Westley Richards ‘Gun Archive’ – The Droplock Shotgun

Firstly, thank you to all of your for your kind comments and unilateral support for all during these unusual times. Whilst no-one knows for sure how long this is all going to go on for, it does give us plenty of time to reflect on past adventures, pick up a good book and plan our future adventures and projects. As promised here is the next instalment of Droplock Shotguns which we hope you all enjoy.

  Two pairs of ‘Modele de Luxe’ 12 bore guns executed by the same engraver that at first appear the same yet on closer scrutiny demonstrate the individuality asked by the owners. The aim (no pun intended!) at Westley Richards, is to always produce something unique for the client, so that no gun or rifle can ever really be considered the same. Thankfully individual engravers have their own idiosyncrasies which distinguish them from one another. Over time and with a lot of handling you begin to recognise the work of particular engravers.  

An exceptional pair of 12 bore ‘Model de Grande Luxe’ shotguns engraved by Rashid Hadi. Rash was without question one of the finest engravers ever to put a cut to steel and his vivid imagination came up with some of our finest designs and creations.

 A classic pair of 16 bore shotguns built for traditional game shooting. The 16 bore remains one of the anomalies. We always seem to have one or two in production but it has never had the popularity of either the 12 or 20 bore. Interestingly it is considered one of the perfect bore to pattern guns and in its usual 6lb weight, makes a fantastic driven grouse gun. 

  The ‘Arab Horse’ guns were another interesting design concept, in this instance executed by Frederique Lepinois. 

 The quintessential ‘Gold Name’ gun, a model synonymous with Westley Richards since the advent of the hand detachable lock shotgun in 1897. As previously discussed, the ‘Gold Name’ rendition of a Westley Richards is gunmaking in its purest, perhaps most perfect form. There is nowhere to hide in the simplicity of the execution. 

 The flow of the elaborate etched scroll on this 20 bore shotgun demonstrates how visually important it is to work with the shape of the gun. The scrolls and leafs roll off from one another filling the space cleverly. This gun was bordered and lettered in platinum a departure from the more usual fine gold.

 The ‘Texan’ 20 bore featuring fine rose and scroll engraving and Texan game scenes.This gun has a very nice balance to the engraving that suits a traditional game gun.

 A 28 bore gun that combines elaborate scroll design with fine game scenes. 

 A magnificent pair of 20 bore ‘Model de Grande Luxe’ shotguns engraved by Vince Crowley. These guns show the influence of Rashid Hadi who was mentor to Vince for many years. The use of varying engraving techniques and materials on one project has become a signature of Vince’s ‘art gun’ executions.

 Another highly detailed execution by Vince Crowley in this instance a 28 bore, complete in alligator skin case.

 One of a pair of 28 bore shotguns utilising the etched technique of engraving. In this instance the main engraved surface is masked off with a ‘resist’ made from beeswax, aspheltum and turpentine, and a nitric acid solution is applied to the surface, the unmasked area being etched away. The background is then carefully textured and the main surface area engraved in the traditional manner. The etched background when executed cleanly gives a great contrast.

 A stunning little .410 engraved with fine rose and scroll, Bobwhite quail and carved leaf fences. One of the original modern production .410’s from the 1980’s this gun re-launched the droplock design into the collectors market and paved the way for subsequent bores and model introductions. 

   Two pairs of .410/28 bores built for friends. These guns illustrate very clearly how different peoples tastes can be. On the one hand you have a very Italianate design and yet the other shows bold English design.

  An interesting trio of guns consisting of a .410, 28 and 20 bore. Obviously intended for the USA, the scaled action frames mean that each gun has subtle differences in the final layout and execution. They are often an engravers nightmare!

 A wonderful little .410 executed by the Tallett family. The whole specifics of this gun were determined by its owner including the game scenes that were reproduced from William Harnden Foster’s ‘New England Grouse Shooting’. 

