Westley Richards
Westley RichardsEvery gun we ever make is always built by hand, to an individual order. This means we create, in every detail, exactly what you desire, and not what we wish to sell you. It means your shotgun or rifle will have a personality, it will be unique, it will be truly bespoke.

In an age of precision machinery we choose to follow time-honored tradition and build our guns in very much the same way as they were when originally designed. The process of arriving at a set of gun machining's has changed, rather than using a series of jigs, we now use CNC machines to execute this work, thus keeping the cost of the raw gun parts to a minimum but retaining their quality. This precision work is carried out in our aerospace qualified engineering business, Westley Engineering.

A page from the Centenary catalogue of 1912 showing the various departments at the Grange Road factory

Every shotgun and rifle we make completes a journey around our workshops and is worked on by individuals who are specialists in their particular area of the gun making process.

Bespoke gunmaking

The actioners take the barrels and action components and working to only the thickness of a film of smoke, file, polish, joint, slot, inlet and time until the assembled parts begin to resemble a gun, an object of inherent mechanical integrity.

This barreled action is then handed over to the stockers whom take a beautifully figured walnut blank and carefully cut, chisel, rasp, paper and oil until the finished stock fits the individual client perfectly thereby breathing life into what is now a perfectly balanced gun.

Into the final stages of manufacture a mirror like finish is carefully attained in preparation for engraving. Also known as 'in the white' each gun may look perfect to the untrained eye, but the individual actioner has brought his own style to the final shaping of the fences and the action body. This individuality makes every gun unique and is something that no machine can ever replicate.

To many engraving can almost be an anti climax to what is already a beautiful work of gunmaking art. To others it is the finest canvas for some of the world's greatest artisans. Individual engravers, many working exclusively with Westley Richards, can create with the client everything from the subtle design for a fine scroll pattern to the most ornate game scene embellishments.
The completed gun is a culmination of 900 hours of lavish attention
to detail and it may be said that the essence of fine gunmaking is the combination
of individual craftsmanship.

Our commitment to maintaining the skills of the gun maker is evident from our continuing investment in apprentices. By continually teaching our skills to young and enthusiastic workers we maintain our workforce to the very highest skill levels. Our apprenticeship scheme is supported by the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers who certify the successful completion of the 5 year program we run at Westley Richards.