The Last Great Adventures.

Mozambique

I am sat here at the weekend contemplating hunting as perhaps ‘the last great adventure’.  In this modern world of super communication and internet many of the worlds once wild places have become easily accessible and where once there was great adventure getting to them, most have become easy to get to and ‘no great wonder’.

As hunters we are the very lucky few who really get to see some of the last remaining wild places on earth.  They are often very difficult to get to which requires a determination I have really only seen in sportsmen.  By way of example two very good friends who also happen to be clients of mine have just returned from a memorable trip in British Columbia where they both managed to achieve through true hard work 2 magnificent trophy Stone Sheep and 2 great Mountain Goats.  What I found most interesting in listening to their story is that the valley they actually took their trophies in had not been hunted for 18 years!  The whole area was remote and still very much untouched by man.

Tracking a dry riverbed in remote Mozambique

In the last year I myself was lucky enough to hunt in South Africa, Tanzania, Alaska and the USA, whilst also visiting India. All were adventures in their own way, but Tanzania and Alaska stand out as truly wild places.

As another good friend and client heads out to Mozambique with his fine collection of vintage rifles we should count ourselves lucky that we have the interest, passion and will to pursue game in the wildest of places.  It is in our interest to share the stories of our adventures with the next generation so that they might pursue game in these places, for to remain remote and wild they need to be appreciated and more often than not real passion only comes from the sportsman.

A high point for viewing the land.

 Images from one of our Safari’s in remote Mozambique by Mark Hall.

Hunting with Open Sights.

Up Close

One of the greatest experiences in the hunting world has to be approaching dangerous game with a large calibre rifle intent on using only the open or ‘iron’ sights to aim.  The need to stalk in really close, as quietly as possible, often under tough conditions really adds a physical and mental element to the hunt and certainly heightens all the senses of the hunter!

Long before man had perfected the telescopic sight the majority of big game was hunted with open sights.  Long range target competitions were shot with open sights, as were nearly all military weapons.  As the telescopic sight improved for sporting arms so man learnt to shoot his game more accurately and humanely, often at more extreme ranges. Where dangerous game was concerned, buffalo in particular could be shot out to longer distances.

A Westley .577 goes in close in Tz.

At this point the question of ‘sport’ raises its head.  Dangerous game was traditionally hunted very up close and personal.  As those of you who have hunted dangerous game will know, part of the sport in this type of hunting is the element of danger associated with being in close proximity to such game and that if all goes wrong then you really may be required to shoot your way safely out of a very tight situation.

Hunting with open sights may not be for everyone, but for a growing number of keen enthusiastic hunters it is. Certainly, say when hunting one buffalo on a safari it is better to enjoy the days with stalking and chase than taking a long distance shot on the first day that doesn’t even get the adrenalin flowing. I would prefer a ‘shitty’ buffalo and an exciting hunt any day, as opposed to a long distance better quality one. If of course a monster comes out a different decision may need to be made!

Tz 2014

Hunting with a double I have always felt puts a different perspective on the hunt, it does force you in closer where you can take a safe accurate shot, practise with the rifle being the key here. Similarly with smaller game, hunting with say a classic .318 or .275 with open sights is immense fun and I always take greater satisfaction from taking a trophy in this manner.

For any PH’s out there wincing at these words, sorry, I know it makes you have to work a little harder but even you’ll agree it makes for a far more exciting hunt.  Ultimately this is one of the very reasons for a hunter coming to Africa and the reason so many return.

Good luck hunting!

A Used, Cased, Westley Richards .375 Take Down Rifle – A Rare Opportunity to Acquire One of Our Recent Take Down Model Rifles.

Westley Richards .375 Take Down Used Guns

This is the first of our modern take down rifles that I have noticed come to the market. A package we produced in 2010 for a client who was a regular African and worldwide hunter. The rifle has made some trips and has the knocks and bruises to tell the stories which I am not going to remove at this point in time. People have different opinions, some like their rifles immaculate and clean whilst others relish the patina gained by use in the field. I tend to fall into the latter category myself and will leave the final decision to the person who first feels he can’t live without it!

