another classic from Rigby’s; a best quality sidelock ejector in .470 3 ¼” NE. This rifle was made circa 1911 and incorporates Rigby’s patented third grip or club head rib extension. Interestingly, production of this rib extension overlapped with that of the much talked about Bissell Rising bite. Certainly one cannot argue with the strength of a screw grip type action and Rigby must have thought the same. Additionally, the rifle is chambered in .470 NE. John Rigby was a noted expert on firearms and ballistics of the day and this is the cartridge we see many of these best quality rifles chambered for. Additional classic features of this Rigby best quality rifle are the dipped-edge locks, the carved fences and the original and near perfect 28” barrels.

J-Rigby-&-Co-#17722-795-3 J-Rigby-&-Co-#17722-808-3

As I said before, I think I could argue just as convincingly for one type of rifle as the other. A double rifle’s near instant second shot versus 4 rounds in a bolt action that, with some practice, can shoot two shots as fast as a gun with a second barrel. It’s an age-old argument that will rage around fires in hunting camps for many more hunting seasons. No doubt the best way to solve the debate it is to simply have one of each!

Please see both rifles and many other high quality additions on our new used gun website: J. Rigby & Co. Bolt Action , J. Rigby & Co. Double Rifle .

The Show Goes On

WR Antique Arms Show 2017

For those of us in the gun and outdoor industry, we find ourselves in the thick of the show season. My colleague, Ricky Bond, and I returned to the U.S. Agency after the Dallas Safari Club convention only to unload and re-pack for what will be a month on the road attending the Antique Arms Show and the Safari Club International Convention, both held in Las Vegas. Westley Richards has been a mainstay at both shows for many, many years and it is always a time of year that we look forward to. While Simon owned and operated one of the best gun makers in the World, he was a gun dealer at heart and he always spoke fondly of the Antique Arms show. Recalling a blog post of Simon’s where he asserted that at no other time, anywhere in the world, is there a larger gathering of fine guns under one roof, this is quite obvious as I walk the isles of the show.  It is a cast of colourful characters, historic and collectible firearms and it remains one of the few, and really the best, of the true gun shows left in the U.S. Safari Club International’s convention is two weeks later and it is the largest outdoor show on U.S. soil.

For those of us who are in pursuit of the outdoor lifestyle there is really no other place where one can meet outfitters, taxidermist, gun makers and equipment companies from all over the World in one place. It truly is a spectacle to behold and the four days the show runs is barely enough time to take it all in. Prior to my employment with Westley’s I would notice how many people frequented the Westley Richards booth and I am looking forward to meeting these faithful clients as well as catching up with old friends.

One other aspect of this time of year that Ricky and I are looking forward to is the week between the shows that allows time for visiting clients. Simon and I often discussed being accessible to our customers not only in the Agency but to travel to see them as well. To that point, we schedule time to visit our clients and offer showings in the comfort and privacy of their homes or offices. This also provides an opportunity to pick up items for our used gun inventory. This is a service we offer year round and we are happy to schedule such visits at the convenience of our clients. I encourage any readers of The Explora to make it a point to visit both the Antique Arms show and the SCI convention and this year is as good a time as any. I would also encourage the readers of the blog to feel free to contact us to schedule a visit and private showing on their home turf. This is a great way to see, up close, what Westley Richards offers as well as to discuss their personal collection and how Westley Richards might be able to assist in buying and selling guns for their firearms portfolio.

Show Schedules:

Antique Arms Show: Jan 20th – 22nd, 2017
Westgate Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Safari Club International: February 1-4, 2017
Mandalay Bay Convention Centre, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Back From Case Colour Hardening – The .470 Engraved by Paul Lantuch.

Westley Richards .470 Carved by Paul Lantuch. (2 of 5)

Here we are again! The colour on colour off question! I know that 99% of people who have seen the previous post of this rifle before it went to case colour hardening will say “take it off”. A seemingly easy answer as the engraving obviously stands out so well when silver and will stand out even more now that the colour is on, the steel will be grey and retain a deep back ground.

I have mixed feelings as I do like the case colour and I started this project with the client based on the old case colour hardened R.B.Rodda rifles which I have always admired. The engraving has great depth and so it does stand out and with a little careless use in the bush the rifle will slowly polish off, come to life and shine out!

untitled (4 of 5)

Westley Richards .470 Carved by Paul Lantuch. (5 of 5)

Westley Richards .470 Carved by Paul Lantuch. (3 of 5)

Westley Richards .470 Carved by Paul Lantuch. (4 of 5)

As The New Shooting Season Commences, Some New Colour from Westley Richards.

Westley Richards New Shooting Socks 2016

Once you have your Tweed shooting suit and your green waterproof jacket there are little areas left to create your own style. To that end I have always been annoyed at the lack of choice of caps and shooting stockings when you visit shops.

In an effort to change that for this season we have had made a wide variety of hand knitted shooting stockings which will add a splash of colour to every outfit. I would like to think people will now be spoiled for choice with this range beautifully designed and produced stockings which are each hand knitted on 4 needles by home based workers in England using the finest Cashmere and other high quality wools.

Each pair of Westley Richards shooting stockings is presented in a specially designed tube package which makes for an easy to wrap, perfect gift!

Westley Richards Shooting Socks.

 

Our range of caps now has 20 different tweeds in 3 styles. All our Tweed comes from the Lovat Mill in the Scottish Borders and are made in England by one of the countries oldest hat makers.

 

Westley Richards 2016 Caps

WR & Co Caps-37512

These new products will be online in our web shop later this week and I hope that you will find something you like!