 A modern interpretation of the gun seen at the end of this posting. A beautiful little .410 built purposefully for quail shooting, it exemplifies the highest qualities expected of a modern Westley Richards shotgun.

 A very unusual set comprising of a .410 and 28 bore shotgun, embellished with scenes of elephant and buffalo! Not your usual choice of scenes for a pair of shotguns, but certainly very interesting! Once again these guns illustrate just how important design is in order to pull off a unique design.

 Another .410 quail gun. In this instance the game scenes on the action sides were close ups of the quails head, rather than full bird game scenes. It lends a more unusual look to the gun which works really well.

And finally an old masterpiece engraved by the legendary ‘Brown Brothers’. In recent decades they set the standard for ‘high art’ gun engraving producing some of the finest work ever seen. Self taught, they have mastered every technique of gun engraving and embellishment. 

 

The Quintessential Westley Richards Double Rifle

The most recent project completed and ready for delivery is this Best Quality Hand Detachable Lock rifle chambered in .500 3” NE. From the classic cartridge it is chambered for, to the timeless Droplock design and traditional house engraving, this is the quintessential Westley Richards double rifle in every way.

Westley Richards is credited with being the first to adapt the .500 Black Powder Express to a new smokeless propellant called Cordite, sometime around 1890. Offering a vast improvement in ballistics over the black powder loads best suited for deer or stag, the new nitro based smokeless powder load made the .500 Nitro Express a legitimate alternative to the much larger 8 and 4 bore black powder rifles historically used for animals such as elephant or buffalo.

Today’s .500 3” NE shoots a 570gr, .510” diameter bullet at a standard velocity of 2,100 fps delivering just shy of 6,000 ft lbs. of muzzle energy. However, the cartridge can be safely chambered in a rifle weighing about 11 lbs. For hunting large dangerous game, there are few rifles and cartridges that come in such a well-balanced package, combining such awesome ballistic performance in a manageable size and weight. This is the reason I believe the .500 NE remains one of the most popular double rifle cartridges ever produced.

With those new developments in propellants like Cordite, came improvements in the design and construction of rifles as well. Fast Forward over 100 years of gunmaking and we have what might be the pinnacle of double rifles, new Westley Richards rifles like this one.

Ordered as a scroll back action with Westley’s patented hand detachable locks, snap lever work and Model ‘C’ doll’s head extension, these features were invented in the 19th century and remain the foundation of Westley Richards double guns and rifles today.

In addition, the rifle’s standard features are disk set strikers, hinged front trigger, beaded trigger bow, extended guard tang, and a trap grip cap, beaded cheekpiece and drop points on a super deluxe walnut stock.

Finally, the rifle is tastefully adorned with Westley’s house engraving, an elegant small traditional scroll surrounding the Maker’s name in flowing banners on the sides of the action and, in this case, with an added pop of gold name engraving. This style of engraving, along with the geometric pattern on the cover plate, has been the firm’s signature pattern on best quality guns since before 1900.

This is a modern interpretation of what the firm has been producing for well over a one hundred years and truly is the quintessential Westley Richards double rifle. From the cartridge it is chambered for, to the action’s design and embellishments, this rifle encompasses so much of what has made Westley Richards such an enduring name in the world of gunmaking.

 

Westley Richards ‘Gun Archive’ – The Droplock Double Rifle

Well it seems that these are desperate times and so with the majority of us ‘non essentials’ on ‘lock down’ or similar, we decided to look through the Westley Richards archive and give all our followers a genuine reason to tell the wife why they are spending so much time in front of the computer!

Over the coming weeks we will publish weekly a selection of images specific to the models of guns and rifles that Westley Richards produce to remind you all that when this is all over we still have plenty to look forward to.

Our gunmakers are still in the factory as we speak, credit to them, continuing to produce the magnificent guns and rifles that the name Westley Richards has become synonymous with.

All stay safe and enjoy.