Mechanically totally sound, the rifle will be fully serviced, shot and tested. The only work decisions to be made are the refurbishment of the stock and blacking of parts. The Westley Richards bespoke case is a later addition and was made 2 years ago and is in immaculate condition, I also feel these canvas and leather cases are the most appropriate for this type of ‘working and travelling’ rifle.

Westley Richards .375 Take Down Used Guns

Cased Westley Richards .375 TD

Cased Westley Richards .375 TD

Westley Richards Take Down Bolt Action Rifle No.43617 in .375 H&H Magnum  – Completed 2010.

22 1/4″ barrel with Quarter rib, one fixed and one folding leaf rear express sight regulated at 100 and 200 yards. Westley Richards combination foresight. Swarovski Z6i 1.7-10×42 scope on Smithson QD mounts.

Very well figured stock with 14 1/2″ LOP, full pistol grip with grip trap cap, cheekpiece, leather covered recoil pad.

Weight of rifle – 9lbs 13oz – with scope on 11lbs 3oz

Westley Richards Bespoke Canvas and leather border case with accessories.

This rifle will be posted on our used gun shortly. Immediate enquiries to theexplora@westleyrichards.co.uk

The African Shooting Sticks – Accurate Shooting in the Bush.

Tanzania 2006

Any of you who head to Africa for safari will encounter, on your first visit, the use of shooting sticks, these are carried by the PH and provide an instant and stable rest for your rifle. I know I was unfamiliar with this practise 25 years ago when I went on my first safari, using them correctly took some time and practise, the height, the grip and flexibility all take getting used to. I don’t recommend taking expensive screw apart tripod sticks to Africa, it is weight and bulk you don’t need, rely on the PH and his sticks as he will place them fast and effectively giving you chance to concentrate on your quarry. I do however recommend practise with simple sticks which can easily be made at home.

I asked my long time friend Robin Hurt, one of the most respected Professional Hunters practicing today, who has carried the shooting sticks for many a mile, to write a short piece about the importance and use of the sticks which he has kindly done.

Robin Hurt with Shooting Sticks Close to hand (1 of 1)Robin Hurt with his 20 year old shooting sticks close to hand.

Accurate rifle shooting is all about a steady position and trigger squeeze. Without these two basic principals, most people will have difficulty in shooting rifles accurately. An unsteady rest leads to trigger snatching and a resulting badly placed shot. In the hunting field a good rest for ones rifle is crucial as no hunter worth his salt wants to injure or wound an animal – the objective is to hunt the animal in a sporting and fair chance manner and to take a deliberate clean shot.

The problem is that good natural rests to support and steady the rifle are not always at hand, for example an ant hill or a tree trunk. Also one is often faced with long grass or low scrub bush, making a lying down or sitting position shot impossible . This is where the African Shooting Sticks come in handy. The sticks can be set up in seconds, at the precise time the quarry is seen, without the need to possibly spoil the stalk by casting around looking for a rest. Off hand shooting, except at close range under 50 yards and on wounded game, is not to be recommended for most hunters.

My first shooting sticks were made for me by my Wata ( Waliaingulu ) elephant hunter tracker in 1963. In fact it was a simple bi pod of two wooden limbs of just under 3/4 inch diameter, 5 1/2 feet long, lashed together with strips of car tyre inner tubing. The lower tips of the thin poles were sharpened, so as to give proper purchase on the ground and not slip. It was an effective tool – but not perfect. All professional hunters at that time used these wooden bi pods.

Lekini a tracker with the shooting sticksRoger Hurt’s Tracker ‘Lekini’ with his shooting sticks and hearing protection.

