The .577 has been a special calibre for Westley Richards having been used by many prominent hunters over the years. James Sutherland, Admiral Baker, Count Potocki, Ernest Hemingway, Stuart Granger all took a Westley .577 to Africa. Today you see a number of gunmakers around the world making .470 and .500 rifles but rarely do you see anyone attempting the .577 or .600.
When filling in the ledger for this new rifle and noticing it was the 97th, it occurred to me that the 100th .577 we deliver should be a special one, so I have reserved that number for a special 'celebration rifle'. It will have to be a single trigger rifle with extra locks and also it will have to look like a classic hunters rifle, with perhaps a slightly more extravagant execution of the traditional engraving. A stout canvas case and a cartridge magazine containing 100 rounds would be appropriate. It is the sort of project I enjoy putting in work!
Vance Daigle on May 8, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Great Morning Simon,
Good story and a beautiful gun , to think that there are only 97 Westley's built in .577 certainly tells us if we are lucky enough to hold one. Take a moment and think about how few men that have had the same experience....good company to be in. I have not as of yet had the pleasure of having a Westley in .577 up to my shoulder. I have mounted your .470 before, is there that much difference in feel? Is the .577 a bit cumbersome or does it have a similar feel and swing to it as the .470?...like a sports car!!
I do have one more question, it's about the frame on your Double rifles. Is the scalloped frame come standard or is it a option on a new Double rifle? It's a nice touch in my opinion.
Sorry, another question Sir, you say a single trigger? Isn't the entire reason of a double to have a spare everything?...Interesting thought though.
Thank you in advance for the effort and time it will take to answer my list of questions.
Simon Clode on May 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm
Thank you Vance. There is a difference in feel but it is mainly the weight, it is about 3 lbs. heavier than a .470. You feel this additional weight but the balance, pointing and everything else is similar to the .470. When you pull the trigger you notice the difference also but once again it is similar, just more of it. The .577 recoil is a push like a .470 not a whack.
The scalloped frame is an option and I agree i think it is very attractive and especially on the .577 which we have done before on 2 occasions.
I could argue that 2 triggers don't give you a spare as each independently fires a barrel so you don't have a spare for each one! That said I know you are thinking the trigger may fail as it is more complex.
My reasoning was that all the rifles I mentioned were single trigger rifles so it was a nod to them. Also I use a single trigger rifle with confidence. I remember when I returned home from my very first safari, I met a customer in the airport who asked what I was using, I told him a single trigger .470 and he ended up buying it off me!
Keith Fahl on May 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm
If you remember some years back I purchased a Westley Richards box lock .577 3" that was made in 1907 from you at the SCI Convention. It has accounted for 2 Elephants so far and in the words of my PH, Lou Hallamore, when I shot the first one with the .577 "now that is an Elephant gun!". Lou uses a .470. I have seen 4 Elephant hit with the .577 and there is a very noticeable difference between it and lesser calibers. At 13 1/2 pounds one cannot carry it all day and use it effectively, but having a tracker carry it and switching off as you close on the Elephant the weight is negligible. With the weight the recoil is very manageable but recovery for the second shot is not quite as quick as with my Westley Richards .450 Nitro double.The weight does make it rock solid when you hold it offhand to shoot. The .577 is without a doubt in a league of it's own.
Your plan for number 100 is very fitting for this excellent caliber. Looking forward to seeing the post when it is completed. I envy the one who gets it.
Simon Clode on May 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm
Thank you Keith, a nice 'hands on' addition to help answer Vance's questions!
Gary Duffey on May 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm
Another beautiful W-R classic! Beautiful deluxe engraving. Although the 'gold name' takes up a De minimus amount of space it adds exponentially to the overall appearance and adds greatly to the case hardening and really brings out the coloration. Another rifle that will gain much character with use and care! I look forward to seeing pictures in the field. Well done fellows!!
Vance Daigle on May 8, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Thank you very much for the response Simon. It's another item of knowledge that I am happy to have. Have a great weekend!!!!