 A pair of ‘Modele de Luxe’ 7 x 57R double rifles with etched back elaborate scroll, carved fences and gold naming. The rifles were fitted with Westley Richards own take on the claw mount system with custom rings and bases scaled to suit the calibre. Small calibre double rifles are far less common in modern gunmaking than their larger cousins so it is always nice to have a couple coming through production.

 A beautiful single selective trigger, special lightweight double rifle in 9.3 x 62 depicting various scenes of Roe deer with deluxe scroll, raised carved steel and gold naming. This calibre is a classic for driven big game hunting in Europe as it has moderate recoil, yet still shoots a heavy bullet. 

 An exhibition .470 double rifle engraved by Paul Lantuch with carved game scenes, elaborate relief scroll and gold naming. All parts of the rifle were vividly case colour hardened to accentuate the engraving. Paul has since completed other masterpieces for Westley Richards which you will see in the coming weeks.

 A partly engraved .470 ‘Modele de Luxe’ double rifle, the pattern for which was based on an original Westley Richards shotgun as depicted on page 12 of ‘In Pursuit of The Best Gun’ the 200 year old history of Westley Richards. This rifle was one of the ‘Millennium’ series of guns and rifles all of which were commissioned for one patron.

A superb heavy frame .500 double rifle with a subtle variation on the traditional Westley Richards ‘house’ engraving format. This rifle has carved fences and a carved buffalo on the cover plate which add a personal touch of individuality. When the commission for this rifle was given we were asked to build it on a heavier frame so that a weight of 12lb to 12lb 8ozs could be obtained.

 Another very traditionally engraved double rifle in .500/.416 calibre. This rifle we scoped and regulated at 100 yards, making it a super buffalo gun for those trickier long shots.

  A ‘Modele de Luxe’ .500 double rifle that has never appeared on The Explora. When originally completed we were not in a position to photograph it, but thankfully the rifle passed back to us and we able to obtain some nice images. The rifle has elaborate scroll with game scenes in both traditional and carved format, the whole rifle accented with gold detailing.

 A fully carved side plated, single selective trigger .500 double rifle. Sadly one of the only images we have of this rifle which was part of a larger collection built for one client.

 This mighty .500 Jeffery calibre sideplated double rifle is one of only two built by Westley Richards since the introduction of the cartridge. It is a formidable round that at one time held the status of being the most powerful magazine rifle cartridge. 

   A .577 double rifle expertly engraved by Vince Crowley depicting various African scenes. The cover plate design on this rifle is unique in that it shows a pair of bull elephant as seen from the air in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. 

 A stunningly executed .500 double rifle. The original concept for this rifle was designed by Rashid Hadi and then executed by both he and Brad Tallett. Collaborations amongst engravers has become a feature of Westley Richards guns and rifles, taking the very best of skills and moulding them into singular masterpieces.  

 The .600 remains along with the .577, .500 and .470 nitro expresses, the bulk of the double rifle orders going through the Westley Richards factory. Double rifles are synonymous with the name Westley Richards and have remained in constant production since the development of modern smokeless powder. This rifle combines carved scenes with elaborate scroll and gold lettering.

 The only pair of .600 nitro express double rifles built by Westley Richards. Pairs of large calibre double rifles are rare by anyones standards, a pair of .600 even more so. These rifles have genuinely been used and are working tools as much as works of the gunmakers art.

A .243 Winchester and .600 nitro express double rifle original but as a consecutive pair to demonstrate the gunmakers ability to build scaled rifles at the extreme ends of the calibre range. Each rifle was fully carved and came in individual black alligator cases.

 The mighty .700/.577 one of only 3 ever built by Westley Richards. The cartridge was developed by Westley Richards and shoots a 900 grain .577 bullet. Each of the three big rifles completed depicted either elephant or pre-historic creatures, as quite frankly thats all you would really hunt with one!

