Near Mint Vintage Westley Richards 12g ‘Pigeon’ Gun

Every now and then you get one of those great guns come through the door that you just have to stop and admire. This week we had the opportunity to look at a fabulously original Westley Richards 12g ‘Pigeon’ gun that retains nearly all of its original factory finish. Guns in such condition really are hard to find these days and one in this configuration even rarer still.

Completed in 1931 this Westley Richards was built as a ‘special quality’ gun intended for the live pigeon circuit, a pursuit still undertaken in hushed corners of the world. The Anson & Deeley fixed lock action has a wonderful depth and presence that genuinely and perfectly puts the weight at an impressive 8lbs 7ozs. The gun is supremely steady in the hands with a muzzle forward pointability that makes the gun swing with ease.

Vivid case colour hardening dominates the action.

The large breech ends, side clips, cross bolt and high shoulders add a real distinctive look to the gun which is only enhanced by the 30″, 3″ chambered barrels with distinctive flat top ventilated competition rib. Choked 3/4 and Full the gun packs some serious ‘out there’ capability!

The 14 3/4″ pistol grip with horn cap continues the flowing lines of a formidable gun that has wonderful engraving of pigeons, the metalwork itself retaining all of the original vivd case colour hardening and charcoal blueing of the furniture.

Here in the UK, it would make a fantastic ‘high bird’ gun capable of handling some of the more punchy cartridges favoured for this discipline. Alternatively it could just as well return to the live pigeon arena, the environment for which it was originally intended.

The gun displays wonderful lines.

3 thoughts on “Near Mint Vintage Westley Richards 12g ‘Pigeon’ Gun

  1. Trigger,

    It is always great to see these older guns in their factory original condition. However, I wonder why this gun went unused.

    Thanks for sharing these rarer guns.

    Ken

  2. An impressive gun in impressive condition. Out of curiosity: did WR use the cross-bolt lockup on pigeon guns because it was considered more robust than the Model C dolls head, or was it (along with side clips, etc.) just the customer’s specification? I noticed the T-prefixed serial #, which I presume means it was built for sale thru a Trade source– do your ledgers indicate what country it was originally sold into?
    Thank you for keeping up The Explora !

  3. Hi Trigger

    Quite a rare beast in fabulous condition, as you say a “formidable” looking gun!

    This ‘special quality’ configuration (with my very limited knowledge of ‘Westley Richards’ guns) has left me a little confused! The first thing that struck me was the top lever, ‘ none pivoting’, then of course the square top cross bolt told me that it needed a different opening mechanism, again my limited knowledge doesn’t recall seeing a “Westley” with a cross bolt, until now! Forgive my ignorance but have “Westley Richards” employed a cross bolt prior to this type of gun or since?

    Another thing that caused me to question my limited knowledge, when did Westley Richards drop the “&Co” from its name?

    None of my failings should detract anything from this very striking and impressive gun.

    Best regards. Peter.

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