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A Pair of Westley Richards Lightweight, 12g, Single Selective Trigger, Droplock Game Guns.

I am often asked what guns I shoot, Westley Richards 'of course' but more specifically this pair of lightweight, classic 12g hand detachable lock guns with single selective triggers. The guns each weigh 5lbs 13.5ozs., they are light and fast, at least they used to be fast, when I was fast! I have enjoyed shooting these guns for many years and they have worked well for me in Spain on partridges, Yorkshire for grouse and everywhere I have been fortunate to shoot Pheasant. I use paper cased 2.5" cartridges, 5's normally.

Pair of Westley Richards 12g Hand Detachable lock or Droplock Game Guns with single triggers.

I am sure lightweight 12's are not everyone's cup of tea, but for my type of shooting I find them perfect, I shoot for pleasure and the social occasion so I am not worried about not being able to use 2 3/4" 36g No4 cartridges as quite frankly the shot would still whistle past the birds tail. I prefer the trade off of comfortable guns to stand or walk with, guns the loader can  load fast (as I need more shots!) and the familiarity of guns I have used on many occasion. In reality these are like a pair of 16's in weight, but with a bit more punch. Perfect!

I mentioned last year, in a post I did about a single lightweight gun that we had, that the Westley Richards lightweight guns are relatively scarce, I have seen only a few pairs in my time here. I actually think lightweight guns in 12 are relatively scarce in any make.

We continue to build this model gun, the barrels are a key part to reducing the weight, they need beautifully made barrels with less wall thickness than a normal gun would have leading to the action which is also slightly smaller than a normal gun. Wood selection is important as well, dense heavy wood is out, well matured and lighter wood is the choice. Half a pound doesn't seem a lot of weight to take out of a gun but when you consider the forend of these guns is 8.2oz and consists of the wood, deeley catch, ejector box and forend iron, it actually is a lot.

Pair of Westley Richards 12g Hand Detachable lock or Droplock Game Guns with single triggers.


  • Ken on September 7, 2015 at 3:00 am


    The wood on this pair has very decent figure. I always thought dense wood related to figure. There are always debates on how thin the barrels on original guns were made vice being honed out over the years. If you can, can you tell us the thinness of the barrels?


    • Simon Clode on September 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      I think that wood varies region to region, tree to tree, some is very heavy and some not so. I have for instance some beautiful figured blanks which are very light in weight.
      My guns have .021" minimum thickness and the new guns we make are .027" minimum.


  • Gary Duffey on September 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Such a nice pair of classic W-R guns. I'm sure a joy to shoot!!

  • Lajos on September 11, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Dear Simon,
    Thanks for sharing your gun, gorgeous! I can see you are shooting 30gr/No.5., and would be curious what is your opinion about shooting larger shells with old british guns? I have a WR Gold Name and also a 1903 Watson Bros S/S, and here in Hungary the usual opinion is not to shoot neither heawier than 28gramms, nor larger than No.5s. Nobody talking about pressure, I guess because nobody is expert enough.
    I am just asking becase actually I am wildfowling with both guns, high mallards are my favourite quarry, and sometimes would be happy to shoot a bit on a heavier side.
    Thanks a lot for your time!

    • Simon Clode on September 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Assuming the guns are in good condition and in proof they are safe to shoot the load proofed for so 30 or 32 should be fine. Also it is worth knowing what choke the guns have as if wildfowl guns and extra full choke for instance you may need to be more careful not to bulge the barrels by using plastic wads and heavy loads! I am happy to use the 30gr in my lightweight guns and if using an old heavier pair would use more power!!

      • Lajos on September 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        Thanks a lot Simon, appr. very much! I am shooting true cyl. and 3/4, usually Hull Imperial Game 28gr., but the one I would love to shoot is 32gr RC Sipe fibre, No.5. and Pegoraro 32gr No3. plastic.

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