The .22 Savage Hi-Power cartridge was a popular chambering for hunting rifles in the 1920s and 1930s and found advocates around the world including the Reverend H.R. Caldwell who shot tigers in China and the famed elephant hunter W.D.M. (Karamojo) Bell who hunted Cape Buffalo in West Africa with this round. While mostly associated with Savage-made lever rifles, some British gunmakers made lightweight double rifles chambered for this high velocity cartridge. These are seldom encountered making this rifle a rarity amongst classic British double rifles. Manufactured in circa 1925, this rifle features blued barrels with concave rib signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO. LONDON”, the left tube engraved “FOR .22 HI-POWER CARTRIDGE” towards the breech, each tube engraved with a band of stylized foliage at the breech end, and a single extractor. Sighting comprising a ramp mounted bead front sight and matted quarter rib with express sight of one standing notch sight and four folding leaves each with platinum inlaid center line and graduated to 500 yards. The underside of the rib is import marked under the forearm. The casehardened treble grip action is signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO.” on each side and has removable firing pin bushings, blued toplever, automatic safety, and blued floorplate and trigger guard. The whole is lightly engraved with classic English border and scrollwork. The underside of the barrels and water table are struck with Birmingham nitro proof marks. The figured walnut pistol grip stock has panels of multipoint checkering on the grip and forearm, and the latter has a Deeley and Edge fastener and dark horn tip. The butt has a checkered dark horn buttplate with roundel signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO.” and dark horn pistol grip cap. The underside of the butt is numbered “135” and has a blank silver oval initial escutcheon and blued sling eye, and the corresponding sling eye is fitted beneath the barrel. 14 3/8 inch length of pull. Weight 8 lbs. 4 oz. Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection
Fine. There is clear engraving throughout. The barrels retain 90% coverage of an older reblued finish which is thinning and turning to a plum color. The action retains 60% original casehardened finish with some rubbing and fading from handling. The action floorplate has 95% original blued finish, and the trigger guard has nearly all of the reblued finish. The stock has an older reoiled finish, well-defined checkering, a slight chip at the right rear of the forend, and some scattered storage and handling marks throughout. The horn buttplate has some damage to edges, and the horn pistol grip cap cracked and repaired. Mechanically excellent.
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