The Mammoth .577 Nitro Express Double Rifle by Westley Richards
The Westley Richards double barrel rifle with detachable lock action (droplock) is as highly regarded among rifle connoisseurs as the Holland Royal and the Rigby Rising Bite. To find one of these iconic rifles in the .577 750 gr nitro caliber is very unusual. It features: 26″ Steel shoe-lump barrels, with quarter rib and doll’s head extension. These unique double barrel rifles are engraved “Westley Richards 178 New Bond St. London Gun Makers By Appointment to His Majesty George V Rex et Imp.” on sunken portion of rib, which is also scroll engraved at transitions to sights. Rear express sight has one standing, two folding platinum-line leaves marked for 100, 200, and 300 yards. Westley Richards patented front sight has longitudinally dovetailed silver bead with flip-up porcelain night sight, and folding hood.
The top rear of left barrel is engraved “.577 Cartridge” and “100/750 Grs.” The flats on the barrels have London nitro proofs for the full 100 grain cordite load. Bottom of the action are stamped with provisional proofs, SN, and (makers initials). A narrow sling loop is attached to a large base, screwed and soldered to bottom rib. The Bottom portion of Westley Richards style regulating wedge has shell and scroll engraving at muzzle. Robust, case hardened, Westley Richards patent, hand detachable action features typical Westley pivoting top fastener, bushed strikers stamped “R” and “L”, nicely filed beads, automatic bolted safety (SAFE and BOLTED inlaid in gold), and Westley Richards patent single trigger with selector on trigger plate with “L” and “R” inlaid in gold. Water table is stamped with patent information for single trigger and detachable lock system, with detachable lock use number 2521 and single trigger use number 171.
The action is engraved with well-cut, medium sized, shaded scroll with “Westley Richards” in ribands on either side. Charcoal blued, hinged lock recess cover has nearly full coverage of well cut scroll engraving with central oval vignette of rather naively portrayed black rhino running through open woodland. Blued trigger guard has prowling tiger on bow, and SN on grip, which terminates at steel trap grip cap. Dense, darkly streaked and figured European walnut, full pistol grip buttstock measures 15″ over Silvers pad. Stock features classic beaded and shadow line cheekpiece for right handed shooter, with ogee transition from bead to shadow line, approx. 22 LPI point pattern checkering with mullered borders, checkered side panels with line borders, and nicely shaped drop points. There is a vacant rectangular gold crest plate with scalloped borders, and sling loop on toe line. Splinter forend with Deeley release and Deeley ejector, has horn forend tip, and checkering matching buttstock. SN is stamped on the action near the left channel. Drop at heel: Approx 2-3/4″, drop at comb: Approx. 1-7/8″. Weight: 15 lbs. 14 oz, LOP 15″.
The box is comprised of the maker’s best quality oak and leather case with shaped brass corners, and brass reinforcing plates at corners of oak frame, has typical Westley Richards push-button key lock, and sliding brass bolts, as well as, usual securing straps. Interior of the box is lined in dark green cloth with large Westley Richards paper label and two other Westley Richards labels with “instructions for use”, and “instructions for cleaning”. Large label has SN penciled in. Case contains wood-covered steel 2-pc cleaning rod with brass trim and swivel head, old pull-through cleaning brush marked “577”, various other brushes, and two brass capped tin bottles, one for Rangoon oil (nearly full), and the other for special cleaning fluid, both with John Rigby & Co labels, one loaded Kynoch 577 cartridge, and one fired Eley case, as well as the original key.
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