This rifle was manufactured in circa 1904 featuring the famous Deeley and Taylor patent hand-detachable locks (British Patent No. 17731 of July 28, 1897). This rifle is chambered for the classic .450/.400 nitro express cartridge which prior to the introduction of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum was considered the best all-round game shooting cartridge and found great favor with hunters in Africa and India. The blued barrels are respectively signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS. 178. NEW BOND ST. LONDON. GUN MAKERS BY SPECIAL APPOINTMENT TO HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD VII” and “W.R. HIGH VELOCITY NITRO EXPRESS RIFLE. .400 BORE”, and each tube is engraved with a band of stylized foliage at the breech end. The sunken concave rib is partially engraved with fine classic English scrollwork and sighting comprises a block mounted bead front sight with flip-up moon-sight and patent flip-over tunnel cover and partially matted rear sight ramp with sight formed of one standing notch sight and two folding leaf notch sights graduated to 300 yards. The casehardened treble grip action is signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS” in gold on each side, engraved “WESTLEY RICHARDS/EJECTOR” ahead of the blued top lever, bolted automatic safety with gold inlaid “SAFE” and “BOLTED”, blued detachable floorplate, and blued trigger guard. The underside of the barrels and water table are struck with Birmingham nitro proof marks. The well-figured walnut pistol grip stock has a raised cheek piece and panels of multipoint checkering on the grip and forearm, a rubber recoil pad, a casehardened grip cap with hinged trap cover, and a casehardened Deeley and Edge fastener and dark horn tip on the forearm. The underside of the butt is numbered “18” and has a blank silver oval initial escutcheon and blued sling eye, and the corresponding sling eye is fitted beneath the barrel. 14 5/8 inch length of pull. Weight 9 lbs. 15 oz.
Excellent as professionally refurbished. The barrels, action and furniture each retain nearly all of the blued and casehardened finish, with slight handling and storage marks. The stock retains well-defined checkering with occasional scattered minor age related storage and handling blemishes and a small chip along the left edge of the trigger guard tang within the checkered area. Mechanically excellent.
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