Then there was a natural progression to more effective tri pods; using the same materials, but with two of the limbs being 4 to 5 inches longer and a shorter middle limb in the centre, again bound together with strip rubber tubing to give flexibility and strength when opening the sticks. This tri pod had now became an effective rest, for as steady a shot as possible in normal hunting conditions and used daily by most professional hunters.
To this day I carry wooden shooting sticks, home made by my trackers, using car tubing strips to hold the top sector together. My current sticks are now over twenty years old and used on every hunt. They never leave my hunting car and are as essential to my equipment as is a high lift Jack! The advantage of the natural materials is quietness. I have no problem with the commercial shooting sticks available, other than that they can be noisy, being made out of plastic or light metal tubing. But, they are useful for practice.

XD1C1032Robin Hurt following client HH Al Thani out of the bush, sticks to hand as always.

The way it works is that I always carry the sticks personally, and set them up according to my clients stature; by spreading the legs wider or closer together simply adjusts the rifles rest height as the need may be. The client follows close by and directly behind the professional, allowing quick and easy access to the rest.

Another huge advantage of the shooting sticks is that if your quarry is moving or partially blocked by bush or other cover, you can simply rest your rifle in a ready position until such time as an opportunity presents itself, set up immediately to take the shot . By the way, one of the biggest mistakes made by hunters is moving too quickly and in a rushed manner to place the rifle on the sticks. Quick movements are immediately spotted by game . Preferably a slow fluid movement of the rifle on to the sticks is what one should
practice .

Tanzania 2006Roger Hurt and client on the sticks. Note the forefinger grip on the forend.

Practice shooting off sticks will prove invaluable to better coordination and accurate field shooting . Practice standing , sitting and kneeling using the sticks . For sitting and kneeling I use one of the upright limbs and use my hand and fore finger to lock the rifle in position. For standing shots I personally also like to anchor the rifle on to the sticks by wrapping my left hand fore finger around the rifles barrel / fore end and holding the sticks where they are bound together, with the rest of my hand .

My son Derek, a professional in Tanzania, carries two sets of sticks – a short pair for sitting and kneeling shots and a normal long set for standing shots . His tracker carries the shorter pair and simply passes them to Derek when needed. I am too set in my ways to learn new tricks and only use one pair that I adjust as needed!

For longish or difficult shots on windy days , over 150 yards, I will often offer extra support to the hunter; by holding the sticks with both my hands and my body bent in a slightly crouched position, that in turn gives my shoulder as an added rest for the shooters elbow . This in effect gives a two position rest .

226Lunchtime picnic use for the tripod!

Shooting sticks have other uses – they can be used as snake tongs to capture snakes ( not advised ! ). On one occasion in South Sudan I used the sticks as a spear to impale an unfortunate forest Guinea Fowl when I didn’t want to disturb the area by shooting! Here in the Namibian mountains, they make a useful walking stick in our difficult steep terrain! I often use them to carry small game as on a pole hung between two people ! Last season one of our P Hunters fended off a furious warthog with his sticks , when they surprised it charging out of its resting place in an Aardvark’s hole! I have used them as a make shift fishing rod by tying some line with a hook on one end! Yes, they have all manner of uses apart from being a splendid rifle rest!

Some further tips that may be found to be useful are :-

– Never rest the barrel on the sticks – always the fore end. Metal contact with the sticks will result in the shot going high.
– For standing shots, stand with your legs well apart. This will help stabilize your shooting position.
– For sitting shots, bring up your knees so that your elbows are rested. This will greatly improve your shooting.
– To make your own sticks, choose saplings that are strong and straight, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Strip off the bark. Hold the sticks upright, and cut to length. As a height measurement, cut them at the level of your eyes. The centre limb should be 4/5″ shorter . Bind all three pole’s with rubber strops tightly at about 1 1/2 inches below the top of the shortest sapling. You can tape or rubberized the twin stabilizer arms on the longer poles for added quietness and support.
– Get in the habit of taking off the rifles safety in one movement in time with placing your weapon on the shooting sticks.
– Don’t place your rifle on the sticks with the fore end and your hand grip too far forward as this creates a seesaw effect.
– If your making your own shooting sticks, try to find hard wood poles that are as straight as possible. Any bends found after de barking can easily be sorted by holding over a fire and straightening the heated sapling .
– Lastly practice makes perfect. Make or buy your sticks and make yourself familiar with them and their use. Go to the rifle range or some other safe place and practice shooting off them.