The Road To A Westley Richards Detachable Lock .410 – A Kind Letter from the Owner of the little .410.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (1 of 1)

As an impressionable young man I remember a letterhead from Walter Clode with part of the heading “Cable Address: DETACHABLE LONDON”. Now if that wouldn’t get the attention of someone like myself nothing would, little suspecting where this would all someday lead.

Fast forward quite a number of years to the Dallas Safari Club Show and making the acquaintance of Walter’s son Simon. I think we both knew of one another but had never met. Mr. Clode, in his charming but purpose driven manner put an absolutely beautiful detachable lock .410 in my hands and, as all good salesmen know how to do, simply waited. By this point in my life I’d seen a good many truly best guns and had some idea of what I was looking at.

First thought was “is this some one off special project gun that was not likely to be repeated or was he actually producing guns of this quality today?” After some due diligence it was determined, yes he really was producing guns like this and, more importantly, Simon Clode was regarded by people who were in a position to know as absolutely honest and reliable in his dealings. Very shortly after the Dallas show I left a call for Simon and he called me back from Las Vegas. I placed a verbal order, the order forms were sent and so it began.

I had a really good rifle blank I’d saved since the very early 70’s and decided it had been saved long enough. I also had a very dear friend by the name of Geoffrey Casbard, a world class London engraver who I’d actually met through Walter Clode in about 1969. One phone call and Geoffrey was on board for whatever was required.

Wood and engraver selections were now made leaving several more things to be determined. Barrel length was set at 28 inches. This was to be a gun to really use, not just to swing around in the parlor. The next decision was about the forend, English splinter or beavertail? I truly like the keen, uninterrupted lines of straight grips and splinter forends. I also knew 99% of the shots fired were going to be on the skeet field and sub bores get very hot very quickly, so a beavertail it would be. I had a nice .410 Parker with a classic Parker beavertail which I thought and still think the handsomest of all the beavertail patterns. Measurements were made, photos taken and this was added into the specs.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (4 of 7)

Personally, I have never been a fan of round action guns other than Dixon types so panels and drop points it would be. Keen lines with crisp edges please my eye and I’m the one who has to look at it.

I think everyone but me should have automatic safeties so non automatic it is. Dimensions were easy enough and with a few minor adjustments that was settled. High gloss finished to be backed down a bit to a sort of slackum look.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (1 of 7)

On to the engraving. I’ve often thought modern guns and their owners place far too much emphasis on engraving, sometimes at the expense of the fit, finish and lines of the gun itself. However, when it came right down to it, I was just as fixated on the engraving as all the others I’d been critical of. A progression of large scroll only to large scroll with game scenes to small scroll with game scenes began. By the time I had sorted out the engraving Geoffrey died. My friend was gone and another decision needed to be made. Simon arranged for David and Brad Tallet to do the work, David the fine scroll and Brad the game scenes and carved detonators. I’d been collecting drawings for engravers half my life and this part was fun. A beautiful thistle type plant called Eryngo grows in our pastures and photos and botany drawings of it were sent to the Tallets. It came down to small scroll with game scenes and the Eryngo carved on the detonating. The great debate about colors on or colors off would come later.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (7 of 7)

After 930 some days of looking at that damn blog almost eveyt day to see if there was some mention of this recent obsession the big day finally arrived.

I have a large steel plating board and some 10,000 rounds of .410s squirreled away as well as a regulation skeet field about 400 yards from the house and pucker time was about here.

A gun dealer friend from Dallas brought the gun to me and I wasn’t sure I wanted him or anyone else watching what was about to happen next. What if it didn’t shoot where I was looking? Worse yet, what if it did shoot where I thought I was looking but I couldn’t hit anything with it?.410s can be difficult to make shoot to the same point of impact. What if it plated perfectly and I still couldn’t hit anything with it?

As it turned out, I shot it beyond any expectations complete with my wife and the dealer friend there to witness things. I generally shoot by myself and that requires pulling my own targets which doesn’t make things any easier. Still, targets I had little expectation of hitting just kept breaking. With Teague “skeet” chokes in both barrels. Westley Richards 1/2 oz loads of #8 English shot. Next I went to Winchester 3″ 3/4 oz of # 8 1/2 shot. With crossing shots well off the skeet field at a paced 34 yards still most of the targets broke. I had no idea any .410 could do things like this much less with me doing the shooting.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (1 of 1)-2Centre is two shots, one from each barrel imposed on each other. 1/2oz. 2 1/2″ W.R. # 8 shot. at 22 yards.Upper left is left barrel, one shot 3/4oz. Winchester #8 1/2 shot. 3″ cartridge at 23 yards. Upper right is same, right barrel. Any bird in the centre of these patterns dies!    Board is 5′ X 9′.

Finally we went to the plating board. Both barrels to the same point of impact and remarkable patterns at 23 yards. At 30 yards the Winchester 3/4 ounce loads were delivering killing patterns. I Think there might be a lesson here about the perceived need for full chokes in .410s. At least in this particular one. I simply never expected it to perform like this.

Over the years I’ve had a fair number of best British guns made and I must say dealing with Westley Richards has been an absolute pleasure and by far the most enjoyable experience with the British gun trade I’ve ever had.

Well done, Westley Richards.
And thank you Simon Clode.
Thank you very much indeed.

Making best guns is challenging, making a gun for one of my Fathers customers from the 60’s, who has handled more best guns in his lifetime than I have had hot dinners, is even more of a challenge, it was something I wanted to get 100% perfect. Receiving the results from the first outing is very satisfying and hearing the field performance outstripped expectations is a delight. I think the only disagreement we had with the whole project was that DWB had ordered a Huey case for the gun and I had to insist in the end that it was inappropriate for a little English gun to be in an American case, it needed a VC case from the same factory! Simon.

Westley Richards .410 Detachable Lock. (5 of 7)