Two Modern Westley Richards Rifles at the U.S. Agency

Two modern Westley Richards big bore rifles just arrived here at the U.S. Agency and are going up for sale on the used gun page of our website (https://www.wrusedguns.com/). These two rifles were ordered new by the customer at the turn of the 21st century and are being offered for sale for the first time.

Up first we have a Best Quality bolt action finished in 2003 and chambered for the ever popular .416 Rigby. Built on a modern magnum length, double square bridge Mauser action with a drop belly straddle floor plate, allowing four rounds down, and an inside the bow release. The action is topped with H&H style quick release mounts and 30mm rings that are properly engraved with the Maker’s name and serial number. The bolt body is jeweled or “spotted”, and the bolt knob is checkered with three panels. The bolt shroud is color hardened with “SAFE” inlaid in gold and is fitted with a Model 70 type, three-position safety.

The 24” barrel has a WR pattern quarter rib, with one standing Express sight inlaid with a gold pyramid (50 yds) and two folding leaves lined in gold (100, 150 yds). There is also a barrel band front sling swivel and Westley’s patent combination foresight with rearward folding sight hood and flip up night sight.

The Walnut stock is laid out perfectly with contrasting horizontal figure combined with vertical “fiddle back” running the length of the stock on both sides. The stock has a thin rubber pad, and a right hand English style cheekpiece, a color hardened trap grip cap and single recoil bar, traditional wrap point pattern checkering with Mullered borders and an ebony forend tip.

The rifle’s action, barrel and bottom metal retain their original black and “4. Cartridges” is engraved on the floor plate. The serial number is inlaid in gold on the trigger bow and the action screws, grip cap and recoil bar have a touch of engraving.

The rifle remains in as new condition.

The second rifle, also finished in 2003, is one of the modern Fixed Lock double rifles chambered in .470 3 ¼” NE. Westley Richards re-introduced the time tested A&D fixed lock rifle in the late 1990’s as a very high quality, English made double rifle aimed at the Professional Hunter. In its new incarnation, it was referred to as the “PH Model” and was a sort of modern day take on the White Hunter fixed lock rifles made by the firm just after WWII. Only, the new version of the A&D fixed lock rifle has always been made by the same gunmakers who build the Exhibition guns and rifles Westley Richards is so well known for. However, the fixed lock rifle comes with a minimum of standard options to keep the base price down.

The concept was promising but when one starts to add upgrades such as engraving or Westley’s patent foresight, the price quickly approached that of a Best Quality Droplock that those options are standard on. We also find that our famous Hand Detachable Lock, or Droplock, double rifle is priced very competitively compared to our counterparts in London. I am sure this also plays into the thought process for many of our clients who opt for the hand detachable lock version. As such, not many of the modern A&D action rifles have ever been made and, the few that have been produced, tend to have Gold Name engraving only.

Whatever the reason for the low production, the modern day fixed lock rifles are quite rare in any configuration, let alone with a host of luxury upgrades.

The second rifle in this gentleman’s battery is one of these very rare fixed lock rifles and it is a luxury version and best quality in every way. Chambered in the ubiquitous .470 3 ¼” NE, it has 26” chopper lump barrels with the Model “C” doll’s head extension, Westley Richards pattern quarter rib with one standing Express sight (50 yds) also inlaid with a gold pyramid and one folding leaf lined in gold (100 yds), with Westley’s patent combination front sight.

The rifle also features Westley’s snap lever work, “beetle back” non-automatic safety, disk set strikers, and two triggers. The trigger guard is rolled and has an extended tang. The action body has a slightly rounded bar that would be comfortable to carry on long marches and is finished in traditional color hardening with blacked furniture. The whole action is engraved in a luxurious bold scroll pattern that is wonderfully cut and shows up nicely on the case colored action.

The rifle is stocked in luxury walnut with a right hand English style cheekpiece, checkered side panels with drop points, a trap grip cap and a thin leather covered recoil pad. The semi-beavertail forend has Westley’s ejector box, Deeley forend latch and the traditional horn forend tip.