Good hunting !
Robin Hurt

XD1C0808Robin has 2 very successful hunting operations in Africa where he operates from Namibia and Tanzania. Please follow the links for further information.

I will be discussing with our stick makers in England the manufacture of simple sets of these tripod shooting sticks with some details by our leather shop for protecting the rifle.

Kalahari Calling. Guest post by Colin Partridge.

Khalahari Post (4 of 7)

“You must come to the Kalahari with me. It’s hunting the way it should be, walk and stalk. It’s also real camping, so you’ve got to take practically everything with you. You’ll love it.”

They say all good things come to those who wait. After Paul’s invitation (issued after his second trip to the Kalahari in 1992), a personal change of career and circumstance, meant it took twenty three years before I could call him and ask if his offer was still good. It was and what a trip it turned out to be.

A vast semi-desert of over 900,000 square kilometers, the Kalahari covers most of Botswana and vast parts of Namibia and South Africa and is spectacularly beautiful, especially the sunsets. But to the uninitiated, perhaps looking out the window of a moving car, it can seem monotonously similar in both colour and topography for many kilometers and hours of travel. But when you turn off the main road, it starts to weave its magic.

Khalahari Post (7 of 7)

We arrived at our camp on a huge tract of some 25000 hectares of red land not far from Askham. As part of a land restitution process it had been handed back to the ǂKhomani San tribe who are descended from the bushmen who had roamed the area in centuries gone by. As a sustainable way of earning money for their people, they had removed all internal fences and were guiding paying hunters during the season. A tank holding 500 litres of water, three sacks of ‘Kameeldoring’ firewood and a cleanly swept campsite is provided. It was all we needed because as Paul said, he had brought everything else along.

We pitched tents and arranged the supplies with the help of our two guides and trackers, ‘Blade’ and ‘Arries’. They would be our companions for the time we hunted there and from the banter that started right after we arrived, I knew it was going to be an entertaining five days.

Everything was in its place by midday so we decided to start hunting straight away. We had two gemsbok, four springbok and one red haartebees on our permit, none of which I had hunted before. I had once enjoyed succulent springbok venison made by Paul’s wife Eliese, so I was really after springbok and was using Paul’s little custom made 6×45mm. He carried his 7×57mm Mauser in case we came upon gemsbok.

I quickly found my prior efforts to gain fitness for hunting the Kalahari should have been a bit more rigorous, because that red sand is soft. You also need good ankle high boots or else that fine sand finds its way through your socks and causes blisters. The dunes which traverse the landscape are separated by the hollows between them called ‘strate’ (or streets), where the game is most often found grazing or loafing. Dunes vary greatly in height and each has to be laboriously climbed to gain a vantage point to scout for game in the straat below. I was amazed however, at how fast one can pick up a bit of fitness after a few days when pushed.

Although there was a good amount of game, abundance is a relative term due to the low carrying capacity of the veld and they were by no means in every straat, so a lot of up and down hiking took place before Arries pointed out a lone springbok ram on the side of a dune across from the one we had crawled up. I was breathing hard and sweating freely as I lay and settled into the sand to aim and finally squeeze the trigger. It had been a long time since I had hunted and I was incredibly relieved when the ram dropped where it stood. Paul’s range finder said 180 meters so I was quite pleased with myself, but it was pushing the truth when Arries said “Man jy’s nes a sniper!” I was to prove him very wrong the next day.

Despite the bitterly cold mornings, we rose at 5.30am each day to get the fire going. We then had coffee and rusks at about 6am and were driving to put some distance between us and camp by 6.30am just as the Eastern horizon lightened. Once we switched off the bakkie’s engine, the silence was as vast as the land we stood in and we waited a while, soaking it all in. Then we would start walking.

