This rifle was manufactured in circa 1906 featuring the famous Deeley and Taylor patent hand-detachable locks (British Patent No. 17731 of July 28, 1897). This rifle is chambered for the rarely encountered Westley Richards .375/.303 Accelerated Express cartridge which was marketed by Westley Richards from 1905 and was considered one of the highest velocity cartridges of the time. It was demonstrated to the British War Office and Admiralty as well as other governments in 1906, but its moment of fame was short lived as it was outperformed by the Westley Richards .318 cartridge which was introduced in 1908. With blued barrels respectively signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS. 178. NEW BOND ST. LONDON” and “W.R. ACCELERATED EXPRESS RIFLE”, and each tube is engraved with a band of stylized foliage at the breech end. Sunken concave rib with partially matted sighting ramps fitted with bead front sight and rear express sight formed of one standing notch sight, six folding leaf notch sights graduated to 600 yards, and a folding ladder sight calibrated to 1500 yards. Casehardened treble grip action signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO.” on each side, with blued removable rectangular firing pin bushings, blued toplever, blued bolted automatic safety with inlaid “SAFE”, blued detachable floorplate, casehardened trigger plate with blued barrel selector switch, and blued trigger guard. The underside of the barrels and water table struck with London nitro proof marks. Well figured 14 3/4 inch walnut pistol grip stock including slender rubber recoil pad, with raised cheekpiece and panels of multipoint checkering to the grip and forearm, the former with casehardened cap with hinged trap cover and the latter with Deeley and Edge fastener and dark horn tip. The underside of the butt with blank silver oval initial escutcheon and blued sling eye, the corresponding sling eye fitted beneath the barrel. Weight 10 lbs. 3 oz. In maker’s brass cornered leather case lined in red baize, the lid with printed Westley Richards trade label. Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection
In very good condition. The barrels, floorplate, trigger guard and toplever each retain nearly all of their renewed blued finish, barrel engraving softened. The action retains 20% original faded casehardened finish. High quality replacement butt is apparently blemish free, the original forearm wood has occasional scattered very minor storage and handling blemishes, checkering well defined throughout. Mechanically excellent. Case with external age staining and wear, some mothing to baize lining and loosening to some partitions.
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