Finally, the rifle is complete in its original lightweight green canvas case and, for all intents and purposes, this rifle remains in as new condition as well.

These two rifles are in the U.S.A at the Westley Richards Agency in Florida.

For more information please contact: L.D. McCaa (850)677-3688 or visit the Westley Richards Used Gun web site (https://www.wrusedguns.com/).

Brace of Westley Richards Pre-Owned Guns

Two superb pre-owned Westley Richards shotguns are the latest additions to our already comprehensive list of used guns and rifles that we offer here at WR.

The first is a classic 20g hand detachable lock, single trigger shotgun. Originally built in 1912 the gun was returned to us in 1992 for a complete rebuild. We fitted new 27” barrels with 2 3/4” chambers, choked 1/4 & 3/4. A new, beautifully figured, straight hand stock and splinter forend measuring 15 1/8” to the centre of the chequered butt, with a drop of 1 1/2″ at the comb and 2 1/2” at the heel, cast off 9/16” at the heel, 3/4” at the toe and 1/2” at the face which is slightly swept.

The scroll back action features our patent hand detachable locks with a single selective trigger, snap lever work, model C dolls head and beetle back automatic safety. The action was re-colour hardened and the cover plate and trigger guard re-engraved with a game scene and dog on the trigger guard bow by Dave Hudson. The rest of the action has the traditional house scroll and WR name in gold banner. The gun weighs 5lbs 11.5oz and comes in a lightweight leather case with accessories. Although not original, the gun is a beautiful example of a 20g droplock, the exhibition grade wood and upgraded engraving make for a very attractive gun. Not only that but it is, effectively, a modern gun with as new barrels capable of shooting modern 2 3/4” loads. It points and handles extremely well.

The second is pretty much completely opposite to the first gun. A 12g sidelock ejector with two triggers. Completed in 1982 and built as a best quality, 7 pin, bar-action sidelock ejector. Featuring two sets of barrels, the originals measure 27” with 2 3/4” chambers, choked improved cylinder in the right and 1/2 in the left, a concave rib engraved ‘WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO. ENGLAND’. The second set which were ordered in 2008 by the current owner, measure 29” with 2 3/4” chambers and are choked 5/8 in the right and Full in the left, with a concave rib and the same engraving. The action is engraved with detailed game scenes on both lock plates and a bold scroll surround, a retriever on the action bottom and carved oak leaves on the fences. The straight hand stock measures 15 1/8 to the centre of the chequered butt with a drop of 1 7/16” at the comb and 2 5/16” at the heel and is cast off 9/16” at the comb, 7/16” at the face and 5/8” at the toe. The stock is fitted with a gold oval and the splinter forend has the Anson push rod release. The gun weighs 6lbs 11.3oz with the 27″ barrels and 6lbs 12.7oz with the 29″ barrels. It is neatly housed with both sets of barrels in a mid tan case with tools. A versatile gun for every type of game shooting.

Both guns offer something different and remain in excellent condition throughout. They will be on the used gun site shortly, but for any questions, please contact me directly at ricky@westleyrichads.co.uk   or +44 121 333 1918

Interview with Westley Richards Engraver – Léo Lambert

Here at Westley Richards we are proud to be developing some of the future’s finest gun makers, engravers and leather workers in the world. None more exemplify this than the exceptionally talented Léo, who at 22 has already played an instrumental part in the creation of our new exhibition magazine rifle “The Roebuck Rifle”.

In June 2020 he will celebrate 2 years with Westley Richards and has certainly come a long way since he sent a chance letter to the company, all the way from Belgium, to enquire about an apprenticeship. It is clear that our dedication to working with young talent, giving them unique opportunities and watching them thrive is at the very heart of the Westley Richards DNA.

Léo, where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Belgian countryside, in a little village outside of Liège.

Did you always want to be a gun engraver?