Khalahari Post (3 of 7)

That second morning we eventually found a relaxed group of springbuck after an hours walk and I crawled closer to take a long downhill shot at a ram standing off to one side. The ram fell over at the shot but got up immediately and started running with the herd. We could not find a single drop of blood at the spot, but there was no doubt he had been hit. “Nou begin die werk” Paul said, which turned out to be an understatement, and we started tracking the herd of about 40 springbuck.

We hoped to find the ram lagging to one side or even lying dead as we tracked the herd up and over numerous dunes. But no such luck. Distances are big in the Kalahari and when we did get the herd in sight from time to time, they were just moving dots to the naked eye and it was only with binoculars that we could actually see any detail. Eventually Arries noticed a small bit of the plume of white hair (which runs the length of the back and is called a ‘pronk’ in Afrikaans), was raised on one buck when on the others it lay flat. Although that animal was easily keeping up with the rest, we felt it was the wounded ram exhibiting some discomfort and it gave us renewed hope. After another hour tracking and following, Arries said he thought he could see a small red mark high up on the shoulder and we became pretty certain it was my ram and we pressed on harder because the herd kept moving steadily, covering ground at a surprising pace.

Eventually the herd split and we were undecided which group my ram had run with. Paul and Arries opted for the left, leaving Blade and myself to check those that had veered to our right. Eventually we heard Paul’s Mauser boom in the distance and we turned back towards the sound. I could see the smile on their faces from a long way off and a feeling of relief rushed through me before we met beneath a camelthorn.

There is no glory or fun about wounding an animal, but there is a sense of satisfaction in working hard for the next best outcome. It took us an hour to find the herd of springbuck. Then from the time of my first shot to Paul’s coup de grace, it was five and a half hours of hard slog. Then another two hours of direct, sweaty walking back to the bakkie, which we would have struggled to find without Blade and Arries showing the way. Then another hour to drive, pick up the ram, drop it at the cold rooms and finally get back to camp. Never has a beer tasted so good!

Khalahari Post (5 of 7)

I think Paul is right when he said that hunts often tend to be more memorable for the cockups than the success stories. Over the next three days, he got a springbuck and two gemsbok with good shots and after a long stalk I got another big springbuck ram and dropped it where it stood, but the details of retrieving the wounded ram are clearer than all the rest. We never got close to those cunning hartebeest though and I would love to make them a mission for another day.

It’s not only the hunting that makes a trip memorable and two incidents were out of the ordinary; the name Kalahari is apparently derived from the Tswana word Kgalagadi, meaning ‘a waterless place’. Well, it started raining softly, late one afternoon and a rainbow arched in the East as the sun set in the West. There is nothing quite like falling asleep in a tent, in the middle of nowhere, to the patter of rain.

Khalahari Post (6 of 7)

In June the swarms of sociable weavers were widely dispersed and other bird species are fairly quiet. Nights are cold and insect life is practically dormant, but miracles of nature occur when least expected. One night, a large, pale colored moth landed on the lip of my wine glass and literally quivered in excitement. I poured a small bit of red wine into the palm of my hand and it then alighted on my thumb, unfurled its proboscis and sipped long and contentedly. Where had it been hiding and how on earth did it smell that fruity liquid and find it so accurately? Once it had drunk its fill, it flew off into the night and I fancied it did a barrel roll just as it left the firelight thrown by the burning camelthorn logs.

Westley Richards .318 “Light Model” with Detachable Stock for Portability.

Lightweight Take Apart .318 Westley Richards

 

I seem to be losing out in purchasing these scarce Westley Richards rifles recently, the .425 in Las Vegas and now the only rifle of interest at the British Shooting Show, this .318 Light Model take down. This was acquired  by a member of my own internal team, namely Trigger ‘for myself, so I can hunt with a Westley Richards’! I will not be sending him on any buying trips for the company in future!

I have only come across a couple of these rifles whilst here at WR, whilst not as nice in my opinion as the true bayonet type take down, it is an interesting rifle and I think the forend catch shows clearly that it is a take apart rifle which the Holland system may not to the uninitiated. The rifle comes apart with the release of the catch and the unscrewing of the front mag box screw which can be done with a small coin. This particular rifle is fitted with an original set trigger, standing and 4 folding leaf sights and the Westley Richards patent front sight assembly.