Not exactly. I did always want to have an artistic job but in fact only started to think about the engraving profession a few months before my studies began in this subject. The idea first came to mind when my father took me to a hunting show where my soon-to-be teacher, Pierre Dôme, was performing a demonstration for the Léon Mignon School of Liège.

What did your education/apprenticeship entail?

At Léon Mignon School I learnt the two key areas of engraving both the handcraft and drawing. This included traditional techniques of hammer and chisel and the hand-chisel as well as technical drawings of ornament composition and game-scene sketches. Thereafter I taught myself how to use the pneumatic chisel and stereo zoom microscope, which I use today.

Who inspired you to become an engraver?

My family principally, but I do have two very special people who really inspired me to become the person I am today. My two best friends, Laëtitia Copine and Nicolas Braud. Laëtitia taught me about the world of the arts and greatly influenced how I now consider, analyse and understand art. Nicolas helped me to appreciate unexpected challenges and importantly how to remain stoic in front of them, an incredibly vital quality in the practice of engraving.

Who would you count as mentors in the field of engraving?

I am fortunate to have a few master engravers that I have had the privilege to meet and call mentors. The first are my two teachers from the Léon Mignon School, Master Lucien Gironi and Master Pierre Dôme, who I regularly keep in touch with. Others who I have had the chance to cross paths with who need no introduction, who very much like my school teachers, shared their work, ideas and knowledge with great kindness. Masters Paul Lantuch, Alain Lovenberg and Bram Ramon.

How long did it take to learn the art of engraving?

I began learning the art of engraving in September 2015, with my background in the arts and the first class education I received, I have had a rapid rise. But when you ask “How long did it take to learn the art of engraving?”, it is a difficult question as like others, I’m sure, consider that I will never stop learning (and  that’s a great thing).

Indeed the continual learning is the most exciting part of the job, always amazed by the masterpieces of great engraving masters, past and present, who have work for Westley Richards. Holding their works in my own hands is always such a privilege.  Spending many an hour researching I discover talents across the globe who produce such technically impressive works with skills that are out of this world. Knowing this drives me to keep experimenting and push boundaries with this historic craft.

Tell us about the ‘Roebuck Rifle’ that you recently completed for Westley Richards?

The Roebuck Rifle is my very first grand-scale project in engraving. At first, embarking on this project made me acutely aware of my level as engraver and how long still the path of apprenticeship really is. To be honest in the beginning I was very nervous about such an important artwork, but with the fantastic team around me at Westley Richards, and the nerves subsiding, I began to have fun and enjoyed the entire process.

The ornamentation was my first challenge, the client had decided upon a carved leaf design using a technique I had only used once before at my school in Liège. At that time I used the traditional hammer and chisel method, however with my new pneumatic tools this was a completely fresh experience and one I threw myself into. Fortunately the path of this level of engraving I was able to begin on the smaller elements, like the roebuck head on the safety shroud, to build confidence.

On the advice and information kindly shared by older masters I moved into the larger game scenes, for example the roe deers seen on the floorplate. When Trigger and I decided on the pair of animals we wanted to capture for the scene, from a picture where we see the male chasing the female, my next big challenge emerged. Trigger had selected an image where only the top of their bodies were visible due to high grass covering their chest, undersides and legs.

I spent many an hour studying deer anatomy and movement through reading veterinary books and watching live action video in slow motion, to finally deduce the exact musculature positioning to achieve a true to life visual. Seeing as I have rarely been near the animal in real life I relied on my colleagues to add those final touches to the end result.

A special thanks to the Westley Richards patron, who commissioned such a fabulous artwork, and to my colleagues and mentors for their critical advice and encouragement. Without them I would not have reached the new heights of technical and artistic excellence I have dreamed to achieve and will continue to strive for.

Head to our engraving section, to discover the incredible variety of engraved artworks that patrons have commissioned over the years.