Westley Richards Light Model .318

WR .318 Light Model-21931

Another Year and Another Monteria.

Monteria in Spain

This year the wonderful estate of Torrejon De Modua, a 75 minute drive north of Madrid, was the setting for our first day of Monteria in Spain. We were a team of 17 guns from all around the world, France, Lebanon, Qatar, England, South Africa, Namibia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Mexico. We were outfitted as usual by the person I consider the most professional and enthusiastic hunter I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and hunting with, Diego Satrustegui one of three partners owning Espacaza, a company we have recommended for a long time to many of our customers who enjoy hunting in Spain and elsewhere in the world.

Monteria in Spain

The day starts with a traditional Monteria breakfast named ‘Migas’, a mixture of fried breadcrumbs with garlic, onions and pepperoni topped with fried eggs, a furness of carbs to keep you warm during the 5 hour hunt, all washed down with coffee and Rioja.

Monteria in Spain

Once fed, Diego gives a thorough safety talk, 17 rifles out in the field together requires everyone to abide by a strict set of rules to ensure the safety of every member of both the shooting line and dog handling/game driving line.

Monteria in Spain

Following the safety talk, prayers are held for the success of the hunt and for hunters, especially for those who have passed. A loud ‘Viva Espana’ follows the prayers and then the draw for ‘posts’ is held, the post being the number of your stand for the day, there are normally a series of lines of guns covering the estate. A card or envelope is selected by the individual guns from the pile on the table and the organisers will record your position in the draw.

The map of the estate showing the lines of shooting posts.

The map of the estate showing the lines of guns. My post was El Buho 1. The dark blue arrows show the direction and starting point for the teams of dogs.

Admiring rifles before the hunt.

After breakfast a moment to compare hardware before the hunt. The Westley Richards 300 win mag in Carbine format in the left hand received much praise and envy!

El Lobo 1 My Post for the day North

El Buho 1, my post for the day occupied by Jose Maria Pascual who has guided me for the past few years. A competent and enthusiastic ‘Secretario’ is for me, essential for an enjoyable day. I have never been able to concentrate on a shot and select from 6 running animals which is the better or correct target, the quiet and confident ‘3rd from front’ sort of call, is for me, essential. You can see from this shot that the area which you cover with your rifle is about 200 yards long, in this case to the north with a width of about 50 yards. Animals will both cross the open area and run down it.

El Lobo 1 My Post for the day  South

The southerly view from my post.

The dogs and Dog handler

At 11am with everyone safe on their post, the dog handlers release their dogs and proceed to walk the estate driving or moving the game, it takes about 4 hours for the handlers to walk their section of the estate and return to where they started. During this time game will suddenly appear so the rifles need to be in a constant state of readiness, sit down and it’s a given a boar or stag will race past, you won’t have time for a shot having gathered yourself up. Each day will have a quota for each gun to shoot, this day each gun had the opportunity to shoot 2 fallow deer, 1 stag and 6 boar. If we liked we could swop one fallow for another boar. The Monteria is in essence an estate cull, the keeper and owner will decide what needs to be taken off the land that year and this will be sold and taken by the group of hunters, a balance of providing income for the estate and managing the herd. This is not trophy hunting and the estate need the cull also to work efficiently. Every estate will give a different quota according to their requirement, it could be 2 stag and 4 hinds if the numbers dictate that. In Spain Red Stag, Fallow, Boar and Mouflon are the main species encountered on Monteria.

The Hunting Dogs

The Hunting Dogs

The hunting Dogs

The hunting dogs are a fearsome and motley bunch. They work hard, often to the point of exhaustion.

L1001640

L1001635

I was fortunate to take 5 boar and 2 Fallow deer from my quota this day. This shot of a Fallow shows the distance to the post where Jose is sitting, across the ride.