A ‘Modele De Luxe’ .416 Bore Bolt Action

As a maker of luxury firearms, we believe there is nothing more flattering than when a client places another order with us. Let’s be honest, the creation of a bespoke gun or rifle is a costly endeavor that takes a long time to come to fruition. When a client is so pleased with the process that they want to repeat it, well, that says a lot.

Long before I ever thought of working for Westley Richards, a good client of mine from my previous job was asking my opinion on some secondhand English made double rifles for sale at the time. I posed the question to him, that if he was willing to spend that kind of money on a secondhand rifle, why not consider ordering a new one?

My second comment was, “if you do decide to go that route, I would order a Westley Richards droplock”.

I then introduced my friend to Simon and Trigger and the results of those conversations produced the Modele De Luxe .500 3” NE Hand Detachable rifle Trigger wrote about in a blog from September of 2018.

Fast forward a few years later, when I was actually working for Westley Richards, I took an order from the same client for this Modele De Luxe Bolt Action chambered in the venerable .416 Rigby to pair with the double rifle.

Super deluxe walnut stock complements the engraving on the metal and is highlighted by the high gloss hand rubbed oil finish.

Built as a companion rifle to the droplock in .500 3” NE, this .416 bore bolt action was engraved by the same hand that did the incredible work on the double rifle. Covered in the same deluxe bold scroll, the bolt action also features a color hardened floor plate with a brushed game scene.

Just as on the double rifle, the game scene on the bolt action depicts a similar drama unfolding. Brushing the colors away on the game scene vignettes highlights the highly detailed engraving while still maintaining the beauty of the case colors in which the bold scroll shows up in nicely. A nice touch and one more way a bespoke rifle is tailored to the customer’s preferences.

The brushed game scene vignettes highlight the high level of detail in the engraving on both rifles.

As has become standard for Westley Richards, the rifle is stocked in a stunning piece of walnut in the modern Westley Richards shape with an ebony forend tip, traditionally shaped cheekpiece and leather covered pad.

Other features include, quick detachable scope mounts, Westley’s pattern quarter rib with one standing Express sight and two folding leaves and our patent foresight.

Quick detachable mounts and WR quarter rib with standing Express sight and two folding leaves.

Despite the embellishments on both rifles, the client certainly intends to hunt with them and we look forward to hearing the stories that these rifles will surely be a part of.

A Vintage Holland ‘.30 Super’ Here At Westley Richards

Hollands ‘.30 Super’ cartridge is without doubt one of those all time classics that spurned a modern generation of .300 magnums. Introduced in 1925 it was developed to fill the gap between Hollands .275 and .375 Magnum cartridges, at a time when the British gunmakers were competing incessantly to cater for a booming worldwide hunting market. India and Africa were the principle hunting destinations of the time where the topography and native big game species allowed for the use of these ‘modern’ long range magnum cartridges.

Interestingly the .30 Super does differ from the .300 Holland & Holland Belted Magnum so care must be taken when loading for this particular cartridge. As a cartridge the .30 Super was capable of handling 150, 180 and 220 grain bullets all of which respectively proved devastating on medium to large game. Elmer Keith the famous American gun writer, editor and hunter was a big fan of the cartridge and built several rifles up which he used to take numerous North American big game animals including several trophy class sheep.

Complete in original canvas case with accessories, the rifle has an honest pedigree.

As the .300 Holland & Holland Belted Magnum the calibre won world acclaim in 1935 when it was used to win the Wimbledon Cup at 1000 yards. Such was the success of the calibre that it led to a new generation of American magnums including the .300 Weatherby Magnum introduced in 1944 and the .300 Winchester Magnum introduced in 1963.

This particular Holland & Holland take-down rifle was built in 1928 and so can claim to be one of the early .30 Super’s. In pretty much original condition, the rifle has a used look about it yet the bore is still sharp and the rifle a slick shooter. Contained in its original canvas case the rifle makes for a great usable vintage rifle.

Hollands side mounts with a period scope appear to be a later addition to the rifle.