Boar

The finest ‘big tusker’ boar of the day. My host Sheikh Sultan Al Thani took a very fine gold medal Fallow outclassing my mere possible bronze! The days bag was 77 boar, 10 Fallow and 12 stags.

The Monteria is a very fine and exciting hunt, bathed in tradition it is an experience I can recommend very highly and one which I return to enjoy year after year.

For details on hunting please speak to Diego Satrustegui at Espacaza in Madrid, I am quite certain he will look after you!

In Pursuit of The Best Gun 1812 – 2012. The History of Westley Richards by Jeremy Musson with Photographs by Terry Allen. The Second Edition.

Westley Richards, In Pursuit of the Best Gun 1812 -2012.

The new cover is revealed! Earlier in the year in a post I offered up some suggestions and asked for advice on which cover to use from the scamps that Colin Townsend had prepared. I am not sure if I followed the advice exactly as there were people who liked each version. Certainly a very strong contender on the original post was this crop of the oil painting of the Bishop of Bond Street. I hope everyone agrees that it has ended up a fitting cover for the second edition.

The book itself is little changed but has an additional 32 page final chapter written by Jeremy Musson with 35 new images. These illustrate the guns that were in production at the time of the last publication and which were not ready to be photographed. In all other respects the book is the same, we have used the same printer and binder, same quality paper throughout and the book will be sent out in the same crush proof  box with logo as we used last time. The only things that have changed are that the book is larger and it is now less expensive!

The 2nd edition will be priced at £75 and a special offer is available to readers of ‘The Explora’ to pre-order a copy at a 20% discount. Please follow this link ‘In Pursuit Offer’ to  pre order a copy at £60 and enter discount code EXPLORA1812167 at the checkout. The books will ship late September early October. My thanks in advance for your kind orders.

In Pursuit of the Best Gun Westley Richards. In Pursuit of the Best Gun Westley Richards. In Pursuit of the Best Gun Westley Richards. In Pursuit of the Best Gun Westley Richards.

Westley Richards, In Pursuit of the Best Gun 1812 -2012.

The Perfect Pair. Courteney Boots and Falke socks.

Courteney boots & Falke socks

I recall well my first safari and buffalo hunt, it was in the northern delta of Botswana a most fabulous concession called Vunumtiki which, the following year, unfortunately went to being a photographic camp, it was fabulously rich in game. I arrived with my new Russell boots, a .470 and .275 rifle.

We left the vehicle at about 8 in the morning and tracked a small herd of Buffalo all day until about 4pm when I had to call a halt. I had blisters the size of dinner plates on my feet and couldn’t walk another step. This was the result of a bad combination of boot and socks which rendered the whole day unsuccessful, we had to give up ‘for a stupid reason’ after putting so much hard work in.

It was a good lesson for me and with safari costing so much I made sure that this would not happen again. Good footwear is as essential as an accurate rifle. I researched the socks that were available and found the Falke brand of Left-Right specific hiking socks which we have been selling ever since. I and many of our customers have been using these since that time, and I for one, have never had a further similar problem with blisters and judging by the repeat business on these socks neither have our customers.

The combination of the Courteney boot and Falke sock is one we have promoted for many years now and one we have complete trust in. Currently we have an offer on for a free pair of socks with any Courteney boot order so for anyone who has yet to try the combination, now is a good time!

Courteney Boots in the bush.

The Great British Shooting Show is Great!

Westley Richards stand at Great British Shooting Show

Westley Richards stand at Great British Shooting Show

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.

Organiser of the Great British Shooting Show John AllisonJohn Allison trying a gun on Giles Marriott’s stand at the show 

Nigel Hankey of Teague shows the processOn our Teague choke stand Nigel Hankey explains the process of choking guns.

Teague precision chokes at the Great British Shooting showThe Teague precision choke stand.

British Shooting ShowQuiet moment in a very smart gunroom.

Some fine guns by Watson Bros.Fine guns by Michael Louca and Watson Bros.

A display of put gunning and wildfowl guns Wildfowling guns galore!