Hollands take-down magazine rifle has always been a classic in the sporting rifle world.

Further details on the rifle can be obtained from Ricky Bond ricky@westleyrichards.co.uk

We’re On The Cover Of Shooting Sportsman

This month we’re extremely pleased to be on the front cover of Shooting Sportsman, the leading wingshooting and fine guns publication in the US today. Do pick up a copy because inside you’ll find our collaborative article with the legendary Vic Venters, wonderfully discussing the unique bespoke journey and finer points of ordering a new best-quality English gun.

He eloquently takes the reader through seven key areas that each Westley Richards patron will usually experience on their path to receiving their very own prized best gun. From the gun’s purpose, selecting the right gunmaker, the process and relationship, letting the gunmaker lead, heritage & house style, the eventual waiting game, and how handmade delivers a gun of such rare beauty and handle that it is truly one of a kind.

Shooting Sportsman is a US-based brand with a 30-year history of presenting some of the best wingshooting and fine-gun content found anywhere—their January/February issue’s cover and feature article on Westley Richards being exemplary. The magazine and its social pages dig deep into an array of topics ranging from gunmaking to international shooting travel—all featuring great writing and spectacular images.

Subscriptions are available on shootingsportsman.com and their social media pages can be accessed via facebook.com/shootingsportsman/ and @shootingsportsmanmag

Westley Richards and Our 20th Dallas Safari Club Convention

It is always hard to get back to work after a long holiday but for those of us in the outdoor and shooting industry it is an especially hectic time. With the new year comes the trade show and convention season, this year having events from Reno, Nevada to Nuremberg, Germany and scheduled well into the month of March.

For a British gun maker like ourselves, the two hunter’s conventions put on by Dallas Safari Club and Safari Club International remain quite important to our business.

Just coming off of Westley Richards’ 20th Dallas Safari Club convention, Trigger, Ricky, our leather shop manager Tom Beete, and myself are still busy working our way through the many orders and sales we made at the show. This year’s event seemed especially busy with a strong U.S. economy and Dallas Safari Clubs ascension to what many now consider the premier hunting convention in America.

As usual we had an amazing array of wonderful Exhibition Westley Richards guns and rifles, most being displayed for the first time. Showcasing Westley Richards vast repertoire one could see everything from a delicately engraved .410 bore shotgun to the groundbreaking fully carved .600 NE Forest rifle. Highlighting the hand craftsmanship and long gunmaking heritage of Westley Richards, also on display was the last rifle F.C. Selous ever bought and the finest .425 Take-Down the firm has ever produced.

Westley Richards .425 Magnum Express Bolt Action with Detachable Barrel. Bought new by F.C. Selous in 1912.

Exhibition projects, such as the one’s displayed at this show, have become a hallmark of what Westley Richards is capable of producing and why many consider Westley Richards to be England’s premier gunmaker.

At DSC, we were also able to debut our new line of adventure travel bags, the Bournbrook collection.  This new line of luxurious handmade luggage represents an exciting expansion to the fine leather goods made in our factory, right next to our gunmakers. Along with old favourites such as our open ammo wallets and the Deeley rifle slips, these new products like the Bournbrook 48 hour bag, represent the best of British styling and quality and were very well received in their debut.

Westley Richards’ long history as one of the World’s premier firearms makers was also recognized at the Dallas show by the magazine Sporting Classics. Based out of South Carolina this periodical has long focused on the outdoors and the fine artwork, literature and handmade items that discerning outdoorsman use and collect. We were flattered to be recognized by the magazine and given their Award of Excellence for Sporting Heritage.

We appreciate all of the repeat customers who stopped in to say hi and a very big “thank you” to those that placed new orders. We also want to welcome those of you new to the Westley Richards firm and thank you for your new commitment.

For anyone who missed our display in Dallas we will be at the SCI convention in Reno booth # 2431… We’ll look forward to seeing you there.